The blog of The Harvard Crimson

Better Things to Steal Than the Lowell Grill iPad

Lowell Grill Sans iPad
Lowell folk weren't smiling when they had to write their orders
More often than not, the Grill is the only thing standing between Harvard students and sub-par HUDS days, making it a universal favorite. Tragedy struck at the Lowtel, however, when a thief nabbed the d-hall’s iPad, according to Grill staff member James C. Burdulis. After a grueling few weeks of putting pencil to paper to write their meal requests, the convenience of electronic ordering is finally back, thanks to the purchase of two new iPads (unfortunately, the OG iPad still remains missing). To the thief responsible: Instead of robbing the Grill of its beloved convenience, try these items instead.

That One Guy’s Canada Goose

As soon as the weather dips below 50 degrees, it’s open season on everybody’s favorite wintertime flex, the Canada Goose jacket. Whether you’re in need of a warm coat to shield you from the snow as you wait for the Quad Shuttle on a Friday night or just something to match those new Airpods you got for Christmas, this is a great option for those of us looking for a high stakes (but functional) steal.

Harvard Time

After a full semester without the beauty known as Harvard Time, now is the perfect time to steal it back. Stick it to Bacow and your professors by arriving on your own schedule — seven minutes late of course. Use your newfound extra time to get some extra Tinder swipes in (Valentine’s Day is closer than you think, folks), wait in the mile-long line at the Science Center Clover for a coffee, or hit the snooze button a few more times.

Dean Khurana’s Instagram

While his official role is Dean of the College, Rakesh Khurana’s true job is being the University’s hype man. The man’s Instagram is a legendary collection of selfies with students and other happenings around the University, but appearing on his feed is a blessing only a select few are fortunate enough to attain. Stealing Rakesh’s social media presence would also be a walk in the park — insider intel says that his password is CabotsNumberOneDad. Once you’ve stolen his account, take your rightful place on his Instagram page.

The John Harvard Statue

A random iPad is hardly a brag-worthy steal. Set your sights higher — snag the most photographed object on campus instead. The resulting tourist rage will put a bounty on your head, making the risk all the more tempting for true daredevils. If you really want to go the extra mile, list the stolen statue on eBay and reap the profits of a bidding war between alumni and Harvard-obsessed high schoolers.

The Declaration of Independence

For those of us (aka all of us) seeking to live out our Nicholas Cage-inspired dreams, grab a trusty sidekick or two and get over to Washington, D.C. Sure, this one could end with you being questioned by the FBI, but what better way to procrastinate all those essays and p-sets than going into hiding?

While all of these suggestions are preferable to sabotaging the Lowell Grill iPad, we don’t endorse adding a felony to your resume. And to the technology thief who’s still at large, we urge you to think of those sad, inconvenienced Lowell students and renounce your criminal ways.

Are You Really Satisfied With Your Roommates? A Quiz.

As a new semester rolls around, it’s time to sit back and truly evaluate your roommate situation. Regardless of whether you’re so close you literally sleep in the same bed (you should stop; that’s weird), or you haven’t seen your roommate since opening days, this quiz should help you make sense of who you’ve actually been living with for the past few months.

Rate the overall quality of your roommate(s):

1) LITERALLY MY FAVORITE HUMAN(S) EVER

2) I love them!

3) They understand my vine references, so we get along well enough.

4) I’m basically living with a stranger(s).

5) They’re actual poison. I demand a refund.

Does your roommate(s) have any annoying qualities?

1) No, they’re perfect!

2) Sure, but I have the exact same ones!

3) Yes, but we communicate and that’s what’s important.

4) Yes, and it’s driving me crazy.

5) Yes, and I have a spare toothbrush at my friend’s dorm because of it, so I don’t have to go back to our room at night.

When your roommate(s) asks you to grab dinner in the Berg, you:

1) Don’t even reply (because *obviously* you’d be sitting together), and head to your usual table.

2) Reply immediately that you’d love to and you can’t wait.

3) Say yes, but only because none of your friends are free.

4) Lie and say you have homework, and then grab dinner with your friends in The Square so you don’t run into them.

5) This would never happen because you actually can’t stand each other.

Your roommate(s) doesn’t have plans for spring break and suggests you should go on a trip together. You:

1) Scream. You can’t believe they read your mind!! (Okay, actually you can)

2) Start looking for possibilities right after you two discuss the subject!

3) Are genuinely excited about the idea and ask if maybe a few of your other friends could join.

4) Say that you already have plans, but they’re welcome to join (you secretly hope they say no).

5) Say that you already have plans (you would NEVER travel with them) and avoid speaking about the subject.

Would you consider blocking with your roommate(s)?

1) Yes, we’re going to be together forever!

2) Yes, of course!

3) I’d consider it, but I’m not entirely sure if it’s a definite yes.

4) No, I wouldn’t want to live with them again.

5) I’d actually transfer to Yale if I was stuck with them for another three years.

Results:

Mostly 1s - Congrats! You and your roommate are practically married (although still in the honeymoon phase). In your eyes they can do no wrong. There’s a possibility you might be a little too obsessed, though. Remember, your roomie is only human!

Mostly 2s - Sweet! You lucked out with the roommate lottery. You and your roommate are simply meant for each other. Grab some markers and glitter and write a thank-you note to the Harvard Housing Gods.

Mostly 3s - You’re doing well. You and your roommate may not be best friends, but you don’t hate each other, and that’s what counts. This kind of roommate relationship lets you have your space when you need it, but still gives you someone to chat with when you’re lonely.

Mostly 4s - Uh-oh. Sounds like there’s some bad juju going on in your room. If you can’t stand your roommate, there’s a few ways to make it better. Try talking to them and expressing what’s bothering you so much, and maybe you can reach some sort of understanding. If communication doesn’t work, you can always look into switching. Or stick it out and get yourself a Canadaddy — who even needs their own room anyway?

Mostly 5s - YIKES. It’s time to call your dean! We don’t like to jump to assumptions, but we’re pretty sure your roommate is the devil incarnate. Try checking for horns tonight when they fall asleep.

Love it or Hate it: 9 a.m.’s

Love It: “Waking up in the morning makes my day” by Maya S. Bhagat

Everyone said they’d be so bad, but I don’t see what all the fuss is about. 9 a.m.’s allow you to get a significant chunk of work out of the way bright and early. I mean, how productive are you really going to be after a poorly scheduled club meeting in the evening? Also, 9 a.m.’s are the first step to clubbing all your classes in back-to-back order to avoid those unproductive one hour and 15 minute spells. Seriously, that is not enough time to do quality studying or (more importantly) take a good nap.

Another reason I appreciated 9 a.m.’s was that I had an excuse to duck out of those late evening PSET sessions with friends — you have to sleep in order to adequately focus in class the next day. Plus, more sleep equals more brain power in the morning, so I can actually make a good impression on my TFs.

Even though I’m not a morning person myself, I always had a quiet dining hall to look forward to during breakfast, to sleepily contemplate the day ahead, or get a table to myself to work. No one saw me that one time I broke a bowl, and I got to see the lovely face of my 9 a.m. friends to brighten up the rest of the day. Being an international student means juggling time differences, and the morning is always the best time for me to be online or catch up with family and friends via telephone.

I already feel my lack of 9 a.m.’s this semester acutely somewhere deep down in my soul. This semester will be passed in mourning as I try to finish my work in the glow of the 9 a.m. sunlight.

Hate It: “9 a.m.’s make me feel like death why do they exist, again?” by Kiana Ziadkhanpour

I thought I could handle them. I had woken up every morning at 6:20 a.m. for the past four years, so I naively believed that I could deal with waking at 8 a.m. on a daily basis. Week by week, I found myself waking up later and later, dragging myself to class — the quality of outfits and critical thinking skills dropping with the temperature. Sure, it was nice to have an important obligation (class) to wake me up on a daily basis, but the amounting pain (hunger) of inevitably missing breakfast each morning set a bad tone for the day, especially on Thursdays when I had class back-to-back from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. After last semester, I promised myself I would do everything possible to avoid another 9 a.m., but with the new schedules increasing the frequency of early morning classes and my sections and lab times increasing, I knew my chances were slim. Amazingly, though, my earliest class now starts at 10:30 a.m. (so grateful), leaving me ample time to have the most important meal of the day (pumpkin seed butter!).

Now though, even on cold and dreary mornings, I find myself waking up early (sometimes even before 8 a.m.!), and only rarely is it because of nightmares of missing class. Who would have thought that without the weight and pain associated with a 9 a.m., the idea of waking up doesn’t seem as difficult? Turns out that my hate of 9 a.m.s isn’t so much associated with the prospect of waking up early, but more so with being rushed and not having time to ~myself~ first thing in the morning.

So as we begin to settle into our classes for the semester, I am happy to say that I will be warm and cozy in my dorm, taking my time getting ready, or maybe getting an extra hour of sleep, while the world around me has to deal with the concept of 9 a.m.’s.

How to Drop it Like it's Hot When it's Objectively Not: Winter Partying

Though we’re just a few days into the spring semester, students are already looking to forget the weekly grind with a fun weekend out. However, the unforgiving February weather is frosty enough to make even the most seasoned partiers consider a cozy weekend indoors. For those brave enough to venture out into the cold Cambridge nights, consider these hot tips for partying in near-Arctic conditions.

(Don’t) Dress To Impress

The whole issue of braving the cold could be solved by, believe it or not, dressing for the weather. Zip up your puffer coat and channel your inner Sexy Michelin Man vibes. Sure, half the point of going out is to be seen looking ~spicy~, but who says a form-obscuring marshmallow jacket and sweatpants aren’t peak fashion? Plus, you get to peel off all those layers at the party and surprise everyone with a jaw-dropping reveal.

Fluorescence Is The Best Protection

The one thing that can make crawling out of the Igloo in the early hours of the morning even worse is being the friend who lost yet another coat at a party. Avoid the “looking for a black winter coat, last seen at the Aquarium” Facebook walk of shame by ditching your nondescript black or neutral-colored jacket for obnoxious DayGlo outerwear. This simultaneously ensures that you can always spot your clothing in the dark and deters any thief from seizing it. The more visible and less desirable the better. Consider adding this objectively sexy silver emergency warmth blanket to your nighttime attire for just over a dollar. If you don’t want to dress like a human glow stick, writing your phone number on the tag is always an option — one that may even land you a cute blind date (hello Valentine’s day)!

When The Going Gets Tough, Quit

Unlike that unsolvable pset problem or the ever-growing pile of laundry under your bed, the winter weather is one problem that will actually go away if you avoid it. Trade a frozen night wandering in party purgatory for fuzzy socks and movie marathons. Or, alternately, attempt to — hear us out — use some of the free time you have on the weekends to actually study.

Maybe the changing of the seasons is a sign that it’s time to spend weekends productively, or perhaps this is some form of natural selection designed to identify only the most dedicated extroverts. Whatever your take on the subject, one thing is clear: wintertime in New England is objectively the worst.

Sneak Peek: Milk Bar and &pizza

&pizza/Milk Bar Atmosphere
*National Geographic voice* A flock of students enjoy the new delicious delicacies offered at the &pizza and Milk Bar sneak peek.
With all the shops and restaurants leaving the Square lately, &pizza and Milk Bar are some of the few shining new additions compared to a now deserted Urban Outfitters (R.I.P.). Located on Brattle Street right across from the Curious George store, this new restaurant and dessert stop combo is especially convenient for those of us living near the Yard. So, with the grand opening happening this Saturday, I got the chance to check out the Friends & Family Preview on Wednesday for a first look at this new combo store.

General Atmosphere: 9/10

With its fun, bright interior and windows all along the outside, this is great location to get away from the grey Cambridge winter while doing some Square people-watching. Anywhere inside could serve as the background for your next Insta post, and the lighting is perfect for taking some ~aesthetic~ foodie pictures. The music is bopping, the workers are friendly, and there’s seating for you and your squad, so really what more could you ask for? Plus, with Valentine’s Day coming up quick, this would be a great spot for a combined dinner and dessert date night (or the perfect place to eat lots of ice cream and act like that holiday doesn’t exist, your choice!).

Milk Bar: 7/10

I tried three items at the Milk Bar: the Crack Pie, the Boston Creme Pie Milkquake, and the Corn Cookie. The highlight of my Milk Bar experience was, without a doubt, the Crack Pie (which makes sense considering it’s one of their most popular items). Imagine basically eating a full stick of butter with an oatmeal cookie, and you can start to understand the nearly religious experience I had while eating this. The Boston Creme Pie Milkquake is unique to this new location, and although it didn’t taste as heavenly as the Crack Pie, it’s a great option for pretending like it’s still 70 degrees and sunny outside. While I was undecided on a third sweet to try, one worker highly recommended the Corn Cookie, saying it tasted like cornbread (which was music to my Southern ears). Admittedly, I would compare it more to a sugar cookie with a heavy smell of corn but hey, if that’s your thing then this is perfect for you. Despite the downfalls of the Corn Cookie, I give Milk Bar a 7/10 — just make sure you come with a big sweet tooth.

&pizza: 8/10

For my pizza taste testing, I got “The OG”, or your classic Margherita pizza. Each pizza can be customized to your liking with whatever sauces, cheeses, and toppings your heart desires, and you get to watch the whole (Instagrammable) process that only takes a few minutes. Depending on what you order, the pizza is definitely more on the minimalist side (aka, no gooey melted cheese to bite into), but with fresh ingredients and a great experience, earning an 8/10 from this pizza connoisseur.

Overall, with some great flavor and a fun, cheerful vibe, I give Milk Bar and &pizza a good 8/10. With so many changes to the Square over winter break, both are great new additions for anyone wanting something savory or sweet. Plus, with them being open until 2:00 a.m. on the weekends, they make for a great late night spot besides Jefe’s or Tasty Burger – that is, if you’re willing to wait in what are sure to be long lines of students also eager to try them. Be sure to check out both restaurants when they open at 11:00am on Saturday for giveaways, samples, and sweet treats (one dollar soft serve!).

Overheard at Blue Bottle Coffee

Blue Bottle Coffee
As one of the newest coffee shop additions to Harvard Square, Blue Bottle Coffee hasn’t solidified itself as a major hot spot on campus. Yet. From my observations, the trendy coffee joint is a meeting place for elitist hipsters and disgruntled students alike, serving as the perfect place to take aesthetic Instagram pictures. I settled down with a notebook, old-fashioned style, to record.

“Does this almond milk taste sweet to you?” “No yeah it’s definitely sweet.”

As a vegan myself, the quality of almond milk is essential in determining whether a coffee shop is going to earn a place on my regular list. Is it on the menu? Plus one point. Homemade? Plus another point. Are there other non-dairy options in case I want to spice it up? Plus another… you get the idea.

“You can’t cry in this place, it’s too nice.”

An ultimate mood. Something about the white minimalistic walls, blue and beige decor, and delicate plant arrangements creates an environment that demands cheeriness. Plus, compared to the dining halls’ coffee-that’s-about-as-effective-as-water, Blue Bottle’s is so robust it’ll dry your tears right up.

“Zac Brown Band is the one country artist I tolerate.”

With a serious dislike of country music myself, I’m not sure if I agree with this one, but I have to hand it to him. Feels a little weird calling an entire band a single artist, though.

“No more hamsters!”

What is the context of this conversation? What does this even mean? I’m so confused.

“She thinks she’s, like, really mature. But she’s not!”

Boy, oh boy, was this conversation a wild ride. Two girls were engaging in a heated discussion as they took turns insulting their blockmate, taking sips of their matching lattes in between hard hits. Poor girl.

*Girl photographing her avocado toast* “It’s like they purposefully made it ugly.”

I admit I actually laughed out loud at this one. It’s smashed avocado on multigrain bread, honey. It’s not that deep.

Were these findings life-changing? Only if you really have nothing better to care about than the woes of elitist students trying to buy being cool. The conversations inside Blue Bottle are just the same as those everywhere else on Harvard’s campus, except everyone is armed with a $6 iced coffee.

QGuide+: The Student-Made Gem Finder You Need to Use

With Harvard debuting Syllabus Explorer and Curricle beta, it’s clear that students and administration are seeking an alternative to the Course Search function on my.Harvard (it may work, but it is definitely in need of some updates).

While Syllabus Explorer can be helpful in choosing courses, Curricle is downright weird. But not to fear, for there’s a better solution out there. A student-made course-finder called QGuide+ is very simple, but devastatingly effective. It goes through the most recent QGuide data on a course, and allows you to filter courses by workload and overall Q rating after you’ve typed in a few keywords. If you’ve ever wished you could just search the Q guide instead of the course catalog, this is what you’ve been waiting for.

This, as many of you may now be thinking, makes it really easy to find easier courses — also known as gems. Jack. Freaking. Pot. In fact, QGuide+ prides itself on being the “Best Gem Finder.” If you have a tough workload and are looking for a more relaxed fourth class, rest assured that finding a gem is much easier with this tool. Other features on the site allow you to filter by the number of Q evaluations a course has received and the general education requirement(s) a course fulfills.

Creators Benny Chang ’22 and Blake D. Young ’22 say that the project started over J-term when Young “was thinking about what classes to take.” First, Chang and Young worked on collecting the data that was necessary for several weeks. Then it was time to build the website. Seemingly surprised by how quickly they put the whole thing together, Chang chuckled and said that they had created the entire website “probably within the past week.”

“We just figured it was something people wanted, and we did it,” said Chang.

The project started out as an extension of CS50, which both Chang and Young took in the fall.

Young said, “We both took CS50, and that basically taught me some tools necessary to learn the basics of Python. From that I built a chess bot.” From there, Young wanted to do some more “practical things.” Hence, a course search website with filters that Harvard students actually care about (like workload and Q rating). David Malan, if you’re reading this, just look at the wonders that CS50 can do.

According to Chang and Young, the reactions have generally been very positive (duh). In the future, they plan to add features to make the website more user-friendly.

Head to the QGuide+ and happy course searching!

How To Use Harvard's New Course Selection Tools

Stores close, weather turns even worse, but that’s not the only way Harvard has changed while you were gone this winter. I’ve been reliably informed that there are two new official tools to help you decide what classes to take as we hurtle into shopping week! (I say “reliably informed” and not “told by Mike Burke” because apparently I deleted his email.) One is Syllabus Explorer, which looks like a refined version of the my.harvard Search function. The other is Curricle, which is still in beta mode and is also supposed to...do that same thing? Since it’s possible that, like this writer, you missed these tools, Flyby has the deets on how they work and whether you should try them out.

Search Syllabi

The most valuable thing is Syllabus Explorer’s ability to search, well, syllabi of all the classes here running back a few years. If you’ve always wanted to study a specific topic, writer, or piece of work but struggled to find something related to it in the course catalog, this is a much easier way to go about it. Of course, the moment I had Syllabus Explorer pulled up I forgot everything I’ve ever wanted to study… so it’s only as effective as you are. And the more specific you are, the better. A search for “feminism” calls up the top 214 results, and though some of those aren’t available this semester that’s still a lot to go through.

Sort by Semester

It’s not immediately obvious that Syllabus Explorer also allows you to look at your search results, but you can click on ‘Term’ to sort as most recent first. There will still be quite a few pages to click through, if you have a vague or broad query, but it’s better than the default, which sorts by relevance.

Similar Classes?

Another cool function Syllabus Explorer has is that it can suggest similar classes to any one you look up. If you have a certain thread you want to return to in your noble academic quest, this seems like a great way to find more classes on the same subject. It’s unclear on what basis the website deems classes to be similar, but it looks believable enough.

Mike Burke, What is Curricle?

You might wonder why most of this article has touched on Syllabus Explorer and not Curricle. This is because the latter is...perplexing.

Gregory Nagy's Connections on Curricle
Gregory Nagy's 'Network' on Curricle
It has some cool graphics, and it is still in beta, but it’s unclear how helpful it’ll be. A lot of it is certainly interesting data — like the instructor networks tab — but it’s not immediately useful in terms of shopping week. Watch that space, maybe?

Harvard seems to have finally heard our complaints about the archaic loading times of my.harvard, but the search for a replacement may not be as straightforward as it seems. Good luck out there this shopping week!

5 Fascinating MIT Courses for Cross-Registration

Shopping week is a time to explore Harvard’s extensive course offerings, but as it turns out, you don’t have to stop at Harvard. Whether you are just curious at the prospect or want to be able to say you went to both Harvard and MIT, MIT Cross-Registration is for you! Be sure to check out these unparalleled, fun courses just down Mass Ave:

MIT 6.00: Introduction to Computer Science Programming in Python

If you missed the CS50 bandwagon in the fall, catch MIT’s version, offered in both the spring and the fall. “Python and the practical approach of the course made it easy to learn coding,” says Michael Gritzbach ’18. Although this course has a steep learning curve, some students prefer a more in-depth approach to one language over CS50’s six.

MIT 21G.012: Exploring Globalization through Chinese Food

Explore global developments in migration and transnational business through the lens of Chinese food. The class’s main project is maintaining a blog, so record your findings by perusing cookbooks, taking a walking tour of Boston’s Chinatown, and concluding the semester with an authentic Chinese cooking workshop!

MIT 2.00B: Toy Product Design

Get a chance to work the MIT Mechanical Engineering Department’s fun toy design lab! After learning the theory behind what makes a toy click, you can design, construct and market a toy in groups. Give playsentations (play presentation) iat the end of the term! Embrace your inner child, and remember that it doesn’t have to be plastic to be a toy.

MIT 6.163: Strobe Project Laboratory

Use high-speed cameras to capture some of the coolest videos you’ll ever see in your life. The goal of this class is to “learn the application of electronic flash sources to measurement and photography.” Though you’ll need the equivalent of MIT’s Physics II as a prerequisite, being in this laboratory is bound to be worth it.

MIT 12.011: Archeological Science

This one-semester course at MIT considers the ecology at various stages in prehistory, man-nature interactions, and case studies on ancient technologies. This course is open to students at many Boston universities.

Even if you’re already sMITten, there are a few keep in mind when cross-registering:

  1. Be ready before the earlier registration deadline and Add/Drop date (This year, it’s February 1 and February 11).

  2. Going to office hours every day for extra help may not be an option since MIT is even farther away than the quad (a shocker, we know).

  3. Think twice about cross-registering during senior spring. Since MIT’s term ends after Harvard’s, grades may not be available in time for graduation.

  4. If you need to drop a class, be sure to follow Harvard’s procedures (Harvard will inform MIT).

Enjoy the prospective bi-weekly escape from the Harvard Bubble!

The Five Types of Harvard Pedestrians

One of the most unexpectedly stressful parts of going to Harvard is crossing the street. No matter where you live, you just can’t avoid this high-stakes task, even when you’re heading to an interview or midterm that’s nerve wracking enough on its own. While this everyday nightmare is something that all students must face, we all go about it in our own way. So, what’s your pedestrian style?

The Sheep

Once upon a time, you knew how to “look left” and “look right”, but now you look straight ahead at other pedestrians, trust their judgment, and cross when they cross. People accuse you of being a lazy follower, but you know this is a genius strategy to make others do the mental labor of deciding when to cross.

The Reckless

Drivers and bikers tremble in fear when they sense your aura nearby. You look both ways before crossing, but you cross no matter what you see coming your way, forcing someone to hurriedly hit the brakes. You make eye contact with the poor driver through the windshield and smirk at them as you walk by. You are either absolutely fearless or just running late. Nothing like relishing in the knowledge that you are going to lead a Sheep to disaster one day.

The Indecisive

A string of cars are coming, or maybe that red hand on the traffic light is flashing for the last few times. You can’t tell if there’s time to make it across and decide to wait it out. When you realize that you totally could have gone four seconds ago, you suddenly bolt across the street without thinking. Some driver gets annoyed and honks at you, and you anxiously replay that moment in your head for the rest of the day.

The Slowest Walker On The Planet

You cover ground more slowly than Ice Age glaciers did. As you amble across the street, other pedestrians stream past you. Sometimes you walk slowly because you’re going someplace you don’t want to be, but usually, this is just who you are.

The Orderly

You wait when you’re supposed to wait, walk at a reasonable pace, smile at strangers, wave at babies, and say excuse me. You deserve nothing but excellent pedestrian experiences, but somehow unfortunate things keep happening to you. Your phone falls, your coffee spills, cars splash you, or your foot gets stuck in an uncovered hole in the road. Why is the world so unfair?

If you’re going to cross the street every day in Cambridge, you might as well do it with some personal flair. Go forth and travel safely from destination to destination!

How the ‘Dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education’ Tried to Scam a Kennedy School Professor

HGSE Dean Scam: The First Email
Poor Dean Long needs those gift cards very badly
It seems as though faculty would be used to receiving questionable emails at this point — after all, we’ve all written our fair share of late night, sleep deprived pleas for extensions. However, it seems as though the senders of these odd exchanges aren’t limited to students. Apparently, Bridget Terry Long — the dean of Harvard Graduate School of Education — was the latest Harvard figure to try to scam University faculty members.

Last week, Harvard Kennedy School professor Joshua S. Goodman ’00 received an email from a Gmail account claiming to be Long:

The two question marks really makes it seem urgent (and really gives off “I’m the Dean of the GSE” vibes). Well-played, “Dean Long.”

Seeing that the email came from a Gmail account, Goodman wanted to “play it cool.”

Good effort, Professor Goodman, but if the combination of “Yes” and “what’s up?” gives off any “play it cool” vibe, it’s my grandpa’s.

“Dean Long” told Goodman she was “in a meeting” and couldn’t use her phone. She needed Goodman to get her an Amazon gift card from the store immediately!

Goodman played along for a while, and even asked “Dean Long” to verify her identity by telling him a very specific piece of academic information.

To be honest, playing the “look how smart I am, I’m a Harvard professor” card on a scammer is just kind of sad. I’m starting to wish the scammer had actually succeeded.

Regardless, Goodman eventually informed the phisher that he knew this was a scam and that he would be keeping the $500 worth of gift cards for himself. What did he spend it on? Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches? Academic studies to flaunt? Give us some more ideas in the comments.

But the phisher was persistent and kept up the act. Twenty-six hours later and “Dean Long” was apparently STILL stuck in a meeting…on a Saturday. Is the academic life really THAT tough?

After a meeting that lasted 24 hours, $500 spent on gift cards, and the flexing of academic muscles on an email scammer, “Dean Long” finally stopped writing.

As for (the actual) Dean Long herself, she responded on Twitter by reassuring the world that the emails were not from her and that it was, in fact, a scammer.

Long joins a group of illustrious faculty members — including former University President Drew “Pay Me Money to Speak at Commencement” Faust — who have been impersonated by scammers looking to swindle academics for their money. We hope she enjoys this distinct honor.

A link to the full Twitter thread can be found here.

The Weirdest Theses: Nuggets of Gold from the Archives

Sumire Hirotsuru's Senior Thesis Recital
You might not have a thesis this creative, but there are ways you can spice things up...
You thought coming up with a topic for your 10 page expos paper was hard? Try coming up with a topic for an entire thesis. For all you poor souls out there who are scrambling for thesis ideas, we dug through the archives to remind you that not everyone comes up with the most “serious” thesis titles — and apparently, that’s okay. Because these examples literally won prizes.

Give Me Burning.

No context. Is “Burning” a thing, a person, or a place? Can you give someone the action of burning? Titles are supposed to preface the topic of the whole thesis, but we have so many questions and so few answers.

Clickbait.

Ah, clickbait. We love it. We hate it. YouTubers can’t live without it. This thesis has no further explanation in the title; it’s just titled “Clickbait.” If that’s not the literal definition of thesis clickbait, then we don’t know what is.

Can You Just Not.

Can we not? We’re not sure what this thesis is even about, but we had to put it in here just to show how much you can get away with when writing your thesis. Title it whatever your heart desires. Or you can just not.

Vanitas: The Harvard Indifference Epidemic and the Mysterious Med. Fac. Society, 1818-1905.

We love a play on veritas. We think it’s veri-clever. But Harvard students? Vain and indifferent? We could never, but apparently someone spent an entire year writing about the epidemic of Harvard students’ indifference. Whatever.

Drop Out Like It's Hot: Analyzing the Impact of State-Level Legislation on School Completion Rates

We can tell this was written recently. Puns are definitely the best way to title a thesis that only a handful of people will end up reading. Might as well make it funny.

According to these incredible thesis titles, nothing is off-limits when it comes to writing and titling a senior thesis. You don’t even have to give context. Have fun seniors, and if you don’t, remember you can always drop out like it’s hot ;)

What It’s Like to be Quarantined at Harvard

UHS
HUHS daddies us in quarantine.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be medically quarantined at Harvard? Maybe you’ve heard horror stories, or maybe you’re heard how it’s the best thing that could ever happen to you. Lucky for you, this Flyby writer was in quarantine, so here’s some ~investigative~ (if you can call being held somewhere by force "investigative") reporting on all the deets of medical quarantine at Harvard:

The Room

HUHS put me in a DeWolfe room (flashback to my freshman dorm). It’s technically a double, though I am isolated in here, so there are two beds in the bedroom. The other room is a common room. It’s also pretty spacious — I’ve got two desks and two chairs, a fridge, and an oven, though the oven is pretty much useless. I think I’m also supposed to have a couch, but I walked in to find a cryptic note left on one of the desks:

“Hi! We borrowed your couch. Security said it was okay if we left this note.” - The room across the hall.

Considering the note was covered in dust, I doubt “borrow” was the right word, but okay, I guess. I still have two beds.

Rules

You can’t go to class. You can’t have visitors over. In fact, they close the door and don’t give you a key — meaning if you leave, you’re screwed. When you pick up stuff outside of your room, you have to wear a mask. For the days you’re in quarantine, you can’t even leave the room you’re in. (Don’t worry, they provide you a room with a bathroom.) You may be wondering — what about food?

Meals

All your food has to come from HUDS — you can’t order from anywhere else. This is honestly the worst part of quarantine. No Poke for five days is a living hell, yes, but at least you’re not infecting anybody. You have to order the next day’s meals by 7:30 p.m, and you can order anything from the grille or the HUDS menu. They bring it to your door and basically ding-dong ditch you. They knock, leave the food in a bag, and run away for fear of catching whatever it is you have. It’s kind of funny, to be honest.

Check-ins

Nurses call you twice a day to see how you’re doing. Word also spreads quickly, so you also get tons of calls from friends and family. But the most interesting call you’ll get is from the Cambridge Public Health Department, who will try to figure out where you got the disease and who you could potentially give it to.

Snacks

Honestly, Harvard hooks you up pretty well with snacks when you’re in quarantine. They gave me 9 packs of Goldfish, a whole box of granola bars, pudding, chicken soup, 5 bottles of water, and 10 bottles of red Gatorade. (Blue would’ve been too good to be true, but luckily I order blue powerade from HUDS every day.) You can also call Securitas, and they can make an effort to get anything else that you want. I’ve made it a habit to say that my snacks are "looking like a snack" today before eating them...has a lack of human contact already driven me crazy? You decide!

Materials

You can bring stuff from your dorm room before you head into quarantine. I brought more bottled water, all my schoolwork, my laptop, and my phone. They suggest you bring bedding and your work, but not to worry, they also provide you with things. Here’s a list of everything they gave me:

Shampoo
Soap
Towels
Mattress cover
Sheets
Blankets
Pillows
Medicine
Toilet Paper
Trash bags

Also I have two beds, so I made a megabed. Yep. I have a megabed.

So...is it really that bad? As I eat Goldfish in bed, am in limited pain because of a lot of Advil and Tylenol, and bingewatch Netflix, I really can’t complain.

Why You Should Say No to Winternships

Snow Dusted Trees
Do you really want to choose to hang around in this?
Walking through campus you may hear some people talking about “winternships” — the strange time over winter break when some people choose to work instead of relax. But let’s face it, winter break is for taking a much needed mental break and catching up on Netflix (and non-HUDS calories), not for overloading yourself so as to only come back just as stressed as you left.

Do Some Ec10

Before you start considering the prospects of working over winter break, take a moment to do a cost benefit analysis, weighing the benefits of relaxation with the short-lived internship that most likely will not be a fulfilling experience. Just think, would you rather be sipping some hot cocoa and sleeping in, or spending a few weeks continuing the stress that you experienced during all of the fall semester?

Know Yourself, Love Yourself

While some may want to try something new with their internship, or hope to add another few lines to their resume, don’t be tempted to pursue this opportunity just for the sake of following the rest of the crowd. You do you. Recognizing that you need some alone time or some time away from anything remotely related to school is not a bad thing. Just think, after a month at home, you can come back refreshed and ready to take on the spring.

Home. Cooked. Food.

Would you rather be toiling away in a boring office in Boston and living on ramen from your microfridge or eating all the delicious snacks your family makes? Need we say more?

All in all, make the right choice for you. Sure, you can work at a startup or continue conducting research, but keep in mind the benefits of the time you can spend recharging this break. Say no to winternships and end this tragedy before it begins.

Sucking Up to Professors

OH
Ah, office hours...your new home.
You may be realizing that you’re not shaping up to be the academic superstar you aspired to be. Maybe your professor didn’t absolutely love the essay you wrote in the 30 minutes before it was due, or maybe you’ve just realized that participation counts for 30% of your grade in the seminar you sleep through. Fear not, though: this is a perfect time to turn your academics around. It’s late enough in the semester that your professor has started to think about who’s going to be getting A’s but not so late that your efforts will be immediately recognized as blatant brown-nosing. So if you’re looking to make sure your professor recognizes your name without a grimace when grades are due, here are a few ideas to get a head start:

Do the readings before you go to office hours

There is no worse feeling than smugly asking some super-insightful question only to be informed that the answer was fully covered in the readings for Week 3. While one really easy way to avoid this awkward situation is to just not go to office hours, you can also benefit from literally just skimming the materials before showing up. You don’t need to do any hard work, either. Just move your eyes over the section headings and make sure you’re asking something vaguely new-ish.

Basic Social Skills

Yes, it’s incredibly unfair for your professor to insist on meeting at 9 a.m. on the Monday after Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean you should give into your (totally valid) urges to scowl at the ground for the entire 75 minutes. Just smiling at your professor when you make eye contact — or asking them how their holiday weekend went — can improve their sentiment towards you by a ton. And besides, when they’re deciding final grades, would you rather they think back to the time you complimented their shirt or the time they caught you glaring when you thought they weren’t looking?

Show the TFs Some Love

Being a teaching fellow seems like the literal worst job ever, but you have the power to make it better for them! Showing some interest in your TF beyond which answers they’re allowed to give you for the problem set or how they’re going to be grading next week’s project can have a big impact on their experience and — transitively — your grades. Does your TF perform independent research? What degree are they pursuing? Are they having relationship problems that you can relate to? Now’s the time to take them out for coffee and find out!

Suck Up Creatively

Now that classroom-to-table is out of money, you’re going to have to think of some new venues for feigning interest in your professor’s research. The sky's the limit here: ask them to take a walk with you, schedule a meeting, or offer to pay for their dinner. Or work your “college-student budget” into conversation often enough that they offer to pay (this happens more often than you might think).

No matter whether you’re aiming to get a rec letter or just some decent grades out of this semester, your professor can be one of your biggest supporters and allies. Good luck making some new friends!

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