Despite the miserable weather, students’ hearts and souls are warm this season with the delicious promises of a tasty Starbucks beverage. That’s right, if you’re feeling those wintry blues, come on down to the second busiest Starbucks in New York and enjoy its charming atmosphere and hardworking staff.

“I didn’t know what to expect of UR’s Starbies after they got rid of pumpkin spice for the season,” said Amy Steak, recent Delta Upsilon pledge. “But OMIGOSH, the chill wintry vibes here put me at ease here in two secs. Goodbye pumpkin spice, hello pistachio nut, I LOVE Starb—-”

You know what, I can’t do this. I’m done. The prompt for this article was as follows: “Hot coffee season? How do we feel about the loss of pumpkin spice?”

What the nuts? What is Hot Coffee season? Isn’t coffee normally hot? This is how we’ve been drinking it for two hundred years! Loss of pumpkin spice? What?! Was Pumpkin Spice a beloved relative of mine who died, and you’re checking in on my emotional stability?! No. Stop patronizing me. Get the hell out.

What is this? I mean, what really are we doing here? We work, and write, and sing, and dance, and for what? For nothing. Dust. We are singing and dancing monkeys. People, I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. That incessant, nagging tug on your heartstrings when you’re alone in your beds — “This isn’t right, things don’t need to be this way.” Every day we get up, we eat, drink, sit, listen, build bricks on bricks of a resume that can always be longer; we accrue cash, we make returns on stocks, 5%, 10%, 20%, we make the grade, the Dean’s List, a corner office, a Rolex, and a Lexus, and yet what’s always there? The nagging feeling that it doesn’t need to be this way. What’s always there? Starbucks.

On every corner, in every downtown and suburb (but only the nice ones), we see the little star maiden smiling down at us, grinning wryly at our placation. In every store, we see the drinks, the frappes, the options. We can have our morning roast anyway we’d like it — hot, cold, foamy, straight, sugary, bitter, strong, weak, with two or three shots of espresso if we’re feeling masochistic. We’re lulled into this comfortable sense of control at the price of our will. I would know; I do it all the time. I could even be writing in a Starbucks at this moment, viewing the lines and lines of people here for their iced oat milk espressos and matcha lattes, which we all know taste like grass. So fitting for us, we woeful intellectual farm animals.

That’s what this place has done to us. We don’t exist for ourselves, despite what the administration likes to pretend. Our whole existence here is performative. Every single day, we have to monitor what we do, think, say, wear, and how exactly we should customize our latte, just for the approval of the mob and the man. Enough. I may be just another hot-topic-wannabe-pink-gumball-sunuvabitch, but I’m not gonna take this anymore. I’m done. 

This academic utopia has gotten so wrapped up in inanity and it’s trying to take me down with it, but I won’t go! I’m standing my ground. What will you do?! Where will you make your bed? How will you deal with that nagging frustration? Where, in this whole mess, is there an ounce of truth, an ounce of beauty, an ounce of love?! Find it, cling to it. Ladies and gentlemen, fell deeds awake. Fire and slaughter is at the gates. For all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand and fight! And if not I give you a very fond farewell, for I am too flawed to pull you off the road to hell; that path which is paved with steamed milk and the week’s latest gossip.

Have some respect for yourself. Come back to reality. War has arrived, and no amount of niceties or please-and-thank-yous will appease the dragon. Only courage, faith, hope, and love. You could pick up your sword, you could do something, or you could walk back into Starbucks, bounding ceaselessly back into a life that could be so much more real.

Note to the editor: Do not put this in the Humor section. This is a serious problem.



Across the galaxy with RPO’s “The Planets”

The audience, in turn, leaves with awe, intrigue, and a heavier resonance with the distant planets that we find so familiar.

System.out.println(“Coding on paper.”);

I enjoy the occasional coding problem, as the differently-colored special words scratch a certain itch deep, deep down in my monkey brain.

Accomplished ethnomusicologist Dr. Kofi Agawu lectures on African Art Music at Eastman

Agawu’s lecture centered on African Art Music, a thriving genre across Africa that includes compositions hailing from the Western tradition.