Features

Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

The “Orange Is the New Black” (or OITNB) binge-watch just doesn’t have the magic it had last year. I know, it’s like hearing that Santa isn’t real during Christmas. While the existence of Santa can’t be proven, the less-than-stellar third season of OITNB is all too evident. I will try to convey my disappointment in as many spoiler-free words as possible, but understand that this is not an easy sacrifice to make — I need to vent.

First, let’s focus on the positives. Season 3 is 100 percent Larry-free. We rejoiced at the news about the absence of the most universally hated OITNB character a few months ago, but it really is a major improvement in the show. No one likes Larry. If you like Larry, you need to reassess your standards for human beings. He was whiny, underdeveloped as a character and irrelevant to the larger storyline. While similar to Piper at first in terms of sheltered unawareness, Larry remains stagnant in terms of character while Piper eventually must develop in order to adapt to the prison. It’s clear that Larry was kept around as Piper’s link to the outside world, but as the connection between them dwindled, so did his purpose as a character.  Because he was cut, there is significantly more focus on what is going on in the prison.

Season 3 also offers a great amount of character development. Not only do we see more of the series’ darlings such as Pennsatucky and Taystee, we see characters that had only been in the background before. There aren’t as many episodes focused on one character’s backstory as there were last season. However, each character’s story is handled carefully with well-distributed attention given to each of them. This even focus showcases the skill of the writers, especially considering the size of the cast.

The humor is spot-on, as always. Part of the beauty of OITNB is the show’s ability to make the humor largely character-based without sacrificing the depth of the characters. However, what the new season gains in humor, it loses in story. While many interesting storylines are introduced, they lose momentum or are just forgotten by the season’s end. A lot of time is spent on already tired plot points, such as Piper and Alex’s contentious relationship — quite possibly the most boring part of this season. We’ve dealt with the Piper/Alex drama since Season 1, and it’s honestly grown stale.

Also, it feels as if Daya has been pregnant for ages. I wouldn’t have been surprised if her kid needed to take SAT prep along with his Baby Einstein videos. Although all of this is probably in an effort to continue with storylines from the previous season, I wanted old news to get wrapped up.

The more redundant moments in the series made this year’s binge watch feel significantly longer, but there was always an intense cliffhanger ending to reel me back in and deprive me of the sleep I so desperately needed. The end of each episode made me completely forget about anything mediocre I just watched and pulled me into a seemingly unending cycle of watching an episode, losing patience, seeing the intense ending, watching an episode, etc.

One aspect of this season that is not necessarily good or bad is the lack of a human antagonist. Season 2 gave us the character of Vee, one of the most manipulative and menacing characters on the show. Season 1 gave us Larry, who, while not necessarily an antagonist, gave the audience something to collectively team up against because, as explained before, he was just the weakest character. In Season 3, many characters that could be lined up as antagonists often turned around to do something good, giving another layer of complexity to the characters that would otherwise be maligned. As with any story, there are antagonistic forces at play, but they do not necessarily have a face.
All in all, Season 3 of “Orange Is the New Black” is just as solid in quality as the first two, while still managing to stand on its own in terms of tone and story. Some parts of the series’ larger story arc were sacrificed, but they were made up for in the development of characters that we have come to know and love, in addition to those we took for granted. Sure, it’s not as eventful or dramatic as it was last year, but it goes above and beyond to please fans of the show. If you haven’t already sped through right after it was put on Netflix, I highly recommend it. Just don’t set your hopes too high for a more dramatic Litchfield.

 Compiled by Brandon Fuhr, Assistant Digital Editor. 

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/ Tom Jutte
Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/ Tom Jutte
Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/ Tom Jutte

The beauty of living off campus is that you never really know who you’re living with.

Take my current housing situation. I live at what my friends call “The Mushroom House” (I won’t disclose the address due to privacy). The house is quite old but holds six people, each with their own room. We have a kitchen, two bathrooms, a basement; just generally a lot of space to do whatever we want with.

Of course because it’s so old and has housed so many people for decades, there are some logistical problems — wrecked ceilings, unlit lightbulbs, squeaky floors, mushrooms popping out of the wall.

But this isn’t really about that, nor is it about the odd title of my home, which I’m sure you now understand why it’s called that. Instead, this is about the beauty of living with rats (Note: I am using “living with” quite liberally here — our rats, notably Ferdinand, don’t pay rent, nor are they on the lease).

I have learned to live and to love the rats that have decided that The Mushroom House is the place they want to be. Frankly, I’m honored they have chosen our humble abode.

My experience of living off-campus has allowed me to meet so many different creatures — roaches, rats, even squirrels — providing different perspectives from which I can learn. And thanks to The Mushroom House, I have learned to develop a kind of affection towards Ferdinand and his/her friends and will do anything to protect him/her.

Different species, new friends — forget anthropocentrism. Thanks Mushroom House!​

— By Priyanka Krishnamurthy, Editor-in-Chief

Little Five Points | Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/ Pawel Loj
Little Five Points | Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/ Pawel Loj
Little Five Points | Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons/ Pawel Loj

With classes, meetings and extracurriculars, it can seem like we spend all our time on campus.

That’s why it’s so important to give yourself some space from becoming overly-attached to the University: have a home off-campus.

Yes, this can be difficult without a car or reliable transportation, but there are several, affordable options within walking distance from campus, from the palatial Gables residences to a 50-year-old basement apartment (aka, my home).

If you do have a car, think about relocating to one of Atlanta’s fantastic neighborhoods. Boroughs like Poncey-Highlands, Little Five Points or further to East Atlanta can offer much cheaper rent (Druid Hills has some of the highest prices in the city) as well as a new coffee shop or diner where you can become a new regular.

Living in a new neighborhood means you can exist in different worlds, spending your days in class with Emory friends and spending nights with yourself, your roommates or with new friends you meet a local bar. This option’s best for the adventurous or jaded Emory student.

Most importantly, living off-campus, whether it’s 1000 feet or a few miles, can give yourself a mental break from the stress of classes and organizations. When you live on campus, you’re constantly surrounded by other students and the minutia of Emory drama (as well as the authority of a friendly but perhaps paternalistic RA). Go home without taking Emory home with you!

— By Sonam Vashi, Executive Editor

Eleonore Raoul Hall. Photo by Jason Oh.
Eleonore Raoul Hall. Photo by Jason Oh.
Eleonore Raoul Hall. Photo by Jason Oh.

Here’s a breakdown of housing updates for the next year:

  • Hopkins Hall, Smith Hall and Thomas Hall — collectively known as The Complex — will accommodate freshmen next year, according to the Residence Life and Housing (ResLife) website.
  • Few Hall and Evans Hall, often referred to as “Fevans,” will host sophomores during the 2015-2016 academic year.
  • Sorority and fraternity members will have the option of living in a Greek-themed area within Evans Hall next year. Still, ResLife will wait to determine how much of the residence hall will be dedicated to Greeks until they determine the demand for such themed space, according to Director of ResLife Operations Mary Romestant. ResLife will meet next week to determine more changes to next year’s housing options, Romestant said.
  • McTyeire Hall will be demolished this summer, according to Romestant.
  • Clifton Tower, a sophomore residence hall that sits between the Woodruff Residential Center and the Student Health Services building on Clifton Road, will also cease to be an undergraduate housing option, she said. The building’s future plans, Romestant added, will be determined at later ResLife meetings.
  • Lastly, Spanish House, a theme house on Peavine Creek Road, received a fresh coat of interior paint and a kitchen renovation. “And it looks awesome,” Romestant said.

— By Lydia O’Neal, Asst. News Editor

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

There are many benefits to having a roomma— just kidding, there are literally zero benefits to having a roommate.

Despite being shoved into an awkward housing situation that will see you lose hours of sleep nightly and run out of hand soap at astounding speeds, there are still ways to make the most of your experience.

Most important among these ways is figuring out how to resolve arguments, because when you put two humans in a closet-sized space and tell them to coexist, arguments are naturally going to happen. These may range from “My roommate is eating all of my popcorn!” to “My roommate is way too loud in the morning!” to “My roommate’s friends are literally the weirdest people on this entire campus dear Lord where did he/she find these people.”

Thankfully, these scenarios are all very resolvable. The key is communication. Seriously, it’s that easy.

If your horrible, popcorn-eating roommate is driving you nuts, that’s okay! Don’t be passive-aggressive about it and let it boil over like a large teapot of anger; say something and let them know that you prefer eating your popcorn by yourself, thank you very much.

If your inconsiderate, noisy roommate is driving you crazy in the wee hours of the morning, say something! Tell them you’d really appreciate it if they could keep it down when you’re trying to sleep.

Almost all problems between roommates stem from a lack of communication, and almost all of them can be solved by just telling each other what’s going on. Except for your roommate’s weird friends. They are here to stay.

— By Ryan Smith, Features Editor

Ligurian Pesto with Spaghetti. Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
Ligurian Pesto with Spaghetti. Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
Ligurian Pesto with Spaghetti. Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Ligurian Pesto with Spaghetti

Recipe by Gianni Franzi in Vernazza, Italy, from the Bon Appétit website.

Audrey Hepburn once said: “Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me.”

While chocolate cake certainly does do a lot for a lot of people, a meal that never fails to satisfy my appetite is the always delizioso combination of pesto with spaghetti. Ligurian Pesto with Spaghetti is a dish made with basil leaves, pine nuts and spaghetti that tempts taste buds all the way from Vernazza, a town in northwestern Italy.

The only moment more satisfying than seeing that bright green pesto resting delicately among the olive oil-drizzled spaghetti is the moment when you finally fork that fresh Ligurian Pesto with Spaghetti onto your eagerly awaiting taste buds. Buon appetito!

Ingredients

Servings: 4-6.

Note: This recipe makes more pesto than you’ll need. Serve the extra with vegetables or fish, or spread it on sandwiches.

  • Kosher salt
  • 10 cups (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves (about 2 bunches)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan plus more
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mild extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 1 pound spaghetti

Preparation

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Set a colander in a large bowl of ice water (this will make it easier to strain the basil later). Working in batches, blanch basil for 10 seconds. Using a large slotted spoon, transfer basil to colander in ice water; let cool completely. Set aside 1/2 cup blanching water. Reserve pot with blanching water.

2. Drain basil by lifting colander from ice water. Using your hands, squeeze excess water from basil; transfer basil to paper towels. (You should have about 1/2 cup.)

3. Place blanched basil, 1/2 cup Parmesan, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until well combined, adding blanching water by tablespoonfuls to thin if needed, and stopping occasionally to scrape down sides. Process until a smooth, thick purée forms, about 1 minute.

4. Transfer basil mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup oil. Season to taste with salt.

5. Return water in pot to a boil; add more salt. Cook spaghetti, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Spoon 1/2 cup pesto and 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid into a large bowl. Using tongs, transfer spaghetti to bowl and toss vigorously, drizzling with oil and adding more pesto and cheese as you continue to toss, until spaghetti is glossy and well coated with sauce. Season with salt. Divide among bowls; sprinkle with cheese.​

— By Benazir Wehelie, Copy Chief

Student Activity and Academic Center | Photo by Jason Oh
Student Activity and Academic Center | Photo by Jason Oh
Student Activity and Academic Center | Photo by Jason Oh

So you’re a sophomore, and you’re thinking about moving off campus. Tired of living in the dungeon that is Woodruff, the nuclear fallout shelter that is Clifton or the library-annex that is Complex? Excited for the promised land of Highland Lake, the Eden of Clairmont Reserve or the pearly gates of Harwood?

Do not do it.

Or do it, I really couldn’t care less. Really, it’s a personal decision, and there are numerous good reasons to live off campus. But I am here to give you a few good reasons to live on campus.

The single best reason to live on campus are the shuttles, but my colleague Elizabeth Howell is covering the angle for us. However, there are a multitude of other good reasons.

  • Once you move off campus, you no longer live within shouting distance of all of your friends. Whether you are looking for a partner for a late-night Wendy’s run or someone to help you on your Stats homework, it’s wonderful to be able to walk up a flight of stairs and knock on a friend’s door.
  • Residence Life will give you a ton of free stuff. They will shower you with candy, with pizza and with tie-dye parties. It is their job. Take advantage of it. Highland Lake will not give you candy.
  • If you live on campus, you do not have to deal with moving furniture or paying bills every month. No need to worry about late payments. No need to buy a dresser, shelves and a desk. No need to figure out how to store your bed over the summer.
  • Most importantly, the opportunity to live on campus is a four-times in a lifetime experience. You have your entire life to have a apartment that is both nicer and cheaper than what you can get at campus. But you just have these four years (five for some of us) to get free candy from your RA. Enjoy it.​

— By Bennett Ostdiek, Editor-at-Large

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

A Letter to My Roommates

My dearest little dear,

With all the love in my heart, I am going public about my unbounded affection for you.

I am one of the lucky ones, having the chance to half-randomly get the most wonderful match in the matters of roommates. We still fight over who Facebook-messaged who first, and over who asked the crucial question, “Do you want to be my roommate?”

The truth is, that question carries a power paralleled to, “Do you want to marry me?”

After the joyous accord that ensued, our lives went on a route similar to that of a marriage, except that it’s been, of course, a platonic story featuring the most intense sisterly affection possible.

The adventures we’ve been through together … Boy, soap operas indeed. We’ve been through it all side by side. Of course, in the process I learned a lot from you, so here’s a top five:

1. How to live it up like a Greek woman
2. How to not be too harsh on myself
3. How to be THE friend that one needs
4. All the Greek baked goods with intricate names (hola kolokithopita)
5. How to expertly go with the flow

I would like to escape clichés, but I think you’re feeling my love. Thank you for always warming my soul with that childish, loyal and sincere spark of yours. What a privilege to call you my best friend.

Cheers to yet another wonderful year together, and let’s make 2015 yet another memorable chapter in our fabulous “marriage.”

Sagapo,
Loli

— By Loli Lucaciu, Associate Editor

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Moving to college can be a scary transition for anyone who has never lived away from home before.

New classes, friends and environments are just some of the situations new undergraduates will be placed in. It is up to each individual student to make the best out of every positive and negative situation, including the very real possibility of having a roommate.

Another very important aspect to having a roommate is to set up lights out or quiet hours. While you may be used to being rowdy and rambunctious until 2 in the morning, your new roommate may go to bed at 10 p.m. Discuss with your roommate when you each go to bed and wake up so that everyone can get a good night’s sleep.

The following three points are also crucial to having a successful roommate experience:

Be Polite

College dorm rooms are small spaces usually shared by two people. Belongings are bound to get mixed up between the two people. That being said, do not just assume you can borrow something that does not belong to you. Always ask first unless you have explicitly discussed other arrangements with your roommate.

Treat Your Roommate the Way You Want to Be Treated

This is the golden rule for life in general, but is even more important for college undergraduates.

Be Understanding

Things happen in college. Be understanding and thoughtful. Help your roommate if they need help without complaining because, at some point, the roles will be reversed.

— By Dana Youngentob, Social Media Editor