Posts Tagged ‘dating’

The People I Would Date from Stanford Confessions

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

It’s not Valentine’s day without Ryan Gosling.

In a gargantuan procrastination effort, I have scrolled through every single Stanford confession and constructed the following list of proposals:

#125: I get so angry when people are always hating on the richer people on campus. We’re in college, and as college students we’re put in an environment where money no longer defines your social status as much; we’re all students. It’s great whenever an individual has aspirations to make it big because of his/her background, but I just feel like money is something that is discussed about too much at this school. People should realize what’s really important and stop obsessing about money.

I feel you. Money is not what’s important, it’s all the other stuff that matters. Like, you know, your heart and soul and personality and face. There’s so much passion in this post; clearly you’ve thought a lot about this. Are you frustrated because you’re rich and you’re tired of getting crap about it? I love me a rich boy with heart. Holla.

#129: I am Mehran Sahami’s son. He doesn’t know.

I just want Mehran as my father-in-law, is that so bad?

#139: I hate when people criticize my major. I will major in whatever the f**k I want to. Get off my case.

A few weeks ago I told someone I’m considering majoring in Science, Technology and Society and they straight up said, “But, c’mon, you know that’s the cop-out major.” Then I punched him in the face. Try telling me what to major in now, b***h. Just kidding, I laughed awkwardly and said nothing. I should have though. Anyways. You and me? We should get coffee. Just kidding, I hate coffee. We can get hot chocolate though and talk about how ballin’ we’ll be in the future despite–no, because of–our unconventional majors.

And actually, #127: I want to be a high school teacher but people at Stanford have pressured me into thinking I have to do something “better,”, you should join us. In fact, we don’t even have to date. Let’s just sit around and talk about how the world does not actually revolve around engineers. Please. (more…)

Filter Function: in Defense of “Sketchy” Grad Students

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

GSB admit weekend T-shirts? Too soon?

It’s summertime at Stanford, which means there are more people getting married at MemChu than you can shake a stick at.  The Quad’s colonnades and courtyards are positively bursting with bridesmaids in various pastel shades, and each procession of limos can hardly clear Palm Drive in time for the next nuptial motorcade.

Yes, Stanford students get married.  But most intrinsically to my point, Stanford students often get married to each other.  Not to beat the dead horse of the Contemplation or Action IHUM, but “ay, there’s the rub.”

You see, the Stanford Alumni Association is more than happy to point out to incoming students, current students, even prospective students (who promptly look around their Discover Stanford tour group in a mixture of excitement, apprehension, and horror), that about a fifth of Stanford students end up marrying other Stanford students.  Most of these folks meet their future mates by the end of sophomore year.  So juniors, you’re stuck.  Hope you like the pickings, ’cause that’s it.

Just kidding!  In all seriousness, though, it’s an interesting topic of discussion, one which is usually met with “oh-nos,” “oh-weirds,” or chortles and quick changes of topic.  Why the cold shoulder to intra-Stanford spousing?

So maybe I’ve been watching too much How I Met Your Mother, but the real world of dating outside college looks like it sucks.  From show to show and girl to girl, you suffer with hapless Ted who, despite being an attractive and successful architect, simply cannot seem to land a winner.  Accuse him, if you wish, of “searching for love in all the wrong places,” but quite frankly, what is the right place?  In college we’re blessed with a preponderance of extracurricular activities in which we can meet and enjoy the company of those who share our passions and interests.  When you’ve got a nine to five job, it’s a lot harder to pick up activities just for kicks and funzies.

So what’s the real-world alternative?  Bars.  Where the Barney Stinsons of the world trawl the seas of the single.  In a bar the first impression is appearance.  Boom: hot, not, or eh-why-not.  You’re instantly judged as a piece of meat, and the Barneys don’t care if you love sustainability or saving the pandas – they care if you look, shall we say, appetizing.

This, my friends, is why college serves as an excellent built-in filter function.  So yeah, there are a few folks that seem to have slipped through the cracks of our stringent admissions process, but you just as well as I can look up the stats online.  Even if you get someone in the bottom fifty of the SAT score rankings, you’re still doing just fine, and it’s quite possible Mr. or Miss Perfect is busy curing cancer, building the next generation of electric vehicles, or composing a symphony in  his or her spare time.  Everyone here possesses “intellectual vitality” in some way, shape, or form, and everyone has the shared experiences (or sufferings, depending on your take) of IHUM, PWR, and Stern Dining.  And if money is any object… well, let’s just say that with a Stanford grad you’ll probably be doing just fine.

So I kind of resent it when my friends and acquaintances mock “sketchy grad students looking for wives.”  Well, can you blame them?  This is their last shot at the Stanford filter function, and the approaches of the outside world leave much to be desired.  I think there’s a reason college sweethearts Marshall and Lily are the happiest characters on How I Met Your Mother.  And their love is legen – wait for it! – DARY.

Finding Romance, Bing-Style

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Peter Bing, '55: Stanford donor, dating expert.

During the last two weeks of each quarter, students flock to Green Library, presumably to study. However, according to Peter Bing, ’55, they ought to gain more from the mass migration than scholarly solidarity.

At the Bing Wing’s rededication in 1999, Bing said, “I hope this wing will always be a place where students will feel secure and where they feel they belong. And I wish that they will always come here, seeking knowledge and hoping to find a date.”

Bing was not shooting from the hip, either. Earlier in his remarks, he noted the pivotal role the library played in his personal life: “The old main library, and especially the reading room with its heavy oak tables and chairs, and its high, vaulting windows, was central to my undergraduate life. It was where we came after dinner, to do our homework, to meet with friends, and to discretely observe someone we’d like to meet, ‘quite by chance,’ when it was closing time and we all left together. For me, shy, and only able to live on campus my freshman year, the reading room…was a secure place where I could feel I belonged.”

Times have changed, however, which means that waiting until closing time is not always enough to break the ice. Thus, in the spirit of Peter Bing, here’s a Top 5 list of ways to meet your match–“quite by chance”–while hitting the books.

5. Bond over YouTube. If you need inspiration, this and this should get you started (h/t James Balassone).

4. Figure out your inner animal. Apparently, I’m a proboscis monkey.

3. Ask the other person what he/she is studying. This sounds rather lame, but you’d be surprised how willing people are to share whatever knowledge they are cramming.

2. Complain together about the loud announcements the librarians make every evening, normally at 8:00pm, 8:55pm, 12;40am, and 12:55am, as if we have never heard them before. If you run out of material, you could always segue to commenting on the absurd or obnoxious behavior of one of your neighbors. Lane Reading Room, with its squeaky chairs and “high, vaulting windows,” offers ample room for opportunity.

1. The old classic: ask whoever is sitting across from you if he/she wants to get Coupa, or offer to buy the person something if he/she is too busy!

Dare to Date: A (Questionably) Empirical Analysis

Monday, January 31st, 2011

It’s the most cliché of topics, but recent events in my life have made me inclined to ponder this subject a little further. We’ve all heard the complaints.  The rants about how everyone on this campus is either just sexing each other up on the side or is in a committed relationship that verges on a civil union.  And maybe that is true.  If I were Us Weekly, I’d be making up some statistic right about now about the percentage of students who agree with that description of Stanford’s dating scene (83% sounds nice and convincing).  But I’m not here to debate whether or not dating exists on Stanford’s campus.  I’m here to question if we should really want it to.

My very own singles bar.

I used to be the queen of that thing we fondly refer to as “dormcest,” a magical start to a relationship that involves never having to go on an actual date – or even leave the dorm.  My first two romantic encounters of any significance both lived in my freshman dorm.  It gave the whole thing a sort of Russian Roulette feel – wondering if I would run into him on the way to the bathroom first thing in the morning, with last night’s eyeliner still smudged on my face, giving me that lovely “cracked out” look.  Daydreams of laundry room hook-ups and hand-holding under the table at Stern dining filled my brain.  It was exciting.  It was exhausting.  But it certainly made sense – I got to know the person before getting involved romantically with him, simply because I saw him on a regular basis.  Call it preliminary research, if you will (you can also call it skanking it up based on convenience, but I’d prefer you didn’t).

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