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Bench Press: Super Fun Highlights

April 14, 2014

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Welcome to Bench Press! My name is Lainie Rowland and I’m the starting quarterback on the football team, like to run marathons during my free time, and am currently in the process of qualifying for the Rio Olympics as a competitive ping pong player. I’m kidding, of course, but I do love sports and Brown, so I’m really excited to write about a combination of the two this year.

This weekend marked two things: Brown’s annual spring weekend concert and the beginning of real summer weather. Both of which are events to celebrate. Though the nice weather is probably more relevant to sports, I would still advise any potential students making matriculation decisions to consider how awesome our spring weekend lineup always is.

But in keeping with the sports theme, this time of year is great for everything outdoors-related. There are hiking trips and pick up games. There are meets to watch and teams to cheer. There is slack lining and frisbee throwing.

One outdoorsy Brown-related group/event/thing that I want to highlight is BOLT, Brown Outdoor Leadership Training, which is now accepting applications for its summer 2014 trip. It’s a trip for rising sophomores that I’ve heard from many people was a defining moment in their college experience. As its website states, “The fall program begins with a shared wilderness experience and continues on campus with a calendar of planned and activities and small group gatherings.”

Something else worth highlighting are all the intramural sport options that, no offense to winter, are so much more fun when played outside. I would recommend this to everyone no matter what school they go to or even what stage of life they are currently living. I don’t believe there is any substitute for playing a game outside with friends. In the Spring, Brown Rec offers soccer, flag football, softball, ultimate frisbee, corn hole doubles, badminton singles & doubles, squash and tennis singles (in addition to special events like wiffleball and golf tournaments).

My last highlight for the week are just the biking/running/walking/camping opportunities that Providence Brown offer. You can rent free bikes from Brown (FREE!!!), as well as incredibly inexpensive (basically free) camping equipment and gear. And I’m not an expert on any of this, but I know for a fact that no one I know has ever run out of routes to run around Providence. With the nicer weather, many people are choosing to run down by the river, which is very lovely and pleasant. There are parks galore and the bus (FREE for Brown students) can take you to destinations farther away than walking/running/biking distance (though for an accomplished biker, lots of places within Rhode Island are very bike-able).

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Email lainie_rowland@brown.edu and I’ll get back to you!

 

The Economista: Welcome to Brown!

April 14, 2014

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Welcome to The Economista! - a blog for those looking to successfully enjoy their time at Brown while on a budget. Learn new tips each week from  freshman blogger Elliot Weiss as we embark on a journey of fiscal responsibility,  free meals (yes – there is such a thing as a free lunch!), and plenty of inexpensive fun. Cheers!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a very interesting trend around campus. All around campus, I’ve seen group upon group of eager high school students alongside their equally (if not more) eager parents being led around campus by an enthusiastic, backwards walking Brown student. Now of course you can guess that I’m talking about tours around famous, but in the last 2 or 3 weeks, campus tours, visits, and prospective student outreach has really picked up. The reason: it’s April – meaning acceptances for the class of 2018 have been joyously delivered to nervous high school seniors (woohoo!), yet there’s still time to make the very important question as to which “Class of 2018″ everyone wants to be a part of. So I figured, in honor of next year’s amazing incoming class, that I’d talk a bit this week about the decision to come to Brown.

At face value, a Brown education has many glaringly obvious upsides: attending a prestigious Ivy League university, learning under insanely smart and friendly professors, and meeting a ton of new and diverse people. Yet there are some, lesser discussed and not super well understood, reasons for attending a college that aren’t truly realized until one is actually a college student. So I’ll attempt to empower you, all of the ambivalent prefrosh across the country, with the vast knowledge and advice that I’ve acquired over my (almost) one full year at Brown.

It’s really really really (really) important to consider the people that you’ll be around for the next few years. By this I don’t just mean having classmates that will become some of your best friends. Being surrounded by people who are smart, friendly, sociable, well-rounded, ambitious (the list never ends) has made my experience at Brown absolutely amazing. From my cool, down-to-earth friends who are always happy to hangout with me, to my friendly and insanely cooperative (especially given that most classes are graded on a curve) classmates who will go out of their way to explain a difficult problem at 2 am, to the interesting and sometimes funny local citizens of Providence who I pass on the streets, it’s really nice to have good people around. So, when considering the “culture” or “feel” of a college campus, you should really look into what sorts of people you’ll be around for the next four years.

The size and location of Brown is, for me, perfect. I come from a public high school of about 2000 total students, so the jump to about 6000 here at Brown felt perfectly natural to me. I can walk from the main green (essentially the geographic center of campus) to any “edge” of campus in about 5 minutes (closer to 10 minutes if I talk a scenic route). Unlike other schools where students have to board buses to get from their rooms to class, I can leave my room 5 minutes before some of my classes start and still show up before the professor starts talking. In addition, Providence is a very cool place to live. Just a mile off campus in any direction, you’ll find a combination of nature trails, downtown areas, interesting little stores and bakeries, and the beautiful Providence River. The city of Providence itself isn’t too big, yet if offers a surprising amount of fun and interesting places to explore. If you are an open-minded, adventurous person, Providence is close to the perfect place to discover really new and unique sites, shops, and things to do for fun. Also, the city itself is fairly small, so there doesn’t seem to be too big of an issue with crime or safety when roaming around, even at night. As long as you keep your wits about you and use some common sense, Providence should never be a dangerous place.

The bottom line: Brown is an amazing place to go to school. Although it’s not the cheapest school in the country, it’s definitely worth the investment as long as you can afford the education or receive financial aid to come here. When prospective students ask me what my least favorite thing about Brown is, I usually have to think for a few minutes before replying: “well, the food in the dining halls can get a bit repetitive.” As far as issues or inconveniences go, there are a million things that could be worse about my time here. If you are lucky enough to attend a college like Brown, you should really think hard about how you want your college experience to take shape before making any big decisions. Good luck with your college decisions!

If you have any additional questions, comments, concerns, or mildly amusing jokes to tell, please feel free to email me at elliot_weiss@brown.edu! Also, I always appreciate suggestions for future blog posts!

 

Music to My Ears: Farewell Professor James Baker!

April 14, 2014

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What’s good y’all!? My name is Deionte Appling, sophomore class of 2016 here at Brown, and I’m a music and psychology concentrator. Alongside Eimi, I write for the Music to My Ears column for the Bruin Club Prospective Blog. Fun Facts: I sing in chorus, I occasionally perform operas with Brown Opera Productions, and I love Robert Plant! Music to My Ears is the prospective student’s gateway to the life of music at Brown, and I’ll attempt to show you the ins and outs of our music department to the best of my knowledge!

Just this past week, Brown’s music department put on Music Theory at Brown:  A Tribute to Professor James M. Baker, which consisted of performances from our own faculty and panel presentations of some of his former students, to commemorate the retirement of Professor James Baker.  This event was truly dear to me because Professor Baker was my introduction to studying music theory as an academic discipline when I took MUSC0550-0560 (Theory of Tonal Music) and learned the basics of Schenkerian Analysis. Professor Baker was easily one of my most favourite professors because of how much he showed to care that his students understood the material, his interest in knowing each student’s personal abilities and styles, and also simply because of how easy he was to approach.  Initially, he was simply on sabbatical, so I waited an entire year to ensure that I continue my theory studies under Professor Baker.  That (sadly) will never come to be.

One of the best treats of this tribute was listening to his former students and how he influenced their current work.  The amount of belief that he instilled in his former students is certainly paying off.  One that stood out to me was how someone is currently researching the theory analysis of Rock music.  He found that in some instances, while the tonal structure is still in place, it’s somewhat displaced, with examples that use IV chords or even I7 chords as the dominant.

It was also great to finally hear some of our professors perform.  Just reading their credentials (and stalking their CV’s) makes one want to hear and see them perform just to get a feel of seeing one practice what they preach.  Professor Baker performed with Arlene Cole, who devised the musicianship coursework and heads the piano performance here, putting on Schubert’s Fantasia in F minor for four hands, which of course was beautiful to experience.

Professor James Baker will truly be missed in our department.  I will always wish that I had the opportunity to take another course with him, but 30 years of his presence at Brown is more than enough.

For those of you tickled by curiosity, would like to express your love for me, or simply want to chat about any and all things music, please feel free to email your questions or comments to Deionte_Appling@brown.edu and I’ll get back ‘atcha ASAP!

 

If it ain’t Baroque… Let it play!

 

The Extras: Making Spring Weekend Happen

April 14, 2014

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With 400 plus student groups and tons of events daily, how does a Brown student navigate life outside of the lecture hall? I’m Lily Hartmann, and I am the freshmen behind “The Extras”; the blog that aims to give you a glimpse into the most exciting and noteworthy activities on campus. Throughout the year this blog will give you snapshots of what Brunonians do when they aren’t hitting the books on College Hill!

So I’m sure by now you’ve read/heard/know about Brown’s infamous Spring Weekend that happens once a year. The weekend is a huge party with concerts on the Main Green and Wriston Quad. We get the opportunity to forget our studies for a few days, while enjoying springtime at Brown. But who are the people behind the scenes that make this weekend happen? The Brown Concert Agency pulls the artists together for the Friday and Saturday concerts, and work to make the performances go off without a hitch. Throughout the year, the BCA works with their budget to create a lineup that reflects the wide variety of musical tastes on campus. The BCA is divided amongst those who work on publicity, hospitality, production, security and more, but all members of the BCA work to make the concert series go smoothly. A little bit into the spring semester, the BCA releases the concert lineup, and the excitement building up to Spring Weekend begins. If you love music festivals or event planning, students can apply to join the BSA every fall semester. The BCA gives undergrads the opportunity to be part of producing one of the most loved weekends on campus. So if you’re interested in event planning or the music industry, try joining the BCA!

Have questions about a specific student group or event on campus? Want me to cover a specific topic in my next post? Feel free to shoot me an email at lily_hartmann@brown.edu with any of your questions and comments

On The Brown Low: Nick’s on Broadway

April 14, 2014

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Wondering what Providence has to offer? Curious as to where to find the best off-campus entertainment? Well, lucky for you, On The Brown Low, will give you just that! Isabelle Edwards, a native Rhode Islander, will show you the best spots to grab a bite to eat, find fun activities, or just kick around! Stay tuned!

This weekend, I went to my favorite restaurant in all of Rhode Island: Nick’s on Broadway!

Nick’s not only has the best pancakes I’ve ever had (my Mom really resents me when I say that), but they also have perfectly cooked eggs, sweet potato and regular potato home fries, fresh juice, this amazing pesto toast (believe me, you’ll melt upon trying it), and the tables always have  a really beautiful fresh flower on them (it’s the small things, right?)

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Every time I go I have to order a pancake (or three) and scrambled eggs. They also have a really great oatmeal that I can’t get over.

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Nick’s on Broadway is a 7-minute car ride from campus (and a 20-minute bus ride). I’d really, really suggest going! If you’re going to go on the weekend, it’s best to go in the early morning because Nick’s is packed, especially on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Honestly, treat yo’self and head over to Nick’s!

Is there something I haven’t covered? Heard of a cool place in Rhode Island but haven’t seen a post about it yet? Email me your suggestions and questions at Isabelle_Edwards@brown.edu!

* All images © 2013-2014 Isabelle Edwards. Please request permission before use.

A Fresh View: Ms. Lauryn Hill Comes to Brown

April 14, 2014

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Hello, Brown hopefuls! My name is Kimberly Truong and I am the awkward (but utterly thrilled) first-year behind A Fresh View. With that big question mark hovering over where you’ll be spending the next four years of your life, rest assured that this freshman will tell you her experience as she stumbles through the wonderful world of Brown.

As you probably know, Spring Weekend was this week and Brown’s concert lineup was too good to beat. At first, I thought I wouldn’t be able to get a ticket after underestimating how quickly the tickets were sold out on the first day. Luckily, Providence’s weather was looking up and an outdoors concert meant more tickets to be sold on the next day. I made it a mission to get a ticket the second time around.

Although I wasn’t particularly enthused with the lineup of performers before Lauryn Hill, Ms. Lauryn Hill’s performance was worth waiting an hour before while a DJ tried to get the crowd hyped up with some mixes of popular party club songs, insisting that he was “preparing you [us] for Lauryn Hill.” Ms. Hill’s vocals were powerful and her version of Fugees’s cover of “Killing Me Softly” was just as moving and high-energy as her famous tune, “Doo Wop (That Thing).” I left the Main Green in awe of her performance.

Any questions or suggestions for my next post? Please send them my way at kimberly_truong@brown.edu. I’m happy to answer and heed to all of them!

He, She, and Phe: Dorm Life at Brown: Housing Lottery Part 2

April 14, 2014

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Brianna’s Take:

Dorm life: two words that inspire excitement and fear in the hearts of many incoming freshman. I’m Brianna Lambert, a first year student and one of the writers behind He, She and Phe: Dorm Life at Brown. In this column I’ll share all of the good, bad, funny, and painfully awkward things that come along with living in a dorm.

Numbers were assigned, tears were shed, and rooms were chosen. The housing lottery is now officially over! A lot of my friends got pretty good numbers in the lottery, so they ended up in the most sought after sophomore dorms. My group, unfortunately, did not fair so well. Our number was so low that we were on the last page of the listed lottery numbers.

Needless to say we ended up in the sophomore dorm that nobody wanted – Perkins. The problem with Perkins isn’t the building itself. I’ve heard that it is a decent building, and the rooms are pretty standard. I say “I’ve heard” because I haven’t seen Perkins at all because it is too far away. And when I say far, I mean FAR. Perkins is so removed from everything else on campus that people have to add in an extra 10-15 minutes walking time in order to get anywhere else on campus.

Because of it’s not so prime location, Perkins does foster a very tight knit community between its residents, which is one trait that I really wanted my future dorm to have. Plus, living so far away will make me get more exercise. Maybe Perkins won’t be so bad after all.

Chelsea’s Take:

Hey there! I’m Chelsea Phan, one of the first-year students behind He, She, and Phe: Dorm Life at Brown. I’ll be telling you all about the home away from home!

*Drumrolls* And the result is: SPRING WEEKEND IS OVER. Thank goodness.

Actually, just kidding. It’s not. Okay, let’s try that again.

*Drumrolls* And the result is… MINDEN HALL!

A couple weeks ago, Brianna and I talked briefly about the Housing Lottery. Now that phase is officially over! Whew! I have to admit, that was one of the most intense three minutes of my life. My group had a pretty decent lottery number, so we were confident that we would get our first choices, which were two singles in different locations. Looking at the groups before us, we saw that there were eight groups of one, and there were eleven single rooms available for the places we wanted. That’s why I was pretty shocked that there were no singles left where we wanted to reside. It shouldn’t have surprised me though. Singles go out fast. And I also realized later that I didn’t take into account the possibility that there could also be singles in groups larger than one. Fortunately though, there were doubles open for our second-choice, Minden. It used to be a hotel, so that’s pretty cool, right? The rooms are a good size, and the location is pretty great. Right by Barus & Holley (where I spend most of my life as an engineer) and close enough to the Main Green.

The Housing Lottery did not go as smoothly for some others though. On the day of the lottery, one of my friends considered switching out his roommate with someone else in his group to get a room in a residential hall that his roommate was against. The roommate found out, and an interesting skirmish occurred. Fortunately though, my friend was only kidding. Still, that’s an emotional betrayal. Not cool. However, an actual betrayal did occur for my current roommate. Her group leader placed herself somewhere that wasn’t Perkins and sent everyone else to Perkins. What’s the deal with this Perkins place? Well, most people try to avoid it because it’s so far from the main campus. My poor roommate already decided that she was going to start a diary devoted to life at Perkins. Maybe she’ll find her true love there, as the legends say. She’ll be alright.

Having gone through the Lottery, I definitely do see why most people try to avoid it (and there are several ways to do so). It’s great if you have a good number, but if you don’t… you don’t have very many options.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for future posts, please feel free to email either Brianna or Chelsea at brianna_lambert@brown.edu or bao-han_phan@brown.edu.

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