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.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Fourteen Love songs for Valentine’s Day

by Jessica Gregory

With Valentine’s Day approaching fast, it’s important to remember who we love. What better way to do that than with love songs? I asked around the Barnard community so I could give you a list of good love songs to play on this Valentine’s Day.

Here”s fourteen(ish) of the songs people love:

1. “Weather” by Novo Amor: It’s a sadder, sensitive song meant to make you, in the words of the one who suggested it “feel the feelz”.

2. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by Elton John: How can you go wrong with Lion King? This song is a sweet one worthy of every Valentine’s celebration.

3. “You’re The Reason I Come Home” by Ron Pope: This song is “sleepy and relaxing”, singing of deep love without being depressing.

4. “Come to Me” by the Goo Goo Dolls: This is an upbeat, uplifting song without all the sap!

5. “We Are Love” by Il Volo: This song is deeply passionate and moving, singing about love for all.

6. “Hello” by Beyoncé: This song is an observation, what someone loves about their partner. Also, Beyoncé.

7. “All of Me” by John Legend: We all have imperfections, but to someone else we are perfect.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Five Best Female Stand-up Comedians

by Clara Butler

Yes ma'am!
After looking for more female stand-up shows to watch on Netflix and being thoroughly disappointed at the lack of diversity in comedy, I decided to make a list of my favorite female stand-up acts who prove that women ARE funny because they are in fact pretty damn hilarious.

1. Chelsea Peretti
Known for her role as Gina on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Chelsea Peretti is a rising star who I think will be as big as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler one day. Not only is she absolutely hilarious on Andy Samberg’s show, she’s also has a great stand-up act that I’ve seen live! Her dark humor and realism will make you laugh but also think about larger issues, especially the differences between male and female comedians. Although her sometimes egotistical humor might not be for everyone, I highly recommend her new Netflix special since it includes some great jokes and you might even spot me in the audience.

2. Anjelah Johnson
Anjelah Johnson is best known for her joke about a Vietnamese nail salon that went viral a few years back but her newest stand-up specials are just as great. She deals with issues like race, marriage, and stereotypes but in a super comical and intriguing way. I highly recommend her Netflix special The Homecoming Show since it’s her most recent work and proves that she is more than just a viral video.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Get Involved with Social Justice through Volunteering!

by Gaby Marraro

Do something good with your free time
My search for jobs and internships has shown me just how lucky I am to live in the city and to have so many diverse opportunities available to me. Still, I can only be in one place at a time and I’ve had
to narrow down the hundreds of choices out there. Although I’ve had to make these decisions, I’ve been left with a list of some wonderful places to get involved in feminism, women’s rights, and social justice around the city, either through volunteering or a paid internship. If you’re looking for some unique ways to contribute during the semester or over the summer, look no further! Here are a few suggestions:

1. National Organization for Women
“The National Organization for Women Foundation is an organization devoted to achieving full equality for women through education and litigation. The Foundation focuses on a broad range of women’s rights issues, including economic justice, pay equity, racial discrimination, women’s health and body image, women with disabilities, reproductive rights and justice, family law, marriage and family formation rights of same-sex couples, representation of women in the media, and global feminist issues.”

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The NFL Says “No More” Domestic Violence, But Will They Really Do So?

by Mariah Castillo

Warning: this article talks about sensitive material relating to domestic violence.

This past Fall, the NFL has partnered with No More, an organization aimed to raise awareness about domestic violence. Their most recent commercial, which was broadcasted to millions of viewers during the Super Bowl, was especially striking, replicating a woman calling 911 by pretending to order pizza. However, while I appreciate the effort the NFL has made, I think this doesn’t go far enough.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Forget the Oscars: 5 Snubbed Movies You Should Watch Instead

by Danielle Owen

 British LGBT historical comedy-drama “Pride"
Whatever credibility the Oscars once had as a legitimate award ceremony—assuming it ever had any—has undoubtedly been lost. The overwhelmingly white, male institution responsible for deciding which movies deserve praise is only one manifestation of a predominantly racist and sexist film industry. Instead of binge watching all eight Best Picture nominees (like the rest of the country is doing), here are some fantastic—and significantly more diverse—movies you should watch instead. Besides, any category that includes the xenophobic, highly offensive, obnoxious patriotic romp American Sniper doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Time for a Change in Barnard's Transgender Policy

by Jessica Gregory
Will Barnard Gates be open for transgender women?

On February third, Barnard is hosting the second of five community forums, held to discuss
Barnard’s policy regarding admission of trans women to the college. These community forums are exclusively open to Barnard students & parents, faculty & staff, and alumnae. Other schools of Columbia are not permitted to engage in the talks.

Perhaps the addition of the greater Columbia community to the forums would be…overbearing? In addition, Columbia is not dealing with the issue of gender and admission since the University is already co-ed, but Barnard is dealing with a policy that allows for only those who identify as the traditional definition of a female to be admitted. As said in an e-mail Barnard sent out, “Federal law permits [Barnard] to discriminate in admissions on the basis of sex.” Whether the decision to keep the conversation on Barnard’s side of Broadway is a beneficial one or not, students are divided.

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.
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