September 22, 2014 | Uncategorized

Hey YOU! (Yes, you) You Should Take Designing Your Stanford

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Welcome back you studly sophomores.

I’m writing this to tell you why you have to take ME104S: Designing Your Stanford, or as we normally refer to it DYS. DYS is one of a very short list of classes I feel comfortable recommending to anyone and everyone (incidentally the others are CS106A and BIO150: Human Behavioral Biology). I love recommending DYS to all types of people because I know that no matter where they are in their Stanford careers and no matter what their interests or major are (or might be), this class will be valuable to you.

DYS is taught by Bill Burnett, Dave Evans, and their crew of kick-ass d.life Fellows. The class is wildly entertaining and immediately applicable: the purpose is to optimize your Stanford experience, and you can start doing that right now. Through a combination of presentations, creative exercises, and homework assignments putting the principles to practice, DYS shows you how to use design principles like “prototype and iterate” to get the most out of four short, dense years.

You’ll do things like talk to a potential major advisor, create mind maps about what you want to do, and practice the art of storytelling… DYS will provide you with incredible mentoring, and introduce you to a host of other awesome students. Best of all, the class meets just once a week and has minimal homework; the bang for your buck is off the charts. However, like anything, the more you put in to DYS the more you will get back out of it (a lot more). So while the class is very low commitment, I highly encourage you to take the homework seriously and dedicate real time to crafting your assignments.

Check it out at designingyourstanford.org and have an awesome fall quarter!

April 22, 2014 | Campus Life

How I feel when I get AlertSU messages

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Mad-Eye knows what’s up.

March 2, 2014 | Off-Campus

Entertainment Recap: The Best (So Far) of 2014

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Here’s a recap of everything you’ve been missing in the entertainment-sphere if you’ve been hiding under a rock-no judgment here.

Downton Abbey’s U.S. premiere of season 4 just wrapped.  The furtive, longing glances were just as good as ever.  I won’t reveal any spoilers but the important thing is that Mary has 50 suitors (just a bunch, no big deal) and poor Edith is still alone.  #feelinlikeedith

This awards season is truly exciting, with fantastic, dynamic performances from the ones in 12 Years a Slave to American HustleJennifer Lawrence is still supremely charming and my vote for girl crush-if only she actually ate as much as she professes to, then she would be perfect.  Lupita Nyong’o is the most beautiful being that has ever appeared on this earth, on point with all her fashion choices.  If they don’t make a Barbie or some sort of doll-replica of her soon I’ll be shocked.  Matthew McConaughey’s random speeches add to the fun although they are slightly grating (here’s to hoping Leo takes the Oscar).  “Alriiiiight, alriiiiight, alriiiiiiight.”

One award that Matthew McConaughey should win for his immense comeback?  An Emmy.  He is brilliant in HBO’s True Detective, a show with as intense and dark an ambiance as McConaughey’s character himself.  Seriously, though, that Quaaludes scene alone makes Leonardo DiCaprio deserve the Oscar.  His extreme difficulty going down the stairs reminded me a bit too much of myself after midterms.  Can’t. Make. It. To. Dorm. Too. Defeated.  If Pink does some of the acrobatic wonders she did at the Grammys I am going to cry tears of wonder and jealousy.  As long as it’s not like that year Beyonce sang every single nominated song.  I’m not sure Ellen DeGeneres (host this year of the Oscars) will push the envelope as much as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, though.  Must I remind you of the now-classic lines: “’Gravity’ is nominated for best film. It’s the story of how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age.” And, of course: “”Like a supermodel’s vagina, let’s all give a warm welcome to Leonardo DiCaprio.”

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After the sad excuse for an Olympics I’m looking forward to the return of new episodes.  Then I’ll finally be able to stop hating myself for watching The Bachelor’s Juan Pablo.  Don’t judge man, it was between that and curling.

Like air hockey, but sadder?

An exciting book-to-film is coming out this summer!  No, not Fifty Shades of Grey, I do have some dignity…it’s The Fault in Our Stars!  Shailene Woodley plays Hazel (or as Augustus lovingly calls her, Hazel Grace)-proving that one can star in an incredibly banal show, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and still be a good actress.

Speaking of ABC Family shows, there is no shame here when I recap the latest on Pretty Little Liars.  It’s the most tweeted about show, I’ll have you know.  Basically, Ezra, the high school teacher, turns out to be just a regular creepster, not an evil genius creepster, which was incredibly disappointing and infuriating.  He did provide possibly the best excuse of all time though (which I will be using as I write my final papers): “I was writing a true crime novel.”  KThx.

Aria finds out what a bad writer Ezra really is.

If you’re actually looking for a smart show, may I recommend The Good Wife?  With its spitfire writing, power-house acting, and complex turns it may be the smartest show on right now.  That’s saying a lot, as TV is more like a stimulating lube tube right now for the mind, with provocative shows like Girls, Breaking Bad, and Homeland, than its previously condescending title.

If you’re looking for some cute/smart fun Parks and Recreation is still the most underrated quirk of a comedy gem The Mindy Project is also back with a vengeance this season, funnier than ever with absurd shenanigans-including a sexting fiasco gone wrong.

So true, so true.

Finally, I would be remiss not to mention a couple of things that are guaranteed to brighten up any winter blues.  I mean guaranteed.  First off is The Lego Movie-one of the most clever and genuinely funny animated films in a long time.  Second, I have two words for you:  Broad City.  My sister turned me on to this new show, full of the most awkward hilarity, basically an unpolished Girls.  Perhaps the best episode so far is “Working Girls” when Abbi, one of the main characters, goes to retrieve a package for her apartment crush.  The lengths that must be traveled-man we feel you (fake cough Student Services, just saying).

Alas, we come to the end…of my procrastination.  Enjoy the Oscars tonight!

December 5, 2013 | Academics

Finals week… Miley Cyrus style

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A Stanford adaptation of Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop.”  This post brought to you by sleep deprivation, excess caffeine, and the letter S.  It’s way more fun if you sing along using Bastille’s British accent version.

http://thatssostanford.tumblr.com/post/19613206572/photo-michael-white-12-samraadeni-damn

Goin’ hard at Green. Photo credit: Michael White, ’12.

It’s our finals we can eat what we want
It’s our finals we can sleep when we want
It’s our Dead Week we can scream when we want
We can cram what we want
We can sing what we want

Flashcards and study buddies everywhere
Wearin’ sweats to class like we don’t care
‘Cause we came to get some work done now
Turn up the beast mode, suppress all the fun now

If you’re not ready to go home
Can I get a “Hell, no!”? (Hell no)
‘Cause we’re gonna cram all night
‘Til we see the sunlight, alright

So la da di da di
We like to study
Holing up in Green
Coding ‘til we see the sun
This is our life
This is our school

And we can’t stop
Cause we can’t drop [any classes since we’re past the add/drop deadline]
Can’t you see it’s we who own the night?
Runnin’ practice problems ‘til we get ‘em right?

It's our finals, we can sleep when we want.

It’s our finals, we can sleep when we want.

And we can’t stop
And we won’t stop
We Honor Code ‘cause we classy
Don’t steal answers from nobody
Yeah, yeah

It’s our finals we can eat what we want
It’s our finals we can sleep when we want
It’s our Dead Week we can scream when we want
We can cram what we want
We can sing what we want

To my home girls here with the big books
Tryna get good jobs and the big bucks
Never let the slackers judge ya
Forget the haters ’cause you’ll get an A-plus

Continue reading “Finals weekR…”»

November 6, 2013 | Blog

Current Films Not to be Missed!

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Three films that are worth seeing all deal with survival in environments and times that are most trying.  It is in these instances, it seems, that we discover who we truly are and what we are willing to fight for.

Prisoners is the story of two young girls who are kidnapped and how their families crumble after the tragedy.  Hugh Jackman is brilliant as one of the grief-stricken, tortured fathers.  His physicality drives his performance to another level.  Jake Gyllenhaal gives one of his best performances ever as the detective who is trying his best to solve what seems like an unsolvable crime.  The film’s intensity leads to further discussion and reflection on what right and wrong means and how far are we willing to go in order to save those we love?

Gravity has been well-received by critics almost across the board.  And it does not disappoint.  Alfonso Cuaron, an incredibly talented director (Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban and Children of Men), directs a stunning, breath-taking piece of art that overtly illustrates how beautiful life is.  Sandra Bullock delivers the most nuanced, dynamic performance of her career, full of vulnerability and strength.  She plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a Mission Specialist, who finds herself in a life-or-death situation and must use all of her faculties in order to survive.  The religious overtones are not subtle but the themes of loneliness, damage, and loss are so sincere that it is easy to overlook this.  The score is haunting and the effects are nothing short of spectacular.

Captain Phillips seemed a little underwhelming if you were to judge it solely by its trailers.  However, the trailers are to its detriment as it is a solid film and should not be counted out.  Tom Hanks gives a strong performance, one that is finally fitting of his talent, unlike the ones he has been given in recent years (let’s all try to forget Larry Crowne and never speak of it again).  Tom Hanks drives the film the way he commanded Cast Away, making it into an intense, thrilling story.  He plays the title character whose ship is hijacked by Somali pirates (based on the 2009 true events).  Look out for Barkhad Abdi, who takes a great turn as Muse, the leader of the pirates. 

12 Years a Slave and Catching Fire reviews to come soon!

October 22, 2013 | Humor

FMOTQ 101: Pick-Up Puns

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“The time has come, the Sophomore Class Cabinet said, to talk of many things.

Of PSETs and football and dormcest, of awkward hook-ups and flings.”

The Master (get it?!) of infidelity himself.

Welcome to October 22, 2013.  A day (or rather, night) that shall live on in infamy.  Known to some as Full Moon on the Quad and known to others as a “Moonlight Makeout” (…if it’s on SparkNotes, it must be legit?), FMOTQ is a Stanford tradition that has freshmen and seniors alike worrying about their dental hygiene.

So grab your mouth wash and your sparkliest spandex (for girls and guys alike), because it’s time to enjoy some food truck grub, watch student groups (Mendicants / Alliance / DV8) strut their stuff, swarm with the truly incomparable LSJUMB, and get down with DJ Lumo.

And, of course, kiss that special someone.  Or maybe multiple someones.

To help you find that sketchy grad student, innocent freshman, or subsequent box on your bingo chart, here are some Nerd Nation-appropriate puns to keep you in the game:

  • On a scale of 1 to America, how free are you tonight?
  • I wish I was your derivative so I could lie tangent to your curves.
  • If I were an enzyme, I’d be helicase so I could unzip your genes.
  • I don’t have a library card, but do you mind if I check you out?
  • It doesn’t take a genius to see how attractive you are, but if it did, I would be overqualified.
  • Baby, if you were words on a page, you’d be what they call FINE print.
  • I wish I were adenine because then I would be paired with U.
  • You know, it’s not the length of the vector that counts… it’s how you apply the force.
  • What’s your sine?  It must be pi/2 because you’re the 1.

…and perhaps the most appropriate for our CS 106A, Silicon Valley-loving undergrads:

Hi, I’m writing a new make-out program.  Would you like to join the beta test?

Be sure to stay sober and keep it classy, though.  Nobody wants to see you come into your dorm like a wrecking ball.

Happy smooching,

TUSB

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/624251387598200/

PS – For more nerdy pick-up lines, click the hyperlinks.

August 13, 2013 | TUSB

Fall-ing in Love: The 2013 Autumn Course Guide

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Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 9.03.03 PM

Explore Courses was down more than four hours before Axess even opened for enrollment. Most claim that it was due to overzealous frosh (hint: you can’t sign up for classes until orientation. Please stop bogging down the server), overzealous-er upperclassmen (please don’t judge us for indulging our need to obsessively research and meticulously plan the remaining time in our academic careers),  the fact that the Stanford computing just has a general tendency to suck (Exhibit A: Old Axess. Exhibit B: New Axess) or some combination thereof. But I know the real reason. The real reason you all crashed Explore Courses is because you knew. You all knew how each and every department at Stanford completely blew their course offerings out of the water this quarter.

I’ve written this course guide for over a year now (except for last Spring  - sorry for any of you who looked for it, I kind of dropped the ball. My bad.) and I have to say that each and every quarter of carefully combing through the Bulletin* leaves me freshly dumbstruck with the sheer number of delightful offerings this school continues to pump out. Seriously. Writing this thing is actually pretty excruciating. I want ten more years here. I want to major in about seventeen different things and minor in eight more. I want to take ALL THE CLASSES. But alas. I can’t. So I write this guide and hope that I can live vicariously through all you wonderful people who can collectively take them all for me. With that, I wish you a fantastic quarter full of vigorous and enlightening academic pursuits and the stress, anxiety, sleep-deprivation, loss of morale, and overall decline in physical and mental health that will inevitably accompany them. Cheers.

*The physical book that used to house the year’s course offerings back when the Marguerite was just a horse and an Apple was just a piece of fruit.

Continue reading “Fall-ing in Lov…”»

July 22, 2013 | Campus Life

New platform to showcase Stanford student innovation… FoSho

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An incredible new product is ready to launch here on campus and change the way that Stanford innovators are able to promote their work. Stanford Founder’s Showcase, or Stanford FoSho for short, is a platform designed to help Stanford developers gain recognition for their creations, let the rest of us to see the cool stuff that our fellow students are building every day, and provide dynamic, relevant content for life on the Farm. The platform will host student-built mobile apps, websites, and video, and will be available for download in the app store by the end of July.

0174_Stanford App_Fo Sho Tile_R4

Got an app? FoSho is opening its first round of submissions.

As developers know, the app store has become a sea of over 700,000 apps, each competing to get on the “featured” page to drive downloads. Without serious help in the right places, even the best apps can fail to get recognition, slowing their growth and limiting the hype they deserve. With this in mind, we envisioned a platform that was the first stop for any Stanford innovator when trying to get their creations airborne, providing valuable recognition from the Stanford community and useful feedback from the world’s techiest campus. The win-win here is tremendous: developers get to hit the ground running with their innovations and Stanford students get a sneak peek at the next generation of the world’s best apps.

The platform is designed with a built-in feedback tool for users to rate their experience, giving the developers analytics and data which provide much deeper insights than the App Store. Even cooler – users don’t have to update the app to receive and access new content, meaning new stuff goes straight into users’ hands. Once we receive and approve an app, we plug it into the platform and it appears on the user’s device in real-time.

The first two pages of the app will be split into “Around Campus” and “Developer’s Club”. All the apps and mobile sites pertaining directly to campus life will go on “Around Campus”, while other Stanford-built apps and cool stuff will go on the Developer’s Club page. We’re still working on a third page which will change all the time depending on the time of year. Fall quarter will likely include resources for frosh, football, and other autumn-y things for life at Stanford, for example.

But we need to start from somewhere. Step 1 is to scour the area for apps being built right now and launch version one of Stanford FoSho, so we are hereby opening our first round of submissions for the platform. Calling all Stanford developers: we want your apps! You can be a current student, recent grad, or anyone working on an app meant to serve the Stanford student body. Below are instructions on how to submit:

Step 1: Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StanfordFoSho

Step 2: Fill out this form: http://dashboard.metaneer.com/admins/sign_up?institution=14

Step 3: Wait to hear back! You will be hearing from a member of our team in the following days after completing steps 1 and 2.

If you have any other questions, want to network with us, or want to join our team, we’d love to talk. Contact us and learn more via the links below:

Email our team at: foshoteam@lists.stanford.edu

Learn more about us: https://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/fosho

Interested in joining our team? Contact the co-founders:

James Mwaura: james.mwaura88@gmail.com

Andrew Bellay: andrewbellay@gmail.com

 

June 10, 2013 | TUSB

The 5th Annual Unabridged List of Suggested Dorm Themes

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Now that The Draw results are out, classes are over, and you’re looking harder and harder for something to distract you from your last finals of the year (and possibly ever…), it’s time to focus on what really matters:

What theme is your next dorm or house going to have?

We have a long and time-honored tradition here at TUSB of suggesting dorm themes for the upcoming year, which can be found here: Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV. To our knowledge, none of these themes have ever been used, although I would still really like to push for Adelfart.

Special thanks to Jasmine, who helped come up with a lot of these; you’re a great person to bounce ideas off of, not only for this post, but in life as well. You are also much better at HTML than I am.

As a graduating senior, I am so incredibly sad to say that this will be my last post for The Unofficial Stanford Blog. Granted, most of my blog history has just been these puns (and this one about Cal that I’m proud of), but there’s still nothing more satisfying than seeing your stupid, ultimately inconsequential, thoughts and ideas circulating the internet for a day or two. That being said, this Dorm Theme series has been a highlight of my blogging–nay, STANFO–nah, blogging– career, and just as it was passed onto me by one Josh Freedman, I would like to pass it on to another eager, pun-loving underclassman, so please let me know if you’re interested! Anyways, leave a comment below letting us know your favorites, or suggestions for even better themes! Let’s get this party started.

Stern-ify Play Queue

GET LARKY” by Daft Punk
SERRACKLEMORE AND RYAN LEWIS- “Can’t Hold Us”
LIL TWAIN ft. DRAKE, FUTURE- “Love Me”
IMAGINE DONNERAGONS- “It’s Time”
JUSTIN TIMBURBANK- “Mirrors”
ZAPATAPOP- “I Love It”

Wilbur

GAME OF OTERONES- perfect metaphor for freshman year: Seduction. Betrayal. Peter Dinklage.
DJRO UNCHAINED
KAREOKADA
TRANCK OCEAN
ARROYO TO THE KNEE
CEDRORITOS LOCOS TACOS- It’s better than dining hall food.
A RINCLE IN TIME
DYSOTOPIAN SOCIETY  Continue reading “The 5th Annual …”»

June 5, 2013 | Campus Life

Breakdown Quarter: You’re Not Alone

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Spring Quarter, as illustrated by Hyperbole and a Half

Spring Quarter, as illustrated by Hyperbole and a Half

This morning I tried to take a sip of my room key while attempting to open my door with an iced mocha.  Sleep deprivation has seized another victim.  Wasn’t this supposed to be an easy quarter?

Spring quarter is powerfully portrayed in the Stanford mental mythology as a time of never-ending frolicking.  Admit Weekend and NSO make it particularly compelling.  Life at Stanford is an endless series of fountain-hopping and suntanning, right?

But spring quarter rolls around and shatters that illusion.  Spring break wasn’t long enough, the 9.5 week quarter is a tease, and your professors interpret “Dead Day” to mean “perfect day to schedule all your final presentations.”

Sigh.  It’s enough to make you wanna pull a John Mayer and grow your hair out and wear silly hats.

Stop this train – I want to get off and go home again
I can’t take the speed it’s moving in
I know I can’t
But honestly won’t someone stop this train?

It doesn’t help that we’re a bunch of overachievers.  Admitting to stress or a sense of inadequacy is too often equated to failure, and we bottle it up, rather than discussing it constructively with our peers.  We become victims of our own perfectionism.  You don’t want to be the first one on the dance floor when it comes to expressing vulnerabilities.

Kudos goes to the outreach programs of recent months and years.  Rubber ducky in the Claw people“talk to me about anything” people, and the Bridge Peer Counseling: I salute you.  But there aren’t enough of you.  The more we discuss this problem, the more people will feel motivated to do something about their stress.

So here’s the good news: if you’re stressed, you’re not alone.  When we’re honest about it, we’re all a bunch of Stanford ducks, paddling ferociously.

The great news?  You can do this.  You’ve done it before, you’ll do it again, and if you open up to your friends about how you’re feeling, you’ll find a vast network of cheerleaders rooting for you.  They love you, they care about you, and whether or not you do, they believe in you.  To quote famed Greek philosopher Zacharius Efronicus:  “we’re all in this together.”

By next Wednesday, you’ll be this guy:

notdead

Go rock those finals, Stanford.  You got this.

May 15, 2013 | News Media

The Red Couch Project: A Student-Run Production Collective for Independent Artists

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The Red Couch

The Red Couch

Being an independent artist (read: not affiliated with a department) isn’t easy on this campus. Space and resources are  slim pickins, and even if you manage to know the right people to book a venue and get the right gear, it’s tough to get students to commit to come out. We’re all spread a little too thin, and sometimes you even have miss your best friend’s performance.

This is where the Red Couch Project (RCP) comes in. RCP is a student-run production collective that will handle this whole mess. Can’t find a venue to perform at? We’ll find it for you or we’ll work with you to create one (i.e. impromptu outdoor session – Stanford is a beautiful campus). Worried people won’t be able to make it? We’ll record it for you and spread the word online. We’ve been capturing performances of independent musicians for almost three years now, and we’ve accumulated more than 65 videos of Stanford-affiliated musicians performing their work. Check out our videos.

So where does the ‘Red Couch‘ component come from? To us in RCP, it’s an icon that symbolizes how performances should always feel – intimate, personal, informal – like you’re sitting in your dorm room playing for your friends. In the past, we’ve had artists perform on the Red Couch because of the symbolism and, well….because it’s kind of just hilarious. Currently, the Red Couch lives in a little venue called Do.Art Galleria in the Mission in San Francisco. We moved the couch to provide Stanford artists with an opportunity to meet and perform with city artists who are doing art (in various forms) full-time.

And in case you’re easily bored by the constraints of furniture, we’ve started new “Off The Couch” sessions. In these sessions, we hop off the couch and explore some unique and unusual collaborations rather than capturing live concerts. You can check out the latest one below – it involves a dancer improving to the music of a cellist and guitarist in an empty yoga studio. 

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YouTube Direkt

As we all know (but apparently the rest of the world doesn’t), Stanford is not just a tech-startup incubator with a football team. There are a ton of passionate and talented artists of all kinds on this campus, and RCP is here to support them in ways that the university currently isn’t.

Red Couch Project on Facebook

Wanna get involved with RCP? Contact Danny Smith at dsmith11@stanford.edu

April 9, 2013 | News Media

Shame on you, Nicholas Thompson.

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This article is a response to an article on the New Yorker website.  The ideas expressed here are the opinions of the author alone, not an official opinion of the University or this publication.

Dear Mr. Thompson,

This morning you published an article entitled, “The End of Stanford?”  It is one of the most sensationalist and unsubstantiated pieces of journalism I have ever read.

“Anyone can create, edit or contribute to any page.”

You are misinformed about the Stanford of today, but you didn’t make an effort to learn more about it.  Of your 14 hyperlinks, 9 of them referenced articles from your own website.  The only reference to the stanford.edu domain was that of Synergy’s website, which publicly displays the password for its own wiki page.  See the screenshot from Synergy’s webpage at right.

You may not have done your research, but I have, and I would like to clarify some of your points.

We are no mere tech incubator.  Stanford University is ranked #1 in the world for its arts and humanities programs.  85% of our undergraduates as of the last academic year are in non-engineering majors.  Our political science, psychology, economics, English, history, and sociology graduate schools all rank in the top 5 in the nation.  Our business school is #1.  Our law school is #2.  Education is #5.

“It is for you to know all, it is for you to dare all.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’m no zealot for the start-up culture myself, but it must be contextualized to be understood.  At a school with 6,999 undergraduates and  8,871 graduate students, 12 students dropping out to form a company is hardly statistically significant.  While you may not approve of Stanford’s start-up culture, I dare you to deny its efficacy:  companies formed by Stanford alumni create $2.7 trillion in revenue annually and have created 5.4 million jobs.  We have the world’s 10th largest economy.

In your article, you ask, “Shouldn’t [a great university] be a place to drift, to think, to read, to meet new people, and to work at whatever inspires you?”  We wholeheartedly agree, and this is exactly what our curriculum seeks to do.  This is why our new, introductory course sequence (mandatory for all students) is called Thinking Matters.

I’m mostly puzzled by your article because I don’t understand your motivation.  You’re a Stanford graduate.  Why are you taking such inaccurate hits at your alma mater?  To take us down a notch?  It seems like your deliberately controversial article is just a ploy for page-views.

I invite you to visit Stanford as it is today.  Heck, I’ll give you a tour.  Join me in seeing Stanford not as we appear to the uninformed eye, but to those who engage in its true academic culture.

I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Kristi Bohl, Stanford ’13

April 9, 2013 | Uncategorized

When Fools Rush In

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You’ve spent an hour blowing your hair out. You’re tugging at your shirt, making sure it isn’t bunching in any weird ways. You’re trying to convince yourself that your cutest pair of flats aren’t pinching your toes, your throat isn’t sore from talking, and your cheeks don’t hurt from persistent smiling. You’re making PG-rated chitchat with the girls next you in line, notably those with last names of the same letter as your own. Suddenly you hear it. The clapping. The scream-singing. The doors burst open and you hear the incessantly catchy lyrics of yet another anthem as you’re quickly ushered in. This is rush, and you’re effing exhausted.

            I could write a pretty hefty article full of tips and advice that echo the sentiments of Stanford’s Inter-Sorority Council, many of the girls you’ll talk to during rush, and possibly your RA or friends that have gone through the process before. I’m going to try really hard not to do that. If you’re planning on going through girls’ rush, you’re going to hear a LOT about how “you should really pick the place that’s best for YOU”, and how you should just focus on “being yourself”. No offense to all of that, but it’s a little trite, and you’ve undoubtedly heard it all before. This is an article for those of you thinking about going through rush, maybe on the fence about sororities in general, maybe unsure of what exactly to expect from the whole process. I want to give you some concrete advice, hopefully some of which that you haven’t  already heard before, that might actually help you figure out if Stanford’s sorority scene is right for you.

A little background: I am a member of one of Stanford’s housed sororities. For the sake of this article, I don’t think it’s really important to say which, as the things I want to talk about will focus on Stanford’s sororities as a whole.

Continue reading “When Fools Rush…”»

April 2, 2013 | Ideas

Lean In: Sheryl Sandberg Speaks at Stanford

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“We need to get women to start out aiming big and staying in.”

One of the most daunting aspects of being a female in the technical fields is the dearth of female role models.

Growing up at my elementary school, I dreaded the inevitable biography book report.  I always got Marie Curie.  No slight to Madame Curie, but I couldn’t help but shudder to think that the only techy female role model my teachers could dig up for me died 80 years ago.  Painfully.  Of radiation poisoning.  The prospects seemed bleak for a ten-year-old girl who liked science.

Leading Ladies of Tech

Enter Sheryl Sandberg.  The Chief Operating Officer at Facebook and former vice president of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google, Sandberg is one of the most influential women in the world.  She and a new generation of women leaders in tech – like Yahoo!’s Marissa Mayer (Stanford B.S. in SymSys) – have shown young women everywhere that female leadership is no mere possibility, but also a necessity for an egalitarian society.

Sandberg’s credentials make her a prime role model and spokesperson for the modern feminist movement.  Her modest autobiographical Twitter bio of “mother of 2, wife of awesome guy, friend to many great women” belies her professional accomplishments and impact.  After graduating summa cum laude from Harvard and receiving her MBA from Harvard Business School, she worked with the World Bank and served as Chief of Staff for the U.S. Treasury during the Clinton years.  She’s now #10 on Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful women.

Sandberg only recently tackled issues of gender in leadership, but has done so with gusto.  Her famous TED Talk “Why we have too few women leaders” has over 2 million views, and her new book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead has been translated into 24 languages.

The Bad News

Sandberg opened the talk with a sobering description of the state of women in modern leadership.

The blunt truth is that men still run the world.  Unequivocally, no question about it.”

Continue reading “Lean In: Sheryl…”»

March 17, 2013 | News

Rachel Maddow talks about Ethics, Stanford, and Her New Book

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Yesterday, Rachel Maddow, host of MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” spoke to the Stanford community about her time as an undergraduate and about her new book “Drift.” Memorial Auditorium was packed, filled with students drawn by the chance to see one

Rob Reich and Rachel Maddow, answering questions during the Q&A.
Photo credit: Charles Russo

of Stanford’s most famous alumna.

You could almost miss the fact that the talked was sponsored in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Program in Ethics in Society. But Maddow and the people that introduced her, Professor Rob Reich and senior Jessica Asperger,  gave us reminders that the focus of the talk was about ethics, about how the choices we make have consequences.

Maddow first introduced us to this subject by talking about her time at Stanford. Although she didn’t have any prior plans to complete a Public Policy major or honors thesis, they became steps towards completing her personal goals. After coming out and deciding to become an active member of a gay community she believed was being terminated by AIDS, Maddow said,”At age 17, I came out and thought my role was to fight.” She didn’t know what exactly she was going to do or how she was going to accomplish it but the program was one of her first steps down the long road that has allowed her to become one of America’s most thoughtful political commentators. Continue reading “Rachel Maddow t…”»