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If you didn’t know that Penn offers study abroad opportunities in the likes of England, France, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, and Queensland, fear not. Even if you narrowly avoided being automatically enrolled in the Penn Global listserv, as long as you don’t live under a rock, you are likely to be informed by your peng you in Shanghai (who has a VPN), amigo in in Barthelona, or amica in Florence that they are eating better than you, taking easier classes, drinking more legally, and becoming more well-traveled by the second. In fact, you are likely to receive study abroad announcements from your entire social network, whether you care or not, by way of Instagram stories, BeReals (do they have that in a third world place like London?), and of course, I would be remiss to exclude the study abroad (public) diaries that my compadres have created as homage to their voyäges. Whenever I see medieval architecture, manicured gardens, foreign McDonald’s (trust me guys, it is SO good everywhere BUT America. You HAVE to try it. I LITERALLY go here everyday) on one of my “follower’s” stories, I make sure to swipe up and say, “Love the soft launch girl hope you are having sooooo much fun in Europe. Send me lots of pics!!!”
As a history student with a dual concentration in intellectual history and economic history and a forthcoming magnum opus on the history of female Marxists, I thought it would only be prudent to take a marketing class in Wharton. As Amy Wax will tell you, writing off your enemies lowers you down to their phenotype. We couldn’t have that!
I love fairs. Fair play, fairlife, fair trial, fair trade, renaissance fair, oktoberfest, Iowa State Fair, etc. etc. The only thing that I love more than fairs and the right to bear arms is clubbing. There is truly nothing better than paying twenty dollars for entry, twenty dollars for a tequila sunrise, twenty dollars for an Uber, not to mention sixty dollars for an ID that says you’re above twenty. That’s what I call putting your money where your mouth is. As my going out group (we went to Spades together last Friday and have vowed to only go out with each other from here on out) will tell you, I’m really great at doing mental math, even when I’m 2 Solo cups in. So I can tell you that the money I spend when I go clubbing amounts to 480,000 times the fun.
There are certain rites of passage that no freshman should be deprived of regardless of their criminal record, BMI, immigration status, age, medical history, etc. Among those we have becoming executor for one’s parents’ estate, fuzzily consensual intercourse, getting lit in Wawa on Market and 33rd, and, of course, being granted access to the wet market (see US Prohibition era doctrine to understand). The US gets pretty much everything right, but we are completely backwards and third world with respect to our drinking laws. How at the ripe age of 17 and 11/12ths am I considered a legally consenting adult and yet I can’t for the life of me or the homeless woman who refused to buy me alcohol at a 5% interest rate get my hands on any of that good good or that wet wet? I’m not even talking hard core. I’m talking poppers baby, booze man.
Late at night I sit at my computer, slaving away at a paper about little red schoolhouses–that didn’t actually exist—and their impacts on ethnic minorities (none) in the mid-1800s. My roommates' gentle snoring no longer soothes me the way that it did that one split second I thought she had died and the gentle “HAH SHOO” proved my worries unwarranted. No, now I can only think about the ads for sleep apnea medication that I watched ad nauseam as my apneic stepfather refused to switch the channel from CNN to Food Network because “debates were happening.” How I wish to be my roommate. She has the pleasure of having me as a roommate. How I wish to be keeping her awake with my whimpers, as she tries unsuccessfully to figure out where it all went wrong (Horace Mann.) But alas, I am still me, the great witness to apnea. My mind wanders to Passover circa 2012 when it was not Elijah who came through the door, but instead, a choked up Matzoh ball that, with many tears, wheezes, and gags, came hurling out through the doorway that is my mouth. In my delirious state, I see a light. Jehovah? Is that you?
My favorite part of thrifting other than buying kids shirts, dressing poor, and reselling everything I find to turn a profit is the smell. Have you ever heard the saying, “It smells like teen spirit?” You probably haven’t, it’s part of the aesthetic. Well anyway, when I walk into the thrift, it smells like cold, hard spirit. I pull out my pocket amethyst and I let it absorb the energy. My amethyst usually senses rotting white people and soiled underwear. Weird? Or cool!
Penn Carey Law School Professor Amy Wax’s xenophobia, racism, bigotry, scientific racism, eugenic beliefs, anti-immigrant rhetoric, and probably, hatred of every minority or source of diversity have taken the world by storm. Penn, not so liberal after all huh? Penn has never had a single community member like this, ever, right? Wax is a racist and I don’t want her as my law professor, even though I am not a law student. Impeach! Fire! Lay off! Terminate! Dare I say…deport…
My GSWS 0106 “What Happened on January 6th and Why That Should Make You Vegan” professor calls herself “woke.” Her shoes are not just made from faux leather, they’re made from recycled plastic and are therefore vegan. Her children are homeschooled so that they don’t deprive other students a spot at Germantown Friends. Her husband teaches them, because he’s her bitch. She killed her dad to smash the patriarchy. She is the preeminent “vegan teacher.” An archetypical enlightened woman.
“Ah, these sure are different times,” I sigh to myself, “I can’t compliment women anymore, but at least I have ChatGPT. This handy little gizmo just printed my syllabus faster than any little TA or flirty secretary could have.” Queue five page syllabus ejected from Canon Pixma MG3620. “Encanto! My students will never know their homely, old professor still has it in him. I, too, can take a selfie.”
I like to incorporate culture in my life however possible. I have Black friends, I regularly eat at Bento, my favorite sauce is Sriracha, I took Spanish in high school, I traveled to Israel this past summer, and most importantly, my girlfriend Xiao Ming is Chinese. Xiao Ming has taught me a lot about Chinese culture. We enjoy fortune cookies, orange chicken, General Tso’s chicken, China Daily, and Kung Fu Panda together. I now know how to say, “Hi, my name is Michael” in Chinese. By the way the way you say this is, “你好，我叫笨蛋” Whenever I say this at parties, I get an array of laughs, I’m such a crowd pleaser. I even got it tattooed on my arm! Xiao Ming is so great, not only because she is Chinese, but also because we get to experience culture together. She calls me gringo and I call her Mi Amor. We decorated our 2-bedroom with a mandala and sphinx statues, and our cat’s name is Pepe.
As we, the Penn community, overcome darty season and progress to an era marked by frackets, formals, and champagne and shackles events, I’d like to call our attention to an issue masked by these events: the disproportionately high prosecution and incarceration rates among Penn students. Champagne and shackles events celebrate handcuffs, a mechanism of oppression. Alcohol, a mechanism of roofying. People who attend champagne and shackles events flaunt their kinkless privilege on the marginalized furry community of Penn, as well as our brothers and sisters in bondage. This blinding privilege diverts our attention from individuals like me, still suffering under unjust laws.
We the California girls make you folks on the East Coast look like potatoes, or so this is what you say about us California girls. As a California girl, I feel so far superior to all of you Wawa-lovers that I can't even look at you to ascertain whether you do in fact resemble a potato. The term "Wawa-lovers" hints at the fact that our superiority comes from our superior diet. My superior diet consists mainly of açaí bowls, which are unfortunately, scant in these parts. I have exhausted Playa Bowls (which I frequent after running 9 miles before my 10:15 AM in McNeil) and SoBol which I joke is just "so-so." I often ponder whether my superior education in the state of Pennsylvania is worth the slight demotion of my diet from abundant, local (the block I live on) juice cleanses to the monotony of only two (2) açaí spots with only forty (40) options per menu. Beyond pondering, I am always hunting (not to be confused with big-game hunting, I am a vegan who eats eggs and fish) for a new açaí spot to diversify my pallet. That's why I was thrilled to find what Penn students refer to as "SAE."
On the surface, Penn seems like a beacon of body positivity. The admissions committee does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, nationality, creed, religion, or BMI. In fact, they are proud to accept fat people! Sorority bids are entirely based on controllable traits, such as wealth, clothes, and acne. They are so egalitarian that sorority parties and rush events are all conducted blind folded and clothes-pin-nosed. No Dior perfume can sway the trustees of on-campus or off-campus sororities.
I'm in Theta BTW.
Disclaimer: Author is Chinese. Author does not engage in the list. This is fiction.
Heyyy besties, can you stop asking me if I’m being hazed? Hehe thanks. I’m going to tell you my deepest, darkest secret that I don’t tell anyyyyybody. Pinky (pink is my favorite color hehe) promise not to tell anyone? I don’t want a repeat of the whole class knowing I have anxiety-related diarrhea haha. Everybody poops right? Ok haha sorry I’m soooo ADHD, haha even though I got tested back in West Chester and the shrink said I’m just privileged and sheltered, I knowwwww I for sureeeee have ADHD hehe <3. Ok, my secret!! Sorry!!
Ugh! It's that time again—that bidaily time in which I make the tragic discovery that I still have a working bladder and kidneys. God damn it. It’s been 16 hours since my last panicked episode and I need to pee again—badly. Ah well! Time to look for my PennCard. Ugh! Not again! Where is my PennCard? My gateway to the throne! Alas, I misplace my royal scepter so often. In fact, every time I need to urinate, I seem to have nearly misplaced my shining piece of plastic. How inconvenient. Well, it must be somewhere in this room that I used my card to get into 16 hours ago and haven’t left since. Let’s see…