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Disney and Pixar’s animated comedy drama “Soul” made history when it was released on Dec. 25, 2020 via Disney+, Disney’s at-home streaming service. "Soul" is the first Pixar film with an African American protagonist and predominantly Black cast, and has earned praise for achieving a level of existentialism that viewers young and old can understand. The film is the brainchild of co-director Pete Docter, the creative mind behind Pixar blockbusters “Inside Out” and “Up,” and Kemp Powers, who is now the first African American to co-direct a Disney animated feature. “Soul” impressed me with its outstanding animation and lively voice acting, and inspired me to reflect on mortality and meanings of my everyday life in a new way.
Undergraduate students will not be able to return to campus until Feb 15, according to an email from President David Leebron sent out this morning. The email also states that all classes this semester will begin in an online format and that Rice will move to Research Stage 2 in which essential on-campus research will be able to continue but with added safety protocols.
During a season with a missed quadruple-doink field goal and a victory over a top-ranked team in the nation, the Rice football season is officially over after a 21-16 loss to the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Finishing with a 2-3 record, the Owls were one win shy of a bowl game bid. The season was defined by its ever-changing schedule, but head coach Mike Bloomgren did not anticipate adding another game to the schedule.
On Dec. 10, Rice admitted 421 students through the Early Decision program, a 16 percent acceptance rate, according to Vice President of Enrollment Yvonne Romero da Silva. This year, Rice received its highest ever number of applications for this round of admission, narrowly beating the previous record set in 2018, with 2,635 applying to join the class of 2025.
The Rice Women’s Basketball team is just three games into the 2020-2021 season, but their year is already off to a promising start. The Owls are 3-0 and are beating their opponents by an average margin of 20 points per game. According to head coach Tina Langley, their strong start is an indication of how much the team has grown.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest opinion that has been submitted by a member of the Rice community. The views expressed in this opinion are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of the Thresher or its editorial board. All guest opinions are fact-checked and edited for clarity and conciseness by Thresher editors.
On a cold and gloomy Saturday in Huntington, West Virginia, Rice football came in and delivered a stunning upset to the Marshall University Thundering Herd. Despite being favored by three touchdowns and being ranked No. 15 in the country, the Herd was held in check by an Owl defense that allowed zero points on the afternoon and, with five interceptions, propelled the Owls to a 20-0 victory.
Since COVID-19, from my new home in California, I found myself reading the news from Rice more eagerly, thinking back to the seven years I spent there with many life-changing encounters. As the pandemic highlights many of the challenges we face today, from social inequity to climate change to political division, I crave the late-night Valhalla discussions and the small talk waiting in line at Coffeehouse. It is with this nostalgia, and the urge to share my own source of encouragement, that I am writing to my beloved and sorely missed community at Rice.
From garden-fresh fruits and vegetables to classic films and a spring break field trip to Cuba, Rice University is home to an assortment of interesting classes. With input from the Rice community, the Thresher has compiled a list of eight classes students should consider adding to their schedules while they’re at Rice — no matter what their major or interests.
Rice swimming won their first meet of the season last weekend, winning 15 of 21 events over the two-day meet and handing Tulane University a 245-146 loss. This was the final home meet of the season, and the final home meet ever for the seven seniors on the team.
Rice lost to the University of North Texas on Saturday by a score of 27-17. The loss dropped the Owls’ record to 1-2 on the season. Meanwhile, the Mean Green improved to 3-3 with their win.
The Faculty Senate voted on Nov. 18 to extend the drop deadline for fall classes to Jan. 13 for continuing students and Jan. 6 for December degree candidates, according to Speaker of the Faculty Senate Christopher Johns-Krull.
When Rice takes the field against the University of North Texas on Saturday, it will be the Owls’ first game in 21 days. After a 30-6 win over the University of Southern Mississippi on Oct. 31, Rice has seen their last two games postponed due to COVID-19 cases within their opponents’ programs. The 1-1 Owls now have to regroup from their unscheduled two week break in order to face a Mean Green team that enters the game with a 2-3 record. Head coach Mike Bloomgren said he is proud of how his team has been able to improve despite these challenges.
After years of compost deliberations, Rice has partnered with a local composting company, Moonshot, and started the early phases of campus wide composting. The project kicked off last week as Moonshot collected waste on Wednesday and Thursday morning from West and North Serveries, generating 1,418 pounds of compost, according to Moonshot co-founder Joe Villa. H&D plans to expand composting to all serveries once students return in January.
I stumbled into the Thresher office as a freshman who was determined to go to medical school. Three years later, I’m stumbling out of the office, just as clumsily, as a senior who is pursuing design because of Thresher.
Instead of walking on- and off-stage, actors in the Rice Players’ adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” clicked to join and leave a Zoom meeting. Putting on a livestreamed adaptation of the 1879 play posed a number of limitations, but also provided novel opportunities for creative expression.
Lighthearted chatter used to drift from booths filled with lush, leafy greens and fresh baked bread offered by local vendors at the Rice University Farmers Market. But what was once a mainstay on campus faced a screeching halt when COVID-19 cases started to appear in Houston. Now, the only visible remnant of the market is a street sign pointing out where the market once was.