By Robin Ngai, Staff Writer
Once again, it’s that time of the year again when chalk-tasting Sweethearts are back on shelves, heart decals are plastered on dorm windows, and couples seem to increase by the dozens.
Yes ladies and gents, it’s Valentine’s day, that holiday where we define love by the amounts of chocolates or flowers we get from our significant others and the sappy e-cards our parents send to us. It makes us question what love really is, and whether it even exists.
There’s a lot of deep thoughts going on about love, and sometimes they may even create some existential crises.
But this Valentine’s day I won’t be so focused on a single pity party. Instead, I see it as the time of year to celebrate Galentine’s day. As Amy Poehler states it’s a day for “ladies celebrating ladies.”
Usually Galentine’s day is celebrated the day before Valentine’s day, but for all us single ladies out there, we might as well make it a two day extravaganza! From going out to dinner with some of your favorite gals to making voodoo dolls of ex-boyfriends (I’m kidding, I promise), there are many great ways to celebrate.
Boston also has some fun events planned for the next week in celebration of Valentine’s/Galentine’s day. You can volunteer with animals (who doesn’t love kittens and puppies) or attend a glass-blowing class (after all, nothing says love more than glass-blowing).
Closer to campus, there are a variety of dating games going on. Here are just a few put on by different student groups:
So whether you’re spending this weekend with your significant other or significant gals, love is in the air.
By Kate Ebeling, Staff Writer
Who said mass-transit was easy?
Having grown up in Houston, the concept of mass transportation extends as far as our METRO bus and a sad excuse for a light rail that has maybe five miles to its name.
I first heard of the mysterious Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority from a friend who had spent a summer with extended family. She warned me of the perils the green line plagues Boston University students with, the confusion between inbound and outbound lines, and the struggle of putting money on a Charlie Card, only to lose it the next day.
I listened with little more than contempt for the basic plebeian that couldn’t figure out a map.
My first day in Boston, I took the green line the wrong way twice, got lost in Southie, and had to call my dad (a former New England resident) who actually laughed at me and hung up twice, just to be funny.
Having spent a couple months in Boston now, I’ve learned a few do’s and don’ts of riding the MBTA.
1. Push all the way to the back.
Yeah, you might have to get off in a few stops, but there are about 50 people behind you that also have places to be. Make some space and don’t stand around.
2. Always give up your seat if you think someone else needs it more.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched people sit with their headphones in and sunglasses on, acting like they can’t see the mom with a baby, diaper bag and groceries in hand, make her way onto the T and stand around, swaying with the lurching of the train as it makes its abrupt stop into the next station. Stand up and help someone out, you look a lot cooler being a nice guy than sitting there ignoring the world.
3. Take your bag/backpack off.
And don’t put it on the empty seat next to you. The T is crowded enough as it is, and no one believes that your bag is more deserving of a seat than them. Don’t even try to make an excuse for that one, it’s not going to work.
All in all, some pretty incredible things can happen on the T. I’ve watched a woman go into labor on the red line, and I saw a couple in their wedding attire get on right near Copley with such a look of pure happiness that I might have shed a tear or two and then gotten off at the next stop to make sure nobody witnessed me crying. I’ve sat in the back of a T car on a Friday night, surrounded by my friends and feeling incredibly happy as I pay a mere two dollars to avoid the brisk Boston air.
Getting used to the T is something that is a continual process, and I will never be a subway surfer like Bostonians are. But I will admit that even though it runs late, it breaks down and occasionally hits a pedestrian or two, the T is a blessing to a broke college student, and as much as this Texan would prefer to drive, the MBTA is a solid substitute.
By Robin Ngai, Staff Writer
It’s hard to believe that Facebook has been around for a decade! That’s over half my life thus far. To be honest, I can hardly imagine life without Facebook and I’m sure that most college-aged students would agree.
It starts off at the beginning, stating when you joined and then it goes through your first moments (embarrassing photos from middle school), your most liked posts, and the photos you’ve shared. And while this 62 second flashback is happening, nostalgic instrumental music plays in the background.
It’s almost like watching a wedding montage between you and your Facebook profile.
Let’s face it, whether we want to admit it or not, we’ve basically been in a relationship with Facebook for the past few years. We’ve used it to stalk our exes (we’re all guilty of it and we know it), keep in touch with friends back home and get to know our college classmates.
As someone who couldn’t visit Boston University before move-in, Facebook was how I got to know more about on campus groups, academics and campus life in general.
Facebook is used for much more than just personal profiles: political campaigns, fundraising and outreach are all different instances that individuals and companies have used Facebook for something other than connecting with friends.
I’ve seen my friends post links to help disaster relief or raise money to support the fight against cancer. Last April, when the Boston Marathon bombing happened, Facebook was a way for friends and family to reach out to one another. Here is Facebook’s 10 stories that they shared to give users a feel for how Facebook has been changing lives for 10 years.
Though this social media site does not define our generation, it is a reflection of who we are and where we are going.
By Alex H. Wagner
Although the idea of dueling pianos tends to share connotations with a Bugs Bunny cartoon, in reality the act of playing music in a pair or group brings unlikely groups together. In this instance, that divide is the Charles River separating Boston University and Harvard.
For the first time, BU and Harvard students played a joint recital at Boston University’s Tsai Performance Center, as part of the Two Piano Project, a collaborative effort between piano programs at the two schools. The projected was formulated last summer by BU’s Piano Department chairman Boaz Sharon, BU doctoral candidate Anna Arazi and George Ko, Co-President of the Harvard College Piano Society.
Auburn Lee, one of the Harvard pianists, agrees that the shared recital between schools is something special. Having pianists from both schools “coming together to make music…that’s really the coolest part.”
When asked what his personal goals were for the evening, Lee kept it simple: to play well, and to tell a story.
The Two Piano Project turned out to be quite a treat, especially after several pianos hit the streets of Boston last Fall for the “Play Me, I’m Yours” art project.
Check out BU and Harvard battle it out on the piano below:
By Sabrina Katz, Staff Writer
I knew that coming to a city like Boston for school would be a great opportunity to meet plenty of people my age, learn about a historical city and become independent from my parents.
One thing that especially appealed to me was the idea of getting to see snow all winter long. I’ve certainly seen snow before on a couple different accounts, but seeing it snow more than once in an entire winter is completely new to me.
Sure, it’s hard to give up the mild winter season I’m used to in the South, but the Boston snowfall feels like magic. I always thought the song “White Christmas” was a far-fetched hope, but it turns out, it actually does happen in Boston!
There’s really nothing like opening your dorm blinds and seeing the streets covered in patches of white. That was my first experience in snowy Boston. It feels ethereal, especially to someone who’s not used to the temperature dipping below 40 degrees the entire winter season.
When I was able to go outside (I finally got to break in my brand new snow boots!), the snow was still falling. During my first few moments, I just stood there on the sidewalk: breathing in the crisp air, feeling snowflakes fall onto my coat and soaking up this lovely winter day.
Unfortunately, after walking in it for two minutes, the snow became less phenomenal. The flakes were getting in my face and blinding me, I didn’t have a hat to protect my hair from getting snowed on, and taking out my iPod to listen to some music was a big no-no.
Turns out, snow is just like rain! You don’t get soaked right away, but when the snow melts on you, it feels just as unpleasant as the wet stuff in the middle of summer. Looking around at the other students walking down Commonwealth Ave., I thought to myself, “Those people with umbrellas don’t look so dumb after all!”
My first snow day in Boston is definitely something I’ll remember for a while. It wasn’t all pleasant, but it represents the kickoff for all the other snow days I’ll get to experience during my time here. For future reference, I’ll know just how to enjoy the winter weather: by staying inside, sipping on some peppermint tea, and enjoying the snowy view from a comfy spot.
By Sabrina Katz, Staff Writer
After spending three months working at BU, I was more than ready to take a break. I was so excited to go back to Texas for a week that I never realized how much I would miss Boston, the place that had grown to be my new home.
Sure, by going to Houston I’d get to meet up with old friends, see my family, and visit the amazing Galleria (twice!), but by the end of the break I was pleased to return to school and get back to studying.
My little trip brought to mind all the things that Boston has offered me and showed what I truly miss the most about Beantown.
1. The T – Getting behind the wheel was a huge treat during my few days back home. But one thing I really disliked was always having to find a darn parking spot. Public transportation is basically nonexistent in Houston, so going to the shopping center a few miles away meant getting in the car, driving over there, and searching endlessly for the closest parking spot which was two lots over.
2. Having every type of cereal I could want whenever I wanted it – While sitting at home one afternoon, I began craving a huge bowl of Cinnamon Chex and Sargent Choice granola (if I could buy it by the box, I totally would). Unfortunately, the only cereal in my house was off-brand Honeycombs and my dad’s cheerios. But hey, I love cooking so I can’t really complain.
3. Being in the same vicinity as all my friends – If you didn’t know, Houston is one of the largest cities in America, with a circumference of about 60 miles. With friends from all over the place, it’s hard finding a good time to see a buddy who lives 20 minutes away. Here at school, if I want to meet up with someone, they’re just a quick text away. And if you’re one of those lucky souls whose house is down the street from their best friend’s, I tip my hat.
Over the break, my dad brought up an old saying: “the grass is always greener on the other side”, meaning you may not always be happy with what you have. But being away from school has made me those things more, so that when I got back it felt that much better.
But you know, I really wouldn’t mind going to Houston right now so I could wear my sundress and sandals and enjoy the 79 degree weather…
By Erica Schwartz
When one walks out of his or her dorm, one would expect – or at least hope for – a pleasant smell. Except that there are some cases when one gets a whiff of cigarettes.
I promise not to completely rant about smoking. I personally don’t agree with people who smoke, but I will point out one of the reasons why some people continue to smoke:
“Cigarettes make you lose weight and if you stop, you’ll gain back even more!”
If this applies to you, then you need to reevaluate your priorities in life. While I believe in the importance of losing weight, health is just that much more crucial. Without your health, you have nothing.
Yes, cigarettes could potentially affect your eating habits, making you eat less because you are smoking more. But is it really worth it? I guarantee that if you are sufficiently determined, any weight gain can easily be shed in just a couple of days by simply working out and eating healthy again. No one needs to depend on cigarettes for a skinny physique.
The nasty little lung cancer sticks are expensive, especially for those of us who live within a college budget. Cigarettes can take away the energy that you could instead be using to exercise more (if you wanted to exercise more).
If you want to look good physically, your body needs to also be in a healthy state. So, next time you hear a friend say, “I’m going to get fat if I quit!” then just slap him or her right across the face because it’s not true.
By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
If you think you know Boston, think again.
Last year, I participated in Boston University’s annual Amazing Race, which is based off of the CBS reality television show of the same name. The event was exactly what it sounds like: one massive scavenger hunt and a race against time to find clues leading to a certain destination, and sometimes even completing tasks at those destinations to receive the next clue. The last team to arrive gets eliminated.
I was one of eight people that made up a team representing my favorite club, the Boston University Filipino Student Association. I was excited beyond belief to run around this amazing city we call home and (hopefully) earn a monetary prize for my club. But, there were some things I wish I had known beforehand – and that’s where I extend my knowledge onto you.
This year’s race will be held on Nov. 16. Here are some helpful tips and tricks on what to expect:
- Brush up on knowledge about Boston and the neighborhoods within it; bring maps and guidebooks if you can. These are vital, since all cellphones and electronic devices will be taken away the morning of the race. Having some sort of prior knowledge beforehand or a few resources you can turn to during the race will save you precious time! Be prepared to approach total strangers for help as well.
- Get a day pass for the T. You’ll be running all over the city, so you might as well save some money while you’re at it. A 1-Day Pass costs $11.00 and gives you unlimited travel on the MBTA. I highly recommend purchasing one before the day of the race.
- Bundle up – wear layers! Boston weather is highly unpredictable and you’re bound to get hot and sweaty at some point. Be comfortable but practical.
- Bring a small, light drawstring bag or backpack with you. Bring a small supply of snacks to keep you energized throughout the day (granola bars, fruit, etc.) and maybe a water bottle or two. You can also stash your guidebooks and maps in here! A couple of Band-Aids or a small first-aid kit never hurts, either.
- Get a decent amount of sleep the night before. Pretty self-explanatory. You’ll need all the energy you can get, so rest up!
And last but not least, expect to have fun and make a handful of memories!
Some of the most memorable tasks we had to do last year in order to receive the next clue included acting out a scene from a Shakespearean play, walking into an antique store and asking someone to draw a portrait of one of our team members, and making a cheer for one of Boston’s many sports teams at the TD Garden.
Last year, I only got four hours of sleep the night before, wore horrible shoes and sprained my ankle while my team sprinted to get to the next clue. Talk about a major fail on my part. But with the help of my teammates and at least a dozen piggyback rides later, we were able to finish at a decent time before getting eliminated.
To those of you participating in this year’s Amazing Race, I wish you the best of luck.
May the odds be ever in your favor.
By Devon Delfino, Staff Writer
According to BuzzFeed, a woman identified as Alicia Ann Lynch posted photos of herself at work dressed up as a Boston Marathon bombing victim for Halloween on Twitter and Instagram. (In case you were wondering, no, she’s not from Massachusetts.) Needless to say, the backlash has been extreme.
I am fully on-board for funny, stupid Halloween costumes, after all, it’s about having fun. But, when someone takes an especially sensitive thing and turns it into a purely offensive mockery, I’m not okay with that.
Yet, there she is, smiling away at the so-called ‘hilarity’ of the joke she’s playing (but who is it meant for?). She clearly has no second thoughts about the costume and sees nothing wrong with it. In what way was this supposed to be funny? Maybe she forgot that people died, were brutally injured and lost loved ones; she may have forgotten, but Boston hasn’t.
And neither has the rest of the world, it would seem. Following the post, there have been countless tweets condemning her actions. Lynch’s Twitter account has since been suspended and she’s also lost her job.
In an e-mail to BuzzFeed, Lynch writes, “It seems as though my outfit was too soon, and will always be that way, it was wrong of me and very distasteful. My costume was not meant to disrespect anyone, ever. I am truly sorry to anyone that I may have offended or hurt with this.”
However, the backlash has gone beyond scolding to death threats toward Lynch and her family. Once again, the internet gives people the opportunity to do the wrong thing.
People like Lynch aren’t in need of brutality and death threats, they need to see the error of their ways and the cruelty that their actions inflict. Involving her family is just wrong: they are not her, she is an adult and is responsible for her own actions. They already have to deal with the fact that their daughter is under fire for what she did.
Come on people, can’t we do better?
By Sabrina Katz, Staff Writer
The gorgeous marbled floors and beautiful outside facade should be enough to reel any passersby inside the Hillel House at Boston University. But if the architecture isn’t reason enough to get you to step inside Hillel, I’ll give you one now: free Friday night dinners.
That’s right folks, for those of you who don’t have an unlimited meal plan or just want a break from the dining hall food, you get a chance every week to meet some new people and enjoy a tasty, feels-like-home-cooked meal.
In order to claim your wonderful Hillel dining experience, the first thing you gotta do is secure a meal ticket. All it takes is a few minutes to sign yourself up on the BU Hillel website and you’re set.
After signing myself up, I waited for Friday to finally come around. Religious services started at 6 p.m. and went on for about an hour and a half. Afterwards, everyone made their way to the third floor of the Hillel house.
The dining room layout was almost like a wedding: round tables with seats surrounding them with dinner rolls and grape juice (mimicking wine) as the centerpiece. Once everyone was settled, someone came out and said grace, or Kiddush, and the meal was finally open.
Our first food option was matzah ball soup. What’s matzah ball soup, you say? It’s a broth based soup, usually with carrots and celery, which also consists of dozens of fluffy soft balls made from ground up matzah and spices. They become so delicate from sitting inside the soup and soaking up all the juices and spices, which makes for a delicious and hearty appetizer. That, accompanied with challah, an eggy, sweet bread, made this meal like one from my grandmother’s house.
After the soup and bread, there was much more to come: salad, brisket, chicken, vegetable medleys and roasted potatoes were all delivered to each table to make up the bulk of our meals. The food was absolutely scrumptious and it felt like a huge shift from what I’m used to having at Warren.
In addition to the wonderful food, the atmosphere of the dinner was great. Everyone was talking to each other and it felt very comforting being in a place with so many friendly people. Jews and non-Jews alike attended the festive meal, enforcing BU’s emphasis on diversity and learning about new cultures and people.
Though I can’t fly down to Houston on Friday nights to eat a family dinner, it feels nice to find a place where I can still feel comfortable with my new family in Boston.