The blog of The Harvard Crimson

Break-Up Tips for Blockmates You Don't Want to Room With

Well, it’s that time of year again folks. Hard as it is to believe, the 2015/16 school year is coming to a close, and while you procrastinate on those final papers, at least you’re able to get a head start on something for next semester: rooming drama.

You don’t think it will happen to you, but it will. Whether you’re a freshman realizing that there’s that one blockmate that you absolutely could never live with, or an upperclassman who figured out too late that your blockmate has a habit of leaving hair behind in the shower drains, everyone at some point will have doubts about rooming with a friend. It’s not that you don’t like them, you just don’t want to share a bedroom with them.

So now’s the time to plan your escape route. Never fear, because Flyby’s got some strategies to help you break it to your blockmate that you don’t want to room with them.

Send them a card in the mail
Who doesn’t like getting real, authentic snail mail in 2016? Millennials live for this nostalgic #throwback to simpler times. So buy a cute card and write your blockmate a note explaining that you cannot stand the idea of tolerating their snoring for another second, let alone another school year. They’ll enjoy novelty of the mode of communication so much that they’ll forget to be sad!

Use the architecture
Pore over your house floor plans and construct a reason why, architecturally speaking, your chances in the rooming lottery are better if you enter as a group of 3, not a group of 4. You can’t argue with such solidly grounded logic.

Use the math
If your house uses an averaging system – whereby the group’s number is the average of all the members’ individual lottery numbers – you can invoke the Law of Large Numbers to make your case (thanks Stat 110). The idea is that the bigger your group, the more the average of all those random numbers will tend towards the overall mean of all the lottery numbers – so the less likely your group is to end up choosing rooms first or last. Explain to your blockmate that you like to live on the edge, you want to take the risk of ending up last for the chance of getting the best suite in the house, and so you want as small a group as possible. They are the weakest link, goodbye.

Be sneaky
Just file your rooming preferences without consulting the person you want to leave out. Once they’re with the housing administrator, there’s nothing you can do about it. Nothing.

Be the mature, partially-Harvard-educated adult that you are and talk to them
As if anyone actually does this though.

Accept your fate because you are a coward
Acquiesce to their request and let them join your rooming group. Begin filling our your transfer forms for next semester.

There you have it. Some foolproof ways to wimp your way out having tough, real world conversations by finding semi-legit excuses. May the odds be ever in your favor.

What to Expect from Visitas

In less than a week, hundreds of hundreds of admitted pre-frosh from the Class of 2020 will descend on Harvard’s campus for the annual Visitas program. For current freshmen and those upperclassmen who may have forgotten the effects of the three-day program on student life, we here at Flyby have you covered on what to expect when you’re expecting (prefrosh, that is).

This coming weekend there will be long (or longer) lines and fewer seats in the dining halls, especially Annenberg. Prefrosh and their families will also pretty much take over the restaurants in Harvard Square, so if you’re planning on dining at Felipe’s, Pinocchio’s, Tasty Burger, or even Chipotle, plan on having to wait for an extended amount of time for tables and meals.

There will likely be a loud atmosphere in the libraries, especially Lamont. So if you’re planning on knocking out that statistics pset at the library, make sure you’re prepared to work amidst incessant chatter. It’s gonna be #lit.

The only thing better than getting admitted to Harvard is taking pictures of it and posting evidence of your time here all over social media. From prefrosh who will ask you to take a picture of them and their families on Widener’s steps to those overly eager to photograph your suite (with or without your permission), expect flashing cameras through the weekend. And expect to end up in the backgrounds of dozens of pictures, unknowingly, as you fight your way through the prefrosh crowds in the Yard. You've finally made it on this campus - enjoy the moment and the opportunity to get to know these un-jaded new students.

Visitas is all about meeting new people, of course, and so there will be many new Facebook requests from prefrosh whose excitement can add to your own now that your blocking group has fallen apart with next year’s rooming drama. If you look like a freshman, you could also fall victim to aggressive efforts from clubs and groups who’d like you to join them next fall. This could, however, be a beautiful opportunity for you to ~start all over~

We were all prefrosh once, so cut the Class of 2020 some slack. They’re depending on on us for a great Visitas experience, especially because this visit will largely determine their decision to commit to Harvard. At the end of the day, Visitas is for one thing: making sure freshman don't make the great mistake of committing to that little school in New Haven.

Crimson Careers 101

As the end of the school year rapidly approaches, the lucky few who already received internship offers are resting easy and merely securing where they will live over the summer. Others are just hearing back about internships and are consulting with their advisors, weighing their options and applying for grants. Then there are the rest of us, still making a mad dash to get our foot in the door somewhere before we spend another summer alternating between lying on our parent’s couch while watching TV and laying outdoors getting a nice tan. Luckily for you, we here at Flyby have compiled a few jobs from Crimson Careers that might be of interest. While they’re not internships at Goldman Sachs or Mckinsey, these jobs are sure to add value to your resume while keeping you occupied over the summer.

Crimson Careers 101
Harvard student on the search for an internship

Para La Tierra: Endangered Bird Internship in Paraguay

Do you enjoy saving birds that are on the verge of extinction? Do you want live in Paraguay? Do you even know where Paraguay is? Answer yes to any two of the above, and this internship might be the perfect one for you!

Ginkgo BioWorks: DNA Padawan Internship

This internship seems like it came straight out of Gattaca. With the fun slogan, “We aren't trying to study biology, we are trying to build it, you can finally make your dream of creating a super organism come true. In case you aren’t fully proficient in genetic engineering, the “Ginkgo Jedis” will be there to give you a kind helping hand.

Fundación Runa: Ethnobotany Internship

Here’s a job for all the outdoorsy people. Fundación Runa is looking for an intern to lead a study on local healing practices and herbal medicine in Peru’s Amazon rainforest. Very inspiring, but try not to get hurt there, it sounds like you’ll be miles away from any modern medical facility.

ROOSTERGNN Global News Network: Journalism Seminar Internship

For those of you who merely want to give the impression of having worked an internship over the summer, a transatlantic flight to Spain may be in your future. While I’ve never come across a listing for a “seminar internship” before, if it’s anything like Harvard seminar, you won’t be doing any work, and you’ll tell people it was life changing getting a crash course in something from an expert in the field. I’m sure you’ll be able to spin the experience so that it looks good on your resume after lounging in Spain for the summer.

So there you have it. These are all of the quirkiest jobs on Crimson Careers that will give you a great answer to where you “summered” while also building a killer resume. Happy hunting!

HUPD Crime Log: 3/31-4/7

March 31, 2016

Officers dispatched to a report of an individual on a bicycle looking into several motor vehicles. Officers arrived and report individual gone on arrival.
Just looking at how the other half lives.

April 1, 2016
Officer dispatched to take a report of two stolen social security cards, an Amtrak rewards card, and personal papers from an individual's mailbox.
“Damn, they took both of my social security cards! I guess this means no more secret identity”

April 1, 2016
Officers dispatched to a report of an individual inside a secured and restricted access only area. Officers arrived and located an individual sitting in a computer chair with all the lights off. Officers proceeded to conduct a field interview on the individual. The individual was run for wants/warrants with negative results. The individual was then placed under arrest for Breaking and Entering as well as Trespassing. The individual was also given a verbal trespass warning for all Harvard University property.
“Welcome to my Meditation Sanctuary. May you all find your inner computer”

April 2, 2016
Officer dispatched to a report of a syringe in the area. Officer arrived and report collected syringe and disposed of properly.
Just another Chem Lab gone awry.

April 4, 2016
Officer dispatched to a report of a hazardous condition. Officer arrived and report a hydraulic line that let go from a Cambridge Landscaping salt spreader. Members of Cambridge Landscaping arrived and were applying speedy dry to the affected area. Officer stayed on scene and directed traffic until spill was contained and cleaned up.
Someone’s salty.

April 4, 2016
Officers dispatched to monitor a demonstration. Event was ended early due to a disruptive audience.
Tough crowd, huh.

April 5, 2016
Officer dispatched to take a report of property damage to two stairwell doors.
Time to take the elevator.

April 5, 2016
Officer dispatched to take a report of a past forcible breaking and entering into a maintenance room. A white Cannondale bicycle valued at $1,000.00 was reported stolen.
Came in looking for a broom, left with a bicycle.

April 6, 2016
Officers dispatched to assist with locating a previous lost iPhone that was pinging in the area. Officers arrived and report issue was being handled administratively.
Who needs Find My iPhone when you have HUPD?

Check back next Friday for our next installment of HUPD Crime Log!

What Harvard Doesn't Teach You

There’s no denying that the students here at Harvard are smart. But when it comes to basic, everyday tasks, there are some things that Harvard kids just don’t get. Common sense is just not our forte. Here are a few things that Harvard doesn’t teach us:

How to Do Laundry

“Wait, where does the pod go? Will it just magically dissolve in the wash? And why is there a fabric softener option on my washer? I thought the fabric softener went into the dryer? Oh my god, laundry costs 1.50 per cycle?” And, unless you are one of those salmon-colored walking billboards, “why on earth are all my dress shirts pink now?”

These are the thoughts going through the heads of the laundry-uninitiated.There’s a strange nuance to doing laundry that doesn’t quite manifest itself at Harvard. Here, laundry is something done between psets. Clothes are hastily piled into the nearest free machine, set on their 34 minute cycle, and forgotten about (often for hours) until something in the back of your mind makes you put down your pencil and finish your laundry load. The result: mountains of water-logged garments cluttering up hot laundry rooms, and undergraduates complaining on their respective class Facebook groups about “those people that don’t move their laundry.” In the real world, there’s a tightness to doing laundry, and some would even argue an art. Harvard just doesn’t teach you that.

How to Cook

Why cook when there are dining halls that are stuffed with food? Sure, the food isn’t exactly served up by Chef Gordon Ramsey, but it is edible, and on many occasions, pretty tasty. Not to mention the square shops always waiting with their doors open to take you money and fill your skin with adipose. Except for the ones that have unceremoniously closed *ahem* Panera *ahem.* There’s so much ready-to-eat food around that if you do get to use your dorm’s communal kitchen, you are a rare outlier that needs to be worshipped. Or, depending on if you’re that person that keeps setting off the fire alarm at 2 AM, burned in effigy.

Budgeting

Harvard is a money-full place (and apparently a place where you can make up your own words, too.) Even if you are on a tight budget, the exorbitant nature of the campus and the ridiculous money traps waiting to waylay you on your way to class make budgeting an afterthought. Sometimes, a worried financial aid officer will hold a finances workshop, but chances are the lessons go in and out of your head just like last week’s 9 a.m. lecture.

How to Deal with the Unspectacular

There’s always something out of the ordinary going on around you when you are here at Harvard. Top-level government officials, ex-Presidential candidates and world renowned authors seem to stalk the campus, always ready to give advice or to have a meal. The reality is that, once you leave Harvard, you probably won’t be surrounded by that regular influx of spectacular people and things.

That Free Food Does Not Exist in the Real World

College clubs get students away from their p-sets, their beds, their failed—or successful ;) —attempts at “Netflix and Chill” with the allure of free food. It’s everywhere. We here at Flyby even write a daily guide to help you figure out the best events to mooch sustenance from. But when you enter the big, crazy world you trade long lines for free food in Boylston Hall to long lines at the grocery store for marked-up cartons of eggs. Trust us: you’re going to miss those annoying pub emails that promise free churros at noon if you come talk about sexual health when you’re doling out the majority of your paycheck on sustenance.

Don’t worry about Mumps at Mather Lather. You’re safe.

The theme of Mather Lather, a College-wide foam party hosted by Mather House hosted every spring, this year is #FOAMO. But to be honest, given the recent mumps outbreak at Harvard, are you really missing out if you don’t go?

Word on the street has it that Mather consulted medical experts to determine whether or not the party could end up as a hotbed for mumps. After hearing this tip, we knew it was time for another famous #FlybyInvestigates.

When asked about whether or not the party’s organizers consulted Harvard University Health Services, Mather House Faculty Dean Michael D. Rosengarten responded affirmatively.

“I had a long conversation with Dr. [Paul] Barreira about mumps and the Lather, and he indicated Harvard is not discouraging large group events including the Lather.” Barreira is the director of HUHS.

That’s great! HUHS isn’t discouraging parties in general! But “the Lather” is not a normal party. Students have previously gotten rashes from the foamy gathering, and I wasn't ruling out mumps just yet. So I continued the investigation.

Mather House Committee co-chair Trevor A. Mullin ’17 reiterated that Barreira was consulted “to make sure Mather Lather did not pose a threat to the health and safety of students.”

“To my understanding, they were told that the College was not discouraging large scale gatherings and that the environment of Mather Lather did not provide an additional risk to students as compared to any other large-scale gathering.”

So it seems like Mather Lather will be safe from mumps this year. Still, that won’t stop me from taking at least 10 showers after the party is over.

Listen Up!: Back at it Again with the Important Questions

Listen Up is back and better than ever!
Listen Up is back and better than ever!
Dear Harvard,

It’s ya girls Betty and Hyemi, day one homies since Freshman Orientation Week, relentless blockmates, and the dynamic Flyby journalistic duo. We’re two fun-loving junior girls living in Dunster, and we want to share our vast pools of knowledge and wisdom with the rest of Harvard. So we’re bringing back Listen Up, your favorite and most reliable biweekly advice column, where you ask the questions and we provide sage answers. Don’t worry, submissions are anonymous and we know you have burning questions about life. How can I practice good hallway bathroom etiquette? What is the best flavor of Rubinoff (Hyemi: The answer is none.; Betty: The answer is not none.)? Why does the HUDS apple crisp not taste as good anymore? Are we actually getting a Yardfest artist?

Submit your questions here about anything and everything, and leave the rest to us.

Let the games begin.

XOXO,

Betty and Hyemi



Good Degree, Better Food: Best Harvard Concentrations

As Advising Fortnight draws to a close, students and faculty alike vie for the attention of freshmen at various concentration events. Of course, the best way to to get college students to like you or to sign up for your stuff is to shower them with free things. So, for the overwhelmed freshmen trying to choose a concentration, Flyby has a foolproof way to narrow down your choices: It all comes down to food.

After all, if you’re going to spending the next three years mingling at concentration cocktail hours and senior thesis dinners, it’s important to know what kind of food you’re getting into. Here were some of the food highlights from Advising Fortnight.

South Asian Studies takes top prize for best concentration with some tasty samosas and chicken tikka at their advising event. If you’re like us at Flyby, then you can never pass up on good South Asian food and chai!

Music came in with a strong second place with their platters of mini sandwiches. (Quite fancy—they were even labeled with small toothpicks.) Bite sized desserts rounded out a worthwhile advising lunch.

Plenty of Thai food was going around at the Applied Math fair. A hoard of freshmen crowded Ticknor Lounge to eat some pad Thai and wide rice noodles. Rumor has it there was even enough for students to take some leftovers for later. Any excuse to skip more Berg meals is a good one, we were told.

Tagged as an Ice Cream “Social” (because “Social” Studies), the interdisciplinary concentration had plenty of flavors of Lizzy’s ice cream available. Students threw chocolate sauce, sprinkles, and cherries on their own sundaes. Flyby thinks that’s a pretty solid reward for committing to write a thesis.

The Economics department was prepared for a party with twenty boxes of pizza for their prospective students. Flyby was a little disappointed that we made the trek up to the third floor of Littauer only to discover cheese pizza. We were told that “toppings were coming later,” but it was unclear if the pepperoni ever showed up. We guess you don’t need to put in too much effort when you’re the largest concentration at Harvard.

We know that choosing among Harvard’s 49 concentrations is hard. But keep in mind, the quality of food at advising events will probably be the only thing you remember from Advising Fortnight, so why not make it worthwhile? And for all of the upperclassmen lamenting HUDS meals and worried about their job prospects… it’s not too late to switch concentrations.

Flyby Investigates BerryGate; Which Berry Are You?

After the uproar surrounding UC funding and berries (#BerryGate), Flyby thought it was essential to create a quiz that determines what berry is most representative of your personality. Because at the end of the day, berries are no laughing matter.

It’s Friday night. Where are you?

A) A huge dance party, surrounded by your 25 closest friends.
B) A sleepover with your 2 best friends.
C) Tagging along with whoever you happened to see before you left school.
D) Writing on your anonymous blog that hates on people from school.
E) Initiating phase 2 of your plan for world destruction.

You see someone drops $10. What do you do?

A) Pick it up and rush after them to return it. While you’re at it, get their name so you can hang out with them this weekend #MakingNewFriends.
B) Pick it up and hand it back to the person who dropped it.
C) You don’t even notice the $10 on the ground.
D) Pick it up and give it back to the person, but while they thank you, steal the rest of their wallet.
E) Keep the $10 and use it to buy drugs which you then bake into brownies and hand out to kids at a park.

What’s your ideal date?

A) Anything’s fine as long as I get to be with my SO
B) Chilling at home while you make dinner and watch a movie.
C) Speed dating. Why tie yourself down to one person?
D) Somewhere really expensive so you get a quality meal out of them before you break their heart and leave them.
E) You can’t stand people let alone the thought of dating them.

Someone insults you. How do you react?

A) Laugh it off and be friends. Life’s too short to hold grudges.
B) If it’s someone you don’t know, take them to task. If it’s your bestie, let them know you’re insulted, but don’t sweat it.
C) No one knows you well enough to actually insult you.
D) Don’t react, but 2 weeks later get them back.
E) Go completely ballistic and create a huge scene.

You’re at a bar. What are you drinking?

A) I’m already on the dance floor sober, I don’t need a drink
B) I’m more of a wine and cheese kind of person
C) Whatever I get handed
D) Jungle juice
E) Straight vodka

What’s your strongest quality?

A) Friendliness
B) Loyalty
C) Carefreeness
D) Manipulation
E) I don’t care about anyone else which leaves me free to do anything I want

Where’s your dream home?

A) Surrounded by my loved ones
B) A small suburban neighborhood
C) I don’t see myself settling down
D) An apartment in Manhattan
E) A damp, dark cave

What’s your favorite subject at school?

A) Recess
B) Calculus
C) Quantum physics
D) Philosophy
E) Organic chemistry

Now take a look back at which letter you picked the most:

Strawberry (A): You're friends with everyone. You’re a very versatile person and fit into a ton of different kinds of situations. You compliment others very well. (Fun fact: Scientifically, strawberries aren’t “berries.” They’re accessory fruits. But we at Flyby like them so much that they’re on this quiz anyway.)

Blackberry (B): People that don't know you might find you to be kind of horrible, but to the few people you’re close to, you're loyal forever, and they can always count on you to be there for them.

Banana (C): You don't really fit in anywhere. You're the kid that has everyone going, "She doesn't even go here." Your role in friend groups is really ambiguous. But everyone still thinks you’re cool.

Cranberry (D): People think you’re sweet, but that’s because you cover up your bitter and sour personality with a sugary façade. Once you get down to the core, all that’s left is cynicism.

Deadly nightshade (E): You're just an awful person. You're poisonous to people around you, and literally kill any and all chance of relationships with others. It would be best if you existed in isolation.

Yours Botanically,
Flyby

Flyby Reviews: HUDS Coffee Tasting

HUDS Coffee
The little sheets of paper that will decide the taste of your future all-nighters

If you’re like us at Flyby and are dependent on coffee on get through your day, you’re probably aware that what HUDS calls coffee is...less than ideal. Thankfully, HUDS is looking to change its supplier for next year, and held a taste testing event in the Queen’s Head today to get student input. Since we’re never ones to turn down free food, we at Flyby dropped by to sample the different coffee brands that could be potential replacements to our current selection of Seattle’s Best.

First of all, props to Harvard for actually taking student input, especially for an important decision regarding everyone’s favorite thing to complain about: HUDS. I personally think that HUDS has improved markedly in recent months, and actually boasts some amazing dishes and desserts. But nevertheless, the opportunity to have something new to complain about in our dining hall is great.

There were four options for students to try: Peet’s, Pierce Bros. Coffee, Sun Coffee Roasters, and our current company, Seattle’s Best Coffee. The Sun Coffee Roasters guys had a complicated-looking setup (think Clover’s coffee) that didn’t seem completely translatable to the dining hall. It did look cool and hipster, though, and if chosen might better allow students to pretend like they know what good coffee tastes like. Both Sun Coffee and Pierce Bros seemed to emphasize fair trade and making a difference in their production methods, which is admirable.

Seattle’s Best offered extra treats and the most corporate looking display, probably to try and draw in students who clearly hate their coffee enough to demand a change. It seemed like this fooled no one, though, and the stand was least busy among the options. Probably because most of us know Seattle’s Best as the only-slightly-edible caffeine source that we all begrudgingly use to get through our day.

Frankly, I can’t say that I have the coffee palette that can actually tell the difference between most types of coffee, but I really appreciated people telling me about different notes and flavors while I sipped slowly and nodded in agreement. I’m partial to Peet’s, so that’s who Flyby is going to declare as the winner of this battle. Their coffee was the least bitter to my unrefined taste-buds, and the fact that they have two stores within seconds of each other in the Square (look out, The Harvard Shop) suggest they’re a crowd favorite, too. Stay tuned, though, for what the Harvard population ends up deciding—results should be released in the next few weeks.

Clover's Back, Alright!

new-clover-exterior
Clover just reopened its doors in the former home of Yenching.
Get ready for the best news (and if this doesn’t qualify as the best news of your week, we can’t be friends) of this week, folks: the new Clover opened its doors for lunch today! That’s right, the beloved Clover that used to be on Holyoke Street moved about 60 feet to Mass Ave (where Yenching used to be) in anticipation of Smith Campus Center construction. As a die-hard Clover fan, I felt as if it was my civic duty to be there for its opening– in fact, I am not ashamed to admit that I was on line to order a Shiitake Mushroom sandwich by 1:05 p.m. for their 1 p.m. opening.

I am here to tell you that you will fall in love with the new Clover. Believe me, I’ve spent a lot of time (and consequently money, sorry Mom and Dad) at the Clover on Holyoke Street. The sterile white walls, the laboratory aesthetic, the two floors of seating, and the all-encompassing smell of chickpea fritters are all things I’ve grown to love about the Clover at 7 Holyoke. The new Clover is really different, except for the all-encompassing smell of chickpea fritters, that is.

clover-tiles
Awesome restored tiling from 1913!

For starters, the new Clover is much smaller than the old one. It’s more like a wide hallway and doesn’t have a second floor, but it’s really quaint. It also offers a lot of seating options: you can sit at the wooden communal table in the middle, in individual seats looking out at Mass Ave, cute little booths with no view, or booths at the back with a view of Holyoke Street. The new Clover also has immensely cool historical walls featuring pennants of different schools and a lot of Crimson H’s. Upon doing some further research into this, I found on Clover’s blog that their contractor discovered these walls while doing demolition work. They date back to 1913 and belonged to a place called Waldorf Lunch, an iconic place to get food in the past.

Despite the new look, the friendliness of the staff and the amazingly yummy vegetarian food of Clover still remain. I had an A+ Shiitake Mushroom sandwich that kept me happy and full for the rest of my long Tuesday. All in all, coming from an unashamedly biased perspective, the new Clover is great. Perhaps the only problem is that with its new location on Mass Ave making it that much closer to my classes, I will never eat HUDS lunch again and thus will be eternally broke.

Flyby Matchmaker: Burritos, Bernie and Datamatch

Welcome back Flyby Matchmaker!

Alice Xiao ‘18 lives in Pforzheimer House and studies History, Art and Architecture. Ben Betik ‘17 lives in Quincy House and is studying Economics. Both Ben and Alice said that the three things they could not survive without are food, water and air. Ben originally said that living in the Quad would be a deal breaker. But was it? Read on to see if a long distance relationship was born over some Boloco burritos. We don't have a picture of our happy couple, so this date is going to remain blind to all of us.

Ben: Alice was there first, which was weird because, for the first time in my life, I was on time.

Alice: I think I got there at six exactly. It was raining.

Ben: There was a whole drama of my umbrella not closing… so everyone in the room turned and looked at me and I didn’t know which of [them] I should be talking to… Eventually everyone else turned away… and then Alice was standing there. I didn’t [recognize] her. That was [a] plus because it [meant it] was an actual blind date.

Alice: He looked nice.

Ben: I tend to try not to judge people on their looks or whatever… [but] I mean she’s cute so that helps.

Alice: [I got a burrito] and a smoothie too.

Ben: Burritos are great, but burritos may not be the best blind date choice… there is no graceful way to eat a burrito… I should have gone for the bowl; would have been a much better call.

Alice: [Initially] we talked about basic stuff like class, concentration what you do on campus and I found out that he did a lot of model UN, which was cool because I do international relations stuff on campus too.

Ben: It took a while to get into conversation. [With] some people it’s easy, you walk into the energy and you know you have the chemistry.

Alice: The beginning was a little bit awkward. The getting to know you part in general… [but] I wouldn’t say that it was that difficult [to find things to talk about]. He was a pleasant person…

Ben: There are the four things you aren’t supposed to talk about on first dates… politics, religion, abortion, [and] economics. So we talked about politics… that was something really interesting. She’s a Hillary supporter. I’m kind of on the fence between Hillary and Bernie so we just had a really engaging conversation about politics. Everyone can bond over how awful of a person Donald Trump is so that really brought us together.

Alice: [Politics] were a good part of our conversation because I told him honestly how I felt about it... It wasn’t like we were trying to impress someone.

Ben: I wouldn’t say Alice and I had instant chemistry…[but] I’d be interested in hanging out with [her] again. In fact, I did invite her to a dinner party thing.

Alice: He invited me [to a biweekly dinner his roommates put on] and I thought it seemed like a fun idea. I’m going on Friday.

Given Datamatch was in full swing just weeks before that the two met, we had to ask about our competition:

Ben: Yes, I did [Datamatch]. I was seven people’s top match so apparently I’m really mathematically popular… I’m just getting all kinds of free food. It’s amazing. I think I’ve eaten in a dhall twice this week and haven’t had to pay at all.

Alice: I did Datamatch too. I actually had a Datamatch date this morning. [But] I would recommend actually being set up on a blind date, like going with Flyby, because it’s more exciting to not know [who your date will be]… it’s more spontaneous; it’s more… exciting... I don’t see why more people aren’t doing it.

Ben: I would [recommend this] to my best friends and my worst enemies… What I’ve learned from this is that blind dates are really weird and they are weird for everyone. So if you’re having a weird time don’t worry the other person is having just as weird a time… I’d be down to do another blind date just because I think it’s fun and kind of funny after the fact.

Want to take Alice’s advice? Find out just how weird and fun blind dates really are? Fill out this form!

XOXO,

The Flyby Matchmaker


Dear Spring: It’s a Quarter Into 2016, I’m a Little Pale, and I Need You Now

That’s right, Boston got you again. After a few days of spring weather last week, I think we all expected that the little frost emoji on the weather forecast for Sunday was a joke. I guess the bipolar nature of New England weather can never be underestimated.

It all started with the slow descent to murkiness on Saturday, and by the wind storm on Sunday morning, we all knew that it was over. I hadn’t expected it to snow like it’s December this morning though.

Actually, after three years at a high school in Connecticut, I should be used to the phenomenon known as The-Warmth-That-Never-Comes, the perpetual overcast sky that prolongs from February to May, but I guess it’s clear that I didn’t come out of the dormitory often enough to really understand the struggle.

In fact, I had stored away all my winter clothes and shoes until this morning, when I realized that the temperature had dropped into the minuses (yes, I use Celsius). Slowly pulling open the curtains, and discovering the winter wonderland that had returned, I pulled out my boots from a box under my bed, nearly in tears.

This is exaggeration, of course. The weather isn’t too bad. And I’m sure that spring will come. Next year. But upon experiencing the sun for the first time since October last week, I’d realized that I’d been feeling under the weather. Soaking in the vitamin D and clear blue sky, I felt happiness and motivation to be kinder to others. I did all my readings, I went to the gym, I even introduced myself to a stranger in Annenberg—this was who my mom had raised me to be.

My epiphany has since then disappeared with the sunlight, and I am back to the cliché freshman year identity crisis. What is my next life goal? Have I always been this lazy? Should I go to class or drown in my miseries looking at jean shorts on online shopping sites?

As we wait for the spring that will never come until summer in June, take some vitamin D, guys. It probably doesn’t do anything, but I find that if you convince yourself that it does, it has a slight placebo effect.

Why Not Having Summer Plans Isn't a Big Deal

It’s that time of year again! When you sit down for lunch at the dining hall and all conversations inarguably lead to one daunting question: “So, what are you doing this summer?” Your heart skips a beat and your cheeks turn colored as you stammer to explain why you’re still as lost in the internship search as you were in August.

But, hey, no summer plans yet? Worry not! You are at Harvard for God’s sake! With your impressive academic achievements and surely, extensive extracurricular activities, your resume can manage without a summer internship. After a grueling exam period and demanding semester, there’s honestly no better way to spend the summer than doing absolutely nothing. Trust us, this might be the best thing to happen to you yet!

While all your friends will be pounding through tedious office work day after day, waking up at 7:00 am on the dot, and commuting on the stinky subway, you’ll be living the life: drinking piña coladas poolside, sleeping until noon, and binge watching Netflix! Every overambitious Harvard student’s dream.

Take this well-deserved break to do everything you love (but can’t do during school time because, well, Harvard): actually read for fun, exercise, eat delicious homemade food.

Better yet, try something new: learn to play that instrument you never mastered, take painting lessons, join a sports team, convince yourself that you have talent outside of the classroom. You might even end up writing a book in all that spare time or getting a head start on your thesis!

Use your summer to rekindle old friendships: hang around with your childhood friends, visit your high school teachers (who obviously love you), spend more time with family. Take advantage of these three long months to travel: explore your hometown's hidden gems, take that wild trip you’ve always dreamed of, hike the Grand Canyon.

And if you’re still fixed on working this summer, worry not! There’s still 60 days for you to find the job of your dreams and plenty of opportunities just sitting there on Crimson Careers. Perhaps even consider going to one of the million OCS seminars that crowds your inbox every day...

Flyby Celebrates the Last Four Weeks of School

18 days of classes. 31 days left to prep for finals. Less than 41 days before you’re out of here. And while summer is nearly here and you cannot wait to start summer school and internships, there are still a few things (good and bad) that need to be done before all the fun can begin.

First off, if you have not already, finish using all of your BoardPlus. Start buying a Naked juice when you pass by Greenhouse or blow off HUDS and get sushi for lunch more often. Buy your Starbucks drink at Greenhouse or Lamont Cafe instead of Starbucks in the square. Spread out your usage and enjoy it instead of buying 20 granola bars on the last day of the semester and binge-eating them on the plane ride home. You’re living life large, and it’s time to treat yourself.

Secondly, start eating up all of the snacks in your desk drawer (the large tub of Nutella on my shelf gives me an irrational amount of anxiety). Mom’s care packages are not going into storage or back home with you, so now is a good time to start clearing house. Start bringing them to class or your next meeting. Or plan a night in with friends and swap snacks over a viewing of My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Lastly, start catching up on the textbook readings that you put off over the course of the semester because you figured you would get to it eventually. Finals are going to catch you off-guard so it if you get this out of the way you can have a more chill reading period. We know, we know, this is probably not ever going to happen, but we figured we’d be a good parent to you and let you know that this last month also means that big exams are quickly approaching. Another pro-tip: start participating in section so that your TF remembers you as an active discussion contributor instead of the person who online shops for the whole class period.

Follow these few tips and the rest of the semester will go almost as smoothly as your summer job search. Oh wait...

Biebs Mashups, Free Cookies, and More Overpriced T-Shirts: The Opening of the Newest Harvard Shop

In all honesty, I don’t know why we need another Harvard Shop. This marks the fourth of this same store within 2 blocks of each other. I know tourists love to collect gear, but are there really that many of them willing to buy overpriced t-shirts emblazoned with the name of this fine institution? OK, yes, maybe there are… but with all the other tourist trap apparel shops around, the market seems oversaturated, and supply must be so much higher than demand*.

Despite my reservations about the opening of yet another Harvard Shop, I am never one to turn down offers of free food and thus woke up at the absurdly early hour of 11:30am on a beautiful Saturday to let them peddle their wares to me.

By the time I got to The Harvard Shop, it was packed full of students with the same thought process. The Lowkeys performed a fun mashup of Justin Bieber songs, and I got free cookies (and coupons for more free cookies). I think I missed a whole collection of coupons for other restaurants in the square, but I mostly only eat cookies for every meal, so that wasn’t a huge concern.

To my surprise, HSA’s grand opening was a really fun event and an example of what Harvard should be doing for inclusive social spaces (UC, take notes). Any party that has cookies and Biebs mashups is the kind of party I want to be at. I can’t imagine that I will be returning to the newest Harvard Shop to spend my own money, but I am not opposed in any way to eating their free food or enjoying the fun of a grand opening.

*Does using the few economics terms I remember from Ec10 make this a legitimate criticism? Maybe. Am I going to continue to use words from the natural and social sciences to sound like I understand anything other than literature? Definitely.

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