Frosh-cessities: Experiments in Stopping The “Oh-How-Time-Flies” Syndrome


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 years. 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.

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PSA: It’s Earth Week!

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
Where: Ratty
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.”

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FlogDailyHerald: The Em-Wool Elevator

Uh oh

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.

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The Digital Campfire: Sleep right with f.lux

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.”

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Where to cry at Brown

Because your tears probably aren't this beautiful.

Because your tears probably aren’t this beautiful.

There are those days when you get out of bed with 5 minutes to spare for your first class and make a mad scramble to get there, only to realize you forgot to bring your homework. Those days when you get back a midterm on which you thought you did well and you would have too… if the numbers had been reversed. Those days, when you feel as if you’re drowning in a bottom-less ocean full of work and all your friends are out having fun without you (they probably are, even now). In case you are extremely thick-skulled and have not yet gotten the picture, there are those day when you need to burst out crying.

Recently, someone started a Tumblr that reviews places to cry in New York City. We understand how crying can be difficult in a city with over 8 million people in it, but it’s hard to have emotional meltdowns here at Brown too. A lot of times you’re in a double, and you don’t want to start a fuss with your roommate, but you’re really in the mood to weep. Or, on the contrary, you live in a single and are dying for the attention of crying in front of people. Tears are catharsis and a means of getting bodily toxins out. For those of you who need a good cry and don’t know where to go, here is a selection of places for, you know, one of those days:

The Scili basement at 4 a.m. If you’re still working on your paper at this hour, the struggle has found you. Make sure to move to the 15 decibel area so that you don’t disturb anyone with your muffled sobs. The upper levels of the Scili work too. More privacy, but also more gravity to make your tears come out faster. That’s how science works, right?

One of the tiny rooms in the lower floors of Faunce. If you have a roommate and really want to be alone, lock yourself in one of these closet spaces and let it all out.

CareerLAB. Because you do not have your shit together, and we are never, ever, ever getting jobs.

The Philosophy Department (Corliss House). When your existential crisis really hits, not even Plato or Socrates can save you… But just in case they can, might as well hang out in good company.



Screaming very quietly in the Leung Gallery. One of the most inhumane places to have a meltdown, this is a surefire way to terrify your study neighbors. It may even have some effect on the battle between silence or no silence! If the faces in the Leung family portrait start mocking you, you have been there for too long and it’s time to get some fresh air. Continue Reading

Secret Study Space: Vol. VIII

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.