Monday, December 22, 2014

Letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

When I first became Editor-in-Chief, I felt a confusing mix of emotions. I was excited for this opportunity to lead a great team of writers and to make my own mark on a wonderful publication. I felt nervous about the task ahead of me – managing the blog on top of my work and other commitments seemed like an enormous project. I also felt honored that the Nine Ways staff believed in my ability and passion to further the blog. I was lucky enough to join the Nine Ways of Knowing when Samantha Plotner, co-founder of the Nine Ways of Knowing blog, was still a member of the staff and so accepting Editor-in-Chief felt like I had a responsibility not only to the staff currently on the board but also to her – to continue the fantastic work she originally put in.

I hope that I have done her and the Nine Ways writers proud. This semester has flown by, filled with homework assignments, exciting opportunities, looming deadlines and the bustle of New York City. Yet amidst the business of college life, the Nine Ways of Knowing blog has remained a calming and inspiring presence in my life. I have absolutely loved being Editor-in-Chief for the blog. I look forward to Sunday nights at 9PM when the Nine Ways staff comes together to share ideas, exchange opinions, and laugh off the week’s stresses. We comprise a wonderful mix of people; we span the four different years, represent a plethora of countries and states, and hold vastly different views on a range of subjects. Our differences are celebrated and encouraged and yet we also are brought together by similarities. I feel a strong connection to everyone on the Nine Ways staff because of our passion to write and to make our opinions heard. We know that we’re a smaller publication than the Columbia Spectator or Bwog but we don’t let that hold us back or intimidate us in any way. We know that we have a place on campus for both Barnard students and the wider community.

I will be studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark next semester and I am sad that my time as Editor-in-Chief has come to an end. I know that Mariah Castillo will do a wonderful job as Editor-in-Chief, however, and that the fabulous Nine Ways staff will continue to push the blog forward. I want to say a huge thank you to Laura K. Garrison for her invaluable help and advice as I took the helm from her, as well as to the Executive and Editorial boards for helping me post articles and for always being enthusiastic and supportive. And to all the staff writers: thank you for being such loyal and passionate Nine Ways members. You all make the blog such a special group of which to be a part and you all have such inspiring ideas that I hope you continue to share with us.

My time as Editor-in-Chief will be a highlight of my time at Barnard and I will always be grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing group of students. I look forward to reading the blog from abroad and to returning in September to my Nine Ways family!

So much blogluv,

Zoe Baker-Peng

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Challenging Beauty Standards

by Gaby Marraro

The Lammily doll challenges Barbie's beauty standards
In a world of strict, and often unrealistic standards of beauty, I find myself comparing, hating, and scrutinizing my own body. It’s easy to do. There are a million reasons to see my body negatively, because there are a million different people telling me to. There is a strong culture of shame around eating and indulgence, around blemishes and scars, and around a number on a scale. We talk about it every day, we make comments, we judge people on their appearance and the ways they choose to present themselves. It’s welcomed. It seems normal.

But here’s the thing—it’s not. Although this type of discourse exists and is in front of us all the time, there is nothing forcing us to be a part of it. There is no one telling us to comment on someone’s outfit or to judge. Yes, it is encouraged and welcomed, but not required. I have been told that there is an important difference between what your first reaction is to something and how you handle it. So while your first thought when looking at someone might be to question his or her personal choices, you then get to decide what you do about that reaction.

The Band Wagon at New York City Center Encores!

By Morgan Wu

The Band Wagon stunned audiences from Nov. 6- 16!
If there was ever a time to hop on the musical theatre bandwagon, it is now.

Last month, I had the pleasure of seeing Brian Stokes Mitchell, Tony Sheldon, Laura Osnes, and more in the New York City Center’s production of The Band Wagon. Based on the 1953 MGM film, The Band Wagon is a classic show-business tale of a Hollywood producer (Mitchell) who attempts to make a career comeback by doing a Broadway show. Along the way, he works with a colorful cast of characters, including an eccentric director who has never worked on a musical before (Sheldon), a leading lady making her musical debut (Osnes), her stubborn boyfriend and choreographer (Michael Berresse), and a bickering husband-and-wife, composer-and-lyricist pair (Michael McKean and Tracy Ullman).

The Band Wagon is the perfect show for your average musical theatre fanatic because it is, in its most basic format, theatre about theatre. Audience members with experience backstage may find themselves chuckling along at the characters’ roadblocks along the journey of trying to open a successful show, while those with less knowledge of backstage workings may find the production to be an eye-opener.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Shows to Binge Watch Without Really Trying

This always happens
By Lilian Safon

We can no longer hide from the truth. Sure, classes may have ended, and finals are coming up, but we all know that sooner or later we’re all going to give in. We are going to waste precious hours that we need for studying. We are going to procrastinate. And, let’s face it, we’re going to keep our papers up on our computer screens just to make us feel like we’re being productive.

This is the age we live in – the age of binge watching, the act of endlessly watching back-to-back episodes of random TV shows just to feel like we’re accomplishing something without actually doing any work. No? Just me? Well, at the very least, many people will turn to TV shows over the next two weeks in order to have just a few minutes to decompress. So we thought we’d save you a few steps – here are our recommendations for shows that are streaming online. You know, to make your binge watching as effective as possible.

Friday, December 5, 2014

How to Get in the Holiday Spirit (and Procrastinate for Finals)

Holiday shopping = the best procrastination method ever
by Clara Butler

1. Plan all your holiday shopping!

Curl up with a nice, warm drink from Liz’s and bask in the glow of your computer screen while you scour Amazon and Pinterest for gifts ideas for everyone from your dog to your roommate! And then when you find a really cool gift that you actually think might be better on your own list, forward it to your parents or primary gift-givers. In all seriousness though, websites like Etsy and ModCloth are great for finding gifts in your budget and ones that no one else will think of.

2. Scour the holiday markets

If you prefer IRL shopping, stop by one of the many winter markets going on now at Bryant Park, Union Square, and Columbus Circle. Even though some of the shops are typical NYC booths selling things like lockets or winter hats, there are some great finds and you can support small business owners and NYC residents! There’s also a handy FedEx right on 116th for when you realize that the gifts you bought can’t fit into the one suitcase you are bringing home for break.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Got Holiday Markets? Three Holiday Markets to Visit in NYC this Winter

by Jessica Gregory

Winter Village at Bryant Park is ridiculously pretty!
We’re almost to exam season, and we're almost to the point of heading our separate ways for winter break. Between your studying and packing, however, take an afternoon or evening to visit one of New York City’s amazing holiday markets. You can eat (obviously the best part), buy gifts from a wide range of vendors, or just walk around in the midst of a bright holiday mood. For your convenience, I’ve compiled a list of the ones I think are most worth your time.

Union Square Holiday Market
Open: now through December 24th
Location: 14th to 17th Streets and Broadway to Park Avenue South
Bonus: It’s very large.

I think the best part about this holiday market is the ambiance. The white and red striped stalls are packed closely together, creating a cozy and festive atmosphere.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Karaoke In NYC!

by Manuela Hiches

This place in KTown on 53 W and 35th Street is a great place to go if you want to go do karaoke. I'd never gone to karaoke before actually but I'd always heard a about people doing it just for fun. Thus, we and my friends decided to go when we had free time. The price isn't bad but can be pricey if you want to be there for hours. Luckily, me and my friends found a deal that was $12 per person for 4 hours.

We had gone to eat Korean food first of course at the Food Gallery but we spent most of our time at karaoke. I was pretty excited considering it was my first time going to karaoke but I had no idea what to expect. For sure, you should take plenty of snacks if you're going for a long period of time since you will get hungry. Singing for hours can take a lot out of you.

Once you get your own personal room, you get situated and pick the songs you want. American, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese songs are available to sing. However, you should obviously only pick American if you do not know the other languages. They are written in characters, not Romanized-and so are the books in which have the list of songs. Right away you should look for the songs you'd like to sing and input them into the machine, they will play automatically.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Famous Historical Women Who Should Have Gone to Barnard

by Victoria Fourman

Zora Neale Hurston is just one of Barnard's many amazing alums
Barnard College has always provided an intellectual haven to some of the brightest, keenest, and most curious female minds since its founding in 1889. It has offered women an opportunity for education that, at many times during the school’s history, was not available elsewhere. In the 125 years following its inception, Barnard has produced a number of brilliant women who have influenced the world through their work in the fine arts, politics, science, and other fields. Margaret Mead, Zora Neale Hurston, Twyla Tharp and Cynthia Nixon comprise only a small fraction of distinguished alumnae. Women have chosen Barnard College to educate them to become better, more informed and active members of society. This sparks a question…what other women in history might have chosen Barnard College for their education had they the opportunity to do so? Of course, I can’t include all the women who would have thrived at Barnard, as that would be a very long list indeed, so I’ve explored just a few options of accomplished, talented women in history who just might have been the perfect Barnard women.

Remember - no hats (or crowns) allowed on CU IDs
Queen Elizabeth I I am definitely biased as she is one of my favorite historical figures (I even wrote about her in my application to Barnard), but I think Queen Elizabeth I would have thrived here. Firstly, she was already incredibly educated before she came of college-age. By early adolescence, she could speak six languages, and was known for her love of learning. She stud-ied philosophy, rhetoric, mathematics, logic, and history as a child, and I imagine a political sci-ence degree from Barnard would have been the perfect preparation for her to lead her beloved England.

Mary Wollstonecraft
A strong pioneer in the field for both women and men's rights
As one of the earliest advocates for women’s rights, Mary Wollstonecraft would have felt right at home at Barnard. She called for equal opportunity in education for boys and girls in the mid-eighteenth century. In her Vindication of the Rights of Woman, she argues that men and women deserve the same fundamental rights as human beings. I think Wollstonecraft would definitely have agreed with Barnard’s mission to provide young women with a top-notch education, and wouldn’t it have been lovely for her to receive the very education for which she fought?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Volunteer for the ‘Girls on the Run’ Annual 5K!

by Jessica Gregory

If you’re looking for something to do next Saturday, December 7th, strongly consider volunteering for the Girls on the Run NYC 5K Fun Run!

Go out and support young girls this Saturday!
Girls on the Run (GOTR) is a program which, to quote the program’s wonderful directors, “inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.” I did the Girls on the Run program when I was in Elementary School and, in my experience, it changed me for the better. Not only did GOTR push me to pursue track & field as a sport in Middle and High school, the program set me on the path to come to Barnard as well.

The 5k is not about competition. Instead, it is an opportunity for the girls in the program to feel a sense of accomplishment. Girls are encouraged to walk, run, or even cartwheel across the finish line. The 5k culminates an entire season full of learning, empowerment, and health, and GOTR NYC would love to have more people join in the celebration.

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.

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