How to Cuff the Hottie You Keep Seeing Around Campus

Look, I get it.

You’re hopelessly, irrevocably in love. Okay, sure, you’ve never actually spoken to them ─ that’s only a minor issue. After all, you’ve certainly seen them enough times to recognize the back of their head at a dimly-lit party, which is its own form of intimacy. At the end of the day, you know that your vibes align, you just need to figure out how to make the first move, and I’m here to help.

 

  1.       Do not, under any circumstances, try to speak to them.

At first glance, talking to the object of your affection might seem like a great idea. A simple self-introduction, a fact that relates the two of you (“Haven’t I seen you in my Beyonce: Herstory seminar?”), and a charming smile ─ what could go wrong? Everything. Everything could go wrong. Speaking to people needlessly puts you in a position of vulnerability. Opening yourself up to human connection at the risk of getting hurt? No, thank you. Instead, try silently staring at them from across the party. They’ll be sure to notice you, and they might even mention you to their friends!

 

  1.       Write a BBA about them.

Ah yes, the much more approachable relative of talking to your crush ─ writing them anonymous love letters. Though BBA (Brown Bears Admirers) has been defunct for a few months, rest easy knowing that BBA (Blueno Bears Admirers) provides a haven for all to deluge their lovestruck secrets. Though the seismic rebranding of BBA to BBA has caused a few followers to be lost in the process, some Brunonian is sure to tag your sweet. You can spend the rest of your day knowing that you’ve uplifted them and proceed to do absolutely nothing more. After all, you wrote the BBA. They should sense who you are and ask you on a date, not the other way around.

 

  1.       Make note of the places they frequent, and make sure that you’re there. Always.

Running into people is much less coincidental then you might have been led to believe. When it comes to your future spouse, it doesn’t make much sense to leave something so important up to cosmic luck. So, take your future into your own hands. Make a mental note of where you see them, whether that be local cafes, eateries, or libraries. Take a week of your time to really get acquainted with your lover’s second homes, spending at least seven hours in each place. The more time you spend sitting and waiting, the higher your chances of making awkward eye contact with your sweetheart when they come in. Scientific studies have shown that familiarity leads to love, so just make sure that you’re always within eyesight. They’ll have to say something at some point, even if they’re just asking to take the chair across from you.  

 

  1.       Tell all your friends about them in the hope that someone sets you two up.

Let’s be honest, “They were wearing a green sweater on Friday” is probably not a good enough description for your friends to immediately recognize your crush. However, nearly everyone is a Facebook Sherlock these days. I’m sure with a little determination and a hearty helping of elbow grease, your compatriots can make it happen. After all, what are best friends, casual friends, and distant acquaintances for? With Brown’s tight-knit and — at times — too small community, someone is sure to be able to link up the two of you. After that, it’s smooth sailing as your friend will no doubt arrange an elaborate blind date for the two of you.

 

  1.       Be yourself, if that’s what they’re into.

Imagine this ─ it’s a beautiful, crisp autumn day and you’ve done the unthinkable, you’ve introduced yourself to someone who was once just a beautiful stranger. Huzzah! You’ve thrown the hook, but how do you reel them in? The question might seem daunting, but the answer is simple: just be yourself, as long as they’re into that. You’re more than welcome to have your own hobbies, passions…  and interests on your own time, but if they’re not what your darling is interested in ─ drop your convictions immediately. A careful perusal of their Facebook and Instagram is sure to tell you what shows you should like, what foods you should be obsessed with, and the friend group that you should assimilate into. After initially drawing them in with your commonalities, you might even be able to slip in some of your real interests ─ just make sure not to do it too quickly.

 


BBA: Behind Blueno’s Admins, EXCLUSIVE Interview

       This Sunday, I had the distinct honor of interviewing some of Brown’s most renowned: the Moderators of the Blueno Bears Admirers page. To maintain their anonymity, their names will not be mentioned during the course of the interview transcript. They will be referred to as Moderators 1 and 2 (numbers assigned by alphabetical order.)

This interview has been edited for clarity.

 

Why keep your identities a secret?

Moderator 2: To maintain the mystique of Blueno. We didn’t invent Blueno, and it’s not our symbol to define; we want people to have their own ideas of what Blueno means to them. It’s also easier to pour your heart out to a lovable, loving teddy bear instead of being self-conscious about the admins who run the page. And it’s harder to send us personalized hate mail when you don’t know who we are.

Moderator 1: On BBA, every post is anonymous, so to keep in style, we should be anonymous, too. We want to be cognizant that people of different backgrounds and identities can project themselves onto Blueno, and we don’t want to stand in front of that. We don’t want the dynamic to be swayed or changed by their perception of the people fronting everything, so we think we’ll stay behind the bear for now.

 

What made you decide to start Blueno?

Moderator 1: Because we’re a bunch of narcissists! Just kidding, there are other reasons, too. Our predecessor Brown Bears Admirers was like a little bit of magic on campus. It made people really happy. It was an important part of campus culture. There’s definitely still a need for that kind of a platform on campus. I had never received a BBA post about me, and I really wanted one, so I was like, hey guys, let’s make a platform for this.

Moderator 2: I really missed BBA after it disappeared in August. I find other online communities at Brown so interesting. They don’t just exist in isolation; people talk about them, and they shape the discourse on campus. They’re just Facebook pages, sure, but they can also legitimately affect people’s lives in a very tangible way. And of course, they’re always making people’s days a little brighter.

 

How did you start Blueno, and what was the process like?

Moderator 1: We’d been toying with the idea for a while. When Brown Bears Admirers disappeared, everyone on campus was like, “Where’d they go?” Including me. I wanted admiration posts. So, I started prototyping how people would submit things, the moderation process, all that. I ended up following the same tried-and-true Brown Bears Admirers model, primarily built on Google Forms, with a bunch of extra formulas and automation built into Google Sheets. I finished developing it around August, and our first post was on September 9 by (Moderator 2).

Moderator 2: I thought that was you!?

Moderator 1: No, I’m sure it was you.

Moderator 2: I remember the Blueno the Bear page already existed for years; you (Moderator 1) reached out to whoever ran it.

Moderator 1: Yeah, it was owned by a Brown student who graduated a few years ago. I decided to build the secret admirers page from the perspective of Blueno because I thought it would be cool. The Brown alum was down. I pulled the original BBA icon into Illustrator and Photoshop to make it look like Blueno, sort of a visual parody of the original, to communicate that we’re building from the original spirit of BBA.

 

What about the name?

Moderator 2: The page was initially just Blueno the Bear. But people referred to it as BBA, because it was easier and people knew that it meant the admirers page. So we changed the name to Blueno Bears Admirers.

 

What are some issues you face as moderators? What do you do with  controversial content? Do you ever receive any?

Moderator 1: We get controversial content every day. We have like hundreds, thousands of submissions, but we read and discuss every single one amongst the board of 8 undergraduate students. We spend so much time discussing and editorializing what we should post, and what we shouldn’t. The group chat is always rife with debate. Is this post being sex positive, or is it making an individual uncomfortable? Is this post celebrating an identity, or demeaning it?

Moderator 2: The point is, there’s a ton of social factors in play with everything we post—how does this post affect members of the community? If we censor it, how does that affect people with this identity?

Moderator 1: There’s this fascinating phenomenon where people dissociated from their own names and responsibilities suddenly talk about ethical matters they wouldn’t say out loud. For example, we had that recent controversy with TAs and RPLs “admiring” their students. A lot of people presume that it’s completely acceptable to be attracted to their students and post about it. This is ethically wrong, a potential abuse of power dynamics, and not to mention it directly violates Title IX. We instituted a rule against RPLs and TAs posting about their students in a sexual or romantic way since it was making people—myself especially—feel uncomfortable and unsafe. We got a really surprising amount of backlash for instituting that rule.

Moderator 2: We have some other rules that we’ve developed over time, for example, that it’s not okay to out people’s sexuality or gender without their explicit consent. We have a group chat where we check in five, ten times a day. So, yeah, we sometimes approve discourse-centric posts if they could lead to genuine productive conversations. We don’t want to silence discourse. The primary goal is to be a supportive, positive community. In terms of the discourse we choose to approve, there are a lot of negative outlooks. Sometimes we comment on posts right after we publish them, to directly respond to the post, set guidelines for the future, or to point toward helpful resources.

 

What do you do if you find a submission is addressed to you?

Moderator 1: I think I react the same way anyone else would. You feel warm and fuzzy, you smile a lot to yourself, then you message your friends, “Did you see this?” and “Who did this?” The only difference between my reaction and yours is that I then perform the narcissistic act of copying and pasting the post onto the page for all to see. Then there’s also the attacks. We censor attacks on other people, we don’t want people to feel hurt from this page. But some posts target us. We’re the only ones who have to see any hateful posts, but that’s sort of a negativity we set ourselves up for.

 

What are some perks of being a BBA moderator?

Moderator 2: Getting to see all the piping hot tea on campus first!

Moderator 1: You know how you open Facebook, and check if BBA updated? We open up a Google Sheet and see posts the second people click Submit. (To Moderator 2) Should I show her?

Moderator 2: Yeah, I think it’d be cool.

(Here, Moderator 1 demonstrated by posting a pending submission. The intake form was meticulously organised and color-coded.)

Moderator 1: We’re absolutely up to date with the drama on campus. I get to promote the voices of underrepresented identities on campus, especially narratives around LGBTQ people, people of colour – discourse people might shy away from if their names were attached to them.

 

When we messaged the original BBA, they said they’re “in transition.” Are they your competition? If so, what will you do when/if they resurface?

Moderator 1: It would be great if they came back. If people wanted to migrate back to them, that’s great! We can’t change that. I’d probably go back to using them. As long as there’s a social platform for positive, anonymous voices on campus, moderated in a socially responsible way, I’m happy. Until then, we’re going to keep having fun.

Moderator 2: We messaged them during the summer and asked if they wanted any help. They said they were “in transition and working on it”. They put out one round of posts in August, then nothing. Then we started Blueno to fill the void and we’ve been able to be much more active. So I’m not holding my breath.

 

What are Blueno’s opinions about Rodent versus Ratty?

Moderator 1: Blueno prefers The Ratty, but he forgives anyone who calls it the “Rodent” if—

Moderator 2: If they leave him a present in mailbox number **** (Moderator 2’s mailbox number censored for anonymity)

 

Does Blueno have any admirers? Who would he admire if he could?

Moderator 1: Everyone knows Blueno has a crush on the Nelson bear. Who doesn’t. He’s buff as hell.

Moderator 2: How could he not? There’s also a torrid past between Blueno and the rock tree, but why bring up history?

Moderator 1: And Marcus Aurelius on equestrian has been eyeing Blueno for quite some time, but who knows when he’ll make a move.

 

What does Blueno mean to you?

Moderator 2: Well, there was initially a lot of controversy about the statue, his funding.  And obviously, lots of schools have a bear as their mascot. But Blueno is his own thing, his own icon, he’s not just a generic teddy bear. Blueno is unique to Brown, Blueno is blue—

Moderator 1: Blueno is blue? Hot-take.

Moderator 2: Thank you. He’s quirky, a little weird, but we still love him. That says a lot about the Brown community. He’s gonna leave eventually,  and I’m sad about that. But Blueno’s legacy at Brown will be here a long time even after he’s gone – ideally, with Blueno Bears Admirers sticking around as long as people want it. Blueno sort of gives us a new life, especially if you consider student activities in his hollow interior.

Moderator 1: If BBA was responsible for your relationship, you’re welcome. If you get married to someone you found on BBA, you are contractually obliged to fly us out to your wedding. (Reporter’s note: The Blog was unable to verify this claim.)

Moderator 2: I think it’s fun how different Blueno is from the statue – he doesn’t stand for the same ideals, and he’s a fun piece of campus culture.

Moderator 1: It’s very representative of our generation, that we’re able to make light of and personify big, unchangeable things. He’s become a part of campus culture. We’ve had some amazing artwork come in from illustrators on College Hill; we had one for National Coming Out Day and one for Halloween—shoutout to Felix Summ and Julia Chu! The world seems really bleak right now, and I think we need more fun, happy things on campus. Untitled Lamp/Bear is going away in a few years, but we’re all creating Blueno, and there’s some permanence in that.


Confessions of a Teenage First Year

Whether you were home last weekend, seeing family members this Family Weekend, or traveling for Thanksgiving soon, chances are — and especially if you’re a first year — you’re going to be hearing the age old question: “How’s college?!” Somehow, a simple two-word phrase can be laced with so much meaning. It goes hand in hand with the dreaded “How are you?!” How IS college, really? And how AM I, really? These aren’t questions you can just answer right off the bat! I mean, okay, that’s not entirely true. You can answer them right off the bat: “College is great/good/okay/terrible! I’m doing great/good/okay/terrible!” But that wouldn’t be the whole story, really. It’s a lot easier to just say “good” when someone asks you how you’re doing.

For first years, it’s hard to properly assess how school is going when we’ve only been here for a month-and-a-half, when most of us at least are probably still settling in and trying to find our way. I’ll be honest, I still have to use Google Maps to find a few of the buildings here. Actually, most of the buildings here. I don’t really know how to answer how I’m doing when I barely know what I’m doing! The transition from high school to college can be quite jarring. For a lot of people, it’s the first time being away from home for an extended period of time; pretty much everything here is new. There’s bound to be some growing pains. And the thing is, I’ve found that no one really mentions that when they talk about their college experience — or at least not at first.

I was a little freaked out at first coming here and having to fend for myself in the great wilderness of Providence. Obviously, I’m not really on my own, but going from living in the same familiar place my whole life to somewhere completely new without anyone to explicitly tell me what to do was a bit daunting to say the least. How long would it take to feel like I actually go here? Fortunately, this initial settling in took less time than I expected, and I’ve really seen that Brown is an amazing fit for me. Now I’m in a new phase of adjustment, trying to find my true place here.

I’m still finding my way. Yes, the hardest part for me — just getting here and getting comfortable with all the new changes — has definitely passed. I’m joining clubs and finding good study-spots and going to office hours and going out and attending speaker events and attempting to eat as well as I can at the Ratty. But sometimes, of course, I do still feel like I’m still a fish out of water, an obviously confused first-year (it probably doesn’t help that my water bottle says “Brown 2022” in big block letters). But that’s only natural. I think when I was younger I kind of assumed that once you hit 18 and/or went off to college, you’d suddenly be an adult. Like somehow a flip would be switched and suddenly you’d have all the answers, and you’d know what to do all the time. What I’m learning, though, is that this idea couldn’t be further from the truth. Here’s the big secret that I’ve uncovered, and that everyone hides: no one completely knows what they’re doing. We’re all stumbling along, making mistakes and living on our own and doing “adult” things while still feeling a little like kids. Or maybe that’s just me — but it’s probably not.

And what I’m also figuring out is that it’s not a bad thing at all to sometimes feel less-than-prepared for the so-called “real world” — that’s what these four years are for afterall. So look, if you ask me how I’m doing, or how college is, I might still give you a one word answer, because that’s just how teenagers are. But of course that one word isn’t all I feel. Chances are I’m always going to be feeling a lot of different ways all the time, and it’s always going to be changing. I don’t feel nearly as nervous as I did a month ago, and I’m sure in another month I’ll have gotten even more comfortable. College is basically just one never-ending, confusing, exciting transition. Everyone is bound to get lost at some point as we all try to find our way, but I’m very glad that Brown is where I get to do that.

 


Welcome, Class of 2020!

Early1

To the 669 newest members of the Brown Class of 2020,

A big welcome and a massive congratulations are in order! You’ve won the admissions game and for now, you can take a deep breath. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back: you were accepted from the second largest early decision cohort that Brown has ever received (3,030 people to be exact). You come from 31 different nations and 38 U.S. states.

You’re supposedly coming to Brown to study bioengineering, business, entrepreneurship and organizational behavior, international relations, biochemistry, biology, neuroscience, economics, computer science, and English; but from there, you’ll probably change your concentration at least twice (trust us). We are so excited to meet you and show you the things and people that make this place unbelievably special.

From now on, we’ll be your go-to source for all things Brown-relevant. We’re your new, cool big sibling and we’re taking you under our wing (seriously, you’re already making us feel old!!!). Check in with us to know what’s abuzz on campus.

We’ll be waiting with bated breath for your arrival. <3

For more information on the Early Decision Class of 2020, click here.

Image via


Spooky Halloween Spirits

My favorite part about ‘words’ is that they can have multiple definitions. Case in point, the word ‘spirit.’ On Dictionary.com, there are 31 definitions of the word spirit. But for the real definitions, I went to old faithful: Urban Dictionary.

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 8.17.44 PM

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 1.57.09 PM

“Some thing”

Point is, I like Halloween, I like drinking, and I really like doing the two together. Get ready for a list of truly terrifying drinks, ’cause nothing goes together better like spirits and spirits.

Eat-Drink-Be-Scary

Piña Ghoul-ada

Combine equal amounts coconut cream, pineapple juice, and ice in a blender. Add rum – maybe some Mali-boo rum! Garnish with a devilishly red Maraschino cherry.

Morgue-a-rita

Buy margarita mix and combine with tequila and ice. Drink in a cold, dank place.

Mint Boo-lip

Perhaps invented by the ghost of a wealthy patron watching his ghost horses race at Churchill Downs, this mint boo-lip is certain to have you cheering for the ghost horse. Mint, bourbon, ice, seltzer. Go Seabiscuit!

Continue Reading


BlogDH Presents: the season premiere of BlogBabies

BlogBabies (noun): what we lovingly call our newest Blog staff writers. You’ve definitely seen some new bylines in the past two weeks, but who are these talented fresh-out-of-the-womb writers? Without without further ado, we’d like to formally introduce you to the cast of this season’s BlogBabies!

unnamed-1

Kelly Carey-Ewend ’19 is a self-proclaimed attention addict who will keep talking no matter where the conversation is headed. Despite being “loud as hell,” he’s really bad at sarcasm, yet will keep you on your toes by throwing in white lies (just as a test). A potential biology concentrator from North Carolina, Kelly spends his go-to down time jamming to Kidz Bop (Vol. 24 of course) and watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. He is most surprised by Brown’s very real sports program, and you may find him chowing down on some Jo’s quesadillas while enjoying lavender incense, a “super chill” color with a “wild side,” possibly reminiscent of himself?

– Adrian Grant-Alfieri ’18

unnamed-2

Meghan Friedmann ’17 might hail from total suburbia in Reading, Massachusetts, but she’s really more of the jet-setter type. This junior from the land of the Celtics spent her spring in the land of the original Celts, studying abroad in Dublin last semester. Now back at Brunonia, Meghan is glad to finally have the time in her schedule to settle down with us Bloginistas. Outside of the realm of prose, Meghan is a poet who was recently published in a Providence-based literary mag; someday, she hopes to publish a collection of poems that people will find thought-provoking. Meghan’s TV character of choice is Lizzie McGuire, in large part because Lizzie is able to articulate her feelings through possibly the most iconic cartoon id of all time. And this ol’ Disney Channel girl also has an affinity for life abroad!

-Joseph Hernandez ’19

unnamed-1

All you need to know about Kyra Goldstein ’19 is that her favorite part about her high school diving team was the “lukewarm horse trough” where the divers hung out in between dives.  That, and the fact that if she were to be a TV character, she would by Bill Haverchuck of Freaks and Geeks. I’d never seen the show, but after some research, I wholeheartedly agree that Bill is awesome. Just like Kyra, Bill is a nerd who knows who he is, what he wants, and calls it like he sees it. To add to the nerd stereotype, Kyra loves doing the New York Times crossword puzzle before bed and feels happiest in a good, independently owned bookstore, but interestingly also holds a soft spot for cheesy teen novels.

-Sarah Campbell Tucker ’19

Continue Reading