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Life & Other Drugs, On "The Hill"

The Modern Interview

April 12, 2017

So in my never-ending quest to land a paid summer internship (SOS if you are looking to hire someone who produces sporadic articles about IDs and buses, and also has some other kinda cool talents hmu!!), I have stumbled upon a new form of interview: the video assessment.

Idk if this video assessment thing is technically new or not, but it’s definitely a novelty to my group of friends, and collectively we’ve probably completed over 30 of these in the last few weeks. Basically, if a company likes your resume, they send you an email “inviting you to complete the assessment!”

You then click on the link, and realize, with horror, that you are being redirected to a virtual interview. After an extravagant process of setting up your FaceTime camera and making sure your headphones are working (yes, as if this wasn’t already unnatural enough, you have to use your headset), you are presented with a series of questions. In some assessments the questions are flashed across the screen in text format, and in others a robotic voice asks them. Regardless, you are given 30 seconds to think of your answer and then 60 seconds to stumble through your response.

Sound horrible? It is.

But it gets worse! The 30 and 60 second time limits are marked by flashing numbers, so while you’re trying to think, all you can focus on is that there are 14–now 13, nope now 12–seconds left before the camera turns on and you are recorded.

There are no redos, and no chances to watch yourself over again. You are literally selling yourself into an internet black hole (and yeah, I guess to the company too), and you will never know the fate of where this series of videos ended up.

I’ve had friends criticize the companies who do this, calling them impersonal and inconsiderate of our time. But I actually think it’s a pretty ingenious way to quickly weed out a bunch of applicants before conducting the official first round interview. In 2017, it is somewhat important to be comfortable in front of the camera, and this pseudo-YouTube star way of interviewing interns certainly assesses that. So as of now, I’m actually in favor of these interviews.

I mean, if it’s true that millennials have been told our entire lives that we are superstars/god’s gift to the world/our mommy’s pride and glory, then why not use an interviewing technique that reinforces this?! With this method of interviewing, you are the star of the show.

Or…it’s the opposite. Maybe this interview technique is ingenious because in making you feel like you are a legit celebrity who is recording a self-promotion video with the goal of gaining more fans, in reality you are one of ten thousand college students submitting somewhat generic answers and crossing your fingers that someone will “like” you (in a non-Instagram format) enough to hire you.

Ha! Ha! Hope I brightened your day! Now get back to trying to get hired!!

Images via, via, and via.

Life & Other Drugs

21 Years Old and Using my First Tampon

February 10, 2017

I’ve been thinking of getting a tattoo. Right now, the only thing I’ve officially decided on is where it is going to go: on my left ring finger, on the soft skin beneath the knuckle, on the side where it meets my middle finger. The tattoo itself will either be a small neuron – a reminder of my purpose, origins, and composition – or a daisy. While I love (and study, and am going to make a career out of studying) the brain, part of me feels that a daisy would be more meaningful. For one, daisies are beautiful in ways that neurons are not. Basic aesthetic pleasure is important in selecting an image to go on your body forever, as it turns out. Daisies also serve to remind me to be kind to myself. Self-kindness has always been difficult for me, and a daisy would be a visual aid in my quest to treat myself like I treat my close friends or lovers. In the end, no one should be buying me flowers but myself – though, of course, I wouldn’t deny them from someone else. The only person you can rely on is yourself, so be reliable. Be good to yourself. Buy yourself daisies.

In another step on my journey towards self-acceptance and forgiveness, I decided that I would try using a tampon for the first time. I am 21 years old, and I haven’t used one. Now before you get any ideas about why that is, I’ll get right into the explanation. It’s not that I have any convoluted ideas about virginity (bitch, please), or that I wasn’t “allowed” to use them – in fact, my mom begged me to try one for my entire adolescence. No matter how often she told me how much better and cleaner they were than pads, I didn’t budge, and she gave up on it. Truth is, I have struggled my whole life with some pretty fucked up ideas about my body. My vagina and I aren’t exactly friends. The idea of putting a tampon in, much less masturbating, used to viscerally disturb me so much that talking about it just a few years ago would fuck me up. Like, I would need to take a break mid-conversation to go to the bathroom and breathe, or risk full-fledged breakdown in front of my cool new college friends.  Continue Reading…

It's a Girl Thing, Life & Other Drugs

Obituaries of my Fake IDs

February 9, 2017

Can I write about fake IDs now that I’ve been 21 for a few months? Is there like a statute of limitations on having fake IDs where if I pretend ~hypothetically~ to at one point have had in my possession one (or four) of these beautifully bendable laminated cards, I won’t get in trouble because it’s been too many months in the eyes of the law?

Well I’m going to proceed as if this won’t ruin my chances of getting an internship this summer.

Before I turned 21 I often imagined the day after my birthday to include a momentous occasion in which I snipped my fake ID in half, saying good riddance forever. This fantasy, however, turned out to be far from reality: the night of my 21st birthday I had at least four friends who certainly do not have red hair and are probably taller than 5’3 ask if they could have my ID. So, although my last fake ID is somewhere out there in this big beautiful world of College Hill, she is not in fact with me in my bedroom as I write this article, and I miss her dearly.

So in honor of this fake ID, and the other IDs that came before her, I have decided to record their life stories in this article.

 

Fake ID #1: “Beloved First Born” Born May 2012, Died October 2014

Fake ID #1 was hands down the worst ID I have ever had, as would be expected from an exchange in a high school P.E. locker room, in which a wad of cash was traded for a literal piece of plastic with a sticker lopsidedly stuck across it.  I think I used Fake ID #1 only once, as it would have never passed in a liquor store or anything higher quality than a skeevy dive bar filled with old white-bearded men. But hey – having one definitely made me one of the cooler 16-year-olds around, so I guess there’s an upside to everything?

 

Fake ID #2: “Devoted Sister and Friend” Born October 2014, Died August 2015

This one wasn’t actually half bad! My freshman year, my whole floor did a group order, because some kid had a police officer relative in the Chicago P.D. and claimed that we were getting authentic Illinois IDs. Well, when the IDs showed up it was immediately very clear that they weren’t real. But still – they weren’t stickers, and I got to pick my own address! I chose an address in Evanston because I had toured Northwestern once and figured I could name a random restaurant or street to a scary bouncer if need be. Fake ID #2 got me drinks at all restaurants and most bars, but essentially no clubs. I learned this one night in NYC when an unnecessarily cruel bouncer took my ID – and rather than confiscate it, he bent it in half and then handed it back to me. A truly devastating encounter.

 

Fake ID #3: “Favorite Child” Born September 2015, Died May 2016

The death of Fake ID #2 obviously led to the birth of Fake ID #3. Fake ID #3 scanned! And it was from Delaware – and I mean we all know no one actually lives in Delaware! It’s such an obscure state that bartenders, bouncers and waiters alike would never think to question it because it was so rare that they had usually never seen one before. Alas, one night I left my wallet in the Sci Li and woke up to an email from DPS that they had my wallet but had to “confiscate the illegal ID found in it.” I would just like to point out this obvious abuse of authority. The ID was literally hidden behind a gift card. HIDDEN. How can you justify leafing through a student’s wallet?!

 

Fake ID #4: “Cherished Charismatic Cousin” Born July 2008, Died September 2016

The confiscation of Fake ID #3 occurred 4 months before my 21st birthday and I figured it wasn’t worth the money to buy another one, so after some coaxing, I convinced my cousin to give me her old real ID. Oddly enough, no bartender or bouncer ever seemed to care that I was obviously far shorter than 5’7 and did not have blue eyes. I might have committed identity theft (is it still theft though if the person gives you permission to act as them? lmk) but the world of fancy cocktails was opened up to me.

And now I use my real ID. The same vertical California ID that I had no use for during the past 5 years is suddenly proof of my legal adulthood. I mean talk about adulthood being a ~social construct~. I would be hard pressed to find someone who thinks 21-year-old me is any more responsible than 19-year-old me was.

This is devoted to all of the wonderful fake IDs I have had. May your memories be a blessing, and may you all rest in a booze-filled paradise.

Image via.

It's a Girl Thing, Life & Other Drugs, Love & Romance, On "The Hill"

Porn @ Brown

December 4, 2016

Why beat around the bush? Pornhub isn’t working on Brown’s wifi.

At first, I thought this was a “me” thing. I thought some issue with my phone was barring my access to this beloved porn website, so I suffered in silence; but it came to my attention that this is a widespread phenomenon. Several Brown students have searched for the familiar website on Brown’s wifi, expecting to feel joy; but the joy didn’t come, and neither did they. Pornhub simply won’t load on Brown’s network, and it’s tearing our world apart.
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I did not lie down and accept this turn of events. I did research and tried to problem-solve. I busted out the big guns and tried to get to the site on my laptop, but it was a lost cause. It became clear that Brown wifi is to blame. My phone data has taken a real hit because of this. How do I explain that to my family? How do I look my parents in the eyes and say that their hard-earned savings are being squandered because my university will no longer support my porn viewing?

And just what is my tuition used for if not access to masturbatory material? What is the Brown administration trying to prove here? Has Christina Paxson seen my porn searches? Is that it? She’s seen them and now she’s disappointed in me? Well joke’s on you, CPax! I’m still gonna search ‘em, just on another website.

Or is Brown trying to encourage me to use my imagination? Well, I won’t. I won’t do it, Brown! I’d sooner return to a basic Google search of “Zac Efron in 17 Again.” (What? That was his prime. Back off.) I will get creative, but I am accustomed to a certain lifestyle, so imagination? That, I cannot do.

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Is Brown punishing us? Or is this a really well-planned April Fool’s day prank? Is it a test of students’ commitment to activism? If you thought we were social justice warriors before, see what happens when you take away our porn.

Whatever the reason, I think it’s important that Brown warn prospective students about the Pornhub restriction. This is a serious missing resource, and it might affect college decisions.

The Pornhub block is especially painful because I, like many others, am a loyal fan. Pornhub has been my go-to site since the start of my porn-watching career. The circumstances have forced me to find a new provider, and it doesn’t seem right. I feel like I’m having an affair with Youporn while Pornhub watches, disappointed yet slightly aroused. If Youporn views spike, blame Brown University.

My world is in shambles. Now when I get high, what am I gonna do if not go on Pornhub? Weed without porn is like peanut butter without jelly, or lungs without oxygen. Or should I just stop smoking? Oh shit. Is this all about my drug use? Stop judging me, Brown!

And what’s next for blocking? If Pornhub has been banned, I can only imagine Google is next in line. I basically rely on both websites equally, so it’d make sense.

Students, don’t be afraid to speak out. We needn’t suffer in silence. Access to regulated, legal pornography is a basic American right for which we must fight.

Images via the author, via, and  via.

Life & Other Drugs, On "The Hill", Satire

The Winds: A Near Death Encounter

April 6, 2016

by Emily Adams

Today, I battled the elements and nearly lost. But to my surprise, I still remain here on Earth, opposed to whatever cloud I could have been frolicking upon, had the elements prevailed. I live to tell the tale.

On a morning stroll to the local Starbucks, I decided to take a detour. It was snowing, you see, and I felt I best enjoy the powder by way of marching through its fresh, fallen presence. I delighted in making footprints, watching the whiteness melt to blackness under my feet. It fascinated me. Due to severe sheltering, I had never seen snow before coming to Providence. I was restricted to sunlight and happiness—my parents were monsters. Continue Reading…

Life & Other Drugs

Peanut Butter Jelly Grammin’

March 22, 2016

by Emily Adams

When winter blues roll around, I reach for a jar of Smuckers, some good old Skippy and two hometown slices of whole wheat bread. Smiling heightens endorphins, frowning causes wrinkles, and a PB & J breeds happiness and butterflies. In the darkness of midterm season, sandwiched between library shelves, I discovered that my fondness for the sweet treat was nothing short of a national revolution. Rather than pruning my Shakespearean oratory skills, I chose to teach myself everything there was to know about the jammin’ gem, English 140 paper be damned.

Continue Reading…

On "The Hill", Satire

Teaching Assistants and You

March 3, 2016

Teaching assistants. We all have them. We all simultaneously love them and hate the subject they teach. We can all thank them for providing incredibly vague hints about upcoming exams.

Some of us have even fantasized about our future with our TA’s (in my case: I’m visualizing a studio apartment in Seattle with a daughter named Molly). However, TA’s only exist within the walls of their classrooms, right? Seeing them have actual lives and do normal things – eating cereal in the Ratty, crying in the hallways of the Scili, enjoying the tunes in the JWW mail room  – would be ridiculous! However, unbelievable as it may seem, TA’s are real people, and navigating that student-teacher relationship can prove confusing, especially when you love them enough to publish your obsession on social media.

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 10.57.19 PM Continue Reading…

Life & Other Drugs, On "The Hill", Satire

I’m Talking to You, Nose

March 1, 2016

by Emily Adams

Cold Season 2016

Dear Nose,

Please, turn the brightest shade of red and flake around the nostrils. It’s your time to shine. Seriously, shine away. Your Rudolph-esque beauty is impossible to hide, because physically, you burn to the touch—thank you for that. The sensation keeps things exciting. Continue Reading…

Life & Other Drugs, The Tabloids

The Moral Dilemma of Pirating

February 19, 2016

I had always considered myself an ethical and morally upstanding human being until a particular Broadway musical was released last year. If you’re like me and living in the southernmost place in the United States, broke, and already knee-high in student loans, then you know there’s no chance in hell you can afford $200 to $600+ tickets.

Then, out of nowhere, a beautiful stranger from the Internet answers your cries for help and drops a bootleg version of said musical right in your lap. What do you do?

Continue Reading…