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Hyphens of Brown: A tale of two names

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“Hello, can I make a reservation for two at 7:00, please?”
“Yes, what’s the name?”
“Kate Storey-Fisher.”
“Okay, Ms. Fisher—“
“Actually, the whole last name is ‘Storey-Fisher.’”
“Oh, sorry about that, Storey. Now—“
“MY LAST NAME IS STOREY-FISHER IT’S HYPHENATED OKAY?!”

I’ve had many conversations that go something like the one above, and I’m sure most other people with hyphenated last names have had similar experiences. Disregarding the fact that I also have to include “and that’s Storey with an ‘e’ and Fisher with no ‘c,’” clarifications that anyone with a last name other than Smith can relate to, many people just don’t seem to grasp the idea or importance of a hyphen.

Hyphenated names are more than just quirks designed to confuse maître d’s; they represent a shift in the long-standing tradition in America and many other parts of the world of passing last names down the patriarchal line. While much change has been made in society towards gender equality, this process of naming lags behind, and hyphenated names are still rare.

Hyphens are a step in the direction of equality, but it can feel like they bring up more issues than they solve. Which parent’s name should come first? What if there is no hyphen to bubble in on a standardized test? What do I do when the name on my license is missing my hyphen and doesn’t match my plane reservation, so I can’t check in for my flight? And of course, what are people with hyphenated names to do when they have children themselves? These are just some of the struggles of being a hyphen-baby (hyphy?).

In an environment like Brown’s, many people are familiar with hyphens and understand their use. But students and professors at Brown with hyphenated names—all united by that unwieldy underscore-hyphen combination in their @brown.edu email addresses—still have their fair share of anecdotes and opinions related to their hyphens. I sent out a call to the people with hyphenated last names in the Brown community and found many who were eager to share their hyphen-stories. Continue Reading


Nostalgia Trip: MTV reality dating shows of the ’00s

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By now, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all seen/talked incessantly about VH1′s hot new show Dating Naked. The show sets up blind dates in the nude on an island somewhere in paradise. Don’t question it, just watch it.

And while Dating Naked is a true gem, I can’t help but reminisce about the multitude of reality dating competition shows I watched as a tweenager. I’d inhale a bowl of Reeses Puffs, sit in front of my pre-DVR TV, and watch hours of NEXT and Room Raiders with ads for “Floam” and Kidz Bop in between. So if you’re bored with all your programs and looking for something new to watch this week, maybe do a little #tbt to MTV from the early 2000′s.

1. NEXT

On NEXT, potential dates are brought out one at a time while the rest wait their turn in a secluded RV. The catch is that the dater can say “NEXT” to any date at any time. The action inside of the RV is filmed as well, giving the contestants a chance to debrief their dates (if they’re nexted) slash talk about all the dumb stuff people talk about on reality TV.

The show seems pretty straightforward, except there’s this weird money part that I never really understood. The potential date is paid by the dater for the number of minutes he or she lasted on the date (1 minute = 1 dollar). If the person is not “nexted,” then they’re allowed to either go on a second date or take the money and run. While most reality TV shows try to blunt the superficial aspect of blind dating, NEXT takes it head on. It’s not uncommon for characters to be nexted on physical appearance alone. That and the whole money-in-exchange-for-dating (*cough*prostitution) thing makes it the JUICIEST SHOW EVER. Truly a reality TV show must see.

This particular episode is filled with witty one liners like “Eddie was more framboiled than my hamburger.” After a half-hour date, one of the contestants is nexted for being a smoker and starts to CRY. “She was like my crafted woman,” says 19-year-old “Italian Stallion” Justin. Other highlights from the episode include 19-year-old personal trainer Allison asking “so how much clothes do you own?” (answer: like 300 shirts), and the romantic date to the dentist’s office (Allison’s really into guys with good hygiene). This date ends with the winner and Allison (romantically) spitting Listerine into the same bowl.

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Blogify: Hibernation

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With 4:30 pm sunsets, the polar vortex in full swing,  and the official start of winter rapidly approaching, there’s no better way to brave the freezing weather than by crawling under your covers and settling in for a long winter’s nap. A great slumber is nothing without the perfect slumber playlist, so here’s BlogDH’s musical guide to hibernation.

Image via.


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What we learned at yesterday’s sexual assault lectures

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Last Friday, November 14, President Paxson sent out an email to the Brown community that addressed a number of concerns regarding university sexual assault policy and planning for the future. In particular, she called attention to the Janus Forum event that was to take place the following week, “Valenti/McElroy: How Should Colleges Handle Sexual Assault?” Paxson wrote:

“Some people–including writer Wendy McElroy, who will speak with Jessica Valenti at a Janus Forum event next week–have argued that sexual assault is the work of small numbers of predatory individuals whose behaviors are impervious to the culture and values of their communities. I disagree. Although evidence suggests that a relatively small number of individuals perpetrate sexual assault, extensive research shows that culture and values do matter. Societies that have strong norms against sexual assault have fewer assaults.”

Further, Paxson informed the community of an alternative event to “provide… more research and facts about these important issues.” This lecture, “The Research on Rape Culture,” given by Brown University Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior Lindsay Orchowski, Ph.D., would occur concurrently with the Janus Forum event, but in a different location. By initiating this alternative to the Janus Forum, Paxson made a bold statement to the student body, faculty, and the Brown community: she offered us the option to educate ourselves through a fact-based presentation or to attend a discourse in which two contending speakers posed significantly different solutions to handling sexual assault on college campuses. The events differed in purpose, in lesson, and in nature.

Though both events were videotaped, it was intentionally impossible for any person to attend both. So if you went to one and not the other, or if you missed them altogether, we’ve got you covered. BlogDH sent one writer to the Janus Forum and another to “The Research on Rape Culture.” Here’s what we heard:

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Blue Room creates Pumpkin Spice Challenge Part Deux

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And this time, you were all invited to take part.

Remember when we did a little pumpkin spice challenge? Remember when we sacrificed our bodies and minds to the gods of flavored coffee syrup and fall-y flavors? We thought we were done after taste testing any and all things pumpkin on College Hill. But BDS and our little seasonally spirited friends over at the Blue Room couldn’t help but giving us one more challenge before the season of peppermint and gingerbread kicks in into high gear. We can pretend that after our last PSC (Pumpkin Spice Challenge), we said we’d never even look at anything pumpkin again. However, we will go ahead and admit that we’d never make a claim like that, and if we ever did, it would be a straight up lie.

4 pm yesterday was one of the most glorious moments of the semester. Not only were meal credits accepted at the Blue Room, but the pumpkin shop was open for business. Here’s a review of what we ate so that all who missed this once in a lifetime opportunity can live vicariously through BlogDH’s pumpkin beat reporters.

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Your professor’s house: A brief guide to etiquette

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As the end of the semester appears on the horizon, there may be many of you who, whether through TA positions, a small seminar class, or general enthusiasm for a class’s subject (nerd), will find yourselves invited to a professor’s home for a bit of discussion and light refreshment. This is particularly true for professors who live on College Hill, as moving class to their abode adds only a few minutes to the commute. You may be chomping at the bit to witness the colonial beauty of your instructor’s residence, but, like all things Puritan, visiting a professor’s house isn’t fun and games. It’s fraught with the risk of eternal damnation for the image you’ve carefully crafted throughout a semester’s worth of class meetings. Here are a few conundrums you may encounter, and my recommendations for how to react.

Attire

What ought you wear to a professor’s home? Clearly it ought to be something fairly nice. This means that your “(Blood Alcohol) Concentration Advisor” tank from Spring Weekend is a non-starter. At the same time, you shouldn’t overdress. your get-together is probably taking the place of a normal day of class, so black tie is a bit much. You can get a clue as to what’s acceptable by comparing your clothing to what your professor usually wears to class, and see if you can approximately mimic their sartorial formality. Alternatively, you can damn the torpedoes, show up in pajama pants, and act like everything’s cool (it isn’t).

Food: How Much is Too Much?

Your professor will likely provide you with, at the very least, a plate of cookies or crackers to snack upon whilst you either have a relatively normal class or else relax and discuss whatever subject you and your classmates settle on for the day. Typically, cookies are the food of choice.

Cookies

No white chocolate macadamia nut? The knave!

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