A Clothes Look At Style

Glance at your closet and look at the kinds of clothes and accessories you own. Then, think of five adjectives that best describe your whole wardrobe. Next, think of five adjectives that fully describe yourself and your personality. Now, compare both groups of words. According to Rachel Zoe, “fashion is a way to say who you are without having to speak,” so it should not surprise you if you repeated any words between the two groups I had you brainstorm. With her simple quote, Zoe sends a powerful message to society. Although she is explicitly talking about your physical appearance with fashion, she is actually alluding to the way clothes make you feel about yourself and the way you present yourself to your peers. Generally speaking, when you wear clothes in public (whether it be with that guy you wanted to impress, or to office hours with your professor), you think of how comfortable your clothes feel, how your clothes interacts with your curves, and how you think your peers will perceive you. Funnily, whenever you choose your outfit for the day, you think of all of these things but forget that clothes have the power to speak to people just as loudly as the words you say. The next time you go to an interview, yes, totally be yourself, but be clever about it. Choose something comfortable that sends the vibes that you want your interviewer to feel, but also make sure that you are still recognizable in the end. It would be amusing if you were totally “off of your fashion game” once you accepted the position after the successful interview, but came to work as a seemingly totally different person because your style at the interview was so unlike your typical, everyday wardrobe. It is important to have success at interviews, but it is more important to be accepted for your capabilities and personality.

image source: https://goo.gl/images/te4dOZ


Midterm Advice

With Midterms coming up/happening, here are some tips to keep you going!

  1. Don’t pull all-nighters (even if you’re dying to play “just one more level” or see “one more episode”)
  2. Set your alarm and WAKE UPPPP!
  3. Plan your day/week at least a day earlier, having at least three goals per day- this will divide your time efficiently and you won’t feel dead all the time. Takeaway: DoN’t PrOcAsTiNaTe!
  4. Make time for some leisure activity or socialness (like reading, writing in a journal, coffee with a friend, or just a nap)
  5. Pick your study spaces wisely! (If you want a quick study space, UgLi probably will be packed)
  6. Do whatever to keep yourself energized throughout study sessions! (Get coffee or take brief walks when needed)
  7. Sleep for at least 5 hours each night (especially the night before, or else you’ll be dumber than if you hadn’t studied on the actual exam)
  8. Think positive! Psychological research shows that people perform 25% higher in scoring if they think positively!

As my advice may or may not be getting those of you who are reading this hyped for exams, here are some of my photos of campus! Relax and enjoy the architecture! (P.S. All images are on campus)


The Infinity in Originality

When you think about something deemed “original,” what do you think about? Perhaps you speculated something along the lines of “something unprecedented?” In all, it is simply a question I ask out of curiosity. Across several disciplines, the question of originality is a widely debated topic, and each of these disciplines defines originality differently. In the sciences, originality typically refers to substances pure of any hybridity or human influence, or the first generation. But what about the arts? Some artists define originality as a product being “one-of-a-kind.” Others say originality is the uniqueness of each person’s interpretations and conclusions drawn from a precedent. Perhaps there has not been a concrete definition of originality in the arts because the objects of judgement are so personal- “personal” in the sense that it is a natural tendency for artists to be emotionally attached to their creations. To students of other disciplines, that statement sounds like a sort of joke. However, as an architecture student, it is reality. We spend hours toiling on our creation assignments, so it is natural for us to be inspired by our personal experiences and incorporate those feelings into our studio work. Then, when a classmate tweaks our idea to make it their own, we feel cheated. This is a common nightmare of any arts student. However, if you never take any risks in sharing your work, you have less exposure to feedback, which means less personal growth. After all, what is the point of bringing something into this world, if you are not willing to share it, or have it built upon?

Anyhow, I agree with both definitions of originality provided by artists. I agree that something can be called “original” if there is something unlike it. I also agree that something can be still be called “original” if a new idea or purpose is applied to what that thing first was. An example of this is a hallway. Despite how ridiculous it sounds, a hallway was actually an innovation from the past, since it was a major step-up from caveman days and the one-room buildings. When the concept of a typical hallway was first introduced, a hallway was considered an original creation. However, as time passed, hallways have come to be incorporated in people’s basic idea of a building, and the originality of the hallway itself has long been forgotten or overlooked. But does this mean that the idea of the hallway no longer deserves to be called original? Or is its originality considered part of the originality of the building itself? Or does originality related to time? Or is this a question that cannot be resolved? I think that the hallway was original when it first became a thing. But I also think that the hallway can still be deemed “original” even when it became a part of newer buildings because there were original ideas behind the logic of its shape, design, and location within that building. In addition to that, another building with a similar hallway can still be considered original if they took the bits they liked about that hallway and incorporated it with other ideas that they liked. This process goes on forever in the arts discipline, and originality is infinitely discussed. In the end, I would say the overarching truth about originality is that it is the product from making something our own, whether it is a precedent for innovations to come, or if it followed a precedent. What would you say originality is? And do you think it is ethically acceptable to only call precedents “original?”

Beauty of Campus

Image result for university of michigan

As students in a spacious university, we often take our diverse environment for granted. No, I am not talking about all of the different ethnicities present on campus, though they are an important constituent of our Michigan identity. Rather, I am talking about the literal “outside world” that exists on our campus. Everyday, we are thrown into following a sort of daily routine: eat, attend classes, study, sleep, (party?), repeat. There’s nothing really wrong with routines, as they are often the most common strategy to success. However, as students, sometimes routines get in the way of our inborn ability to see beauty in the little things that we might usually consider an “everyday occurrence.” Let’s flashback to your day yesterday. Yes, you woke up, washed up, and ate breakfast. Then, you rushed to class at Angell Hall. But wait! Hit the pause button. Let’s say your dorm was Stockwell. From the Hill Residence Area to that first classroom. you rushed past so many things. Remember when you first saw your dorm- how it seemed to glow in your excitement? Today, you might still be happy to return to your dorm, but it is not the same sort of enthusiasm. It’s more like the initial excitement of receiving a new toy as a kid, and then that enthusiasm dying down as you mature. The gorgeous brick structure of Stockwell, somewhat reminiscent of a mini castle, is now overlooked. What else have you overlooked? The same things happen with the CCRB, the Museum of Natural History, East Hall, West Hall, the Chemistry Building, the UgLi. Hatcher, the UMMA, and finally Angell Hall itself.
Buildings, as trivial a topic as they may seem, are much more than what meets the eye. At first, they were just architects’ notions- sketches from imagination. Then, they became the product of the architects’ and engineers’ hard work and successful collaboration. Buildings are the markers of our historic campus evolution. And today, they are the reason why we can attend our classes so comfortably. Buildings deserve more credit than a brief glance, getting their doors slammed, or coffee spilled on their floors. Let’s show some enthusiasm and admiration, the next time we pass by!
It is such a pity that we belittle or forget the alluring effects of our campus environment. At smaller colleges, students do not have this opportunity to marvel at the UMMA’s modern and tradition sides. They also do not have a Diag as awesome as ours. And they most certainly do not have squirrels as confident as ours. We should take pride in our campus and its story, and be grateful for every day that we are able to bask in its beauty. Tomorrow, and on all of the days that follow, let’s perform our routine and allow the beauty of our campus heal us of our everyday wounds.