The blog of The Harvard Crimson

Burst the Bubble: Sept. 28 - Sept. 30

Oyster feens: Boy, do we have the event for you.
Midterms may be just around the corner, but with the weather still hovering in the mid 60s, now is the time to explore Boston. Take advantage of Boston’s T system (only $2.25/ride!) and impress your Monday class acquaintances when you actually have something not-boring to talk about during the inevitable “how was your weekend” small talk.


10th Annual Oyster Festival

If you for some reason enjoy the slimy nuggets of seafood known as oysters (no judgment here), head to Legal Harborside this weekend for an abundance of oyster preparations. This event runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. all weekend, so take advantage of tasty seafood and enjoy the company of fellow oyster-lovers!


Free Fall Cruise to Spectacle Island

If you like cruises and you’re not afraid of an earlyish morning, join the Spectacle Island Cruise hosted by Save the Harbour this Saturday. Check in at the World Trade Center dock at 9:45 a.m., and the cruise will get you back to Boston at 2:30 p.m. You’ll have some time to explore the island, so this could be a perfect blocking group adventure/date/romantic picnic, or anything in between!


Women’s Market

A Women’s Market will be held at District Hall this Sunday from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. The market boasts “30+ womxn makers and artists” and admission is free, so this could be a great opportunity to get a head start on holiday gifts or just explore some fun creations. Plus, there are interactive booths for headshots, collage, beading, and henna, so it’s sure to be a good time!

We hate to burst your bubble, but Harvard isn’t the entire world. Go forth and burst the Harvard bubble with these Boston events!

Shilpa Tummala: Harvard’s Youngest Proctor

Tummala graduated in 2016, after a stellar undergraduate career as a student-athlete.

We all remember the dismay when, as soon as you were liberated from your parents during Opening Days, you meet your proctor. Proctors, practically the first line of defense against underage drinking and excessive partying, play a crucial role in the freshman experience. And while you may only think of your proctor as out-of-touch and out-dated (some are parents, for heaven’s sake), we contend that not all proctors are complete killjoys. To demonstrate, we sat down with recent graduate, Shilpa Tummala ’16, Harvard’s youngest and coolest proctor.

Have you ever been mistaken for a student?

“Yes, multiple times!” Gesturing at her Harvard Athletics jacket, Tummala, who played varsity basketball for four years, admitted. “Although I’m sure it has a lot to do with my attire.”

What are the advantages of being the youngest proctor?

“I think it goes without saying, but the age helps with connecting to my residents! Since I was only an undergraduate two years ago, I totally understand the struggle.”

What are the disadvantages of being the youngest proctor?

“It’s hard to be seen as legitimate sometimes. When I tried to shut down a party in Weld, they had no idea who I was. They literally tried to invite me in!”

Looking back, what's one thing you did as an undergraduate that you would now prohibit as a proctor?

After a moment of silence, Tummala laughed off the question. “I can’t really answer that question! But Harvard is a great place — I seriously love it here. Not only is it a place of growth but also a place of protection. Proctors try to encourage their students to experiment.”

Yeah. Sure. Whatever that means.

During our time with Tummala, we were reminded of the importance of our proctors. So even if they've already busted a few of your dorm parties this year, go to their study break and show your proctor some love.

The Ultimate Test: Will Your Freshman Roomie Bond Last?

Essentially, if you're considerate and clean, you will succeed, like these freshmen besties.
Now that you’re all settled in, you’re probably ready to tie the knot...on some friendship bracelets with your roomie. Careful — the honeymoon phase is deceptive...commit any of the following felonies, and you might find things going bitter-suite.

Not to alarm you…

but if one of you lets the alarm ring more than five times, instead of waking up, you’ll find yourself at your own wake.

Futons weren’t made to be used a fu-ton

We get it — sometimes you need the double (for academic purposes only, of course). But if you kick out your roommate every night so you can “study,” you’re more likely to get blocked than blocked with.

Get out of my hair!

Leave too much hair lying around on the floor and your freshman roomie bond might vanish into thin (h)air.

Some food for thought…

We all know that HUDS has some questionable menu items, like Red’s Best Fish (if this is their best fish, we don’t wanna see their worst fish), so you might be tempted to bring a Tupperware or two for that delicious salmon, but leave that Tupperware anywhere but in the fridge, please.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

"Borrow” something without asking? You might find yourself (black and) blue, and needing to find friends anew.

How to Up Your Common Room Decor

Achieve this level of cute common room #goals.

We know some of you still haven’t decorated your common room, and, let’s be honest, we haven’t really either. Not to worry, because we’ve rounded up the quickest ways to make your room #goals.


For a complete ~lewk~ go on Pinterest and find a dorm room to essentially copy. You know you wouldn’t be able to come up with a better one on your own.

Hang up Twinkle Lights

A key component of any of the aforementioned Pinterest rooms, twinkle lights easily spruce up a space. They add a really cozy vibe, and look nice in photos!

Buy a Succulent

Succulents have lots of pros: they look nice and are almost as easy to take care of as a fake plant, but have the added bonus of not being a fake plant. And if you’re like us and manage to kill one, they’re relatively inexpensive.

Use Your Bookshelf

Most people ignore the pesky Harvard-provided bookshelves because they can take up space, but we’re here to tell you not to! Even if it’s just with your required reading and textbooks, filling up your bookshelf makes the room look more homey.

Print photos at CVS

If a wall collage of all the most adorbs photos of you and your blockmates/ roommates is more your style, you can go online (or just go in-store!) and order and print photographs at CVS for reasonably cheap. They almost always have a promotion going on where if you order a certain amount, you get them for a reduced price!

Spice up your life and decorate your common space! You’ll thank us later when your friends and family assume you have your life together because of it.

Superpowers Harvard Students Wish They Had

We all wish we could dunk...and fly, like this guy.

Harvard students may have a lot going for them — brains, intellect, wit, the ability to come up with synonyms — but there are definitely areas of their lives that could be drastically improved if they had some superpowers to help them out. Here are just a few that Harvard students are desperately in need of.

The power to find love

It’s not heart to believe that the satisfaction of completing a pset or turning in an essay can only fill the gaping holes in our hearts for so long. Some of us would love to go on a date before we become as wrinkled as a date.

The power to manipulate time

Step one: make Harvard Time a thing again so dhall lunch will no longer be a foreign concept. Talk about no longer being ticked off.

The power to alter your taste buds

This would be a tasteful power for the days when the HUDS menu just isn’t cooperating with your cravings...

The power of invisibility

This is for the inevitable moment when you drop your tray in the dhall and want the ground to swallow you up. Also a useful superpower if you get cold-called in class and don’t want to feel like a total phony.

The power to fly

No longer having to trek to and from the Quad would be a fly superpower. Also, if your grades aren’t soaring, at least you still can!

Burst the Bubble: Sept. 21 - Sept. 23

Whether you're an OEB concentrator, or have never done a pset in your life, you'll enjoy the Museum of Science's (FREE) College Night, with live animal shows and other exhibits.

As Harvard students, we’re lucky enough to live just few T stops away from the incredible city of Boston. As great as that is, it’s all too common to get stuck in the “Harvard Bubble” and go about your days (and years!) without ever leaving the Square. However, if you’re looking to see something other than the Smith Campus Center this weekend, there’s plenty to do if you’re willing to burst the bubble.


College Night @ The Museum of Science

Admission to the Museum of Science in Boston is usually $28, but this Friday from 5-9 p.m., the museum is holding “College Night” where you can get in free with your HUID! There will be live animal shows, Boston Duck Tours, and something called the Theater of Electricity, among other exhibits, so it’s sure to be a fun time. Gather some blockmates or entrywaymates and take advantage of this night at the museum!


Fluff the 13th @ Davis Square

Every town likes to celebrate its great inventors and their inventions, and lucky for us, Somerville was once home to Archibald Query (what a name), the inventor of Fluff (a.k.a. marshmallow cream). Every year, Somerville pays tribute to him with a Fluff-themed festival, which involves more marshmallow fluff than most people have ever encountered in their lives. If this sounds like your scene, head to Davis Square this Saturday from 3-7 p.m, and you might never think of Fluff in the same way again.


Dumpling Festival @ Central Flea Market

This event is in Cambridge so is it really bursting the bubble? Idk, but dumplings are great, and it’s even within walking distance. This Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., 15 different restaurants and food trucks will be serving up dumplings of all types to hungry market-goers. This event is hosted at the weekly Central Square Flea Market, so in addition to the dumplings there will be over 90 vendors selling just about everything handmade and/or vintage that you can imagine.

We hate to burst your bubble, but Harvard is not the entire world. So go forth and burst the Harvard bubble with these events!

We Hate the New Schedule Too

Drew Faust's clock in front of a crimson wall is the official mascot of the Harvard Time campaign.

As if going back to the routine of school weren’t hard enough, this year we also had to get used to a completely new schedule. The administration was already notorious for being out of touch with students, but this time they’ve really outdone themselves by rearranging everyone’s lives. Adding to the chorus of the Crimson's Staff Editorial, and every student ever, here’s why we need to bring back Harvard Time:

75-minute classes? Really?

Sitting in lecture or dealing with section kid for barely 53 minutes was already torture. Now, we’re expected to be on time and not fall asleep while listening to the prof drone on for over an hour.

You get to class way too early

If you have two classes near each other, you’ll probably be super early to class. Not only is this a huge waste of time; it also puts you in a predicament. Do you stand outside the door, or go in and make awkward small talk for ten minutes? Choose wisely: The last time I arrived to class on the hour, a freshman in a Hollis t-shirt with a lanyard hanging out of his pocket tried to shake my hand.

You can’t show off your cute outfits anymore

Trust me, this is a real concern. Now that passing time is twice as long, you run into way fewer people on the way to class. Once the Allston campus starts functioning and the student population becomes more spread out, the situation will worsen and looking nice for class will be pointless.

Section times don’t match up to the new schedule

While everyone seems to have adjusted to the new times, it looks like TFs didn’t get the memo. Section from 10 to 11? Impossible; class starts at 10:30. Since there are fewer blocks in the day, most sections end up being scheduled for early in the morning or weird times in the afternoon when everyone would rather nap.

Above all, we’ve been robbed of the opportunity to be douchey and refer to “Harvard Time” as an excuse for tardiness when not at Harvard. Maybe we should just start being 15 minutes early to everything.

Freshmen: What We Wish We Knew

LamCaf is for flirting, not working.

We know that things are pretty confusing first-year fall. That’s why we’re here to give you the wisdom we wish we had. Pay attention, people; this content could make or break your year.

Wandering around the Yard does NOT count as “going out.”

Don’t worry, it gets better. Or we at least have to hope it does.

That party in Canaday WILL get busted.

Beware the ever-dreaded “proc-knock.”

Don’t date your First Chance Dance makeout.

Do not let your initial mistakes dictate your whole freshman year. What happens in the Northwest basement should stay there.

No one cares that you were valedictorian.

So stop dropping it “discreetly” into conversation.

LamCaf is for flirting, not working.

If the cute sophomore from math wants to pset in LamCaf, it’s a date.

You will get cut from HCCG.

But not all hope is lost—comp Flyby!

Your high school friend's Instagrams look like they're having way more fun than they actually are.

Never trust social media. No one has a raging social life at the beginning of freshman year.

Don't do homework for your freshman seminar.

There will be plenty of opportunities to be a try-hard later. We promise.

Your roommate is not paying you back for the fridge…

...or the microwave, for that fact. 

Never go to Annenberg between 11:45 and 12 pm.

Or after Ec10.

Print this out and tape it to your door. Do whatever you need to do to impress these difficult messages upon yourself.

How To Do Massachusetts Apple Picking Right

Fall is creeping up on us, so if apple-picking fantasies haven’t hit you yet, I hate to break it to you: you’re not basic enough. Considered to be one of the most wholesome activities of all time (and a core college experience), it’s impossible not to fall in love with apple picking. Read on to find out how to make your apple-picking experience applesolutely amazing!

“Honey, I’m home...and we’re going apple picking!”

Even though neither peaches nor cherries are currently available for picking here, your fall semester is not complete without a pit stop at Honey Pot Hill Orchards. From fruit picking to hay rides to farm animals, it’s not (orc)hard to choose Honey Pot Hill Orchards. (No, they are not sponsoring this article.)

Apple picking? I thought we were apple pic-ing!

If you truly want to capture the full apple picking experience, I can tell you right now that there is no better lighting nor a more radiant backdrop than that found in an apple orchard. Pro tip: to make your photo shoot wishes come true, rub that apple like a genie’s lamp for a gleaming apple to match your million-watt smile.

Butter up your apple-picking squad! bringing your own butter. To truly have a delicious (albeit extra) experience, come armed with a knife and your favorite cookie butter/peanut butter/almond butter selection with which you can dip your freshly picked apples.

Con-cider yourself an expert.

Don’t forget to grab some apple cider donuts and a bottle of apple cider to savor as you amble through the whimsical apple orchard to get the full autumn experience. Warning: don’t eat too many apples or you might get autumny-ache.

PSA: Late Night at the Harvard Art Museums

Harvard has more museums than most of us can keep track of, so they’ve resorted to hosting enticing events to get overcommitted undergrads to visit. Luckily that means free food and entertainment, and this Thursday (that's tomorrow night!) the Harvard Art Museums will truly be doing the most at their Student Late Night event. Here's what's on offer:

Live DJ

Think art museums are boring? Think again. The museum is going so far as to bring in an actual DJ so that you can “hear the museum in new ways.” If you’ve ever wanted to rave in an art museum, this is an opportunity of a lifetime, as the MFA might not take too kindly to you blasting your Drake while browsing Donatello’s works.

Classy Snax

For those looking to appreciate the classy side of the museum, fear not: fancy desserts and mocktails will be served so that you can pretend to be a posh Parisian while you peruse the galleries (to the background music of the DJ, of course).

More Free Things

If free food isn’t enough to get you there, the Art Museums are also promising free stuff in the form of raffle prizes and giveaways.

Quirky Exhibit

If you're into ancient animal-shaped vessels, or if you consider yourself a god, hero, or king who enjoys feasting (likely a larger swath of the Harvard student population), then be sure to check out the featured special exibition: "Animal-Shaped Vessels from the Ancient World: Feasting with Gods, Heroes, and Kings."

Pretentious Dorm Art

Finally, the Late Night event is the perfect time to learn about the Harvard Art Museums’ Student Print Rental Program, through which you can rent an original print from the museum to hang in your dorm room for a small fee. Nothing says “I have my life totally and completely under control” more than real art in your dorm room, especially during family weekend.

No matter where your interests lie, there’s no reason not to head to the Harvard Art Museums from 8-10 p.m. this Thursday for a study break filled with free food, free stuff, and free music!

First Year Guide to Laundry

The sign of a put-together adult.

In the frantic chaos of college packing, your parents might have tried to tell you how to do laundry, only for it to be lost in the shuffle. Unfortunately, now that you’ve finally made it, there’s suddenly no one to do your laundry (unless, of course, you want to splurge on door delivery). Since you ignored everyone’s attempts to teach you (whoops), at this point you can’t exactly go groveling back for advice. That’s where we come in: here’s our official guide to doing your laundry at Harvard.

Laundry ain't free

In fact, it’s $1.50 for the washer and another $1.50 for the dryer, so prepare to spend your coffee money on laundry instead. You can pay for this using quarters, or you can simply load Crimson Cash onto your Harvard ID. Just make sure you swipe the narrow strip of your ID at the little black box in the laundry room and you’re good to go. And after you swipe to pay for it, don’t forget to go back and press the start button on the machine! (We have made this mistake before, and have had to pay another regrettable $1.50.) 

Rub a dub dub

Laundry machines don’t come with magical soap included, so you’ll have to spring for that as well. If you’ve brought some Tide Pods with you to snack on, good news: they can also be used for laundry! Just pop one or two right in the washer, and you’re ready to wash. For liquid detergent, pour a capful into the detergent drawer along the top of the washer.

To separate or not to separate

If you have white or bright-colored clothing that you care a lot about, you’ll probably want to separate your laundry into whites/brights and darker colors before you wash so that the colors don’t bleed. If you, like the average college student, can’t be bothered to do two separate loads, that’s perfectly fine. No judgement, just wash it all together on cold.

Tick tock on the clock 

The Harvard washers take about 35 minutes and the dryers take about an hour. If you leave your laundry in the washer or dryer for more than a few hours, you’re well on your way to making laundry enemies instead of laundry buddies. Do yourself a favor and just set a timer on your phone. There’s also a helpful site called LaundryView which lets you see which machines are in use and how much time they have left—just search for Harvard Undergraduate Housing on the “find your school” page and look for your dorm.

Hint o’ lint

Lastly, before you throw your clothes in the dryer, make sure to check and clean off the lint screen just inside the door of the dryer. If the screens don’t get cleaned periodically, all of the fuzz from your clothes can build up, leading to damp clothes or even dryer fires (yikes). Pro tip: if you don’t want to get your fingers all up in dust, lint, and whatever else is on the clothes of your whole dorm, carry a card to scrape the screen with. 

While laundry may not be among the most exciting of activities that Harvard has to offer, your roommates and the rest of the world will appreciate it if you do your due diligence. There’s no use in letting it pile up, so gather up your hampers, load that Crimson Cash, and ready your Tide Pods: it’s laundry time.

Dude That's Rude: First Years

Taking a selfie with your newly-formed friend group may be okay at Convocation, but not in the middle of the Yard when the rest of us are trying to get to class.

We’ve all committed these classic newbie offenses early on in our Harvard careers. But now we’re no longer so naive, and instead, we are very jaded and tired. You’ll understand in a few months. But for now, try not to be one of these rude kids:

The Sidewalk Block

You have to get to the class you’re shopping, the party your friend with the upperclassman connection tells you that you just have to go to, or one of the twelve extracurriculars you signed up for at the activities fair. We get it, there are a lot of buildings on campus and you haven’t been here for very long. But for the love of Gregory Mankiw (or as you first years think of him, God) please don’t stop in the middle of the sidewalk, blocking everyone, to discuss directions with your newly inseparable group of friends. 

The Loud, the Drunk, and the Obnoxious

You’re singing when you leave the Igloo at 2 a.m. with your roomies. College is truly the best time of your life, and no one can bring you down, not while you’re at your optimal buzz. Unfortunately, people do live in the Quad and around all the other party spaces, and your spot-on rendition of In My Feelings by Drake is not exactly music to our ears.

The Keychain Carrier

You worked so hard to get into Harvard, and now that you’re here you feel the need to rep your school with the keychain that totally would never be available to people who go here. However, if you’re walking around here with a backpack, we know you go here, and using the lanyard is now the equivalent of tattooing the word freshman across your forehead. You are not at summer camp anymore, please get a new keychain or carry it in a less conspicuous spot.

So if you recognize yourself in these descriptions, do yourself, and the rest of us, a favor and stop. Let this be the last time we have to tell you: Dude, that’s rude.

Last-Minute Gems

As shopping week comes to a close, you might be panicking because you’re overloading on too many hard classes or haven’t found that schedule balance yet. Never fear, because Flyby is here to help! Take a look below at some of Harvard’s gem-iest (meaning easiest) gen-eds —  perfect filler classes for an easy time and a wholesome take on valuable education.

The Ancient Greek Hero: Mythology and Facing Death

With a 2.3 hour workload per week, it’s hard to find a course more gemmy than this one. For class assignments, all you have to do is write five “creative” papers, each no more than a page or two. Other than that, just sit back and enjoy the mythical teachings of this almost mythical class with the legendary Greg Nagy!

The Incas: The Last Great Empire of Pre-Columbian South America

Learn about one of the great ancient civilizations of the world while relaxing for most of the semester! With one midterm, two short mid-semester assignments, and a take-home final, this course will certainly fit well with your otherwise hectic schedule. “The Incas” fulfills Societies of the World, Study of the Past, and even United States in the World.

SWEDISH AA: Beginning Swedish Language and Literature

If you need to fulfill your language requirement, take a look at introductory Swedish! With a low hourly workload (4.2 hours) compared to other languages and a series of raving reviews in the comments section of the Q guide, you should certainly check out out this language gem. As one reviewer put it, this class is “SO GOOD, YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.” 

The British Empire

Want something that boasts a light workload yet provides genuinely interesting material? As the course catalogue puts it, this class “surveys the empire's extraordinary rise and fall from the American Revolution to World War II.” With so many extraordinary events and cultural legacies covered in this class, you will learn a great deal of valuable history. Beware however: The class is lotteried, so enroll quickly!

Zig Zag Over to Zambrero

It’s almost 11 a.m., so you better stop what you’re doing, leave the class you’re shopping, and zig zag across Harvard Square to get to Zambrero on 71 Mt. Auburn Street. The “healthy Mexican” chain with a strange name ending in -o (not to be confused with Boloco, which previously occupied the same spot), is offering up 1,000 FREE BURRITOS today. The offer will be on until they close at 10 p.m. tonight, but judging by last March’s Free Burrito deal to mark Zambrero’s opening, those babies are likely to go quickly. So what are you doing still reading this?! Get to Zambrero and fuel your busy day NOW.

'Legally Blonde 3' Is A Go!

Eager freshmen wait for Elle to demo the bend and snap, possibly the most helpful thing some o them will learn at Harvard.

Stop whatever you’re doing right now—Legally Blonde is officially coming back and we haven’t been this excited since Gucci became a publicly traded company. The iconic comedy, starring sunshine-in-human-form Reese Witherspoon as a bright and bubbly yet underestimated Harvard Law student Elle Woods, has been dear to the university community since its release, both welcoming freshmen during Opening Days and sending seniors off during Senior Week screenings.

Heck, some of us were partly inspired by Elle’s own tenacity to come here—although there are no official statistics on how many Coppola-directed, bikini-clad applications Harvard has received since the movie came out. Even better, most of the team behind the OG flick, including Witherspoon who will reprise her role as Elle, is returning for the threequel. The third installment (yes, technically the fourth, but whoever was behind the embarrassing direct-to-DVD spin-off was seriously disturbed) is set to premiere on Valentine’s Day in 2020, so you have plenty of time to look for a bae to take you.

Or not, as the most important thing we learned from the movie, apart from the bend and snap, is that you should never chase a guy and always chase a check (or a fulfilling career in law, but who really cares about happiness or helping people over here?). What, like it’s hard?

Dear HOLLIS: Why?

We get it HOLLIS, you're too "chill" for me now.


We used to have such a healthy relationship. You know how other couples fight? You and I were never like that. (Well, there was the time you fined me over $50 when someone requested my specific copy of Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay over winter break, and I couldn’t return it in time, and why do you have only one copy of Bad Feminist, and why did that book really need to be recalled over break—never mind.)

We understood each other. You didn’t question when I requested season three of Veronica Mars on DVD, once during reading period and once during finals. Some people would call that enabling. I think you just knew when I needed a break from things. And all the books you bought for me! I haven’t purchased a book for class in months. I thought we were forever.

Recently, though, I feel like a wall has come up between us. First there’s this whole makeover that you got. You think that now that you look sleek and modern, you’re out of my league. And I mean, you do you and I respect your choices, but what if I liked the classic interface? You say, “Let us know what you think,” and I try to be honest with you, but you still haven’t fixed your glitches. And what’s up with logging me out and not redirecting me once every, like, three hours? Sweetheart, you’re shutting me out.

You don’t pay attention to me anymore! My requests don’t go away when I cancel them. Whenever I check my search history, it’s just empty, even though I was searching for a Plutarch text for a paper just the other day. Do you ignore me when I talk about Plutarch? What’s your problem with Plutarch, babe?

Worst of all, you pretend like everything’s totally fine. Whenever I check my account and see that chilled out sunglass-wearing emoji, I start to wonder if I’m overreacting. Clearly this is a walk on the beach for you, right? A tropical vacay? Well, I’m here to say that I’m putting my foot down. I liked the old you better. You’re gaslighting me, HOLLIS, and I just won’t have it anymore. I’m going to go browse in the stacks instead; they were always hotter than you anyway.

Screw you,
A disgruntled patron

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