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Wednesday, August 05, 2020 — Houston, TX °

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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. 

The Rice Thresher presents the Quarantine Cookbook

(04/15/20 2:30am)

Many of us are inspired to keep on the daily grind through small  interactions with the people that matter to us around campus — having to  spend the past month indoors and away from friends has likely made more  than a few Rice students stir-crazy. Plenty of those same people have  turned to stirring ingredients in a pot or pan, whether trying out  online recipes and cooking for the first time, or improvising a  traditional family dish.  Enjoy these nine recipes submitted by students  to the Thresher’s Quarantine Cookbook. 

Virtual prayers: Rice students celebrate religious holidays under lockdown

(04/15/20 2:16am)

Religious festivals are times of celebration, shared in a community, when families hold both simple and extravagantly planned gatherings to catch up with each other and have a good time. Oftentimes, these festivals give religious communities the opportunity to gather as a large group to worship and celebrate together. Many of these festivals have deep spiritual or religious significance for students. The Thresher caught up with students celebrating Easter, Passover, Ugadi and Ramadan this year to discuss how they’ve managed to maintain the spirit of the festival even after the pandemic struck.

O-Week Coords, First Year Programs plan for O-Week with uncertain future in mind

(04/15/20 2:14am)

Rice is planning for a full, face-to-face Orientation Week in August, but O-Week coordinators are preparing for an online O-Week followed by a possible Welcome Week when campus reopens if an in-person O-Week is not possible by August, according to Araceli Lopez, associate director of First Year Programs. 

Heroes on the front lines: Rice alumni fight against COVID-19 in hospitals

(04/15/20 2:07am)

Rice students aspiring to become doctors do plenty of preparation in their undergraduate years  — prerequisite courses, Medical College Admission Tests and clinical experiences. But most students are likely not preparing to be on the front lines of the battle against a global pandemic. However, that’s exactly where a number of Rice alumni have found themselves in the face of COVID-19.

Zoom bombings disrupt online classes

(04/15/20 1:04am)

After moving all classes and programs online over three weeks ago, Rice faculty and staff are still experiencing difficulties teaching, including a common trend known as “Zoom bombing.” On top of other technical difficulties associated with the transition to remote learning, some classes and online programs have reported being interrupted by individuals that randomly join Zoom calls in order to cause disruptions. 

Moments alone: More 50 word stories from isolation

(04/15/20 12:06am)

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. This is our second installment of this series — you can find the first one here.

Time to go further: Faculty should consider mandating optional finals and other steps

(04/14/20 11:42pm)

This Thursday, the Faculty Senate will meet to finalize their April 22 agenda. As an editorial board, we endorse the measures they plan to vote on. As students, we are suggesting they take a step further to consider more accommodations such as making finals optional for all students. We also ask that professors take proactive steps now to adjust their classes, regardless of what the Faculty Senate eventually decides. 

Hotspots: Students return home to highly infected regions

(04/14/20 10:15pm)

When Rice announced that classes would be going remote and required students to leave campus unless their petition to stay on campus was approved, some undergraduates had to do what it seemed like nobody in America wanted to do: travel to areas of the country with high rates of COVID-19. The Thresher caught up with students from California, New York and Washington who made the difficult decision to return home and be with their families.

‘Joy at Work’ (from home): Rice professor teams up with Marie Kondo in new book

(04/14/20 8:48pm)

Since the debut of Marie Kondo’s show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” many of us have been asking ourselves, “Does this spark joy?” either in jest or while actually sorting through clutter that we should have thrown out three years before. However, while it is easier to function in a tidy workspace, many items that are crucial to someone’s career cannot be thrown away regardless of their emotional value. This is where “Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life,” coauthored by Marie Kondo and Rice business professor Scott Sonenshein, comes in to bridge the gap by helping readers declutter their workspaces and take pleasure in their jobs.