Student writer spotlight: Cyrenity Augustin ’24

When I became an Arts Editor at The Brandeis Hoot last year, I set myself a couple of goals to enrich the section. Chief among these was to actually get student art into the newspaper. We cover theater and gallery events when the resources are available, of course, but our direct engagement with student artists […]

Advice on reading books at Brandeis University

I’m an English major at the end of his rope. After years of reading books and writing essays, the startling prospect of having to actually make something of myself beyond the loving sphere of the university glimmers out of the darkness ahead. A part of me already writhes in terror. Perhaps there will be no […]

These seniors are really pissed

UPDATED: 29/04/2021 Aaron was leaving the dining hall just the other day when he saw something that made him want to hurl. It was a tour group, massive and not socially distanced (social distancing, while a useful pandemic measure, really only exists within abstract spaces like diagrams and policies), huddled in front of the Shapiro […]

‘Towerfall: Ascension’ is the best party game for casual and experienced gamers alike

Years before releasing the critically acclaimed “Celeste,” Matt Makes Games produced what the company’s official website describes as “an archery combat platformer.” This wacky concept was originally called “Towerfall,” and the game has since bloomed into a feature-rich, totally addictive couch multiplayer experience that rivals the likes of “Super Smash Brothers” and “Overcooked” for king […]

Being a midyear used to be awesome

I was a London midyear. That means that, rather than coming to Brandeis in fall 2017, I was selected to make an unheard-of choice: sit around and do nothing for a season or take my abroad semester immediately. My other option was to go to Australia or something with Northeastern anyway, so going to London […]

A review of the Foster Mods living experience

The Foster Mods represent a hamlet of privacy tucked into the armpit of Brandeis University—a verdant armpit brimming with rabbits and gravel and walled on three sides by a thin strand of trees. While these apartments lack the luxury of newer residence halls like Village and Ridgewood, the opportunity to share a Brandeis-front flat with […]

Pothos: The perfect plant for your dorm

The pothos, Epipremnum aureum or “devil’s ivy,” is the gem of the novice planter’s world. Observe the allure of its emerald leaves, waxy spades flecked in gold and the subtle spiral of its endlessly unfurling tendrils. A king of propagation, the pothos is undaunted by carelessness and such paltery forces as sunlight and entropy. If […]

Thanksgiving is the best holiday

This year has cemented in my mind the idea that Thanksgiving is the greatest of all the cold-month holidays. Bereft of the burden of extended family antagonism, turkey day becomes just that—a day dedicated wholly to the consumption of poultry, potatoes and pie. Perhaps the dearth of cousins and uncles allowed us room to really […]

Overlooked sculptures: ‘Fall,’ the Village stalker

Midyears and upperclassmen alike speak of a shadow that wanders the dark places of south campus. Silent and still, the revenant takes man-shape to stalk unwary students that amble too far beyond the safe perimeter of the dorms. Thankfully, the apparition is nothing more than an unnervingly lifelike statue of a man nestled among the […]

‘Donkey Kong Country:’ The high concept mess that is impossible to hate

There is a long-circulated rumor that when Rare showed their tech demo of “Donkey Kong Country” (DKC) to Nintendo, the Japanese executives were convinced that a hidden supercomputer was running the game behind a curtain. SNES games were not supposed to look that good in 1994, yet Rare’s passion project subverted all expectations with its […]

The spooky haunts of Brandeis University

A collage of brutal concrete, brick and steel, the Brandeis campus is a haunt of its own unique variety. If you choose to wander on a particularly overcast autumn afternoon, certain corners of the campus take on an almost apocalyptic aspect. One only has to spend a night or two in that cement labyrinth where […]

The Rose Art Museum has reopened to students

After a month of uncertainty, the Rose Art Museum has officially reopened for student use, and I am pleased to admit that the experience remains largely unchanged save for a few conspicuous omissions. The museum is open from 11 a.m.  to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, and the general public is still barred from entry. […]

McDonald’s revisited: Travis Scott and spicy nugs

I went for a run yesterday. This is an activity that I do not undertake very often, so I thought my freshly beleaguered muscles deserved a reward. I immediately drove to McDonald’s, of course. What zoomer could resist the corporate call to action embodied by the Travis Scott burger? When it comes to fast food, […]

Brandeis everchanging: A eulogy to the dead Sherman Willow

To the rear of Sherman Dining Hall, encircled on three sides by the tired brick edifices of the Massell Quad, is a little pond. The body of water is largely inornate. There is a low stone wall at one edge and some shrubbery along the other. There is a bench too, which would be idyllic […]

‘Mulan’ is just another Disney Action Movie

My faith in Disney’s live action adaptations was spent a long time ago. I went into “Mulan” with no expectations at all, and I was satisfied to find that I never needed any. Like its predecessors, Disney’s latest adaptation lacks life, plain and simple. The actors seem bored, the special effects are too sharp to […]

Sal’s at The Stein, a Faustian Bargain

We campus-going Brandeisians are a special sort. You might say that we have a penchant for pain and sacrifice. Every day we are newly reminded of the loss of our clubs, sports and classes. We deal with Q-tips up the nose twice a week. We suffer through Zoom meetings in dorms without A.C. If you […]

The success of July’s Boston Student Film Festival

The 2020 run of the Boston Student Film Festival was live-streamed the second weekend of July, and, to the collective relief of myself and the ten or so other viewers in virtual attendance, the show went off without a hitch. My half-semester experience with Zoom had trained me to expect disaster in all things livestream, […]

The magnificent seven of Post-Bacc 2020

For those out of the know, the Brandeis fine arts department hosts a post-baccalaureate program every year. The post-baccs are students (from Brandeis and beyond) who have graduated and are looking to spend an extra year expanding upon their artistic abilities. While working on their own projects, they serve as teaching assistants for undergraduate courses […]

Overlooked sculptures: a golem for Brandeis University

There is a metal man stalking the theater building. Students of lower campus know this one well, though its history has largely been forgotten for a few years now. Created over the course of three months for the 2014 Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Arts by student artist Paul Belenkey ’14, the statue originally known […]