Horror Stories of Brown University, part 1


Pretty much identical to the halls of Keeney...

Pretty much identical to the halls of Keeney…

With Halloweek starting up, it seemed appropriate to revisit some common moments of horror experienced by Brown students. These are the experiences in our daily lives that can seem as full of terror as anything Hollywood has to offer. Here I present just one of these frightening dramas. Check back later in the week for yet another installment of Horror Stories of Brown University.

Enter Act 3, Scene 2 of our first Brown Horror Story:

The floor is empty—the night is late. A lonely reveler, departed from his companions, wanders down the hall, stumbling as he passes each door, fidgeting with his keys right outside his pocket. Exit signs, once illuminated, lie broken on the floor, their wires still protruding from the open ceiling. The floor is filled with an eerie fluorescent light, which, unnoticeable during the daytime, creates an oppressive and inescapable aura during these hours of early dawn. 

Our unnamed protagonist, PARTY-GOER, turns a desolate corner, searching desperately for his room and the comfort and safety of his bed. Yet something seems odd and out of place, as though an unnatural presence were lingering in the spaces that used to feel so familiar. His phone having been long dead, he begins humming in order to try to reassure himself in the strange hallway.

PARTY-GOER (slurring quietly to himself): Cause the players gonna play play play…and the haters gonna hate hate hate…but I’m just gonna shake shake shake…

An UNEARTHLY WAIL emerges from the closed door up ahead and interrupts him. The partygoer, unknowing, does not recognize the room’s warning. Yet, as he takes his keys from his pocket and places them in the lock, he grows wary, frightened even, of what he may discover. He is alone and helpless as he opens the door.

UNEARTHLY WAIL (startled, in shock, about to lash out): Wait…stop, stop, stop, what’s that? Wait, get out of here! Get out!

The camera lingers for a moment on the darkened room, as though disoriented by the scream.  Something—a shadow—moves in the corner of the room. The sheets from the bed are quickly raised as though from their own accord, covering whatever lies hidden under the bed, or whatever has now possessed the room. A vengeful spirit? A playful ghost? Or a phantasm first encountered in a second-term orgo lab? No matter the case, the reveler, along with the camera, swiftly exits the room, before its haunted mystery can be revealed. 

PARTY-GOER (clumsily apologizing): Um…sorry about…sorry about that…I didn’t know… Continue Reading

Tips on how not to study


A Brown student studying hard.

Midterm season has arrived in full-force these past few weeks. This has motivated countless students to settle down among the stacks, open their books and laptops, and revisit their old classroom notes and problem sets in an effort to succeed at all the challenges that Brown offers to them. Filled with personal discipline, an ability to delay gratification, and above all else a striving passion to perform, these devoted students will approach their exams and essays with a deep confidence in their abilities, a focused and prepared mind, and several nights of undisturbed sleep.

Here are some tips that might help you and other students avoid their looming work for the next cycle of midterms.

1. Think About How Much You Work You Have

There’s nothing better to distract you from studying than to think about how much work you have. I mean, really try to ponder it—all of the material that you’re responsible for in each class, how many words you’ll have to write in total for your essays—whatever it is, just make sure you’re very aware of how much you’ll need to accomplish in the next week. For the next step in not working, try to imagine the worst possible consequences that could happen if you screwed up. Linger on all of this for a few hours, and you’ll be well on your way to not getting anything done.

This pretty much identical to the one before it.

Identical to the one before, except this guy seems more stressed.

2. Talk to Other People About How Much Work You Have

Closely related to number one, a great way to be unproductive is to complain to others about how much you have to do in the upcoming weeks. Parents, friends, acquaintances, random people in line at the Ratty, all can be effectively used as tools to avoid finishing work. Try to distract them from their own work as you complain, so they become more anxious about what they have to do as well. The less industrious the people are around you, the better you’ll be at not studying.

But remember: always make sure that they know that you, ultimately, have it much harder than them, and are worthy of their sympathy.

Does anyone study with all these books?

Has anyone ever studied with that many books?

3. Wait to Talk to a TA or go to Office Hours

If you really want to make sure you that you feel unaccomplished by the weekend, never start work on anything until you’re fully sure that you have the approval and understanding of your professor and/or TA. Go during peak hours of their schedule so you’ll have to wait in a long line, and never ask them direct questions related to your work, because remember,  you haven’t started that. Instead, focus on broad, generic ideas that they have already mentioned in class, or ideally would be answered either on the syllabus or prompt—things that will bring you no closer to sitting down and working. But be careful, you might accidentally leave feeling productive, so try to remain skeptical of whatever advice they have to offer.

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Christmas Sweaters Return to Brown


Revamped, reinvigorated, and redesigned, the Brown Ugly Christmas Sweaters arrived back in the campus bookstore last week in what is sure to become the latest pioneer of Brunonian self-parody high fashion. Released now in September, the sweater is innovative, and quite literally ahead of its time.

Following the wild success of last year’s sweater—an awe-inspiring appropriation of secular Nordic imagery into tessellated arabesques reminiscent of early-Middle Eastern art—the bookstore released its new line that manages to incorporate the best of its predecessor’s themes while exploring a bold new frontier in maximalist iconography.  In a wonderfully coy gesture, antlers and a red nose adorn Brown’s bear mascot, reimagining our vicious predator as a familiar and friendly spirit of the holidays. The work of a true genius, the sweater should be another triumph for the bookstore, a paradigm-shift in the campus’s sartorial sensibilities.

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