The Atlantic Calls Lau ‘Soul-Crushing,’ Confirms Everything We Already Knew

lau

Lau is “soul-crushing.” Or at least according to an article in The Atlantic out today looking at the role that architecture plays on mental state. As any of us who have spent an all-nighter in the concrete fortress can confirm, this is definitely true.

The article, which looks at the positive effects of architecture on the brain, uses Lau as an example of just the type of architecture that doesn’t produce these outcomes.

At a particular moment during every tour of Georgetown’s campus, it becomes necessary for the student guide to acknowledge the singular blight in an otherwise idyllic environment.  

“Lauinger Library was designed to be a modern abstraction of Healy Hall”: a sentence that inevitably trails off with an apologetic shrug, inviting the crowd to arrive at their own conclusions about how well it turned out. Much of the student population would likely agree that the library’s menacing figure on the quad is nothing short of soul-crushing. New research conducted by a team of architects and neuroscientists suggests that architecture may indeed affect mental states, although they choose to focus on the positive.

These researchers, led by Catholic U. professor Julio Bermudez, looked at the effect that “contemplative architecture” (basically the opposite of Lau, I think) has on the brain, finding a positive impact. And even if they didn’t use Lau in their study, I think we all know what they would have found if they had.

So the next time you’re in Lau and you feel yourself dying a bit inside, know you’re not alone — and there’s even research to back you up.

Photo: Alexander Brown/The Hoya

It’s 3:30 Somewhere

330 ClubHere at Georgetown when the taste of Village A jungle juice and the always unsatisfying ranch to pizza ratio at Eat & Joy begins to take its toll, we looking to switch things up. Although instinctively shouting along to “Get Low” by the widely acclaimed duo of Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz can be an exhilarating experience, sometimes we’d like to hear something different than the typical soundtrack to our Friday night.

Stefon-Final
Georgetown’s hottest club is…

You may have heard about some stellar shows coming up at the 9:30 Club. It sounds fun to buy a ticket and go dance with your friends at an intimate venue with a live performer. But compared to the glamour and prestige of an often-overlooked club we have on this very campus, the 9:30 Club is second tier. I’m referring to the 3:30 Club, where the cover charge is a flash of your GoCard and the venue is as intimate as the distance your feet are from those of the boy in the cubicle next to you, who has opted to go barefoot. It’s free. It’s convenient. It’s open 24 hours. And you never know what you’re going to get.

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Sure, artists at the 9:30 Club might be spontaneous, but here at the 3:30 Club there’s no setlist. It’s 3:30 pm and you’re on Lau 5 and the soundtrack today is a synthesis of a hacking cough, construction and anxious leg shaking. Or maybe there is the faint whisper of muffled tears. Regardless of what the club scene delivers on that day, there is always something organic about the way these noises come together. For those of you who are attracted to the 9:30 Club because it satisfies your desire to go somewhere chiller than Georgetown parties, under the radar and/or so “not mainstream,” what could be more avant-garde than going into the library at 3:30 pm to not do work? What’s more new wave than sitting back in the Pierce Reading Room solely to take in all the vibes?

I know you’re probably skeptical. You’re probably wondering what makes the 3:30 Club more of “the move” on a Friday afternoon than going to a bar on a Saturday night. Going to see your favorite performer in a small setting with a fun crowd and bumping music sounds great in theory, but the 3:30 Club is all about giving you an unpredictable show. It will keep you coming back, wondering if today you’ll get to witness another group project fight, or whether you’ll see the same shady man through the window of one of the fourth floor closets or maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of a mental breakdown at the printing station when the paper tray claims it’s empty though it’s actually full. And don’t get me started on what goes down in Gelardin. The clubbing game will never be the same.

The Girls’ Room Guide

the perfect pottyNow that I’ve spent about a semester and a half here I think it’s time that I provide you with a comprehensive list and appraisal of arguably the most necessary resources on campus: the bathrooms.

I’m going to stick to public bathrooms because you won’t let me inspect your private bathroom (still not entirely sure why, though) and because I think a review of Georgetown public bathrooms will be of greatest service to my fellow Hoyas. Which potty will receive my coveted 4E Best Bathroom Award? Read on to find out.

Note: I can’t speak for men’s bathrooms. Sorry.

Which building will receive the Bestest Bathroom Award?
Which building will receive the 4E Best Bathroom Award?

Lau

Lau’s bathrooms provide a lovely sanctuary to quietly cry about your imploding schedule and upcoming midterms. However, if you glance at the back of the stall door, you’ll notice an upsetting edition of the Stall Seat Journal. (The current paper is all about the calories that we drink and it may make you sad.) Still, I appreciate mystery Stall Seat journalists’ attempts to inform the Georgetown population about the dangers of Adderall and liquid caloric intake, so thank you. Overall, Lau library bathrooms are in decent shape: They’re not that pretty to look at but they are smart and we can all relate to intelligence while studying at Lau.

Leo’s

The bathrooms in Leo’s are generally super clean because nobody uses them. They’re the perfect refuge to duck into while avoiding that person you always see in Leo’s who says he knows you but you don’t seem to recall. Just don’t sit in there and eat your lunch. If none of your friends are free to eat, go sit by yourself: It’ll build your character. Or you could sit with me! I’m such a good friend and I’ll tell you about bathrooms and other interesting places on campus. If you do decide to sit by yourself, please don’t take a big table. Then I just might have to send you back to your toilet seat. Which, as I mentioned earlier, is super clean.

Regents

Regents is lovely and so are its bathrooms. One time while washing my hands in the notoriously chic Regents sinks, I happened upon a discovery. I noticed a rapid influx of mothers and their high school daughters. As a former prospective student I know that some campus tours end just outside of Regents. Some might say tours end here for the view. I say tours end here for the bathrooms.

Epicurean

Epicurean’s bathrooms are swanky. Real swanky. Top notch toilets and a buffet to boot. Bonus points: They’re available almost 24/7.

ICC

There’s a weird gaping hole in the wall of one of the bathrooms in the ICC, but there’s fun writing on the stall doors! In other words, I have a lot of mixed feelings about this one. These lavatories can also get insanely crowded between classes and they’re very small, so avoid walking in them with a large backpack.

Hariri

Stunning. Five Stars. I expect nothing less from the business school. However, I would like to mention that the paper towel dispenser gives a sizably longer ration than any other building on campus and that’s so not green, MSB.

The 4E Best Bathroom Award goes to…

Mine. Oops, sorry. I live in VCE so I happen to have my own personal loo. It’s super convenient and there are even rubber duckies. In terms of public bathrooms on campus, though, basically stick to the newer buildings to find nicer bathrooms. It makes sense. So don’t be stupid.

Photos: heavy.com, justbathroomsigns.com

Laungevity: Signs You’ve Been in Lau for Too Long

Lau StrugglesReaders, let me give it to you straight: I am writing this article to you from Lau 2 at 5:30 a.m., ending an all-nighter preparing for my looming finals that started at 7 p.m. yesterday. I don’t know where the time went. I don’t know how I managed to survive on only vending machine Fritos and hours-old coffee. I’ve been in Lau for so long that I don’t even know if the sun set last night. All I know is that I’ve been in Lau for too long.

So now, I am sharing with you the telltale signs of Laungevitythe long duration of time spent in Lau, so you can avoid it for your sake. Here’s how you’ll know:

Every. Single. Person. Is. Gone.

Lau 3 is completely empty. Literal ghost town.
Lau 3 is completely empty. Literal ghost town.

Yet someone is vacuuming (and it makes your head feel like it’s exploding).

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But eventually, even the workers go home. Then, all you see is cubicle after ominous cubicle.

Nobody on Lau 1, just Post-It Notes of a lost student. Probably a ghost at this point.
Nothing but cubicles and the Post-It notes of a lost student. Probably a ghost at this point.

Then, Lau stops being a library.

Wow it's so late even the BOOKS are gone on Lau 5!
Wow! It’s so late even the BOOKS are gone on Lau 5!

You start feeling all sorts of weird emotions.

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Finally, common sense (and the clock) tell you that you have to leave.

For the love of God, PLEASE GO HOME! DO NOT BE HERE AT THIS HOUR!
PLEASE GO HOME! DO NOT BE HERE AT THIS HOUR!

Then you step outside … and even though you’re cold, exhausted, miserable and borderline delusional, you feel like this:

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Good luck on your finals, Hoyas, but please be wary. Avoid Laungevity at all costs!

Photos/Gifs: Matt Sullivan for The Hoya, Tumblr, Blog.Visual.ly, Wikipedia

 

Sixteen Sweet Study Songs

4E’s Study Sixteen from thehoya on 8tracks Radio.

Studying sucks. Luckily for you, music doesn’t. And for those of you whose friends are distracting you by whispering in Pierce (which is forbidden, but by friends are doing it anyway), you probably need a little chill study music to distract you. Look no farther. These sixteen songs are guaranteed to help you focus and get you through finals happily.

Dull to Pause — Junior Boys This song has been on my study playlist for at least the past two years. Great beats that ride the line between monotonous and beautiful. Which, if you ask me, is the ultimate study song.

Hurricane — MS MR If you didn’t discover this song when the Internet was making Hurrican Sandy playlists, now is your chance. Fall in love with her voice. (This is also thematically relevant for me and my studying for my climate science final).

Pull My Heart Away — Jack Peñate I love Jack’s voice. It’s soothing and oozes emotion, but not so much that you start crying from a mixture of desperation and the song’s emotional power.

Slowdance — Matthew Dear This is actually the ideal study song. I actually wouldn’t be opposed to just listening to this song on repeat until I finish my paper.

Brackett, WI — Bon Iver Justin Vernon’s musical melancholy might be a little too depressing for those of you holed up in cube. But this song’s emotion mirrors the winter outside, so it’s a great study song.

Civilian — Wye Oak This song simultaneously makes me focus and destress. It’s a win-win.

Holocene — Bon Iver It always helps to surround yourself with beauty during desperate times.

Heart Skipped a Beat — The xx and Unfold — The xx Every song by The xx is perfectly tailored for studying. Listen to their past two albums on repeat. This playlist contains a dong from each.

The Mall and Misery — Broken Bells I spent all of my time during winter finals 2011 listening to this song and managed to do well. Here’s hoping this song continues the trend!

Runaway — JMSN This is kind of a mix of study music and hipster baby-making music. It’s helped me focus so far.

Bad Religion — Frank Ocean Love Frank Ocean. After his album’s release this summer, no soothing playlist would be complete without his beautiful voice.

Mariana — Bia Krieger This song is Brazilian, so you won’t understand the words (which always helps with focusing). It also comes from Putumayo’s “Brazilian Lounge” album, and Brazilian lounges seem super chill. We’re all in need of a little carefree Brazilian music right now.

Relax, Take It Easy — Mika The title says it all. Also, love Mika. If you ever want to cry in a music video like you do in a romcom, watch this one. Wouldn’t you want someone to tell you that you were the Origin of Love? That’s actually the biggest compliment I can imagine and if that song doesn’t play on my wedding day I’m going to murder the DJ.

Cruel — St. Vincent Yes, finals are cruel. This song will make you feel better.

Pretty Girl From Michigan — The Avett Brothers I’m in Lau, staring at a pretty girl who may or may not be from Michigan.

The Five People You’ll Meet On Lau 2

Midterms. You’re stressed, you’re scared, you’re underprepared. Your hall is loud at all hours of the night, the Leavey center is just too far from your dorm, and you’re desperately looking for a place to study. You also can’t stand extreme silence while you work and so you head to Lau 2. Here’s a little guide to the five people you may find there:

1. The Loner They tend to sit alone at a table built for six with their headphones on and their heads buried behind their Macbook pros. You’re probably wondering to yourself why they aren’t just in a cubicle. It would serve them the same purpose and then you wouldn’t have to push those awkwardly shaped tables outside of Midnight Mug together so that your Spanish study group can actually sit in the same place.

2. The Crazy Whether they’re sitting on the ground in defeat after trying to get their laptop charger to reach the closest-but-still-not-very-close outlet, or they’re pulling their hair out at 3am while poring over Hobbes’ Leviathan, they kind of scare the living crap out of you. These people have clearly lost it and you should probably steer clear of them in case they have a nervous breakdown and go psycho on you.

3. The Social Butterfly There’s always that one person flitting from table to table, engaging their masses of friends in conversation as though they don’t have a care in the world. They’ll probably return to their respective table at some point, pull out their computer and Skype with a friend while browsing through some of last weekend’s Facebook pictures. They might even pull out a deck of cards and play Spit with their fellow butterflies.

4. The Sleeper This is pretty self-explanatory. This poor soul has fallen asleep in one of those red-ish/brown chairs in the middle of the room with their mouth lolling open while their forgotten psychology reading falls from their lap. Maybe they’re just field-testing Freud’s philosophies on dreaming?

5. You You’ve got Self Control turned on with an extensive blacklist, your trusty Red Eye in hand to get you through the 1 a.m. slump, and you have a six page theology paper due tomorrow of which you have finished approximately zero pages of. And now you’ve just wasted a solid half hour watching the other people on Lau doing questionable things… and then another 10 minutes reading this blog post. Better get to work!

What the Dickens?

by Beth Garbitelli

To celebrate Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday, there was a little shindig on the 5th floor of Lauinger Library earlier today. For someone who has a contentious relationship with the author in question, it was not the most riveting, but it did have a post-event Victorian themed snack selection. Also, there was an open bar featuring several wines and a traditional English punch.

They served a tasty Welsh Rarebit (think cheese dip with a hint of tangy beer) and a buttermilk cake. The menu also had some cringeworthy names – “A Tale of Traditional Tea Sandwiches”? “creamy Hard Times Herbed Dip”?

Best moment of the event? A certain professor admitted in a speech that during her college year she and her classmates had referred to A Tale of Two Cities as A Sale of Two T******!

Photo: cakecentral.com