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Thursday, May 28, 2020 — Houston, TX °

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Professor, RA, new parent: Lesa Tran’s journey in the midst of the pandemic

(04/22/20 12:50am)

On a cool Saturday in March, Lesa Tran held her daughter Ophelia for the very first time. Throughout Ophelia’s life, her March 21 birthday will coincide with the vernal equinox — the beginning of spring — and signal the start of the season of renewal, hope and promise. This year, though, things were different: Spring came on March 20, and Ophelia was delivered amid a global pandemic.


Administration should be transparent about decisions for future semesters

(04/21/20 11:33pm)

On Monday, California State University, Fullerton became one of the first colleges in the country to announce that it will start the fall semester virtually. Rice is not CSUF — a 40,000-student campus in a state significantly more affected by COVID-19 than Texas — so we do not expect the Rice administration to announce contingency plans at this time. The status of the fall semester at Rice has not yet been announced, and the administration has not communicated their plans or decision to the Thresher or the student body at this time. But when they make plans about future semesters, which they will have to do eventually, we urge them to consider the following factors. 


Guggenheim Fellow Lacy Johnson talks climate violence and why she writes

(04/21/20 10:25pm)

Intricate plankton, jellyfish and corals fill the drawings of Ernst Haeckel, a 19th-century German biologist, philosopher and naturalist. The prints caught the eye of Rice’s latest Guggenheim Fellow Lacy Johnson, who took a deeper look into Haeckel’s life. In her research, she unearthed the biologist’s prominent work in scientific racism, work which has led some historians to conclude that Haeckel informed the eventual rise of Nazi ideology in Germany and fascism in Italy.


ImPROMptu: New students plan for prom at Rice amid widespread cancellations

(04/21/20 10:20pm)

As more and more social distancing guidelines were put in place over the past months, high school seniors across the country watched as prom slowly slipped out of their grasp. Instead of donning prom dresses and tuxes, they realized they would be donning face masks. Rather than spending the night dancing with their classmates, they would be staying home, only stepping out for groceries and medication.


Acquired Reading: A look into the lives and libraries of Rice’s faculty

(04/21/20 8:40pm)

Just as Rice students have found new ways to cope amid the general chaos, our professors have found themselves in the same unprecedented moment in history finding ways to muscle through their daily tasks: conducting research, teaching courses and attending to any children in need of attention.


From the managing editor’s makeshift desk: Saying farewell from afar

(04/21/20 8:32pm)

A couple weeks ago, I wrote nearly 900 words of eulogy for my loss of the final quarter of my final year at Rice. Like nearly everything I do, it was self-indulgent and entirely too in touch with my emotions. I submitted it to the Thresher (really I just sent our lovely opinion editor Elizabeth a Slack message) but very soon afterward, someone I love got sick and I decided not to go through with the editing process.




Weekly Screen: Week of April 20

(04/21/20 8:12pm)

For our lovely readers, you may know that “The Weekly Scene” is a regular fixture of the Thresher’s print arts and entertainment section that promotes local arts events both on campus and throughout Houston. However, due to campus and citywide restrictions on public gatherings amid the COVID-19 outbreak and our inability to print issues for the remainder of the semester, the Weekly Scene is sadly discontinued at the moment. Thus, to fill the gap in my heart left by my beloved little column, I’d like to present the Weekly Screen: a short list of TV programs, movies and videos to check out from the socially-distanced comfort of your home. 


375 minutes of music that defined my 3.75 years of college

(04/21/20 8:22pm)

I went to my first concert in college, first semester freshman year in September 2016. My high school friend Eric Shi came with me to see James Blake downtown at the House of Blues. There, under lights filled with haze and concertgoers way older than us, we listened to Moses Sumney over the chatter of the crowd. Eventually, the lights dimmed, and Blake took the stage. When the bass hit on “Limit to Your Love,” I knew I was hooked for a lifetime.


Cheesy movies to make you feel less lonely (or at least make you smile)

(04/21/20 7:55pm)

You know how a couple months ago I came out here to publicly shame the Academy for not sharing my impeccable taste in film? Over the past few years I’ve come out on the record on important cultural milestones, such as the second season of Narcos and this one boring movie that the Thresher got free passes to. But since I’m graduating, I thought I’d show my hand before I go with this confession: I love horrible, cheesy movies. Like, a lot. 


Moments alone: Another round of 50-word stories from isolation

(04/21/20 7:52pm)

As we all exist in isolation from one another, it can be grounding to take a moment to reflect on where we are and how we're doing, and hear the same from others. With that in mind, the Thresher asked for brief stories from the Rice community about what living in social isolation has been like. Here’s what people told us. 




Hanszen freshman continues sports podcast in quarantine

(04/17/20 9:56pm)

If you love sports and every topic surrounding the world of sports, being in quarantine may be pretty difficult. The sports world has ground to a halt, with the NBA and NHL suspending their seasons, March Madness being canceled and the MLB pushing back the start date of their season indefinitely. But don’t panic — Hanszen College freshman Sam DeCaprio has your sports addiction covered with his ongoing sports podcast, “The Roundabout.”


Pipe cleaner chemistry kits and 13-hour time differences: Students adjust to remote classes

(04/15/20 3:39am)

For some students, moving back home two months earlier than expected to finish out the semester has meant the mixed blessing and curse of home-cooked meals and navigating impossible time differences for Zoom class; for others, it has meant trying to focus long enough to pass courses amid unstable internet access and the burdens of financial stress. For all students, the pandemic has posed unique obstacles to obtaining the education they had hoped to get out of the semester. 


Students, Faculty Senate propose and debate appropriate academic relief measures

(04/15/20 3:24am)

After recently rejecting a proposal for the Double A grading policy, the Faculty Senate will deliberate over potential additional accommodations at their April 22 meeting. However, the Student Association released data from a survey of 34.6 percent of the student body on Monday which showed the majority of student support was in favor of the Double A policy.


Weekly Screen: Week of April 13

(04/15/20 2:40am)

For our lovely readers, you may know that “The Weekly Scene” is a regular fixture of the Thresher’s print arts and entertainment section that promotes local arts events both on campus and throughout Houston. However, due to campus and citywide restrictions on public gatherings amid the COVID-19 outbreak and our inability to print issues for the remainder of the semester, the Weekly Scene is sadly discontinued at the moment. Thus, to fill the gap in my heart left by my beloved little column, I’d like to present the Weekly Screen: a short list of TV programs, movies and videos to check out from the socially-distanced comfort of your home. 


A playlist for quiet time: Songs to calm the mind and pass the time

(04/15/20 2:38am)

As I found myself staring out the window last Tuesday listening to The Microphones album “The Glow, Pt. 2” (my go-to album for Feeling Very Small) for the millionth time over the past three weeks, I decided it was probably time to wash my sheets and make myself listen to some new music. I’m naturally a bit self-indulgent when it comes to surrendering to emotion — when feeling nostalgic, for example, I only listen to music that will leave me feeling decidedly more wistful than before. And while I’ve always stood by that self-indulgence on the grounds that it’s simply my nature to try and feel things as deeply as possible, listening to one album on repeat gets old after a certain point.