Here you can get a glimpse of life at Brown through the eyes of a transfer student. I’m Ashlyn Mooney, and this is my Second Time Around.
Happy 250th Anniversary, Brown!
This week, Brown begins a 15 month-long celebration of the University’s bicentennial. Preparations have been underway since last semester, building momentum up to the opening ceremonies. “Brown 250″ banners are mounted on every light pole. In the past couple of days, huge numbers–first 2, then 5, then 0–were erected in front of University Hall, Brown’s first building. The delightful news of a 600-pound cake shaped like University Hall and baked to serve 2,500 people has been confirmed, and slices of the masterpiece will be handed out after the opening fireworks display.
I’ve stood back and watched the ceremonies with utter amazement. I’m from the West. I went to college in the West (for a year). The concept of a 250-year-old building is utterly foreign. Sometimes I walk into a building–University Hall, for example–and realize that the building predates the city of my childhood and freshman year by almost a century. My feet are standing on something that someone built 250 years ago! Not the carpet. They’ve replaced the carpet since Moses Brown (one of the founding brothers) was meandering about.
Aside from constantly reminding me of Brown’s rich and long history–long for the United States at least, which didn’t even exist when the University was founded–the bicentennial celebrations remind me of the community and culture that I decided to join when I chose to transfer to Brown. The rich history comes with a culture of its own, one that has evolved up how I found it when I joined the sophomore class.
A big part of transferring for me was learning the lingo. Learning Brown’s traditions was like learning a new language–or at least, learning the necessary phrases to get around the campus. Brown’s immediate history became relevant pretty quickly as I started to get to know students who had been at Brown their freshman year: Ruth Simmons was the beloved President, and the snowstorm two years ago was incredible. Students at Brown don’t choose a “major,” they choose a “concentration,” and the best autumn event in Providence is the Providence Honk Fest (called PRONK), a big-band concert and parade through the streets of College Hill.
As I learned the terms and traditions, I learned how to move through the Brown campus. Soon I stopped slipping up, referring to Literary Arts as my concentration. Sure, I felt a little silly–after all, languages and customs don’t often make much sense at first. But as I got to know the lingo, I also got to know Brown as a community and an institution. The initial confusion wore away, and a comfortable contentedness set in.
It’s Brown’s 250th anniversary, and as a transfer student I can celebrate and happily say: Happy 250th, Brown!
That’s all for now, folks! If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at email@example.com or leave a comment below.
Welcome to Office Hour, where Natasha Bluth, a Brown University Junior concentrating International relations and Slavic studies interviews a different professor each week. You are cordially invited to delve into Brown’s sixty-three departments and meet the crème de la crème of academicians.
“We study the past in order to imagine a better future.” – Professor Naoko Shibusawa, History Department & American Studies Department
Courses teaching this semester: HIST1900 American Empire Since 1890, AMST1904V Decolonizing Minds: A People’s History of the World
On a bitter cold Monday morning, the well-heated Peter Green House extends a warm welcome. The building is home to Brown’s history department and to Professor Naoko Shibusawa, a spitfire professor whose head cold doesn’t fail to repress her enthusiasm to answer questions about her life in academia.
In 2004, after four years at the University of Hawaii, Professor Shibusawa was offered a position at Brown University – she gasps when she realizes it is her tenth year. She is a professor of History and American Studies, as well as a prime example that time flies when you’re having fun.
While she concentrates in twentieth century history, she finds earlier history equally, if not more, fascinating due to its “mind-blowing paradigm shifts.” She describes the 1581 Bünting cloverleaf world map that positions Jerusalem in the center – an example from one of her classes, the American Empire Since 1890.
History is important, Professor Shibusawa explains, because it is “the study of the past in order to imagine a better future.” The present, she continues, “Can’t break out of the modernist paradigm,” embedded in place today.
She finally falls silent when asked about her favorite class. Her honest and oblique answer: “The students. I like that I get to give students the tools to teach history, but they bring me back tools.” She often incorporates students’ research into lectures.
As a first-year and concentration advisor, Professor Shibusawa is constantly inspired by her advisees’ academic curiosity. She cites a fellow history professor and colleague, Robert Self, who once said, “It’s cool to be intellectual at Brown.” Not unaware of the social atmosphere on college hill, she has noticed that partying and studying are not, in fact, separate realms, but rather merge to foster an all-encompassing intellectual atmosphere among the student body.
In regards to her professorship, Shibusawa acknowledges that she doesn’t have answers for everything. She hopes, however, that her courses are thought provoking. “It’s a privilege,” she says, “to talk and study about things you like and are interested in,” concluding the interview with a smile.
Questions, comments, concerns? Email Natasha Bluth at Natasha_Bluth@brown.edu for more information.
No matter where you are in the world, From Albania to Zimbabwe is the right place to find out about international happenings at Brown University! Hi, I’m Celina Stewart, a sophomore concentrating in International Relations here at Brown, and this is my space to give you updates and info about all things international at Brown, including international student life, international speakers, and different clubs and activities with an international focus. Read along and explore everything international at Brown!
While I wait for those interview questions to roll in, I figured that I’d discuss something that all students – international or otherwise- will probably pursue during their time at Brown: Internships!
As many students scramble to fill out applications, get cover letters and resumes buffed and checked by Career Lab, and network through alumni connections, there is a strange sense of stress on campus that can be tangibly felt. It’s one thing to be slightly late studying for a test, another to be late with your application. Worst case, you find a typo moments after you send your application in, and can’t decide if you should recall your application and look overbearing or leave it there and look incompetent. What a great time. Much coffee is had, a few tears are shed, and most people end up with an opportunity they hope to pursue over the summer- maybe even leading to jobs.
Fortunately, Brown has a great advising program, and a very active Career Lab. For students interested in Careers in the Common Good, Brown has a program in New York that links students with start up organizations serving specific communities. The Career Lab also frequently sends out job opportunities in a variety of sectors; various departments have networking meet and greets; there are multiple career fairs; different centers, such as the Swearer Center, send out lists of opportunities for special interests. Any student is welcome to apply to any program, and there are opportunities for funding available as well!
However, for international students, this can be a daunting task. It’s one thing to build a community at Brown- it’s another thing entirely to venture to New York, Boston, Washington, D. C., or even San Francisco or Seattle and try to build a community there over a short few months. Here’s a few tips:
1. Make sure you have your student and work Visas in order- most companies will look for documentation, so be prepared to present it.
2. Don’t limit yourself by language- many organizations and companies (especially in international affairs) look for multilingual interns- this can be a huge asset.
3. If you want to take the time to travel and see more of the United States, try to find a position in a place you are unfamiliar with- its a great way to see the country and get a better feel.
4. Look for opportunities to intern abroad or study abroad- there are a TON of opportunities to work and live abroad over the summer. If you want to go to a different country (possibly on a funded trip) look into this option- it can be a great way to travel on a budget and get valuable experience.
5. Stay in Providence and make the most of your time at Brown- you can take summer classes, do research in various labs or departments, or just find a job and live in summer housing. It’s a fun way to meet and get to know Brown students better, plus summer means time to take weekend trips to nearby cities like Boston or New York- you can’t go wrong.
No matter what you choose to do, you aren’t alone if you feel scared thinking about the internship or work experience over the summer. Schools like Brown can be competitive, and you will get a few rejections. Don’t give up- it’s something that nearly everyone goes through, no matter how qualified you might feel you are for a position. With all the opportunities suggested by different groups on Brown and through your own research, you’re sure to find a position you enjoy.
About the comic above- don’t take it too seriously! Internships (and summer opportunities of all kinds) can be an incredibly rewarding, resume-building, learning experience.
Have questions or comments? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible! Or, if you’d rather, just comment on the blog!
Questions, of course, are what make life interesting. The Question will give you weekly responses to any and every possible question there is about Brown! With The Answer coming from freshman Emma Harris, be prepared to feel like you know Brunonia inside and out!
While the Bruin Club Blog is an excellent resource, it is definitely not the only place where you can get a taste of Brown! There are TONS of publications on campus – some more formal, some more silly – with which you can see the personalities, views, and diversity that the Brown student body encompasses. Here’s a list of sites to explore! Also, side note, some of these are Brown/RISD collaborations. And rest assured – this is not a complete list. There are so many more publications to discover here on campus!
Brown’s daily newspaper, and The Herald is the only publication on campus that is financially independent from the University. Take a look to find out what’s happening on campus and in Providence!
This is Brown’s ultra-funny blog. Complete with general advice, current news summaries, and cool things you shouldn’t miss on campus, the Blog is a must-read.
A weekly publication, The Indy is more… Indy. This paper houses more long-form journalism with a cooler demeanor and more esoteric subject matter than your average publication.
Brown’s political journalism outlet! Filled with lots of interesting interviews and political ideas, this publication is published four times a year.
Want to see how funny Brown’s students can be? Head on over to this publication to read Brown’s satirical newspaper.
The Brown Jug is Brown’s oldest humor magazine. It’s been around for almost 100 years!
Do you have any questions? Comments? Concerns? Possibly The Question for next week? Shoot me an email at email@example.com for answers!
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.
Although the Providence air is still nippy and below freezing temperatures still prevail most days, the grass has begun to peek through the green and Spring Break is just around the corner (3 weeks is close enough). This means a few things. First is the beginning of spring sports seasons and the end of winter sports. That’s a win-win for us, because that means that not only do we get to follow our teams as they vie for playoff spots and compete against the top teams in the Ivy League and the Northeast, but we also get to start thinking about warmer, outdoor sports like baseball and lacrosse. As entertaining as hockey and basketball might be, I’ve started to feel claustrophobic caught indoors all the time. I would be lying if I said I don’t get a little mad when I walk outside and it’s snowing AGAIN.
Spring also means that intramural sports come back in their full glory. Winter intramurals are highlighted by the famously comical inner tube water polo. Spring means the return of classics like soccer, flag football and softball. And now that I’ve actually made and developed friendships after a semester on College Hill, I imagine these games will be even more fun, if that’s possible. Also, canoe water polo should clearly be the next intramural sport that Brown needs to offer.
Lastly, Spring means the return of casual exercise. The return of frisbee on the main green, slack lines hung up between trees and, for the ambitious among us, pleasant jogs through Providence’s winding streets. These beautiful days are the cherry on top of a great spring semester and I, for one, know that I’m counting down the days until the sun shines again.
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Need a pen pal? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And I’m not just saying that, I would genuinely love to hear from you!
Hi! My name is Carrie Adams, and I’m a freshman here at Brown. On my column, Stage Write, I will be filling you in about all the drama at Brown (no, not who sat with whom at the Ratty, but actual glorious theater!). Each week I’ll be highlighting different theatre groups on campus and shows that are being performed. All of Brown’s a stage!
I watched a total of zero seconds of the Super Bowl this year. I watched about ten seconds of the Olympics over the shoulder of somebody in a dining hall (I think it was speed skating? Luge? Who knows). To be honest, there’s not much time for TV on our campus because of the constant stream of lectures, speakers, group meetings, performances, and fun activities that flow through Brown’s campus. However, you can always set aside time for the things that are important to you. And for me, that’s the Oscars. I literally planned my entire weekend around getting my homework done in time to watch this year’s Academy Awards because I was determined to veg out on my friend’s floor and look at pretty dresses and act like I know everything about every person in attendance (embarrassingly, I do probably spend more time than I should invested in the lives of these celebrities, but alas, it brings me joy).
ANYWAY, what I’m trying to say is that if you want to watch the Oscars while you’re at college, you totally can. Brown provides every student with IPTV, which is basically cable for your computers. Luckily, I didn’t discover this service until last night or who knows how I would have passed my classes last semester. Some students have TVs in their rooms for occasions such as this, and we all pack in with popcorn and orgo homework to sort of pay attention (or if you’re like me, you make everyone stop talking so you can hear every word that comes out of Lupita Nyong’o’s mouth). Additionally, Brown offers ways for the entire community to get together and watch big events. The Leung Family Gallery (located in Faunce House on the Main Green) held an Oscars viewing party this year complete with free dessert! They also had viewing parties for the Super Bowl and the Olympics opening and closing ceremonies. I didn’t get to see the Olympic ceremonies, but I heard it was really cool to watch it with so many people because there were students from all over the world cheering for their own countries in the same room.
Ok, back to the Oscars. You may ask “but Carrie, how could I possibly SEE all the movies nominated for this year’s Oscars?” Well, let me tell you: the city of Providence is very supportive of any movie-watching addiction you may have. Located on Thayer street, the Avon Cinema is the most adorable movie theatre where we all piled in to watch Blue Jasmine during the first week of school. Slightly down the hill (but according to Google Maps a three minute walk from my room) is the Cable Car Cinema, which every year during Oscars season shows all of the year’s Oscar-nominated short films. If you’re into bigger screens and crazier effects, there’s an IMAX cinema located in the Providence Place mall (the largest indoor carpeted mall in New England!), which is just a 20 minute walk from campus (or you can take the bus for free!). ALSO, Brown holds frequent screenings of films (Oscar-winner 12 Years a Slave will be shown next week followed by a discussion) weekly, and sometimes we get to see advanced screenings of movies that have yet to be released. We got to see Endless Love BEFORE Valentine’s day, and Liam Neeson’s new movie Non-Stop was previewed just last week—for FREE! Additionally (can you see how we get overwhelmed with the endless possibilities here?!), classes in the Modern Culture and Media department hold weekly screenings anyone can go to. ALSO, there are tons of movies you can rent from the Brown Libraries. Plus, if you want to stay in bed, there’s always Netflix. Happy movie watching!
Questions? Comments? Want to Skype and practice monologues together? Not sure if that last one is actually possible, but for the other two, feel free to email me at Carrie_Adams@Brown.edu!
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!
There is some great events coming up at Brown in the next couple of months and guess who organizes them? None other than the Class Coordinating Boards. The goal of each class’s CCB is to unite each class and the entire undergraduate student body by planning and enacting social events throughout the year. They also work on forging connections with alumni and hope to make strong relationships between peers during each class’s time at Brown. There is a board for every class made up of six annually elected members. Although I have only been at Brown for two semesters, CCB plans some of the best events on campus. Here is a look at some of the events they planned for this year:
Free ice skating and hot chocolate were offered last week hosted by CCB ’17 in downtown Providence this past weekend.
CCB ’16 is bringing soft and cute animals to Wriston Quad next Monday. What more could we want?
CCB is hosting Moulin Rouge Annual Spring Gala on March 15, and already over 1,000 tickets have been sold. It’s like Brown University’s dance, and is supposed to be a great event. In December, CCB gave us a hall full of candy and treats for Candyland, and they will bring us Carnival on the Main Green during Spring Weekend. Heavy petting, Carnival, Candyland, and Gala are just a few perks of coming to Brown organized for us by the CCB! (Plus what college student doesn’t like free food!)
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 email@example.com with any of your questions and comments.