Over the next few weeks we’ll be introducing you to our awesome student peer educators, starting with Sammy Step:
Name / Year / Major: Sammy Step/ ’18/ Psychology and Art History Minor
Home: Los Angeles, CA
Favorite WW Resource: My favorite WW resource is actually Office Hours. I think it’s wonderful that almost any day, students can come in to the office to just hang out and eat chocolate, or to have a conversation, or receive advice or support from a peer-ed, another member of their community.
Share something you enjoy about being a peer ed: The community!! All the peer-eds are so kind and interesting in different ways, and I feel incredibly lucky to get to interact with such amazing, giving individuals. I get to learn so much from everyone I work with. I also love having the opportunity to meet and share conversations with students who go here that I wouldn’t meet otherwise. WW feels like a very open space for people, and I enjoy getting to be involved in that.
What is your favorite way to practice self care? I love to cook for self care! Cooking for me feels both very methodical and creative in a way which centers me and calms me down. I can also do it alone or with friends, and at the end I (hopefully) have something really delicious that I can feel proud of and enjoy.
What are you really excited about right now? Right now, I’m excited about birds! I recently learned about complex speech patterns between birds, and I also learned that birds have much denser brains than we generally think. In other words, birds maybe have a more complex consciousness than we (or at least I) thought! Birds are beautiful and have so many different colors and they can fly! Also, separately from my interest, my suite mate hung a poster of birds in our kitchen that reads “give wing to your wild side” so I’m embracing that as my new motto.
Whether you love or loathe (or couldn’t care less about) Valentines Day, it can offer a great excuse to celebrate the relationship you have with your self. So this week, be your own Valentine (or, if you’d rather keep hearts and glitter out of it altogether…be your own generally awesome person). At our meeting last night the peer eds put together a list of some of their current favorite ways to treat themselves. We hope our list will inspire you to take a little extra time for yourself today, or any day.
And! If you’re looking for something fun and festive to do tonight, stop by 119 Reid from 7:30-9pm for our Radical Love Zine Party, hosted by Barnard Student Life, Well-Woman, and Zine Club as a part of Love & Liberation Week at Barnard!
current favorite ways to treat ourselves:
- face masks (find lots of great diy recipes here)
- make super easy and super delicious chocolate covered potato chips
- plan a wholesome movie night–Independence Day is a recent fave for two of our peer eds
- take yourself out for a walk
- curate a playlist for yourself
- re-watch favorite episodes of your favorite shows (or just find a supercut of favorite scenes!)
- make a baked good for a friend and eat it together
- come to Well-Woman and make a button!
- listen to sets from John Mulaney (or any other favorite comedian)
- try out a new netflix show–One Day at a Time is very popular in our office right now!
- take yourself out for dessert
We’ve made it through another (or your first!) semester at Barnard, and you know what that means: time to buckle down for that race to the finals finish line. I know that doing well in classes is important to people, myself included, but the pressure and stress present during this time of the year can be super overwhelming. With that in mind, here are some things I do when I want to calm down, take a break, or just do something other than study for a little bit:
Thanksgiving can be a restful break full of good food and loved ones. It can also be a stressful event full of head-butting with distant family members. In honor of this coming holiday… here are some tips for dealing with political conversation at the table on Turkey Day:
Remember, you do not have to argue with anyone if you don’t want to! But if you do, take lots of deep breaths, be patient, and pick your battles wisely. Be careful not to drain yourself.
If the conversation feels productive, that is wonderful and often you can learn something too!
If continuing feels stressful, feel free to disengage. Convincing your uncle Rudy on one issue or another will most likely not change the political landscape of America. Change the topic to the weather or pop culture or the sweet potato pie (see recipe below) and return to easy breezing. Or, impress the table with the etymology of the word turkey: http://nowiknow.com/how-turkey-got-its-name/
Or this fun turkey fact:
If Ben Franklin had his way, the turkey would be our national bird.
Take a moment to remember it took you time, energy, and other people’s patience and generosity to teach you what you know today. Doing this can give perspective and help as a reminder to be empathetic.
Find something that fills you with warmth and keep it close by. One example: put a great picture as your phone background. Here are some for your pleasure.
Channel your frustrated energy into making a rad dish! If you’re feeling angry and want to smash some things we recommend this killer mashed potato recipe:
Or this dope vegan chai sweet potato pie:
If you need to zone out and calm down, find an escape! Go on a walk. Visit a favorite place from your childhood. Watch a movie or TV show you love.
Watch this incredibly calming live feed video of an aquarium!
Eat well and be well! Happy Thanksgiving!
It’s a difficult time of year–people are gearing up for finals, trying to cram in as much as they can before Thanksgiving break, and generally feeling miserable about the finally-encroaching cold season. But you’re about to thank me for showing you exactly what you need in your academic life right now (or rather, you’ll thank my best friend and this document’s creator, Catherine Scott). Behold an automated paper title generator, or “Instant Conference Topic Generator”–all you need is the day and month you were born, and the first letter of your first name. Easy enough! If you don’t feel like doing it yourself because the thought of having to flex your brain muscles any more than you already are is overwhelming, check out the list below. The Peer Eds all sat down together and made a list of our own next paper titles. Here they are–enjoy the academic mockery, but also prepare yourself because these are actually really good.
- Rania: “The Real McCoy”: White Supremacy through the Lens of the Star Wars Prequels
- Amanda: “The Love that Dare not Speak its Name”: Eurocentrism through the Lens of Beyoncé’s “Lemonade”
- Kate: “Show Me the Money!”: Criminalization through the Lens of the Ashlee/Jessica Simpson Paradox
- Danielle: “Your Place or Mine?”: Marxism through the Lens of Cher’s Twitter
- Chantal: “Houston, We Have a Problem”: Capitalism through the Lens of Albus Dumbledore’s Closeted Homosexuality
- Simi: “The Whole Shebang”: Masculinity through the Lens of Rory Gilmore’s Controversial Love Life
- Cara: “Queer as a Three Dollar Bill”: the Patriarchy through the Lens of Albus Dumbledore’s Homosexuality
- Analisa: “Diamond in the Rough”: Criminalization through the Lens of Beyoncé’s “Lemonade”
- Allison: “Houston, We Have a Problem”: Globalization through the Lens of Beyoncé’s Lemonade
- Jaipreet: “Pick Your Poison”: Eurocentrism through the Lens of the “For Women” Category on PornHub
- Helen: “Queer as a Three Dollar Bill”: Capitalism through the Lens of Helga Pataky’s Difficult Life
- Sammy: “This Town’s Not Big Enough for the Two of Us”: Criminalization through the Lens of Rory Gilmore’s Controversial Love Life
- Rumana: “Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers”: The Space Time Compression through the Lens of the Star Wars Prequels
Now go write your own!
This past week has been stressful, emotional, and challenging. Whether your candidate won or lost, take some time to reevaluate how you participate in politics and practice self care. Below are some helpful tips to help you relax, get inspired, get distracted and/or organize.
- Create a list of all the things you are grateful for. By refocusing on the positives, you help your mind and body adjust to a happier and easier state of being.
- Try not to look at a screen for either 5, 10, or 20 minutes. The bright lights can at times be strenuous for our eyes, and at times the material we are consuming can be strenuous on our souls.
- Listen to your favorite type of music. Feel free to shake things out or be still – both are beneficial!
- Say five positive things about yourself. It’s easy to become critical of yourself, but once you take a step back you realize how amazing you are.
- Cry, laugh, smile, talk, mope, or whatever! Feeling your emotions fully is a wonderful and necessary thing. Take up as much time and space you need to be with your emotions because your feelings are valid!
- “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde
- “Pies, ¿para qué los quiero si tengo alas para volar?” – Frida Kahlo
- “You don’t choose the time you live in, but you choose who you want to be. And how you want to think” – Grace Lee Boggs
- “When the world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful” – Malala Yousafzia
- “When you joyfully rebel against your circumstances, against mediocrity or negativity, you invite others into something really beautiful.” – Kid President
A list of organizations you can support
- National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
- Trans Latina Coalition
- Campaign Zero
- American Civil Liberties Union
- New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault
When I first came to Barnard, I was very eager to establish my new life on campus by showing my independence externally by exploring new body piercings and contemplating a tattoo. I have learnt so much from friends, siblings and my own reading about the many added benefits that piercings can have, including sexual pleasure! Here are a few bits of information that I have heard/found/experienced about body piercings and pleasure:
Here are a couple interesting articles about body modification and queer, feminist empowerment:
There is so much out there and this is definitely an area I don’t feel super knowledgeable about, but am interested in learning more :).
(pictures from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/18/women-body-modification-roger-kisby_n_7612532.html)