Senior Send-off: Finding happiness at the happiest school on Earth

Then + Now

Then + Now

People might know me as: “Merbz,” The Best Mom of the Class of 2014, proud history nerd, or the former Editor-in-Chief of BlogDailyHerald.

…well, at least that’s what people would say at this particular moment in time. My time at Brown hasn’t been characterized by a single or static set of experiences; it’s been a journey of self-discovery, trial-and-error, and exploration.

My friends and I have been thinking and talking a lot about happiness lately. We’ve been actively reflective about how much we’ve changed in these formative four years, and how different we feel from the earlier versions of ourselves who walked through the Gates back in September 2010. As Commencement Weekend creeps closer, I’ve noticed how my sadness about graduating manifests itself in my final days at Brown: trips on trips to (and drinks on drinks at) the GCB, hugs and snuggle sessions, and an active effort not to take any part of Brown for granted. Although it may seem like sadness is the inverse of happiness, this isn’t necessarily so; they are vastly different emotions, but our sadness about leaving this place goes hand in hand with the happiness many of us have developed throughout our time here. As we change contexts and transition from an insulated college campus to the slightly more terrifying “real world,” this sadness and nostalgia for Brown is essentially our happiness in a different form. In other words, it’s an indication that we’ve done as much as we possibly could to make the most of our four years. But happiness isn’t necessarily that simple.

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People never know how to respond when I tell them that I was once on Brown’s Varsity Softball team.

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Last Call: Lucy Fernandez

As the semester progresses at the speed of light, the senior class is beginning to make peace with that fateful day in May: Commencement. Until the class of 2014 leaves us, BlogDH wants to highlight all the interesting things they’ve been up to. To this end, we’re (re)starting the series Last Call, which features seniors reflecting on their experiences at Brown. Each featured senior will tag another senior for the next installment. Find this year’s other “Last Call” chains here.

lucy

Then + Now

People might know me as… a rugby player, coffee lover, giggler, and Classics and Art History concentrator with an affinity for Seneca and Klimt.

In my time at Brown, I am most proud of… leading the women’s rugby team to obtaining varsity status.

On a Friday night, you might find yourself… To be honest, I spent many Friday nights binge-watching The West Wing instead of writing my thesis #noshame.

The best class/professor at Brown is… An incredibly tough question. Rebecca Molholt is the best lecturer. Lisa Mignone is the best unofficial advisor and Joe Pucci the best official advisor (both Classics gods). Shiva Balaghi is a rock star of contemporary art of the Middle East and the best tweeter. Dietrich Neumann is the most charming and could make anyone fall in love with contemporary architecture.

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Meet Mama Duck: Emily Wilkins ’14.5

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In case you’ve been living under a rock that doesn’t have Internet access or anything that brings happiness, you probably have heard that the roped off piece of Scili Desert was in fact housing a duck and her eleven baby ducklings (see above for cuteness overload). You also might have happened upon a Facebook page purportedly run by the Scili Duck herself. It has over 2,200 likes, and its updates have been quite something:

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The Scili Duck Facebook page — along with its subjects — has been a welcome respite from a tough finals period. The page and BlogDailyHerald has had some online interaction in the days leading up to the ducklings’ birth, and we wanted to discover which social media genius was behind it.

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Students Who Do Cool Things: Juhee Kwon ’14

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 4.17.14 PMWhile we understand that everyone is busy with finals and the ever-annoying task of packing (who knew you brought so much to school?!), take a few minutes to read about the work of Juhee Kwon ‘14, who compiled archival material and created a website to highlight the scholarship surrounding Asian American Studies at Brown. The website launched earlier this month and provides unique insight into the dynamics of identity within the context of both Brown and the United States more broadly. Check out our exclusive interview with Juhee below:

BlogDH: How did your project come to fruition? What was your ultimate goal in creating the webpage?

Juhee Kwon: The project was the Asian American program studies website. I wasn’t initially going to do anything for my senior thesis unless it was practical and… applicable. Asian American Studies is a field that has been burgeoning recently; there was an ethnic studies movement in the 60s where a lot of West Coast schools established colleges of Ethnic Studies and programs like that, and it has moved over the East Coast since. Brown has an Ethnic Studies program, but it doesn’t have Asian American Studies or Latino Studies or Native American Studies programs… but there is a lot of scholarship that is being produced in terms of the faculty and the graduate students.

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Robert Lee, who is in American Studies, requested that I compile an archive/website to showcase the amount of scholarship that has been produced, without any sort of University funding or help. Even without the University we have done this much… give us administrative support. [The website serves] as an abstract space so that scholars, graduate student and undergrads can come together and focus specifically on Asian American studies.

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Last Call: Sahil Luthra

As the semester progresses at the speed of light, the senior class is beginning to make peace with that fateful day in May: Commencement. Until the class of 2014 leaves us, BlogDH wants to highlight all the interesting things they’ve been up to. To this end, we’re (re)starting the series Last Call, which features seniors reflecting on their experiences at Brown. Each featured senior will tag another senior for the next installment. Find this year’s other “Last Call” chains here.

Then + Now

Then + Now

People might know me as…
That guy who makes really corny jokes when he emcees events. Or that guy who makes really corny jokes during improv shows. Or that guy who makes really corny jokes generally.

In my time at Brown, I am most proud of…
The friendships I made. I certainly learned a lot from classes, but I learned the most from friends and mentors, and I’m really hoping to cherish those friendships. I’m awful at staying in touch, but I really hope to do so after graduating.

On a Friday night, you might find yourself…
Is it boring to say hanging out with friends? Well, it’s what I do, and my mama taught me not to lie, so that’s what I’m going to say. I tend to prefer low-key nights, though that doesn’t mean I won’t get crazy on a dance floor. I particularly love lip-syncing while doing interpretative dances.

The best class/professor at Brown is…
CLPS 0020: “Introduction to Cognitive Science” with Sheila Blumstein. That was the class that got me to really get excited about science in a way that I hadn’t been before. Sheila’s also a fantastic professor–full disclosure: I’m working in her lab after I graduate, so I might be a bit biased. I also loved ENGL 1190M, which is the class all writing fellows are required to take. Doug Brown is a great instructor, I loved my classmates, and everyone was actually really excited about the work. Listing two classes is kind of cheating, isn’t it? Sorry about that.

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Alums Who Do Cool Things: Remy Fernandez-O’Brien ’12

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Bonnaroo is on a mission to find Bonnaroo’s Funkiest Dancer. The winner of this competition will have the opportunity to perform their funky moves live at the music festival. Brown alum Remy Fernandez-O’Brien ’12 has made his way to the top ten contestants. Remy F’s entry shows him rocking out to Robert DeLong’s “Global Concepts.”

According to his contestant description on the contest website, “Remy started dancing when he saw the gecko do the robot in a GEICO commercial. In his life as a performer, he’s been a life-sized puppeteer, a stilt dancer, a clown in a haunted house, and a Michael Jackson impersonator.” Check out Remy’s submission and the all of the top ten contestants’ submissions. Voting closes in two days so be sure to watch Remy, and some other funky dancers, break it down while you get the chance!

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