Author Archive - Gigi

About Gigi:

I'm Gigi. The sophomore majoring in economics who doesn't really know what this whole blogging thing is, but makes a party of it any way. Why do I blog? Purely because I can subject all of you to my uninteresting opinions. Feel free to email me about my posts: ggamboa@stanford.edu

Alumni Are Just Like Us!

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

This post is inspired both by Reunion Homecoming Weekend (#StanfordRH) and that section of every celebrity magazine titled, “Stars are just like us!” and it has pictures of celebrities feeding the parking meter or carrying groceries or wiping their kids’ noses.

Anyways,  I love alumni weekend for the sole reason that it makes me look at the alums who have gone before me and wonder if I will turn out to be like them.

I know we just had an Overheard at Stanford post, but please allow me to share a few of the things that I heard alums say over the weekend:

 

(This is from two men who were pretty clearly in their 50s)

Man 1:  Is there a dress code for the party tonight?

Man2:  I think the important thing is that you keep your clothes on!

(From a man in his late 70’s)

They used to say that 9 out of 10 girls is attractive and the 10th one goes to Stanford, but now…….

 

(From a women in her 30’s)

Ten seconds later you had ditched me and I kept thinking, “Wow this is the worst reunion of my entire life …

 

(From a woman in her 60’s)

We have to get a table on the opposite side of the room from that man who has been  hitting on me all day.  Damn, why are all these men so old?

 

But seriously, it is pretty crazy to see all the Alumni walking around campus.  We start out at this school as bright-eyed freshman wearing name tags and lanyards, and years later we come back to this school, amazed at all the changes and all the non-changes and we wear those same red lanyards and name tags that we ditched the moment NSO was over.

I had the chance to talk to a couple alumni and ask about sagely advice that they might give and the overwhelming response I got was to 1) try everything and 2) take time to enjoy Stanford every once in a while.  So take some time for self-reflection and have some Stanford-appreciation time.  And apply for everything!  That is, however, just my advice, not that of alums.

 

I guess my take-home from this post is:  In case you are wondering what you’ll be like as time goes by, it turns out that you will be more or less the same, except older, and with more life experiences.  Ain’t that something?

 

Note:  I have had the difference between the words alumni, alumnae, alums, and alumnus explained to me several times, and I still don’t think I quite understand it.  Please excuse any errors.

A Community of Trust

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Have you ever asked a Stanford student what they love about Stanford?  Maybe back in the day when you were a ProFro?  Do you remember what that student said?

We hear it over and over, one of the best things about Stanford is the people.  Students at Stanford are diverse and accomplished and they come from all walks of life.

But also, one of the things that comes from this, is that laid-back, supportive (non-competitive) attitude that we talk about here.   (more…)

But it’s Endearing Douchiness, Right?

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

So I was cruisin le facebook and saw that one of my friends posted a link to a GQ article on the 10 douchiest colleges in America.  And what do you know, we’re number four.

And I had to stop and think, are we really that douchy of a school?

What you get when you google image search "Stanford Student"

And 10 minutes later I had decided, that pretty much yeah.  But I think that’s part of the reason I decided to go here.  At the risk of sounding like a douche myself, allow me to elaborate.

Stanford is one of those names that impresses immediately.  People assume you are smart and qualified and informed and hard-working and a whole slew of other things when you say you go there.  Parents love you, employers want you, yada yada yada.

But then you get to campus, or maybe just watch a football game and you see the band.  And you think, “Wow, they are a bunch of drunk idiots.  My respect for this school just went up a few notches.”  Or maybe that was just me.  But I think that might be part of our douch-appeal – we have ridiculously programs in a ridculous number of fields and we still manage to get in the “college experience.”

But still, some of the articles comments hit a little close to home: “Because you can’t be bothered with ‘fashion,’ you wear old Gap jeans, Havaianas flip-flops, a T-shirt with the name of an obscure tech company that ends in a y—Blippy or Swipely or Smackly or Webbly—underneath a Stanford sweatshirt”  If I had a nickel for every time I’d seen this exact outfit, I might actually have enough money to pay my tuition.

So yeah, maybe we have an unnatural obsession with the silicon valley and wearing our own school’s gear 90% of the days that it is “cold” outside.  And maybe I am only proving the point that we are actually just pretty much douches.

I guess the main problem I take with what this article points out is that for all of our talk of diversity at Stanford, there’s a mainstream at Stanford that is pretty overwhelming.  The longer I go to this school, the more I appreciate when people break the mold.  We might be diverse in our academic pursuits, but socially I feel like there’s a lot pressure to conform.  I would love for people to contradict me here though.

So I guess my point about this article is that I am torn.  I love that Stanford has a – shall we say – flair for the unpretentious.  But are we pretentious about this flair?  And is it forcing us to conform in some way?


I don’t know.  You tell me.

I Love Stanford in the Springtime.

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

No, really.  There’s something magic about it, even if we are approaching that weird time of the quarter where you form weird temporary friendships in the library and what you think about is how many hours in a row you can spend studying before your head will explode and anything you attempt to learn after that point will translate in your brain recorder as “Me learn this.  Wait, try again.  Oh no! Brain fire!  Evacuate the building!”

Then again, maybe that last part is just me.  Anyways, even if finals are approaching, it’s still incredibly amazing to spend half an hour looking at Stanford like you are a tourist.  Pictures (there are lots!):

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Ever heard of a Bacon Number?

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

That’s right folks, Kevin Bacon himself was on campus last night, speaking about the way he is doing good through his organization,

Kevin Bacon, anyone? Also sorry for the bad lighting. What are you going to do?

Six Degrees.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

A Bacon Number is like a funny version of the idea that there are only six degrees of separation between any two people in the entire world.  Only, it’s a lot funnier when the joke’s on Kevin Bacon.  (Can we get a tally started on how many times I say “Kevin Bacon” in this post?) Because of Kevin Bacon’s extensive acting career ( which, I’ve learned, includes a stint on Broadway and did I mention Kevin Bacon’s music career?), he has worked with a lot of actors.  I mean a lot of actors. The joke apparently started in the 90s, and Kevin Bacon himself wasn’t laughing.

Want a piece of the action?  It’s simple.  Go to OracleOfBacon.org and type in an actor’s name.  Any Hollywood actor.  It will bring you to a list of movies and actors that connect Kevin Bacon to the actor that you type in.

But time heals all wounds, and with time, Kevin Bacon learned to embrace the joke around his fame.  He created SixDegrees.org which uses social networking (facebook, twitter, blogs, LinkedIn, etc.)  to help people become celebrities for the causes they like.  To paraphrase Kevin Bacon, social media is out there, and it’s not going away.  Why not try to use it to do some good?

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Disgust. It’s What’s for Dinner.

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Well looking back, it is better than the crap they served in middle school.

Having recently become interested in the popularity of being a foodie, and having just come from faculty dinner, I’ve caught myself thinking a lot about dining halls and how mysterious these places are.  Really, who hasn’t complained about dining hall food at least 349683 times?  Don’t get me wrong, I love that Wilbur tries to give you good ingredients (thanks for leaving the cinnamon out for me to play with, Wilbs), I would give Ricker an A every time I’ve been there (granted, that is actually a total of 3 times), and I love Indian-food-Sundays at FloMo, but on the whole I’m a bit disenchanted with dining halls and the whole Stanford food situation as of late.  And as you probably already know, we at TUSB are encouraged to bitch about things at our bi-weekly staff meetings (I’m only sort of exaggerating).

So while I’m not a journalist, and I am basing the following off of only my own experiences and perceptions on dining at Stanford, here goes all my thoughts on Stanford dining.  Something that everyone seems to want to complain about, but no one ever really seems to want to change.  And really, what has your dining ambassador ever done except spam your email list?  I submit, nothing.  (Sorry to all the DA’s of the Stanford world, you’re probably still good people … maybe).  (more…)

FUN FUN FUN FUN. Looking forward to the weekend

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Are you like me?  Do you find anything, anything to distract you from studying for finals?

Does that anything sometimes include making fun of 13 year old girls?  Oh, Ark Music Factory, why did you ever introduce the internet to Rebecca Black’s Friday?

In case you are wondering what I am talking about, here is the video:

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Oh my gosh, it is horrible.  Yes, she spends part of the song explaining the order of the days.  The other half of the lyrics are the phrases “Friday”, “Fun Fun Fun”, and “looking forward to the weekend.”  And in case you were wondering what the song would have been like if Bob Dylan had performed it, there are about a billion fun covers of this song.

And in case Rebecca Black’s video did not fill you up, she has tons of other newly teen-ed friends with videos to laugh at.

Why Justin Bieber?  Why?  Why would you ever open the door  for this?  I blame you!

Suddenly I never want breakfast foods...

Happy Procrastination :)

Like Riding Space Mountain with the Lights On

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

I almost forget that there is a behind the scenes.

The Ponderings of an Optimist

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Remember free time?

Yeah those were the days.

The days before I went to bed at 1 am and woke up at 7:30 to finish homework.  The days before I spent about an hour and a half just walking around campus to all the places I went.  The days before I had three midterms within a week and a half of each other and I skipped meals just to study or finish homework.  The days before I gained stress-weight all the time.

I spent a lot of time today remembering those days.  They were good to me.  I can almost remember the way it felt to sit in one spot for so long that my butt actually hurt.  The way it felt to spend more than 15 minutes a day with any of my friends.
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Teach Me How to Dougie, or How to be a Hip-Hop Star

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Call me three months late, but I just noticed a pattern.

Remember the Soulja Boy dance?

Well in case you forgot…

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Yeah, that Soulja Boy dance.  The one that everybody knew, that they played at that dance in high school and that even people who didn’t like to dance danced to and it was ridiculous?  The one that even Dwight Howard loves?

Well did you ever notice how that song is really simple and reprtitive, but the dance moves are really easy for anyone to dance to? Pay attention to that.

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Home is where your misplaced birth control is?

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Funny Story.

My roommate and I lost our stapler.  I actually blame myself, because I remember seeing it somewhere funny, but I can’t remember where that hilarious place is.  Anyways, in the search for said stapler, I found under the rolling drawer part of my desk (holla Crothers!) a piece of paper.  Wanting to recycle it, I pulled it out.  AND A DOLLAR CAME WITH IT (I know, this is practically like winning the lottery).  When I looked at the piece of paper, it was in someone else’s handwriting.  Wanting to find out if anything else were in there (and hoping to find someone’s stash of money), I pulled out the drawer so I could reach behind it to the mysterious treasure.  Here is a picture of what I found:

You can tell a lot about a woman by the contents of her stash

Besides the paper and dollar, three pens, three pencils, two erasers, a reservation to the Sheraton Hotel, a button (which oddly exactly matches a button that I am in need of), and a pack of birth control with only one pill missing. (more…)

Google: The Ultimate Teacher

Monday, December 20th, 2010

I had a job this summer at a non-profit, where I basically had to help the public with any request they could call or com in for help

Even Google messes up sometimes.

with.  And although a lot of the requests were the same, a LOT of the time I had no idea how to help these people, and neither did any one else in the office.    Our solution?  Google it.  I googled everything from directions to the closest shopping center to how to get a record of a divorce that occurred in the state of Oregon about 20 years ago.

SO what else can google do?

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Bike-ma

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Surely Stanford students can relate to this:

So keep your bike somewhere safe over the break.  I know that seems a million wears away with finals between now and then, but still …  It’s only two weeks away.

Happy Dead Week! (Oxymoron much?)

Meme

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Do you know this word?  I learned it a few weeks ago.  As defined on urban dictionary: a pervasive thought or thought pattern that replicates itself via cultural means.  So in terms of college culture, it’s anything that you see on facebook from one of your friends at another school and then hear someone in your dorm talking about later.

For example, the bed intruder song:

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I don’t know anyone who hasn’t seen this video.  My parents included.  I also have friends who say double rainbow instead of intense.

Stanford’s newest Meme is likealittle, which started exculsively at Stanford, and only just recently opened up to other college campuses.  It’s a little flirting page, where you can say where you are on campus, vaguely describe the person you’re looking at, and then say something flirtatious/cute/creepy.

I think it started out more cute than it is now (why do the sketchies have to ruin everything?), but now it has mostly just sexual innuendos.  My personal favorite was  a likealittle that was at the football game describing a number twelve saying, “You can penentrate my red zone.”  I don’t know how I would take that if I were Andrew Luck.

Which brings up the point, what’s the deal with likealittle?  Is it cute, is it sketchy, is it awkward, or what?  Let me know what you think.  Do you know people who actually use it and check it constantly?  Do you know anyone who has actually hooked up with someone they liked but were too afraid to say anything to because of likealittle?

I asked the creators why they did it, and they said they wanted to help people who are too shy to go out on a limb.  And who said there’s no dating scene at Stanford?

And since we’re on the subject of Meme, check out a Crazy Kobe Fan, a Kitten-Crazed little Girl, a cute little shell who is weird and tiny, and be sure to post links to your favorite videos.

A Musical about Afghanistan?

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

Let me start off by saying that in no way am I a critic of plays or is this a review.  (we here at TUSB are sort of pseudo-journalists, which is funny because by no means do I consider myself a writer.)

But Thursday night I saw Pawn, the Musical, Stanford production that was written by Karmia Chan Cao about Afghanistan, Chinese-Canadians, and terrorism.  And I have to say, I was impressed by the amount of talent we have here at Stanford.

Although at first I was confused about the relationships between characters in a play (they had a feminine white girl playing a

I have to admit, the Pawn concept of the play left me thinking.

rebellious Chinese daughter/biker-chick), I was really touched.  By the end of the play, there were more than a few of us sniffling away and wiping away tears.

Perhaps the most amazing piece of talent of the night was that of Karmia, who created, wrote, composed, and directed Pawn.  Although not many of the songs were at the usually catchy musical level I am used too (I admit, I love Wicked), many of the songs were quite hauntingly beautiful.  As an added bonus, Karmia herself was on the side of the stage rocking out (can you still use that phrase when it’s folk-rock?) to her own songs on the guitar, the piano, a congo-like drum (please excuse my musical ignorance here), and even singing along.

The play is actually getting quite a bit of attention even outside of the Stanford community.  While I’m afraid the last Stanford production of it is going on as I type, I heard there are rumors of a National tour.  As the first musical to discuss the conflicts of Afghanistan, Pawn says a lot about our generation and about how we are influenced by the war on terror, the tragic events of 9/11, and continued racial discrimination.

Overall, it was a very emotional experience.  Although there are a lot of dark moments, these are balanced out by the message of hope and the occasional humor too (I loved the character of Lego).    There was a lot of young talent in the ensemble, and I think Pawn is one to keep an eye on.

For more information about Pawn at Stanford, go here, or for more general information about the musical, go here.