Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Think Twice Before Shopping This Thanksgiving Weekend

by Laura K. Garrison

Every Thanksgiving, people across the country sit down with family and friends and give thanks for all the wonderful things in their lives and dig into a bountiful meal satisfied with what they have. And everyone lives happily ever after. The end.

Just kidding. This is America after all.

This Friday, millions of Americans will descend on shopping malls at ridiculously early hours on the hunt for door-buster deals that only happen one day a year. That day happens to be Black Friday, the day immediately after a holiday in which we are supposed to reflect on all the things we are thankful for in our lives.

I’ve never shopped on Black Friday, and while I once saw the novelty of it, I never will participate in what has clearly become an arms race for retailers. This year, countless stores across the country will start their sales on Thanksgiving Day, including large chains like Sears, Macy’s, Target, Kmart, JC Penney, Sports Authority, Old Navy, Toys ‘R’ Us, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. While this may seem like a great idea to the shopaholic in all of us, those stores need to be manned with people, people who have families who want to share Thanksgiving with their loved ones.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Unconventional Things to Do Over Thanksgiving Break

by Tori Fourman

Staying in the city over Thanksgiving weekend? Can’t think of what to do while your friends are in the comfort of their homes, enjoying ample turkey and pie? Here are some unconventional ways to celebrate this weekend:

You’ll never again have this much time to contemplate
the crushing capitalist exploitation of the holiday season.
 
1. Decorate your dorm room for the holidays: string up some lights, make some paper snowflakes to hang from your ceiling, construct a wreath for your door, etc. Anything to make the upcoming winter season a little less dreary, right?

2. Organize your room: you’ve got a few days of free time, so now might be a good time to organize your closet/desk/entire dorm if you’ve been too busy to do it earlier.

3. Try out a new recipe in the lounge: be it Thanksgiving-related food or not, you’ll most likely have the lounge to yourself —now would be a perfect time to try out something you’ve been wanting to make.

Surviving Meals With Your Family Over the Holidays

by Anonymous

(Trigger warning: eating disorders)


Thanksgiving can be a stressful holiday.
For many students, the start of college can bring about anxiety around eating, with overwhelming threats about the “freshman 15”, the stress of having to plan and be in charge of all of your meals, and the general disruption of the eating habits one had while at home. And for many people, myself included, those stressors can manifest into more serious eating problems. With the holidays approaching, I know firsthand how daunting the thought of having to eat big meals while surrounded by your entire family can be, and I imagine that I am not alone in this. I’d like to offer some tips to get through these holiday dinners as peacefully as possible, so we can all enjoy the holidays for what they are really about.

1. Anticipate. The best thing you can do if you are worried about going into a holiday dinner is to anticipate what you think you might be feeling. If you can identify potential problems in advance, you will have more time to come up with solutions, rather than having to deal with them on the spot as they come up, which can be too overwhelming.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Class Act II: Course Recommendations for Spring 2015

Spring semester is coming. What does your schedule look like?
Preliminary program filing has returned once again. Are you frantically trying to find one last class to fill out your course schedule for next semester? Or are you looking to try something new and exciting? The Nine Ways staff has you covered! Here are some of our writers’ course recommendations for next spring! And if they’re already full now, bookmark this page for the spring when program filing re-opens.

Course: Gender and Power in Transnational Perspective (Barnard) 
Professor: Lila Abu-Lughod 
Time: M 2:10-4:00PM 
Credit: 4 
Prerequisites: Critical Approaches or permission of the instructor.
Although I was skeptical of this class at first, I have really grown to love it because it brings in the intersectionality that is lacking in many classes on gender. The course is different each semester, with this semester focusing on the Middle East and the role that gender plays in the so-called “Muslim question”. Yet, the professor who is teaching it next semester (Lila Abu-Lughod) has written many books on the topic of women and gender in cultures outside of the United States so it is sure to be an interesting class and one that will make you re-think many of your previously held assumptions about women, especially those living in third-world countries.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Dealing with Study Abroad Stress

by Clarke Wheeler

It is mid-November, and many students are stressing out about their ongoing midterms (which are not actually “midterms”) and passionately anticipating Thanksgiving Break (thank goodness that’s happening). There are also many students who, along with schoolwork, jobs, friends, and family, must worry about their visa applications. These students are studying abroad next semester and, while they are about to embark on what could potentially be the best experience of their young lives, preparing for this experience can be very overwhelming. Here are a few of the things students studying abroad stress over and some tips for alleviating this stress!

When you fill out your Visa Application:



There are so many parts to this application, you feel like you’ve been narrowed down to a 2”x 2” passport photo from Rite Aid and an FBI Background Check deciding whether or not you’re a good person.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Death Becomes Her: The Newest Installation at the Met

by Victoria Fourman

The latest installation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Anna Wintour Costume Center explores the theme of mourning wear during the Victorian era. It features the various mourning garments of men, women, and children during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire began on October 20 and will run until February 1, 2015. The exhibit is organized chronologically and features roughly 30 ensembles, according to the Met’s website. In addition to the costumes, the exhibit showcases mourning jewelry, Gibson girl drawings, and a glimpse into the popular Victorian phenomenon of post-mortem photography. The exhibit examines cultural and societal forces behind mourning attire as well as the spread in popularity of such costumes. One final interesting touch includes the projection onto the walls of quotes from the time period regarding the effects of mourning attire. If you’re interested in history and/or fashion, you’ll definitely want to check this out.

Victoria Fourman is a first year at Barnard and a staff writer for The Nine Ways of Knowing

Photo courtesy of Victoria Fourman 

Getting into Study Mode: Find your Focus Using these Eight Websites

by Danielle Owen

Feeling helpless after Barnard Library closes? Is Butler is too far away? Don’t be afraid to camp out in an overcrowded Sulz lounge—you can always drown out the Scandal reruns blasting from the TV with background noise from one of the following websites:

Rainy Mood: Simple and effective, opening this website is like stepping outside in the middle of a rainstorm (something Barnard students rarely do when it’s actually raining unless necessary, thanks to the miracle that is our underground tunnel system). Want something even more soothing? Click the option to add “Romantic Spanish Guitar”. Doing calculus problem sets has never felt so good.

Coffitivity: This is my preferred website to use whenever I have to write something artsy. Citing research that shows “being a tiny bit distracted helps you be more creative”, the web app plays “coffee shop sounds”—glasses clinking, pages turning, people talking, chairs sliding—to provide just enough background noise to increase your productivity. Moreover, you can waste nine dollars in effort to achieve ultimate hipster status and buy a premium account, which gives you access to sounds from themed cafes, such as the Paris Paradise or Brazil Bistro.
Nothing like pretending you're in a forest to
get those creative juices flowing

Sound Drown: What if you want rain and coffee shop sounds at the same time? Or waves and fire and bird sounds all at once? I suppose it might beat the purpose of “ambient music”, but you’re a Barnard Woman. You can have it all (or, with this website, as many ambient sounds as you want at the same time).

iSerenity: Would you define the sounds of a vacuum cleaner or hair dryer as “ambient”? There’s an app for you, weirdo. This one also has purring (particularly useful during that point in your all-nighter when you just want to roll around in some cats), city sounds (because you just can’t get enough of those garbage trucks on Claremont you wake up to every morning) and, most boringly, white noise.

Get Work Done: This website is the internet equivalent of the time you convinced the employees at Liz’s to give you six shots of espresso in a single cup of coffee. There is no possible way to fail at writing a 2000 word essay in three hours with fast-paced dubstep, supplied by Get Work Done, pumping through your highly caffeinated, sleep-deprived system.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Developing Story: The Newsroom is Back for its Third and Final Season

By Laura K. Garrison

The Newsroom returns for its final season!
On Sunday, November 9, HBO’s provocative show The Newsroom returned for its third and final season after an extended wait due to a scheduling conflict with creator and chief writer, Aaron Sorkin. As fans have waited with bated breath for the return of Will McAvoy and the News Night team, the series remains one of the most intelligent – and polarizing – shows currently on TV. At the end of its six-episode final season, the ultimate fate of Atlantis Cable News (ACN) is anybody’s guess. *SPOILER ALERT*

The Newsroom’s second season finale neatly tied up most of last year’s looming questions, with the exception of the ongoing fallout and lawsuits resulting from News Night’s falsified reports of the U.S. military’s use of sarin gas during a fictitious Operation Genoa. The finale, which took place on Election Day 2012 during coverage of President Obama’s reelection, saw Mac and Will getting engaged to be married, Don and Sloan finally admitting their feelings for one another, and Maggie struggling to cope in the wake of her disastrous trip to Uganda. When Will and Charlie attempt to resign, in response to the controversy over the fabricated Genoa story, mother and son duo Leona and Reese Lansing, CEO and president of Atlantis World Media respectively, reject their resignations and promise to fight through the lawsuits for the News Night team.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Review of Taylor Swift's 1989

by Clara Butler

It's no secret that I'm a huge T-Swift fan. I have every album she's ever made and I've even dressed up as her more than once. Growing up, she had a huge influence on me and songs like "Place in this World" and "Fifteen" made me feel like everyone was a little lost and that's okay. So cheesiness aside, I was super excited when I found out that she was putting out a new album this year. After obsessively listening to Red, I was desperate for new songs. I was nervous that I might not like her switch into pop because her country roots had been part of her charm for so long. But after listening to "Shake it Off" all summer, I fully supported Taylor Swift turned pop-star. What follows is a track-by-track review of her newest album.

1. Welcome To New York

Taylor dancing at award shows = perfection
Although this song has been heavily criticized, I think it's great. Living in New York, it makes me like this song even more and I know that I'll be listening to it every time I'm not in NYC and need to reflect on how cool it is that I actually go to school here. Does it glamorize New York? Of course. Does it make NYC a little unattainably perfect? Probably. But if you think about it, almost every song written about New York presents an unrealistic picture of this diverse and indescribable city. Also, I think it's amazing that she is donating the profits from this song to NYC schools.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Bracing For Winter In Style

by Aisha Hasan

As the warm breeze of summer is slowly fading away, NYC seems to be hitting us with colder days as a way to ease us into the looming winter. So, it’s time to put away those cute rompers and flowy tanks pull out these essentials instead. It will be freezing out before you know it!

1. Turtlenecks or long sleeved shirts for layering
If there is anything I’ve picked up from those who warned me for the cold, it is to LAYER, LAYER, LAYER. Buying plain shirts in neutral colors is really helpful since you can wear them under almost anything. Most importantly, they’ll help keep you warm.

2. Sweaters (DUH)
This one is a bit obvious, but another important piece in the layering department. If you get some basic colors, then it’s very easy to layer two and cuff one along with the other to have a bit of a preppy look.

3. A nice pair of woolen tights or leggings
These will be especially nice if they have a fleece lining on the inside to add to the coziness.  A good pair of tights can be worn with boots or under jeans when necessary.

(See rest of list under the cut)

Revisiting your Childhood in New York City: Madeline and More

Twelve little girls in two straight lines...
by Katherine Aliano Ruiz

"In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines 
Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines 
In two straight lines they broke their bread 
And brushed their teeth and went to bed. 
They left the house at half past nine 
In two straight lines in rain or shine-- 
The smallest one was Madeline"

For anyone who's a fan of Ludwig Bemelmans' Madeline book series, those lines are a treasured part of their childhood memories. Growing up, I had those lines memorized and would read them over and over again in my Madeline books. This childhood love for Madeline is what led to my older sister and I going to The New York Historical Society's exhibit on Bemelmans' artwork and stories, with a specific focus on his beloved Madeline stories. The exhibit was beautiful and provided a timeline for his artwork and books as well as detailing the birth of Madeline. It was interesting to learn how Bemelman's injected real life references in his stories and the influence his books had on a range of people, including former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy who wrote to Bemelmans about co-writing a story where Madeline visits the White House. At the center of the exhibit was a blue couch and desk full of Madeline books where my sister and I sat and leafed through pages of the beautiful illustrations that brightened our childhoods. Walking through the exhibit was an experience tinged in nostalgia—seeing Genevieve the dog in her early stages and large, beautiful drawings of Pepito and Madeline in the circus.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

For Democrats, Midterms Matter Too

by Laura K. Garrison
Where were YOU last Tuesday?

Last Tuesday was Election Day, and only 13 percent of voters who cast ballots were between the ages of 18 and 29. Let that sink in - 13 percent. If this statistic doesn’t elicit a response, consider this: almost 25 percent of voters on Tuesday were senior citizens who largely support the Republican Party. Tuesday’s youth turnout was better than the previous midterms when, in 2010, people aged 18-29 constituted 12 percent of voters. During the 2012 presidential elections, however, almost 20 percent of voters were between 18 and 29. I ask you, politically engaged and socially aware college students, where were you last Tuesday? Apparently not at the polls.

It was not a good day for Democrats, who lost control of the Senate when Republicans gained seven seats (two races are still in the process of determining a winner - Alaska and Louisiana). Senators Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and Mark Udall of Colorado were among those unseated by their Republican challengers, though Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire was able to hold on and defeat Scott Brown, the carpetbagger former Senator from Massachusetts. The Democrats also lost eleven seats in the House, though this number could grow. As a result, both houses of Congress will be overwhelming red.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Review of "Dear White People"

by Clarke Wheeler

The lack of knowledge about this movie on campus is troubling.
Ask a student on Columbia's campus if they have heard of the film Dear White People, and, many times, the response will be a tentative “No” with a facial reaction of confusion and alarm. I have encountered a lack of knowledge of Dear White People on campus, despite the film’s clear relation with Columbia University, as a predominantly white institution (PWI), and seemingly widespread reach on social media. The film, directed by Justin Simien, has garnered an enthusiastic following with not only its trailer, but with short videos, posters of movie quotes, and a full-fledged social media campaign. The film has also won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Yet most importantly, the lack of knowledge of Dear White People at Columbia, particularly among non-students of color, in combination with the high enthusiasm for the film within circles of color on social media and in daily conversation, is a real manifestation of what the film was addressing – the complex and often misunderstood reality black students experience at predominantly white institutions.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Long-Distance Love: Five Tips for Maintaining a Long-Distance Relationship

by Jessica Gregory

Just because you're far apart, doesn't mean you have to be apart.
It seems to be that time again. Midterms are over and we’ve settled into our routines for the year. We’re juggling classes, work, clubs, friends, and, if you’re like me, a long distance relationship. How in the world can we manage to keep that alive?

I won’t lie to you: long-distance relationships are challenging, but with these simple tips, you can handle the distance (and have a life where you are!).

Get in Touch with Your Emotions.

The physical element won’t always be there, so you will ultimately be forced to convey affection through words, gifts, and body language through the screen. Being aware of how you feel and accepting it will help you be honest about your role in the relationship. Amp up the emotional connection to whatever level you and your partner are comfortable with— show them that you care and send hugs with your words.

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