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.
Amidst the excitement surrounding the spring lineup for Brown Lecture Board, you may have noticed that the organization is going through a lot (ch-ch-ch)changes this year. BlogDH sought out BLB President Kaivan Shroff ’15 to explain the recent alterations to the process. Here are the basics:
1. They’re increasing their use of social media as a way to further engage with the student population. Shroff described the shift as “a way for students to get more information, and for us to get input and feedback.” They have launched a Facebook page and an Instagram in the efforts to make the details of Lecture Board events more accessible. In the vein of getting input and feedback, Lecture Board has been hard at work on the internet to gauge campus’ reactions to their ticketing processes and events. This includes distributing a variety of surveys, as well as a Google moderator for the upcoming panel that has students submit questions and other students vote on those questions. Last semester, BlogDH hosted a vote for Fall Lecture Board speaker, which got over 1600 responses. Shroff explained, “There’s a trade-off between time and democracy. In the future, we are trying to get these polls up as soon as possible, so we can best represent what the students of Brown want.”
2. The ticketing system has moved online in a new lottery process. Shroff said that in the past “we would have the line circle around JWW, or a spiral in the Kasper Multipurpose room, but the spaces available at Brown for hundreds of people to line up are very limited.” The major goal of the lottery is to equalize the online ticketing process.” Bill Nye tickets literally sold out in 20 seconds… luckily, we could respond quickly to this and changed the distribution to a lottery system, accommodating people who could have slower Internet connectivity or a malfunctioning computer.” An important thing to note is that there will be a standby line for every Lecture Board event, although the number of people let in will vary depending on how close the venue is to capacity.
I walked into the Granoff Martinos Auditorium amid a clamor of tuning instruments and buzz of conversation over blocking and cues. The orchestra prepared in their cluster at stage right and two students were at the center mic executing and then tweaking a dramatic moment between their characters Eponine and Marius. Marius (Jesse Weil ’16) embraced Eponine (Emily Kassie ’14) from behind but then Emily halted. She moved Jesse’s hand above or below its original placement. They embraced again. Everyone else, all dressed in black and some white, was scattered about the stage anticipating a full design rehearsal before the real performance begins TONIGHT and runs through Thursday.
Emily Kassie as Eponine and Jesse Weil as Marius
What may seem like a needless intricacy — a hand two inches above the waist and one inch over — is central to “Les Misérables: In Text and Production,” a Group Independent Study Project (GISP) focused on the text and performance of the renowned drama. Les Misérables in Concert is essentially the presentation of the students’ various “findings” from their research.
The singers are diverse, but all so talented, and their performances fuse beautifully with the orchestral music directed by Alex Sogo ’15. The musicians seem to watch the performers and listen to them, as opposed to having the students keep in time with their playing. The students also animate a minimalist set of microphones, chairs, and wires running across the hardwood lecture floor turned stage. With barely any props, and with a couple newsboy caps and a long coat on inspector Javert (Michael Gale ’14/Harrison Chad ’14) as costumes, the students’ emotive expressions and chemistry with one another transform the bare space, all due in large part to Marissa Bergman’s ’14 direction.
The Avon is still feeling the Oscars excitement, so they’ve brought back two films that picked up a combined four Academy Awards.
12 Years a Slave is back, for those of you who missed it the first time around. Having won Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay, the film has done pretty well for itself. I have to admit that the promise of tears, fear, and depression kept me away before, but I’m committing to finally watching 12 Years this week.
Who doesn’t love watching Joaquin Phoenix being weird (in real life or fictionally)? Her is everyone’s new favorite love story which explores the increasingly relevant idea of alienation in an overly technological society and the question of whether artificial intelligence will always be so artificial. It is better summarized, though, as a man falling for Siri, our beloved alumna.
12 Years a Slave is playing at 1 p.m. and 6:20 p.m. daily, with Her playing at 3:40PM and 8:55 p.m. Don’t miss out on either one. Oh, and if you haven’t already, please watch this amazing video of kids acting out all the Oscar nominees. My personal favorite: The Wolf of Wall Street spoof, but I have to say the baby Joaquin does a pretty stellar job.
With the long-awaited reveal of the Spring Weekend lineup tomorrow, I wanted to find out who BlogDH was crossing their fingers and praying to the BCA gods for. Some are going big (it’s our 250th Anniversary, after all) while others are feeling more hipster obscure, but in the end we all just want to know, who will it be? Check out the trends below. (Personally, I’m putting my money on The xx, Arctic Monkeys, or Beach House, but if Fleetwood Mac or Kanye West come out, I may or may not fangirl.) -Naiyah Ambros
Lupita (left) and Monica (right) are known for their dark, wavy, side-swept hair, their almond-shaped eyes, and their distinct facial shape/adorable chin. They were extremely enthusiastic about meeting their doppelgangers, and looked as though they were having more fun during their interview than Bradley Cooper did participating in the “selfie of the century.”
Lupita: [Upon approaching Monica] Oh my god, this is too funny. BlogDH: Did you guys know it was each other? Monica: Not really. But someone showed me you [Lupita] on Instagram and were like, “Look! She looks like you!” L: No… once someone saw me, and they, like, called me your name… they were like “Monica!” M: Oh my god, that’s so funny.
M: Where are you from? L: I’m from Texas. M: Wait, me too!!! L: Wait, maybe we’re long lost sisters. [Pause] You look good!!! M: Thanks, you too!!! L: Now I can compliment you and, like, compliment myself too. M: Yeah, it’s fun.
L: Do you like Ryan Gosling? M: I think he kinda has a weird face. L: I’m kinda in love with Ryan Gosling. M: I like his movies though.
L: Are you by any chance addicted to coffee? M: Not really. Caffeine doesn’t have an effect on me… but I like it!
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