Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Making Social Media our B-word Since 2011

Check out our new Twitter page, twitter.com/WorldzOurCampus. This will help us further infiltrate your brains with our quips about curious characters at BYU, except those quips will now be only 140 characters long. Plus now it'll be like breaking news-style: we'll be making judgmental comments right as we think them, on the scene...you're so intrigued you can hardly stand it, right?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The First Day Talker

This is the person in your class who does not understand what the first day of class is for.

  1. Learning how many group projects there will be in the semester, and if that number is greater than one, dropping the class.
  2. Learning how many hotties are in the class.
  3. Learning if one is expected to compete with trendy girls and dress really cute every time...or if one could get away with wearing hoodies undetected.
  4. Learning if the professor is funny or not.
  5. Learning where to sit so as to avoid any stinky classmates.

In short, the first day of class is for learning--not for socializing. The FDT, however, feels the opposite way and is completely insufferable. He talks to his classmates, especially if they are strangers. Introductions are key for the FDT: he will introduce himself to every person sitting in his vicinity. Picture, if you will, the Brady Bunch grid. The FDT is Alice, sitting in the center, and he will not rest until he knows the names of everyone in the surrounding desks (Marcia clockwise through Jan).

Try as he might, the FDT's doom is inevitable--his fame only lasts for that first day of class. Try as he might, the FDT just doesn't have the endurance to keep the coveted position of class clown. It's like he's trying to run a marathon with a sprinter's pace: you just can't start out with all your best material. The FDT uses it all up on the first day, only to get completely worn out by Day 3, which is when the Human Footnote will creep up from behind after pacing herself efficiently and claim the title of Loudest Classmate for her own.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bookstore Blast From The Past

It's a new semester with new classes and new professors that don't know what a bonehead procrastinator you are. You go to the bookstore with high hopes for this new start. This is the semester you're not going to rely on online summaries. You're going to use sources other than wikipedia for your scholarly articles. You're not going to spend the wee hours of the night on sites like this or this so that you can have more energy than a banana peel for your eight am class.

With this euphoria of new beginnings you enthusiastically greet someone you once knew marginally, but now know only through the info that shows up in facebook's newsfeed. After the questions that are supposed to sum up the years since you've seen each other, you casually resume your textbook hunt. But then, not one more book down your list, who should round the aisle but this relative stranger whom you so warmly greeted not one minute before. You both feign surprise at seeing each other again, as if everyone shops for their books like this guy does. Then you both ask one or two more obligatory questions with furrowed brows to make it seem like you've been burning to know the answer, but really you're just filling the dead air. Then, politely, you make sure to turn the opposite way you need to go just because it will mean you don't have to browse with an awkward silence breathing down your neck.

Going the opposite direction, you think you're safe from another increasingly bumbling conversation, but then your best friend you hardly know pops out behind the iClickers. You both insert some overdone jokes about Person A stalking Person B. Neither of you think they are funny. Both of you laugh. Then there's that awkward little pause where both of you are searching the peripheries for a polite escape:
"Ok, well I better look at staples now..."
"Yeah, staples are great..."
"See ya never--I mean later!"

Fed up with the pressure of trying to pull a friendship out of mid-air, you abandon the rest of your textbooks and just go to checkout. Within seconds you are enveloped in a maze of people snaking through the line, and who should you see? You guessed it. Now you've got to deal with a new conversation that has to be perfectly timed--too short and you'll have to just exhale loudly, too long and you'll have to shout about things you care nothing about while they snake in and out of view for the next half hour. Next year, you're buying on Amazon.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The BYU Hipster

In real life*, hipsters are people in their twenties** who believe in nothing but cigarettes and tumblr accounts. They come from upper-middle class, suburban homes with parents who love them, but they choose to make passersby think that they were raised by Courtney Love in the sewers. The only music they listen to sounds like acoustic poop, although sometimes they like things ironically, like early '80s pop bands. Hipsters exude an attitude of humble superiority: "I'm not good enough to shower or shave my smoldery*** neck beard, but I'm better than all of you, and that's how low you are." Somehow they are drowning in apathy while simultaneously caring too much.

BYU Hipsters? Yeah, they are all of this (except for that part where I talked about the cigarettes!) but worse: they want to seem like all they care about is Jack Kerouac and scarves and greasy bangs, but they've been on missions and go to church and take religion classes and are thus just pretending to not care about their lives and God and finding their eternal companions.

*Outside of The Bubble

**Anyone who looks/acts like this over the age of twenty-nine is pretty freaking sad. Anyone looking/acting like this under the age of twenty...well they still have the chance to grow out of it.

***Yes, sometimes certain girls are attracted to certain neck stubble.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Suburban Cowboy

This, not so rare breed of BYUers, would like nothing more than to believe that he is rare. That he is a dying breed of those infected with stickittodamaneosis, pioneering the way for outlaws everywhere. Because he has a mustache.
Toeing the Honor Code line, this bad-a shows that he's too wild to be tamed by the Strength of Youth pamphlet and he must let the wild out. By not shaving his upper lip for 6-8 weeks.
The Suburban Cowboy comes in many shapes and sizes though, or rather, his hairy manifestation of glory does.

The Tight Rope Walker: this guy's mustache is so daintily grown, and well coiffed, that it could only belong to some well-balanced Frenchman, but somehow you caught him coming out of the MARB before devotional. Most likely, the Tight Rope Walker knows that his mustache isn't doing him any manly favors and he'll either try to testosterone it up by wearing Timbalands and flannel, or he'll shave it off before the testing center even bats an eye.
The Cornsilk: to call this man's mustache a mustache is like calling a Prius a muscle car. It usually consists of wispy, yellow strands that are reminiscent of the material used for Charlotte's Web. No doubt the Cornsilk also has a complex about his transparent manmark, and will often refer to the waif above his lip as his "stache." Tagging it in pictures on facebook, tweeting about it, taking it out to dinner and a movie, etc.
The Rotten Whiskers: this brand refers to, but is not limited to, the hipster. Thinking it's so avante garde to come to school in an aura of his and others' filth, the Rotten Whiskers is very often found with Subway breadcrumbs, Tomassito's marinara and chocolate milk from the vending in his mustache. All at once. If you plan on kissing the Rotten Whiskers, plan on going on a diet too because every smooch with them is like a square meal.
The Border Patrol: this mustache grows so full and so proud it's all you notice when you see it on campus. It comes in so thick that it's clear it was bred only to instill fear in all those it looks upon. A word of caution, even though this mustache will replace the need for hulking muscles and vulgarity when you're trying to get a parking spot, it soon starts to take over the host and has been the demise of a few good men.
And last, but cerrrrrtainly not least is The Lumberjackpoliticiandad: this golden specimen embodies everything facial hair should be. It makes the user look like he could knock down trees but pick up puppies, like he could land a football scholarship but also a business deal. There aren't many instances of the Lumberjackpoliticiandad, but when you do see one, feel free to give them a standing ovation and everything you have in your wallet. They deserve it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Answer Whisper-er

We all know about the self-appointed spokesperson of each class: loud, answers every question with Hermione Granger-esque enthusiasm...but you may be relieved surprised to hear that the Human Footnote isn't actually the smartest member of the class.

Stop doodling and/or daydreaming. Listen. Do you hear that faint hissing that seems to be emitting pungent fumes of accuracy? Wait for the professor to ask another question. Now do you hear and feel that sweet correctness caressing the back of your neck? These full credit-deserving vibes of truth are coming from the Answer Whisper-er, who knows the right answer to every single question, even when the professor asks something weird and/or unclear and everyone is just sitting there in silence. However, the AW will never ever say this correct, potentially air-clearing and tension-relieving response any louder than a whisper--although he or she will occasionally raise his or her voice to the level of a mutter if someone is doing something loud, like coughing or digging loudly through a backpack or popping balloons.

While it may be flattering that he or she has chosen you to be the sole keeper of the secret of his or her brilliance, we are all experiencing real pain as we sit here, avoiding the stare of the professor who now knows that we didn't do the reading. We're college students; we feel enough sadness when we have to pay our utilities bills or when we see that the Skweez text is for Hot Dog King. Relieve us of this preventable misery and just say the answer, and please make sure to use your outside voice.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Small Town Hero

The Small Town Hero is the epitome of a big fish in a little pond. Except coming to BYU makes their little pond look like a divot in the sidewalk when it fills up with sprinkler water. So because they were the only multi-cellular being, they grew up being treated like a god.

They got a front page story in the local newspaper for things like: "Local Teen Learns To Breathe With His Mouth Closed--Onlookers Impressed" which makes them extremely disappointed when they're walking across the JFSB courtyard and the crowds don't part like the Red Sea. This guy/girl has also been Homecoming King/Queen ever since they hit puberty. Which is actually quite an accomplishment when you consider the award winning livestock they beat out. They'll also have exceeded expectations in all athletic arenas because they were the only kid within a hundred miles that hadn't lost a major limb to a farming accident.

This deified upbringing comes to a quick halt when they enter the pearly gates of BYU and are faced head on with their own mortality. The first few weeks of the semester they're still walking on air; answering every question the professor throws out, dating anything that moves, bearing impromptu testimonies during every hour of church. But it's all over as soon as they take their first test/write their first paper/get rejected by their significant other/get slapped by the bishop. After reality is forced to check the STH hard, they usually disappear and you never see them again. They either fade into the homogeneity of BYU, or they can't take being anything less than an idol so they run back home to West Armpit USA where the town will throw them a parade every time they take a crap.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Party Pooper

It's 2:00 in the afternoon. You are freaking starving, and you won't be home until at least 4:00. But wait! You forgot that it's presentation day in class! And look--one of the groups forgot to do any real work so they brought treats for the class! O frabjous day! This will tide you over until dinner! How did they know you'd need this so much today...

And then the pretty, well-dressed b-word next to you curtly shakes her head "no" before passing the treat plate to you because she is a Party Pooper. Now what do you do? Taking the treat automatically contrasts you to her: on one hand, we have a girl who knows when to say when. A girl who possesses self-restraint. On the other, we have a girl with a weakness for Halloween cookies. A girl whose whole shopping list consists of those (delicious) circus animal cookies and Cheez-Its.

You sit there with the tray, frantically weighing the pros and cons, knowing that no one actually cares whether or not you take a cookie, but also knowing that this could be a turning point for you--the moment when you become a healthy person! One of those yoga-types, who never drinks soda and thinks dessert means granola...

But obviously you take a cookie; you really are hungry. But thanks to the Party Pooper, what was once a glimmering tender mercy now tastes an awful lot like shame.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Fish Out of Water

Once you beat the first level of a BYU education, the GE's, you advance onto the next boss: the classes in your major. These classes typically take place in one or two designated buildings. We English majors, for example, rarely leave the JFSB. Our engineering friends stay close to the Clyde. That's the way it is; that's the way the world works.

However, Cecil occasionally likes to stick it to us and schedules upper-level classes in a totally random building. Finance majors get lost in the labyrinth of the JFSB, Physics majors walk all the way over to the Tanner, one time I had a lit class in the Talmage...it's all very uncomfortable.

One can always spot one of these Fish Out of Water because they will have constant looks of bewilderment and unbelonging. They will have grit-teeth-clenched-jaw, Inspector Gadget-when-he's-reading-a-telegram-eyes, and nervous-Andy-Samberg-eyebrows as thoughts like these race through their brains: "Maybe I should just drop this class and delay graduation a semester," "Where did all these members of the opposite sex come from?", and "Where are the %&*#ing bathrooms?" The FOW can also be identified if everyone he or she passes gives him or her the ole stink eye because they have all sniffed out the pariah whose brain is emitting fumes that reek of alternative education.