The summer after I graduated from college, I moved to Richland, Washington to live with my grandparents and work at Pacific Northwest National Lab. While I was there, my grandmother taught me to crochet, and I've been doing it ever since!
I love working on a variety of projects, and I've made hats, scarves, shrugs, shirts, slippers, bags, "gauntlets," and "barefoot sandals." My favorite crochet projects are stuffed animals, and I enjoy asking my friends to suggest an animal and then seeing if I can make it.
Crochet was an important way for me to connect with many of the women in Mulalillo, Ecuador when I lived there. One of the women taught me to "knit" a scarf using only my fingers - no knitting needles and no crochet hooks!
Since moving to New England, I've fallen in love with contra, English Country, and Modern Western square dancing. The most friendly dance in the area is the 1st and 3rd Sunday contra in Porter Square hosted by the Boston Intergenerational Dance Advocates. I've had lots of fun introducing friends to contra at this dance, and everyone has appreciated the positive energy of the community.
The dance community I spend the most time with is Tech Squares, a modern square dance group at MIT. The main focus is on spatial puzzle solving with a group of people (your 8-member square) and there's a certain friendly rivalry between the dancers and the caller. The caller can call fast, complicated sequences built from the 100+ calls that the dancers know (and many more calls and concepts at challenge levels), and the dancers' goal is to follow without allowing the square to break down. The caller's job is to "resolve" the square - to get everyone back to where they started at the beginning of the dance - which the dancers can make more challenging by dancing in opposite gender roles, switching places with other dancers in the square, or switching between squares while dancing. There are a number of other variations on square dancing, including dancing in hexagons, bigons, or 12-member squares.
This 30-minute documentary from 2017 does a great job of showcasing the awesome Tech Squares community. You can also find minimalist animations of hundreds of calls and concepts at Taminations. Finally, you should read this awesome blog post (written by another Tech Squares dancer) that captures a lot of what I love about contras and squares and games.