Getting Catcalled on Campus

Even if the words aren’t harmful, the act is

by Clara Butler

If you think attending a women’s college will protect you from catcalling ON CAMPUS then you would be wrong. The following is my experience and my thoughts on the nature of catcalling (by nature of being a Women’s Studies major).

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Join a SNUGGLEBOOTH

by Hanna Wentz

A snugglebooth is a situation where you feel like you can be yourself while simultaneously exerting time and energy in a somewhat productive manner. People say it is never too late to change your life. Well that is a lie, but you can definitely spice it up!

I feel like there is an understanding amongst college students that we do not know where to direct our time and energy. This listlessness most commonly found in college students is due to the lack of a snugglebooth. The problem with not having a snugglebooth is you have absolutely no idea what to do with your life 99% of the time which leads to massive amounts of internal conflict and angst. That is life for me, anyway. That is, until I found my snugglebooth. Those of you who have your life together should probably stop reading this blog post now because you are lying to yourself if think you have a snugglebooth.

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Sorta-Healthy Tips from a Sorta-Healthy Girl

by Jessica Gregory

Don’t laugh at me while eating your salad!

Okay, I admit it. I’m not ready to jump headfirst into the ultra-structured “kale and quinoa” type diet. I have no issue with anyone who IS, but I’m just not there yet.

What I have recognized, and what I think we can all learn, from those who are disciplined
in their health practices is that we all need more good stuff to go into our body. It helps us sleep better, study more efficiently, and feel on average brighter and ready to go. So even though I’m not ready to make a 180 degree lifestyle change in my eating habits, I’ve found some ways to get better foods into my body more often so I feel better inside and out.

Put greens on your sandwiches: Guys I promise this tastes good. As someone who used to shy away from putting lettuce in between my turkey and mayo, this was a surprise to me. Now I pile on the greens (things like baby spinach and arugula taste best) and still get that amazing sandwich that I wanted. For that matter put greens in all your carb-heavy meals.

Plan your meals as often as you can: This tip was stolen from a myriad of BuzzFeed articles, but it really helps me stay on track. Planning my meals on a Sunday in a very basic way helps me navigate the week and avoid making last-minute dinners, which can turn out to be the least healthy of meals.

If it’s not in your home, you can’t eat it: This one is hard. Try not to buy too much of the ‘last minute dinner’ type things when shopping. If you don’t have it in your fridge/cabinet/pantry then you won’t be able to grab it. Don’t even walk down the cookie aisle just ‘to look’. Cookies jump into carts now guys, I’ve seen it myself.

Pay attention to how your body feels: You know how people say they crave McDonalds, eat it, then feel horrible afterward but go back three weeks later anyway? Yeah, avoid that. If something makes you feel bad after you eat it, that is your body telling you that you shouldn’t eat it again. Stahp.

One cookie won’t make or break you!

If you crave the cookie, eat the cookie: This does not mean we should all hit-up Insomnia every other day, but sometimes you have that craving like an itch you really need to scratch. We are not meant to be perfect and we’re not going to live forever…eat the piece of cake. A La Mode. It really is all about moderation (and of course exercise!)

Eat the favorite on your plate last: Buttery Mashed potatoes had to give up some of their reserved seats for broccoli, so yes, there are less mashed potatoes for you to enjoy. But if you eat your dose of veggies first, you can end with that amazing flavor even if it happens to be less than you’d normally eat.

Buy juiceboxes instead of cartons: Okay, I know this one sounds weird, but as a lover of fruit juice it’s difficult for me to give it up entirely. So what I try to do is buy juiceboxes and limit myself to one a day. Yeah you’re still drinking a sugary drink but you’re drinking a lot less than if you poured yourself a giant glass. The rest of the day? Drink water. Another good tip with juices is to look at the serving size. Some drinks have x amount of calories and you think, ‘oh, that’s fine!’ but then realize that the bottle has 3 servings which means three times the sugar. Brands like ‘Honest Tea’, instead, have a set amount of calories and the serving size is the entire bottle.

And lastly, get moving: You didn’t think you’d get out of here without an exercise tip, did you? Take the long way to class, take the stairs at least downward (though it’s not gonna give you the same burn as walking up, at least it’s not taking the elevator). When you stop working on an essay, do a few jumping jacks while watching that Netflix movie to get your mind back on track.

That wasn’t too hard, was it? These little changes won’t turn you into pure muscle or put you on the front page of a health magazine, but they’re certainly healthier than the vending machine/frozen pizza/soda/nutella diet so many college students fall victim to despite their previous food upbringing. Plus, the little changes can really add up. Try it!

Jessica Gregory is a sophomore at Barnard and a staff writer for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Images courtesy of tumblr.com and The Wellness Train

Why Everyone Should Be Watching Broad City

By Clara Butler

Abbi and Ilana are the perfect comedy duo

Broad City is one of the funniest shows on TV right now. Described as the “female version of Workaholics”, the show centers around two 20-something women living and working in NYC and getting themselves into ridiculous, yet strangely relatable, situations. Abbi and Ilana, who are also great friends in real life, decided to make their web-series into an actual show with the help of another UCB alum, their executive producer Amy Poehler. And you know if Amy Poehler is in favor of this show, it has to be great.

The show is not only amazing because of the two female leads but also because of the array of supporting characters that make the show the comedic masterpiece it is. Trey (Abbi’s boss at the Soulcycle-esqe gym she works at) is hilariously douchey yet also one of Abbi’s friends. His shtick is that he always seems to block her dreams of becoming a trainer, rather than the janitor she is. Ilana’s boss at her job is also hilariously afraid of her and frequently talks about what his therapist has told him to say to Ilana. The working environments at both jobs are not exactly true to most experiences but at least they show that not everyone can live off of writing a column once a week (looking at you, Carrie).

Lincoln being Lincoln

But one of my favorite characters on the show has to be Ilana’s kind-of-boyfriend, Lincoln. He’s basically the perfect guy because he’s constantly looking for commitment and is always nothing but sweet to Ilana. He is also a dentist and constantly provides both dental support to Abbi and Ilana as well as moral support when following along with their hijinks. Hannibal Buress, who is a genius at stand-up comedy in real life, makes Lincoln incredibly lovable with a great sense of subtle humor mixed in.

Abbi and Ilana’s friendship, though, may be my favorite part of the show. Broad City passes the Bechdel Test in every single episode since unlike other shows centered around girls living in NYC, like Sex and the City and Girls, their lives do not revolve around men and they are almost always content with just hanging out with each other. There is also a one-sided sexual tension between Abbi and Ilana since Ilana constantly alludes to hooking up with Abbi. This, and the fact that they have almost nothing about their lives figured out, makes for a spectacular show that brings so much craziness, yet reality, into each 20-minute episode.

Broad City airs on Comedy Central but the original web-series is available on Youtube.

Clara Butler is a Junior at Barnard College and is the Girl Talk, Opinions, and New York Editor of The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Images courtesy of The Huffington Post and Tumblr.

Interview with Dr. Candice Fraser, OB/GYN

By Gaby Marraro

Dr. Fraser’s clinic is just a few blocks away from the 2 and 3 train!

Last week I interviewed Dr. Candice Fraser, a doctor who will be opening up a new OB/GYN practice in Morningside Heights around March 2015. I got to know a little bit about her background in the field and about her vision for what sounds like an incredible new resource in the area.

Dr. Fraser, originally from Trinidad, attended St. Francis College and University of Connecticut for medical school. In her second year, she had what she describes as an “aha moment” when she realized she wanted to pursue a career as an OB/GYN, something she had never intended to happen. Having had various experiences in different professional settings and practices, Dr. Fraser found herself unsatisfied with the options available to her. This sparked her idea to open up a clinic of her own.

I asked her to describe a bit about her vision for her practice. She spoke about the excitement that comes with the freedom of creating a completely unique space. She strives to create the environment she felt was lacking at some of her previous jobs, one of a coffee-shop feel. She wants the office to be welcoming, warm and relaxed. She would like her patients to have access to iPads in the waiting room to access information easily. She hopes that implementing a paper-free office in which patients can schedule appointments and access test results through their website will make visits that much more comfortable and easy.

She also spoke about her choice to open up her clinic in Morningside Heights, which she sees as an up and coming, welcoming neighborhood. Because there are not many OB/GYN practices nearby, she hopes to target the population of young families in the area.

In reaching out to students about particular questions they would like me to ask Dr. Fraser, I was able to get some insight into some issues in visiting an OB/GYN that might come up specifically for college-age students. I asked her to highlight the importance of visits to an OB/GYN clinic, and she stressed the importance of being responsible for taking care of our health. As college students, we want to take on a large courseload along with extracurriculars, but we cannot do so if our health is getting in the way of success. She recommends visiting an OB/GYN at least once a year for check-ups. In highlighting the importance of visiting her clinic, she also spoke to the importance of knowing one’s options in regards to birth control. While many people only think of the pill when birth control is brought up, there are actually many options that are available to us but never really explained to present themselves as possible choices. In addition, OB/GYNs are there to discuss and help their patients understand a variety of issues and resources, and Dr. Fraser encourages building a relationship with one’s OB/GYN.

I also posed the difficult question of what an experience at her clinic, or with any OB/GYN for that matter, might be like for someone who has experienced a trauma related to sexual assault. While there is no easy answer, she suggested scheduling multiple visits to discuss what might make the patient most comfortable, and explaining exactly what procedures and tests are typical for a visit to an OB/GYN. It is important to establish a sense of trust between the doctor and her patient, and this is a core value of this clinic that Dr. Fraser wishes to express in her work.

The clinic will be open Monday through Friday along with one Saturday a month. She currently accepts Aetna, Cigna, Multiplan, BCBS, Galaxy, and Medicare, but hopes to expand this list in the near future and is open to working with people without insurance, depending what the situation calls for.

Dr. Fraser intends to extend her clinic to a variety of social media platforms and to the community. She would like to become involved in community service and community outreach, and hopes that her vision will extend to all of those she aims to help through her practice. Check out her website at trinityobgyn.com.

Gaby Marraro is a First Year at Barnard College and a staff writer for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Image courtesy of trinityobgyn.com

The Five Best Female Stand-up Comedians

by Clara Butler

Yes ma’am!

After looking for more female stand-up shows to watch on Netflix and being thoroughly disappointed at the lack of diversity in comedy, I decided to make a list of my favorite female stand-up acts who prove that women ARE funny because they are in fact pretty damn hilarious.

1. Chelsea Peretti
Known for her role as Gina on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Chelsea Peretti is a rising star who I think will be as big as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler one day. Not only is she absolutely hilarious on Andy Samberg’s show, she’s also has a great stand-up act that I’ve seen live! Her dark humor and realism will make you laugh but also think about larger issues, especially the differences between male and female comedians. Although her sometimes egotistical humor might not be for everyone, I highly recommend her new Netflix special since it includes some great jokes and you might even spot me in the audience.

2. Anjelah Johnson
Anjelah Johnson is best known for her joke about a Vietnamese nail salon that went viral a few years back but her newest stand-up specials are just as great. She deals with issues like race, marriage, and stereotypes but in a super comical and intriguing way. I highly recommend her Netflix special The Homecoming Show since it’s her most recent work and proves that she is more than just a viral video.

3. Amy Schumer
Amy Schumer recently premiered her sketch comedy show Inside Amy Schumer on Comedy Central where it’s been extremely successful and even had some clips go viral. But before she did sketch comedy, she was on Last Comic Standing and made hilarious jokes about everything from sex to food. While she doesn’t have any Netflix specials, you can find a lot of her stand-up on YouTube and even see a super young Amy perform stand-up on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

4. Kristen Schaal
While you might recognize her voice from the show Bob’s Burgers (she voices Louise), Kristen Schaal has also made a name for herself on the stand-up circuit with her hilariously crude jokes. She was also the stalkerish page, Hazel, on 30 Rock and has made guest appearances on various sitcoms and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart but her stand-up is definitely where she shines the most. Search clips of her on YouTube or just reflect on the fact that her voice actually does sound like it belongs to a 9-year-old.

5. Sasheer Zamata
While Sasheer Zamata is already pretty famous as a cast member on SNL, she definitely still deserves a place on this list. Her jokes are well-crafted and downright funny, my favorite being the one where she describes the time that she was flashed while walking home. Like some of the other comedians, she also plays with the difference between male and female comics and also tackles larger issues like race and class. She has some great stand-up and even sketch videos on YouTube. Sorry in advance for the hours you are about to spend watching them.

And if you’re looking for more classic female stand-up acts, check out Joan Rivers, Ellen DeGeneres, Wanda Sykes, Maria Bamford, and Rosie O’Donnell who all prove how awesomely funny women are.

Clara Butler is a junior at Barnard and the Girl Talk and Opinions editor for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Image courtesy of jpc.

Challenging Beauty Standards

by Gaby Marraro

The Lammily doll challenges Barbie’s beauty standards

In a world of strict, and often unrealistic standards of beauty, I find myself comparing, hating, and scrutinizing my own body. It’s easy to do. There are a million reasons to see my body negatively, because there are a million different people telling me to. There is a strong culture of shame around eating and indulgence, around blemishes and scars, and around a number on a scale. We talk about it every day, we make comments, we judge people on their appearance and the ways they choose to present themselves. It’s welcomed. It seems normal.

But here’s the thing—it’s not. Although this type of discourse exists and is in front of us all the time, there is nothing forcing us to be a part of it. There is no one telling us to comment on someone’s outfit or to judge. Yes, it is encouraged and welcomed, but not required. I have been told that there is an important difference between what your first reaction is to something and how you handle it. So while your first thought when looking at someone might be to question his or her personal choices, you then get to decide what you do about that reaction.

I’ve recently started following a rule I made for myself, which is, simply: do not comment on other people. Unless you have something kind to say (and even then I wonder if it’s in my rights to express any opinion about someone else’s appearance), don’t say it. And since I began following this, I’ve noticed a big difference in my life. I’m more positive, kinder, and I worry less about what other people think of me because I see that when the roles are reversed, it really shouldn’t matter. Once you start living by your own standards, presenting yourself in a way that contributes to your own happiness, and promising to give others the space to do the same, you begin to feel so much more secure in your own skin, and that is worth more than the few seconds of satisfaction we get from doing the opposite.

Gaby Marraro is a first-year at Barnard and a staff writer for the Nine Ways of Knowing blog.

Image courtesy of Forward.