SU Snapshot

An Easter-themed entry for Spring at SU photo contest

Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2010

 Annie Beckmann Blog

Seated as she is adjacent to the editor of The Commons, Annie Beckmann (senior writer, Marcom) recognized she was ineligible for the "Spring at SU" photo contest. Even still, she shared this entry as well as the story behind it:

The thunderous knock on the front door of Marketing Communications made everyone in the office gasp. Sure didn’t sound like the Easter Bunny, yet the fellow was carrying two little egg cartons. The bright colors that peeked out were a dead giveaway.

He came directly to my desk with determination. “I’ve had a heckuva time finding you! Here are your eggs!” said chef Michael Blackwell, a long-time friend and fellow judge at the annual Bite of Seattle.

Each year, Blackwell and artist Peter Gemma hollow out more eggs than anybody could fathom. They fill them with the tiniest candies and trinkets, tape them closed and paint them in bright colors with intricate designs.  A few years back, the effort reached a feverish pitch when they decorated 1,000 eggs. This year, they painted a more modest number, a mere 400. My neck aches just thinking about it!

As I opened my egg cartons, I spotted one painted with baby chicks, another with a big orange and gold butterfly. Imagine an egg painted in red lobsters, another with potted yellow daffodils. Many are abstract designs. Some are intricate geometrics.  Not since I interviewed a Ukrainian woman in Edmonton, Alberta, who had painstakingly etched all of The Last Supper on a humble egg have I seen such amazing detail. 

Anyway, when Blackwell and Gemma started this tradition years ago, they explained it’s extremely good luck to break one of these eggs on your head on Easter Sunday and let the goodies inside and the shell fragments fall as they may.  Kind of like a miniature piñata, except the blunt instrument you use is your head.

Some say it’s a tradition started by Marco Polo in Spain with confetti-filled eggs. Cascarones, as they’re called, later became popular in Mexico. I’ve heard people claim it’s a spin on a Greek Orthodox tradition, too.

Gemma and Blackwell only fill some of their eggs with confetti and always warn people when they do because they make such a mess when cracked.  

“You know, you’re the very last remaining adult with no children at home who actually cracks them open. Everybody else collects them and puts them in their china cabinet,” Blackwell told me.

“Sorry, Mike,” I said. “You told me years ago to encourage people to crack them on their heads for good luck and it has become my favorite Easter ritual.“

I described my fiancé’s 93-year-old Mom named Shy, who’s both blind and hard of hearing. To watch her, to hear her giggle when she whacks her head with an egg makes my Easter complete.

There's still time to enter the "Spring at SU" photo contest. Grab a camera, take a picture, send it to and qualify for a $10 gift card to Starbucks.


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Enter the Spring at SU photo contest

Posted on Tuesday, March 23, 2010

 Tree Bellarmine Blog

The flowering trees at Bellarmine Turnaround, above, are but one of the springtime treasures on our campus. Send us your favorite image of SU in the spring for a chance to win a $10 Starbucks gift card. Your photo and a brief description can be e-mailed to

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Breakfast at Pigott

Posted on Friday, March 19, 2010

Don't get me started on the havoc and destruction these creatures have wreaked on the house in which I grew up. This one, spotted outside Pigott on the morning of March 19, seemed harmless enough and didn't mind being filmed.

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Want a Commons tote?

Posted on Thursday, March 04, 2010

Commons Tote

All you have to do is make The Commons your homepage and contact the editor at to let him know the deed has been done.

A few vitals on the bag:

  • An Eco-Responsible™ product
  • Non-woven polypropylene
  • Reusable, hand washable and 100 percent recyclable
  • Reinforced 20” handles
  • Cardboard bottom insert
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