The Blog


Did you or someone you know drink a little bit too much while partying?

Unfortunately, it is not a given that this somebody will make it to a toilet or trash can. Actually, he or she probably won’t. So what are we left with? Carpets. Hardwood floors. Your furniture. Awesomeness.

Whether it’s you or someone you know doing the vomiting, you’re going to be in a pile of some pretty nasty stuff (figuratively or literally). And from within this pile, there may seem to be no way out. There will always be the stench     Where you should be aiming, ideally.

of the Milano sandwich from a few hours earlier or the Spicy Special consumed maybe a minute before. There will always be some weird discoloration, reminding you of the horror that was several tens of seconds of regurgitation.

Do not despair, young revelers. Not all hope is lost. As any senior or person who has ever dealt with a household pet or small child can tell you, vomit is not forever.

Here’s how:

1. Don’t be a jerk

If you vomited and are still incapacitated, fine, don’t clean it up. If you vomited and are totally fine (Read:rallying), don’t go around saying, “Ohhh weh looking at vomit makes me vomit. I can’t do it.” Well, looking at your vomit makes me angry, so clean it up yourself. But if it’s the first case, the situation is still dire (regarding the vomit, but also make sure the vomiter is OK first) and needs to be dealt with ASAP. Be the first responder and don’t walk away, trying to pull the same “sympathetic vomiting” crap. It’s just code for lazy and selfish. We all vomit sometimes—don’t pretend that you’re above it.

2. Locate the scene of the crime

Ok. Is it on the carpet, furniture, or hardwood floor? Figure that out.

3. Gather appropriate supplies

If it’s on carpet or furniture, you’ll need a lot. Floors, not so much. So—

-Rubber gloves, rags and towels, and absorbent paper towels (a ton) for all situations

-Carpet or furniture:Carpet or fabric cleaner (try to get one that has a brush on the top for scrubbing), disinfectant like Lysol, powder deodorizer (more effective than sprays).

-Wood:cat litter or baking soda, white vinegar

4. Get crackin’

Carpet or furniture:

-Carefully wipe up the solids. Do not push them further into the carpet or fabric. Then it’s all ruined.

-Toss that shit.

-Use a clean rag and cold water to work out (not in!) the remaining vomit.

-Lay down the carpet/fabric cleaner and do whatever the bottle says.

-Use the disinefectant on the area.

-Spread the powder deodorizer over the area. Leave it for however long the container says (overnight, even) and wipe it up with cold water in the morning.

Wood:

-Again, wipe up the solids. Don’t worry about pushing them in—it’s solid wood.

-Lay down the cat litter or baking soda and wait for the remaining liquid to turn solid.

-Wipe that up with a paper towel.

-Mix one part vinegar to three parts water in whatever receptable you’ve got.

-Wipe the floor down with this mixture.

-Wipe the floor with a dry cloth and let air dry.

5. Call Housing

After cleaning up the mess, be sure to call the Hartley Hospitality Desk so that they can send someone in to fully clean the area.

6. Move on

Vomit is not fun, but it happens. You’re a big grown up who can handle it quickly and efficiently. Or at least you sort of can now. Anyway, vomit begone and life to be lived.

 

Parts of this guide were taken from The Lion Archives post, “How to clean up vomit (Yes, really),” written by Samantha Henderson.

Left: an educated Black Man Right: The “thug” society sees

“Open the link. Let’s see the results.”

I sat in front of my computer with the dreaded email that read, “Admissions Decisions have been released. Please login for your decision.” My friends and family had been supporting me over the past four months as I worked to polish all of my college applications. Now it was finally time to see the fruits of this collective labor. Pushing my fears of rejection aside, I clicked the link and to my delight, the sounds of “Roar, Lion, Roar!” roared from my computer and I saw the digital letter that stated that I was accepted to Columbia University.

Those months of hard work had finally paid off. On May 1st, I entered my high school proudly wearing my Columbia sweatshirt for National College Signing Day. It felt as if nothing could ruin my day at that point until I heard someone whisper to a peer, “He only got into Columbia because he’s Black.” Upon hearing that, I was insulted that someone would want to belittle my achievements because of my skin color. Rather than be happy for my success, I was only viewed as another minority student given an easier chance of getting into a top college.

In addition to facing misperceptions such as this in regard to academic achievement, Black male students are faced with negative perceptions of their race and character in the media. During the protests in Baltimore over the murder of Freddie Gray (a young Black man killed by police officers), media outlets actively chose to depict Black youth as thugs and criminals, bent on looting and destroying their own city. Instead of portraying one of the numerous scenes in which Black youth peacefully protested for justice for the murder of another young person of color, media outlets like CNN chose to only show video footage of pharmacies on fire, Black mothers beating their children, and Black students creating chaos in the streets. Yet when primarily White groups start protests over issues such as their favorite sports team losing a game, media outlets label them as mere disruptions – even when they cause more damage. For our current time period that media outlets have touted as part of the “post-racial” era, America’s media coverage of Black youth harkens more to 1968 Civil Rights-era protests.

This misperception of Black youth as criminals rather than as academics has led to nationwide movements to dispel these derogatory stereotypes. One movement, the “I, Too, Am Harvard” photo campaign has explored these issues by showing a set of photos in which Black Harvard students hold whiteboards with notes describing their experiences. These experiences have ranged from being called White all the way to being told that being Black makes being admitted to college so much easier.

Now, you’re probably wondering: What do protests and media portrayals of Black youth in places like Baltimore have anything to do with perceptions of Black students in schools?

While these two ideas seem quiet disparate, they both are entwined with the underlying American issue of racism. Even as our nation espouses national unity under the auspices of patriotism and accessibility to higher education, we fail to ensure that everybody has an equal chance at these opportunities. In a 2015 report by the National Center for Education Statistics, only fifty-nine percent of Black males graduated high school on time in comparison to a whopping eighty percent of White male students. For a nation based on the premise of every person having a fair chance to succeed, it is clear that this is far from the reality. And even worse, with a subconscious public sentiment that Black people are dangerous, ratchet, and/or inept, these statistics do not do much to help improve the image of Black people in America.

By being subconsciously characterized in a negative light in the public eye, the system has become cyclical: pushing Black students into poverty and out of the realm of higher education. But even when a Black student is able to escape this vicious cycle, they are still belittled due to these preconceived notions of what it means to be Black. From off-hand comments such as “You’re so White,” to “Being black must be nice… especially for getting into college,” it is abundantly clear that this “new” America has yet to accept the Black community, but rather still looks down upon it. In our “post-racial” nation, people still do not accept people of color as talented students, but rather as simple objects to represent diversity.

So when I heard that classmate say that my acceptance to Columbia was a result of my race, they were subconsciously thinking that the color of my skin defines my intelligence, and that nothing I could do would ever be as great as that of a White student. Even though this nation has made great strides in trying to reduce racial dispairites, we still have a long way to go. And the first step towards a brighter tomorrow is recognizing these pejorative misperceptions.

The Lion is the only on-campus publication that pledges to accept all submissions (even anonymous). To respond to this op-ed or send in your own piece, email submissions@columbialion.com

The 1893 opera “Manon Lescaut” was the third created by Giacomo Puccini, but it was the first that displayed the full range of his budding mastery of the art form. Even if the piece lacks some of the refinement of Puccini’s later classics, it includes music strongly informed by the great composers of the past, even Richard Wagner, but also gives indications of how his characteristic style would develop in subsequent operas. The orchestra, conducted with great finesse on this occasion by Maestro Fabio Luisi, plays a major role in telling the story, and the score is a clear precursor of the great cinematic soundtracks of the next century. For these reasons, it was exciting to see the work presented in a new production at the Metropolitan Opera last Friday night.

Based on the 1731 novel “L’histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut” by the Abbé Prévost, the opera depicts the struggles of the title heroine as she must choose between with her love for a poor-but-ardent student, Renault des Grieux and her ambitions for wealth and notoriety. Over the course of the evening, Manon goes from simple girl headed for a convent to a glamorous Parisian socialite, and ultimately her dual desires clash with tragic consequences. It is a story that continues to surprise at every turn and depicts, with bold color, the passion and fervor of young love.

This new staging of “Manon Lescaut” marked the fourth production by British director Sir Richard Eyre, who updated the setting to France during the German occupation during World War II. With a drab but evocative set by Rob Howell and fetching period costumes by Fotini Dimou, the production presents many beautiful images, but feels more like a string of attractive poses than an organic narrative. Hopefully, as the performers gain greater comfort with the concept, their characterizations will mature, and subsequent outings will be far more cohesive.

Soprano Kristine Opolais is becoming a go-to interpreter of Puccini’s music at the Met, having sung three of the composer’s heroines there in recent seasons. As Manon, Opolais brought a sultry, lyrical timbre, but her vocal performance was inconsistent at times. While the role’s stunning arias were polished and moving, moments between the showstoppers were given less care, and her top notes did not always sound secure. Still, Opolais cuts a riveting figure onstage, and she skillfully maneuvered through her character’s mercurial mood shifts.

Making headlines, famed tenor Roberto Alagna stepped in to sing the role of des Grieux only a few weeks before the opening, replacing an ailing colleague. After Friday’s performance, though, it was clear that the decision was motivated more to boost ticket sales than to present the best casting choice. Alagna is undeniably past his vocal prime, and the role proved too taxing for his fading sound. Early on the tenor sang with bright ardor, but in the final two acts, his singing became increasingly labored and high notes were noticeably under pitch.

Both Massimo Cavaletti as Manon’s brother Lescaut and Brindley Sherratt as the scheming nobleman Geronte sang with robust baritones, and special note should be made of tenor Zach Borichevsky, who made his debut as the student Edmondo with youthful energy and warm sound.

The score is the hero of “Manon Lescaut” as it is replete with lush melodies and guides the listener through the plot’s many twists and turns. Columbia students enamored with Puccini’s later, more popular works should savor this opportunity to see his first masterpiece despite some theatrical and vocal inconsistencies in this production.

Performances of “Manon Lescaut” run through March 11. The March 5 matinee performance will be broadcast in cinemas and on radio worldwide. More information can be found online at metopera.org.

Most operas have the (unfair) reputation of being long, drawn-out affairs that require multiple hours of concentration. While it is true that there are some gargantuan opuses in the standard repertory, others get the job done in just an hour. Often multiple of these compact one-act works are presented together to offer a full night of entertainment. The most famous of these pairings is of two Italian operas composed within three years of each other, just before the turn of the last century – “Cavalleria rusticana” by Pietro Mascagni and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s “I pagliacci”. Last month, these two classics were presented in a production by Sir David McVicar for the first performance in a month-long run at the Metropolitan Opera.

While the operas were not originally intended to be presented together, each is a gripping drama focused on the extraordinary trials of seemingly ordinary people. McVicar capitalized on these similarities and set both on the same piazza in a small Southern Italian town roughly fifty years apart. Before “Cavalleria” begins, the peasant woman Santuzza has been excommunicated due to her dalliances outside of wedlock with the local villager, Turiddu. Over the course of the opera, not only does she grapple with her outsider status, she must also face the revelation that Turiddu has abandoned her and taken up with a married woman.

After the intermission, we return to the same square, now just after the Second World War, as a troupe of clowns and acrobats arrives to entertain the townspeople. Unfortunately, Canio, the leader of the performers, discovers that his wife has moved on to another, younger lover, and his jealously and rage ultimately come to head during that evening’s performance with tragic results.

It was often hard to believe that the same director created both stagings. McVicar’s take on “Cavalleria” was stiff and drab, bereft of any of the genuine emotional urgency that throbs on every page of Mascagni’s score. Instead, much of the direction relied on the oversized melodramatic gestures that did little to convey the truth that lies at the piece’s heart. In contrast, his “Pagliacci” was inspired! At times, the production was incredibly funny and engaging, and these mirthful moments helped make the heartrending climax so much more impactful.

As the tortured Santuzza, soprano-turned-mezzosoprano Violetta Urmana sang with a warm, rounded tone that revealed the character’s inner virtue. Unfortunately, the upper limits of the role stressed her vocal capabilities and resulted in strained high notes. Even though his singing lacked much dimension, South Korean tenor Yonghoon Lee still brought an Italianate color to his performance of Turiddu; however, his reliance on insincere histrionics undermined his portrayal.

Mezzosoprano Ginger Costa-Jackson brought a supple sound to her role as Lola, the new object of Turiddu’s affection, while Ambroggio Maestri’s robust baritone seemed underserved in his somewhat wooden interpretation of Lola’s husband Alfio.

This season, tenor Roberto Alagna celebrates two decades since his Met debut, and he returned on this occasion as Canio, a role in which he has performed to acclaim around the globe. Alagna’s clean timbre has become clouded with time, and he spent much of the night forcefully delivering his music. His true strengths lay in his skill as an actor; he deftly portrayed the uncontrollable mix of love, anger, and despair that ultimately lead the character to commit murder.

As his wife Nedda, soprano Barbara Frittoli struggled to execute the role’s higher passages and offered only rare moments of penetrating singing in the middle of her range. George Gagnidze expertly rendered the dual personae of Tonio, a lecherous clown who forces himself upon Nedda backstage but is nothing but laughs before the public. With a strong, virile baritone, Alexey Lavrov brought much-needed heat as Silvio, Nedda’s ardent lover.

Audiences have come to rely on Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi for the wealth of color that he can draw from his musicians, and this performance was no exception. Luisi guided the orchestra and chorus though a reading of both pieces that was imbued with musical depth and dramatic integrity.

These operas are classics of the Italian operatic repertory and feature two of the best scores of the late nineteenth century. The music, along with the brilliant staging of “I pagliacci,” should appeal to Columbia students interested in the art form; however, the inconsistencies throughout cannot be avoided. It may be better to wait for another work from the same period to be performed later in the season – possibly the new production of Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut” which opens in just a few weeks.

Performances of “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “I pagliacci” run through February 26. More information can be found online at www.metopera.org.

The first time I heard “All About That Bass,” I was inspired. Here I was, sitting in the front seat of my family’s minivan, watching my forty-year-old mother rock out to an incredible beat. She was singing along and when I strained to hear the words, I was moved.

“Yeah, it’s pretty clear I ain’t no size two,” Meghan crooned in her wonderfully malleable voice. I couldn’t believe it. A mainstream singer on the hottest pop station in DC was celebrating her curviness. It was entirely different, wonderful, and… feminist!

Recently, an article from the blogger called “Ambitiously Living” was circulating around my Facebook newsfeed. It was titled “Why I Will Never Respect Meghan Trainor.” Being a fan, I clicked.

In the article, the unnamed author claims Trainor is going about feminism all wrong. “You have manipulated thousands of adolescent teenagers into a twisted ideology of positive body image,” she says to Trainor. As it continues, she goes on to discuss how, in her mind, Trainor’s music essentially damages young women’s body images.

And here’s where I’d like to disagree. In my mind, Meghan Trainor is an incredible role model and a modern feminist icon. Every argument this author put forward is, in my humble opinion, petty and narrow-minded. She casts judgement before judgement should be cast and attacks a woman for her own body image, the very same cause she is fighting against.

So, Ambitiously Living, here is what I have to say to you:

First and foremost, let’s address a statement you make in your piece: “You are a walking contradiction, and I do not respect you or your ideologies.” Woah. Hold up a minute. Regardless of your opinion of Trainor’s music (with which I adamantly disagree), you have no right to cast judgment on her as a human being. How could you know you do not respect her if you’ve never even met her? For all you know, Trainor could be the nicest, most respectful person you may ever meet. Do you automatically disrespect anyone who doesn’t agree with all of your ideologies? I certainly don’t. Those are the kinds of people who ruin the opportunity for peaceful talks and open debate. Please don’t be that kind of person.

Secondly, let’s break down your argument. You claim Trainor “tells [her] young and confused female listeners that a man’s acknowledgment is important, and the reason they should obtain a certain build.” Where you get this from her music, though, I’m not so sure. True, in “All About That Bass,” she argues men may appreciate a curvy body, but nowhere does she say this ‘approval,’ so to speak, is what inspires her to boast of her curves. It’s simply an acknowledgement of her reality- a proud acknowledgement at that, where Trainor points out she is happy and thriving in her relationships, and that her weight never holds her back.

“When you refer to these women as ‘stick-figure, silicone Barbie doll[s],’ you are belittling their lifestyle choices and their own self-image,” you say. But this is also mistake. When Trainor uses these words, she isn’t putting down women, she’s building them up. “Don’t be what society tells you you must be,” she is saying, “don’t be a stick-figure silicone Barbie doll, be whatever you want to be. You can be curvy, you can be petite- just don’t listen to the media when it tells you to look like a Barbie doll. Look the way you want to look because that’s how you want to look.” It’s a misunderstanding to assume Trainor is attacking thin women, and honestly, a step back in feminism.

The only slightly persuasive argument in the author’s critique of the talented Meghan Trainor is when she argues the singer has “even managed to degrade those 11 million individuals [who have suffered from eating disorders] by making light of their struggle in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. You told interviewers ‘you were never strong enough to have an eating disorder.’” Yes, at first glance, this statement is shocking, and possibly even offensive. But at the same time, we shouldn’t be so quick to judge. As someone who has lived at both sides of the scale—with an overweight and then a dangerously thin body- I am acutely aware of the struggles women face when examining their own body weight. And as someone who fought and beat an eating disorder, I also know that it is indeed a test of strength. I was overweight for years, and I toyed with the idea of bulimia for as long as I could imagine. The reason it took me so long to go through with it was not a testament to my will- I wasn’t “strong enough” because I had convinced myself I would be ugly forever.

Now, please don’t misunderstand me. Submitting to an eating disorder was the worst decision I ever made, and I do not condone nor make light of the struggle of bulimia nervosa or others like it. But there is also a seriously degrading self-image in the mind of a woman who says she is not “strong enough” to have an eating disorder. On that topic we should never cast judgment.

Ambitiously Living, you may have just degraded a woman for her body image to respond to what you call a degrading song. But that’s not right. Attacking an insult with more insults never solves the problem. Honestly, attacking a woman for her body-image should never be okay, no matter which side of the scale she’s on.

When I bought Trainor’s album Title, every track was beaming with feminist pride. In “Lips Are Movin’” and “No Good For You,” she decries abusive and imbalanced relationships. In “Walkashame,” she asserts a woman’s right to her sexuality. In “My Selfish Heart,” she values a woman’s career and right to choose her own path. And yes, in “All About That Bass,” she rallies for positive body image.

So, Meghan, I support you. I applaud you. Keep fighting the good fight and forget the haters. You are beautiful.

 

 

For the original article, follow this link: https://ambitiouslyliving.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/why-i-will-never-respect-meghan-trainor/