Advice from the (Peer) Advisors: Some Things I’ve Been Nerding Out On

Check out the following delightful list of just random fun things former Peer Advisor and student staff Meaghan Gallagher has been nerding out on!

If you’re looking for a non-COVID-19 related post, welcome. If COVID-19 is consuming your mind and you want to feel hopeful during this time, then read peer advisor Nicky Cacchione’s post about silver linings. It’s about as feel-good as watching Queer Eye or being chosen by a dog to be its petter.

I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about things I’ve been nerding out on recently. Maybe you’ll find out we have common interests, maybe you’ll realize I’m not that cool, or maybe you’ll find a new worm hole to go down yourself. No matter the consequence, here are some cool things:

  • I was taking an archaeology class called “London Before the Great Fire” this semester (peace, love, abroad) and it was completely fascinating. Before we were sent home for the semester, we would go on walking tours of the Roman, Saxon, and Medieval parts of London. I’d never have had that opportunity in DC – for the obvious geographical reason and my tendency to pursue outside interests only in Honors classes. I learned what the River Thames used to be like, before its encroachments, how to analyze the layout of a museum (Museum of London is excellent), and that there are remnants of the old Roman forum in the basement of a barber shop by Leadenhall Market. While finishing the class online isn’t as exciting as following my Professor through the streets of London and pointing out straight mortar joints and changes in topography, I am grateful that I got exposed to this topic and can now try to flex historical knowledge about London.
  • I’m writing a paper for a class about blockchain and art. I am not by any means an art connoisseur, so I was hoping through my research I’d learn about more about the industry. In addition to learning the word “provenance”, I’ve learned a bit about digital art. Did you know there was a CryptoKitty that sold for $140,000? Blockchain also supports fractionalization, meaning multiple people can share ownership of a single item. Instead of one person owning 100% of a work, 100 people can each own 1% of it. Fractional ownership expands the market, allowing more people to access art as an investment asset since the price gets diluted.
  • I’ve been nerding out on Westworld since Season 3 premiered March 15th. It’s super topical with data privacy and automation debates raging. Be prepared to watch it multiple times, as the timelines can get confusing and it gets better on rewatch.
  • Quarantine inspired me to try to learn how to play piano? My mom thinks I got inspired by watching Beth play her piano in Little Women (which I just read as well!). I really just need a new party trick after being told my North London accent is bad. I’m not so much as learning how to play than memorizing a few sections of songs I like, but Beethoven started somewhere too.
  • I’m reading “A Year of Biblical Womanhood” by Rachel Held Evans. Held Evans sadly passed away young last year, but she was a prominent figure in the Evangelical Church. She spent a year following several Bible verses literally, causing her to do things like sit on her roof and call her husband, “Master”. The book kept using the phrase “the nuclear family”, which prompted me to read this article from David Brooks titled “The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake”. If you have twenty minutes to read an article, this is fascinating. He talks about the economic, cultural, and societal factors that led to the decentralization of family structure.
  • I finally got around to watching the newest Star Wars trilogy, meaning I’ve been taking a lot of Buzzfeed quizzes and watching cast interviews. The originals were still the best, but this trilogy was better than the prequels in my opinion. Flawed, yes, but better acting and a good villain. Willing to debate.
  • There are these really good monologues done by famous actors for Almeida Theatre on YouTube. Here’s one Andrew Scott did (please watch Fleabag too if you haven’t) reciting a speech by Edith Sampson (who was super cool!). If you’re missing Origins, Derek Jacobi (who?) performed Socrates’ speech “I Go To Die”. They’re about 10 minutes each, so if you’re in need of some inspiration/philosophical contemplation/impressive acting, go watch those.
  • A couple weeks ago I watched Daniel Sloss’ show “Jigsaw” on Netflix. He mixes dark humor with bits of seriousness at points, but it’s been one of the best pieces of standup I’ve seen in a while. I’ve shared it with everyone I know who likes comedy. He has a bit that’s ended at least 7,000 relationships – take that as you will.

That’s what I’ve been up to. Last time they let me on the blog, I wrote about how disillusioned I had become about “finding a passion”. Clearly, I still can’t settle on just one thing. Hopefully one of these things tips your interest and keeps you occupied for a few hours. In the meantime, stay healthy, practice social distancing, and have as much fun as possible.



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