The Anti-Slump: An Introduction

The wise sage Jason Mraz once said, “The sophomore slump is an uphill battle.” Sure, it may seem that way, but we’re here to make that hill a little less daunting. Introducing The Anti-Slump, a new series that gives you the motivation to win that uphill battle. So flock to us whenever you feel the slump creeping up on you — we’ll be here every other week with another helpful piece of guidance or generally inspirational tid-bits to help you shake up your sophomore year.

The myth of the sophomore slump is real. But it doesn’t have to be. Sophomore year is a time when academics get more serious, things get familiar enough for you to breathe, and a lowly second-year realizes how much of Brown there is left to discover. But sophomore year is all about motivating yourself — and that’s where we come in — because there’s no one else that’s going to force you to. At this stage in the game there are no Meikeljohns, First-Year Seminars or unit meetings, but there are still so many questions left unanswered.

To start you off, here is a lil bucket list that we have compiled, which will help us motivate ourselves, too. We’re setting the bar high and so should you! It’s all about keeping up the ambition. Check it out after the jump.

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Study Etiquette: Shared spaces at Brown (that aren’t libraries)

This semester, I am taking my third visual art studio class at Brown. That means I’ve already gotten through two semesters of sharing List’s white-washed, fluorescent-lit workrooms without running into the kind of situation that I did a couple weekends ago.

It was the kind of situation where you can imagine yourself lashing out at those around you, but don’t actually, because you know it will be more fun to complain to your friends about it later, FlogDailyHerald-style.

So here it goes: I listened to a total of ten hours of K-pop (Korean pop music), all of which could be heard over the sound of my own in-ear soundtrack of sensitive girl music (admittedly there was some James Taylor in there) and the new Bombay Bicycle Club album (well, I had to make myself look cool after the aforementioned confession, didn’t I?). I tried to tune out my peers’ ambiance music, but alas, I did not succeed. I am now confident that I can sing more than half of these catchy Korean melodies from memory.

With midterms now upon us, the libraries have become packed with crazed, zombie-like students, influencing many of us to opt to study in an alternative location. Fortunately, Brown has lots of shared study spaces for you to take advantage of. Sure, they’re not libraries, but they still require you to use your manners and be polite. But how do you properly share those spaces with others? Check out our tips after the jump.

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where the party's at

A freshman’s guide to Wriston Quad

where the party's at

You can feel the changes already: one month into the semester and you’re actually (somewhat) acclimated to life at Brown. You’ve figured out your classes (and took the S/NC jump), you have more than two people to sit with in the Ratty (and finally got that creepy dude off your back), and are well on your way to comprehending the difference between credits and points (one of them is for muffins only, right?).  Looks like the only things left to master are homework and living for the weekend.

Oh, right…the weekend.

There are a lot of activities I could advocate for and against here, but for brevity’s sake, this post will deal with the locale where a lot of them will probably take place: Wriston Quad. One-armed Caesar Augustus has seen enough shenanigans in his day (and survived a hurricane!), so make his rusty visage proud by handling yourself like a champ in these situations.

But I’m basically Ansel Adams!

As inebriation and the hysteria of seeing your best friend from POLS 40 in the basement of Sigma set in, cameras and iPhones will inevitably be yanked out of purses and pockets. Like a well-built piece of flypaper, anything with a camera in it causes the more narcissistic of us to flock towards the flash. So go easy on the party’s flow – don’t take more than two pictures of the same group of people. Stick to one serious, one funny. You’ll wake up the next morning and not remember half of their names, so make the tagging easier and keep your photo seminars brief.

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Students who do cool things: Clyde Lawrence ’15 at The Spot

You may know him from Campus Dance. Or last fall’s BCA Speakeasy. Or his Stevie Wonder cover band. Or Caffe Vivaldi in New York City. Clyde Lawrence ’15 is our resident Soulman. When he’s not doing crosswords at Chicken Finger Friday or playing Mafia in his suite, the sophomore musician is writing, recording, and performing his original songs…and some covers, too.

But this week, Clyde Lawrence and his band, which includes Jonny Koh ’13, Sam Askin ’13 and Greg Nissan ’15, made their waves at The Spot (15 Elbow St.) right here in Providence. The four took the stage to follow a lively set by the venue’s house band — two of its members donned Dumbledore beards and while one played the washboard. The performance was a great way to get out of “the bubble” and appreciate Brown’s extremely talented community in an off-campus setting.

The band played eight original songs and two covers (one was a rendition of Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” which can also be found on YouTube and is getting attention in France) for a doting crowd.  To hear some of his original songs, check out the rest of Clyde’s YouTube channel or his website.

Check out some photos from the performance (via Tom Sullivan ’15) after the jump.

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(Campus)Lifehacker: Non-varsity athlete health 101

WARNING: If you plan on playing intramural basketball or being a part of the frisbee team this fall, make sure not to get injured. Not only does getting hurt suck enough on its own, but you also won’t have access to that nice athletic trainer you had in high school. Man, those were the days: they stretched you out before practice, gave you ice packs (on ice packs on ice packs), and even let you use the foam roller at your leisure… and you totally took it for granted.

At Brown, things are different for the athletic student who’s not quite varsity status, and the future of your “A” game now rests in the hands of Health Services (don’t get me wrong: they’re the nicest, but not so great at this stuff), or in those of a local expensive orthopedic surgeon. That said, if you’re a non-varsity athlete, you have to be wise and take care of yourself. Yes, that means you, kid who is still drunk at Sunday morning’s game.

Here are some ways to start preserving your livelihood so you can maintain your competitive edge:

STRETCH: This one couldn’t be more obvious or important—even if you’re playing a 40-minute intramural game, make sure your muscles are loose so they don’t bathe in lactic acid and become stiff the next day. Many muscular issues can be traced back to your lack of commitment to doing those pigeons, butterflies, or toe touches. Remember that these can be fun and relaxing if you put aside enough time for them… just like readings or showering are.

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Effective On-Campus Advertising: Prioritizing your posters

Hands down our favorite poster everJust imagine: You’ve been planning this event for months. After filling out your Space Request Form, securing a performer or speaker, confirming the other nitty-gritty details for your event, and organizing a motley crew of volunteers, you’re finally ready to take the Upspace, the Underground, Upper Salomon and the like by storm. Now is the time to poster. Now is the time to spam. Now is the time to rally your team and plaster Brown’s hottest walls with gorgeous posters (…but remember to stay within the confines of Brown’s Postering and Publicity Policy). But since color printing costs just slightly less than a dinner at Al Forno, you’ll want to make these copies count. You’ll want to attract as many students as possible from all different walks of campus life. Here’s where to get the most bang for your buck (and to appeal to diverse sea of students) with just 5 of them ($1.25 for 8.5″x11″; $4.50 for 11″x17″/12″x18″):

  1. Faunce Arch: Notice how the posters on the Arch’s west wall are meticulously taped up with crisp, red tape. Thanks to Brown Student Agencies, this beautiful wall exists. Drop off your posters at the Campus Center Information Desk, and they will do the rest for you. Seriously – this collage of student ambition is Instagram material.
  2. The Doors of the Ratty: Everybody walks through these at some point during the week. The V-Dub unfortunately still hasn’t added weekend hours to its schedule, so the Sharpe Refectory is still the place to be seen and heard on weekend mornings – even for a poster. Get your graphics on the doors and catch eyes when they’re hungry. Continue Reading