Another Awesome Telecom Halloween Party


For the past few years, Halloween in the Telecom Department has been synonymous with one big ole epic party. This year, thankfully, was no exception. After back-to-back awesome parties first at Travis’s and then at Rachel’s house last year, Glenna Read graciously offered up her Prospect Hill home for the annual celebration.

“Some folks had mentioned that they were worried that no one would have the space to host the Halloween party,” Glenna explained. “It seems like an important tradition in the department and a great opportunity to hang out and get to know people outside of the school setting. I didn’t want that tradition to go away.”

The tradition of teamwork continued as well. Nic, Teresa and Ashely came over early to help “spookify” the house, Issac brought speakers for the dance party and Glenna’s boyfriend Ben did the cleaning. The group effort paid off, and the Telecom party was a raging success despite the snow (seriously there was snow!) and generally miserable weather. Telecomer’s mixed and mingled inside, eating food and discussing gaming ethics while outside in the garage, a perfectly crafted playlist and some glow sticks kept the dance party going all night long.


From the swarms of people gathered in Glenna’s beautiful straight-out-of-Pinterest home, it is hard to imagine that just last year, Glenna and Ben were commuting and not official Bloomingtonians. According to Glenna, the move to Bloomington has been amazing for both of them.

“We have so many more friends!” Glenna told me. “It’s nice to have a (semi) social life again.  We love Bloomington.”

And Bloomington (and the Telecom Department) loves Glenna and Ben. Another massive thank you for hosting Glenna and Ben! You guys rock!

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Drawing of the Month

It has come to the blog team’s attention that the drawing of the month has mainly become a collaborative art project between Edo and Niki as the rest of the department seems to be focusing on more important things like ICA deadlines and classwork. Luckily Niki and Edo put collaborative whiteboard murals on the top of their lists of priorities and we have a few unique additions to the mural this week including a critique of Niki’s Battlestar Galactica ship and ebola man. There is only one more week left in the mural project so make sure to get in your contributions before this year’s epic Halloween party!

drawing 4

Drawing of the Month: Halloween Edition

The Drawing of the Month is starting to lag a little bit. This week the only addition was that of the Battlestar Galactica ship, which was admitting done by Niki and clearly a ploy to try to get other people to add their costume ideas to the board. (Clearly her ploy failed.) There have been some excuses such as a lack of other colored markers and the fact that the board seemed so filled already. But the grad team thinks there is still plenty of room for some creativity. With two weeks til Halloween, we want to see your best scary stuff!.

Oct drawing 3

Drawing of the Month: Updated Halloween!

There are just three short little spooky weeks standing between us and the famous Telecom Halloween Party! Now that we have an official host (you rock Glenna!), it is time to start adding some detail to the Halloween mural. This week, Glenna the Good Witch of Telecom was added as well as the head of last year’s roasted pig! There is also some sort of strange vampire dog hanging out in the clouds, which is very creative! Also thanks to whoever reserved a spot on the mural for a GIF. Let’s add some more detail to the mural people, like maybe some creepy things in the tree or a hint as to what your Halloween costume this year is going to be.

oct drawing

The Magic of Halloween

By Mona Malacane

Some people would say that the winter holidays – Christmas, Hannukah, Thanksgiving, Black Friday – are the most wonderful time of the year. For others, it’s Valentine’s Day. But here in our little pocket of the university, I think it’s safe to say that for many of us, Halloween is something special.

Chauncey, Kelsey Prena's dog, enjoys getting dressed up for Halloween

Chauncey, Kelsey Prena’s dog, enjoys getting dressed up for Halloween.


For us, August orientation isn’t complete without at least some chatter of the annual Halloween party. Since mid-September, I’ve overheard a handful of people talking about their costumes and even received a few suggestions on what I should be. It’s also the time that professors start bringing in candy to reward (mostly undergraduate) class participation. Not to mention, this one topic has generated four (one, two, three, four) blog posts. (Which is saying a lot because Harmeet prefers novelty with blog stories.)

How about these two cool kids, Glenna Read and Nic Matthews??

How about these two cool kids, Glenna Read and Nic Matthews??

So what makes Halloween so magical? Is it because it reminds us of childhood? When one of the hardest tasks of life was rationing out your candy to make it last as long as possible? Is it just a good excuse to party? Or to show off our creative side? Maybe it’s a combination of those two – that we can temporarily step away from ourselves, play pretend, and blow off some cathartic steam? Perhaps it is as simple as people enjoying theme parties and/or traditions? I mean, our Halloween parties are pretty epic. Or maybe Edo was right … that Halloween is a mechanism through which we can communicate subliminal messages …

I’m sure there is some theory that explains why we love Halloween so much in this department, but I am not going to look for it. Instead, here are a few things that I think make Halloween awesome.

Now that we’re adults, our parents can’t control how much candy we eat.










We also don’t have to go beg strangers for said candy.










Only to be disappointed with crap like apples or floss.









But then again, we don’t get free candy …

not fair









The up side: drinking your calories is more fun sometimes …

trick or treat












You don’t have to suffer from embarrassment at the costume your parents picked for you.

bad costume










Instead, you can dress up as whatever you want! No permission required.

any costume







And boogie to some spooky tunes.








But don’t think about it for too long because it can be a little depressing …

too old

Drawing of the Month: Halloween Edition

The blog team can’t deny it; we are PUMPED for Halloween. That excitement combined with the desire to do a little something different for the month of October, led us to attempt something new. We created the “Drawing of the Month” to replace the “Question of the Week” for this month. We were hoping it would inspire some collaborative storytelling and get the Halloween costume ideas stared. The drawing of the month is also a homage to the epic murals that used to grace the big white board in the lab in years past.

Niki started the drawing with her attempt at a “scary” haunted house. Please try not to judge as her drawing skills clearly were stunted somewhere around fifth grade.

image (3)


At first the contributions came in a bit slowly with just one lonely little skeleton. But then, overnight, the drawing came to life with some inspiring additions including some gravestones, a deadline-enforcing ghost and a blog team favorite, a skeleton owl. These contributions are prepping the grad lounge for yet another season of Halloween magic. Please keep adding to the drawing over the month. We would love to see some more meta contributions and maybe even an ontological joke or two!


“Night of the Living Fed”

By Mona Malacane

Six years ago, Travis Ross started a Halloween tradition that has become a legend. You overhear musings about the party during the orientation gathering, it had its own website, and the costumes are seriously creative (I highly recommend stalking some photo albums on Facebook). In fact, I think I overheard some of my fellow grad students in the grad lab planning their costumes as far back as July.

I put a spell on you

The party hasn’t always been the staple Halloween shindig though. Travis faced some stiff competition in the first few years he threw the Halloween party.  Travis explains:  “Halloween is one of those great things that somebody on campus is always going to be throwing a party. For the longest time I had to compete with other Halloween parties. There were like four years where I was just selling [my party] so hard just to try to get that critical mass that you need to make a party feel crowded enough to make the party feel like it is a good party.” Travis had to stop people in the halls and drop into classes before they started and advertise the party those first few years. The tradition eventually caught on and became a department staple.

Sadly, Travis and his wife Emily moved on to greener pastures (literally, they live on a farm), which left us pondering who will take over the party?! A few names were thrown around, and multiple people said they were willing to continue the tradition … but no one made any definitive moves. That was, until September 30th, when Rachel Bailey stepped up and made it clear that she is picking up the baton and throwing this year’s party.

I asked what possessed her (I channeled Edo for my pun there) to throw the Halloween party and her reply makes me believe that this year’s party is going to be epic: “Well, I love throwing parties. I like the details and the planning and having a theme to stick to and work towards. And Halloween is so fun … in general I go above and beyond for holidays of all kinds, but those who know me know I generally pull out the stops for Halloween especially.” Travis also mentioned that Rachel is a great hostess and likes to incorporate food into her themes.

When I asked Rachel if she will be doing anything different this year, she explained,  “My party will be a good time, I’m sure. Will everything coalesce into the most magical, scarifying, awesome Halloween party ever? I have no idea … part of the thing about parties is you can plan everything to the tiniest detail and the dynamics just don’t come together. I’ll handle all the details – you guys just come ready to have a good time and we can’t miss.” She does, however, live in a home with a fire pit and plenty of land so there will be plenty of parking and “room for high jinks of various kinds.”

Travis will miss throwing the party but is happy that Rachel is continuing the tradition, telling me he is “glad it is going into good hands.” He has given his blessing but passes on a few tips: (1) have good lighting, (2) have plenty of spirits, (3) try and achieve the critical mass of people needed to feel like a good party, (4) keep the music going, and (5) “Watch out for Senia because she is a Spotify hacker.”

Bad things happen when Halloween parties run out of alcohol.

Bad things happen when Halloween parties run out of alcohol.