Average SSPers Got Talent Under Pressure

Author | Gracy W.

Editor | Rex S.

A Drowsy Morning Hour By Hour-ish

7:00 am

Ring, ring, ring! As my alarm rang early in the morning, I glanced at my phone before turning it off and going back to sleep. After practicing for the talent show till midnight, missing my Duolingo lesson, and falling asleep at 1:00 am last night, I honestly didn’t want to get out of bed that early.

Comment: My alarm isn’t actually bad, it’s pretty sweet – Ylang Ylang by ((( O ))) & FKJ.

9:00 am

My roommate Eileen’s alarm rang and woke me up. This time, although I was still pretty tired, I managed to stay awake by scrolling through my phone. It was starting to get bright out too.

Comment: Eileen’s alarm is really, really annoying (sorry!). But I guess it does the job. Well, for me, I think Eileen went back to sleep a little longer after that annoying alarm.

9:30 am

I got hungry and was too lazy to walk a full 10 minutes to Forest Dining Hall, so instead I decided to make myself a very nutritious breakfast from my drawer and the safety of the 2nd floor’s kitchenette.


To work on the final draft of the research paper, I go with my lovely groupmate Sofía! We discussed the horror of the inhibitor competition and finished what we could of our discussion. My other groupmate, Rohan, was probably either still asleep or hard at work on the figures for our paper—a total pro.


With the looming talent show occurring in less than 8 hours, my talent show team planned to meet to practice (ish). Anyway, Mina, my dance partner, practiced our “choreography” with the beautiful vocals of Nikil.

Comment: Dominic & Hemkesh were still asleep. I cried inside, missing Hanser’s amazing vocals.

Lunch with Genomics & A Tragic Betrayal

Nikil, Mina, and I were enlisted by Mr. Shorey to help him and Ms. McIntosh (Genomics Site Director) bring stuff over to the Biology building to prepare for lunch. Except we didn’t actually help carry anything because Ms. McIntosh said it was too light?  Previous joint lunches with Genomics were all in the Biology building’s atrium, but there was this poster showcase event there today, so lunch was relocated to the 3rd floor.Since we were shown the area for lunch, Mr. Shorey tasked us as guides for Biochem.

Lunch for me was yummy pizza, a cookie, and a 7UP drink.

Around noon, SSP Assassin (planned by Vicky) began. I was killed practically immediately. Whilst I’m not sure if I can mention my killer, I was a betrayal. At least, I wasn’t a victim of a triple kill like some other SSPers.

The Beauty of IU’s Art Museum

For mandatory fun, we went to the Art Museum on campus, the Eskenazi Museum of Art. Art history is so amazing, and seeing the curated exhibit based on style, location, and time period really made me appreciate how different events affect the artistic trends of a time period. I would love to nerd out more about gothic, surrealism, art nouveau, rococo, neoclassicism, and other art movements (but I eventually had to go head back to the dorms; not without purchasing a tote bag though).

Talent Show

Finally, we reached the event that gave this blog its namesake. As much as I would like to explain all acts in detail, I will simply summarize.

SSPers Mona & Anna showcase their artistic abilities by presenting themed portfolios (Art as an Exploration of Self & Landscapes through Art respectively).  SSPer Jake also presents a short fighting animation that took 1,000 some drawings that he made over the course of the program. It’s kind of weird that we saw lots of art earlier in the day and then got to see even more amazing work!

SSPers Nicholas, Monica, Xinrui, Sonia, Mattia, Maria, Sofía, Raul, Jeremy, Celab, and Kenny all showcase their musical prowess in instruments and song. SSPers Jiya, Lauren, Emilka, and Vicky dance to Money, Money, Money by ABBA and shower money into the crowd.

The DisneyMashuppers (Hanser, Dominic, Mina, Nikhil, Hemkesh & I) perform ‘How Far I’ll Go’, ‘Colors of the Wind’, ‘Hakuna Matata’, ‘Your Welcome’, and ‘Let It Go’. Hanser carried us with her vocals. Mina painstakingly created the audio for the performance with transitions.

SSPer Sophie presents her immense knowledge of classical history (she does Certamen) by rating the emperors of Rome, from Augustus up until Diocletian. SSPer Leon gets dropped into a random location on Google Street View and guesses where he is by playing Geoguesser. SSPers Felipe and Brian solved rubix cubes. Brian even gave us an additional performance by juggling and doing the worm.

 SSPer Rohan shows us his tennis tricks and  then bullies a child by beating the record of saying the alphabet forwards and backwards. SSPer Alden drinks two bottles of water in a very short amount of time (I feel bad for his bladder). SSPer Daniel picks volunteers and does magic with cards. “You’re a wizard, Daniel!”

SSPer Jacob presents different definitions of the acronym SSP. Is the Summer Science Program connected to the Scottish Socialist Party?? Also: “Super Shorey Program”

Then, SSPer Evie gives a participant lecture on…Participants as Taylor Swift Lyrics. Below are the lyrics I was assigned.

Comment: The time on Subway Surfers is even higher now. I got a new phone right before SSP and it alone has 119 hours, excluding the 400 some from my other phone. I’m sane… I think. 🙂

Is there anything I’m forgetting? ZEST (Zack, Eileen, Selam Talent) showcase passion and enthusiasm by dancing and acting out songs. At the end of their performance, everyone got up and danced.

Comment: My personal favorites were Zack being pushed down during Love Story by Taylor Swift, Eileen getting her wig pulled off, and  Selam yelling “TAYLOR TAKE ME TO CHURCH”.

For the last act, Lauren presents a dedication video for the SSP Biochem IU faculty and staff: Dr. Hollenbeck, Dr. Lierz, Mr. Shorey, Nick, Rex, Jackson, Emma, & Elaina. She’s been recording with participants for the past week and I’m glad to have been a part of that process.

But wait, that wasn’t the last act? Dr. Hollenbeck then gets up and performs a rap for the wrap of SSP. Lots of early tears were shed because of the dedication video & the keychains Sofía made and brought over from Brazil. Many more tears would be shed for the Inhibitor Competition on MOE and our eventual departure on Wednesday.

SSP has truly been the experience of a lifetime …since 1959.