Category: Columnists

Veg Out: Meatless Mondays

By Katie Doyle, Food Editor

If you’ve been in one of the dining halls lately, you may have seen, or been asked to sign, the Boston University Vegetarian Society’s petition to start up “Meatless Mondays” here at BU.

A member may have explained to you that on those days, there would be a 75 percent reduction in meat options. They may have explained that BU would be following in the footsteps of institutions like Columbia University, John Hopkins University, Yale University, New York University and University of Virginia that have already joined the movement.

Meatless Monday

Los Angeles is the largest U.S. city to have signed a Meatless Monday petition / IMAGE VIA

There’s a reason that top-tier colleges and universities are getting on board with this initiative, and a reason Boston University should be, too, as there’s clear, tangible evidence that a vegetarian diet is beneficial for our bodies and for our planet. Just look at the legitimate, peer-reviewed studies that have shown that across the board that vegetarians live longer and healthier lives, with a much lower risk for cancer, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

While it can be easy to shrug off health factors, it should be harder to brush off the fate of the planet we call home. Our nation’s meat production is the number one cause of harmful greenhouse gases, contributing to pollution more so than all of the cars, trucks, planes, trains and buses in the world combined. It’s true that our environment is already in deep trouble, and although plant-based diets won’t necessarily be the saving grace of climate change, we’ve got to start somewhere. Meatless Mondays is one way to reduce our collective carbon footprint.

At a university where approximately 7 percent of students here identify as vegetarians, and 3 percent as vegans, according to Dining Services’ annual survey, one might hope that the petition for Meatless Mondays would be reasonably well received, especially when the benefits of are so clear.

Fortunately, the Vegetarian Society is making progress with the initiative, and a survey will be released within the coming weeks to gauge the students’ perspectives on it. Hopefully, the reaction will be a good one.

It seems as if any backlash against the Meatless Monday movement, or vegetarianism in general, has nothing to do with the actual pros and cons of an herbivore diet. It’s more of a rejection on principle, like when someone is served a dessert they really like, until they find out it’s vegan.

It’s similar to when the National Rifle Association accused President Obama of “taking away their guns,” when, in reality, he received an “F” on the Brady Campaign’s scorecard of politicians who have spoken out against gun violence.

While I know that’s a bold comparison to make, it sheds some light on the issue of Meatless Mondays. No one would be taking away meat options in the dining hall. Rather, there would simply be less meat options and more vegetarian meals, which can be surprisingly delicious if only given the chance. What the objection boils down to, I think, is the issue of getting wrapped up in rhetoric, rather than looking at the facts. You know what I mean: “This is America, and you can’t take away my (insert noun here).”

Here’s the thing, though: they’re right, this is America, which means we at BU are lucky enough to have access to quality meat, cage-free eggs and delicious vegetarian options. It’s a privilege to have both meat and meatless food at our disposal. Instead of resenting the effort to bring in a wider range of vegetarian options one day a week, we should embrace and welcome the opportunity to make a difference in our world, no matter how small (or big) it might be.

If you haven’t yet signed the Meatless Monday petition, you can do so now by emailing But, as a reminder, really any day can be a Meatless Monday, if you so choose. Simply challenge yourself to check out the dining hall’s vegetarian station and try something new, while also doing your body, your planet and even your taste buds a favor.


Tales of a Transplant: Family I never knew existed

By Ryan Galindo, Staff Writer

Husky meme

My reaction when my parents told me about family members I never knew I had. PHOTO COURTESY ICANHASCHEEZBURGER.COM


I grew up thinking I had family that lived in the Philippines, Guam, Orlando, Fla. and Los Angeles. Nothing more, nothing less. And I believed that for 18 years.

When the time came for my me and my parents to decide where I would be going for college, I sat them down in our living room. I had applied to colleges all over the U.S. and was fortunate enough to be accepted to most of them. It was a surprise when my parents started listing off names of family members I never knew existed that lived nearby certain universities I was accepted to. The conversation went something like this:

Parents: Oh, Seattle University? You have cousins that live there.

Me: Huh?

Parents: You have an aunt that lives in New Jersey.

Me: Seriously?

Parents: NYU and Fordham? We have family in New York.

Me: Oh my goodness!

Parents: Chaminad University? We have family in Honolulu, too.

Me: Wait—what?

I was dumbfounded.

Nonetheless, as confused as I was at this sudden revelation of our extended family tree, I was all the more excited to go to college. Yes, I’d have somewhere to stay during breaks, I thought to myself.

Thanksgiving weekend was the first opportunity I had to stay with my new found family. They live in a town outside Newark, N.J., so I took the bus from Boston to Newark Penn Station. It was a slow bus ride, prolonged by the holiday traffic and made longer by the anticipation I felt. I was going to meet these family members for the first time. All I knew was that my dad and the woman I was meeting were cousins, and that she and her husband had three children, all around my age.

When I got to Penn Station, I nervously stood in the cold waiting for them to pick me up. I was looking for a turquoise Nissan Altima, according to my new second cousin. Once it pulled up to the pick-up area, I saw my cousins waving out the window, smiling. And with that, all my anxiety was erased. They seem like nice people, I thought.

And I was right. From there we hit off pretty well. We have similar tastes in music and hobbies, and we like to eat, as demonstrated by our appetite during Thanksgiving dinner. Apparently, they didn’t know of my existence either. My dad’s cousin (their mother) had only informed them just recently. So that became another thing we had in common.

Like every person who’s never been to Guam, they asked me what Guam was like and how I like BU. In return, I asked the similar questions about New Jersey and their schools.

There was never a dull moment during the weekend.  We went out every day, whether it was to go Black Friday shopping or going to New York City for the first time—which, by the way, was AMAZING. I’ve always wanted to visit the city, and now I can check that off my bucket list.


A photo of me and my family in Times Square, on the right side of the billboard. A Google Chrome promo used a webcam to take a photo of us and posted it to a billboard.  RYAN GALINDO/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

It was quite depressing when I had to go. I knew I’d miss them badly. But I’ve already made plans to return for spring break, so it wasn’t all that bad.

So this Thanksgiving, I was thankful for the five seemingly new family members I gained, who took me in and made me feel as loved and appreciated as if I’d known them my whole life. Surely, lots of people have relatives, however distant, they’ve never met. Go meet yours.

Veg Out: Beyond the burger

By Katie Doyle, Food Editor

After spending hours in the kitchen this break whipping up elaborate vegan dinners, I think I’m about cooked-out, so to speak. While I certainly can’t beat a week’s worth of homemade meals, it can be an exhaustive routine to maintain in college, especially when shopping on a budget and cooking in a cramped apartment.

Of course, as finals approach, I’ll be short on time, too. This makes nightly cooking even more of a hassle. For vegetarians, and vegans especially, putting together a quick-and-easy meal isn’t as mindless as it might be for an omnivore.

While boxed meals aren’t always the ideal option, frozen veggie burgers can be a reliable alternative. As the most obvious alternative to the ominvores’s hamburger, veggie burgers tend to be the first meat-free burgers that new vegetarians turn to when looking for an easy meal.

But veggie burgers can get boring after a while. However, herbivores who are pressed on resources can hold out hope. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a gourmet chef to find a great veggie burger that will take just a few minutes to heat up, but taste like you spent all evening cooking it.

A trip to Trader Joe’s or Shaw’s will reveal all sorts of delectable meat-free burger ideas that might have previously escaped your eye. Here are some types of burgers to look out for next time you hit up the grocery store:

Black Bean Burgers

MorningStar Farms

MorningStar’s Spicy Black Bean Burger / IMAGE VIA

Black bean burgers are top on my list of favorite meat-free burgers, and have been for a while. They are zesty, with a flavorful Southwestern flair that beats any other meat substitute. Add a dollop of guacamole for a dinner that is absolutely delicious and surprisingly very healthy.

Although multiple brands make black bean burgers, I’m a fan of MorningStar, which you can find at almost any grocery store.

“Chicken” Patties

These go by many names in the grocery store—Chik’n patties, soy chicken cutlets, vegetarian chicken patties—but flavor tends to be pretty consistent, quite in line with the cliché, “It tastes like chicken.” Although I’m sure you’ve heard that line before, albeit in a different context, these imitation burgers actually do taste just like chicken. There’s a lot you can do with them, from the complex (vegetarian chicken parmesan) to the simple (just add a wheat bun and ketchup), and because of that, they will always have a place in my freezer.

Texas Burger 

Amy’s Kitchen, a company that sells natural and organic meat-free products, makes a great barbecue-style Texas burger. It has rich flavor, with a pinch of Southwestern spice. The texture is spot-on, too: not too “meaty,” but definitely heartier than the average veggie burger. I would recommend this to anyone willing to experiment with different types of meatless burgers!

Morningstar Griller

A prepared MorningStar Griller / IMAGE VIA

“Hamburger” Burger

MorningStar sells what they call Grillers. Let me warn you, though: if you aren’t down for an authentic hamburger taste, stay away. Although I’ve only tried the MorningStar variety, I found the burger to taste, well, very meaty. It wasn’t my thing. But if you’re looking for an imitation hamburger sans the meat, you’ll find yourself very pleased.

“Turkey” Burgers

Same thing goes for vegetarian turkey burgers: they taste like turkey. Personally, I don’t like the turkey flavor, but beyond that, the texture of the burger didn’t seem quite right to me—a bit too chewy. Then again, I’ve only had real turkey once or twice in my life, years ago, so maybe I just don’t know what to expect. However, just like with the vegetarian hamburger, if you like the taste of the real meat, you’ll probably like the imitation turkey burger, too.

California Veggie Burger

A prepared California Veggie Burger / IMAGE VIA

California Veggie Burgers

Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burgers have a following that sometimes strikes me as cult-like. People tend to love them, or they totaly hate them. I’m somewhere in the middle. The burgers are super-packed with veggies, but, I thought all the flavors must have got lost in translation somehow because I wasn’t a big fan of the taste.

Although those are the staples, I’ve recently even seen falafel burgers, mushroom burgers and Asian-style burgers in the frozen food aisles. MorningStar even makes a pizza burger with tomato and basil. As companies get more creative, though, more and more types of meat-free burgers keep popping up, so keep your eye open for all of them.

Tales of a Transplant: Snow dreams

By Ryan Galindo, Staff Writer

My obsession with snow began when I was very young. I always thought snow was essential to the Christmas season. Like, it just isn’t Christmas if there isn’t any snow. I remember my earliest Christmas memory. I waited and waited for it to snow. Screw Santa—I just wanted snow. But when Christmas flew by without a single snowflake, I was left disappointed.

Of course, now that I’m older I know better. But that yearning for snow never left, and experiencing four seasons was one of the top reasons why I chose to move to New England. Like I’ve said, Guam is sweltering hot, and I just wanted a change of scene. But deep inside, I wanted to play in the snow.

When I confirmed my enrollment to Boston University, I was so excited partly because I knew that I would get to experience that cold, icy, powdery substance people call snow in a matter of months. I wanted be in a snowball fight, make snow angels and build a snowman.

As you all know—and if you don’t, let me remind you—Nov. 7 marked Boston’s first snowfall of the season. Yes, I have that engraved in my memory because it was the first time I had ever experienced snow.

Boston snowfall

The season’s first snowfall leaves cars in a blanket of white / PHOTO CREDIT RYAN GALINDO

I was at my job at 100 Bay State Rd. I walked to work that day and it the rain was pouring. It was super freezing. Little did I know that those clouds pelting me with icy water would soon drop snowflakes and give me what I’ve been waiting for so long to try: snow. At 5 p.m., I looked outside the window and saw that everything was covered in white. It was amazing and I was in disbelief. Snow, really? Wow. I couldn’t wait to get off work that day. My body couldn’t contain my excitement.

When I got off of work at 6 p.m., I went out with my friend to take my first step out into the cold. It was a glorious moment, touching snow. It feels so soft. I can still hear the crunching of snow under my shoes. And I can still feel the numbness of my face as the hostile winds pelted snowflakes in my direction.

That night I threw my first snowball and had my first snowball fight. I was so enthused that I forgot to make snow angels and build snowmen. I also slipped on my butt a couple of times. Okay, so maybe it was a lot of times. But it was all good.

And call me crazy, but that evening I walked all the way from 100 Bay State Rd. to my dorm in West Campus. I still can’t believe I did that and neither do my friends:

Boston snowfall

Boston’s first snowfall of the season / PHOTO CREDIT RYAN GALINDO

“You walked all the way there?! And you’re from GUAM?!”

Despite the fun I was having in the snow, the biting cold finally got to me, so I called it a day and went to bed, excited for more snow adventures the next day.

But wow, was I wrong. Everything started to melt the following day. I mean, who would want to play in wet slush? No way am I making snow angels in that. And now, I look outside my window and see that everything is dry. It’s as if the Nor’easter didn’t happen at all.

What a tease. Oh well. I guess I can hold building snowmen and making snow angels until the next snowfall. After all, I did wait several years for my first. What’s a few more weeks?

Tales of a Transplant: Road trip

By Ryan Galindo, Staff Writer

I’d never been on a road trip before, unless you consider driving from one end of Guam to the other in roughly one hour a road trip.

This past weekend, I went to Washington, D.C. I was nothing short of excited to go on this trip, being that it was my first time venturing out of Boston and Massachusetts and state-hopping until I arrived at the nation’s capital.

The trip wasn’t for leisure, though; it was mostly business… sort of. The Boston University Filipino Student Association went to attend an annual event where a bunch of other collegiate Filipino clubs from several universities in New England came together and discuss our culture. This year, it happened to take place at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., which is just minutes from D.C.

Union Station

American flags ripple in the wind outside Union Station / PHOTO CREDIT RYAN GALINDO

The thought of the trip was thrilling, but the length of travel, not so much. After having spent 24 hours traveling from Guam to Boston, where I had to sit and stay put on a claustrophobia-inducing plane for eight hours TWICE, I was not looking forward to the 10-hour bus ride to D.C.

Excuse my whining. Now, let’s get to the sappy stuff.

Union Station


We left Boston on a Friday evening and arrived at D.C. the following morning. When I took my first step outside Union Station, I proceeded to indulge myself with a long, panoramic gaze of the city. And it was beautiful. The sight of Columbus Circle with its massive sculptures, fountain and flags of every state was a nice sight that welcomed me to the nation’s capital.

But again, we weren’t there to sight-see but to attend a convention. As much as I wanted to take a tour of the capital, the

convention took precedence. The cab ride to Fairfax, Va. was the closest thing to a tour that I got. I saw the Capitol, the Lincoln Monument and the Washington Monument on the way to GMU, albeit from a distance—a very, very far distance. The Washington Monument looks bigger in person than in picture, I might add.

I’d write about the convention, but I’d be going off tangent, so I’ll continue with the ride back to Boston.

We left D.C. on a Sunday morning with the plan to return to Boston by 9 p.m. Because the trip to D.C. was during the evening, I couldn’t get to enjoy the sights since it was dark out. So, on the way back, I was pretty hyped for the trip back because I could actually see what’s out there.

New York City skyline

The sun sets on the New York City skyline / PHOTO CREDIT RYAN GALINDO

Although I had an extreme bout of motion sickness and soreness from sitting too long, the different scenes of New England made it that much bearable and worth it. I mean, I got to see the New York City skyline for the first time in person—like it was actually a couple of miles away from me. I’ve always dreamt about visiting the city that never sleeps. Before the trip, I’d only seen the city in pictures and on television and had experienced it vicariously through my friends that visited it. It was almost surreal, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I am always in a state of disbelief when I see or experience something so unlike Guam. Seeing the skyline reminded me that I wasn’t in the middle of the Pacific anymore.

As was planned, we arrived back in Boston around 9 p.m. When I got back to my sweet dorm, I couldn’t help but crashing on my bed and sleeping like a baby because my mind and body were tired and sore from all the traveling.

But I would go through it all again for another road trip experience.

Four more years: A lesson

By Tom Ford, Daily Free Press Contributor

Last night, at approximately 11:15 p.m. Eastern time, the state of Ohio was projected to fall on the side of President Obama, a raucous cheer broke out across America, celebrating the end of a long, arduous campaign that’s left a deeply divided nation behind in its tracks. As the weeks dragged on, more and more money went into increasingly negative ad campaigns that had many confused about what positives there were to be had from either candidate.

Yet here we are. In a night that also saw multiple states legalizing gay marriage, America has seemingly taken a stand on the issue of whether a business background and plans to revamp the economy are enough to make up for a somewhat antiquated view on social issues. Romney ran a strong campaign, don’t get me wrong; however, it seems that Obama’s message of moving forward and finishing the work that he’s started resonated with people in swing states.

The biggest shock of the night arguably came a few hours before the end result was announced; Pennsylvania, a state many analysts predicted swinging toward Romney, went to the President. This is likely due to the large presence of the auto industry and steel industry in the state, both of which might have been a bit turned off by Romney’s anti-bailout stances.

Elizabeth Warren was elected Senator in Massachusetts, winning a heavily-contested battle that acted as a referendum on Brown’s handling of the Wall Street fiscal crisis. Needless to say, the Harvard Professors message of a “fair shot” for the middle-class was persuasive, with the race being called relatively early in the night.

All in all, this election has served to teach us a few things about ourselves, both positive and negative. First, our young generation of voters is one that is very passionate about having a say in their future. There was not a day that I could go without seeing a dozen posts on some sort of social media about the election. Next, we’re trending toward spending an ungodly amount of money on campaigns. Unfortunately, most of this went into negative ads this year. Finally, we’re very willing to be at each other’s throats to defend our personal views. Impassioned rants about why Mitt Romney is evil or about how Obama is a covert Muslim Kenyan terrorist really soured my first Presidential election, to say the least.

Ah well, four more years until this political circus rears its head again. God bless.

Veg Out: City Co. secrets

By Katie Doyle, Food Editor

Whether it’s on a corner in Kenmore Square, the center of George Sherman Union, under Warren Towers or steps from the Fitness and Recreation Center in West Campus, most Boston University students pass by a City Convenience each day.

Vegan chicken lo meinAt first glance, the little store, dubbed “City Co.” by most Terriers, seems pretty ordinary: cold drinks, candy, coffee and snacks. It also seems like finding something in the store that is vegetarian, healthy and delicious would be impossible.

As it would turn out, first impressions can sometimes be deceptive. Check out City Co.’s refrigerated section, and you’ll see why, so long as the store has OneStopNatural’s Bento Box in stock.

In tune with the motif of misleading first impressions, the Bento Box might not look so appealing at first: rice, dumplings and an odd-looking pile of vegetable protein nuggets.

A glance at the label isn’t very encouraging, either. When I first grabbed one, rushed on my way to Mugar, I wondered if something with a measly 320 calories and a ton of vitamins and minerals (80 percent of your recommended dose of vitamin A, 25 percent of vitamin C and 20 percent of iron) would be remotely appetizing.

I came to find out that the Bento Box wasn’t just okay; it was good. Really, really good—so much so that the Bento Box actually became a staple of my sophomore year, and continues to be one of my favorite on-the-go choices this year, too. If I didn’t have time for lunch or was disappointed with the dining hall’s dinner offerings, I’d grab a Bento Box from City Co.

I still can’t quite figure out how OneStopNatural manages to make a meal that is delicious, healthy and easy to grab on-the-go. Despite its low calories, it’s really filling. You won’t find yourself hungry until hours later. It’s also low in fat, high in fiber and packs in a great punch of protein.

You can’t ask for much more from a $6 box of food that takes roughly three minutes to purchase, but in this case, you can.

When you see a Bento Box in City Co., grab it when you can because City Co. sometimes runs out of them. Although I suspect that they just don’t stock enough of them, I wouldn’t be surprised of some of my fellow vegetarians and vegans have discovered the Bento Box. After all, if you’re looking for a lunch or dinner that’s quick, tasty and mind-blowingly good for you, the Bento Box is your best bet.

BU Bucket List: Rooftop tour

By Heather Goldin, Staff Writer

Think you know all the secrets that Boston University has to offer? You might have to think again if you haven’t been on Assistant Dean of Students Daryl Deluca’s VIP rooftop tour. What is this mysterious tour, you ask? Only one of the craziest experiences you might have the privilege of enjoying while attending BU. All I have to prove the greatness of this tour are these crazy views of Boston from the rooftops of the School of Management and the BU School of Law. Sorry, I still don’t know where the law library is because I was too busy chilling on the rooftop. But before I get too far ahead of myself, let me start from the beginning.


View of Commonwealth Avenue from SMG / PHOTO CREDIT HEATHER GOLDIN

Deluca knows quite a bit about BU. And he should, considering he has been giving this rooftop tour for 10 years. He claims to have given the tour to well over 10,000 people. It’s a wonder why I haven’t heard of it until recently. On Wednesday, some friends and I met Deluca in the SMG lobby, where he showed off his geography skills. Deluca had been to almost all of our hometowns at some point. I can’t promise he gives every group a special treatment, but I received my very own tin of BU mints. That’s right folk, mints with the BU logo.

The dean led us over to the elevators that supposedly went up to floor six, but when we stepped inside, Deluca swiped his card and we were off to the eighth floor. Did you know the ceiling in the SMG is false? We found ourselves on the presidential floor, home to BU President Robert Brown’s office and full of rooms for special guests to stay in. On the balcony of the eighth floor, we were at eye level with the Citgo sign. When the dean saw us eyeing some odd blocks on the ground, he said they were for scaffolds to attach

to when windows are washed. Each window on BU’s campus is only washed once a year, Deluca said, but it takes an entire year for every window to be washed!

BU President office

Former BU President John Silber’s office / PHOTO CREDIT HEATHER GOLDIN

On the ninth floor of SMG is the office of former BU President John Silber. One of the many BU secrets of is that within the office (now conference room), there is a safe room built in near the bookcases. By now, we were well above the Citgo sign, but still we went higher, literally onto the rooftop. The view was beautiful, and we even had a clear view up Commonwealth Avenue. Just when we thought the tour was over, Deluca asked us if we wanted to see more. Depending on the group, Deluca usually brings the tour through two or three different buildings, including SMG, BU Law, Warren Towers and the Student Villages.

Our group made its way to BU Law, where we went straight to the top floor and bounded many steps to the rooftop. Since we started our tour fairly late in the afternoon, night had by now made its way across the sky, coaxing the city lights to come alive. If you have not yet been to BU Law, it’s quite tall, so naturally the view was stunning. With the conclusion of our tour, I was left speechless, that is until I found the words to write about it on the FreeP blog.

BU Law

View of Boston from BU Law / PHOTO BY HEATHER GOLDIN

How do I get in on this amazing tour, you might ask? Asking is all you have to do. Simply request a tour from Deluca himself, and he will be happy to give one to you and a few friends. Deluca’s office is on the third floor of the George Sherman Union.

Happy exploring!

Tales of a Transplant: Sandy, please

By Ryan Galindo, Staff Writer

Living in Guam does have its pros and cons. One con: Guam is situated in an area of the Pacific called “Typhoon Alley.” As you may already have guessed, typhoons (a fancy, exotic word for hurricane) pop up regularly and somehow decide to make Guam a part of their blood path.

Typhoon, Guam

Downed power lines in Guam during Ponsoonga Typhoon / PHOTO COURTESY RODGER SPRINGSTEEN

I’ve had my share of typhoons in my 18 years of life. The first one was good ol’ Typhoon Paka in 1997. I was only three-years-old, and I barely remember the details of the disaster. I do recall a few vague, cloudy snippets of the storm: the power outages, the fallen trees and my mom trying to put me to sleep against the backdrop of the pouring rain and howling, Category 5 winds. Like I said, I don’t remember much, but I knew it was bad, so bad that Paka was even upgraded to Super Typhoon status and the name “Paka” was retired from the list of hurricane names. I didn’t even know that was remotely possible.

In 2002, we had Super Typhoon Chata’an. In Chamorro, the native language of Guam, Chata’an means “rainy day.” And boy was that day rainy. Hell, it was a torrential downpour. I don’t remember much of Chata’an except that it ruined my summer.

A year and a half later, in December 2003, we had Super Typhoon Pongsona (pronounced PONG-SONG-WAH). Pongsona was nothing short of a bitch. It flooded streets and downed power and telephone poles. Guam was devastated. Oh, and Ponsonga had the audacity to prance its way into Guam a few weeks before Christmas. The nerve.

We didn’t have electricity for almost a month, if not more. It was a really big deal, actually, so big that the daily newspaper had a little box on the front page detailing how much of the island had its power back and which part of the island the power company was working to repair next. With each passing day, the percentage enclosed in the box increased: 12 percent, 20 percent, 45 percent and eventually 100 percent. Luckily, my neck of the woods was one of the first to have electricity reinstalled, so that was great.

Water was also a problem. If I remember correctly (I’m writing this all from memory okay, so if any of you Guamies notice anything wrong, forgive me), there was a water outage, too. And if you did have water, it was probably unsafe to drink it.

Ponsonga is the last typhoon I can recall because it was so catastrophic. If there were any other typhoons after it, they were probably too tame compared to Ponsonga to be worth remembering.

Guam has been typhoon-free for several years. And that is why I find it ironic that once I leave Guam and move to Boston, I get struck by Hurricane Sandy.

Last night, I was chatting with a friend from Guam that now attends school in Portland, Ore. Of course, Sandy made its way to the conversation and my friend told me not to worry, because I’m from Guam and therefore typhoon-proof.

Paka Typhoon

Damage to a home in Guam during the Paka Typhoon, Dec. 17, 1997 / PHOTO COURTESY PETTY OFFICER 3RD CLASS HEATHER EGHBALI, U.S. NAVY

In retrospect, I guess I am. This is the plus side of living in typhoon alley. Almost instinctively upon hearing about Sandy, I began to gather all the essentials in case of a disaster. I got my cereal and other snacks tucked in my shelf along with a couple of toiletries. I’ve been keeping track of Sandy and any pertinent news relating to school and the T.

It’s actually quite amusing to hear my friends from California and other parts of the hurricane-free world panic about the storm, and I’m just calm and nonchalant about it.

In the end, I’m very grateful that sunlight is starting to seep its way into Boston and that Sandy is starting to become a memory. My thoughts go out to those who have been ravaged by her. I’ve been there before, and it’ll soon pass.

BU Bucket List: Museum of Fine Arts

By Heather Goldin, Staff Writer

I know you’ve probably heard this Bucket List item a million times, but before you scroll down to the next post just hear me out.
There are multiple stereotypes surrounding museums, namely a huge white-walled building with art older than, well, everything else, ever. Those who truly appreciate art stare at paintings for hours on end, discovering the true genius nature of the piece and why the artist used specific colors and facial expressions. But hey, newsflash! This just in: art is not just old and boring.

Don’t believe me? Speaking from personal experience here—I’m not exactly an art expert—but I think Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts has something for everyone. And what do you have to lose? The museum itself is free for Boston University students, and the only fee you have to cough up is for the T. Just take the B Line to Copley and transfer to the E Line to get off at the Museum of Fine Arts stop.

Endlessly Repeating Twentieth-Century Modernism

“Endlessly Repeating Twentieth-Century Modernism” by Josiah McElheny, on display at the MFA / PHOTO CREDIT HEATHER GOLDIN

The Museum of Fine Arts is huge, and it’s easy to get lost. What I found really helpful was a map of all the exhibits that you receive upon entering the museum. You get a new one every time, but feel free to take the map home as a souvenir. The map led me to two floors of contemporary art, and boy, was I intrigued. Every piece seems to stand out, and the many mediums the art is constructed from seem virtually endless. One piece I was drawn to, “Endlessly Repeating Twentieth-Century Modernism” by Josiah McElheny, is a box of hand-blown glass explicitly created to multiply the pieces inside. This piece was just the first of many thought-provoking pieces that I couldn’t help looking at a little closer. I discovered at the museum that art is full of illusions, viewed differently at every angle.

There is so much to see at the museum that you may find yourself there for most of the day.Don’t worry about food. The museum has multiple cafés and restaurants that also serve delicious food and drinks. The Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard is a great place to relax, eat and get some work done. I took a short break from my museum expedition to enjoy a pumpkin latte and roast beef sandwich from Taste, a café on the first level of the museum.

The Morning Journal

“The Morning Journal,” an 1895 color lithograph by Louis John Rhead on display at the MFA / PHOTO CREDIT HEATHER GOLDIN

Sometimes, it’s a good idea to wander around, especially when you have no idea what kind of art you might enjoy. I stumbled upon an exhibit titled “Lure of Japan,” scheduled to remain through Dec. 31. I liked this gallery because of the bright primary colors, and the art looked like posters I might hang in my dorm room. Another collection truly exciting to look at was the third floor modern art gallery, and a gallery of instruments found me questioning how I never knew instruments could be so beautifully made.

The best part of my visit to the museum was by far viewing the work of Mario Testino, both a fashion and celebrity photographer. This exhibit will remain until February 2013, so go now while you have a chance! Testino has a small part of his exhibit featuring British Royal portraits, which is quite a sight. I love staring at famous British people as much as the next person, but this small part is nothing compared to the rest of his exhibit. The photos are simply breathtaking, and though I couldn’t take photos as evidence, please take my word for it and check them out yourself.

Some of the art you may just pass by without a second look, but others may stop you in your tracks. The museum is open seven days a week, it’s free and not very far away. So what are you waiting for? Just go check it out already!