Dining Halls, an Official Ranking (and Not At All a Completely Biased List I Made Up)

BREAKFAST:

Weekdays: Ratty or V-dub (because you don’t have much of an option)

Andrews doesn’t open until lunch, and the Blue Room will drain all of your points, so your best bet for weekday breakfast is either the Ratty or the V-dub.

Both have omelets made-to-order, cereal, fruit, and all the other breakfast essentials. But even though the waffle maker at the V-dub is way underrated, who really has the time to walk all the way to North campus before morning classes? Plus, for some reason, the Ratty’s coffee is much superior to the V-dub’s.

 

Weekends: ANDREWS! (or Blue Room)

Nothing beats Andrews Commons brunch so please don’t try to fight me on this. The granola bowls make you feel like a beacon of health, even though we both know you poisoned your body the night before–and the breakfast burritos are so worth the line. You can put TATER TOTS in your breakfast burritos. What more could a hungover college student ask for?

But if you’re not feelin’ the walk over to Pembroke or don’t want to wait until 11 for breakfast at Andrews to open, Blue Room muffins are always a good call–plus the weekend is the only time you can use meal credits there, so you might as well take advantage. Blue Room also has way better coffee than Andrews.

LUNCH:

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Still Spooky, a Halloween Playlist for a Post-Halloween World

Halloween is over now, but the Halloween spirit lives on. Like many of you out there, my spirits dip during the interlude between October (month of Halloween) and December (month of Christmas) – November is a trash month and everyone knows it. Thanksgiving, as great as it is, simply doesn’t carry the same cultural clout as Halloween and Christmas.

There are few Thanksgiving songs, and none of them are noteworthy enough that you could think of one without having to Google “thanksgiving songs”. There aren’t really Thanksgiving decorations, either (unless you’re a Thanksgiving fanatic and/or a middle-aged suburban parent). Thanksgiving doesn’t have the power to reinvigorate me during the long month of November, fraught with midterms and inconsistent weather as it is.

But Halloween can live on until Thanksgiving to make up for that. In my book, the spirit of Halloween persists until Thanksgiving, and then everything after Thanksgiving is Christmas.

In order to keep the Halloween vibe alive for this next month, I’ve made a playlist of songs which (at least to me) embody Halloween’s spirit. Though many are Halloween themed, not all of them are. Many of the songs are just songs with deep voices, spooky noises, and thrilling guitars. Enjoy, and stay spooky.

 


A Reflection on Family Weekend

College is a bubble, and it is easy to forget how strange this environment really is. That is, until you plunge back into the regular world, either because you’ve returned home for break or you’ve passed through the Van Wickle Gates as a college graduate. Think about how strange it is to be constantly surrounded by people within a few years of your age – from when you go to class, to when you eat your meals, to when you go back to your dorm to sleep.

One weekend each year, however, you are sure to see a middle-aged couple perusing wares at the Brown Bookstore, or a middle-school aged child strolling through the Main Green. Welcome to Family Weekend.

Family Weekend is an annual tradition here at Brown, giving families the chance to experience the best of what Brown has to offer for three eventful days. There could be no better time for this event than mid-October, when the leaves are starting to change color and fall to the ground, making Brown an exact rendering of the picturesque New England campus we’ve all come to love.

The joy of parents, siblings, grandparents, and students reuniting is palpable. Some family members show their affection through bear hugs and embraces, while others show their love by bringing their students countless items to store in their dorm rooms for any possible situation that might arise. Seriously though, the number of suitcases and storage boxes being unloaded from cars parked behind my dorm building was staggering. This, coupled with family members curiously wandering through the dorm hallways and exploring the lounges or common areas, was more than a little reminiscent of move-in day and orientation week.

Furthermore, the amount of Brown apparel present on campus during this time increases exponentially. Parents proudly don their Brown University baseball caps or jackets, showing us that school spirit is not as nonexistent as we are led to believe based on a typical weekend on campus. Family Weekend, remember, is no typical weekend. Continue Reading


Review: The Handmaid’s Tale

CW: rape mention

The Hulu original The Handmaid’s Tale is gory. It will continuously and mercilessly drag you away from your comfort zone and force you to watch the most basic human rights be violated. It’s undeniably a great show – but it does require a stable stomach, as some of the scenes are very hard on the eyes and on the mind. Even as a fan of Black Mirror, I still managed to be terrified of this particular breed of dystopia. This show is basically a Victorian spin-off of Black Mirror.

A quick breakdown:

In the fictional Gilead, an ultra conservative theocratic and totalitarian version of the US, the patriarchy reigns supreme. Offred, formerly known as June, is separated from her husband and daughter, and forcefully assimilated into the new system. The rare blessing of fertility becomes her biggest curse, as she is trained to carry the child of one of the republic’s commanders.

Every month, Offred endures a ritual euphemistically named the Ceremony, in which she is forced to have intercourse with the Commander Waterford while being held by his wife. The show follows her life in this new society, while interweaving it with moments from her old life.

The Handmaid’s Tale is a painful reflection on how flimsy our so-called inalienable rights are and how we need fight everyday to keep them.

 

 

Some character highlights:

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Here’s What You Should be for Halloween


Fellow Brunonians, the time has come for everyone’s favorite weekend of the semester: Halloweekend. And that means it’s time to start thinking about Halloween costumes. Well, actually, the time came about a week ago–so you’re starting to run out of time. But fear not, we’re here to help with costume inspo for every type of Halloween partygoer.

If you’re feeling lazy:

If you’re not about to blow money on something you’re only going to wear once and don’t want to spend more than five minutes getting ready, we can help you make due with what you already have in your closet. Throw on a pair of jeans and a flannel and you’re an instant lumberjack! Wear some dark reds and black (and maybe a touch of red lipstick?) and you’re a lazygirl vampire. And since you’re a Brown student, you probably already have everything you need for a hippie costume! Ripped or flared jeans, tie-dye, florals, and Birkenstocks will do the trick.

If you’re what the kids call ~extra~:

You’re not about to go unnoticed this halloweekend, that’s for sure… You either want to show a little (or a lot) of skin in an over-the-top cop or firefighter costume–or shine bright in a glitzy angel or devil costume. Or you can just take a page out of the Mean Girls handbook by wearing lingerie with animal ears–I won’t judge.

If you roll with a squad:

You’ll wear a group costume or no costume at all, so you better make sure to get a bomb costume for you and your whole squad. For a super easy Hogwarts costume, you and your friends can wear pleated skirts/black pants, sweaters, button-down shirts, and ties. If you think Harry Potter costumes are a bit played out, why not go as your favorite Pokémon characters or as the Scooby Doo gang?

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If Brown Study Spaces Were Celebs

The study spaces at Brown have personalities as distinct as the students reading, solving, and mingling in them. While some are socialites and partiers, some are stress-filled and anxiety-inducing, and others are just plain lazy. So if you’re a freshman looking for the best places to crack open a book, look no further. By comparing them to celebrities, this post will obviously tell you everything you need to know about the campus’s various study spaces.

Sci Li stacks: 2007 Britney Spears

This one is obvious. If you find yourself in the Sci Li stacks, you’re probably on the verge of stress-shaving your head. I honestly don’t know why anyone would go to the Sci Li unless you have five exams and a paper due the next day. This place gives me major anxiety.

Okay, I’m being hyperbolic, but only a little. The stacks are a sad, sad place.

If you can get one of the closed study rooms in the Sci Li basement (you can reserve one of those room for 3 hours max. with the Sci-Li staff at the Help Desk in the basement!), or if you’re a fan of the study spaces scattered throughout the building, maybe you’ll like the Sci-Li more than I do – but, seriously, beware of the Sci-Li.

The Rock: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

The Rock is an easy choice because of its variety of study spaces. You can do group work in the “coffee shop” area in the first floor lobby, as well as in the many (!) study rooms on the first floor, fourth floor, and level A. Solo work can be done on the first floor in the main area, the stacks, or in the absolute quiet section of level A. The Rock is also superior to the Sci Li because of its chiseled pecks, 8-pack, and biceps.

Andrews Commons Study Rooms: Taylor Swift

Andrews Commons is a place to eat, socialize, and scope out cute athletes. If you say you’re going there to study, you’re probably lying. But TBH, that’s okay because under the T Swift school of thought, any social event is virtually unmissable–and passing up a chance to meet your potential next S.O. is a crime. Just don’t go here thinking you’re going to get real work done, when you’re really just going to drool into your curry over 24-year-old hockey players.

The study room above the dining hall is usually silent (and actually silent! Unlike! Arnold!), but, seriously, it’s hard to stay motivated – especially when Andrews is a million miles away from everything and you just wanna go home. If distance from your dorm is what you need to keep you outta home sweet bed, you might want to give Andrews a go.

Arnold Study Lounge: Kim Kardashian

Another study space where hardly any studying gets done is Arnold Lounge. Arnold is ostensibly a silent study space, but no one respects that. This is more like a freshman stomping ground for socializing, meeting friends, and stopping by the vending machines for Vitamin Water chasers (and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream!). Like Kim K, Arnold Study Lounge goers are always down to party, so I highly recommend going to Arnold if you want to meet fellow Keeney dwellers, but again, don’t go here to do your CS homework or Econ problem sets.

The Blue Room/ Faunce: Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana

This truly is “the best of both worlds” when it comes to study spaces. Looking to socialize yet also seem like you’re getting work done? The Blue Room is the place to go. It’s always filled with students eating subpar sushi and pretending to look busy on their laptops while actually taking a Buzzfeed quiz about what flavor latte they would be based on their outfit choices (not that I do this, I just heard some people like that kind of thing).

Have more serious work and need to focus? Faunce usually has open study spaces that are much more quiet suitable for intense studying (like Leung Gallery the floor above the Blue Room, or the study spaces in the basement below the Blue Room).

Your bed: Bruno Mars

If you can actually get work done horizontally, I respect you infinitely. For the rest of us, saying you’re going to do work in bed is the equivalent of saying “I’m going to take a long nap, but I don’t want to seem lazy.” Sometimes, you might even get into your bed thinking you’re going to read – or even write a paper. But once you sit in your comfy bed, all motivation goes out the window, and you become about as lazy as Bruno Mars. Your bed is the place to go when you’re in the mood for a Netflix marathon, but it’s not the best study locale.