Try Something New: Open Mic Night

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A few weeks ago, I went to an event hosted by our Student Union Activities and Advisory Board (SUAAB)! It was a slam poetry event called “Espresso Self – Open-Mic Night”, that consisted of performers from a local slam poetry group as well as an open-microphone session with UT Dallas students. I went with my roommate to see what it was like, as neither of us had been to a slam poetry event before, and had heard that it was a pretty cool experience. Personally, I’m not too into poetry, but the word “slam”, as well as the fact that SUAAB always had amazing events, intrigued us both.

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The event was being held in The Pub, our restaurant-style dining area on campus. We sat down and the first thing we noticed was a really cool jar that was filled with espresso beans – which I thought was a pretty fun way of decorating the venue. As soon as the event started, the slam poetry group immediately immersed themselves into character, each of them telling a different story that would tie into the main narrative about a king and a queen and their younger son who was sent off to complete his education. The stories narrated were very powerful, as I could tell that they tailored the stories to relate to college students. For example, one of the stories was about college – specifically, about how new of an experience it was, how some of the challenges with adapting could easily to overcome by some but  difficult for others, and in the end, our experience was what we, as college students, make of it. Another story was about love and was delivered in the form of a love letter. The performer giving her all into it, I even think I saw a couple of audience members tearing up as well! A trio of performers also delivered a story that paralleled current events, but they used body language for their primary use of communication instead. I found myself interested in what each performer had to say, each of their stories relatable and easy to follow.

As my roommate and I walked home a few hours later, I was super excited and wouldn’t stop talking about it. Before the event began, I was hesitant to go since I usually don’t understand poetry that well – I find it beautiful to hear, but often times I don’t understand what’s being said. This event, however, was comprehensive and engaging.  I’m really grateful for SUAAB hosting such a cool event – it was super entertaining with jokes and witty banter, but it also had its own emotional moments, with personal anecdotes shared. There was a wide scope of topics covered that let all of the viewers connect to the performers, and enjoy the overall performance – not to mention iced and hot coffee being served, and free candies spread on the tables!20170619_193633

I also learned that it doesn’t hurt to try something new once in a while. One doesn’t have to be pushed completely out of their comfort zone to enjoy something, but stepping a little bit out of your boundaries can really give some insight into new experiences, and you might actually enjoy yourself. Poetry never really seemed to be my jam, but after giving that event a chance, it seemed to be pretty cool.

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Vandana Garg
B.S. Biochemistry
Class of 2018
The University of Texas at Dallas

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