What Your Dirty Dishes (Would) Think of You

Day one:

“Wow, that was a great meal, wasn’t it?” The bowl rejoices, “We did an incredible job holding food for the human.”

The cutlery [telekinetically, I guess] hum their agreement.

“She sorta scratched me with the fork . . .” The non-stick pan mutters, gloomy as ever. The non-stick pan is useful, but also kinda too ornery for everyone else’s taste.

“Hey, I’m just an extension of the human’s righteous arm, it’s not my fault.”

Per usual, the non-stick pan doesn’t stick around very long after the meal is over. Once the human carries it away to The Cleaning Place, everyone agrees that it’s not the fork’s fault the non-stick pan is a little scratched.

Day two:

The coffee mug is getting restless, “I wonder what the human’s up to right now. Usually she needs me in the mornings? Is she OK?”

“Don’t worry about her,” Bowl says reassuringly. Bowl has known human for two years, “I’m sure she just went with the travel thermos this morning. She’s a busy girl.”

Day three:

The dishes begin to feel uncomfortable in their dish-skin. Tempers wear thin as sticky residue develops on each and every one of them. Every sighting of the human is both a cause for hope and an opening for disappointment.

Bowl has known the human longer than the rest and knows her habits. The bowl knows better than to expect relief quickly. If anything, it’s best to keep your hopes low.

“What is she even doing right now??” Fork rages, once-silver twines straining under a coating of long-dried meat sauce. “It’s fine if she ignores us when she’s sleeping, but she’s just staring at her typing device!”

“And not even typing!” Spoon chimes in.

“It’s Buzzfeed!” Water bottle reports from beside Human. Water bottle is her constant companion. The other dishes envy the water bottle and the travel mug. They’ve never seen the outside world, only the confines of Human’s bedrooms and various Cleaning Places. The newest dishes, the cutlery, have only seen this room. They hunger for a change of pace – or at least to be washed.

“Not Buzzfeed again!” The dishes groan in unison, save the Bowl, who knows Human all too well.

Bowl sighs, addressing its compatriots calmly, “It is best not to expect mercy from Human. She knows not what she does.”

 


3, 4, 5? How many classes should you take?

Four. The answer is almost always gonna be four.
Buuut in case you need to be convinced (and in case you might be an exception to the ever-sacred Rule of Four), here’s a breakdown of the strengths and weaknesses of each choice:
The basics:
-you need to take (and pass) 30 classes to graduate, which means that you can’t take 3 classes every semester
-almost everyone takes 4 classes
-you are a human being and require sleep
           +and you like going out on weekends
Three classes:
Upside:
-tempting
-honestly so tempting, especially if the semester before was hard for you.
-If you’re on track to fulfill all of your concentration’s requirements, honestly why not? This can actually work to your advantage.
Say you have 3 very demanding classes on your plate. And you know that a 4th would only leave you playing a never-ending game of catch-up with one class or the other as you struggle to balance your workload, your activities, your friends, and your inability to stop browsing memes (and/or Facebook) instead of doing the work you should be doing. No one’s gonna blame you for taking 3!
-more free time! Unshackle yourself from the demands of four classes!
-if you’re a working student, especially if you’re working a lot, you might not have time to take a 4th class. And that’s totally OK. I found myself taking 3 classes for the first time this semester because, honestly, working 14 hours a week and taking upperclassmen-level courses was too much for me this semester.
Downside:
-there’s some stigma attached to taking 3 classes, but I feel like most of it comes from that ever-present anxiety that if you’re taking 3 you’re somehow “lazy” or “not doing enough” – and I get it. Odds are, if you go to this school you’re used to having to juggle a lot of work and you might berate yourself for not having the same number of classes as the majority of students. But all classes aren’t created equal, friend. And sometimes you just gotta take 3 – no shame in it.
-let’s say you take 3 classes and end up having way more free time than you thought you would. This can be good, but if you’re not filling this time with activities or working a job or something, then you might just be the odd-one-out who has nothing to do while your friends are all bogged down by their homework
-deciding to take 3 courses is an exercise in strategy: you really need to weigh the pros and cons when you’re making this choice, because what if you have harder courses next semester and regret not taking 4 this semester so you could have taken 3 the next one?? Decisions, decisions.
Five classes:
Upside:
-???
-I guess if you’re behind on fulfilling your requirements you would do this?
-Or maybe you’re just taking an extra course (and it’s SNC) because it doesn’t fall into your requirements, but you’re interested in it. In that case, go you! I’m proud of you for taking advantage of the open curriculum.
Downside:
-Why? You’re flying too close to the sun, Icarus.
-Are you taking this SNC, because you should be.
-You’re really busy. Really, really busy. If you’re taking the 5th class SNC (don’t do it for me, do it for yourself), then that helps, but you still need to pass the 5th class, so you have to do work for it.
-Idk how often you see your friends. Maybe y’all just hang out in the libraries – which is perfectly fine and group studying is lit, I’m just saying it might be nice not to live in the Sci-Li

You deserve better than this.

Four classes:
Upside:
-on average, people take 4 classes. Although, again, not all classes are created equal and the workload varies, taking 4 classes generally means you have time to hang out with people
-Sleeeeeep: my unproblematic fave
Downside:
-four classes is obviously already a lot of work, but generally it’s manageable if you manage your time. If 4 is too overwhelming and you can afford to do it, take 3.
-??? Just take four.

Returning Students Say Goodbye to Old Dorms, President Paxson Says Goodbye to Old Apartment

New year, new classes, new you – and, perhaps just as important as these, new dorm!

As the leaves change and the weather cools, so too do our dorms, our dens of security and school time homes, reflect the immense changes underway at the beginning of each year. From Keeney to Minden to New Dorm, each year has been undeniably shaped by where I’ve lived and what’s in my immediate proximity.

Keeney, for example? Seems horrifically far from everything that isn’t the Main Green or Wriston Quad. Pretty recently renovated when I came in as a Freshman though, and Arnold Lounge has a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream machine (this is both a blessing and a curse, I assure you).

It takes a few weeks to get the hang of things in your new building, to figure out its pros and cons and start to really feel at home. Personally, I still find myself zoning out and walking on autopilot towards last year’s dorm before I realize what I’m doing and turn in the right direction.

This year, C Pax is going through a readjustment period just like the rest of us. Earlier this week, true leader of the people and President of Brown University Christina Paxson listed her “Tribeca crash pad for $1.7M,” reports Luxury Listings NYC.

Ooh, nice. (Credit: David Elliman, Source: Luxury Listings NYC)

I’m sure she’ll miss her old digs dearly, just like I miss that mysterious syrup smell that comes out of Barus and Holley at random intervals and coats the air around Minden (no, seriously – what is that smell, where does it come from, what sort of amazing science is happening in B&H and how can I be a part of this syrup-smelling science??).

Pictured: one of the Toronto Maple Leafs realizing everyone’s childhood ambitions by drinking straight syrup

Surely, however, President Paxson must have some things she won’t miss from her old apartment. I mean, look at that bathroom for one thing! Sleek, straight lines; modern, functioning fixtures; and not a lick of dust or grime? Her true Brunonian spirit must have recoiled at these features, but bravely she endured.  

(Credit: David Elliman, Source: Luxury Listings NYC)

This is Brown. We bathe in dim lighting, small showers, and/or in close proximity to some distinctly colored muck. It is an unspoken requirement in a school with relatively few requirements to speak of, and I am sure it must have been one of President Paxson’s primary motivations for leaving this apartment behind.

I can’t blame her. This year, with my clean, spacious New Dorm bathrooms, I find myself longing for Minden, and not simply because of that syrup smell. I miss my private bathroom. It was private, it was dinky, and most of all, it exposed me to a variety of diverse experiences, which is truly the Brown way.

My bathroom last year. (Credit: Me)

Added bonus: as a fan of Stranger Things, I truly valued the week-long stretch during which the removal of a water-drenched tile allowed my roommates and I to peer into the Upside Down every time we reached up for our shampoo.

So long, Minden. And so long to President Paxson’s Tribeca apartment. May both of them provide their next residents with equal amounts of happiness.


Spring Weekend Lineup

The thing about Spring Weekend is that – unless you’re remarkably savvy when it comes to music – we often don’t really know who most of the performers actually are. The lineup is announced and, almost invariably, the word, “Who?” tumbles out of our mouths as we rack our brains for any store of knowledge about the artists in question. Are they any good? Are they Friday (rap/pop/hype) or are they Saturday (rock/indie/mellow) performers?

Let’s simplify that process a bit:

Empress Of

Empress Of makes music you can dance to – imagine pulsing multicolored lights on a busy dance floor, and you pretty much get what her music feels like. Her vocals are a bit more complex than that, lending an almost eerie, but definitely ethereal sense to her music.

Cherry Glazerr

At first listen, Cherry Glazerr reminds me of bands like Cage the Elephant and Cold War Kids – but with kickass female vocalists, woot! If you’re really into alternative rock and its emphasis on impressive guitar riffs and drums you can headbang to, or if you’re into soft vocals and trippy music (what can I say, they’re a diverse group), I would recommend making sure you see Cherry Glazerr.

 

AlunaGeorge

I’m pretty sure everyone has heard “You Know You Like It” at a party. Whether the party is actually hype or not, AlunaGeorge definitely lifts baseline Good Vibe levels by several degrees. With sensual vocals and beats that make you wanna get up and sway (or mosh, you do you) along with the music, AlunaGeorge offers a guaranteed boost to the General Hypeness of Spring Weekend.

Erykah Badu 

Badu is one of the most widely heralded queens of neo-soul. Her sultry voice and eclectic style have inspired a generation of budding afrofuturists. Badu’s music is marked by its combination of soft-spoken, ringing vocals and a pleasing confluence of R&B and Funk. Essentially, it’s melodious music which compels one (or at least compels me) to bob their head along to the beat.

Princess Nokia

Princess Nokia is an alternative rapper and singer whose music is very interested in exploring her identity as a Black Nuyorican (Puerto Rican from New York). Her smooth singing voice contrasts her style of rap, which is quick and rough. Though she’s certainly a versatile performer, I’m banking on her bringing her rap to Brown.

Oh, and her music videos are lit.

Young Thug

Young Thug’s rap has a lot of elements of trap in it, which I’m thankful for because it’s really conducive to energetic dancing, especially for an event like Spring Weekend. He’s known for having a very interesting voice, which I would describe as occasionally raspy and often warbly. Aside from his musical talents, Young Thug is a hilarious person. Check out his Wycleaf Jean video and see what I mean – it’s literally a metatextual work of art.


Time to Concentrate

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 12.43.25 PM

If you’re anything like me that means you, 1) still haven’t filed your concentration and 2) got this email from Advising and it scared the shit out of you.

I mean, who’s had the time to file? Midterm season has been going on for what feels like three years! And it doesn’t help that the cold weather drains our collective will to do . . . pretty much anything. Besides, we all still have a regular homework load to deal with, along with our respective extracurriculars . . .

For the past few weeks, I’ve essentially been searching for reasons not to file my concentration – but I know I shouldn’t put it off any longer. Logically, I know that it won’t take that much time out of my schedule – it’s only a few essays, right? A few essays about my area of study, to boot. I could go on about my major forever, so this should be a piece of cake. No big deal.

It is hard, though. It took me a while to figure out why, because I know you can change your concentration pretty easily if you’d like to, so it’s not even like the declaration is binding. It shouldn’t seem like such a milestone, but it also really is.

We’re almost at the halfway mark of our college experience, after all. Pretty much everything we do from this point on has to be oriented towards the future, towards internships and our future careers. The idea of mapping out the next two years of classes is effectively analogous to the idea of mapping out the next few years of my life – and then I’m left wondering about where I’ll be then, and where I’ll go from there. . .

Honestly, it’s a lot to take in.

I have a tendency to react to things like this by putting them off, not because I’m actually a procrastinator or anything (although who doesn’t have their moments, ya know), but because I get overwhelmed by the fear that I won’t do a good enough job, now or in the future, or even – absurdly- that my declaration would for some reason be denied.

But how unlikely would that be, right? All Brown wants from us is an indicator that we have a plan for the next two years and that we’re not just taking completely random combinations of classes. We’re not setting our futures in stone when we declare, we’re just making a tentative outline. That’s a pretty fair deal for a school that doesn’t make us fulfill general education requirements – and, what’s more, Spring Break approaches!

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to worry about filing my concentration when I’m trying to soak up some well-earned rest.

So now’s the time to file your declarations!

Some tips for those of you who are still holding out (me included):

  • Try to work on your essays, course outlines, etc. in the environment that is most comfortable for you. For me, that’s when I’m around friends, but for others it might be a quiet nook they can have all to themselves to focus.
  • This week is the last week you can meet with your concentration advisers in person to talk to them about declaring – unless you’re staying on campus during break and your advisers happen to be available (I wouldn’t bank on the latter, honestly)  
  • Again: remember that the course outline you make for the next two years isn’t binding. Like my concentration adviser told me: when you pick the courses, you do it with the understanding that many of those courses might not be available in the future and that they’re essentially placeholders, not binding agreements to take particular courses.

Go forth friends! Break is for sleeping and revelry, not school stuff!

Well, not today – but so soon!!


Unsung Heroes of Representation: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

In honor of the weekend, and in memory of all the hours spent watching TV last weekend, I’ve decided that the time is ripe to begin a new segment: Unsung Heroes of Representation.

What an icon, honestly.

You might ask: Oh golly, who are these Unsung Heroes? Well, hold onto your seats, because they are a blast. Unsung Heroes of Representation has been devised to draw attention to TV shows and other media that represent marginalized identities in positive, realistic ways. Personally, I’m very tired of watching programs that rely upon stereotypes to characterize the few (if any) female, PoC, and/or queer characters – and I’m sure many of you agree.

 

Thank you, Amy.

Thank you, Amy.

That being said, what better way to kick this off than with the show I recently (shoutout to the long weekend) got all of my friends to start watching: Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Tell me that isn't a lit opening.

Tell me that isn’t a lit opening.

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