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Beth* wakes up at 6:30 a.m. every weekday morning. She showers, dresses, then shimmies open her wooden nightstand. It’s her “drug drawer,” she laughs, where she stashes her supply. She shakes a gram of chalky powder onto the scale, then pours it into a plastic earring bag. The drug—coke, ketamine, anything besides weed (it smells too strong) — stays tucked in the pouch of her backpack, while Beth heads to Saxbys and lecture halls and crunches Locust beneath her boots.
Trevor Noah could have been a veterinarian. He could have gone into medicine. He could have pursued a number of different “tributaries,” he told a crowd crammed into Irvine Auditorium on Sunday, to achieve his goal of “making people feel better.” He just happened to end up hosting The Daily Show.
The South African comedian and celebrated host of “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah, is coming to campus.
Jennifer Egan is chill. Jennifer Egan seems almost impenetrably calm, drifting into the Penn Bookstore in a leather jacket and musing about whether or not the weather’s too hot for her boots—“Should I get a pair of flip flops?” she says. Behind her, the Penn Bookstore staff nudge each other and whisper behind their hands. One asks her about a small, specific passage at the end of her Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, A Visit from the Goon Squad; she glances across the store while she thinks of the answer, past the rows of shelves where her books are on display and the mound of copies of her latest book, Manhattan Beach, which debuted October 3. When the bookstore staff asks her to sign them, she loops a tidy scrawl across the page with an aloof sense of having done this again and again. She’s not often recognized, she says—“That’s the nice thing about being a writer,"—but in this store, on her old campus, she’s something of a supernova.
Penn promises to keep us safe. Penn is failing: over one in four undergraduate women have experienced some form of sexual assault, and even more can speak to the tangible, pervasive elements of rape culture embedded in this campus. And yes, it exists in off–campus Greek life. But the campus rape epidemic extends to so much more than that tiny portion of our student body.
In summer we’re allowed to exist in limbo. At Penn we’re pushing, pressing, speed–walking from one place to another, always in the middle of something with three Google Calendar alerts vibrating our screens — but in the summer, the slow, achy days with sunscreen glopped on our cheeks and weekends that aren’t bookended by Van Pelt, we can admit we’re in transition. It’s momentary. There’s an end date. We have a whole life waiting for us in Philadelphia: class schedules, leases. And so summer, more so than any other time of the year, enables us to think about the stage of life that we’re in, to wax and to revel in our twenty–somethingness.
Sometimes Ryan* (E’18) woke up outside. Dust pressing into his palms. Puffs of wind and a sharp crack of sun, the ache of a hangover starting to sprout in his skull. Two months before he started to classify himself as an alcoholic, he passed out against a fence at a darty and had to be carried home; a year and a half before, he woke up on the ground in the middle of Made in America with bruises purpling his back. Two and half years before, he got MERTed when he peed on the side of Allegro; three years before, he went out for the first time at Penn, a rainy Chancellor darty where he cradled a handle and poured vodka shots into the mouths of strangers, one after another. The summer before his freshman year of college, Ryan blacked out for the first time after a dizzy night that started with Four Loko and ended with a blur.
The Fling concert performers this year will be EDM DJ Zedd and Tinashe, multiple sources and SPEC confirmed to Street on Wednesday night.
Two weeks before Beiler’s Donuts opened on campus, I walked past their nook in Reading Terminal Market. The line snaked around and around the register, looping twice around the glass display case of donuts. It was hot. It was crowded. The wait would have taken two hours. I still had to talk my boyfriend out of hopping in line.
I’ve never been a bagel person. I’m not from New York; I see cream cheese as just more fattening butter. I trekked over to Spread Bagelry with a sore throat, a list of application deadlines cramming up my gcal and both literal and metaphorical rain clouds above my head. I left with a paper bag of pure happiness. Take it from a non–foodie: Spread Bagelry will be your sunshine on a cloudy day.
Delivery apps are a God–send. I’m not ashamed of milking every free promo I can—begging friends for their Uber Eats codes, signing up for email lists of InstaCart coupons. Here’s my take on the best of the best: The apps designed to save you from getting hangry in VP.
The co–op used to be a frat house. From the outside, the Victorian structure on Woodland Terrace looks like it could host throbbing techno music and shouts of beer–breathed conversations. Instead, the sprawling, paint–chipped porch stays silent. Bikes lean against the walls. In the back, chairs circle a brick fire pit beside a patch of unruly plants that some members want to turn into a garden.
Erik Morinaga (C’16) stands out in the Penn Bookstore Starbucks. A sticker with the Marines motto—Semper Fi , Latin for “always faithful”—envelops the back of his laptop. The back of his shirt lists names of fallen Marines. He sits ramrod–straight in a wooden chair that seems a little too small for him—another leftover habit from the Marines, he says, like the compulsive need to exercise or his meticulous study schedule. His voice stays quiet throughout our conversation, while he discusses beheadings and weapons swaddled in burqas, the right way to oil an AK–47, the man his team killed who died with a light smile frozen on his face.
Houston Hall is getting bougie.
Liz*’s fakes came buried under a layer of plastic chopsticks. Two weeks after she arrived on campus, she lugged the cardboard box from the King’s Court package room to her dorm upstairs.
“It was basically like going to college as a fourteen-year-old," said Sam Ax, a Wharton sophomore.
Fabliha Khurshan, C'17
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