Thursday, July 31, 2008

Does this speak to you?

Someone from the House Committee on Education and Labor emailed this to me today. It's about the House passing the Higher Education Opportunity Act. It's obviously aimed at youth. Curious: does this speak to you as a college student (or to-be college student)?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Incoming freshmen rock GWBlogspot...

Something pretty amazing has happened on GWBlogspot the last couple days. A vibrant conversation has broken out between incoming freshman pondering their college days ahead and upperclassman who have some really valuable advice to dispense.

GWBlogspot traffic has increased by the hundreds. This is really the natural progression of an energy that's been building throughout the summer with posts from incoming freshman like these:
Big props go out to all of our guest bloggers so far. Your posts have truly been excellent. There are 3 concrete things we can do today to help this conversation grow even more vibrant:

1) Tell a few friends about GWBlogspot. Just send them the link to this post, or share it on Facebook.

2) If you haven't guest blogged yet but are an avid reader of this site, now's your time. Email adamgree [at]

3) Join our Facebook group. When big news breaks, you'll be the first to know.

Thanks to all who've participated in the conversation so far...and let's keep it going!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Email Scam?

I just got this. Seems like this warning about an email scam is, in fact, an obvious email scam itself. Does anyone have official information to confirm:

Dear GWU Users.

The reason for this message is because of the Email Scams & Phishing going on the GWU Network. We have decided to contact all our students and staffs toprovide their password so that we can confirm the active users and to de-activate the inactive user. We regret the inconveniences this might have cost you. Please provide us with the below details.


With the above details we can verify active account.

Copyright © 2008, The George Washington University.
All rights reserved.2121 Eye Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20052 Phone: (202)
This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.
Then, very sneakily, this was on the bottom...seemingly generated by my email, but actually part of the email sent:

This message has been scanned for viruses and dangerous content by
MailScanner, and isbelieved to be clean.

Who sent this email? Hmm...

from <>
to undisclosed-recipientsdate
Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 6:27 PM
subject Update Your GWU E-mail

Who is Google says nobody. But, a Google search for paulj101 yields a hotmail account and some weird stuff. Ok, I did my fair share of research. Who's got other facts?

UPDATE (July 29, 10:24am): Commenter mit429 points out that on July 7, ISS sent the following:
WARNING: EmailAlert!

This is the third reminder in 30 days about email security. Please remember
that you should NEVER reply to email messages asking for personal information,
even if it is security related. Regardless of how official the email looks, no
such message will EVER come from GW or the ISS help desk asking users to reply
with information such as log-in, password, birth date, social security number,

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the ISS Help Desk at
202-994-5530. The Help Desk is open Monday through Friday from 7 am to 7 pm.

Moving Concerns...

So, it's been a long road to get to this point. I can remember writing those essays, getting the amazing blue acceptance packet and everything in between. Plus, I just got back from Colonial Inauguration a few weeks ago! The whole GW, or as the cool kids say, G-DUB, experience seems like a complete whirlwind now. And can you believe it?!? We move NEXT MONTH!!!! :)

As housing assignments were just announced a few days ago, we all know where exactly we will be sleeping. For me, it's Thurston 124! But how exactly do we know what the room will look like, whether it has a walk-in closet or not, or any of the other unanswered questions. It seems like every time that I call G-DUB a student answers and has no clue what I am talking about. They then connect me to someone else who connects me back to the original student, and then I'm back to where I began. So I guess we are just supposed to know exactly what to do even though we have never been to college! ARGH! And my mom's biggest concern is how to get all of my clothes and other items to campus. They said to ship it all or buy it when we get there but 1) It would cost a TON of money to ship because I have a lot of stuff and 2) I do not want to be running around DC trying to find a Target or Wal-Mart to buy it all at and then carry it back to the dorm. So at this point my mom is wanting to get a U-Haul... :-/   Uhhh... who knows how it will turn out?!?
How are you getting your junk to campus on August 30th???

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Housing Assignments

So, freshman dorm assignments came out. I'm sure you've heard a story already, whether it was good, bad, or ugly. If you haven't, here is mine.

In February, I met a girl named Lindsay on the GWU Class of 2012 Facebook group on the "Female Roommate Search" message board. We hit it off and started talking online and on the phone everyday, as if we'd known each other for years. She was great! Although we are different in many ways—she is a Journalism major in the School of Media and Public Affairs and I am undecided in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences; she is from a small town in Connecticut named Suffield and I am from this slightly larger city in Florida named Miami, haha; she graduated from a New England boarding school and I graduated from a larger private school—we also have a lot in common—we both want to go to law school; we both want a double; and we both wanted to be anywhere but Mount Vernon or Thurston (as much as we love green places and partying all night, neither place appealed to us). Basically, we were different enough to learn from each other, but similar enough to be able to live with each other. So, when dorm request forms came out, we decided to request each other as roommates. As for dorms, we loved Madison but could definitely live in Crawford, Lafayette, and Strong. It was perfect! We were both Regular Decision so we knew we would get the leftover dorms after Early Decision 1 and 2 students got their picks, but we hoped for the best.

For the weeks that followed, we chattered every day about what we would buy for our dorm, what we were bringing with us from home, and any other dorm thing there was to talk about. When we met at CI 3, we were sure we would make great roommates.

Finally, it was time for dorm assignments. At about 8 o’clock PM on July 21 (her birthday, I might add), we decided that no matter what the verdict, we would not let it get to us. After all, there was always Room Swap.

The next morning at 8:30 AM, I woke up and grabbed my laptop, knowing that a thousand other GWU freshmen across the country were doing the same thing. I clicked the link to the Housing Portal and opened it… but there wasn’t even a link there to view the assignments! I called Lindsay, wondering if she had been able to find our assignments. “Nope,” she said. “It’s not on here.” We agreed to call each other when we found it.

I stared at the computer and wondered where in cyberspace our housing assignments were. Hadn’t they said 8:30 AM? Could I be wrong? And if I wasn’t, what awful person was playing this joke on us? Even more importantly, were we the only two people having this problem?

So, I logged into Facebook and opened the GWU Class of 2012 group. I read through a few Wall Posts from confused students like myself. “Where are the assignments?” one person wrote. I refreshed the page a few times, and all of a sudden, I read the best and the worst news I’d ever heard. A girl I knew who had been Regular Decision and had requested the same dorms as me had left a post telling us that the assignments had been emailed to us, and that she ended up in her seventh choice housing. The good news? Housing assignments were in our email inboxes. The bad news? I don't even know if I filled out a seventh choice! Could we really end up there? Now, what this student experienced could have been a rare event, but with only one person’s story to base it off of, I was worried. I logged into my email and opened the one called Your 2008-2009 Housing Assignment.

Room: Madison Hall 810
Room Type: MA-DBL

I grabbed my phone to call Lindsay. She answered the phone, frustrated with the computer. “I can’t find i-” she began.


Needless to say, it was a great day. But for many others, it wasn’t. One of the odd trends from this year’s assignments is that many people that did not want singles ended up in Mitchell, the all-singles hall. How did this happen, when they warned us that usually only the Early Decision 1 students get rooms in Mitchell? Most are trying to switch out of Mitchell because they want that “college experience”. Hopefully it works out for everyone.

How did housing go for you all?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My CI 3 experience...

was incredible.

So that I don't run you through the entire schedule of events, because chances are you've already been to it (sorry, I was on vacation for the past few weeks!), I'll give you the most meaningful things that I took from it.
  1. The Activities Fair
  2. The "what's the deal with" lectures
  3. CI at Night

The Activities Fair was the most meaningful activity I attended, for one main reason. Everything you could possibly get involved in was scattered throughout a few rooms of the Marvin Center, and it was your job to find what you were interested in. Most importantly, you have the oppurtunity to sign up to receive information from the clubs without actually needing to commit to them yet. I signed up for a bunch of the clubs I wanted information on, and in retrospect, I've already decided on about half of them that definitely aren't for me. But it was totally worth it, if not to get information on the clubs at GW, simply to understand what we have been told all along: GW really has something for everyone.

The "What's the deal with...?" lectures are VERY informative. Basically, they are short lectures on the second day on a bunch of different topics that we will need to know about in the upcoming years- Technology, Study Abroad, Move-in, Jobs/Internships, etc. I attended two of them and learned a lot about my work-study job for next year and move-in day.

Lastly, CI at Night. CI at Night is the evening activities in which we were given a chance to bond with the CI Cabinet and really explore the city. It was at this point when I realized that next year is going to be an absolute blast, being in a great city with some of the best people.

Basically, CI was spectacular. The people are great, the activities are fun, and it is an overall informative experience.

The highlight of my CI experience would have to be when CI Cabinet member Joe Buono was giving the lecture at the floor meeting about not drinking and ended it with "and if you need any more reason not to drink, don't get drunk because Megan Cunningham will take pictures of you and post them on GWblogspot." Thanks Joe- people avoided me like the plague for the next 2 days. Just kidding.

See ya!

PS. Room assignments in 5 days! :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Show me my roommate already!!! Oh and the Mt. Vernon business

So as the fall semester of 2008 approaches, many of us (including myself) have been very anxious to see who the "magical" roommate selector has, well, selected. Everywhere I turned, people I befriended had requests for others, and it seemed like everyone around me already knew who would be staying with them in the fall. For the rest of us, don't fear, we only have a week and a day to wait until we soon find our other half...roommate(s) that is. I have heard nothing but positive feedback about the system, and even if you don't feel like you instantly connect with the person sleeping 3 feet away from you this fall, understand that you can't always speed up the relationships you make, especially those you have to live with your freshman year in college. Although it's not really too great when you are a roommate to your best friend. I made a lot of friends, and some close friends during CI (check out my previous post entitled "The CI Experience"), but I think we might only spend the night or live near each other...I have had way too many witnesses tell me not to room with a friend so, go figure, I might take their advice, at least this year. After finding out that I had received my first (or third) selection for housing, it seems as though I won't really have that problem.

For all those that aren't quite clear what I meant in the previous sentence (or the title. haha) I had selected Somers and Cole as my 1st and 3rd choice, respectively. I received the infamous Mount Vernon letter and began to have a bittersweet feeling about the choice I had made. I love Mount Vernon a lot, from the beautiful campus, dorms, library, and even football field. However, it seems as though my friends weren't too fond of staying there, mainly because it was far away from classes, and it was supposedly too quiet. I'm a very outgoing person, so hearing that the place that I'm staying for 9 months is completely unlike me isn't quite the first thing I wanted to hear about it. There's nothing wrong with the place, so I still plan on staying there, but others want to leave before they even move in. Is this because of society's influence on them, that they want to continue going the direction they did in high school, or listen to the people they might've known for a few months? Or is it their own personal dislike for the lush green of the Quad's grass? I guess I am biased with my own personal history of watching others fall into the influence of others, but it bothers me that people would actually want to give up an opportunity to live in such a beautiful place! I selected those halls not only because of the aesthetics but of the fact that its somewhere to take a deep breath when needed. The college life your freshman year can be stressful, and since the next 3 years, I'm probably staying at Foggy Bottom, I think having somewhere to clear my mind would be perfect for the first year. I could type forever about this, but if you're like me, you probably can't read forever. So to sum it all up:

What are your feelings about roommates and the selection process? Anyone staying at Mount Vernon? Comments about the campus?

Have an awesome rest of the summer and I'll see you in the fall! (47 days until official move in? 41 for SEAS kids and 40 for PE. haha man that shows you how bored I AM this summer. hah)

Noel B.

Alex Honorary Open Thread - What's On Your Mind?

What're you thinking about these days? An open thread...

In honor of Alex.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Where were you July 4th?

So...where were you July 4th? Got any good stories?

I was on a friend's packed rooftop in DC. Good time, not all that unusual. But one thing did strike me as unusual. All around the building, random people were lighting off their own fireworks. More of my story after this, from the DC Examiner:

D.C. police [said] they're expecting thousands of calls to come in from people reporting illicit fireworks and other pyrotechnic complaints.

Authorities are asking residents to remain patient. Fourth District Commander Linda Brown says the response will take time, because the call volume will be "tremendous."

Okay, so maybe it's not so unusual. But it was for me. I've truly never seen anything like last night - pretty much every side of this building had people lighting off fireworks in the street below.

A semi-professional looking van in a parking lot across the street did a pretty good job, actually. Unlike regular fireworks which explode far away, these had the illusion of exploding far away but actually were just a couple hundred yards away. Was pretty neat - and seemed well under control.

But what kind freaked me out were kids in the street below lighting off their own. They were down. We were up. They were shooting fireworks up in the air with no quality control what-so-ever.

I looked around and others didn't seem concerned. So, I generally went on with my life. Until every once in a while...BOOM! One would explode fairly close to the roof. I looked around again. Several people looked back--their eyes showing their sense of alarm too. But the majority of the crowd was just fine. So nobody moved. This went on for a couple hours.

Eventually, though, one came exceedingly close to us. It was practically exploding in front of our faces. I yelled, "Abandon ship!" and rushed to a lower area of the patio (it was a two floor patio -- lower one more insulated). I actually can't claim to be a leader of masses at that moment. The people on the lower-level agreed with me, but most others stayed up top. Until...a couple more fireworks later, when they all came down too. (Victory!)

As I walked home, I heard illegal fireworks going off all around me. I felt like I was in a war-torn city.

Overall, a fun fourth. But, I think I've accidentally become radicalized into an anti-illegal fireworks avenger. Didn't mean for that to happen. Never thought about it that much before. But now, I'm thinking, "No mercy. Lock em up." 4th District Commander Linda Brown, if you need any witnesses to testify at trial or some volunteer cops next year to make arrests, count me in!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Robin Williams Tickets for Parents Weekend Go on Sale Next Tuesday

Grab your tickets to this year's obligatory-past-his-prime-comedian-your-parents-will-love, Robin Williams, next Tuesday.

I've always thought that Mr. Williams was a better actor than stand-up comedian, particularly since it's pretty well known in the comic community that he steals jokes (kinda like Carlos Mencia).

I'm sure he's got a boatload of new material on how the wife's doing.

Tickets go on sale Tuesday, July 8. Call TicketMaster at 202.994.7411!