The Tree Trials

Second Treetise By AIDAN FITZSIMONS   Oak-ay everyone, I’m back with my bi-weekly tree talk.   Two weeks ago, I started this column off with my favorite tree in Harvard Yard, the Emerson Evergreen Tree in Sever Quad. This week, we’re going to kick the skill level up several notches. The Emerson Tree is a relatively easy tree to climb: the first branch is accessible at standing height, and the branches continue all the way up the tree with horizontal orientations. It’s a breeze. But the two trees we’ll bark up today are another story.   If there’s one thing …

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Bi the Way, I’m Still Coming Out

Angsty Thoughts on Too Many Expectations   By: ALAYA AYALA   For me, coming to Harvard was as freeing as it was binding.   I was free from the fetters of my high school responsibilities, free from the city where I was born and raised, and even as I hated to admit it, I was free from the expectations of my old friends and family. There was a two hour barrier on I-90 separating me from my old life, and I felt light enough to officially Come Out as bisexual last fall, to everyone. I had lived with so much …

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4:22

  Class-Schedule Calculations By ALAYA AYALA   This semester, the new class schedule has caused trouble for some students, with many struggling to figure out exactly why it’s been so hard to settle into the new routine. Now that we’re a month into our semester, the Indy has sat down and done some calculations to figure out just how much more time Harvard students have been spending in class.   Last year, our classes started 7 minutes past the hour, and generally met for an hour at a time. This gave us 53 minutes total for each class. On our …

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The Roommate Agreement

By ALAYA AYALA   I woke up with a wild gasp, sitting bolt upright in my seat and frantically trying to figure out where I was. For a moment I was all panic as I realized I wasn’t in my bedroom, in fact, I was in a room surrounding by unfamiliar people, many of whom were watching me curiously. I couldn’t breathe, my heart pounding as I tried to understand what was going on. As if a lens had suddenly fallen over my vision, I realized where I was and ducked my head in shame. I’d fallen asleep in the …

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Rainbow Scales and Special Leaves

Some thoughts on childhood, stress, and college.   By ALAYA AYALA   Recently, I’ve been living for these text posts that I see on my social media feeds all the time. They’re like concentrated shots of relatable content that I can take less than five seconds to swallow. Sometimes they burn on the way down. Sometimes they leave an aftertaste. The really good ones leave me breathless for hours from laughing – or crying. Maybe it’s because I’m a lightweight when it comes to the truth.   The other day I saw a post about children’s books that really messed …

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The Best Tree in Harvard Yard

First Treetise By AIDAN FITZSIMONS     Buckle up, beeches— I’m about to treet myself.   It’s my favorite activity and about 30% of my identity. Whenever I’m feeling a bit grim about the mouth, I look around for a nice tree to climb into, and it never fails to leaf me happy. Some trees are mainly for perching, reading, and people-watching; some trees are a tantalizing challenge just to get up into; and some trees are great for climbing really, really high. I am intimately familiar with almost every climbable tree around Harvard, although I’m constantly discovering more. I’m …

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Liberal (Arts) Education

And why it needs challenging. By EMILY HALL   There was a time when the term “liberal” signified freedom.   A liberal arts education is meant to allow us to freely explore the arts and sciences, while a handful of requirements mandates that we actually do explore. This educational model has served me and many of my fellow students well—I often hear stories of favorite courses people only discovered in pursuit of a general education requirement.   But what about a liberal education? Instead of promoting freedom of inquiry, today’s inescapably liberal higher education stifles debate, kills discourse, and massacres …

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Sex Week

Events and revelations. By ANDIE TURNER   When I was young, my parents told me that people made babies when they “kissed, really fast, forty times in a row”. To punctuate their point, my mom would lean into my dad and he’d bounce his lips, woodpecker style, onto hers as she counted between breaths “…thirty-seven!… thirty-eight!… thirty-nineeeee!” But they never got to forty. My little brother and I would cover our eyes and screech as they approached, asymptotically, that mystical number.   So you can imagine my confusion when my mom took me to see Juno in the fourth grade. …

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Orbital Economics

Ec-10 Meets Asteroid Mining By JOSE ESPINEL   Take a trip to one of STAHR’s open houses at the Harvard Loomis-Michael observatory on a clear night (or get that coveted swipe access and go on your own time) and look up at the sky. Up there, that’s the realm of improbability. There are Wolf-Rayet stars frantically ejecting their atmospheres; exoplanets with orbital periods measured in mere hours. There is a certain suspension of disbelief that accompanies the study of the cosmos. So if I told you that an exercise in economic theory was taking place up there, in space, would …

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On Embodying the Upside-Down Smiley Face Emoji

Some thoughts on Mental Health on an Ivy League campus. By ALAYA AYALA Upon going through old text messages recently, I counted an extraordinary 103 uses of the upside-down smiley face emoji over the past week. This may just be an expression of my lack of creativity when it comes to using emojis, but I like to think it’s a pretty accurate reflection of where my mind has been recently. I’m definitely smiling, but it’s not for happy reasons, if you catch my drift.   Last term, quite frankly, was hell for me. On the outside I’m sure I looked …

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How to Avoid Being Called ‘Mouthy’ As You Swallow Him Whole!

By HUNTER RICHARDSYou’re here again – faced with an overly self-assured, middle-aged man in a position of authority over you that isn’t a fan of you speaking up about your opinions, let alone you having them. You’re getting tired of hearing him call you ‘Mouthy’, even as you dislocate your jaw and continue to swallow him whole. But nobody’s metabolism is strong enough for swallowing all the awful men in your workplace whole, so you really have to learn to constrain yourself. Luckily, there’s enough stock images to sort through your thoughts before becoming a certified Man-Eater (and Man-Digester).   …

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Why Choose Harvard?

By JAYCEE YEGHER As the lucky few kids open acceptance letters from Harvard, they are probably opening acceptance letters from other elite institutions as well. Why choose Harvard? Here’s what some of our current freshmen had to say… “Harvard had way better financial aid and more study abroad opportunities than my state school. And because it’s Harvard!” – Benazir Neree “One, it’s literally the best school. Two, they offered me the best financial aid. Three, I genuine believed that Harvard would offer me personally the most diverse, fulfilling academic and social experience.” – Samantha Gamble “With the Berklee dual enrollment …

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Jumping Through Hoopes

Taking time to concentrate on myself after meeting concentration requirements. By HUNTER RICHARDS Everyone says that doing a thesis is going to be difficult, but nobody admits just how hard it can get sometimes. Nobody wants to talk about struggling to take care of your health and well-being. There isn’t anyone there who is asking, “How is your thesis going?” that wants to know more than what progress you’ve made academically. In reality, this is a loaded question that isn’t easy to answer in the process.   The morning after submitting my thesis, I felt a weight lifted off of …

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Lost and Found:

Your Will to Survive By HUNTER RICHARDS There are plenty of ways to hate your life that don’t require doing a thesis, so why bother spending 9 months suffering when there’s plenty of one-time instances you can lose your will to survive! Taking a class with quizzes at the beginning of each lecture that you can’t just send a clicker with a friend to get you attendance credit. The only thing worse would be when you drunk message your professor after ghosting on their email to you earlier this week that you suddenly feel too guilty to ignore. This is …

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