Pre-registration has officially begun, meaning we have all been (or should be) spending a good amount of quality time with Banner. While we at Blog cannot provide you with your advising PIN or any desperately needed overrides, we can give you the reassurance you need while freaking out about what classes to take and what to do with your life: Don’t worry about that stuff, focus on how hilarious all the course titles are! It’s time for another round of excellently researched course superlatives…
Questions concerning the worth of humanities may have always been present, but these concerns have become an obsession nationally—perhaps internationally—this year. There was the Florida Governor who wanted to charge students more for majoring in the non-STEM subjects. The unequivocally titled New York Times article “The Decline and Fall of the English Major” was essentially a letter to us college students, begging us not to neglect the diminishing art of writing. Closer to home, there was the Herald‘s report that 54 percent of students were concentrating in 10 subjects of our offered 79, English being the only humanity to grace the top ten. We can blame the economy, the government, the man; at the end of the day, it just means I’m scared of the fact my shopping cart has such ‘impractical’ classes.
Late this summer, The New Republic published an article by our very own President Paxson praising the humanities from an economic standpoint. While it may seem studying Plato, who never had a good idea for an app, or Jane Austen, who I doubt would have been the ideal employee for McKinsey, is both irrelevant to success in today’s world and of less value to our society than, say, taking CS-0150, Paxson argues that not immediately seeing the importance of something doesn’t diminish its importance. Translation: Randomness is key. Weird knowledge can be weirdly useful knowledge. (I’m sure we’ve all also had about five professors talk about how class they randomly took ‘changed their lives’—I find it adorable every time.) Paxson also argues the importance of humanities concentrators in considering our place in an increasingly globalized and technologically advanced world. Whether you agree with all her points or not, it’s something to consider before Banner locks us out.
Check out The New Yorker‘s take on Paxson’s piece here.
Whether you’re looking for some last minute gifts for family or friends, or just want the opportunity to explore Providence’s shopping hubs, Brown is sponsoring a “Brown Shops Local!” event tomorrow, December 6th that will help you accomplish both tasks. The event is being help to allow students to “cross items off [their] shopping list while supporting the local economy.”
From 4-8 p.m. tomorrow, trolleys will pick up and drop off students from George Street at Rhode Island Hall, and take them to their choice of one of four destinations: 1) Westminster Street; 2) South Main Street; 3) Wayland Square; and 4) Hope Street. (More details after the jump.) [Read more →]
To my fellow Brunonians:
Recently, I’ve come to a sobering realization. I’m writing today to confess something: I have a dark secret. It’s taken me four semesters to admit it, but I have a serious problem.
I didn’t recognize it for what it was at first. Sure, it was eating up my time, my money, but goddamnit I can stop whenever I want to!
It starts with a couple beers. A shot of tequila or vodka, maybe. Perhaps some mixed drinks. Seems pretty harmless. You’ve actually dressed up and put some makeup on. You go out. Drink some jungle juice. Now you’re bored, so you go home. Alone. Suddenly, you’re online. You can’t stop browsing. Click click click.
Before you know it, it’s 7 a.m. and the athletes are rising for practice.
No, my addiction is not porn. It’s much more sinister than your weekly boner jams. My porn is Amazon.com, eBay, Macy’s and Forever21.com. I am a Drunk Shopaholic, and PayPal is my enabler.
Blog on Pubs debuts this semester with a significantly cooler (and punnier) name: Pub Crawl. At Brown there is, if you haven’t noticed, a healthy abundance of student publications. While you’re already reading one of the very best, this series aims to highlight other noteworthy pubs that may have otherwise escaped your valuable attention. (Email if you’d like your current student pub featured!)
Still deciding between that hyped-up lecture and that apparently interesting but obscure seminar? During shopping period, you might feel overwhelmed by the tyranny of choice. Sure, you can turn to faculty/peer advisers, friends, crowd-sourcing comparison on Best of Brown (launched last semester and since updated), rando-stalking, or a Magic 8-Ball, but when it comes to real talk re: profs and assignments, first-years will quickly realize and Brown returnees should know by now that nothing beats Critical Review.
Since 1976, CR has compiled anonymous student responses to questionnaires distributed in participating classes at the end of each semester. It’s basically Zagat for Brown academics. Conveniently, you can search the site for courses and/or instructors, which is handy when you want to try out different sections. The written review covers curricular content, prereqs, teaching style, workload, and suggestions to shoppers based on collective opinion. [Read more →]
Because I’m a Banner demigod, I have absolutely no classes on Friday (yeah, that’s right, be jealous). But rather than sleep in or nurse a hangover, I decided to take the ultimate shopping trip: find a random person, go with them to class, repeat.
Here are the field notes, observations, and petty rants of shopping period.
9-9:50: ECON0110, Principles of Economics
8:59: Oh, freshmen. They’re still eagerly introducing themselves. Hi Carol and Jack! I remember doing that a year ago way back when. Now I bolt for the nearest spot open next to someone I vaguely know.
9:02: First thing the professor asks: “Who wasn’t here Wednesday?” She’s onto me.
9:04: Content of computer screens in the third row: MS Word, MS Word, MS Word, Spotify, Facebook, MS Word, Stickies, Gmail.
Never heard of Cyber Monday? That’s okay, you’re not alone. Like Grandparent’s Day and other Hallmark holidays, it’s an event created by large corporations to convince you to spend lots of money on things you and or your relatives probably don’t actually need. But of course I need a refrigerator with a built-in television! you’re probably telling yourself, How else am I supposed to keep myself entertained while getting ice from the fridge?
Luckily, there’s an upside to all this gross consumerism. Instead of buying grandma and grandpa some Sea-Bond Denture Glue to show how much you love them, this time it’ll be you who gets to reap the rewards of this artificially-manufactured holiday. Think of Cyber Monday like the cheap love child of Black Friday and the Interwebz — a glorious day when large retailers slash their online prices for 24 hours in the name of turning a profit. Hooray!
In case you’re looking to develop an online shopping addiction, or you’re just bored and looking for a means of procrastination, here are two links to some of the best deals on the web:
Now whip out mommy’s credit card and enjoy!
If you missed the time-waster from a couple weeks back, Ryan Charles ’02 is a Brown alum who does a cool thing. That cool thing is Consmr – a website that lets you finally cement your feelings toward Quaker Oatmeal and any other consumer packaged good with a 1-5 star rating. Yup, shitty healthy breakfasts of yesteryear can finally get what they deserve and you can get Flair (like this, except it only exists on the Internet). Anyway, we contacted Ryan by e-mail, because that’s just what blogs do, and heard more about the cool thing he does. Interview and Ryan’s Brown favorites list after the jump. [Read more →]
Shopping period classes are kind of like pilot episodes of television shows. In the first forty minutes you’re exposed to the characters of the course (professors, TAs), the mood is set and you develop a general understanding of what you’re getting into for the next 13 weeks. But, just as with a bad TV show, there are some red flags that indicate that the course (or professor) may be an absolute dud. Check out the seven signs that your class is more Cavemen than Mad Men after the jump. [Read more →]
Attention Brown Students: It’s about to be finals period, and chances are, you’re looking for a new way to put off writing those 10-15 page final papers and contributing to group Google Doc exam study guides. As if they knew it was crunch time on college campuses, according to recent articles from the New York Times’ Bits blog and The Wrap, YouTube and Facebook —probably some of the most frequented procrastination sites–are both about to expand their services by launching new ventures that may look somewhat familiar.
According to the The Wrap, YouTube has plans to offer instant movie streaming services, much like Netflix Instant or Apple movies. Depending on how it goes, our Netflix Files may be turning into YouTube Files. [Read more →]