Off (Other Side of) the Hill: Taking a RISD class

Part of the charm of College Hill comes from the long-standing relationship between Brown and RISD students; Providence is the creative capital after all, and we’ve got the two artsiest (and apparently one of the douchiest, according to GQ) schools right at our fingertips. The opportunity for Brown students to take RISD classes, and vice versa, fosters a really unique dynamic that you should definitely take advantage of, if scheduling and coursework permits.

As one can see from RISD’s unofficial mascot, they go pretty hard in the paint, and you’ll have to invest hours on hours for the final critique. But by the end, you’ll have gained knowledge of a niche skill, made enough friends to be personally invited to a warehouse party (brownie points if you get an invitation to Artist’s Ball), and have something tangible to show for your efforts.

If those reasons have peaked your curiosity about shopping for a RISD studio, you might be asking: “Where do I even begin?” I was in the same boat a couple weeks ago, and I’m still learning to navigate the waters. Luckily, sending an excessive number of e-mails and asking around yielded a list of helpful tips and interesting classes to check out, some of which you might remember from RISD Wintersession 2016 Course Superlatives.

The process of registering goes a little something like this:

Step 1: Go to JWW and obtain a cross-registration form from the 3rd floor.

Step 2: Get the instructor to sign it.

Step 3: Get the RISD registrar to sign it.

Step 4: Get the Brown registrar to sign it.

A more detailed description can be found here, a website about cross-registration created by Patchi Dranoff, RISD ’15.

TIPS & TRICKS:

  • E-mail the department head or the department administrative coordinator. Professors may be slow to respond, and before you know it, all of the coveted studios will be full.
  • Jump on this earlier than later because professors may let people in based on the order in which they e-mailed.
  • GO TO THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS.
  • WebAdvisor has about the same user-friendliness as Banner, but it’s not hard to learn. Each class has a Status column that communicates the probability of you weaseling your way in.
  • If the class is open, go for it. If you’re waitlisted, you may get in if you show up on the first day of class, but no guarantees, so keep looking around. If it’s closed, move on.
  • It is not an automatic deal breaker when a class specifies that it’s designated for ____ Majors only. Brown students have taken Majors Only studios before.
  • Be prepared to drop some bank on supplies, tools, and a fee as a non-major. WebAdvisor (RISD’s version of Banner) includes the price of materials in the class descriptions.
  • TAKE VISA0100. You can’t take a RISD course without it. If you don’t get a spot via the VISA lottery, don’t be discouraged. Show up to all the sections that work with your schedule and don’t stop attending until the professor physically pushes you out of the room.
  • You might be intimidated by the thought of seeming like a complete amateur in class, but we’ve heard more stories of a Brown student feeling welcomed by a class at RISD than alienated.
  • Industrial design, furniture, and textiles classes typically have high barriers to entry due to their popularity, especially during Wintersession.
  • You can never go wrong with a ceramics studio.

And last, but certainly not the least:

What can I take at RISD?

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How to cross campus without freezing to death

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Oh God. It’s here. Or it might be here. It seems like just yesterday it was 90 degrees outside and we were all wearing booty shorts as we strutted the Main Green. But that time of the year is gone, and what’s to come is downright terrifying. Yet, we’re not really sure what’s going on because Providence weather is quite confusing and we’re living each day on our toes. Special shout-out to weather.com for always being there.

What we do know is that winter in Providence starts pretty early. It’s going to get colder—a lot colder—as we move into November and December, and Brown students have always struggled to find ways to stay alive in the midst of this arctic chill. We drink coffee and wrap ourselves in fabric, but, more often than not, we each lose at least one limb to frostbite. It’s tragic but true.

The hardest part of the impending winter season is handling those brief moments we spend outside when getting from class to class. It feels like the wind is pistol-whipping us each time we open the door, and stomping through snow reminds us of Elsa from Frozen beating us to death with our own arms.

But never fear! Blog is here with some great tips to make it through this garbage-y season. If even the thought of leaving your residence hall makes you want to curl into fetal position, give some of these a try. They might just save your life. Continue Reading


Frosh-cessities: The Seven Deadly Mentalities of Freshman Orientation

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As summer comes to an end, first-year college students around America will be pumped through the exciting yet cringe-inducing process of college orientation. The event somehow walks the line between purgatory and platonic speed dating. Students spend excruciating hours sitting down for awkward seminars and icebreaker sessions. The three questions: “What’s your name?”, “Where are you from?” and “Where are you living?” will be repeated millions of times until responses start sounding like they’re coming out of Siri. For some, orientation means newfound independence; for others, it is the gift of a blank canvas and a chance to start over. However, all feel the constant pressure to give off the right first impression to the right people.

Despite the superficial nature of the first days on campus, freshman orientation shouldn’t be something you float through. This is the only time in college where everyone is in the same social boat; everyone is looking for friends. The shared experience makes it easy to meet loads of people from different backgrounds and possibly make connections to last the next four years and beyond.

To get the most out of orientation, I recommend avoiding the following seven mentalities:

1. “This is so stupid.”

You’ve had nightmares based on posts on the accepted students Facebook page and now believe everyone is dorky, snobbish, and/or overexcited to a level that would make even Michael Scott cringe. You’re the only normal one here. Maybe it’s best to skip orientation altogether and lay low for a while.

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Please. Not everyone will be straight outta Cringefest 2015. If you shut yourself out of orientation, you will miss opportunities to both find friends and learn how to navigate the complicated and often confusing Brown system. Although some events wont hurt to skip [Ed. Not that we’re condoning this], make sure you at least go to convocation, and learn the names of everyone on your floor.

2. “No parents! No rules!”

You’re free from the parents!!! Now is your time to GET WASTED!

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25* Things Learned from Freshman Year

Our editors asked us to make a list of 50 things we learned during our freshman year–so naturally we decided to do 25. Blog is S/NC right??

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1. Points are not unlimited.

Hank: I made it rain in the Blue Room the first week of first semester… until all of my points were gone.

Jack: I took a little longer than Hank to realize this cold truth. To be honest, I didn’t really know what points were. Turns out points are just a cute way of saying money.

2. How to Navigate the Gender-Neutral Bathrooms.

Hank: My only tip for any user of a communal, gender neutral bathroom is to wear someone else’s shoes.

Jack: I only wear Hank’s shoes.

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3. What is open late late night.

Hank: Sometimes you need food past Jo’s hours: that is the beauty of Foodler (New York Pizza is my spot).

Jack: Hank is a much better authority on this since rumor has it that he actually lives in one of the booths at Jo’s.

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SNL’s Stefon’s guide to Thanksgiving!

There are plenty of things to be thankful for this holiday season. We can be thankful for points, teachers canceling class, Blue Room muffins, study rooms in the Rock, BlogDailyHerald (shameless self-promotion), seasonal facial hair, peppermint mochas, holiday cheer, home cooked meals, hockey players, and most importantly…STEFON’S RETURN TO BLOGDH. SNL’s Stefon (or me pretending to be Stefon) is back to give you a heads up about all the hottest parties and gatherings that you must attend over Thanksgiving break. Don’t call it a comeback, because Stefon never went anywhere. Cue the music, plug in the disco ball, turn off the lights, and embrace Stefon as he (me) drops some serious holiday knowledge.

The hottest spot this Thanksgiving is…your grandma’s house. This spot has everything: passive-aggressive comments about your lack of significant other, a woman asking “what is Brown again?”, your weird uncle asking if you are gay yet (I AM NOT GAY UNCLE RICKY), that random person who always shows up with an already half-empty bottle of wine, the smell of moth balls, your great-grandfather’s war rifle named “old lucky,” and water-drowned food so everyone at the table can chew it. It is a great time, especially if you are looking for a place to butcher saying grace in front of your religious grandma who doesn’t remember that you still can’t do it right: “Bless us…uh…like…O Lord…and for like these uh your dope gifts and whatever, which we are like gonna receive from your…bosom, I mean bounty, hahaha lol. Through you, Jesus guy, our Lord, amen dude.”

The hottest spot this Thanksgiving is…your local underage bar. What better way of setting the tone for a holiday about giving thanks than puking in the back of bar. You, your friends, and your fake ID’s that all say you are 28 and are from North Dakota must head down to grab a drink like adults do! This bar has everything: a pervy bouncer who makes every girl kiss him on the cheek, a kid who looks like Charlie Sturr, a bartender who hates his life, bar mitzvah music, your mom texting you “where are you?,” those kids from your high school who you HATE so much but with whom you pretend to be best friends, that one girl who takes a selfie with everyone, and the smell of Bud Light and sadness. Do not miss out!

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A guide to fall running in PVD

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While running can be exhausting, awful, and pretty much the worst thing ever, running in the fall sucks a little bit less. Something about the transforming foliage, sidewalks and trails carpeted with fallen leaves, and cool, crisp weather (at least for now) makes running slightly more bearable. Make the most of your fall run, and stay safe, with these 5 tips:

1. Run where it’s fun

While I normally try not to encourage any sort of escapade into nature (because of dirt, bugs, general discomfort, etc.), the autumnal world is slightly more spectacular. Capitalize on the stunning scenery by running on some of Providence’s beautiful routes. Here are some suggestions:

Prospect Terrace Park and Benefit Street (2.5 miles): Located a couple blocks west from Pembroke, Prospect Park has some stunning views of downtown Providence. For a quick 2.5 mile route, run to the park from campus to stop and stretch, and then go a block down the hill to Benefit St. Lined with trees, historical Benefit St. looks beautiful in the fall, with its colonial houses and churches. Run south down Benefit towards Wickenden St. and then turn around and finish the run along the river. If you’d like, tack on miles by crossing the river and running downtown. Check out a sample route here.

India Point Park (3.10 miles/5k): Work India Point Park into your run to check out how the park’s views of the water look in the fall. For a 5k loop, starting at Faunce, go east on Waterman, turn south on Hope, and run until you hit the park. Run on the trails at the park, and then loop back. Suggested route here.

Blackstone Boulevard (5.5 miles): Part of the Blackstone Parks Conservancy, Blackstone Boulevard is a 1.6 mile, 100-foot wide median between two roads, stretching north towards Lippitt Memorial Park. Flanking the median’s pathway are over 300 trees and shrubs, which look beautiful with their changing colors. For a 5.5 mile out-and-back route, start from the SciLi, run north on Brook towards the Athletic Complex, turn east onto Lloyd, and run until you hit the Boulevard. Run north to Lippitt Memorial Park and back. Sample route here.

For more route ideas, check out mapmyrun.com, walkjogrun.net, and USATF.org.

2. Layer up

Until PVD weather makes its final descent into bitter, bitter cold, the weather can be a bit unpredictable. Adjust for this by wearing light layers that you can peel off or put on if the temperature shifts during your run. As it starts to get colder in November, make sure to throw on some extra layers — long-sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, and running tights — to bundle up. Alternatively, run naked. Embrace the cold. You do you.

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