6 Things I Learned About Georgetown While Abroad

Did I mention I studied abroad?

Step off of the Hilltop and outside of the Georgetown Bubble, and you will find many things to learn, do and see. The decision to “study” abroad was undoubtedly one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.  Even so, the Hilltop certainly had me homesick: Georgetown has so many incredible things to offer; from expert faculty to your first New South pregame.

One of the strange parts about being abroad was learning about Georgetown. In fact, there are many things about my home university that I only realized after going to Milan. Some were good things, and others, not so much…

  1. We all like to poke fun at and react excessively to the swarms of  students smoking outside of Lau. Emerging from Lau, you may find yourself in a situation like this:Instead, the EXACT depiction of what students do in Europe is below. They are the real smokers: they don’t just do it to look cool, but they actually like cigarettes. Get ready for secondhand smoke.In reality, we don’t have much to complain about as non-smokers at Georgetown, since it seems most smokers here don’t fall into the latter category. We are nowhere near as threatened by secondhand smoke at Georgetown as we complain we are.
  2. Our coffee on campus is TERRIBLE. Paying at minimum $3.00 for burnt and stale coffee is not ever justifiable. I don’t even know if stale is an appropriate way to describe coffee, but I shouldn’t have to wonder. Case in point: my abroad university in Italy had vending machines that made better coffee than our campus baristas. Just another thing that machines do better. Since caffeine is such an important part of the student experience in college, its time to up our game.
  3. We need to give more credit to how beautiful and put-together our campus is. Campuses in the states are exceptional; from the manicured lawns, to the behind-the-scenes campus planning, to the sense of ownership the students take, it’s hard to not appreciate how much we’ve got. Instead, even my (nice and relatively expensive) Italian university had graffiti and was not managed nearly as well as Georgetown. Construction definitely gets old on campus, but it’s always for the better (except maybe the Thompson Center and the architectural disaster that is Lau).

    A tulip endowment is good for ~something~.
  4. You’re much more likely to feel supported at Georgetown than anywhere else. While we like to complain about stress and sub-par faculty at many points in our academic careers, try having a class whose syllabus doesn’t even tell you who your teacher is or where your class meets. At least we have capable (i.e. non-tenured) faculty that know what they’re doing. I complain about preregistration results as much as the next person, but try having not one, but two of your classes cancelled for good two weeks into the semester. How do students at a university that does that function (answer: they don’t)?
  5. WE HAVE SO MUCH MORE WORK. European academics are in fact whack. In all cases, I had just one assignment for each one of my classes: an oral final exam. At Georgetown, we have countless tests, multiple midterms, homework, essays, group projects (the list goes on).
    @everday during months-long midterm “season”

    The moral of the story is that Georgetown is perhaps harder than it really needs to be.

  6. Our campus and neighborhood is even less lit than we realize. Doesn’t need much explanation.

    The ONLY establishment with the name “bar” in it within a mile of Georgetown.
Alcatraz Club, a Milanese mainstay, doesn’t even need people to be lit.

Did I mention I studied abroad?

 

Photos/Gifs: tumblr.com, giphy.com, otnemea.com, flickr.com, residentadvisor.net

 

5 Tips to Start the Semester Right

Helpful HintsWhether you’re a seasoned second semester senior or a freshman who feels like she just scraped by her first few months at Georgetown, everyone can use a little help starting a new semester right. Here are some tips from 4E:

1. Open MyAccess on your phone and screenshot your student week at a glance. Then make it your lock screen picture. That way if you forget where your next class is, it’s right there on your phone at the press of a button (literally).

2. Consider your many book-buying options based on what class you’re in. If you never have to do direct work in the book then maybe look for it online. If it is a book for a popular class (intro bio, CPS, etc.) buy it so you can resell it to someone at the end of the semester.

3. Swap schedules with your Leo’s buddies so you know who will be free to grab a quick lunch between classes.

4. Take 30 minutes to go through all of your syllabi and put all major tests, papers and presentations into your calendar so you know which weekends are for work and which are for play.

5. The finals schedule is already available, so take a look at that, too!

With the second semester underway, follow these tips to start off on the right foot. Though we’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: Welcome back, Hoyas!

Photo: Vectorgems.com

Ideal Alternatives to Studying

ExamsIt’s been over a week since the last day of classes, and finals studying is in full force. The prospect of two weeks on campus with no classes seemed like it might be fun. There would be so much time for activities – if only that pesky thing called “studying” were not in the way of you and holiday-spirited revelry with friends. After that sentiment fled, Lau became a time-warping alternate universe of notecards, Word documents and cabin fever. However, we know that Hoyas have other things on their minds than studying.

We asked what you’d rather do than study for exams … and here’s what Hoyas have to say:

  1. Sleeping
  2. Running a marathon, because it would be less painful
  3. Playing with my pet bird
  4. Watching Elf
  5. Drinking
  6. Traveling back in time to actually pay attention in class the first time around
  7. Stealing the Healy clock hands while everyone is too busy on Lau 2 to notice
  8. Watching TV
  9. Apparently reading Thought Catalog, since I’ve been doing that for the last hour
  10. Studying something I’m more interested in
  11. Lying next to a crackling fire with hot cocoa while watching all 8 Harry Potter movies
  12. Cuddling and listening to Christmas music
  13. Figuring out how much wood a woodchuck actually would chuck
  14. Squash
  15. I’m not really sure it’s appropriate
  16. Dancing
  17. Watching a movie
  18. Christina Hendricks
  19. Watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on my bed with my dog and a hot piece o’ ‘za
  20. Playing soccer
  21. Watching the entire series of New Girl online. Oh wait, that IS what I’m doing.
  22. Tanning on the beach in San Diego
  23. Flying a blimp!
  24. WATCHING MRS. DOUBTFIRE, DUH!
  25. Eating a banana Nutella crepe
  26. Literally anything
  27. Be on a tennis court, racquet in one hand, beer in the other
  28. Kissin’ my dog on the lips
  29. SITTING ANYWHERE THAT DOESN’T HAVE FLUORESCENT LIGHTING
  30. Going to the premiere of the new Hobbit movie solely for Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug
  31. Eating a wheel of cheese, but the wheel has lots of different sections and each one is a different kind of cheese
  32. Snapchatting the entire song “Royals” line by line while dressed as Lorde
  33. Walking through Costco eating free samples while drinking a slushie
  34. (This response was deemed too explicit to print on 4E)
  35. Babysitting Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon’s kids
  36. At home, on my couch, watching the latest episode of Homeland with a warm slice of pizza from my fave pizza restaurant
  37. Making a gingerbread house
  38. Flossing my teeth
  39. Hiking in the Adirondacks and eating PB&Js and trail mix with my two favorite people in the world
  40. Taking my chances with a poisonous frog
  41. Laying in bed covered in puppies
  42. Wrestling a great white shark
  43. Catching the rats in Darnall with a loincloth and a small hunting spear
  44. Scouring the city for knives to donate to Leo’s
  45. Petting little Jack … for hours

So there you have it. That’s everything you’d rather be doing than studying for finals… Now get back to studying for finals.

Photo: Pauleannareid.com

When One Door Opens, Another One Closes…

Philosophy DoorsSometimes, when you’re having a bad day, you start to ponder the big questions. The meaning of life, where you will be in ten years, what to eat for dinner, etc. All the head scratchers. So, like anyone asking the right questions, you probably end up finding yourself wandering down the mysteriously quiet hallway that makes up the philosophy department.

Turns out, you came to the right place. Philosophy professors have exactly what you need taped to their doors: some good ol’ philosophical humor. We’ve decided to save you the trip and post our favorites.

First there is Professor Linda Wetzel, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in philosophy, who has a friendly reminder that you are not in this alone, at least if “this” is a newfound fascination with Kantian philosophy.

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That, and the friendly reminder to check for aliens before crossing the hall.

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Oh, and don’t forget this one. It pretty much speaks for itself:

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We also owe a big thanks to associate professor Francis J. Ambrosio for reminding us that this happens even to the best of us.

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So does this. (And if it does, it might be a sign you need to relax.)

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Last but not least, at the door of professor and Kennedy Institute Fellow Nancy Sherman, a healthy dose of “real talk” reminds us that everything will be okay … and that professors keep their doors closed for a reason.

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Photos: Julia Kieserman|The Hoya, And Be There

Preregistration Helper: The Best Class I Ever (Involuntarily) Took

Best required classes at GeorgetownFrom Star Trek in context, to the notorious “Jay-Z class”, to any taught by a Jesuit, a Hoya’s class list can contain a variety of unique and interesting choices. However, every Hoya also has a few remaining academic requirements that he or she needs to satisfy.

While Georgetown prides itself in its well rounded, liberal arts curriculum, at times these classes can sometimes seem like they are only expanding your doodling techniques rather than your interests.

Fear not, you can easily find yourself in a class that you love! A class that not only keeps you from scrolling through the latest Instagrams, but also creates newfound interests and passions. Or maybe you simply find a class you would recommend to another student come preregistration time.

We asked around for these recommendations and here are some Hoyas’ choices for the best class they have taken at Georgetown that they were required to take (click on the class names to get to the course descriptions to see for yourself!):

Note: The below suggestions were all reader entries, they do not reflect the views of The Hoya, The Fourth Edition or this writer.

  1. Problem of God with Father Fields, Father Hentz and Professor Sanders
  2. Introduction to Biblical Literature with Professor Linafelt and Father Walsh
  3. History of Civil Rights with Professor Chatelain
  4. Health Disparities with Professor Rosenwald
  5. Comparative Political Systems with Father Carnes
  6. Big Brother and the Other (or Russian and Polish Film)
  7. Folk Religions in Latin America with Professor Murphy
  8. Introduction to Ethics with Professor Carse
  9. Population Dynamics with Professor Brooks
  10. Horror: Tech and Techniques with Professor Benson-Allott

With preregistration already here, check some of these classes out. Who knows – your new choice for best class could be among this very list!

Also, pandas! (We’re really good at segues.)

Photo: Georgetown University

Parental Advice: Then and Now

Should I Still Listen To My Parents

Fun Fact: Parents aren’t always right.

Un-Fun Fact: We should still listen to them …

As college students, we are all (begrudgingly) managing the transition from childhood to adulthood. It’s time to substitute out juice boxes for cocktails, playdates for meetings and 8pm bed times for all-nighters. We spent our mischievous younger years Cool-Cute-Kids-Pics-by-cool-imagesoscillating between respecting and neglecting our parents’ advice but, in order to succeed as “adults”, we must take our parents’ advice with a grain of salt and choose for ourselves: should I still listen to my parents’ advice in college? 

Parental Advice #1: Don’t talk to strangers.

In college, this piece of advice turns from a harmless safety tip to social suicide. College is the time to spark a conversation with tons of complete strangers because otherwise you’re doomed to a life alone with one-too many cats. Meow.

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Parental Advice #2: Sharing is caring.

Have you heard of a little something I like to call mono? Beware, don’t share – especially if it’s a red Solo Cup.

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Parental Advice #3: Always use the buddy system.

In college, the safety mantra goes: never walk home alone. This is still valid: two is always better than one.

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Parental Advice #4: Do your homework.

Or don’t … and say you did!

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Parental Advice #5: Keep your hands to yourself.

College parties and 18+ clubs can get more handsy than a four-year-old at the Please Touch Museum. But please, respect others’ space. Hands where we can see ’em.

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Parental Advice #6: Ask anyway – there’s no such thing as a stupid question.

Don’t be afraid to ask a question in class, other people might also be confused. But do make sure you’re asking because you didn’t understand the teacher’s explanation, not because you weren’t paying attention. If that’s the case, just ask your friend Google or wait for office hours.

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Parental Advice #7: Manners matter. 

Amen. Can I get a please and thank you for holding that super heavy Lau door open for you?

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Parental Advice #8: You have to finish your dinner before you have dessert.

False,  dessert isn’t a “reward” for eating a balanced meal; it’s one of the major college food groups and something Leo’s consistently gets right.

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The examples above demonstrate that our parents’ advice can become antiquated as we get older but, in some other cases, their advice holds more true now than ever before. It’s up to us to choose whether or not to live according to our parents’ old advice. We may not be kids anymore, but we are still kids at heart. Which is why I have this gif of a cat for you to look at:

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Photos: Cool Images, Mashable, WordPress

The Many Faces of Warren Buffett

Here at The Fourth Edition, we love to take the time to appreciate the many speakers who grace us with their presence on the Hilltop. We’re fortunate enough to have many big names in government, business and culture share their knowledge with us … with some help from the Lecture Fund, of course. And Sept. 19 will be no different, as Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffet delivers some words of wisdom. As we’ve done in the past, we wanted to give you a little briefing on Warren’s many faces and what you can expect when he arrives on campus. Take a look:

This is Warren Buffett

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He has lots of money …warren-buffett

$53.5 billion to be exact … if you could stack all of Warren Buffett’s money (in $100 bills), it would be the distance from campus to Annapolis … IN MONEY.

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He got this money from working at Berkshire Hathaway as a primary shareholder, chairman and CEO.

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Before that, he went to University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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(He also went to Columbia Business School).

He’s really just your average guy, though. He enjoys ice cream.Warren-Buffett-dq

And basketball!

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And he’s won the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

US President Barack Obama awards the 201

Even though Mr. Buffett gets upset sometimes…

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He’s usually a very happy man.WarrenBuffett

Maybe it’s because he’s giving away most of his fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation …US-billionaires-happy-to-pay-more-taxes

… or maybe he’s just a ninja.kgHpc

Either way, we can’t wait to hear from you on the Hilltop tomorrow at 5 p.m.!

Photos: imagecollect.com, New York Times, Komo News, Imgur, Saving Advice, USC, UPI, MDJ Online