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Revolutionary: Junior Fulfills Arts and Letters Sector by Watching Miyazaki Films in Pod for an Entire Semester


Photo from pxhere / CC0

Desperately brainstorming a way to fulfill his “Arts and Letters” sector requirement before graduation, Willie Blankenship (C ‘20) had a stroke of brilliance.

“Why take Chick Lit or Roman Mythology like a sucker when you could be relishing the Pod experience,” Blankenship gloated before returning his attention to a 15-second clip of “Spirited Away" looping on a nearby monitor.

From “Spirited Away” to “Ponyo” to “Spirited Away,” Blankenship enjoys the restaurant’s robust and varied selection of Studio Ghibli films as he eats. Using a stained napkin to jot down his critical analyses of the night's movie, he makes sure to discuss tone, mood, and “oh my goodness gracious anime is so freaking awesome.”

“It’s convenient, fun, and I don’t have to pay a cent for the movies,” Blankenship said as a waiter placed a sashimi deluxe set on the table in front of him.

Deeming Blankenship a "pioneer" in humanities education, the University has since co-opted Pod's main dining hall in a monumental joint agreement. Headed by cinema studies professor Dr. Eric Malor, a fledgling movie studies course will meet nightly there from 6 to 9 p.m. starting next semester.

“I love seeing Penn students be passionate about the arts,” Dr. Malor said with a smile, turning to address the conglomeration of students inhaling pad thai behind him. “Welcome, and I hope you all learn something of substance in POD 101.”