Meet Your Senior Commencement speakers!

As you may know, Brown University proudly eschews the traditional hired Commencement speaker in favor of speeches from two members of the graduating class.

Over 80 members of the Class of 2014 anonymously sent fragments and ideas for a commencement speech to a ten-person committee, comprising Deans McSharry and Rodriguez, four seniors (chosen by those deans), and four faculty members (including Professor Barbara Tannenbaum of the famed Persuasive Communication course). The committee selected about 10 finalist proposals, whose writers were given recommendations and asked to flesh out and perform their entire speech. Based on those performances, the committee selected the two commencement speakers. Introducing…

Caroline Bologna ’14 and Joshua Block ’14!

This is what Caroline (left) and Josh (right) look like behind a lectern.

This is what Caroline (left) and Josh (right) look like behind a lectern.

If you don’t yet know these impressive seniors personally, you’ll become intimately acquainted with them on Commencement morning. To give you a preview, BlogDailyHerald sat down for coffee with Caroline and Josh. Here we go.

Joshua Block ‘14

Hometown: Sharon, MA
Concentration: Political Science, Philosophy
Freshman Unit: Archibald (Unit 2!)
Most likely to be found: “Probably in the Blue Room, or Faunce generally. Or on the Main Green on a nice day.”

Caroline Bologna ‘14

Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Concentration: Comparative Literature, French Studies
Freshman Unit: West Andrews (Best Andrews!)
Most likely to be found: “Similar [to Josh]. Or I guess also in that conference room in the BDH for Post- every Wednesday. Also Chipotle.”

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12 Days of Spring Weekend: Useless Rankings edition

Forget that you’ve never heard of the website before, and forget that they left out Dave Binder: Baeble Music heard about the party we’re throwing this weekend, and they approved, ranking Brown’s Spring Weekend the Top College Music Festival of 2014!

They may have left Dave Binder's show out of their blurb, but the photo they chose speaks volumes.

They may have left Dave Binder’s show out of their blurb, but the photo they chose speaks volumes.

The win is no small feat, as the website ranks us among other top contenders like Vanderbilt (whose “Rites of Spring” fest lasts two full weekends)and Yale (whose Spring Fling lineup eerily resembles ours, but without the added Providence flair of What Cheer? Brigade, as the listicle notes). 

The Columbia Lion published a complete list of spring lineups around the Ivies, a list which further, incontrovertibly, proves how dominant Brown’s lineup is among those of our peers. And can we take a moment to make fun of Princeton for calling its event “Spring Lawnparties”?

Princeton's "Lawnparties" Lineup did not make Baeble Music's list.

Princeton’s “Lawnparties” Lineup did not make Baeble Music’s list.

Image via, via

12 Days of Spring Weekend: The S.T.W.’s

We are a small but not insignificant subset of the Brown community, but if you start to talk to us about Spring Weekend, our stomachs slowly churn. It has nothing to do with any disappointment in the lineup, or indecision about which tanks to buy and which to ignore (you need a different one for every day, people, it’s like a Halloween costume). No, on the contrary: we would be desperate to plunge into Spring Weekend to the fullest extent. But the higher powers seem to have willed it a different way for us. We are Senior Thesis Writers.


We are S.T.W.’s; hear our voices.

You see, for a great many of us S.T.W.’s, novella-length stacks of parchment, coil-bound and sheathed in plastic, products of our own intrepid research, are to be distributed to the requisite series of departments and advisors on or around April 15th. And an almost-as-great many of us S.T.W.’s will be scrambling, as ever, to slap conclusions and bibliographies on our documents up until the very last minute, even without the debauched distractions of Spring Weekend.

So how can we quash the big T of S.T.W. and roll into SW ’14? Here are some of my ideas. (You will excuse me if my list is somewhat incomplete, like my thesis.)

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I-Spy: Loui’s edition

We think this tricycle might be art.

We think this tricycle might be art.

December not only brings revenue to our favorite holiday outlets, but also to our friends at Loui’s [Ed.—While its website spells it “Louis,” the sign, pictured above, spells it “Loui’s.” We’re going to go with the sign on this one], who, bless ‘em, fire up the grills and prepare eggs any way you like at 5 a.m., just in time to get you over the finals-season all-nighter hump. (Although some of us prefer the pumpkin pancakes, and wonder if anyone, ever, has ordered the fish and chips.)

While you barely may be able to keep your eyes open at that hour, you may have noticed the eclectic artwork and hangings that adorn every foot of Loui’s wall space. What you may not know is some of the history and thought behind some of the more noteworthy of these pieces. Blog took a few morning trips to Loui’s, had a look around, and sat down with Johnny—the owner and son of the legendary Louis—himself.

Our trips and learnings culminated into BlogDH’s Original Loui’s I-SPY GAME! RISD museum, ShmISD museum—the walls of Loui’s are where it’s at.

Next time you make the trip to Loui’s, see if you can spy the following artworks of interest, and comment with any other odd and delightful curios you come across! Continue Reading

BlogDailyHeard: Two student musical performances in one night

You have two free opportunities to see superb Brown student musicians performing Wednesday night, and it would behoove you to check one of them out. You can’t go wrong, either way. But what you don’t want is to try to attend both, and end up leaving in the middle of one of the concerts, and thus cause a distraction to one of the performers and become responsible for their train wreck. Here to help you make your decision, Blog lays down the basic facts.

1. BCA Presents: Speakeasy Vol. XIV [um, what is this, the Superbowl?]

The Speakeasy Series is a BCA event in which you actually do have some access to the musicians.

The Speakeasy Series is a BCA event in which you actually do have some access to the musicians.

When? 8 p.m.
Where? Faunce Underground
There will be three sets: Sage Snider, then Bryn Bliska and Jamie Fried, and then The Muffinheads. Check out each artist’s description on the Facebook event—they say it better than we could.

BCA has stated that they are infusing their speakeasy series with more funding in exchange for the lack of Fall Concert. Let’s see them put their money where their mouth is!

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BlogDailyHeard: Lupo’s deal for Brown students, Snoopzilla?

Brown Student Deal at Lupo’s!

Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel is offering Brown students 2 tickets for the price of 1 for the Cold War Kids show (tonight at Lupo’s), Fitz & the Tantrums + Capital Cities (tomorrow at Lupo’s), and Big Freedia (next Wednesday at the Met) if you buy from their box office.

For freshman out-of-staters (or upperclassmen college-hill-billies), Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel is the wistfully named concert venue a mere stone’s throw from Brown, on Washington Street just past Kennedy Plaza. It’s worth getting familiar with—they draw some pretty big acts to our small state, and charge small prices for tickets to their intimate space. The sister venue, The Met, up in Pawtucket, is even more intimate. (As an aside, Lupo’s intimidating employees  haunt my nightmares—their Kiss-like affect is not just for Halloweek—but they are actually quite genial, and have some great stories to tell.)  Continue Reading