Seeing a new batch of freshman make their way through campus – armed with maps and radiating an aura of nerves, of course – has made me start to feel rather decrepit and old. I recently encountered a group of first years who were undoubtedly lost, and who looked at me as if I were a venerable professor instead of a student just one year older than them. As if this experience wasn’t unpleasant enough, the Morning Mail I get now reads “for second-year students,” reminding me daily of my advancing year
s. This morning I resorted to the extreme measure of checking the mirror for signs of white hair. And when I ran into an other aging sophomore in the afternoon, we spent 15 minutes just discussing how quickly the previous year had gone by and how “absolutely weird” it feels not to be the youngest people on campus anymore. As my fellow centenarian walked away, he remarked just how quickly time flies by. I truly wished that I could somehow grab time by the collar and tell it to slow down. What follows are my experiments in trying to do that.
Sure, you might have heard of Earth Day, but we at Brown celebrate Earth Week (hence the new BlogDH banner)! That’s right: an entire week dedicated to saving the planet and forming some eco-friendly habits. As Brown students are known for being ecologically conscious, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are a ton of events planned for this “green” week.
Below is a round-up of some of the most interesting events (with descriptions quoted from the Brown Earth Week web site) planned by the emPower committee:
Tuesday, April 22 (Earth Day!)
Event: Earth Day Dinner
When: Dinner (duh.)
The Ratty will have a local food night to celebrate Earth day. If that wasn’t enough, several food groups will also be there with yummy goodies!
Wednesday, April 23
Event: Yoga on The Green
Where: Ruth J. Simmons Quad
When: 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
“Get in touch with Mother Nature this Earth Week at Yoga on the Green! Co-sponsored by YAM, we’ll be hosting a special outdoor yoga class featuring all of your favorite tree poses and flying pigeons. You do not want to miss this opportunity to sun salute with the sun. There will be limited mats available, so better to bring your own if you can. If you haven’t tried open-air yoga, it rules.”
I always thought of elevators as the pinnacle of human ingenuity. An invention designed to reduce physical activity? How wonderful. This illusion, however, only lasted till I met the Em-Wool elevator.
The First Encounter
I still remember the day I first ran into this troublesome machine. I had just got my newly minted Brown ID and was eager to try it out. I tentatively swiped to enter Emery Hall, the green light winked at me and I walked in feeling accomplished (freshman fall–what a simple and happy era). I had to swipe again to call the elevator. Green light once more. I stepped inside the elevator thinking I had gotten the hang of this swiping thing. The door closed. I swiped again, and waited expectantly. Nothing happened. The indicator still remained a sullen yellow. I took a deep breath, disappointed at my interrupted streak and swiped again. Still no green light. I swiped one more time. No change. I then jumped up and down like Tom from Tom and Jerry, and after approximately 50 more swipes got the elevator to work. I sank back, sweating, I knew then, this elevator was going to be trouble.
The Digital Campfire is a collection of stories about technology. The protagonists are (fictional) Brown students. The problems they face, however, are very real— a stolen phone, a hacked account, an accidentally deleted folder. How do our intrepid heroes deal with these digital hiccups? Read the column to find out.
Rahul stopped and stared. “Bill, you look like a zombie. And a filthy one at that! Even a horror movie director wouldn’t want to hire you.”
“I didn’t sleep at all last night,” Bill said, rubbing his eyes.
“Oh that explains it — an all-nighter. Did you have a philosophy paper to write?”
“No; it wasn’t work. I finished everything by 11. I just couldn’t go to sleep. I stayed awake the whole night and finally gave up and got out of bed to shower at 5 a.m.” Rahul shuddered; the thought of waking up at 5 made him feel weak.
“Hmm… that’s strange. Wait. Were you using your laptop or phone before you went to bed?”
“Well, actually I was browsing through Facebook and watching the highlights from last night’s basketball game..” But Rahul didn’t let him finish his sentence:
“I know your problem and just how to solve it.”
So midterms are back again. Some might argue that they never left in the first place, but the unhappy conclusion is that you have to study. And studying is an activity is best done in a quiet, secluded place. Presenting volume VIII (I’ll soon have to ditch the Roman numerals; they’re becoming unwieldy) of BlogDH’s secret study space series.
This secret study space is located a bit far from the heart of the campus, but a brisk walk will get you there in 10 minutes. The walk is well worth it, because this study space is almost completely deserted. Just look at all those empty chairs! Also there is an abundance of outlets scattered around the room. Finally, there is an emergency exit (with an unbroken exit sign!!) in case your brain overheats while studying. What more do you want?
As for its location? Well that’s a secret, but since I’m being so magnanimous I thought I’d drop a hint: the silence here is music to my ears.