Frosh-cessities: Seeing your high school friends anew… and getting annoyed

Wait was high school like this? I forget.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and for most freshmen this means first-time reunions with old friends are imminent. Seeing old friends is exciting! Remember that time [insert classic high school memory]? Such good times. Reuniting is going to be great.

But you should know that it’s probably not going to be. After returning from Homecoming weekend at my old boarding school, I’ve decided that nostalgia is kind of a dumb and overrated emotion. It’s easy to get confused about what high school was actually like with all that Alicia Silverstone, Heath Ledger, and more recently, Josh Schwartz have told us: that it was awesome, dramatic, and full of beautiful people.

It was not like that. First of all, you probably attended classes if you’re now at Brown, and you also did some homework. Also, pimples.

So you go back, and there’s that uncomfortable party that everyone goes to with a certain set of expectations:

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Sans Meal Plan: The End-All Cookie

Once upon a time, a beautiful maiden-slash-lodge-owner named Ruth Wakefield made a dire mistake.  While preparing some cookies for her guests at the Toll House Inn, she ran out of baking chocolate.  All in a tizzy, Ms. Wakefield chopped and dropped a gift from Mr. Andrew Nestle of the Nestle Chocolate Company, a semi-sweet chocolate bar.  Unfortunately for her beloved Butter Drop Do cookies, the chocolate did not melt and disperse evenly.  Fortunately for lovers of chocolate chip cookies everywhere, the broken chocolate morsels softened in the dough and a new cookie was born.  Thanks, Ms. Wakefield!  Your blunder has spread love, joy and sometimes Salmonella across the nation, and other countries wish they were as cool as us for thinking of it first.

I’m going to let you in on a (not-so-secret) secret: people like cookies. It should also go without saying that people don’t like cookie dough; they LOVE cookie dough.  In fact, one might argue that half (or more than half) of the reason for making cookies is so one can eat the raw dough.  That’s a thing, right?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Continue Reading

Sans Meal Plan: Dinner Parties for Dummies

Upon entering college, one of the first things you as a Brown student probably learned is that food is a motivating factor for many things. Want to get people to come to a boring meeting? Free Kabob and Curry! Want these people to really like you? Meeting Street Cookies! Luckily enough, this method also works with friendship, although I’m not sure if I advocate hosting a dinner party with the sole purpose of getting people to think you’re not boring… Regardless, gathering friends (new and old) together is a great way to solidify relationships, share a few laughs, and/or get shwasty before going out.

Dinner parties do not always have to be fancy, classy, or well thought-out (although, the host that plans reaps great rewards, young grasshopper). In fact, impromptu gatherings can be even more fun than elegant soirées if the right people are involved. Food fests can be executed in a number of ways ranging from cooking-heavy to Tedeschi-themed potluck, and hosting or taking part in said festivities can be quite simple. To successfully plan a get-together, first determine the event’s purpose. Why are you gathering? How many people do you want to be involved? What time of day will this event take place? Where will this event take place? Though these may seem like obvious questions, I cannot tell you how many of my own plans have been foiled by a lack of fundamental preparation. It’s not enough to want to get together; you have to have venue and a group of consenting individuals to make sure things will actually happen. Continue Reading

Call more friends with Facebook-Skype pairing

Courtesy of Shuttervoice

BBC News reports that Internet behemoths Facebook and Skype are about to strike a massive deal that will integrate the two, making it easier to make Skype calls via your Facebook friends list.

The partnership will mean Skype users can update their statuses and interact with News Feed via the Skype platform. You’ll also be able to use Facebook as a contact directory for your Skype account, make free Skype-to-Skype phone calls with Facebook friends who use Skype, and “call and text Facebook friends directly on their mobile phones and landlines.”

Hmm…isn’t that last one already the function of a regular phone? Regardless, this partnership will be one to keep an eye on in the days to come, even if it ultimately is just a glorified address book adaptation. Rumor has it that Facebook’s using the deal to pave the way for plans of a Facebook phone, which hopefully won’t end up following the same trajectory as the unfortunately short-lived Microsoft Kin…