Riddle of the Day 3/27


I am fragile.
Say my name,
I am broken.

As always, the first correct and the most creative incorrect answers will receive a Townhouse Token. Answer below! Note: we won’t be doing riddles over the weekend, so you can go at this one until Monday!


Sydni Nadler got in the first correct answer with MEMORIES! As for the most creative incorrect answer, Cindy Y. wins with Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere! You have both been awarded: TOWNHOUSE TOKENS!

An image of Peer Advisor Ryan

It’s Okay to Hit Mute: A Guide to Staying Mentally Healthy in This Strange Age

Check out the following wisdom from Peer Advisor Ryan!

Currently, there are 112 words on my muted words list on Twitter. I know that number seems rather high, but allow me to explain.

In these strange, strange times in which we’re living, there is no shortage of statements about the coronavirus. There’s the crucial information that comes from doctors, medical experts, and local authorities, of course, but there’s also a glut of responses from just about everybody, even folks who you’re might not terribly interested in hearing from. Every clothing store you’ve ever bought socks from is emailing to communicative its COVID-19 policy; every discrete department and office at GW is sending you the same five tips for containing the virus; and every news outlet is running every conceivable coronavirus story imaginable. This seems only logical, we might think; it’s just what you have to do.

More brightly, there’s also been a deluge of (marginally) more sensitive content among this negativity. There are plenty of cute infographics about how to work from home, or tips for Zoom-based learning, or videos of celebrities admonishing you to practice social distancing.

These things, should they float your boat, can be great. But for me, they felt insufficient, in some way—while it felt nice to feel my sadness and worry be validated, the fact remained that these things left me feeling more negative than if I hadn’t seen them at all. So instead, I did something different: I just muted it all.

Coronavirus. COVID. COVID-19. #coronavirus. #COVID19. #C19. #COVID-19. #COVID_19. #COVID2019. Pandemic. Symptom. Diagnosed. Epidemic. Hand sanitizer. Wash your hands. Quarantine. These are just a few of the words on my long, long list—and it’s an ongoing project, as Twitter users seem to be constantly hopping to new permutations of #COVID19 with each passing day. On top of this, I used the content preferences on my phone to allow me to use my news app for only one minute each day—enough to get major notifications, but not enough to be sucked into a pool of despair. And I couldn’t be gladder about doing it.

Does this mean that I’m contentedly ignoring this issue? No, of course not. I care deeply about the epidemic, especially as an immunocompromised person, and I’ve spoken with my health care providers and keep up with official statements from my local government. But expanding my muted words list in this way was like a gift from the universe, because it allowed me to see that my life wasn’t getting any better, I wasn’t getting any safer, and the world wasn’t getting any healthier by me reading another anxiety-inducing tweet. On the contrary, these tweets were only making me feel so freaked out that I was paralyzed, unable to do anything to help those around me or do my part to protect those even more vulnerable than myself.

I think of this great purge as an act of discernment—I’m discerning when online coronavirus can be good and beneficial, and when, on the contrary, it’s not helpful. Because, to be clear, all of this content should be directing you to help your community, or to love those around you, or to act with safety and thoughtfulness—and if it’s not doing that, then you aren’t obligated to expose yourself to it every single day. Needless paralyzing anxiety doesn’t isn’t good for anybody!

Even further, it’s important to remember that your discernment might put you in a different place than mine did. For some folks, it’s possible that reading every bit of coronavirus coverage is helpful. As I’ve said in quite a few words, that isn’t the case for me. So in these times of difficulty and tribulation, I want to offer a word of advice to anyone who needs it: it’s okay to be discerning with this stuff, and it’s okay to decide that you’ve read enough for the day.

The Fax Lunch Bunch with Professor Trullinger

Do you miss casual front office/club room conversations from the physical townhouse? Well Professor Trullinger is helping us take them virtual! This semester, join him on Fridays at 12pm for some casual philosophy (or non-philosophy) discussion in Zoom! This will start tomorrow, Friday 3/27 at noon. Here’s the zoom link for 3/27: https://zoom.us/j/150602120.

Come around and hang out!

Riddle of the Day 3/26


You have me today,
Tomorrow you’ll have more;
As your time passes,
I’m not easy to store;
I don’t take up space,
But I’m only in one place;
I am what you saw,
But not what you see.
What am I?

As always, the first correct and the most creative incorrect answers will receive a Townhouse Token. Answer below or on Facebook!


Bridget Carl won with the first posting of the correct answer: footsteps! Our most creative incorrect answer? Laxatives, from Clarissa Boyd.

DTP Weekly Contest 1: Virtual Learning Memes!

We’ve got our first weekly contest here at the plate. UHPers, the subject of this contest is:

Memes! About virtual learning, quarantine, and college life during a time like this. That is your assignment.

And I will say: we are looking for *original content* here. This is not a contest to find the best scraps from the meme page, no–this is a challenge to all of your creativities.

To submit, you can comment on the Facebook Post for this contest (forthcoming), email the UHP (uhp@gwu.edu), or DM it to us on Instagram (@theuhp). Meme away, dear ones. I’m excited to see what you bring to the table! And remember, if you win, you will get a Townhouse Token!

Virtual Office Hours with the Director!

UHP Students – 
Since I can’t currently hold my traditional “Director Open Office Hours” in person, I will instead be holding virtual drop-in hours using WebEx. If you have any questions or would just like to chat (and possibly catch a glimpse of my daughter or my cat…), just join my WebEx Meeting anytime between 3 and 4pm EST on Tuesdays. I’m also available to meet by appointment, just send me an email at bcobb@gwu.edu.
Director Kung
Meeting Password: usDVgS39ru9

The Digital Townhouse Buddy System

Times of global stress and personal isolation can be really damaging for mental health, and in the midst of that, it can be super helpful to have folks checking in with you and making sure you’re holding up alright. Or honestly just being there as a person who *isn’t* your family to talk to! That’s why we’ve established the Digital Townhouse Buddy System! If you’re interested in taking part, sign up below.

Digital Townhouse Discussion Forums (Fora?)


Miss the beautiful feeling of sitting in the townhouse and talking about everything and nothing? Well we can’t necessarily recreate that virtually…but we can certainly try our bests! And we are indeed going to do so. We are opening up the blog and the Facebook page for discussions from the serious to the whimsical and from the intimate to the trivial. Some examples:

I’m working on my thesis and I’m having trouble conceptualizing what Plato might say about sustainability. Does anyone have any thoughts on Plato, or honestly on political philosophy of sustainability in general?

Okay, but for real: how much wood could a woodchuck chuck (assuming this woodchuck could chuck wood).

Does anyone have tips for good virtual communal streaming apps? My partner and I were watching Love is Blind together before all this, and we want to keep it up!

Mario (the Nintendo plumber) joins the UHP as a part of the class of 2024. Who and what does he write his final Origins paper on? What grade does he receive?

I’m feeling really alone right now. I’m not really close with anyone in my family, and it’s been a rough time mental health-wise. Anyone have good tips for loneliness right now?

Regardless of what you want to discuss, we will also be REWARDING starting discussions! The first person in a given week to start a discussion on the Blog AND the Facebook page that receives more than three unique replies will receive a coveted Townhouse Token! That’s right– the first eligible post on the blog gets a token, and the first eligible post on Facebook gets a token.

How do you post on the blog? Well, you see the “Submit a Post” link right up top there? Click on that! Then type give your name, type the question, and make sure to select “Digital Townhouse Discussion” in the Categories section (so we know you’re not a random person asking about Mario). Then submit!

How do you post to the Facebook page? Go to the Facebook page, then write a post! And ta-da, you’ve posted to the Facebook page!

Now go forth, dear UHPers, and DISCUSS!

Riddle of the Day 3/25

Here we are, UHPers! Our first Riddle of the Day. We’re posting this on Tuesday, but this is officially our riddle for tomorrow– which means you’ve got some extra time to answer it! Answer in the comments below (or on Facebook). The first correct answer will receive a Townhouse Token, as will the most creative wrong answer. Anyway, here it is:

The more you take of me, the more you leave behind. What am I?

Townhouse Tokens

Welcome to the Townhouse Tokens page! Townhouse Tokens are a part of the Digital Townhouse Project during this virtual learning time– a small piece of motivation for you to stay participating in community in these bleak times. You can earn tokens through the Riddles of the Day, through our Weekly Contests, through participating in discussion…all sorts of ways! Perhaps there are even more we haven’t thought of yet! Anyway, here’s the reward structure:

1 Token: a small UHP notepad
3 Tokens: a larger UHP notebook
5 Tokens:
a UHP travel mug
5 Tokens: a UHP t-shirt
8 Tokens: free attendance at a UHP event (Student-faculty dinner, the hike, etc.)
10 Tokens:
 free lunch with one of the UHP staff
15 Tokens: 
recognition as a Townhouse Paragon, honored in the NewsFlash

We’ll keep track of the tokens you earn, and you’ll be able to redeem any of them the next time you’re on campus!

GW is committed to digital accessibility. If you experience a barrier that affects your ability to access content on this page, let us know via the Accessibility Feedback Form.