By Shivani Patel, Staff Writer
Hello, hello! It’s time again for advice from yours truly.
On today’s agenda, we have the ever confusing (but necessary) topic of transportation. As a non-Bostonian, I can tell you how difficult it was to accept that a car was not the only means of transportation. At first, I didn’t understand how anyone got around.
However, I realized that one of the great things about Boston is that the public transportation is top notch. If you don’t believe me, try coming to California – there’s a reason we only use cars.
For you clueless souls, here’s a breakdown of some of the public transportation around BU:
1. The T (Subway)
The T is just a subway that can take you to just about anywhere you desire around Boston, whether that’s Newbury or the Financial District. The best part is, there are stops everywhere up and down Commonwealth Avenue (conveniently right in front of West and Warren).
Here’s where you ask me how do you differentiate between inbound and outbound.
Inbound means that you’ll be heading towards Government Center, and outbound means you’ll be traveling away from Government Center.
To make things easier, get a Charlie Card from the nearest T station (Kenmore) and load some money onto it. This way, the fare is cheaper and you don’t have to spend precious minutes getting a ticket.
2. BU Shuttle
One of the best and worst parts of BU is the BU Shuttle. Best part? It’s free, and it makes many stops up and down Commonwealth Avenue. It’s incredibly convenient when you have back-to-back classes (especially if they’re from East to West campus or vice versa).
Bad part? They are so unreliable. More often than not, they’re a couple minutes late due to traffic which doesn’t seem like a big deal but when you’re in a hurry, it’s going to be a huge deal.
There are a few apps that facilitate catching the bus – the schedule on the actual BU app & an app called BU Transit (which tells you simply how many minutes you’ll have to wait for the next bus).
Boston isn’t known as a walking city for nothing. It’s free – a college student’s dream. Plus, this way, you really get to experience Boston by seeing and exploring the city you’re going to be living in for the next four years. Also, it’s guaranteed that you won’t get off at the wrong stop (though you getting lost is a different story).
Hopefully you’re not as scared to take a leap of faith on get on the T or trust that the BUS will come on time after this. And of course, always look both ways and especially watch out for bicyclists when you’re walking or even when you’re trying to walk over to a T stop.
By Sabrina Katz, Staff Writer
In 10 years, you should look back to your first week as a freshman and remember the friends you made, the classes you began and the late-night trips to the laundry room. After all, starting off college confirms the idea that you are mature enough to move out of the house and not have to get told when to shower because you already know (that’s every day, people). But when that first week of school tests your abilities as a rookie adult, it may be difficult to rely only on yourself.
Especially when it comes to getting sick, or worse… getting lice. Dun dun duuuun! I remember the event vividly: On the Sunday night after the first week of classes, I went to the bathroom to check in the mirror and I saw them: two tiny, dirty black bugs crawling along my hairline. I did a double-take, because what the heck was that? Turns out, I had contracted lice.
I had never had lice before. I’d hoped to never, ever find a hotbed of little insects and eggs in my hair, but alas, my time of weakness had come. All I could think was “Why me, Lord?” Unfortunately for me, my hair is long and super-thick, which meant that this whole process could take longer than usual.
As soon as I discovered them, I told my roommate, then my RA, and last, I called Student Health Services. The darn place was closed for the night, which meant I had to wait until the morning to get my scalp checked out.
In the meantime, my roommate and I took a lovely stroll down to CVS and hunted down a lice removal kit. I knew that after I did the treatment, I’d feel much better knowing that most of these bugs would be gone. Back at the dorm. we started shampooing. 10 minutes in, we washed it out. Then came the comb: a plastic red handle with small, metal teeth aka the death contraption/torture devise for my minute enemies. I rinsed my hair with water and got all shower-capped up.
The next morning, I headed straight to SHS and met with a doctor. She was right: lice is not deadly or even that harmful. Sure, they are a real pain in the neck (pun intended) and you have to do extra loads of laundry, but it’s really nothing to be worried about.
The new few weeks were full of treatments, keeping my hair in a bun to prevent any accidental transfers and even put vinegar in my hair after every shower. I think the collection of treatment fumes from this incident is enough of a caution against having it again. Two weeks later, BAM! My third trip to the doctor proved that I was lice-free. I walked out of that patient room and even whipped my hair back and forth.
So that was my first month of college. Delightful, with an underlying tone of gross. If you are unfortunate enough to get lice while in college, here are some tips:
1. Don’t panic. Seriously. Take a breath before you take care of the problem and don’t make the situation a bigger deal than it is.
2. Call a doctor. You don’t have to handle this on your own and they can give you advice when it comes to treatments.
3. Call your mom (or dad). I called my mom on the first day when I found out. She was very sympathetic and she helped reassure me that I’d be okay. Plus, your parents probably want to hear from you that you got lice, and not from embarrassing pictures on Instagram (but those are cool too #licearentnice).
By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
If so, chances are, you’re a K-Pop fan. That’s short for “Korean Pop,” in case you, like me, were unaware of the ever so catchy musical sensation that’s risen in popularity worldwide.
What makes K-Pop so appealing and how did it make the transition overseas to the States? Liz Marandola, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences and College of Communication, said, “I actually got into it because of a friend, who choreographed to a song by 2NE1 at a dance workshop. I don’t speak Korean, so it’s not the actual meaning of the song that appeals to me, but rather how fun and playful the whole genre is. It’s unlike anything that American artists produce.”
Speaking of dance, I’ve got exciting news for all you K-Pop fans out there. If you’ve ever dreamed of being in a K-Pop group and grooving to their music, miXx K-Pop Cover Dance Crew is a new and upcoming group on campus that meets several times a week to learn various K-Pop group’s dances and choreography.
President of the group and College of Arts and Sciences senior Dondré Gumbs said, “When I was studying abroad in Japan last year, I tried joining a couple of K-Pop cover dance groups, but I wasn’t able to join them for various reasons. I was really bummed out at first, as it was something I was really interested in, but then I thought, wait, why don’t I make my own group? So I did. In the span of six months, we had about 10 performances and recorded four music videos.”
The group is not limited to any specific gender or race and you definitely don’t need to have any previous dance experience to join. “Our group is really different from other groups in a variety of ways. First of all, we are BU’s very first K-Pop-only dance group on campus. There are some other dance groups and cultural groups that perform some K-Pop songs occasionally, but we are the first dance group to focus just on learning K-Pop choreography,” Gumbs said. Practices can be either high or low commitment for those who want to join, depending on if you want to come just to learn the choreography or become more involved and perform or be a part of music videos for the club.
The group also has plans to host their own charity showcase and collaborate amongst other dance groups on campus in the future and hopes to increase awareness of K-Pop on campus through their performances and music videos.
By Steph Solis, Staff Writer
Now that matriculation and SPLASH are behind us, it’s time to dive back into the city or start exploring it–here’s looking at you, freshmen. You can enjoy the city on a budget. In fact, some of the most interesting happenings in Boston are cheap or free.
If you’re not sure where to start, here’s some highlights of what the city has in store this weekend.
Ah, the smell of Boston lighting up on the Common. Every year the Freedom Rally, known as Hempfest, brings together stoners from all over Greater Boston (many of whom are college students). For the first time, Boston will host a first two-day Hempfest on Saturday and Sunday.
Admission is free, but food and novelties likely aren’t. You’ll also want to watch out for police looking to hand out citations for smoking on the Boston Common.
Hours: September 14, Saturday from 12-8 p.m. September 15, Sunday from 12-6 p.m.
Location: Boston Common
Downtown Crossing Block Party
Hat tip to the Boston Calendar for this one. The block party, in its second year, offers free appetizers from 49 Social, a downtown restaurant and bar. There’s also supposed to be an extensive selection of beer and wine for the 21+ crowd.
If you’re looking for some free music, the Downtown Crossing Block Party is hosting local bands like Hot Like Fire and Swinging Johnsons. Get a feel for the local music scene.
Hours: September 12, Thursday from 5-8 p.m.
Location: Downtown Crossing (specifically 32 Sumner Street)
Night Shift Brewing Tours
Night Shift Brewing’s been getting some buzz lately, but if you’re not familiar with them check out their free tours and tastings. The tour includes beer samples, bottles and other merchandise. There’s no reservation needed.
The brewers are usually available during other hours, according to the Night Shift Brewing website. If you want to catch them at another time, try calling or tweeting at them.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 5-8 p.m. and Saturday 12-5 p.m.
Location: 3 Charlton St., Everett.
Note: This one is recommended for those who have a car. You can get there through the Green Line, Orange Line and the 105 towards Malden. But it’s probably more of a hassle than most would want for a Saturday afternoon.
By Steph Solis, Staff Writer
Most professors dive into their lessons on the first day of class, but engineering professor Jeffrey Carruthers took a different approach with his students.
Students in EK128, “Engineering Computation,” which teaches students the programming language Python, looked through their syllabus and found that the professor included an algorithm for how the class will be grade — in Python.
The algorithm shows an example of one student’s results, calculating the final grade to be a B+.
“The code below, which you will understand eventually, shows you how grades will be assigned given a set of scores,” the syllabus reads. “Most of the course will be graded by Python scripts instead of humans.”
The language, named after the British comedy “Monte Python and the Flying Circus,” can be used to program anything from computer games to robots. It is seen as an alternative to MATLAB, another programming language (there is ongoing debate about which one is worth learning/using).
Carruthers said the introductory engineering course focuses on problem solving using Python and Python tools known as “SciPy” for engineering (number crunching, plotting, etc.).
The professor used to prepare his syllabuses with help from programming languages and then produced a polished PDF that hid the process. So he decided to give his students a chance to see that work.
“I give them an active piece of software that they will come to learn how it works, but right now they can use it to estimate their grades by typing in example homework and exam results,” Carruthers said in an email.
He added that he has used Python to solve other problems like generating exams for midterms and finals, including in his class EK 307 “Electric Circuits.” He also uses it to create visual demonstrations of electrical engineering concepts in class.
“Anyone can learn Python and use it to get your computer to do something it does not currently do and which you don’t have the time or money to pay someone to calculate or solve for you,” Carruthers said.
Could you eat one triple bacon cheeseburger, one order of fries, one root beer and one eight-scoop super sundae in 30 minutes or less? On Tuesday, three Boston University students representing different groups on campus took on the feast known as Rhett’s Challenge. Former managing editor and current men’s hockey writer Tim Healey stepped up to the plate, or more appropriately the tray, to represent the FreeP. Watch the video to find out if Tim succeeds.
By Brandon Lewis, Staff Writer
A year ago, I arrived in Boston with mixed feelings. I was excited to move on with life and start my journey as a college student, but at the same time I was nervous about having to fend for myself. Luckily, I wasn’t alone.
Back then, my major concern was adjusting to dorm life. I wasn’t looking forward to sharing bathrooms with strangers or sharing a cramped room with someone else. But once I unpacked my life into the dorm, it began to feel like home. I think that’s probably the best way to become comfortable with living in a dorm, try to make it feel like your room at home.
It didn’t really take long for me to adjust to being in college. I knew I wanted to get involved with clubs on campus as a way to make friends and delve into my interests. In the fall semester, I joined the blog team for the Daily Free Press and interned for the Berger Shack show at WTBU. I enjoy blogging for the FreeP as a way to write about things I am truly interested in. I interned at WTBU, BU’s student-run radio station, mainly because I wanted to host my own show. The Berger Shack is a talk show in which three sophomores dish out their college experiences. It was pretty cool learning how to manage the radio system and hearing my voice on the sound waves.
The best decision I made –and something I highly suggest to incoming freshmen-was getting an academic advisor. Since I’m a COM student, I obtained one via COM Student Services. She answered all of my burning questions regarding studying abroad, scheduling for the next semester and how to fit a minor in my life.
I would say that my most rewarding freshman year experience was winning the Nachman Award for a profile I wrote on the Panera Cares organization. The final assignment for my COM 201 class was to write a profile on a person/organization of our choice. I chose Panera Cares, a pay-what-you-can café in Boston, as my subject and submitted my work to the Nachman Writing Program. When I found out that I won first prize, I was shocked and ecstatic. I not only received a cash prize but my work was published on the Internet. It felt great to have my work recognized. It was the perfect end to my freshmen year.
All in all, my first year at BU was amazing and I look forward to what sophomore year will bring. Probably harder classes and hopefully more free time!
By Maya Devereaux, Staff Writer
Boston University, as seen from the Mass. Pike for the first time as an incoming freshman, seemed to be an experience in and of itself. That late August morning, a few days after Hurricane Irene, I sat anxiously in the backseat of my family’s minivan, which was packed to the brim with my extensive wardrobe and other piles of so-called “necessities.” My whole body was tingling, and I could feel sweat on the back of my neck. I was probably listening to the opening of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” as we pulled past Nickerson Field, pretending I was in a movie scene and that this was an earth-shattering moment – don’t judge me. Needless to say though, it was kind of epic.
Fast forward to two years later. I am passing West Campus on the same highway and in the same car, only I am sleeping this time and my dad can actually see out the rear windshield. It may seem extremely cliché to say, but time really does fly. Even as a sophomore, I felt nostalgic every time I’d see the hordes of freshmen file into Morse Auditorium for COM 101. With a new semester (and a new late night cookie joint in the works?), I’d say that I’m excited to see what’s in store.
Although I am jealous that I have friends at other universities who will go to school for just one day this week, I have to say that I always feel a small bit of excitement at the beginning of each semester. Hopefully I’m not alone in saying that going to new classes for the first time is enjoyable, or at least until I read the syllabus and find out I have a paper due in two weeks…
Even then, coming back to school is always some degree exciting whether that feeling lasts a week or even less. I am excited to attend this week’s classes, look for free food at Splash, brag about how little I had to pay for textbooks, and most of all, complain when it gets cold, because right now I am physically roasting in my stuffy room and all I want is for it to be winter.
Congratulations on being admitted to BU! To ensure your survival, here are 10 tips that should make your life easier as a student.
1. Look out for crossing objects when you cross the street.
Yes, objects. Cars, bikes and Ts, oh my! Remember what you learned in kindergarten and look both ways.
2. Always check the weather online before leaving.
Don’t just look out your window. Looks can be deceiving. Always err on the side of caution since the weather can change at any moment. Welcome to Boston.
3. Timing is everything.
Whether it’s taking the BU Shuttle or T, trying to eat in the dining hall or grabbing Starbucks between classes, plan ahead. You’ll have a mostly empty (read: comfortably snug) bus or T, time to grab some food from the dining hall or swing through Starbucks AND be on time to class if you do. Waiting last minute or not planning ahead almost guarantees not getting food or caffeine or being that kid who’s ten minutes late to class.
Bonus tips for the T: If you are commuting from East Campus to West Campus or visa versa, know the prime T times. If you try to take the T inbound from West around 7:30 a.m., it can result in very uncomfortable situations (i.e., being squished in or not being able to get on because it’s too full then having to wait in the cold, rain or snow for the next one, which could take time). Same thing goes for taking the T outbound from East at 7:00 p.m.
If taking the T or MBTA bus is an everyday thing for you, consider saving both money and time digging around for change. Buy a Semester T Pass. The MBTA website lists $2.50 for every T ride and $2.00 for every bus ride with a Charlie Ticket (the paper card). If you have the Charlie Card (the plastic card), each ride ends up being 50 cents cheaper. But, having the Semester T Pass means unlimited hopping on and off during the semester and never having to remember to refill your card.
4. Be nice to the security guards.
They are your friends. Treat them with respect and they’ll remember you for it. Especially on the weekends.
5. Figure out what your eating habits are and then change your meal plan accordingly.
Keep in mind that Dominos, Papa John’s, Starbucks and Pinkberry take your dining points too. That’s basically saying free pizza, coffee and fro yo. That in ADDITION to the GSU which takes dining dollars anyhow.
6. CAS is a long building.
Use it to your advantage, especially when the weather doesn’t agree with what you’re wearing.
7. FitRec is not solely for the athletes.
Current students can go in and out of FitRec at their leisure when the gym is open. Not only is the gym huge but wonderfully equipped. Go abuse those gym privileges.
8. Follow BU offices and organizations on Twitter.
Nearly every college, department, organization and office at BU has a Twitter. Though you’ll get emails for important things (like classes being cancelled), following them means finding out more than that. They’ll tweet about activities happening, promotional offers going around (who doesn’t enjoy free ice cream or free Arizona?) and more. Some professors even post tips for exams on Twitter, but they’ll definitely let you know if that’s the case. Check out our handy Twitter list to get started.
9. Make smart decisions when exploring after-hours.
Being a young adult in a new place also comes with the tendency to explore the neighboring areas.With great power comes great responsibility. Make sure that if you’re unfamiliar with an area you’re with someone you trust and/or someone who knows where they’re going. Make sure that you have numbers you can call in case of an emergency (i.e, your RA, your roommate, your parents, etc.) There are also emergency numbers listed on the back of your student ID.
10. Get off campus and explore Boston!
You go to BOSTON University. Unlike a certain other college in Boston (er . . . Chestnut Hill), you are actually in the city. Take advantage of the convenience of living in a city that’s not too big but not too small; it’s just right. Need ideas? Check out the top 10 places freshman should do in Boston. Remember if you get lost, follow our North Star: the Citgo Sign.
As Spring semester 2013 comes to a close, we bring you our most impactful photos and stories. Thank you for your continuos support with The Daily Free Press. Our print issue will return in Fall 2013, stories and updates will be posted on our website periodically throughout the summer.