Not doing DM? Your life doesn't have to suck

    Maybe you had good intentions.

    Back in October, you picked a partner, paid your $40 and began plotting ways to raise $800. You could bake cookies! You would sell homemade t-shirts! You could….

    And then it happened: Your drive dropped off, February came around and neither you nor your partner had raised any money. Faced with the choice of dropping out or somehow squeezing $800 out in the next week, you elected to cut your losses and try again next year.

    So now, as you watch your stronger-minded friends prepare themselves mentally and physically for the strenuous battle they are about to undertake, you begin to wonder: What will I do this weekend? Parties are rare or nonexistent, and few of your friends will be around to entertain you.

    Here are a few options to fill your weekend:

    Check out the stars
    No, not those stars, unfortunately. Peter Gallagher and Tom Hanks show no indications of coming back, ever. But take advantage of Dearborn Observatory’s public observing Friday from 8 to 10 p.m. Although reservations are necessary between 8 and 9, walk-ins are welcome after 9. The Observatory is open every Friday, but it’s easy to get caught up in pre-gaming and Lost drinking games and miss the Friday night slot. Since less parties will occur this weekend, take advantage of your free time and stop by Dearborn.

    Support on-campus productions
    A number of a capella and theatre groups are putting on shows this weekend, in spite of the droves of people trapped inside Norris. Use this weekend to support your fellow student. As an added benefit, it will probably be easier to grab seats close to the stage.

    • The Jewish Theatre Ensemble presents Romance by David Mamet, a courtroom farce that discusses the legal system and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Performances will be at the Shanley Pavilion at both 8 and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
    • The Theatre and Interpretation Center presents “Danceworks” on Friday at 8 p.m. Featuring dancers from Northwestern’s dance program, the show will broadcast a variety of dance styles, from jazz to tap. Performances will be in the Louis theatre, and the cost is $10 for NU students.
    • Brown Sugar and Deeva Dance Troupe present “The Office” in the McCormick Tribune Center Saturday at 7 and 10 p.m. Tickets are $5, and will be available at the door.

    Host your own dance party
    If you’re not the only one of your friends abandoned by DM this weekend, create an awesome party mix and hold your own dance marathon. You can even donate money to (the real) Dance Marathon, if you want. You decide when it ends, you get all the caffeine you want (and liquor, if you roll that way) and there are no awkward, sweaty strangers trying to hump your leg.

    Finally make your way into Chicago
    With the campus dead and most of your friends trapped inside the Louis Room, now is the perfect time to make your way into Chicago for some good old-fashioned, Ferris Bueller-style fun. Once you’ve conquered the El and are in the city, you can elect the tourist route: Hit up the Art Institute, Sears Tower or Navy Pier for a broad taste of the big city. If you haven’t made time to go see Second City yet and have $25 to spare, buy your tickets now. Although the tickets may be on the pricier side of the starving college students’ budget, the show (currently “Between Barack and a New Show”) is guaranteed to be hilarious.

    Make use of those sketchy dorm kitchens
    Without competition for the kitchen, now’s your chance to test out your skills with the rusty pan that’s sitting on the stove… or, maybe that’s not such a good idea. Still hungry? You’re in luck — cooking with the microwave is fun and easy. Rice Krispies? Chocolate fondue? Your imagination is the limit. Just keep an eye on the timer — even if the dorm is emptier than usual, no one will appreciate the blaring fire alarm.

    Watch a basketball game
    The men’s basketball team plays #7 Wisconsin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Senior Day. Sure, the Wildcats haven’t been doing too hot this season, but maybe some peer support is all the team needs to finally upset a ranked team – or any team, for that matter. After narrowly losing to ranked Indiana and beating Michigan, it may be time for NU to pull a big upset. If the prospect of seeing the team pull off a grand upset doesn’t excite you, perhaps the comforting thought of free Chipotle will: The first 50 students to arrive at the game wearing their WildSide t-shirt will receive a coupon for a free Chipotle burrito. The first 400 fans will receive a special “Senior Day giveaway item.” Free food? Money? A stuffed Willie the Wildcat? The possibilities are endless.

    Support Dance Marathon
    Too busy to spend all weekend dancing? Understandable, considering finals are coming up and teachers are piling on the essays. However, you can still take time to do your part to help kids with cancer. Dance Marathon offers a number of events during the weekend for non-dancers:

    • DM Spa: Pivot Point, The Rub and Steven Papageorge will offer varied spa services, from manicures to haircuts, for around $10 each.
    • 5K Run: The run will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday at the Norris East Lawn. The cost is $15 with online pre-registration and $25 for same-day sign-ups.
    • DM Carnival: The ground floor of Norris will play host to a variety of carnival events and games Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Games are $5 each. Attendees can also play bingo for $5 from noon to 2 p.m.
    • A capella: Freshman 15, Thunk, Asterik, Purple Haze, X-Factors and Treblemakers will perform in McCormick Auditorium for $5 on Saturday at 7 p.m.

    Mock your dancing friends
    Oh, be nice. Everyone in the Louis Room not only worked their ass off to raise $800, but is willing to undergo 30 hours of physical and emotional turmoil for kids with cancer. Props to them. Hit up your friends’ favorite restaurant and bring them a steak, or a smoothie. Give them footrubs – DM committees also offer massages, but wouldn’t it be nice for your friends to have their own personal masseuse on call? If you can’t find anything to do, just stop by to cheer up your friends, or enjoy watching the masses trying to keep moving during the last blocks of DM.


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