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Marie Daniels: Candy-Striped and Crazed


A Resident Assistant at Orientation


First-year master’s violist Marie Daniels took time at the end of August 30 to bring focus to the haze that was orientation week. Daniels, who received her bachelor’s in May, is starting her fourth year as a residence assistant.

Marie Daniels and Mitchell Kuhn

Mitchell Kuhn and Marie Daniels after their "wedding" at Casino Night.

Day in the Life Numbers
(Photo by Jeffrey Cuyubamba)

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7:03 a.m. Alarm goes off, three minutes after the hour, due to my strange preference for the number three.

7:26 a.m. After eating a handful Cheerios, I head out for a six-mile run, part of my training for the Philadelphia Marathon, which is in November.

9:07 a.m. First sip of coffee. Now people are allowed to talk to me. 

9:22 a.m. With breakfast to go, I arrive on the fourth floor and find one of my favorite practice rooms available for some scales and a quick morning warm-up.

10 a.m. I get to join five other current students to be the panel for orientation’s Staying on Cue session for undergraduate musicians. Despite having been given no directions, the session runs fairly smoothly as new students ask us questions and we talk about our personal experiences, giving tips and advice along the way. Only a handful of students leave early—success.

11:05 a.m. Back in the practice room to work on orchestra excerpts for the upcoming placement auditions.

12:30 p.m. A salad and soup for lunch to go. I head to the lounge of the residence hall to meet some fellow resident assistants to blow up balloons for that evening’s event: Candy Land Casino Night. I manage to get the job of tying balloons on the string instead of having to blow up balloons. Lucked out on that one.

1:48 p.m. Time to reply to some e-mails, catch up on my to-do list, and get in some more practicing. This time it’s Bach.

4:17 p.m. I briefly meet my sonata-duo partner at school to give her music and then head to Insomnia Cookies to pick up their donation for Casino Night.

5:15 p.m. Pick up 75 warm cookies at Insomnia.

5:23 p.m. Coffee detour on the way back. Seventy-four cookies remain. Oops!

6:14 p.m. Dinner in the cafeteria is themed Breakfast for Dinner. I’m sorry, I already ate breakfast once today. Salad and soup again.

7 p.m. Decision-making time. After a quick browse on the Internet for inspiration, I decide on the Mr. Mint image and go with a striped shirt and candy-cane socks.

7:30 p.m. How many RAs and Res Life staffers does it take to move all the chairs and tables out of the cafeteria? (Answer: 17.) Decoration and preparing the food spread are also included in our duties.

8:45 p.m. With a slightly delayed start time, Casino Night is up and running. We offer the new students a variety of food donated from local shops and restaurants, as well as a photo booth, face painting, card games, and a marriage station. Lady Gaga music plays throughout.

9:16 p.m. A pink sparkly plastic ring appears before my eyes and is slipped onto my finger. First-year oboist Mitchell Kuhn and I get married. 

10:35 p.m. My participation in a crazy dance party comes to an end, there’s a raffle drawing and prizes, and a quick birthday song to celebrate the birthdays of Gia Monsell and Luke Sellick, two fellow staff members.

11:10 p.m. Back in my room, I’m totally exhausted, full of cookies, pop music, and with my feet feeling very sore.

11:38 p.m. Successfully upload a picture to Facebook of my striped candy-cane socks and clashing pink flats. Update status that makes it sound like my night is just beginning. 

12:01 a.m. Nah. Lights out. Zzz.

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