By Amy Gorel, Staff Writer
Chugging a coffee during the last five minutes of lecture, distractedly checking social media, my foot is tapping on the ground and I’m hoping that the professor lets us out early. He gloriously says, “Okay, any more questions?”
Sweet. I’m out of here. Going to print out that paper due next class and call my boss to tell them I can’t make it to work because I have this thing and that thing to do.
But wait, there’s a hand up in the back of the lecture hall and now another one. Who are these people? He was about to let us out early!
And then I realize that their questions encouraged the teacher to clarify some important and interesting info that was covered in class. Ugh.
Those hand-raisers were more concerned about the here and now–the lesson covered in this class–than they were about rushing off to do the next thing.
When every freshman gets to college, either through some orientation talk or an Internet meme, they hear the options they have: “Academics, sleep and social life. Choose two out of the three.” And sometimes more comically and probably more correctly, you find Dwight from “The Office” telling you that you could only choose one.
American college life emphasizes “doing it all.” Get good grades, join all the clubs, have an internship, make some money (and sometimes a lot of money if you have to pay for your own tuition), have an exciting social life and be a healthy and rested human being. Easy, right? Just the idea of balancing all that reaffirms my practice of keeping a backup thermos of coffee in my backpack.
Let’s stop to think. What are we paying upwards of $50,000 a year for? An education. We’re paying for the opportunity to learn from professors and from the readings and homework they assign.
We could learn to cook on our own and go out at night without paying that astronomical price. I only have to pay about $2.50 at Pavement for permission to sit for hours–and they don’t even ask me to complete a certain amount of reading before I visit again.
The hand-raisers happened to be part of the Evergreen program–students over the age of 58 who audit classes at BU. Speaking to them after class, I realized that they were here for the reasons the rest of the students are supposed to be here for–a love of learning. They are overjoyed to come to class, while the majority of undergrads grumble about waking up at the early hour of 10 a.m.
They’re here because they want to be here and they want to learn. They don’t have to stress over what they are going to do with their lives or how to follow the proper class structure to finish their major in time. While the “what am I doing with my life” stress won’t go away as an undergrad, it’s a good thing to stop and think about why we want to be here in the first place.
By Samantha Wong, Blog Editor
There is a distinct difference between enjoying a class and merely going just to go. Students have this tell, this look, that shows that they have to go to class and are about to endure what will feel like an eternity (i.e., an hour or an hour and thirty minutes) of pain. Take note that this is not absolute. Not every student gets that look on his or her face; some people want to be there and enjoy it. Though, in a perfect world, students would be going to class not only because they have to but also because they want to.
Centuries ago, in Ancient Greece, students used to form small groups with one lecturer. This was where Ptolemy and Aristotle learned the hows and whys of the world. This is, to some effect, how most of the intelligentsia and the not-so intelligentsia have learned and have come to share information.
Grecian methods are more or less what is being used in this day and age with a few modifications. The modifications are tacked on with the passing of time, with the hopes that, with each modification, with each alternative method, education will improve.
Some such modifications are that the size of groups has grown considerably; the student to teacher ratio definitely increased. Especially at a school like Boston University where there are about 15,800 undergrads. Another is that, as the world evolved, growing more and more technology savvy so did schools. Boston University, as most students know, has been online for a while, employing tools like Blackboard and Blackboard Learn.
While some are resistant to change, change, admittedly, brings about its own impacts. Though, it seems that change can mean the difference between a student performing to best of his or her ability to not performing at all. Change can mean the difference of being able to teach a student and cater to him or her on an individual level.
Some may argue that a standardized method of education may be better while others argue that innovation is key to collecting information and being able to grow for the better.
Hopefully, with the coming of time, Boston University will provide complete flexibility for classes that will increase student interest and participation. That, in addition to making attendance rates soar.
By Amy Gorel, Staff Writer
Though everyone has different opinions about what needs to be updated or renovated on campus, many students don’t realize the extensive planning that goes into each of the changes we see popping up.
Extensive research and bureaucratic processes go into deciding what new buildings to build, what areas need renovation, and where money spent will produce the most profit and have the most effect. The BU Institutional Master Plan outlines what the university is planning in terms of physical growth in the next ten years, but only after identifying every area of weakness and problems throughout campus. The strategic plan website outlines more of the university’s thought process on this.
For those who don’t spend their days perusing the Facilities Management & Planning website, check it out. It lists all of their major (and minor) projects around campus including ones related to academic spaces, athletic spaces, residences, administrative, research and student activities. You could find out more about why you see workers replacing windows on CAS in the middle of the night to which brownstone you should choose to live in as an upperclassman because they’re renovating it this year (it’s 2, 3 and 5 Buswell St., by the way).
So as you can see, it’s not quite as simple as saying taking care of those ugly lockers in the the College of Arts and Sciences is more important than putting new furniture in the School of Management lobby – even though its already arguably the most beautiful building on campus.
The renovations and new buildings show the school’s progression; these are decisions that denote that certain areas are growing or should be growing in the next few years. Physical renovations and buildings are evidence of academic growth or potential academic growth.
After the long summer, the first question out of your professors’ and your classmates’ mouths is probably going to be along the lines of, “So what did you do this summer?”
While some are probably unconcerned with what you did and others can hardly wait to tell you about the prestigious or cool or both internship or travel plans they had over the summer, they do bring up a point of interest for many these days–internships are just as much a part of the college experience as classes are today. Since internships are intertwined with higher education, more people are competing for less internships, most of which are unpaid.
Over the summer, a student who was unpaid for his work with Fox Searchlight Pictures sued–and won. The U.S. district judge said that when student interns do the work of a regular employee, they do deserve a paycheck.
Though you should probably wait a second before you start filing suits against all of your previous internship supervisors that made you grab coffee one too many times. The U.S. Department of Labor did spell out what is allowed and what is not for unpaid interns. The Department of Labor said that as long as the student is getting more educational benefit from the internship than the employer is gaining from their work, not getting paid is permissible.
However, is it a good thing to teach students that their contributions are so small that they don’t even deserve minimum wage?
Among the 2013 graduates who applied for a job after they received their bachelor degrees 63.1 percent of those who completed paid internships received at least one job offer. That compared to the 37 percent who received a job offer but having completed unpaid internships, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers 2013 Student Survey.
While this may have something to do with the type of fields that offer paid internships (usually in the STEM fields) and the fields that are hiring the most people at the time, these are somewhat frightening statistics.
Why get up before noon and head to an office during the long, hot months of June, July and August and not be paid at your internship?
For this reason: Internships are not only a part of higher education, but are also responsible for teaching students many skills they they may not learn in the classroom. Employers also get a good deal out of the popularity of internships as well; young people bring fresh perspectives as well as being both Internet and technology savvy.
Though it would be nice if employers and students reached a balance wherein students learn on the job while paying for their own food.
By Heather Hamacek, Staff Writer
Cupcakes are delicious; there is no denying that. Probably because they’re miniature cakes! Everything tastes better when it is miniature. Treat Cupcake Bar, which recently opened a location in Chestnut Hill, knew exactly how to take a cupcake shop to the next level. The customer becomes part of the experience at Treat’s make-your-own-cupcake bar, where customers are able to mix three toppings of their choice to create a custom frosting, much like Cold Stone Creamery. The custom-made frosting then tops a cupcake of the customer’s choosing.
Not only do the customers get control of the components of the cupcake, they can even do the mixing themselves if they want! Customers then get a naked cupcake, a cup of frosting and their three chosen toppings to mix in and design.
“Treat is focusing on the fact that everyone loves cupcakes. Our initial branding was more kid-oriented,” said Adie Sprague, head baker and general manager. “A lot of cupcake stores target adults with nostalgia, [but] we went right [back] to the beginning. It doesn’t have to have a nostalgic vibe, it [cupcakes] can just be fun.”
Treat mixes a fun activity along with a delicious treat, making it an excellent place to visit after dinner or on a date. The pre-made cupcake flavors are quite ingenious, ranging from Fluffernutter to seasonal treats, like Sprague’s favorite, Blueberry Pancakes.
Treat caters in addition to having a café. It has two locations currently, the new shop at The Street— an outdoor collection of shops and eateries in Chestnut Hill— and the original shop is based in Needham.
By Heather Hamacek, Staff Writer
What is one to expect from an event called Condom Couture? Well, condoms for one, and fashion for another. Boston University’s chapter of Face Aids, an organization that helps fight HIV/AIDs in Africa and advocates for safe sex held the university’s first Condom Couture last Thursday night.
The event worked to de-stigmatize condoms and safe sex culture as much as it worked to raise money for Face AIDS.
Dresses, skirts and a jacket made of condoms were strutted down the makeshift runway constructed in the Jacob Sleeper Auditorium while two drag queens, Liza Lott and Ms. Kris Knievil, provided crude-humored commentary and kept the audience involved and laughing.
The judges, including some professors from BU, gave advice to the crowd before the models walked.
“Don’t ever use a condom without lube,” said Sophie Godley, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences.
Alfredo Hernandez, another judge, said, “do not stop having sex, by yourselves or with some else. Don’t stop. Do it safely.”
Jeremy Meltzer, one of the co-founders of BU’s Face Aids chapter said condoms do not even faze him anymore.
“The condoms are fun,” he said as he washed the lubrication off one in his sink. “You can make many condom jokes. 12,000 condoms, I’m always safe. Silly stuff like that.”
Meredith Hoobler, one of the designers and the winner of the fashion show said she has been walking around with condoms falling out of her bag since she got her first allotment of 600 condoms.
“I think it’s a really interesting conversation starter and topic,” said Hoober. “You never know, it tends to come out, something will just fall out of my bag. It tends to make life more interesting I guess during the day because people will be like ‘how’s the condom dress’ and others will do like six double takes. So I think that’s fun.”
Condom Couture is planning to become an annual event. It is definitely one worth going to.
By Samantha Wong, Staff Writer
With one glance, Match Public Charter High School seems to be an everyday high school: teenagers filtering in and out of the school for lunch and later crowding the T when five o’clock rolls around. What is not initially recognized is the hard work that is put into the school from both the students and faculty.
Teaching is often thought of as a thankless job. Teachers do hours of prep work before classes in addition to the typical school hours they work. More often than not, teachers are thinking of the progress and well-being of their students long after they leave the classroom.
The students have just as much impact on the teacher’s learning experience as the teacher influences the students’ work.
Match Education, the organization behind Match Corps and Match Public Charter High School, is responsible not solely for fostering a love of education, but also responsible for the brainchild that is their fellowship-teaching program.
Match Corps is Match Education’s program for aspiring educators who want an alternative experience with teaching. The people within Match Corps get put to work in a rigorous training program that immerses them into the high school as tutors. This way, the people within the program get firsthand experience.
Most people hire tutors in high school, but at Match, tutors come as a paired set with a high school education. Hand in hand, tutor and student find a mutually beneficial partnership. The tutor gets experience while learning how to better connect with the student being tutored. The student gets one-on-one help with their studies outside normal school hours
Match Education creates a better environment for students and teachers alike. That students are able to have access to tutoring services is great but the fact that these tutors are dedicated to their craft is more than admirable.
By Samantha Wong, Staff Writer
Most muggles do not have magic on the brain. ‘Muggle’ is the term J.K. Rowling uses to describe non-magical folk within the Harry Potter series. Of course, according to Rowling, most muggles don’t think about magic because they have already refused to accept that it even exists.
However, the Harry Potter Alliance and Boston University’s chapter, Dumbledore’s Army, prove that magic doesn’t have to be spells or curses to be practiced. Within the community, average muggles like you and I, can practice a less literal magic that wows. In this case, magic can be the simple thought of giving back to the community. Most people are amazed by the effects giving back can have.
Giving back can be something as small as donating books to others or selling free trade chocolate in the shape of chocolate frogs. Even getting together a group of people with a common interest in a character can be life changing for others.
What I never considered was that Harry Potter, other than being a great wizard for vanquishing the dark lord Voldemort, could be more than a character. It had not occurred to me that a book, which became a series loved by millions, could be something other than a book. Harry Potter’s name now stands as a symbol for hope. Harry Potter inspires change for the better.
As J.K. Rowling remarks on the Harry Potter Alliance website, “I am honoured and humbled that Harry’s name has been given to such an extraordinary campaign, which really does exemplify the values for which Dumbledore’s Army fought in the books.”
By Taylor Burke
They may seem intimidating, but Dean Elmore and Assistant Dean Battaglino are much more than busy figureheads on campus. Rather, they are approachable, easygoing people who genuinely love their jobs and getting to know their students. Most people don’t know much about either of the deans’ lives outside of their jobs.
Assistant Dean Battaglino jokingly hesitates to reveal his most embarrassing moments. Instead, he says “I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me,” and laughs. He advises students to walk carefully across the BU Bridge in the winter, given his flop on the bridge’s slick, iced-over metal pieces . He said that was pretty embarrassing, which we can all imagine.
Something else you probably didn’t know about Dean Battaglino: he loves The Little Mermaid.
The reason? He claims that it’s both entertainment and a love story. Many of us can relate to these reasons.
When he isn’t watching Disney flicks, Assistant Dean Battaglino may be found listening to Norah Jones, watching the old version of Brian’s Song, or reading Breakfast with Buddha.
Dean Elmore, on the other hand, would rather be listening to John Coletrane or Nina Simone, and reading Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man. His favorite films are Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull or Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing.
Dean Elmore also calls himself a germaphobe, though he is never hesitant to shake someone’s hand.
He used to host a television show called Reality Check on PBS that focused on profiles of New England artists and other interesting people. He jokes that that gig was back when he had hair.
Dean Elmore’s on Twitter, too. Feel free to Tweet at him, but he says that he tends to accidently post publicly on Twitter when he thinks that he is direct messaging someone. After spending some time with the Deans, its easy to see that they’re not so different from all of us students as we may have imagined.
With Newbury Street only a few blocks away, Boston University students rarely have to worry about finding fashion-forward clothing. The issue, rather, is how students can afford to look fashion savvy without breaking their bank accounts. In such a cosmopolitan area, it’s no wonder that BUtiques, the Facebook group started by BU junior Alexandra Shadrow that allows students to post photos and sell their clothing, became a popular hit. Unitiques, the free service that is based on BUtiques, will not only help those struggling students in bustling cities, but students nationwide.
The host website will be the selling grounds for furniture, clothing, kitchen appliances, and the like. Fashion friendly students will no longer be the only people attracted to the site, but those with more realistic intentions can also find what they’re looking to have or even get rid of. Somewhat like a virtual thrift store, students can browse a plethora of products from Maine to California. Exchanging items is possible, and students can have confidence in the products they will soon be getting based on users’ reviews.
The fashion industry is constantly changing, which can make it difficult for students on a college budget to stay trendy. If someone wears something only once but happens to run into everyone while in it, he or she may already be looking for a new outfit to sport. Or if someone moves apartments and is looking for a change in scenery, he or she may find it time to decorate a little differently. Unitiques will allow students to search thousands of products with potential sellers without ever having left the couch, and often prices will be negotiable. Sounds like a pretty good deal for those of us already thinking about student debt.
In the meantime, some other sites I often check out are: