If you’re anything like me, you’re trying to hold on to these last days of autumn. You find yourself Snapchatting trees that stop you in your tracks, or picking leaves up off of the sidewalk to press into your journal. Your walks have gotten longer as your fingers have gotten colder and your sneakers are always crunching through the fallen heroes of the season.
What’s that? That’s just me? You, like, actually do your homework?
Visit the library?
Okay, well you’ll be feeling this autumnal nostalgia soon enough when the temperature drops below zero and the world is colorless and bleak. While most of the leaves have lost their luster, some remain.
To capture these the last of this season, I got out my angstiest camera lens and went for a nice little wander throughout campus ~a le flâneur. Fortunately, the sky was especially dismal for me to capture this deeply poetic season for your sadboi viewing pleasure (read: my self-gratification). I encourage you to track down each of these trees and sit under them for a while until you encounter some deep enlightenment or freeze to death — whichever comes first.
Without further ado or anymore obnoxious clichés, I present to you mediocre photos of trees:
These pure #nofilter trees truly capture the beauty of Ruth Simmons. Sit under them while wearing a scarf and reading Dostoyevski, and Brown’s camera guy will definitely put you in a brochure.
Thanksgiving for a number of college students was a chance to have a bit of familial comfort and a respite from the Ratty/Vdub experiences to instead indulge in pumpkin pie, apple pie, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and everything autumnal and awesome. But of course, not everyone at Brown celebrated Thanksgiving or ate Thanksgiving food; BlogDailyHerald went straight to the source and asked a few international students to share their own favorite holiday foods. We posed a survey to the international community at Brown and here are some of the answers we got:
For those looking to mix up the obscene amount of chocolate eaten during the holiday season (hello, winter break ’15), José Soria ’19 of Madrid, Spain, has your alternative. Jose loves turrón, which he describes simply as “super Spanish.” Turrón is essentially a blank canvas for your sweet tooth dreams. Any variation of a block of egg whites, sugar, and honey is considered turrón, and add-ins typically include nuts and chocolate. (Side note: when I lived in Spain my host family had a basket of turrón on the table for three months surrounding Christmas and it was beautiful.)
For Ian Cheung ’16, of Hong Kong, his favorite holiday food is tang yuan, which is “composed of these little balls of glutinous rice filled with black sesame, in a kind of soup broth.” In addition to being delicious, tang yuan has sentimental value for Ian because “‘it’s a very non-Western sweet food that symbolizes family union,” and reminds him of visiting relatives and family gatherings in Taiwan when he was a kid. It also has the added bonus of being hilarious to eat, because according to Ian, tang yuan is super chewy and often leaves lots of black sesame seeds between your teeth.
As we approach the final month of the year, I realized that I dislike months ending in “-ber.” When did this happen? What is the common denominator here?
Fall. Autumn. Whatever.
Join me as I take a good, hard, overly-critical look at some aspects of Fall and see how the beautiful process of maturing has ruined and/or devalued them.
Then: As a kid, you may remember watching your parents exhibit god-like levels of self-control as you would throw your youthful body into the piles of raked leaves aka the fruits of their labor. Grabbing armfuls of leaves and throwing them into the air/at your siblings was truly joyous. Stepping on a leaf and hearing it crunch beneath your mighty child-sized light-up Kmart sneakers was incredible. You are powerful! Walking is no longer monotonous now that there’s a goal (crushing) and a soundtrack (crunching).
Quick! Someone call AFV!
Now: Ah, yes let me propel my aging body, with all it’s odd aches and markings (all diseased, as per WebMD) into this pile of dead-tree scraps and possibly upward-pointed sticks. Wet leaves, various creepy crawlies, DIRT–who wouldn’t want to catapult themselves into nature’s dumpster??? I was wearing a V-neck the other day and a leaf flew down my shirt. Making eye contact with a passerby as you proudly reveal the leaf you removed from your nonexistent cleavage is just so freakin’ seasonal. Now whenever I wear my knockoff Birkenstocks (#confusingweather) leaves stick to my socks (don’t judge me). Deliberately treading on crunchy leaves? Eh, if you step on a littered Solo cup it makes the same noise.
Hear ye, hear ye! We at Blog present to you Listen Up, a bi-weekly Blogcast that will be bringing you the most sensational news from Brunonia. This week, we cover the more dangerous side of fall: pumpkin spiced beverages with a kick, never-ending corn mazes, and apple picking perils.
The weather’s changing, folks. We’re transitioning from the season of waking up plastered to our sheets by sweat with five fans surrounding our beds to that awkward season where we’re still waking up plastered to our sheets, now paralyzed by frigid dorm rooms. It might seem petty to complain, especially since it’s going to get a lot worse in the coming months (brace yourselves, freshmen from California), but at least when hardcore winter hits we’ll all have reliably cozy refuges (a.k.a. heated rooms) from the cold.
If you’re like me and live in a currently unheated dorm, your room could be even colder than the great outdoors. A certain sequence of events might sound familiar to you: Your alarm goes off. You can’t get out of bed. No, you’re not tired. In fact, you’d really like to brush your teeth and eliminate your abominable morning breath, or make yourself a cup of coffee. But every time you extend a limb–nay, a finger–or lift your head out from underneath the blankets in which you’re hibernating, BOOM. Antarctica hits. Every few minutes you’ll try again, give up, withdraw back into your blankets like a crab into its shell. This could last for up to an hour before you muster the courage to face the chill.
Such a constant state of cold discomfort can make EVERYTHING more difficult, from taking a shower to studying. Especially compared to the phenomenal warmth of a comforter, the frigid walk to the bathroom can seem like an impossible task. And until Brown does turn on the heat in all buildings, here are some tips for marching like a penguin (a.k.a. continuing to perform basic daily tasks without hating life, Brown, and New England):
Keep a sweater next to your bed. Now, you might not want to wear your warmest, fuzziest sweater to bed. That, added to your quilt, comforter, sheets, throw blanket, and insulating aluminum foil, might make you feel a little overheated. So, for the dreaded moment when you need to leave the bed, ALWAYS have a sweater an arm’s reach away. If that isn’t enough, you could put the next day’s change of clothes by your bed as well. That way you can change under the covers and never have to subject your poor body to the chill.
Wear your best pair of socks. Always. It’s scientifically proven that keeping your feet warm helps keep the rest of your body warm as well. Alright, that may not be entirely true. But it IS true that your feet, on the periphery of your body, suffer prominently from the cold. That brings me to tip number two: always wear a nice thick pair of socks. If you only have flimsy athletic socks, wear two pairs at once. Worried about having to take them off to put on flip-flops when you have to walk to the bathroom? Don’t worry, socks and sandals are in. Or at the very least, whoever spots you between your room and the bathroom (suitemate, hallway go-er, etc.) probably won’t look anything like Ryan Gosling and, more importantly, won’t really care.
Tea, coffee, hot chocolate. A hot cup of anything can be both a great motivator for braving the cold and an added protection against it. If you’re lucky enough to have a roommate, suitemate, housemate, or friend who is simply a better person than you and offers to bring you a cup of tea, definitely take advantage. With that kind of luck, you can even stay under the covers until you get your tea, then carry it around your room as your very own weapon against the cold.
Changing: a systematic approach. It’s that unfortunate time of day when you have to change into your work clothes, or your gym clothes, or whatever. No, your boss said, PJ pants are not appropriate for when you’re sitting at your desk. Change your clothes systematically: leave your pants on while you change your shirt and vice versa. Keep as much of you as warm as possible for as long as possible.
The hunger strategy. Ok, so you’ve been hiding under the covers, and you really need to leave them to study for the ten midterms you have this week. But studying isn’t exactly the most appealing activity. Eating, on the other hand, is a much better motivator. Think about the pizza you really want from Andrew’s, or that warm Blue Room muffin. It’s much easier to put off working than it is to put off eating. Then, when you go out to get food, bring study materials with you. Try to study in the Ratty, or head to the library after a meal. The SciLi may be drafty, but it’s definitely better than your dorm.
Ripping off the Band-Aid. That whole cycle I talked about, when you venture a limb outside of the covers and immediately freak out? Try not to do it. In the mornings, leap out of your bed like you’re late for lunch with Taylor Swift. It’ll feel like jumping into a cold pool: over in a heartbeat.
Luckily, the heat is supposed to be turned on by this Friday (WOOOHOOOOO!!!!!), but for now, hopefully these tips will help you power through the next few days. Stay warm, Brunonia!
We’re in full swing now, folks. Welcome to October (rabbit rabbit): the month of midterms, sweaters, Halloweek, and pumpkin ingredients in each and every BDS dessert. Long gone are the days when you can ask people what they did this summer (seriously, stop), where they are living, or what classes they’re shopping. That’s just plain irrelevant. The best that even “Plastic” Cady Heron can do is give the apple of her eye (pun intended) Aaron Samuels today’s date. Happy October 3rd to all, and to all a beautiful summer-like October day/night.
A previous version of this post was published by BlogDailyHerald in October 2011.