Author Archive - Sasha

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PAC-12 Network: Plus or Minus?

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

It is my first real week of summer.  And yes, I am already bored.  My general routine for curing boredom involves 1) indulging in crappy TV 2) attempting to repair my sleep debt (impossible) and 3) keeping up with my sports teams like no one’s business.  Being that I’m not emotionally invested in basketball (read: I’ll-watch-it-but-eh), that leaves me Giant’s baseball and my football teams, the Niners and of course our Stanford football team.

Amidst my avid googling, I came across this SF Chronicle article.  It notes that our first football game of the season (at home v. San Jose State) has been moved from Saturday, Sept. 1st to the night before at 7pm.  That is right, ladies and gents, we will have a Friday season opener.  While this may not be that significant in and of itself, I think it gives us Stanford fans something to think about.

While Friday home opener is a little disappointing, the change itself is not the most significant part of the story, especially since not many students will be able to attend anyway (you can count me there).  It leaves me to question, how many more times/dates will be switched on us to satisfy the PAC-12 Network?  Looking at other team’s schedules, we aren’t the only ones to have Friday night games (which I’m not that opposed to. High school anyone?), but some teams even have Thursday games scheduled.

With late Thursday classes and sections, I wonder, if we do have a home game yanked to a Thursday, how many people will we lose?  How many season ticket holders won’t go because of work early the next morning? How many students will have a mandatory attendance section?

Our home game schedule already sucks, as noted by Kabir earlier this year (article here).  We have only three home games while school is in session.  USC happens before school starts.  Big Game was moved to… OCTOBER.  While I may be a tad (okay, REALLY) emotional about this since it will be my last football season as an undergrad, I still feel like any Stanford undergrad who attends home games probably feels like they got cheated…just a little bit.

The upswing to all of this, of course, is that every PAC-12 football game will be televised nation-wide, which is great for revenues and visibility and especially great for Stanford alums that live out of area.  This is an amazing perk and will be great for the conference and for our school.  I am personally hoping for a full season of hard-hitting football in which last year’s middling PAC-12 contenders really step up, and we give SEC fans something to think about.

Still is the weird schedule worth the perks?  I, for one, am on the fence.  Let me know what y’all think!

Do you think the PAC-12 Network brings more good than bad?

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Overheard At Stanford

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Talking in the Toyon lounge at 3 AM, attempting to complete homework…

Ryan Landron: “Philip Glass is the man.”

Friend: “Philip Glass IS the man.”


Friend2: “But all of Philip Glass is the same.”

Ryan: “Bro, he’s a minimalist. What do you expect him to do?”

Friend2: “I wish I was a minimalist, then girls would be like…’what do you expect him to do?'”



The Golden Rule

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Yes, I am writing about the ASSU election.  Yes, a lot has already been said.  I am writing anyway.  And even though while I type this, I feel like a mom lecturing her badly-behaving children, I still think it deserves to be said.  Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself.  The message is simple.  Every human being deserves respect.

Sure, Stewart MacGregor-Dennis has put himself in the public sphere.  He has allowed every detail of his life to be published, for the entire world to see.  He holds elected office and is running yet again.  His platform, the job he has done this year, the current ASSU election system — these are all valid things to question and be critical about.  However, disagreeing with someone and dragging their name through the mud are NOT the same thing.

It is easy to sit at your computer and post a status, send an email, or write a blog post saying something not-so-nice about someone else.  You don’t have to face them in person.    You don’t have to think about how your comments might make someone else feel.  Instead, you just have to write and press post.  Voila!  Now your opinion is in on the web, for anyone and everyone to see.

But let me tell you, your words have power.  They have the power to make others laugh, the power to foster introspection, the power to spread knowledge.  And among many other things, your words also have the power to hurt.

I would know.  A year or so ago, I published a blog post, for TUSB in fact, about a internet site called Total Frat Movement (TFM).  I was bored during break, found out about the site, and decided to write about it.  In the end, it was a rather strong criticism of way in which the website portrays Greek Life to the world.  In the end, TFM ended up linking my post in their head bar.  The post got over 200 comments, most of which were extremely negative.  These people called me everything from stupid to fat and ugly.  And while, I knew that none of these things were true and these were people that I had never met and know nothing about me, those comments still hurt me, just as I am sure, the things said about Steward hurt him.

These posts, these statuses will live on the internet forever.  When someone googles his name (maybe an employer), the post you wrote will pop up.  It will and has affected his life.

One of my favorite things about Stanford, and one of the main reasons I decided to attend this university, is the type of people it has attracted — brilliant, passionate, fun, warm, kind people.  This is not the foot we are currently putting forward.  If I was a prospective student reading this back- and-forth, I would get the picture that Stanford is a cut-throat environment, where peers are constantly bringing each other down, trampling over each other to get to the top.  This is not Stanford.  It is certainly not the Stanford I fell in love with as a ProFro and the institution I am proud to say I belong to.

So as the election finishes up and the results are released, please remember to respect your peers, whether you agree with their positions or not.  Really, we are all just doing our best to get by in the world, to follow our dreams, to find our passions.  And frankly, that is hard enough as it is.

Before Traveling, Check for Manifestação

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

This quarter, I am studying abroad in Madrid.  We only have class Mon-Thurs, so the majority of us use our time over the weekends to travel, myself included.  This past weekend, I decided to travel to Lisbon with some friends.  It is a beautiful city with great food (I highly recommend it), and its friendly people and low prices, at least in comparison to Madrid, quickly won our group over.  We had a jam-packed schedule, as we were only in Lisbon from Thursday afternoon to Saturday afternoon.  As Saturday winded to a close and we were walking to our hostel to get our bags and head to the airport, our group gave ourselves a solid pat on the back.  In a mere 3 days, we had seen all that we set out to see, ate some fantastic food, and met some incredible people.  We had planned so well…. or so we thought.

As we were walking to our hostel, we noticed a fair amount of people in the streets, a pleasant contrast to the relative emptiness of Madrid’s streets on the weekend, and in particular, a small group of protesters in Terreiro do Paço square.  We figured this was normal, especially since the Portuguese economy is not doing any better than the Spanish economy (to learn about that, go read some of George’s old posts).  In fact, Lisbon’s walls and streets are filled with graffiti and posters, proclaiming things like, “Money is taken from the poor and given to the bankers.  More hours.  Less pay.  Less life!”

As we exited the hostel and got ready to head to Terreiro do Paço square, a hub for buses and the nearest bus stop for the bus to the airport, we realized that there were an increasing number of people in the street…and an increased police presence.  In fact, Terreiro do Paço square had been blocked off by the police and streets were being closed for the incoming masses of protesters.

What we expected to see (image from Wikipedia)

What we actually saw (image from Reuters)








We were in the middle of a manifestação, or protest. Not prepared for the chaos about to ensue, we figured we would head to the closest square, where we hopefully could catch a bus or take the train or metro to the airport.

Image from the International Business Times

Rolling suitcases in hand, we ran through the crowded streets in the opposite direction of the march of protesters that was headed from the outskirts to Terreiro do Paço square.  All ages of people were in the streets, shouting, holding signs.  Some wore masks, impersonating Guy Fawkes, who has become a symbol of anti-greed.

The manifestação had been called by the CGPT, or Confederação Geral dos Trabalhadores Portugueses, to protest the austerity measures that had been taken on by the Portuguese government last May in exchange for a 78 billion dollar loan from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.  These austerity measures included an increase in sales taxes and increase in public transportation fares, and salary reductions.  More controversially, the government has lengthened workday hours without additional compensation, cut holidays,  and reduced compensations for fired workers.  Since these measures, the economy has only worsened, with employment hitting around 13%.  (more…)


Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Being a Stanford student automatically gives you so many opportunities and opens so many doors.  We can talk for ages about the incredible classes available, the amazing people we have met, the brilliant people that come speak here, and the numerous job opportunities available.  But today, I am going to ignore all that.  I’m going to focus on the incredible places that Stanford takes us… literally.   Get ready to be awestruck.

1. Tahoe

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2.  Yosemite

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GameDay Signs

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Continuing the day of coverage, I thought I’d share some of my favorite signs.  “Oregon-ized Crime Doesn’t Pay.”   “Say No to Quack!”  “I Like My Duck Confit.” “I Had A Smart and Clever Sign But Oregon Fans Wouldn’t Get It.”   There are tons of great ones, so if I didn’t mention yours doesn’t mean it isn’t fantastic.  Share your faves in the comments!

College GameDay = Crazy

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Hey y’all, Sasha here to update you on the ESPN GameDay madness. And madness is exactly what it is. On the plus side, Stanford students have showed up in mass. On the not-so-plus side, about a thousand of them cut in front of me in line…. On the plus side, I have a press pass sooooo it really doesn’t matter.  On the not-so-plus side, for  all of you who showed up bright and early at 4 AM only to not even get into the Pit, life sucks sometimes.  Also on the not-so-plus side, how could GameDay not foresee the massive problem that is people cutting in line?  Unclear.  Back on the plus side, the Pit is filled.  On the not-so-plus side, it took them long enough.  For a little while I thought this might be the first GameDay in which the Pit wasn’t filled…because GameDay took too long letting people in.   But all is bright and shiny now.  So be at peace Stanford fans.  College GameDay is here for the very first time.  We are going to beat Oregon to a pulp later on (fingers crossed).  And we go to STANFORD.  Life is good.  Want more updates?  I am here with one of our very own (Stanford-wise and TUSB-wise) who is tweeting for   Follow him @ksawhney1. And keep checking for more updates!


Dr. Pepper TEN…It’s A Boys Only Club

Monday, November 7th, 2011

So I was watching the USC game last week, and a Dr. Pepper ad popped up on the television.  Advertising Dr. Pepper TEN, a new ten calorie drink made with real sugar, the ad sought to make the diet drink “macho.”  The ad is a gold mine for quotes edging on sexist, proclaiming “You can keep the romantic comedies and lady drinks. We’re good.”  and ending with “Dr. Pepper TEN…it’s not for women.” Accompanying the ad is a reworked Facebook page, which allows visitors to take a quiz to see if they are man enough for Dr. Pepper TEN.

Here is the ad:

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Overheard at Stanford

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

For those of you who are new to the blog, every once in a while, we, the blogging inclined, post tidbits from conversations that we just happened to hear while walking by /totally eavesdropped on.  So, without further ado, here is a dash of hilarity to break up your day. Enjoy!

Forlorn looking sophomore outside Sophomore Celebration: “Dean Julie totally doesn’t love us anymore.”


Person that I can only assume is a philosophy TA: “And so I asked them who the phrase, “I only know that I know nothing,” is attributed to and the kid said, “Aristotle”!!!

Fellow philosophy post-grad: “That is ridiculous.  EVERYONE knows that that was Socrates.”


” If you are able to get kidnapped by a midget, you’re probably not very cool.”


“….and this is why we don’t kick pandas.”

Sometime I really wish I could hear the entire conversation that led to these remarks.  But that is it for now. Best of luck on midterms, Stanford!

New University Policy Reveals Distrust in Student Body

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

NEWS FLASH: Gone are the days when Row houses can openly use the social dues for alcohol.

For those of you who, in the midst of the “easy” class list drama, have neglected to read the Daily’s other articles, they recently published an article regarding the University’s decision to refuse to allow Row houses to use their social dues for alcohol.  Essentially, the University changed their policy (read:ResEd wanted the Row house policies to be more like the rest of the dorms) so that underage students couldn’t effectively buy alcohol through the University.

Furthermore, according to the Daily article, “ResEd is also hiring a new staff member for the Row Office; this staffer’s job will be responsible for scanning weekly receipts turned in by FMs.”  This to me was the most shocking part of the article.  Here at Stanford, students are expected to abide by the Honor Code and the Fundamental Standard, which reads as follows.

“Students at Stanford are expected to show both within and without the University such respect for order, morality, personal honor and the rights of others as is demanded of good citizens. Failure to do this will be sufficient cause for removal from the University.”

I was always under the impression that, like with the Honor Code, we were trusted to obey the Fundamental Standard, and so the University did not take extreme measures to ensure that we followed the rules.  Yet, it seems that the University is expecting the Row House FMs (financial managers) to disobey this policy change, thus requiring the staff addition. (more…)

Experiencing Abroad (from Florence to the Outback)

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Curious about the Florence or Australia programs? Well, here is what the experts have to say. Enjoy! (more…)

Experiencing Abroad

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

As a sophomore, the past week or so my Facebook newsfeed has been littered with classmates’ statuses, rejoicing their acceptance to study abroad in the fall.  It has made me wonder: what is the real deal about going abroad?  How do you pick which program to attend? If you were wondering the same thing, you are in luck.  Thanks to the lovely student advisors at the Bing study abroad programs, who have volunteered to share a little bit about their study abroad experience in order the demystify it for the rest of us, I will be highlighting 2 programs every so often. So you will eventually get a peek into every study abroad program (except the Barcelona consortium cuz they don’t have peer advisors). Soooo to all you students thinking about applying second round to go abroad in the fall and don’t know if you should, this is for you!


Overheard at Stanford…

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

For those of you who read the blog routinely, you probably realize that I am not the one who usually posts these; Andrea is. That being said, I really couldn’t help myself. Hope this tidbit lightens the midterms stress, even for just a moment.

Boy 1 talking to Boy 2: “I don’t know. I guess she came here to do fuzzy stuff…”

Both boys grimace because fuzzy stuff is obviously a pointless, misguided endeavor.

Boy 1 continues: “Like human rights…”

Total(ly Despicable) Frat Move

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

I was talking to a high school friend who pledged a fraternity at his school on the East Coast, and in the midst of the conversation, he said, “TFM.”  Confused, I asked, “What does that stand for?”  Turns out, TFM is short for “total frat move.”  He was baffled that I had never heard of the phrase, because it happens that it was made into a rather popular website (or at least popular in the East, Midwest, and South). He was so appalled that I had never heard the phrase, that he emailed me a link to the website (click here to see for yourself).

If you are going to peruse the website, here are some of the abbreviations you will need to know: TSM = total sorority move, NF = not frat, and GDI’s= God Damn Independents or students not in Greek life.

At first, I was interested by the website.  It was like looking into a totally different, albeit obnoxious, world, but the more TFMs I read, the less intriguing and more offensive the site became.  By the end, I was completely repulsed.  I was going to try and describe the offensiveness of this website for those who chose not to click on the link, but I don’t think I could do it justice.  Instead, I will provide you with a sampling of some of comments that grace the website (I tried to pick ones that conveyed the feeling of the site without choosing ones that were profane).

“I get pissed off when I can’t find the keys to my frathoe for 5 minutes. Can’t imagine how those GDIs are going to feel when they can’t find a job for their entire lives. TFM.”

“Turns out Obama and I do have something in common. We both love spending my dad’s money. TFM.”

“No sex on the first date, technically makes it the last date. TFM.”

“I’m in the law library with my fratdaddy.  He’s studying corporations or something. I am coloring. TSM.”

“No. I am not concerned about my future. I am a 34D and bake cookies like you wouldn’t believe. TSM.”


Phones…at dinnertime?

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Going home for break is a both a wonderful and horrible thing.  You get to have all the things you have missed the most – your family, your dog, the home-cooked meals, etc.- but you also get all the not-so-nice things you completely forgot.  Like washing the dishes (where are the conveyor belts when I need them?) or your parents’ nagging (“You know, while you’re home, not doing anything, you could clean something. Just an idea.” ) And one of the things my mother particularly abhors is when one of her children brings her cell phone to dinner.  At school, I bring my cell phone everywhere.  DUH.  We all do.  After all, you never know when your best friend might run into her ex and desperately need your support via text or what if someone at your table in the dining hall has never seen the Bed Intruder video?  You have to be able to show it to them.  But at home, these excuses simply do not fly.

In the midst of my adjustment to “the at-home rules,”  I happened to stumble upon an article I found particularly relevant, entitled “Should You Google at Dinner?”.  In it, the author, Bruce Feiler, attempts to sort out the problem of using your phone during meal time.  In the end he comes to the conclusion that, while generally, phones should be put away during meal time, occasionally, if used to further conversation/answer a dire question, they are acceptable.  If you are at all curious, I highly encourage you to read the article here.

Now when I am around adults (or at the dinner table at home), this happens to be the tactic I employ.  If whipping out my phone will aid me in a debate, I will not hesitate to employ the power of the internet.  But around my peers, I never am quite sure.  I mean the phone definitely stays in my purse during dates…or meetings for that matter.  But what about when I am just sitting in my room talking to friends or at the table in the dining hall with some people from my dorm?  Should I ignore a text if I get it?  Should I read it but not respond?  Should I read it and only respond if I can do so quickly?  I feel like it is generally understood that carrying a whole text conversation while having a conversation with someone else in person is rude, but when it comes to just one text, I just cannot place the policy.  So TUSB readers, I am asking you.  What do you think?

Is it okay to answer a text during conversation?

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