People You’ll See In Your Lecture

The Stenographer:

This person started typing the second the professor said “hi.” This is the person making that loud keyboard sound ALL THE FUCKING TIME. This person sure as hell is making up facts to make note of because WHY WOULD YOU COPY THE ENTIRE SYLLABUS IF ITS POSTED ON CANVAS??

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A Guide to First Year Housing

As Told by a First Year Who Probably Knows Way Less About This Than You Do

It’s almost three weeks into the school year, and if you’re a newbie like me, you’re probably still awkwardly introducing yourself to other first years in this specific order: name, hometown, dorm. In fact, you’re also probably awkwardly nodding when someone mentions a dorm on the other side of campus and saying, “Oh whoa, I’m in [specific dorm on the other side of campus from you], all the way over there!” And if you’re really like me, you haven’t fully grasped the differences between all the first-year dorms yet, but feel like it’s too late in the game to ask someone. That’s why I’ve created this helpful guide with literally everything you will ever need to know about Brown’s freshman dorms.*

ANDREWS

The proverbial hotel on campus, Andrews is high-class and the people who live there know it. Their dining hall is the Brown equivalent of  5-star gourmet food, with daily specialty meals and an hour long wait time to go with it. The Andrews one-percenters look down both figuratively and literally on the commoners from the other dorms, while they’re comfy and well-fed in their fire-pit-filled perch overlooking all of Pembroke.

EM-WOOL

That other dorm in Pembroke with a dining hall in the basement. I arrived at the V-Dub at 7:38 PM last week and the food had long been packed away, so I have yet to try their cuisine, but they get points for being punctual at closing time, I guess. EmWool may not have the nicest rooms, or the best food, or the closest proximity to campus, but they do have semi-private bathrooms, and that just about makes up for everything.

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Tell Us Your Zodiac Sign and We’ll Tell You Where to Hydrate

Regular Ole Water Fountain/Bubbler (Aries)

Being an Aries can be tough — people always seem to be in the way. When you’re trying to get hydrated, the last thing you want to do is get in line behind someone who doesn’t know how to operate a filter. Lucky for you, nobody ever uses the water fountains on campus. You’ll be in and out of there in no time, and without causing a fight! Aries, we know you’re willing to fight for what you want — but you also know to pick your battles. This semester, don’t let H2O be one of them.

Coffee Exchange Water Fountain (Sagittarius)

Sagittarius, we know you love an adventure. That’s why we’ve chosen a water hole that’s a bit further away than the usual bounds of College Hill. Still close enough to be accessible, and yet enough of a walk to call it an outing. Not only is Coffee Exchange home to some of the most delicious water in the greater College Hill area, their variety of coffee selections from all around the world will make you feel truly well-traveled.

Barus and Holley Hydration Station (Capricorn)

You’re a person that knows what you want, and when you need hydration, you need it now. That’s why the Barus and Holley hydration station is perfect for you, Capricorn. Not only do you get to incorporate some much needed H2O into your busy schedule, you get to save the planet while you’re at it. You’ve got your eyes on the prize, which can make taking care of yourself hard at times. That’s why you appreciate bodily necessities that are perfectly positioned along your commute.

Andrews Vending Machine (Gemini)

Geminis get a lot of flack for being flighty, but here at BlogDailyHerald, we don’t think that enjoying multiple options should be a bad thing. You know you’re all about keeping doors open and not locking into a decision before necessary, so why should your water drinking experience be any different? The Andrews vending machine provides the perfect chance to either obtain some famously delicious drip droppity or spring for a juice/soda if that’s what your heart desires.

Blue Room Water Spout (Libra)

We admire your inner calm, Libra. That’s why the Blue Room water spout is perfect for your hydration needs. Nestled in quietly productive Faunce, the spout elegantly delivers hydration right to your bottle. Of course, the aesthetics are premier. We know you take every decision you make very seriously and that you’re sure to weigh the pros and cons of every watering hole on campus before making your decision. That’s why we hope that we can be a guiding hand in helping you choose.

Infused Water from the Ratty (Taurus)

Taurus, let’s cut right to the chase. We know that you’re dependable, and you deserve a dependable water supply. The Ratty is one of the few dining halls on campus that is open rain-or-shine, break-or-not. The infusion of various fruits adds a flashy touch of vitality to a day that might be somewhat monotonous otherwise, and its prime location gives you the ability to eat your heart out — while staying gloriously hydrated.

Scili Café Water Dispenser (Cancer)

Sometimes, life can get really tough. That’s why you need the cement walls of the Scili to protect you from whatever might be getting you emotional, Cancer. The Scili Café water dispenser is perfect located in the quiet, calm Scili — where nothing can hurt you. Cancer, feel free to take a sip and a moment to breathe. You might even consider taking advantage of the machine’s water-boiling capabilities to make a soothing cup of tea.

Poland Springs Sparkling Water from the Blue Room (Leo)

There’s no shame in preferring the finer things in life, Leo. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting to show those nicer things to your peers. Consider investing in some Poland Springs sparkling water (not sponsored, unfortunately) to show off your unique sense of pizzazz. The bright pop of color will make sure to tell anyone that sees you, “Yeah, I know what the Blue Room is. I engage in capitalist commerce.”

Water from your Brita (Virgo)

Clean water is a human right, Virgo. Keeping your space organized and your life in check is important to ensuring that you maximize your capabilities as a human being. We think that your water should be held to that same standard. Filter out the bad energies (and Rhode Island’s notorious lead contamination http://www.browndailyherald.com/2018/04/25/rhode-island-struggles-address-lead-poisoning-problem/ ) from your eight cups a day by investing in a Brita water filter — if you don’t already own one, that is.

Jo’s Water Fountain (Scorpio)

Home to the second tastiest water on campus, the water dispenser at Jo’s (just the water dispenser, not the vending machine) is the perfect location for any Scorpio. The dark atmosphere (after all, Jo’s only opens after six) is sure to make any Scorpio feel at home — especially since it is the sign of the underworld. The spicy withs mirror your hot personality and the late hours are accommodating of your less-than-perfect sleeping schedule. Best of all, since most people veer toward the vending machine, there’s no reason to feel jealous when getting in your eight cups.

Water from the Sink (Aquarius)

Who doesn’t love a practical thinker, Aquarius? After all, who really cares where a life-giving fluid comes from, given that you’re able to access it? The sinks that are helpfully placed in every dormitory on campus are your golden ticket to hydration. Easy, accessible, and always open for business. Sure, Rhode Island doesn’t have the best track record with tap water, but you’ve done the calculations and you’re willing to take the risk.

Basement of 85 Waterman Hydration Station (Pisces)

Sometimes, you just need to stare off into the rain. Luckily, the 85 Waterman Basement gives you the perfect opportunity to both keep your body hydrated and become one with nature. Pisces, we know that you need moments in life to just take it slow and let your mind wander. Let the hydration station water your earthly form just as the rain quenches the earth. Whether you sink into the window seat in the basement or take the elevator up to the dope-ass greenhouse, 85 Waterman is sure to please.


Dining Halls, an Official Ranking (and Not At All a Completely Biased List I Made Up)

BREAKFAST:

Weekdays: Ratty or V-dub (because you don’t have much of an option)

Andrews doesn’t open until lunch, and the Blue Room will drain all of your points, so your best bet for weekday breakfast is either the Ratty or the V-dub.

Both have omelets made-to-order, cereal, fruit, and all the other breakfast essentials. But even though the waffle maker at the V-dub is way underrated, who really has the time to walk all the way to North campus before morning classes? Plus, for some reason, the Ratty’s coffee is much superior to the V-dub’s.

 

Weekends: ANDREWS! (or Blue Room)

Nothing beats Andrews Commons brunch so please don’t try to fight me on this. The granola bowls make you feel like a beacon of health, even though we both know you poisoned your body the night before–and the breakfast burritos are so worth the line. You can put TATER TOTS in your breakfast burritos. What more could a hungover college student ask for?

But if you’re not feelin’ the walk over to Pembroke or don’t want to wait until 11 for breakfast at Andrews to open, Blue Room muffins are always a good call–plus the weekend is the only time you can use meal credits there, so you might as well take advantage. Blue Room also has way better coffee than Andrews.

LUNCH:

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If Brown Study Spaces Were Celebs

The study spaces at Brown have personalities as distinct as the students reading, solving, and mingling in them. While some are socialites and partiers, some are stress-filled and anxiety-inducing, and others are just plain lazy. So if you’re a freshman looking for the best places to crack open a book, look no further. By comparing them to celebrities, this post will obviously tell you everything you need to know about the campus’s various study spaces.

Sci Li stacks: 2007 Britney Spears

This one is obvious. If you find yourself in the Sci Li stacks, you’re probably on the verge of stress-shaving your head. I honestly don’t know why anyone would go to the Sci Li unless you have five exams and a paper due the next day. This place gives me major anxiety.

Okay, I’m being hyperbolic, but only a little. The stacks are a sad, sad place.

If you can get one of the closed study rooms in the Sci Li basement (you can reserve one of those room for 3 hours max. with the Sci-Li staff at the Help Desk in the basement!), or if you’re a fan of the study spaces scattered throughout the building, maybe you’ll like the Sci-Li more than I do – but, seriously, beware of the Sci-Li.

The Rock: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

The Rock is an easy choice because of its variety of study spaces. You can do group work in the “coffee shop” area in the first floor lobby, as well as in the many (!) study rooms on the first floor, fourth floor, and level A. Solo work can be done on the first floor in the main area, the stacks, or in the absolute quiet section of level A. The Rock is also superior to the Sci Li because of its chiseled pecks, 8-pack, and biceps.

Andrews Commons Study Rooms: Taylor Swift

Andrews Commons is a place to eat, socialize, and scope out cute athletes. If you say you’re going there to study, you’re probably lying. But TBH, that’s okay because under the T Swift school of thought, any social event is virtually unmissable–and passing up a chance to meet your potential next S.O. is a crime. Just don’t go here thinking you’re going to get real work done, when you’re really just going to drool into your curry over 24-year-old hockey players.

The study room above the dining hall is usually silent (and actually silent! Unlike! Arnold!), but, seriously, it’s hard to stay motivated – especially when Andrews is a million miles away from everything and you just wanna go home. If distance from your dorm is what you need to keep you outta home sweet bed, you might want to give Andrews a go.

Arnold Study Lounge: Kim Kardashian

Another study space where hardly any studying gets done is Arnold Lounge. Arnold is ostensibly a silent study space, but no one respects that. This is more like a freshman stomping ground for socializing, meeting friends, and stopping by the vending machines for Vitamin Water chasers (and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream!). Like Kim K, Arnold Study Lounge goers are always down to party, so I highly recommend going to Arnold if you want to meet fellow Keeney dwellers, but again, don’t go here to do your CS homework or Econ problem sets.

The Blue Room/ Faunce: Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana

This truly is “the best of both worlds” when it comes to study spaces. Looking to socialize yet also seem like you’re getting work done? The Blue Room is the place to go. It’s always filled with students eating subpar sushi and pretending to look busy on their laptops while actually taking a Buzzfeed quiz about what flavor latte they would be based on their outfit choices (not that I do this, I just heard some people like that kind of thing).

Have more serious work and need to focus? Faunce usually has open study spaces that are much more quiet suitable for intense studying (like Leung Gallery the floor above the Blue Room, or the study spaces in the basement below the Blue Room).

Your bed: Bruno Mars

If you can actually get work done horizontally, I respect you infinitely. For the rest of us, saying you’re going to do work in bed is the equivalent of saying “I’m going to take a long nap, but I don’t want to seem lazy.” Sometimes, you might even get into your bed thinking you’re going to read – or even write a paper. But once you sit in your comfy bed, all motivation goes out the window, and you become about as lazy as Bruno Mars. Your bed is the place to go when you’re in the mood for a Netflix marathon, but it’s not the best study locale.


Yan’s Cuisine

As we entered, the first thing we noticed about Yan’s Cuisine was the wonderfully familiar smell that wafted through our noses. We were instantly comforted by the aroma that almost all Chinese restaurants share – the hot and sticky scent of garlic, ginger, and sesame oil was reminiscent of family dinners at large, round tables with countless steaming-hot dishes scattered upon a Lazy Susan turntable. While the atmosphere at Yan’s is definitely more modern (they even have their own personalized plates!), due to its college-town setting and young clientele, the environment still gave me a sense of nostalgia, and I knew immediately that we were in for a treat.

My friends and I made the decision to go to Yan’s the day before as part of our quest to add some variety to our diets – and we really needed variety, since we’d been surviving on Andrews poké bowls and Ratty entreés for far too long. While we had originally intended to try their hot pot, we eventually decided to go for their regular menu, promising ourselves that we would return sometime to try the hot pot. (If you’re itching to try it out, it’s located on the restaurant’s upstairs floor and has its own separate menu.)

Hearing glowing accounts of Yan’s Americanized dishes left us more than a little cautious, but we soon learned that their menu is vast and can suit almost any taste. If you usually go for General Tso’s chicken or crab rangoons, I am in no way qualified to judge your decisions, but I encourage you to branch out a bit and try something else, because there are so many enticing dishes on the menu. A special shoutout goes to the China Tongue section of the menu, which features more authentic Chinese dishes for experienced diners and adventurous novices alike.

Chinese style dry green beans ($9.95) and eggplant in garlic sauce ($10.95)

The hardest part of the experience was choosing what to order – but, honestly, when you put four indecisive people at a table with a menu as extensive as Yan’s, what can you expect? After much deliberation, we opted for several classics: scallion pancakes, eggplant in garlic sauce, double cooked pork, Chinese style dry string beans, and (of course) a large bowl of white rice to share.

Scallion Pancake ($5.25)

While these were all delicious and satisfying, a clear favorite (the eggplant) emerged among us. We were all especially fond of its thick, sweet sauce, which had just a hint of spice, and noted how tasty it was over white rice. The Chinese style dry string beans were also a hit. While this is usually cooked with shredded pork, beef, or chicken, we chose to go meatless, and the dish was wonderfully flavorful even without the meat. These dishes were all served in sizable portions, and we left feeling content – and so very full.

Double-cooked pork ($11.25)

If you go to Yan’s, or any Chinese restaurant really, I recommend that you go with friends or family. In my opinion, while eating Chinese food from a takeout box in your own dorm room is nothing to be ashamed of (we all need some alone time, right?), eating Chinese food with others is so much better. After all, dim sum, hot pot, and Chinese set dinners are fundamentally group activities, and why should your weekend dinner at Yan’s be any different?

Debating with your friends about the differences in Chinese restaurant rice containers on the East and West Coasts over bites of scallion pancake is an experience not to be missed out on (side note: clearly the red plastic rice container is superior). Thanks for a great dinner, Yan’s – we’ll be sure to come back soon!