Wednesday, April 15, 2015

International Pillow Fight Day

by Mariah Castillo
The best workout you'll get all year

April 4th was International Pillow Fight Day and this year, Newmindspace organized the 7th annual New York City Pillow Fight in Washington Square Park. Thousands of people, and several policemen, flocked downtown to organized chaos.

I’ve wanted to do this since I came to Barnard, and this year, there were no immediate commitments that prevented me from going, so I took the trip and got there early. Even by 2:40, the park was full. People of all ages were waiting for the signal. A Jazz group I’ve seen playing at the 59th Street station, featuring a man who plays two trumpets at once, was there inadvertently livening up the place. When I left, I saw the trumpet player shaking his head at the craziness.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Sorta-Healthy Tips from a Sorta-Healthy Girl

by Jessica Gregory

Don't laugh at me while eating your salad!
Okay, I admit it. I’m not ready to jump headfirst into the ultra-structured “kale and quinoa” type diet. I have no issue with anyone who IS, but I’m just not there yet.

What I have recognized, and what I think we can all learn, from those who are disciplined
in their health practices is that we all need more good stuff to go into our body. It helps us sleep better, study more efficiently, and feel on average brighter and ready to go. So even though I’m not ready to make a 180 degree lifestyle change in my eating habits, I’ve found some ways to get better foods into my body more often so I feel better inside and out.

Put greens on your sandwiches: Guys I promise this tastes good. As someone who used to shy away from putting lettuce in between my turkey and mayo, this was a surprise to me. Now I pile on the greens (things like baby spinach and arugula taste best) and still get that amazing sandwich that I wanted. For that matter put greens in all your carb-heavy meals.

Plan your meals as often as you can: This tip was stolen from a myriad of BuzzFeed articles, but it really helps me stay on track. Planning my meals on a Sunday in a very basic way helps me navigate the week and avoid making last-minute dinners, which can turn out to be the least healthy of meals.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Housing Review: 616

Singles and doubles in 5 to 6 person suites.

Single: $10,400 per year/ $5,200 per semester
Double: $8,960 per year/ $4,480 per semester

One shared bathroom per suite. Members of the suite are responsible for cleaning the bathroom.

Each suite has a kitchen with a sink, a gas stove/oven, and a refrigerator.

A panorama of a typical single... please ignore the messy bed.
After living in 616 for almost two years, I can safely say that it is a good housing option. Is it the best dorm ever? Does it have all the amenities you would ever want? Does it have a lot of common space? Although the answer to all these questions are a resounding no, it doesn’t mean that 616 isn’t a dorm that you will be happy living in.

Like most suites, 616 comes equipped with a shared kitchen and bathroom to use with your 4 or 5 other roommates. If you live in a suite of six people, like I do, it can sometimes feel a little claustrophobic since there is not enough kitchen storage and the bathroom will be in use a lot. But the fact that you get a kitchen with a full sized fridge, oven, stove, and sink is really great as well as a kitchen table. The kitchens are tiny and they are the only real common spaces that 616 has besides with lounges on certain floors. The hallway that connects the rooms is quite narrow and if you’re someone who likes to entertain/have a lot of people over, 616 might not be the dorm for you.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Housing Review: Plimpton

The hallway of a suite in Plimpton
13 floors of 6-person suites, which include 4 singles and 1 double.
Some suites have RA’s in one of the singles.

Single: $10,400 for the academic year/ $5,200 for one semester
Double: $ 8,960 for the academic year/$4,480 for one semester

They are clean, smallish, and to my knowledge all a lake-green color. Faucets may drip a little. They’re very easy to keep in order as long as you and your suitemates can work out a schedule among yourselves. There is enough space for everyone to have some of their stuff in the bathroom, but not all.

The kitchens are on the small side, but fully functioning! The fridge is large, the oven and stove work consistently (though the ovens are a little tricky to get started), and the sink is nothing much to complain about. All I would say here is that you need to keep your dishes clean or that teeny little sink will be full in a matter of hours. In addition, there is a LOT of storage space in the Plimpton kitchens, a major pro!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Housing Review: Hewitt

Housing selection is upon us! This week The Nine Ways of Knowing is planning to review the residence halls, so keep checking on us for updates!
Click here for reviews from 2013!

General Description
Hewitt is the only hall in the Quad dominated by upperclassmen
Hewitt is a quiet corridor-style dorm with mostly sophomores, juniors, and seniors, with the exception of the 8th floor, where there are about 12 first-years. It is mostly singles, facing either the Quad or Claremont. There is plenty of space for clothes and belongings with two under-the-bed drawers, an in-wall closet, and a dresser. Rooms are all around 16’ by 8’, but sizes vary depending on which one you get. All rooms come with a bed, desk, chair, and dresser.

Hewitt has shared hall bathrooms that are cleaned daily. There is usually no trouble finding a shower, sink, or toilet, to use, as there are several in each bathroom, more so than in any other hall in the Quad. Sharing a bathroom with a hall is always a bit of a win-lose experience, but in my experience, any trouble I had with something happening in the bathroom was cleaned or fixed the next day.

Hewitt residents can use the kitchens in the Sulzberger lounges on each floor, which have a stove, oven, sink, countertop, dish rack, and cabinets for storage. The kitchens can get pretty gross sometimes when people don’t clean up, but they’re cleaned regularly.

Singles are $10,400 for the year/ $5,200 per semester
Rooms with more than one people are $8,960 for the year/ $4,480 per semester

Friday, March 13, 2015

10 Things to Do Over Spring Break in NYC

by Clara Butler

Are you staying in New York this spring break? Are you tired of people asking you what you’re doing with your week of free time and then getting the pity head turn when you say you’re staying here? Well, it’s time to get pumped because you’re spending a whole week without classes in one of the best cities in the world! And as someone who has only ever stayed here during spring break, I can assure you that you will survive AND you will have a great time. Here are some ideas for how to spend all that time:
Flea markets are always fun

1. Brookyln Flea

Brooklyn Flea has been on my to-do list for a while and since it’s still a little chilly out, they are holding it inside for a little longer. There are hundreds of vendors selling cool, antique items here and there are a bunch of food vendors as well! And spring break is a great time to explore places other than Manhattan like Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens.

2. Walk Through Central Park

Since it finally feels like spring and since it will (hopefully) persist during break, walking through Central Park is one of the most beautiful and stereotypically New York things you can do. Luckily, if spending a lot of time outdoors isn’t your thing, take a quick stroll through the park and end up at the Met where you can spend the rest of the day looking at art and feeling cultured. If you also aren’t too keen on walking that much, you can take the subway down the Upper West Side and then walk across or, you know, just take the bus to the Met.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Urban New York: Going to the Circus

by Manuela Hiches

Going as a child is totally different than going to this now.
Although I had gone to the circus before as a child, I hadn’t gone in years which was why I was so excited to relive my childhood. Luckily, I was able to win a free ticket through Urban New York, which I totally recommend everyone sign up for. Not only is it a great way to meet new people and take a study break, its also a good way to get around the city. Urban New York allowed me to see the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, The Greatest Show on Earth, at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.

First and foremost, you are immediately bombarded with the sight of cotton candy, popcorn, and a bunch of glowing and spinning gadgets the second you walk in. I would have spent all of my money there if I hadn’t restrained myself! Aside from that, there were a bunch of little kids everywhere, obviously, which makes you wonder if you made the right choice by going.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

by Jessica Gregory

We've all been there
There are several things to think about when you go into making a resume. Sometimes, there is a little TOO much to think about – education, jobs, volunteer hours, skill, what your favorite type of pizza is…okay, not the last one, but the rest of the above categories are fair game. Many college students wonder what, exactly, potential employers want to know and how can they, as a student, best represent that on a resume. Since I had these same questions, I asked for help, turning my resume into one I could be proud of.

Here are some of the things I learned:

Start from the present and work backwards. Whether you’re talking about education level or experience, employers will want to know where you are at the time of application. Recent may also, coincidentally, be some of your more position-related talking points.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Why Everyone Should Be Watching Broad City

By Clara Butler

Abbi and Ilana are the perfect comedy duo
Broad City is one of the funniest shows on TV right now. Described as the “female version of Workaholics”, the show centers around two 20-something women living and working in NYC and getting themselves into ridiculous, yet strangely relatable, situations. Abbi and Ilana, who are also great friends in real life, decided to make their web-series into an actual show with the help of another UCB alum, their executive producer Amy Poehler. And you know if Amy Poehler is in favor of this show, it has to be great.

The show is not only amazing because of the two female leads but also because of the array of supporting characters that make the show the comedic masterpiece it is. Trey (Abbi’s boss at the Soulcycle-esqe gym she works at) is hilariously douchey yet also one of Abbi’s friends. His shtick is that he always seems to block her dreams of becoming a trainer, rather than the janitor she is. Ilana’s boss at her job is also hilariously afraid of her and frequently talks about what his therapist has told him to say to Ilana. The working environments at both jobs are not exactly true to most experiences but at least they show that not everyone can live off of writing a column once a week (looking at you, Carrie).

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Interview with Dr. Candice Fraser, OB/GYN

By Gaby Marraro
Dr. Fraser's clinic is just a few blocks away from the 2 and 3 train!

Last week I interviewed Dr. Candice Fraser, a doctor who will be opening up a new OB/GYN practice in Morningside Heights around March 2015. I got to know a little bit about her background in the field and about her vision for what sounds like an incredible new resource in the area.

Dr. Fraser, originally from Trinidad, attended St. Francis College and University of Connecticut for medical school. In her second year, she had what she describes as an “aha moment” when she realized she wanted to pursue a career as an OB/GYN, something she had never intended to happen. Having had various experiences in different professional settings and practices, Dr. Fraser found herself unsatisfied with the options available to her. This sparked her idea to open up a clinic of her own.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Calling All Barnard Students: The Writing Center Wants You!

The (writing) struggle is real
By Danielle Owen and Zoe Ehrenberg

Who are the peer tutors who staff the Barnard College Writing Center? To many students, the Writing Fellows are an elite group of white English majors; they wear wide-rimmed Warby Parkers, snobbishly correct their friends if they dare to confuse “there’s” and “theirs”, and provoke uselessly pedantic debates regarding the Oxford comma.

This misperception of the Writing Center is caused by an unawareness of what Writing Fellows really do, and subsequently, why English majors are certainly not the only ones qualified for the job.

Following their acceptance into the program, Writing Fellows take a three-credit training course called “The Writer’s Process”. In this class, we do not spend hours memorizing overscrupulous grammar rules, nor do we simply dissect essays in search of smooth transitions and captivating topic sentences. Grammar rules are a topic of discussion, but we also consider how they enable elitism and privilege by discrediting the validity of someone’s thoughts. We think about the relationship between identity and all forms of communication. We begin to understand why it is that writers struggle to say what it is they want to say, and what kinds of questions we should ask in order to help them say it. We learn that we can help students with their First Year English papers, even if we’ve never personally done a close reading of Paradise Lost—knowing nothing about the subject matter of a student’s paper is an advantage that allows us to ensure she is clearly articulating her ideas to the reader. There is nothing about what we learn or do that necessitates being an English major.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Movie Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

By Laura K. Garrison
You can't go outside without seeing these ads

It seems only yesterday it was the summer of 2012, a time when you couldn’t enter a subway car or take a walk on the beach without seeing someone unabashedly reading a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey in public. The internet was collectively obsessed with the Twilight fan-fiction that had for some unfathomable reason garnered enough attention to warrant a book deal, analyzing everything from its sexual politics to the cultural ramifications of its popularity to the cringe-worthiness of its prose. Almost three years later, it appears the internet is experiencing déjà vu, as article upon article about the film adaptation of the first book in the Fifty Shades trilogy inundates my Facebook Newsfeed. Love it or hate it, American popular culture is about as obsessed with Fifty Shades as Christian Grey is with Ana Steele.

I’ll admit to reading about 2 ½ books of the trilogy before giving up out of boredom. And while by no measure would I suggest that Fifty Shades is in any way high (or even decent) literature, the books were a fun beach read for my friends and I during the first weeks of summer spent recuperating from college finals. So with some sort of investment in the series, I escaped the bitter cold last Friday night by seeing Fifty Shades of Grey in theaters. After reading for months about how the film lacked chemistry, cohesion, and, perhaps most importantly, significant sex scenes, my expectations were low. But for this fact, I might have been disappointed. And while Fifty Shades of Grey is certainly not a good movie, like its source material it’s passably entertaining.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Athena Film Festival Movie Review: Out in the Night

By Mariah Castillo

Warning: this contains spoilers!
The New Jersey 4

The 2015 Athena Film Festival had an amazing line-up of movies. One that especially stood out to me was Out in the Night, a documentary by Blair Dorosh-Walther. Dorosh-Walther delves into the story of the New Jersey 4, a group of friends who, in 2006, were sent to prison after defending themselves from a violent catcaller. Typically, when people reasonably act in self-defense, they at most receive lighter sentences. These four young women were sentenced to up to 11 years in prison, serving longer than others who’ve intentionally committed even graver acts. Why were these women treated differently?

The answer: they are queer women of color.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Obvious Child Movie Review

by Clara Butler

If you haven't watched Obvious Child yet, you're missing out!
I’m going to start out by saying that I absolutely love this movie. I love this movie so much that I went to the Athena Film Festival to see it AGAIN because this movie is perfection. As a lover of rom-coms but also strong, female protagonists, this movie was exactly what I wanted it to be without playing into the usual tropes that frame women as solely defined by their relationship with men. This movie was the complete opposite of the “manic pixie dream girl” that shows up all too often in male driven rom-coms where the girl only exists to change the man’s perspective in some way rather than being her own fully functional human being.

Jenny Slate absolutely kills it as Donna Stern, a stand-up comedian who gets dumped by her cheating boyfriend and after a one-night stand, realizes that she’s pregnant. While Obvious Child has been dubbed “an abortion comedy”, this movie is so much more than its important political undertones. Although the movie does center around her decision to get an abortion, it’s more about a life of a woman who is trying to figure everything out and who wants both a career doing what she loves and a guy who isn’t going to treat her like shit. She also has a strong support system around her, something that is often lacking in movies, since her best friend is there for her every step of the way and both her parents are supportive of her decision. But it is super important that we finally see something that is common, yet taboo, in society played out on screen and represented in an inherently feminist way.
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