Frank: Satire @ BU

I’m a journalism student and as such I’ve written my fair share of articles. From op-eds to features, to listicles to reviews, I’ve written all different kinds of pieces. This semester, though, I started writing something a bit funnier– I started satire.

During the summer, I applied to join The Bunion, Boston University’s satire news publication. Now satire has always been a thing that interested me, I’ve been a fan of The Onion for a long time and about a year ago I found out about The Hard Times and Hard Drive, who make fun of punk music and video game scenes respectively. I was bit by the satire bug last year and when I saw The Bunion was looking for staff writers, I submitted my application almost immediately. I say almost immediately because there was a very important part of the application I was having a hard time with: the article submission.

I had to write an article to finish my application. Luckily, I zeroed in on what I was gonna write about pretty quickly. At the beginning of the summer, I got a notification on Facebook about a post somebody made on the Official Boston University Class of 2020 group. I hadn’t checked the Class of 2020 Facebook group since my Freshman year, so I clicked on the notification and browsed the group to see what my fellow rising juniors were up to. As I found out, the group had become a wasteland. Nobody had posted anything on the group in a long time, I guess like me a lot of people had forgotten about it. Essentially the Facebook group was now a ghost town, people were still in the group but nobody posted anything. I thought this might be something funny to write about so I took it and ran with it.

Choosing a topic to write about was easy, the hard part was actually writing it. At first I wrote the article with the idea of the Facebook group being a literal ghost town, a remnant from the Wild Wild West, and there was a sheriff of sorts that would protect the group from any new posts. I worked on it for a couple of days until I finally gave up on making it work. The whole cowboy-sheriff thing proved to be too complicated, since I realized I knew absolutely nothing about cowboys. I scrapped the whole thing. I settled on just writing down my raw thoughts and put a sort of journalistic spin on it. That was easier, but it really wasn’t funny. It kinda just read as a rant that didn’t really go anywhere, but I guess the editors liked it enough to have me join the team.

I got a chance to rework the article a couple weeks ago. After going to writer meetings, talking to fellow Bunion Staff Writers, and getting to write pieces of satire on other topics, I finally got what it took to make my first article work. The first thing I did was pretty much erase most of it. A lot of what I wrote down just didn’t work, or only I found funny. I then made my target more specific and I gave it actual jokes. I basically reworked the whole thing.

It felt nice working on my first article again; it was almost as if I had come full circle. In the short time I’ve been with The Bunion, I’ve really learned a lot. If you’re interested in reading my articles and other articles made by even funnier people, check them out over at thebunionpaper.com

P.S. Here’s a link to my reworked first article: https://thebunionpaper.com/student-makes-post-on-bu-facebook-group-as-if-anybody-is-gonna-look-at-it

 

Kaya: Follow Your Curiosity

Don’t follow your passions.

I know, I know, that sounds like bad advice — terrible, even. After all, isn’t college about pursuing what you’re passionate about and taking advantage of all the opportunities you have to do so?

To an extent, yes. You shouldn’t throw your passions out the window altogether to do things you hate. Knowing what you’re passionate about and exploring that is a key step toward discovering what you want to do for the rest of my life.

Maybe I should clarify: Don’t follow your passions. At least, don’t only follow your passions.

Follow your curiosity instead.

Because while following your passions can lead you to new discoveries, further your academic and career pursuits, or inspire you to reach new heights, doing things you’re passionate about can also be stressful — really stressful — because you love those things so much. Every mistake or roadblock that separates you from what you love can feel like heartbreak, and it’s not exactly a feeling anyone wants to feel all the time. If you spend your whole life doing and chasing what you love, you’re bound to hit some of those roadblocks, and feel some of that heartbreak, along the way.

When you follow your curiosity instead, you might discover something new that you love. You might have an experience that takes you completely out of your comfort zone. You might realize that there is a lot more to life than the one or two things you’re most passionate about.

If you’re like me, you might apply for a radio internship on a whim, and realize that there’s so much more to journalism than you thought. Or you might end up in a class about food history, like I did, and decide to become a history minor — something that high school me never thought I’d do in a million years, because I was so dead-set on my passion for journalism and writing.

When you follow your curiosity, you realize things about yourself that you might not if you were only pursuing what you were passionate about. You end up with new perspectives, fresh ideas, and even more curiosity. You might change your path completely, or continue chasing what you love with renewed energy and passion.

When I followed my curiosity, I ended up in love even more with journalism, the field that allowed me to explore what made me curious — like movies — and write about that curiosity in dozens of reviews. My curiosity turned into a passion for film, and it helped me snag a question with one of my favorite screenwriters and actresses, Greta Gerwig, at a time that I was feeling a bit stretched thin by my own passions.

Her answer to my question?

You guessed it: “Follow your curiosity.”

After all, she said, “the worst thing that could happen is that you spend your whole life following your curiosity.” That’s one outcome I find hard to disagree with.

Kate: My Upperclassman Experience So Far

After syllabus week, I very quickly came to the realization that this semester would be unlike any other semester I have had at BU. My class time was minimal, my assignments were vague and long-term, and most of my work would rely on other people doing their job and reporting to me. This was daunting as I was used to the typical “write this essay by this date” or “read these pages in this book”. Instead, this semester, my sole assignments were to scout a location, direct a scene, and produce a film. All due at the end of the semester.
Looking at these large tasks that I had months to finish was insane and I didn’t know where to begin. So, my wonderful roommate suggested that I sit down and make a long list of every major task that needed to get done, and then break those large tasks into smaller step. And that was the first thing I did.
As the semester went on, I was in class less and less and spent more time sending emails, making phone calls, and having meetings. And not just with my friends or peers, but with actors, building supervisors, and insurance agents. I was living a life as close to the real world as I could possibly get while still in college taking 16 credits.
Now we’re halfway through the semester, and after these countless emails, phone calls, and meetings, I have accomplished things I didn’t think I’d be able to. I’ve secured multiple film locations in working businesses, held casting calls, hired actors, gotten insurance and accomplished many other steps that bring me closer to finish those semester-long projects. Some parts have gone smoother than others and I’ve seen first hand how long something can take when you bring other working people into the equation. But, at the end of the day, I’ve learned so much about actually making a film, and how all the working pieces and parts come together for this one project.
So, now that I’ve drone on about my life, the moral of the story is that the real world may seem scary and big (and to some extent it is) but by breaking it down into more manageable tasks, you can accomplish things you didn’t think you could. In addition, getting the opportunity to experience being part of the real world while still in college makes me feel so much more prepared for my career when I finish my four years here. Having these experiences as an upperclassman is giving me real tools that I am able to use throughout my future career.

Macy: How to Survive a Remote Internship

This past summer, I had my first experience with a remote internship. I was a Communication and Social Media Intern for a non-profit called MitoAction, which involved writing patient stories, crafting newsletters, and creating social media posts. My internship was remote because this non-profit does not have a formal office. MitoAction is an international renowned non-profit and it is run by four women throughout the United States.

If you don’t already know, a remote internship is an internship that is completed, for the most part in your own home, on your own schedule. I know not everyone has or will experience a remote internship; however, many of the skills needed to tackle this type of internship are useful to many other aspects of life. That being said, let’s jump right in!

  1. Schedule “work” hours each day.
    Over the summer I was always extremely jealous of my peers who were able to go to their internships, do their work, and come home and relax. I yearned for that stability. Having a remote internship means that you are responsible for doing the work on your own time. There are still deadlines, and still a mountain of work to get done, but because there are no set work hours in the day, it is hard to stay on track and focus. I recommend setting work hours each day that work for your schedule. Once I determined I would work from 10:00 AM to 3pm each day, the work load got a lot easier to handle.
  1. Stay organized.
    Doing everything on your phone and laptop can be very hard to manage. It’s very easy for emails, social media posts, and articles to get lost in the jumble of your desktop. Create folders for each task, and save everything. You never know when you’re going to have to go back to the beginning of a project or make edits to an older draft. It is also beneficial to keep a copy of every article, social media post, and blog you create. It is useful to have a portfolio of you work to show future employers.
  1. Communicate.
    As students in COM we know how important it is to constantly communicate with your peers, bosses, and advisors. Just because an internship is remote, doesn’t change that idea. Every day with a remote internship is a challenge to communicate. Over the summer, I was on the phone most of the day, emailing clients back and forth, and texting my co-workers. I had previously heard that communication is key with remote internships, and that it is easy to get lost in the shuffle. It is important to reach out if you are confused, ask for help, and to keep talking to other people involved. A failure to communicate is a failure to learn.

Remote Internships can be very useful to have, especially if you live far away from the office, or if the company doesn’t have a set office at all. My internship taught me more than I could have ever imagined, and I learned everything in the comfort of my own room. I was allowed to make my own hours and was not limited or confined to a cubicle for the whole summer. I could go outside to write, or work on a social media post from my friend’s house. There are certainly benefits to remote internships, but it is important to recognize the downfalls in order to best avoid them.

Maddy: 5 Best Boston Movie Theaters Where You Can See A Star Is Born

Well friends, I’m happy to report that the most important movie of the year, A Star Is Born, is available for viewing at several fabulous locations in the Boston area. As a COM student, you absolutely need to check out these theaters and, more importantly, ugly-cry over Bradley Cooper’s sultry voice and Lady Gaga’s sheer perfection. So here are the 5 best movie theaters where you can see A Star Is Born, because if you don’t see it, what are you even doing?

1. Regal Fenway

regal fenway

Just a ten-minute walk and one scary intersection away from Comm Ave, Regal Fenway is the perfect movie theater for you to enjoy the third and best iteration of A Star Is Born. Barbra Streisand who? This theater offers comfy reclining seats so you can relax as you violently shake when Bradley Cooper pulls Lady Gaga onstage in that scene from the trailer and she hits that one sustained note and your soul escapes through your eyes.

2. AMC Loews Boston Common

amc boston common

Get on the green line, hop off at Boylston Street, and you’ve reached this extravagantly huge theater that happens to be playing A Star Is Born TODAY at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:45, 3:45, 6:00, 7:00, and 9:15! Also, check out AMC Stubs A-List, Moviepass’s slightly more expensive but economically sound sibling. It’s $20 a month to see three movies per week…. which means–you guessed it–you can see A Star Is Born three times every week!

3. Coolidge Corner

coolidge corner

This historic theater has been around since 1933, and it’s been showing A Star Is Born since October 5th! You can also check out their “After Midnite” showings of inferior movies like The Exorcist and Scream in their original 35mm prints. Lame! Here’s a link to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thecoolidge/.

4. AMC Assembly Row

amc assembly row

If you’re ever in the Somerville area, hit up this awesome movie theater! Like all AMCs, it is unnecessarily large, and therefore perfect for bringing your entire friend group to see A Star is Born. Not only that, when you need comfort food after Bradley Cooper makes you puke out your heart and then swallow it again, there’s a Trader Joe’s right next door! Amazing.

5. Kendall Square Cinema

kendall square

Travel to Cambridge and check out this awesome theater, where A Star Is Born is actually not playing but I couldn’t think of a fifth movie theater . Actually, I changed my mind. This theater might be located in a really cool spot in Cambridge near some brunch places and vintage thrift stores, but it’s not playing A Star Is Born, so you should boycott this theater.

 

 

 

Jon: The 4 Most Underrated Study Spots for Midterm Season

Midterm season is officially in full swing. Stress levels are at an all-time high. Students are cramming into Mugar like sardines. The GSU Starbucks is running out of coffee. Sleep deprivation levels are skyrocketing. And it’s only October!
It’s okay if you feel like pulling your hair out – we all do! But if you’re looking for some peace and quiet in these trying times, and you actually want to get things done without dealing with swarms of people, check out these 5 low-key study spots that will help you retain your sanity.
1. Boston Public Library – This is the Godfather of all study spots. People don’t even consider the largest library in the city when they think of places to study because it’s not on campus, but its just a quick T ride over to Copley Square. At the BPL, quiet is the law, so you never have to worry about people bothering you. Not to mention the building itself is incredible, and you feel as if you are studying in a place that was actually designed to let people relax and read. There are no Mugar cubicles here!
2. The Dean’s Lounge – On the Third Floor of the GSU, the Dean’s lounge is a little area that has big tables and big chairs. You’ll be studying in comfort for sure, and the chairs are always prime to take a nap in. Also, did I mention that there are no people? There is almost always a space open at the Dean’s Lounge.
3. Barnes and Noble – So believe it or not the B & N in Kenmore square actually has a space for people to sit and read. (Reading in a book store? Who’da thunk it!) There usually aren’t many people there and it’s really quiet. Just go up to the second floor of the store and you’ll see a little area lined with magazines thats just a prime-o spot for reading.
4. CAS Classrooms – If you really want to cheat the system and find a place with complete peace and quiet – then pop into a classroom somewhere in CAS sometime in the evening. By about 7, classes are pretty much done with, and there are plenty of open rooms scattered throughout the building. If you really just want to work without anyone else, then this is maybe the quietest way to do it. You could even bring in some friends and study using the white board if ya want.
Happy studying and good luck on midterms!

Sophia: What to Do With 500 Envelopes

Recently I had to mail in an application for an absentee ballot (make sure to vote kids!) and came across a problem, I own no envelopes. In the age of email the need to send a real actual letter is not an eventuality my stock of office supplies was prepared for, and so I did what any college student who suddenly needed snail mail would do, relied on the Internet. I figured I would use this one use of the postal service as an excuse to get some envelopes to have on hand, if for nothing else than yearly ballot applications. I selected a 50 pack on Amazon, hit order, and two days later received 500 envelopes. Turns out I am worse at numbers than I thought.
Now came the tough part, with 499 envelopes left unused, I needed to find a purpose for some of them or else lug around 500 envelopes through junior year and beyond. So I wrote letters. Grandparents, Dad, brothers, that one friend from high school whose address I actually knew, everyone got a letter. I will not lie, I put off some very important assignments to write letters, but once I started I just couldn’t stop! It was fun to write down what had been happening to me recently, to update relatives I didn’t get to see that often, and to spend some time thinking about friends and loved ones I missed. I don’t often take breaks from the chaos of junior year, but writing these letters let me stop and reflect, and having an audience made me more motivated to write than I ever was with a journal or diary. It became a task I was doing for me, and I never stopped to think about receiving a response.
One trip to the mailbox and a week later, and I started receiving responses. I guess in the back of my mind I knew that was what occurred when you sent a letter, but in my frenzy to make use of envelopes I hadn’t stopped to think about what would happen once my letters were received. There is no rush like opening a mailbox to find it full of letters, especially when all you usually receive is jury duty or Domino’s pizza discounts. It made me excited to check the mail, and reading the letters I received was always a nice boost in my day. Hearing from friends and family is always nice, but being able to read and reread how they’re doing is something special.
It’s easier now to keep in touch than ever before, but sitting down to write shows how much you care, and makes catching up a little more special than before. So send letters. Maybe don’t send 500 letters, but write to the people you care about. You’ll brighten their day, and who knows! You might even get a letter in response.

Zach: 5 Underrated Things to Do On the Weekends in Boston

If you are looking for fun and interesting things to do on the weekend, you may be inclined to hop to some of the more conventional and touristy spots in Boston. Although taking a walk through the Public Garden and exploring the numerous cuisines at Quincy Market or Eataly have their rightful place in the quintessential Boston experience, there are things for you to do which may not be littered with tourists and overwhelming crowds.

This list is compiled of unique and largely underrated things to do in Boston. Although some of these activities and locations may not be the cheapest, they will definitely provide you with a bucket list buster.

5. Hood Milk Bottle

Located at 300 Congress St., right next to the Boston Children’s Museum stands a 40-foot tall Hood Milk bottle. The regional New England milk brand bought the bottle in the 70s from its builder Arthur Granger to donate to the Children’s Museum. The bottle has undergone multiple purpose changes from starting out as an ice cream stand to simply serving as tourist attraction. It now serves as both, as you can buy soft serve and then snap a photo for Instagram. I personally think it’s incredibly aesthetically pleasing and just all around absurd. If you choose to visit the bottle, you are neither required to buy a Children’s Museum ticket nor buy yourself an ice cream cone; you can just go ahead and check it out for free in all of its imposing glory.

4. Franklin Park Zoo

Within Boston’s famous Emerald Necklace lies Franklin Park; within the park lies a zoo unlike many other zoos. Not too far from my hometown of Glen Rock, New Jersey, there is a very similar zoo also located in a park called the Van Saun Park Zoo. This zoo has a very community feeling to it and it’s not too large and very easy to navigate. The same can be said for the Franklin Park Zoo, as it rarely feels overcrowded and I don’t find myself having to look at a map the entire time. Among the the coolest animals are zebras, giraffes, and kangaroos. Although a zoo might not sound like such a “unique” or “underrated” way to spend your day, the Franklin Park Zoo has a special place in my heart and is worth a visit during your four years here at BU.

3. Mapparium

Boston’s Mapparium is a one of a kind attraction. Located in the Mary Baker Eddy Library in the dead center of the Northeastern campus is a three-story tall globe. Personally, I am a huge geography nerd, so I am a little bias when touting such an exhibit, but even the most geographically challenged will enjoy a visit to the Mapparium. As you enter the globe, a tour guide provides you with info on the library and why the globe was built. There is also a show that lights up different parts of the world and details how the world has changed since the Mapparium was built. Admission is a little pricey, but the library offers student discounts to anyone with a student ID.

2. Candlepin Bowling at Flatbread Brighton

Bowling? With smaller balls than usually? Into candlepins? What even is a candlepin? At a pizza place? These are all appropriate questions. Flatbread Brighton is a flatbread pizza joint right by the Boston Landing commuter rail stop. Although it may seem like the restaurant’s main attraction is the pizza, it’s not. You can actually bowl here. The owners of Flatbread Brighton designed the place to have both a combined restaurant and bowling alley atmosphere without giving too much attention to either concept. Bowling here is not your traditional bowling alley experience, as you are throwing much smaller balls at candle-shaped pins on a much smaller lane. In my opinion, it’s easier and more fun for people who don’t bowl regularly, but doesn’t take away from the fun of traditional bowling. Although isn’t wildly cheap, bowling is much cheaper and you do not have to order food to get a game in!

1. Thrifting in Allston

My hands-down favorite thing to do on the weekends is to peruse Allston’s many thrift stores with my friends. There are three in particular that stand out: Buffalo Exchange, Urban Renewals, and Goodwill. You can find your niche, as all three stores are pretty different. Buffalo Exchange is a little more expensive than the other two and feels more like a traditional clothing store. Urban Renewals is a family-run thrift shop and sells itself as “a Family Thrift Center for the urban dweller.” Goodwill, a chain, is your run of the mill thrift shop, but serves its purpose. Skip the overpriced stores on Newbury Street and head west for a thrifty time!

Josee: 500 Days of BU Summer

Back in elementary school, everyone dreaded the thought of summer school. So, obviously, when the opportunity came up to stay at BU over the summer, I jumped up at the idea.

From May to September, I assumed the role of Student Advisor (otherwise known as the very loud people in red shirts with terrible jokes). Hey, I already had terrible jokes and am pretty loud, so what a perfect fit.

PHOTO 1The COM SAs of 2018!

After meeting thousands of freshmen and their families, memories rushed in from my orientation session. My hair was a foot shorter, my eyes were wide with excitement, and I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I remember meeting my Student Advisor (s/o to former CA Rachel McLean) who I remembered from my April Open House. She mentioned how she spent all of her money on grapes by accident and I felt like I related on a spiritual level.

PHOTO 2Rachel, the OG

I also remember feeling elated. My mind couldn’t stop racing at the immeasurable possibilities before me and all the new people I met. This isn’t suburban New Jersey anymore, it’s the big league.

With the constant programming and new faces, there were moments of uncertainty about this new chapter. Did I make the right decision? Do I really belong here? Can I keep up?

Looking back, those fears seem so trivial now. But I remember how much of a big deal they were to me and it grounds me amid the fears that arise two years in.

I’m not worried anymore about getting lost on campus or being afraid to talk to people. Now, it’s more: Will I get a job after graduation? Am I ready to become a leader now that I’m an upperclassman? Am I going to have frozen pizza for dinner again? There will always be questions and uncertainty, it’s just about whether you’ll do something about them.

Bringing that back to this summer, I realized truly how impactful personal growth is here at BU. Getting to know the freshmen and hearing about what inspired or scared them created these parallels. I wish with all my heart I could tell them exactly how amazing their time here would be and how they would grow into people their freshmen selves would be proud of.

PHOTO 3It’s going to be ok freshman Josee

Mind you, this progress doesn’t come from a perfect college career free from blemishes or trouble. Rather, it stems from falling down and finding the motivations and support to pick yourself back up and get better every day. Keep truckin’ on my dudes, you’ll thank yourself later.

So, it’s been a pretty cool summer. Talk to you guys soon.

Morgan: My Two Cents on Change

It’s true.  I’m a junior.  I have entered my third year post high school and, well, not too much has changed.  I still feel semi lost on my journey to finding a career fit for me. I still don’t know why people always make the “hate to BU” joke every time I tell them what school I go to.  And I still don’t know when to expect the BU shuttle to arrive. Well, I guess, one thing changed. I got contacts and said goodbye to my heavy framed plastic glasses. I’m still lost but at least one thing I don’t have to fear about losing too much anymore are those glasses.

I entered sophomore year with an unintentional fresh new look.  I started wearing contacts out of convenience, but the removal of those glasses seemed to really throw people off. Former floormates did double takes not realizing it was me.  Some people from my previous classes looked confused when I waved to them passing by on the sidewalk. I felt like Hillary Duff’s character when no one knew it was her behind that white Cinderella mask in A Cinderella Story, or The Joker from The Dark Night when Harvey Dent didn’t recognize The Joker’s heavily made up face behind a thin surgical mask covering only the bottom half of his face.  By altering this one part of my identity, I became unrecognizable.

To finalize my transformation, by January of the next semester I removed the glasses on my Bitmoji character, and putting on my contacts was inserted into my morning routine.  

Basically, this has been my long winded way of saying that change may throw others off at first, but as long as you feel comfortable with yourself, embrace it.  In high school, the phrase “you’ve changed” seemed to always be tainted with negative connotations. But I’ve decided that it is one of the highest compliments to receive.

Super Bowl News GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Now that I have settled into my junior year, I am excited for change.  I’m open to new experiences from a change in setting when I potentially study abroad in the spring, to a change in how I approach the summer internship search.  Change is not always a bad thing, instead it could stand for improvement. Once junior year hits you become an upperclassmen, and that title comes with a whole new set of responsibilities.  You’re expected to be a mentor and a source of knowledge for underclassmen, and I was not ready for it–or so I thought. The COM Ambassador program as well as leadership positions that I’ve taken up in various campus organizations were catalysts for me in positively adjusting my character.  I still have my childlike sense of humor and am in constant confusion, but I’ve also learned how to stand up for myself and manage my responsibilities better than before.

Change provided me with the ability to see without needing something atop my nose at all times.  But, perhaps more importantly, change allowed me to see that I personally was capable of doing more than I thought possible.  Don’t stay stagnant because you feel that it may inconvenience or distract those around you. College pushed me to practice independence and self care, and naturally with that came personal development.  College is a time to discover where your true limits lay and you can’t reach higher until moving outside of your comfort zone.