Archive for the ‘Campus Life’ Category

How I feel when I get AlertSU messages

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Mad-Eye knows what’s up.

FMOTQ 101: Pick-Up Puns

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

“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.

Fall-ing in Love: The 2013 Autumn Course Guide

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

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.

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New platform to showcase Stanford student innovation… FoSho

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

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

 

The 5th Annual Unabridged List of Suggested Dorm Themes

Monday, June 10th, 2013

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  (more…)

Breakdown Quarter: You’re Not Alone

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
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.

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

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
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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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

When Fools Rush In

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

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.

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Party With Fees: A Lighthearted Rant

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Would you like $250 $140? Right now? Free and clear? How about every quarter? Yeah, so would I. However, unlike most random hypothetical questions, I can actually deliver on this one. $250 $140 of your tuition per quarter automatically goes to special fees. However, saying as you don’t ever actively consent to this distribution of funds to various student groups, the ASSU would be in something of a legal snafu if they didn’t give you the option of taking the money back at some point. So they do. For the first two weeks of every quarter, you have the option of waiving the money you paid for special fees. It’s really that simple. You can get a refund for $250 $140 worth of special fees every quarter. The solitary attached string? The leadership of groups that get special fees are allowed to request a list of students who waived their fees and may bar those students from using their services. But that’s seriously it. Now some food for thought: what could I buy with the $750 $420 a year that I currently spend on special fees? Here’s my short list:

 – A boatload of Philz coffee

Seven Four trips skydiving

– One of those giant stuffed trees from the bookstore

– A romantic weekend in Tahoe

– My weight in marshmallows

– *Part of* The mens water polo team

– Parking for my entire Stanford career ~two years

– A flight to somewhere very far away

30 17 cases of Two Buck Chuck

– Half an Ochem textbook

– An iPhone 17

3 2+ Dance Marathon pledges

– The worlds most hipster bike

Someone to slap me when I procrastinate (could definitely use one of those right about now…)

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Chill Out, it’s Winter!

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

As a freshman at Stanford, I’ve been lucky to receive mentoring from all sorts of places: TBP, SBSE, GP2A, UAL, BioE…the list of acronyms goes on and on. Despite the diversity of my mentors, most of them have given similar advice relating to winter enrollment: ‘take extra classes during crummy-weather Winter so you can relax during sunshiny Spring’, or something along those lines.

But after having a miserable Fall quarter, full of ridiculously hard classes for freshmen that aren’t offered at any other time (think Chemistry, CME, 7-freaking-unit ESF,) I came to the conclusion that taking even more classes during Winter Quarter would be madness.

So, I did something crazy. I ignored the advice that so many upperclassmen had given me and decided to take three easy classes in Winter quarter. And you know what?

THIS ROCKS!!

The truth is, stress can actually make you sick. Stanford’s weather during Winter Quarter isn’t actually that bad. So next time you’re considering enrolling for a 22-unit Winter Quarter…don’t. Chill out instead!

I Love You Like I Love Pizza

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Whether you’re looking forward to tomorrow or dreading it, you’ll probably have a better Valentine’s Day than these folks.

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Alors on danse….

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

“Don’t be fancy, just get dancey.” (P!nk)
Or do both, at this year’s Viennese Ball!

I’m not sure what it is about February that makes campus so antsy.  The weather is a mercurial mix of rainy and beautiful, the absence of football season gives us no justifiable reason to scream loudly once a weekend, and the looming, candy-coated spectre of Valentine’s Day reminds us all too well of our romantic frustrations.  My normal approach is useless here.

But whether it’s midterms, project classes ramping up, or The Man that’s gettin’ you down, there’s no reason too small not to shake it out.  As the Daily editors remind you of the importance of free speech on campus, I implore you to heed the words of V from V for Vendetta that

a revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having”

It’s times like these that make a student body want to shake its collective groove thang.  Good thing the slew of upcoming events on campus is perfectly suited to fulfill that need.

Lunar New Year Festival – Saturday, February 9, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., White Plaza

  • The Stanford Vietnamese Student Association is pulling together your favorite student performance groups to celebrate the New Year in style.  Watch, dance, and chow down while appreciating our talented fellow students.

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.

Stanford Dance Marathon – Saturday, February 9 – Sunday, February 10

  • The infamous annual event unites students from across campus in the common goal of fighting AIDS.  And occasionally in the conga line.
  • Whether you’re stickin’ it out for all 24 hours, boosting the energy as a moraler, or swinging by for some much-needed stress detox, enjoyment abounds in the form of glowsticks, pillowfights, sunrise yoga, and guest performances and dance lessons from dance groups on campus.   The best all-nighter you’ve ever spent.

Austria Fortnight – various events, February 9 – 20

  • The annual Viennese Ball is preceded by two weeks of free dance lessons throughout campus.  Whether you’re starting from square one, brushing off your polished moves, or unabashedly seeking a last-minute valentine, these low-key practice sessions are a great way to meet new friends and get the wiggles out.
  • No, not those Wiggles.  We like them.

Viennese Ball – Friday, February 22, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m., Palace Hotel SF

  • Perhaps Stanford’s classiest affair of the year, Viennese Ball has brought classical dance and live music to Stanford students since 1978.  In its current form, Viennese features a choreographed waltz opening, tasty hor d’oeuvres, a fun photo booth, and swing and waltz rooms with live bands into the wee hours of the morning.
  • Whether you’re a social dance pro or just learning, it’s a great way to meet new people, have fun with a partner, and enjoy live music in a luxurious setting.  Ticket sales open next week.

Whether you’re stressed, chill, or looking for a few hours to kill, consider joining Stanford’s rich culture of dance this winter quarter. Heck, even former Stanford football coach Jim Harbaugh is gettin’ his groove on.

Alors on danse.

Starbucks by the Numbers

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

“Starbucks: It’s NOT Meyer”

I have a love-hate relationship with Starbucks. On the one hand, I downright refuse to use the term “Tall” to order the establishment’s smallest serving of coffee. Ditto “Grande” (meaning “large” in Italian, according to my friend Google Translate) to order a medium-ish size. Ditto “Venti” for an all-nighter-inducing sized cup. Ok, admittedly the last one does make a smidge more sense than the other two – apparently a “Venti” is, in fact, twenty ounces of fluid. But seriously, for a company that has 20,400 almost identical stores, you’d think they’d adopt a similar level of consistency (if not common sense) when it comes to their sizing practices.

On the other hand, however, they do brew a pretty decent cup of coffee. I also like their little cheese and fruit boxes. And, most importantly, I have learned to love the establishment for their work environment. And by that I mean the environment in which I do MY work. This year’s fall course guide spent about a week and a half gestating in a Starbucks across the street from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and ever since I have had a certain fondness for the institution’s mass-produced ambiance. I can’t tell if its the “handcrafted” wooden tables, good lighting, endless outlets, or simply the fact that it’s not Meyer, but I’ve found that I’m surprisingly productive working in a place with heavy foot-traffic and lots of people hyped-up on mocha frappucinos. As such, I’ve spent a great deal of time in Tressider’s latest installment, enjoying both the salted carmel lattes and the sublime people watching that comes with them. So, without further ado, I present to you Starbucks by the my numbers*: (more…)

Gangnam Style, Global Citizenship, and the (Secretary) General

Friday, January 18th, 2013

As Stanford students, we have been charged – by the Stanfords themselves in the Founding Grant – with the responsibility of “promot[ing] the public welfare by exercising an influence in behalf of humanity and civilization.”  The words that Leland and Jane wrote down over 120 years ago in honor of their late son still ring true today, for fuzzies and techies alike.  Whether you are applying for a visa to study abroad or someday praying for favorable trade relations so that you can expose your product to a new market, international relations matter.  So if you’re curious about IR or just wondering why there were police dogs outside of Dink yesterday, read on.

Today, the UN has 193 member nations.

Crash Course: Meet the U.N.

Founded in 1945, the United Nations was born out of the need to address global hostility post-World War II and the League of Nations’ failed attempt at creating an international body that could effectively address international issues.  Despite starting afresh, the formation of an international regulating body still did not sit well with some countries, and after the Soviet Union turned about-face on first Secretary General Trygve Lie due to the UN’s role in the Korean War, the UN was almost doomed to the same fate as the League of Nations.

Like a boss.

Fortunately, Lie’s fellow-Scandinavian successor, Dag Hammarskjöld, strove to prevent the UN from disappearing altogether.  However, the UN has had its share of drama, from the Soviet Union’s desire to create a troika to replace the Secretary General to the Annan family’s Oil-for-Food scandal.

Despite the issues that have arisen, the United Nations remains the predominant world body persistently working to maintain peace between nations and provide aid to those who are hungry, oppressed, illiterate, and ill, deploying approximately 120,000 peacekeepers from over 110 countries and feeding over 90 million people a day.  In the words of current Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, “we [- the UN -] deliver more humanitarian aid than anyone.”

BMOC: Ban himself

The man with a plan

This Thursday afternoon, Ban Ki-moon came to address the Stanford community and discuss the role of the UN in our rapidly transitioning world.  Expressing his excitement at being able to speak on campus, Ki-moon joked that “Stanford has subtly made its mark on the world…… and that is just your football team.”  But beyond voicing his appreciation for California and joking that after a trip to America as a teen, he “was the 1950s equivalent of PSY” because he was so popular when he got home, Ban Ki-moon emphasized a need for American citizens to help address the profound global change that our world is facing today.  To make his point clear, Ki-moon elucidated three primary ways to navigate our changing world – his points are as follows.

1) Sustainable Development

First, Ki-moon urged individuals to be more conscious of their consumption of Earth’s resources, as “there can be no plan B… because there is no planet B.”  Asserting that “we cannot drill or mine our way to prosperity,” Ki-moon explained his goal for 2030: that everyone in the world will have electricity, solving a current dearth of energy for 1.4 million individuals.  His environmental stance reflects current initiatives at Stanford that you can get involved in, from the Stanford Solar Car project to the Green Living Council.  As Ki-moon said himself, “I know you understand – after all, Stanford’s mascot is a tree.”

2) “Dignity and Democracy”

Focusing on civil unrest in Syria and Mali, the Secretary General illuminated the main concerns for addressing international conflict, including funds, access, and political divisions.  He wants to provide certainty to young people who have uncertain futures, and uphold the human rights of those who can’t defend themselves.

3) Women and Young People

Similarly, Ki-moon argued that women and young people are the “most under-utilized resource” in today’s world.  He called for “more women in the Cabinet, more women in the Parliament, and more women in the boardrooms,” and is proud that South Korea has its first female president(-elect).  Because “half the world is under 25 years of age,” Ki-moon has appointed a special envoy on youth, who will hopefully be a proponent for children and young adults around the world.

“We Are the World”

In sum, Ban Ki-moon discussed a variety of pressing issues that he and his peers in the UN need our help to address.  It is in this vein that Ki-moon wrapped up his talk; rather than talking about how the youth are the future, he argues that it is time to recognize that young people “have already taken their leadership role today.”

So, Stanford students, let’s take Ki-moon’s advice.  Now, more than ever, it is our responsibility to recognize the importance of international cooperation and impartiality.  It is time to be global citizens.

Oak Creek: An Unexpected Journey

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

I guess it’s what you get for spending last quarter swimming in the Great Barrier Reef and pondering the infinite cuteness of the koala.  Like many of us who studied abroad, took a quarter off, or were otherwise not around for the fall, I’ve ended up in the infamous Oak Creek Apartments, renowned across campus for their forbidding distance.

Distance only slightly exaggerated.

But how is it really?  The apartments themselves are quite a bit more palatial than your average dorm, not quite competition for Toyon and Roble on the antique charm scale, but extremely livable.  There’s also a pool, sauna, private health club (currently being remodeled, but still), views of other people’s even prettier pools, and kitchens with capacious microwaves.  Additionally, I haven’t checked the statistics, but I think that you are about 7,000% less likely to die of impact with a rogue golf cart on the Oak Creek premises than almost anywhere else frequented by Stanford students.

But more than these materials benefits, Oak Creek seems like it fosters a particular way of life.  For one thing, going back to Oak Creek in between classes is impracticable for classes fewer than about 2 hours apart, so a typical day feels more like commuting to school.  But in one week so far, I’ve found that this constraint actually forces me to make better use of my time–instead of chasing the elusive power nap or re-watching Game of Thrones episodes, I end up reading, doing some light homework, or taking the opportunity to visit friends.  The walk/bike/drive to campus forces the residents of Oak Creek to be more punctual, since it’s hard to kid yourself about how fast you can get to classes when you have to navigate a meadow to arrive.  And if you feel like you need to develop some useful life skills, Oak Creek could be a great platform for improving your cooking, dishwashing, and interior design.

In short, although it involves a trek and a half, Oak Creek is not the horrible spector of bad housing it is often claimed to be.  Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to live on the edge.