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Life & Other Drugs, On "The Hill"

Freshman Fallacies

October 18, 2017

Freshman year is a whirlwind of adjustment, excitement, and a complete flooding by new things—Clubs! Classes! Sports! Unit wars! The Ratty! Gail! Your first Jose card swipe! The souped-up Ben & Jerry’s machine! Spicy-withs! Your first gender-neutral shower experience! Pretending every weekend that this is the weekend you’re going to Boston! Being convinced you’re going to double concentrate!—Etc., etc. You’re consistently so overwhelmed that you don’t even have time to think, let alone to be  sad. Upon your first day on campus sophomore year, however, everything changes. A dark, depressing, haunting spirit swarms through the sophomore dorms, infiltrating the minds and souls of all sophomores: The Sophomore Slump. Continue Reading…

Life & Other Drugs

To Whom It May Concern: An Email Personality Test

October 3, 2017

In the same way that a mood ring can precisely detect your mood, so too can I accurately depict your personality based on how you write emails! Every keystroke you make is a window into the deeeeeep depths of your soul. The NSA can watch you at all times through the video port on your laptop, but I can see your soul through your typing. Your stylistic choices say so much more about you than any Myers-Briggs test ever could.

The revelations begin in your choice of greeting. Continue Reading…

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

By Chloe Conspiracies

September 20, 2017

Patrons of Thayer Street: Have you found yourself wondering why the new inhabitant of 223 Thayer has taken an incomprehensibly long time to open? Don’t know what I’m talking about? Live under a rock? Upcoming vegan delicatessen blah-de-blah eatery By Chloe has been slotted to move into the address, but has taken a suspiciously long time to do so.

To both fill the over-priced food void in my stomach, as well as attempt to find reason in this bewildering situation, I have resorted to concocting my own perfectly reasonable reasons for why By Chloe is still not up and running. Continue Reading…

Life & Other Drugs, On "The Hill"

Love for Fledgling and Mature Humans

September 17, 2017

Wandering the nooks and crannies of any college campus produces sights that are essentially the same: most places have some sort of hallowed building (i.e. a chapel, library, or auditorium with particular significance), expanse of land for lounging, and tasteful campus statues (or a giant blue decrepit teddy bear with a lamp emerging from its forehead). The most striking similarity among college campuses, however, is the people that you’ll see. Sure, you might be thinking “Brown’s so unique! We have a huge range of people on our campus,” and, I won’t say you’re wrong, but, have you noticed that college kids get inordinately excited from the mere sight of a small kiddo or a senior citizen? Have you wondered why that is? Well, because they don’t exist on college campuses! Everyone in a college campus is from about 17 to 60(ish?) years old. Seeing someone outside that age range is like spotting a unicorn—it’s a spectacle that you have to spend at least a few seconds oogling over. Continue Reading…

Life & Other Drugs, On "The Hill"

Pop-Culture Lessons for Deprived Intellectuals

May 11, 2017

In keeping with the theme of Brown’s community being incredibly varied, quirky, and unique, one of my best friends that I’ve made this past year, Sofia, has a tendency to make jokes about topics HIGHLY disparate from the normal college-aged American millennial lingo (cue one of her infamous supply and demand jokes), as well as generally not understand the references of her peers.  Her characteristic joke repertoire comes from the relatively distinct way she was raised: without much, if any, TV, specifically not American programming.  While I interspersed playing outside, devouring books about insect species, and plopping on the couch to watch a good ol’ Reading Rainbow episode, she was likely reading an actual book, probably about the legitimate meteorological principles behind rainbows.  (This is not to say that I didn’t read books, [@ Brown: I swear my admission wasn’t a flaw!!] but to say that she REALLY read books.)  As well as her TV-less childhood may have prepared her brain for college and intellectual discussion, it inevitably deprived her of full conscious understanding of the wonderful jokes that her incredibly funny friends (me, obviously) make. Continue Reading…

Life & Other Drugs, On "The Hill"

Perkins, A Place of Few Perks

May 1, 2017

Here at Brown, we determine housing through — if you’re not familiar with it — a blood-sucking, battle-to-the-death type lottery, which any campus tour will define as super “fun,” “random,” and something that “always works out!”  I unfortunately fell prey to this tricky rhetoric and genuinely believed that a fairy-tale housing selection process was the way it was all going to be.  So, when I saw my housing selection time was 6:20 p.m. I figured, okay, that’s right in between the start and end of the process so my odds are pretty good!

A friend asked how I’d fared with my lottery number and I explained my fairly average pick-time, to which he responded, “On which day, though?”  Panic ensued. Extreme fear. Disgusting lower back sweat. Bulging eyes. The prospect that there was more than one day for picking had not even dawned on me.  I frantically searched and realized I was picking on the second day, meaning on the 7-page long list of picking order, my housing group fell on approximately page 5.5.  Page 5.5 means a ridiculously high and unsettling likelihood of living in Perkins.

PERKINS.  Are you unfamiliar with it?  Let me tell you a bit about what I’ve learned about this hell-hole via upperclassmen: small, brown water, far, smelly, defunct showers, very far, rats, and did I mention, FAR.  Upon realization that my fate was likely a residence in Perkins, I began my journey through the 5 stages of grief. Continue Reading…

It's a Girl Thing, Life & Other Drugs

Always A Text Away!

April 25, 2017

Staying in contact with family and friends is an objectively good thing.  It’s nice to know a bit about what shenanigans your family is engaging in while trying to subsist without your lovely presence, and to receive advice on why you NEED to binge-watch Westworld right now, c/o your friend who stays up to date on Philo’s capabilities.  Occasional back and forths like these are informative and allow you to feign a bit of closeness, even if your family is thousands of miles away.  But group chats can spiral out of control (i.e. Britney circa shaved head phase).

Group chats in general have some irritating (to say the least) consequences.  They eliminate any possibility of ever leaving your ringer on again if you don’t want to consistently receive glares from everyone around you.  And leaving your phone on vibrate isn’t much of an option either, unless the prospect of having a vibrator in your pants at all times is something you’re into—in which case, to each their own.  Continue Reading…

Life & Other Drugs, Uncategorized

How to Win Free Time and Influence Your Life

March 20, 2017

I’m awaiting Spring Break with bated breath.  My daydreams have powered me through many holed up nights in the 3rd floor stacks of the Rock, giving me the extra juice to reread my notes for the 5th time, and retain absolutely no additional information. (It’s quantity not quality that counts, people).

But contrary to the stereotypical components of a college spring break, my dream break has a few, slightly… different components.  In lieu of warm temperatures, extravagant lodging, endless streams of booze, and #goodtimez spent with friends, I have opted for the 40°F Appalachian Trail, a tent with my dad, and copious amounts of baked beans. Is that not basically the same thing??  I’d say so.

I’m not kidding you when I say this is EXACTLY the Spring Break I want, but it appears that my dad seems not to share the same view.  By this I mean, he has been slyly, and not so slyly, attempting to get out of our hiking plans—rude!!!  But this guy was in the Army— I thought he’d be dying for this trip!  Apparently, not so much…. Frankly, I think anyone in the business of looking for more effective routes to avoid plans can learn a thing or two from my dad.  This man has become a master of avoidance in an INCREDIBLY annoying way, but also in an extremely effective way.

He has been employing some nasty fear tactics.  Since my initial proposal of the hike, I have received an article approximately every other day detailing the tragic death of some poor hiker who became a ferocious grizzly bear’s dinner.  I’m 75% sure the majority of these are the production of some knock-off The Onion, but I’ll admit they’ve had an effect.  He has coupled these articles with links to several bear-repellant shops, HIGHLY insinuating that we will have cause to use the spray.  Chill with the fearmongering, Dad!!!  However, I’ll admit it’s broken down my determination to hike just a bit.  So, if you reallyyyyy wanna stay in on a Friday night and your friends are pestering you, take a lesson from my dad and whip out some scary stuff.  Because sometimes, unless you’re Ron Swanson, flat out saying no doesn’t do the trick.

Shoot your friends excessive articles about creepy uber drivers.  That’ll be SURE to get you out of any plans.  While you’re at it, remind them of that midterm they have on Monday that will MOST CERTAINLY not be helped by a wasted Friday night.  Nothing scares every Brunonian’s (not so) inner nerdiness more than the prospect of a bad grade.

My dad has also taken to barraging me with all the various prices associated with the trip.  It’s overwhelming—what even the hell is a bear bell???  Or a 3D Robotics 3-Axis Solo Gimbal?  I could not tell you. I’m betting half of the things on this list my dad has produced are unnecessary, but the numbers are still adding up.  So, if you’re working to avoid any sort of non-lateral movement, I suggest you point out the costs associated with whatever it is people are attempting to rope you into— i.e. an exorbitant cover charge, surged uber prices, an inevitable $3 waste to wash the shirt someone spilled red wine on, and general wear and tear on your muscles. These are sure to do the trick.

I’m sure your application of these tactics will be successful, but I don’t think my father’s attempts with them are going to work.  Because here he is googling the Appalachian Trail:

So I guess his maneuvers weren’t effective enough. *insert self-satisfied smirk*

Images via, via, and Christine Antoniou.

Life & Other Drugs

Bread: Can Live With It, Can’t Live Without It

March 12, 2017

My sister recently discovered that she has a suspected gluten intolerance, so, in a gesture of altruistic solidarity (and more realistically selfish self-protection), I have decided to (attempt to) go (at least partially) gluten-free.  And let me tell you, it is EVERY bit as hard as your classic soul-cycle enthusiast will claim.  The wonderful world of bread beckons at every corner–Bagel Gourmet has my heart on speed dial, and I just can’t seem to say no.

I went into this thinking I didn’t really eat a lot of gluten.  This was probably supported by the fact that I frankly didn’t understand what had gluten in it, or what gluten was, or, you know, basic food composition.  Granted my baseline knowledge of what contained gluten was lacking, but as my friend who has celiac likes to say, I was, unbeknownst to me, “being glutened!!”  Needless to say, it hadn’t dawned on me that granola, tabbouleh, and tortilla wraps have gluten—these are my staple foods, how would I survive?  (I know I’ll likely survive, but I sure as hell won’t be thriving.)

My phone search history has become a mass conglomerate of, “Does _____ have gluten?,” which frequently returns back a response of ‘maybe.’  I’m iffy on this concept of ‘may contain gluten.’  I.E. does “may contain” mean I can eat XYZ food?  Because I’ve been assuming I can. But if “may contain” means I can’t, then the world is both snatching a Rice Krispie treat out of my hand and offering me a condescending stare with a side of thinly veiled sarcasm a la this meme:

My ignorance coupled with frail willpower was an enormous recipe for disaster.  But once I had educated myself on what foods contain that little shit we call gluten, only a battle against my willpower remained. But the battle has seemed entirely uphill.

For fear of intense judgments of my character I won’t fully commit to any one side here but let’s just say in that marshmallow experiment, I’d probably take the first one.  My ‘friends’ also aren’t helping my efforts very much as they consistently offer me the remnants of their Blue Room muffins. I know you know I have a weak spot for lemon poppy seed, and I also know you know they have gluten. -_-.

But, I’ll rein in my projections and admit that nobody is forcing muffins down my throat.  I, of my own volition, am nomming on the buttery, glutteny, deliciousness that is a Blue Room muffin.  And, I’m doing so while consciously knowing I shouldn’t.  If  you are reading this, feel free to help me on this endeavor and I’ll (under great duress) give you all my muffins. :’-)

Image via, and via.

Life & Other Drugs, On "The Hill"

A Letter to Foolish Bears

March 7, 2017

Dearest classmates,

First semester of freshman year is a semester meant for exploring, trying out new clubs and classes, and getting a sense for how college is going to be (I hear freshman fall is JUST like senior fall!!)  For the most part, we haven’t pushed ourselves too far.  We took the standard number of classes, maybe joined a club or two, went out a bit on the weekends, and as every workshop loves to say, we all “leaned into discomfort.”  But, after the successful middle ground of first semester, it appears to me as though many of you view second semester as the point at which to drastically diverge from this, Robert Frost style.  Some of you are pursuing vastly hedonic lifestyles, succumbing fully to the wonders of excessive sleep and liquid bread, while others turned to stoic existences, rife with ceaseless homework and either exacerbated or newfound coffee addictions (<– have Blue State’s sales gone up since the start of second semester? LMK).

To those who are going out on a Monday night: Spare your liver!!!  I know that guy can regenerate and all, but let’s leave that to those salamanders that lose limbs.  I know you will all adamantly claim that this lifestyle is totally conducive to maintaining a good academic record, and that you’re still getting good grades, but those are just alternative facts.  For your own sake, please experience daylight a bit before you fully convert into a nocturnal creature.

To those who are in the SciLi basement until 3 a.m. on a Friday:  Why are you pushing yourself like an actual work horse?  The hard part was getting in!!  Why are you living like this now???  Drop that 5th class this instant and get out of the SciLi basement before you get to the point that sunlight burns your retinas.

In the spirit of Goldilocks’ three bear friends, us Brunonian bears ought to pick what’s “just right” for us.  I argue that extremes aren’t going to be successful for very long, and some stabilizing selection (thx @ Prof Miller) will bring everyone back to a more moderate lifestyle.  So, either that will happen or some people will burn out.  You can still evoke your uber nerd or party animal, my friends, just in moderation.

xx

Images via, via, and via.