Posts Tagged ‘arrillaga’

‘Til the Fat Lady Sings: Reflections on an Impending Senior Year

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

"The time has come," the walrus said.

We live in a dynamic time.  Neil Armstrong is gone, but the Mars Curiosity roves on.  Yahoo’s Marissa Meyer (Stanford ’97, ’99)  is the youngest CEO in the Fortune 500 and its record 20th female.  In November, most of us will vote in our first presidential election.

So, too, it is a dynamic time for those seniors returning to Stanford this year.

I just returned from six months abroad in Germany, and I’m currently in an awkward phase of readjustment.  Why are dollar bills all the same size?  Why are strangers being friendly to me?  Where is the recycling?  A transition so major after such a long time away can be difficult to digest… not least because the German diet consists primarily of meat and potatoes.  But I digress.

With a couple of weeks before my senior year at Stanford, I’m also readjusting to the bizarre reality that Stanford Round 4 is right around the corner.  As the inevitable bucket lists will undoubtedly show, I’m far from done here, with several more turns of the Circle of Death before I’ll kick off my flip flops and leave the Bubble.  What will it mean to say goodbye?

Let’s start at the very beginning….

BREAKING NEWS: Stanford Hospital develops new technique for additive appendage growth.

Perhaps a good place to start is with my expectations coming in to Stanford.  I love talking to new frosh about their majors, because all of them are going to double major in CS and IR with a minor in modern languages while keeping the door open for med school.  You go, kids.  I giggle now, but frankly I wasn’t so different.  If the Kristi of 2009 had gotten her way, I’d be majoring in MatSci, sailing varsity, playing for Calypso, singing for Testimony, and dancing with Swingtime.  I would also, apparently, never sleep.

As it turns out, I am doing none of those things.  Yet I am blissfully happy with exactly where my Stanford experience has taken me.  The beauty of Stanford is how it opens you up to new goals and dreams you never imagined possible.  Even as an upperclassman you can suddenly find interests where you least expect them.  As a Stanford friend of mine wrote, “Two of my absolute favorite things to do now?  …I only really picked them up sophomore / junior year!”  It’s never too late to find and follow your passions.

I’m keeping my mind open, my schedule free, and my rally gear on hand.  And until I walk wackily into the “real world,” I intend to approach Stanford like every day is the day I got in.    (more…)

Good one, Arrillaga.

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Intended as motivation for finals...?

I’m pretty sure I’m an involuntary participant in some sort of psych experiment right now.

All quarter long, the entrance doors to Arrillaga Family Dining Commons have been mysteriously difficult to use: some open one way and some don’t, and this usually switches from day to day.  If you’ve eaten at Arrillaga recently, chances are good that you’ve also tried a perfectly good looking door, only to find yourself looking like a moron in front of the impatient food-seekers behind you.  “Way to go,” their raised eyebrows convey, “you’ve only been opening doors for the last, what, sixteen years?”

For the past week, the doors have been emblazoned by rotating labels.  The first day they explicitly demarcated “pull here” or “use other door.”  Secretly gleeful, I proudly opened the door on the very first try and joined my fellow diners in a small happy-dance upon our successful venture.  But they’ve changed ever since, becoming less immediately user-friendly, and significantly more challenging for the running-on-empty-omigosh-it’s-Dead-Week brain.

What’s up with the sassy doors?  I have four theories:

  1. Psych 1 student having a little too much fun with his or her final project.  “I have to inform human subjects about their rights as participants?  Whaaaat??”
  2. Really bored Arrillaga employee.  There are only so many times you can arrange the salad bar according to John Arrillaga’s specific instructions (alphabetical, by last letter of county of origin, in French, in case you were wondering).
  3. Annoying publicity for some student start-up.  Note the QR code.  Not cool, kids.
  4. Blame Cal.

The Counter-Culture Bike Parking Job

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

This guy thought everyone else was parked the wrong way.

Un Op-Ed

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

The opinions, or lack thereof, expressed in this article are not the opinions expressed by The Unofficial Stanford Blog or its writers.

I’m one of the newest writers to walk out of the marble-pillared, gold plated Parthenon that is the TUSB headquarters.

The newest addition to the Arrillaga collection.

As the new guy, there are few luxuries afforded to me, the best of which is not having to publicly pledge my allegiance to Josh more than twice per meeting, and the least of which is an opinion. But that’s still provisionary. Because this is it: my foray into the Stanford blogosphere. I only get one chance to make a good first impression. If I screw it up with something as useless as an opinion, then I should just kiss the good life goodbye.

The word “opinion” comes from the Na’vi “opium,” which loosely translates to “something that should never ever be on your tongue.” Closely related to an opinion is knowledge, defined by Merriam-Webster and Urban Dictionary to be

  • The fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association.
  • Getting head.

I fear for humanity. But I digress.

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The Failure to Prioritize the Arts at Stanford

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Stanford is not a school generally known for its arts programs, and if you ask anyone who has any knowledge of Stanford, they’ll tell you flat-out that there is not much of an arts scene on campus. Arts are certainly not at the forefront of campus culture and not valued as highly as other pursuits.

Stanford Drama put on a highly acclaimed production of Rent in Roble Studio Theater. Since then, that space has been completely shut down by the County, leaving many performing arts departments and groups in even more need of adequate space. Photo from Stanford Drama.

In recent years, the University has made an ostensible push to try to improve the state of the arts on campus. There’s the Arts Initiative, replete with a snazzy brochure. There’s the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SICA), which has, among other endeavors, hosted a number of meetings of student arts leaders to try and brainstorm ways to increase the presence and ubiquity of arts at Stanford. All of these efforts are important and crucial to making headway in the fight to make the arts better. But despite the work of these groups and the University’s claims to the contrary, the University continues to make large-scale decisions that make it very clear that the arts do not have first priority at Stanford.

For those who live in the West Campus boonies and like to work out, the recent news of the Board of Trustee’s approval of a new gym on Roble Field is good news. For those of us who know the story of the old Roble Gym, however, however, the decision is less unilaterally positive.

Roble Gym, which has its own Wikipedia page, is a gorgeous early 20th century building. The Athletic department occupied Roble Gym until the new gym, the Arrillaga Center for Sports and Recreation (ACSR), was built in 2004. The Athletic department moved to ACSR and gave most of their building over to the Drama and Dance departments. There was a huge problem, however: as an old building, Roble Gym has many problems, most notably a failure to comply to more modern fire and other standards. Neither the Athletic department nor the University wanted to, or still wants to, pay the heavy costs to retrofit and upgrade the building–it’s pretty expensive, and in very poor shape. (Take a look at the locker rooms, for example). In the years since the Drama and Dance departments took over the building, Roble Gym has essentially been condemned and parts of the building, including the main theater space, have been completely shut down by the County. For departments already significantly struggling with facilities–one higher level administrator noted, “Many junior high schools have better [drama] facilities than Stanford”–this has made it nearly impossible for any theater on campus, including any student groups that perform, to find space. And the problem extends to all of the arts: musician and Daily columnist Lucas Johnson can tell you about the state of the music facilities on campus.

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Arrillaga University at Palo Alto: Figure 1

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

The East Campus Dining Commons apparently has a new name. Now, “I’m going to Arrillaga” can mean you are either working out or doing exactly the opposite. (H/T Ellen at the Daily for the photo)

Never heard of this Arrillaga before. Is he a donor?

Could Cycling Get a Room, Please?

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

An indoor cycling class held at the Arrillaga Center for Sports and Recreation.

Stanford has one of the world’s largest university campuses, but for some reason it cannot find a separate room for indoor cycling classes. Five days a week at peak workout times, the spinners take over the main gym on campus with loud music and breathless directions about upcoming imaginary hills and valleys. Even better, the staff in charge typically leave on the weight room’s regular soundtrack, so gym users without their own tunes and beats have the distinct pleasure of listening to two contrasting songs at once.

This is hardly an economical use of space, given that the cyclists are crammed into a corner while much of their music is swallowed up by the cavernous room in which they spin. It remains of paramount importance that Stanford athletes get the best facilities possible so that they can continue to uphold Stanford’s long tradition of simultaneous athletic and academic excellence. However, for the rest of the plebs who are condemned to Arrillaga, some reforms and relocations would go a long way to helping us remain the fittest students and faculty on the West Coast.

TUSGraph: Abs or Labs?

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

A little explanation-

The distances represent how the bike rides, not how the crow flies.

I measured using a ruler, but tried to take curves and shortcuts into account.

I measured to the nearest 1/48th of a mile.

I am sorry if your residence or favorite place on campus didn’t show up, but I had to be economical about it.