Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Retreat Blurb from Stephanie!

Here is a fantastic and touching blog from our most beloved Stephanie Tubiolo, a junior in Silliman and a Glee Club member since freshman year! Enjoy!

Oh How I Love Glee

This year, I brought a pillow to Glee-treat for the first time.

As I watched our incredible new members scramble onto the buses with stacks of
textbooks and wrinkled sheets tugged off their beds just minutes before, my head
was filled with memories of the swirling excitement of my first retreat—and how
much it meant to me.

It was my first time being out of contact with my family.
It was my first time traveling with people I didn’t know.
It was my first time having to pack on my own (thus the lack of pillow).

And it was absolutely the first time I felt like I belonged at Yale.

I entered Yale the epitome of an embarrassingly over-attached child. I cried every
day of my Pre-orientation Harvest trip, I cried when my amazing parents and
brother left orientation, and I called home every day for the entirety of my first
semester (and may or may not have cried on the phone a few times).

So the pure happiness and joy I felt when I hopped on the bus with 80 mysterious
people to travel to a mysterious campsite and engage in mysterious activities was
certainly brand new.

And it only grew. The family-style meals, the hours of rehearsal that felt like
minutes, the breathtaking lake, and the nights of square-dancing, campfires, and
just enjoying each other took me out of the academic bubble I had just entered and
showed me the overwhelming sunshine that is Glee.

My second Glee-treat came the day after a traumatic death in my life, and I will
never forget the incessant support I was blessed with. Sean Maher (our fabulous
business manager) once told me that Glee Clubbers “wouldn’t leave me alone” in
times of hardship, and he did not exaggerate.

And this year, my third retreat, was accompanied by neither nerves nor trauma.
I knew exactly what to expect—the freezing temperatures, that group of men
celebrating their multi-decade anniversary of being campers, learning that I am
still the shortest member of the Glee Club, and most of all, that fuzzy feeling I get in
my stomach when I look around a rehearsal and realize that I could not possibly be
surrounded by a more wonderful group of people.

Maybe next year I’ll finally learn how to promenade.

To the new members: You are so loved! Welcome to Glee Club

-Stephanie Tubiolo '14

Thank you so much Stephanie for all the love and support you give to our members! 

Retreat Blurb from a Newbie!

A new Glee Club member Sharif Vakili describes his experiences and memories from our 2012-2013 retreat!

The yale glee club retreat has been one of the most uplifting and emotionally rewarding experiences I've ever had at Yale. And I mean that as a senior who's in his first and sadly last year with the group. The people in the glee club have been so unbelievably welcoming, sweet and interesting. They constantly emit positive energy. And in it's contagious. I'm pretty sure if a grade A dirtbag joined a rehearsal with us, either he'd lose his capacity to be douchy or maybe he'd just explode. 

Beyond the special goodness of the glee club members that made the retreat so pleasant, the cool little events we did and the spirit we approached them with really added to the retreat. I always looked forward to rehearsal and was super excited to get started, to sing, to learn, and of course, to hear Jeff give his various inspiring, memorable (remember-- every entrance you miss is an entrance you'll never be able to get back), insightful, and funny speeches. Really, it's just been addicting. Sure, we might find ourselves stressed with other commitments and thoughts floating around in our heads, but it's pretty easy to tell that everyone consistently looks forward to and gets excited about rehearsals . And the stuff we did outside of rehearsals nicely complimented that: singing songs of Yale around s'mores, playing the "I have a neighbor" game, eating impressively delicious food, and square-dancing in the barn to old cassettes for several hours with no hydration and limited ventilation. 

Looking back on our retreat has been bittersweet. But bittersweetness is a reliable indication of a kickass time. 
I'm super excited to see what the next few months are going to bring.

-Sharif Valiki

Thanks so much Sharif! We are so happy to have you in our Glee community!