WEEKEND | 7:34 pm | December 6, 2011 | By Caroline Tan

Top 10 Reading Week Distractions

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Photo by Creative Commons.

It’s Reading Week, which at Yale is meant to be an entire week without classes during which students can study really, really hard and get super ready for finals. Of course, many of you are probably spending these first few days sleeping forever and filling your nights with frat/sorority formals and anything but work, so we figured you could still use some tips on the week’s best distractions. Check out your options below:

TUESDAY: Toad’s Place isn’t just for late-night Saturday dance parties and penny shows. It’s mostly for those things, but sometimes they have awesome shows. Last semester I went to see Dashboard Confessional (it was awesome, no shame), and since then have started checking the clubhouse’s website for upcoming concert listings.

Today there will be a City and Colour concert at Toad’s starting at 9 p.m. and featuring Hacienda and Daniel Romano. If you haven’t heard of City and Colour, check out their song “The Girl.”

Tell me that’s not relaxing. If you’re interested, you can still get tickets (same-day tickets cost only $22) on the website. So study hard but reward yourself after dinner with the soothing sounds of Dallas Green.

TUESDAY: If you don’t feel checking out Toad’s, the Berkeley College Orchestra is holding a one-hour “Music of North America” concert in Battell Chapel starting at 8 p.m., so in about 30 minutes. Plus it’s completely free.

TUESDAY: Or, check out the Women’s Center. After beginning renovations earlier this year, the Women’s Center is finally completed with new decorations and will be holding a grand opening party tonight from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at the revamped facility (located next to Durfee’s). Visit the new space (their walls are orange!) for a chocolate fountain, cupcakes and other delicious snacks. You’ll also meet the members of the Women’s Center Board, learn about the Center’s resources and find out how to get involved with the organization.

WEDNESDAY: Free massages. Wednesday is “Stress Down Day.” From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., students looking for a breather can go to the President’s Room in Woolsey Hall (above Commons) for free chair massages, reiki energy healing, stress management tips, health information, healthy snacks, aromatherapy, holiday card making and more. It’s sponsored by the Yale Health Student Wellness Office, McDougal Wellness Fellows, Grad Wellness Ambassadors and Peer Health Educators. Who could say no to free massages and snacks? Not me.

WEDNESDAY: Wednesday Toad’s. Need I say more?

THURSDAY: Yale Philharmonia. The Yale Philharmonia will present a “New Music for Chamber Orchestra” concert this Thursday at 8 p.m. in Woolsey Hall. The show is free and will feature new works by student composers Paul Kerekes MUS ’12, Hannah Lash MUS ’12, Loren Loiacono MUS ’12, Garth Neustadter MUS ’12, Kathryn Salfelder MUS ’12, Chris Rogerson, Justin Tierney MUS ’12, and Daniel Wohl MUS ’12.

THURSDAY-FRIDAY: So you think you can dance? Yale’s hip hop and contemporary dance group Rhythmic Blue will hold its annual fall show Thursday and Friday. Themed “The Pursuit of Happiness,” the show will be held at Off-Broadway Theater and start at 7 p.m. According to the event’s descriptions, students can join the group for an “emotionally explosive” show as the performers “dance through high and lows, struggles and celebrations, good times and bad.” Sounds so similar to my Reading Week. Tickets are $4 in advance, $5 at the door.

FRIDAY: Aaaand finally, it’s Christmas at Yale. Well, not really, but the Holiday Carillon Concert will sure make it seem like Jolly Old Saint Nicholas has come early to New Haven. On Friday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., sit within earshot of Harkness Tower in the Branford Courtyard, where the Guild of Carillonneurs will play their “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing Harkness! The Herald Carillonneurs Ring” holiday concert for campus. Enjoy holiday music as you savor Branford Courtyard’s last days before it is slammed with 8 feet of snow.

ALL WEEK: Get ye to the theater. “A Doctor in Spite of Himself” will be playing at the Yale Repertory Theater on Chapel Street tonight from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Take an hour and a half out of your insane studying schedule to see a show that, according to the event’s description, is “bursting with slapstick physical comedy, naughty innuendo and irreverent hijinks.” And in case you can’t make the show on Wednesday, it will be playing all week so make sure to buy your tickets ahead of time!

ALL WEEK: Breathing Space. In case a four hour window on Wednesday morning isn’t when you want to relax, check out Breathing Space, a new initiative by the Chaplain’s Office to help Yalies juggle their busy lives. Open Sunday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the basement of Welch Hall’s entryway C, Breathing Space offers a meditation room and reading room for students to relax, color, drink hot chocolate and enjoy a technology-free zone.

That’s all, folks. Check out these events, or don’t. Whatever! Up to you! Don’t forget that college study breaks are amazing and often involve Five Guys or Taco Bell. Happy studying!

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