Posts Tagged ‘stanford’

“An Affirmation of Life’s Beauty:” A Letter to President Hennessy on Chi Theta Chi

Friday, February 24th, 2012

The friendly residents of Chi Theta Chi.

The following letter is from Dana Edwards ’14.

Dear President Hennessy,

I lived in Chi Theta Chi this past fall quarter, and I am saddened and taken aback by the university’s move to assume control over the co-op. Dr. Hennessy, I respectfully ask for you to exercise your executive power and prevent Residential and Dining Enterprises from terminating our lease. In order to illustrate why Chi Theta Chi means so much to me, to my 35 brothers and sisters who currently live in the house, and to hundreds of Chi Theta Chi alumni–and in order to illustrate why stripping us of our autonomy is tantamount to stripping away the very soul of this place–I will tell you my story. It’s a little long-winded, and riddled with generalities, but it’s extremely honest. I cried when I wrote this. For this reason, I ask that you read on.

Like many Chi Theta Chi residents of past and present, I hated my freshman dormitory, but found a loving home in this historic building. As a wide-eyed freshman on the first day of New Student Orientation, I arrived at a certain freshman dorm in Wilbur Hall to hear my name screamed by dorm staff who were somehow already familiar with my face.  It was a demonstration of the RAs’ dedication, to be sure, but also a taste of the sort of giddy artifice that has come to define the freshman residential experience, annually laying the plumage for the newest flush of Stanford Ducks.

As 21st century Stanford matriculates, we were a remarkable group of young adults–sensitive, hard-working, intelligent–and yet the culture in our dormitory did not encourage intellectual cross-pollination or creative vision, or provide an open environment to discuss our very real fears and frustrations; instead it reveled in intolerable fakeness. It was Camp Stanford, and I was not a happy camper. I was depressed. (Given, I had just returned from Burning Man, perhaps the most open and expressive of counterculture environments, so the transition to artifice was made all the more abrupt.)

The building itself made me feel like a pampered inmate: white cinderblock walls and frameless hydraulic doors, a prison of fluorescent sterility attended by an anonymous custodian. Awkwardness abounded, disingenuous dorm pride supplanted everyone’s secret feeling of not belonging, and the cheering of our oddly offensive cheer forever rang in the air and turned my stomach. (more…)

Spring into Spring with the 2012 Course Guide

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Think you know all the ins and outs of spring’s awesome courses?

Story. Of. My. Life.

Ha. Think again. Here, for your pleasure, I have painstakingly compiled a list of the hands-down most awesome, useful, compelling, frightening, GER-fulfilling, enjoyable classes you could ever imagine. Remember  before Chem 31, Math 51, and IHUM… back when you applied to Stanford? Remember how you raved about how excited you were for the “engaging classes”? After reading this article, you’re going to realize you weren’t just saying that. Stanford is killing it next quarter in terms of super-interesting classes, and you have the opportunity to get in on the action. I know Camp Stanford is tempting, but after reading this article, you might actually want to bulk up your course load with some of these. And, speaking of Camp Stanford, the categories are…

Camp Stanford: Whether you’re trying to recover from the carnage of your winter course load or just getting a jump-start on summer laziness/craziness, here are the best classes to keep the thoughts of warm breezes and fun-in-the-sun swirling in your head until June…

  • EARTHSYS 180B: Principles and Practices of Sustainable Agriculture: A course that lets “The Farm” live up to its name. Get outside and onto Stanford’s community farm and others in the area. Enjoy the sun on your neck and a little dirt on your nose. (3-4 units, multiple times)
  • ATHLETIC 80: Lifeguard Training: Didn’t snag the Google internship you wanted? No sweat. Speaking from personal experience, I can attest that lifeguarding is a solid career choice for those  looking to dip their toes in the real world. Make decent cash, get the tan of your life (and hopefully not melanoma… sunblock, guys!) and know that you can save a life if need be.  (2 units, T/Th 12-2, fee)

    Once upon a time...

  • ATHLETIC 51: Beginning Golf: If you were able to make it into this class, I commend you with my highest honors. (1 unit, multiple times, fee)
  • ATHLETIC 320: Backpacking: You might have given up Stanford Sierra Camp to work for a start-up, but maybe this class can scratch your outdoorsy itch before you sell your soul for equity. (1 unit, M 7-9:30) (more…)

This Week In Stanford 2/7/12 – 2/13/12

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Love is in the air, and chocolate covered strawberries are invading TAP. Other people may show their love through gifts and over-the-top planning, but I’m going to share my love for Stanford with facts.

  • Happy Birthday Stanford Review! Our only conservative newspaper, founded by Peter Thiel himself, has just celebrated its 25th anniversary.
  • Alumnus Ramon Saldivar was honored with a National Humanities Medal from President Obama this morning.  Just another humanities win for Stanford.
  • The achievement gap is growing. Unlike the uneven representation between races, a Stanford study has found the problem now lies in a disparity between income levels. The rich are out pacing the poor in education.
  • Speaking of being poor, tuition is going up by 3% as of next year.  The only good news is that Stanford managed to raise $253.7 million dollars over the past few years to help students who need it.
  • When I first heard of the Ronald McDonald house, I feared it had something to do with the bringing a Mickey D’s to Stanford’s campus. I might be ok with an In N Out, but never a McDonald’s. And then I learned that it’s actually living quarters for patients and their families at the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital!  And lucky for those families, they are once again planning to expand.
  • Another congratulations are in order – Matt Olsen, ’14, represented Stanford in Jeopardy‘s college championship edition. He did an amazing job making it to the semi-finals.
  • If you think your cat is driving you crazy, you may be right – literally.  It seems that bacteria spread from your cat may actually be leading people into doing self-destructive things.

The Original Tebow Returns to Stanford

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

We really should call it "Rodin-ing"

How do you transport a pricelesss piece of art weighing more than a ton? Very carefully.

For those of you who haven’t heard, the crown jewel of Stanford’s Rodin collection has returned to its rightful home after a 2 year loan to the North Carolina Museum of Art. One of twenty-two original casts, our version of Rodin’s “The Thinker” was presented as a gift to the Cantor Arts Foundation in 1988. Since then, it has spent time in front of Meyer Library and in the Cantor Arts Center’s Diekman Gallery. (more…)

Watch Out for the Fuzz… Why Stanford’s Arts and Humanities Aren’t as Forgotten as You Think

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Odds are, you probably came to Stanford because you’d rather slip on a hoodie than sidle into a sportcoat, prefer sunshine and band-run to wintry-mix and finals clubs, and would rather cheer for Andrew Luck than say, the Winklevii. And, odds are, if you’re even remotely techie, you chose Stanford for its knockout science and engineering curriculum… and rankings. It’s no secret that the Farm is both a Mecca and breeding ground for calculation gurus, technical whizzes, biological demigods, and everyone else who is still slightly pissed that they couldn’t take C++ to fulfill their foreign language requirement.

But not everyone destined for Stanford emerged from the womb taking integrals.For those of you who didn’t know that we have an entire quad for engineering, who mourn the death of IHum, who  spend more time in Roble Gym than in the ACSR, who actually stop at Braun on Saturday nights rather than going straight to the Row, and who otherwise prefer the scent of leather-bound books and rich mahogany to motherboards and formaldehyde – your moment has arrived.

We know who you are – even if you are in an oft forgotten niche here at Stanford. The concert halls, high-ceilinged archive and manuscript libraries, and sun-drenched studios of ivies and liberal arts colleges pulled at your heartstrings when you were in the heat of college applications. You fantasized about wearing tweed (with elbow-patches) and swirling cognac whilst ruminating over the flaws in deontological theory and debating Descartes, salon-style. You are a connoisseur of human culture, and you came here, to Stanford, hoping that just maybe you could find that same level of pained fascination with the human condition and method of expression under a red-tile roof as you might have under the buttresses of collegiate-gothic cathedral.

Oh, you knew the sacrifices you’d make. You worried that your love of Chopin, appreciation of Klimt, and obsession with Marquez would all be misunderstood, met with raised eyebrows and blank stares peering over sheaves of graph paper and physics tomes. You would be ever the outsider during O-Chem rants and the communal groans over CME. Your choice to major in English, Religious Studies, or Studio Art would be met with polite smiles and the silent judgment that you weren’t intense enough to study something technical and have no solid, foreseeable career path. Your daring choice to pursue a creative, innovative, reflective, and interpretive field is constantly challenged by those who insist your interests provide no real-world application or insurance. Others will ask you why you chose to pursue a path in arts or humanities at Stanford which, while having what are generally assumed to be “good” programs in these departments, seems to place a much greater emphasis on technologically-driven fields. With our home and history in Silicon Valley, seemingly endless scientific resources, and army of high-profile techie alums, people will probably ask you why you didn’t go to say, Harvard, to study all that “fuzzy” stuff.

To those people, you can now proudly reply that Stanford upholds the honor of having the top arts and humanities program in the world. And that we actually knocked Harvard off of its crimson pedestal to snag it. According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Stanford upstaged Harvard, UChicago, The Australian National University, and Princeton for the coveted top spot among university arts and humanities programs. The leap in the rankings has been largely credited to the outstanding number of MacArthur fellows and Pulitzer winners zipping across the quad and pioneering our liberal-arts research and curriculum, in addition to our broad range of arts/humanities offerings and extensive resources.

By comparison, (according to the U.S. News and World Report) Stanford Engineering clocked in at only #2, taking a backseat to M.I.T.. Admittedly, M.I.T. isn’t exactly a mortifying rival, and obviously second place is nothing to be ashamed of,  but the fact that one of the disciplines we pay the greatest lip-service to here on the Farm isn’t comparatively the best on campus does resonate a bit ironically.

That said, I could go on at length about the fallacy of rankings and the inconsistency of the methods, variables, and formulae (as well as frequent subjectivity and manipulation) that produce them. Rankings are not all-determining and should not be the primary mechanism through which we garner our self-esteem or evaluate ourselves as a school. But they do stand as a considerable litmus test that can testify to the strength of a program and should be reflective of the attention and respect that those departments should receive from students, faculty, administration, and, of course, the general public.

So the next time you find yourself smugly worrying about the future of your friend who’s an Art History major, try to catch yourself. The arts and humanities have not been extinguished in the wake of technology and scientific advancement. Their champions claim just as meaningful a place in our culture and society as do the engineers, programmers, researchers, and inventors.  And the work produced by the left-brained talent of the world might not thrive to the extent that it does without the help of the designers, writers, artists, performers, historians, anthologists, etc. who use the context of the human condition and sensibility to establish a place for those technologies in our lives.  I applaud Stanford for acknowledging the importance of bolstering such broad fields of study, and for taking such impressive strides to strengthen its departments and cultivate extensive opportunities for intellectual exploration and discovery. Thank you, Stanford, for yet again proving that your students really can have the best of all worlds.

Stanford Has Free Classes?!

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

My first answer is duh. Everyone is currently talking about Stanford’s new Engineering Everywhere program that allows individuals around the world to virtually attend the physical engineering class online. For a moment I was giddy with excitement. After I graduate (which isn’t for some time yet) I would have a chance to secretly attempt another CS course after my public formal approach. Tens of thousands of people were (and are) enrolling in these classes. The Chronicle and other sources have hailed this to be the dawn of a new era in learning from a well established university.

With a computer and the Internet, this joy can be yours!

And then I realized that free classes have been around for quite a while. I’m glad the unique set of Stanford CS courses, and the distinctive way it’s being offered, stand as a reminder of how easy it actually is to get a free quality education through the Internet. Although Youtube can teach us many things, universities of Stanford’s caliber have been trying to share their knowledge online for quite a while.

A simple search for free online classes from universities not only brought me to many sites listing the top websites to get an elite education in biology, it also led me to an older but still exhaustive article on LifeHacker.com that goes through many of the colleges that offer a free online education. MIT’s site alone offers over 2000 courses. (more…)

This Week in Stanford 12/6/11 – 12/19/11

Monday, December 19th, 2011

 

Forgive me Stanford, for there were finals. I didn’t have a chance to post the news last week since I was (attempting) to study diligently and it kind of got lost on my to-do-list. But I’m free. I’m home. And just because I’m not in the Bay Area doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s happening there.

  • In probably the biggest news of the last week, Stanford dropped its bid for the NYC campus giving room for Cornell to swoop in with their engineering center. The pure unadulterated California spirit that pervades our school is saved.
  • Andrew Luck didn’t win the Heisman. Although he was a runner-up at the Heisman award ceremony, he’s not only No. 1 at Stanford, but he may be taking that spot in the NFL draft pick next year.
  • Stanford doesn’t Occupy Wall Street. We don’t Occupy our campus. We Occupy the Future.  The SF Chronicle covered the event, offering a way for students to gain insight into why faculty and administrators alike may have invited them to the event.
  • Stanford admitted755 profros in early admission! This might be a little premature, but welcome to the farm! Or, really, it’s an awesome place and we hope they join us here.
  • Fiesta Bowl game tickets are gone. Vamooshed. Or in literal terms – sold out. If you’d like to get one still, I would start chatting up friends and alums.
  • We’ve ditched the engineering school in NYC and now Stanford is making plans for a much needed expansion of the campus’s artistic space. They’re going to add a new gallery and an academic building. We already have an engineering quad – it’s nice to finally see the arts get a space of their own.
  • Stanford’s ever growing offering of free classes are making waves in our credential heavy society. In this op-ed, Carey discusses how free courses from universities like Stanford are changing the meaning of “higher” education.
  • And just to end on a little known fact, other research teams are finding support for a Stanford study that says we can hallucinate color. The blog looks red – but is it really?

Otherwise, enjoy the holidays and break!

Chemistry is Sexy

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Bravo, Stanford chemists. The class that was once (is?) the bane of many a freshmen has managed to reclaim a bit of pride from a few intreprid students. They’re chemists. And they know it. And now everyone else does too.

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

The video,  a peek at what this element of science means at Stanford, is gaining traction online. With views from Australia to China, it’s clear that chemists everywhere are bonded in their love of this subject. Or, you know,  some students are trying to reaffirm their lab intensive calling.  Either way, the video has bright colors and flasks – way better than your average chemistry joke. Take a study break and enjoy!

We’re Cardinal Red?

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Did anyone else notice the new uniforms at the Stanford vs. Notre Dame game? I couldn’t be there in person but I made sure to tune in. The first thing that struck me was the fact that these uniforms had longer sleeves. A trivial matter, until you watch the promo below explaining the entire uniform:

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

Apparently they build uniforms like they used to build armor – every layer and piece has a purpose. Nike went all out for the uniforms and even made an amazing commercial about it! The commercial was intense. Hopefully as intense as the Stanford fans at next year’s Bowl game! The title of this post is a question, but we are Cardinal Red. It’s our official color. I did like one line from the commercial – “Cardinal Red is a metaphor for the very pulse of life.I don’t think that was ever the intent but it sounds awesome.  For the history of this quote check out the comment below! Get inspired Stanford! The football season may be done but things aren’t over for our football team yet!

P.S. I saw the number 12 and didn’t see Andrew Luck. That part of the ad wasn’t quite as authentic as I would have liked but it’ll do.

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 Scout.com.   Follow him @ksawhney1. And keep checking for more updates!

 

In Defense of USC

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

I grew up in a house divided. My mom and I went/go to Stanford, my father and older brother to USC. That family dynamic, along with my upbringing in Newport Beach, California (where at least a third of the baby-boom generation of USC alums decided to settle down and raise families) left me a rare outsider on the inside of the infamous, very tight-knit Trojan family. And, up until very recently, that family drove me crazy.

The Fight Song on repeat. The peace-sign/victory wave. The ocean of red and yellow (ahem… “Cardinal and Gold” as my father would chastise me through childhood). The football obsession. The Tommy Trojan references. The endless parade of license plates, stickers, and flags adorning the cars in my hometown. The ridiculously perky “Fight On” attitude. For the longest time, I found the culture so nauseating that the only way I could take refuge from their inexhaustible pride was to adopt the outsider attitude and disregard all of it. I would make jabs about whether being platinum blonde was still a requirement for admission. I would assume that all USC students were vapid, superificial, and unfocused on anything but getting wasted. I made the U$C jokes and took pleasure in the puns: “You can’t spell ‘suck’ without USC”, and the classic “University of Spoiled Children”. With a school like Stanford in my sights, I wanted to make it clear how much above their shallow antics I was. I wanted my attitude to demonstrate how much better Stanford was than USC: how much smarter, less conservative, more diverse, and more successful we are.

"Because Stanford doesn't like me"

But one weekend changed my perspective. With little to do and an itching for a bit of fun, I swallowed my pride, dropped my preconceived notions, and asked my brother if I could tag along for a couple days and get an insider peek at his life as a Trojan. The experience that followed was anything other than what I might have expected. The classes were incredibly engaging and dynamic; the campus was extremely welcoming and filled to the brim with excited students advertising their interests in every culture and activity, and a night on the infamous 28th street left me wanting more.

Admittedly – any college brochure will give you that. But what really caught me off my guard was how authentically friendly and kind everyone was. When I told people that I go to Stanford, every single person I spoke with was genuinely excited to hear about it, showered me with compliments about the Farm, offered references to friends of theirs’ who go here and rave about it, and were noticeably reverent of our fair university – usually tossing in some form of, “I applied there but didn’t get in. But I would have loved to go there”. Not one person had anything rude or snarky to say about Stanford, nor did anyone seem to be withholding any such comments.

Even this past weekend, when the university played host to what one USC student called “one of the most epic games and biggest letdowns I’ve seen in my college career” – Trojans were still surprisingly respectful of the Cardinal win. Especially under circumstances that most Trojan fans identified as “the closest thing to a bowl game we’ll come to this year” – my in-person interactions with students were generally tame. Understandably, most students were disappointed, felt they got gypped, and said they won in spirit, but I didn’t run into anyone who was out to seriously bash Stanford. The harshest comment I heard came in the form of Facebook status: “Whatever Stanford, your helmets are still ugly”.

Which begs the question – why do so many Stanford students seem to harbor such resentment – whether legitimate or in jest – toward our private Pac-12 peer? Why do we feel the need to put down USC at every possible opportunity? (more…)

This Week in Stanford 10/11/11 – 10/17/11

Monday, October 17th, 2011

I have some good news, some cool news, and some interesting tidbits about research.

  • THANK GOODNESS! Arrilage late is not only open now, but Stanford Dining also changed its mind about being closed on weekends. We get to go to the Dish on a Saturday again! For now.
  • It seems like Stars Wars had something to teach us about our distant past rather than future. Anthropology professor Merrit Ruhlen found that our ancestors like Yoda did speak.
  • Stanford really is getting serious about this campus in  New York. Stanford has formed a pact with City University of New York to build a campus on Roosevelt Island, in Harlem. The theme is once again, science.
  • Although this seems like an inherent paradox, student Adam Duran (with the assistance of two professors) has made a Braille touchscreen writer for a competition here at Stanford. Flat surfaces and braille used to not mix – not anymore.
  • Palo Alto honored women’s basketball coach Tara VanDerveer with an Athena Award for “excellence, creativity and initiative in her business or profession; contributes time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community; and actively assists women in realizing their full leadership potential” –  and  she’s a basketball coach.
  • I admittedly don’t understand all the particulars in this piece of news, but researchers have learned how to make reversible diamonds. It seems to involve pressure and the rearrangement of atoms. The new study of this glassy carbon is being led by Stanford grad student Yu Lin.
Good luck with midterms Stanford!

Why Should We Occupy Stanford?

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Protesters are not only Occupying Wall Street, they’re occupying Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Seattle, Portland, Boston, and more college campuses than I can even list.  Citizens of the United States have finally reached a breaking point and are finally pouring out their frustrations with our financial industry on a steadily growing national stage. I think this is a brilliant moment for the 99%.

But I think it’s a hypocritical one for Stanford. Our students are currently in the works of creating Stanford’s own Occupy demonstration.

I think Teryn Norris and Eli Pollack stated the student body’s best way to support the movement when they said “Stop the Wall Street Recruitment.” If we are truly angry with our financial institutions, then we need to boycott their recruitment. We need to show that they are uninvited on our campus. But we’re smart people – we know that dismissing the financial sector entirely would be ridiculous. A good way to make change in these corporations is internally. Waving around signs isn’t going to do much unless we use leverage the ideals Stanford imbued in us to make a change in the way that these corporations are run.

Besides, I do think it’s a bit contrived to jump on a national bandwagon. If job security and the wealth disparitywere a large concern here, I think our outspoken students would have spoken up already. Why Occupy Stanford when we can bolster the more sustained protests happening right next door in Palo Alto? Why should we Occupy Stanford itself? I know that this is in support of of the other movements but we need to acknowledge basic facts about ourselves before we form a picket line.

(more…)

The Time Has Come….

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

Great sports come from happy Trees. Happy Trees come from California.

the Walrus said,

“To blog of many things.

“Of classes, dorms and making friends

“Of packing many things

“Of why the 650 is hot and how to spread your wings.”

~

The big, crazy packing list has gone out to the incoming freshman class.  And if I know anything about the pre-college prep process, this means they’re freaking out because they don’t know how to sign up for classes, when to sign up for classes, what to pack, who their roommates will be, or how to do their laundry.

Have no fear, fif-TEEN!!  TUSB is here to answer all of your burning questions.  From now up until the first day of class, the few, the proud, and the bloggily-inclined shall step forth to save the freshies in distress and prepare them for the first of the best four years of their lives!

With topics as diverse as crazy Stanford acronyms, decorating tips, and been-there-done-that pointers from the older and wiser, we hope to sate the Stanford appetites of the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  If you’re an incoming freshman, feel free to comment below with topics you’re interested in, and we’ll do our best to cater to all your questions.  In the meantime, have a fantastic summer!

the TUSB Staff

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.