10 Good Things LAU Has That Its Students Keep a Secret


1. Kaak at Upper Gate. A small little food cart near the entrance to Malik’s Bookshop serves up the traditional Lebanese kaak squished in an antique George Forman grill so it’s toasty and pancaked. It’s sliced in two pieces so you can conveniently eat it in between classes. It’s got kiri cheese spread, tomatoes and angel tears. And you can add harr, or chili pepper, for zing.


2. Nescafe. A van parked outside Upper Gate pumps out more caffeine than all 4 Starbucks located within the 5 mile radius of the campus. It’s good and cheap like Manara’s Uncle Deek.


3. There is no Upper Gate and Lower Gate. This is just to differentiate two entrances but there is hardly enough incline between them to differentiate them based on elevation like AUB’s two gates. But there are stairs between them. Just not the kind that will make your kidneys cry.


4. The library. It’s huge and loaded with tons of books that are virtually unopened because they’re so new. It’s got spinning reclining chairs and you’re allowed to eat snacks inside.


5. The lack of Bliss Street right outside. The strip of food franchises does not exist which saves your ass from becoming a bigger one.


6. Much like Avis Rent-a-car’s old campaign, the fact that LAU is second best in Lebanon (in general reputation at least) makes them try harder. They’re always trying to be better.


7. Around the big holidays, they go the extra mile with decorations and figurines. The number of poinsettias during the Christmas season is enough to make it seem like the reproduced December-inspired scene from Wizard of Oz where Dorothy is in a sea of flowers on her way to the Emerald City…or Nicol Hall in this case.


8. Socrate Catering in the cafeteria. And for basically any other social event held on campus. Who doesn’t love bite-size everythings?


9. Free printing. The library and certain department labs allow for free printing up to a specific amount (in the hundreds, and thousands for paper-loving majors).


10. Financial Aid and Honor Scholarships for high cGPAs. Although most people think of LAU as being the snobby-rich-kid university that has valet parking (that’s actually not for the university), it helps out a lot of the students financially if they deserve it. 

Let’s Just Act Like That Never Happened…

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If you had the power to wipe out a memory and replace it with a new one, what would you do with that power? Would you use it on those around you or just on yourself? Both?


Perhaps it can be argued that it is not up to you to decide which memories others should be robbed of. However, when it comes to yourself, maybe there are certain events you’d like to shove out of your mind. We all know the arguments of making mistakes and having no regrets. You learn from them, they shape you, it’s a fact of life, cliche, cliche, bumper sticker, bumper sticker. 


So if you could really act like “that” never happened, what would your “that” (or thats) be? 


Here are a few I thought of:

  • Heartbreak: erasing the memory of literal heartburn so that the good memories of love don’t sting. This would be like when Dr. Dolittle removed that little white piece from the tiger’s brain and he had no pain. 
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  • Financial decisions: erasing the memory of you deciding not to buy 500 shares of Apple when they were only $30 a piece. 
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But if you erased such things, what part of you would change and what guarantee is there that it would be for the better? What if that event was the butterfly effect for other positive things in your life? Does erasing heartbreak erase how you feel towards the one who did it? How you feel towards one who still could in the future? What would being a millionaire have changed? (Stop thinking about the Maserati)

Even small events that still poke you like a stepped-on lego on the floor may have some significance. Maybe there is an alternate version of our realities where those events went another way and, thus, our lives went another way.  Or maybe, just maybe, life is exactly what it’s supposed to be and we just have to have faith.

    8 Pet Peeves that Occur Within the Confines of Your Own Room

    1. The laptop charger keeps falling out of the socket every time you place your buttocks far enough that you have to get up to go back and plug it in.


    2. You get settled in under the covers with just the right arrangement of pillows fluffed around your head and you found that cool spot that you put one foot on, while the other one just barely pokes out of the blanket. You’re about to sleep and then you realize…your light is still on.


    3. You slam the door shut only to hear that magic “click” that means that stupid little part of the lock that’s supposed to keep the door shut (the bolt?) has gone rogue and kamikazed itself against the doorframe…and your door nonchalantly swings back open. If it could sing, it would be doing a wonderful rendition of that annoying taunt classmates used to do when you’d play tag and they’d make it to “safe” before you got them.


    4. Your closet door has learned from his rogue relative. As you rummage through drawers and various items of clothing, the closet door insists on stealthily creaking open every time you try to close it. If you’re lucky, it’ll hit you in the bum when you’re not looking. Repeatedly.


    5. The window is open because it’s sunny and there’s a breeze instead of the thick humidity monster typical of those impending sticky summer months of doom. The air is nice until it decides to send your papers flying across the room. It’s never as whimsical as it seems in the movies.


    6. LeBron James ain’t got nothing on you. That ball of a failed masterpiece is going to make it into the trashcan without you even trying. Hell, you wish it could swish for you. Why did it just bounce off the rim? I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU JUST COSTED US GAME 7. Kobe gets MVP. AGAIN.


    7. The drapes have gone all Angelina-at-the-Golden-Globes, allowing that beautiful sunlight to splash on your head…wonderful rays of happiness. Only problem is it’s still 6:30 am and those slits in the drapery could very well be the slits in your wrists since you’ve got another hour before that alarm goes off like a steamboat is coming straight for your face. 


    8. The alarm goes off like a steamboat is coming straight for your face. 

    10 Excuses To Be Unproductive That Only Make Sense in Your Head

    Source

    1.) You just ate lunch and you need to digest before you can do anything that requires a lot of brainpower. Because your brain didn’t absorb all the power of the falafel sandwich yet.

    2.) It’s 4:48pm, you might as well wait until it’s 5:00 on the dot to start working because the 12 minutes won’t really make a difference and you don’t like working at weird time intervals that are not multiples of 5…or 30.

    3.) You didn’t have your coffee yet and, therefore, you are about as useful as a chewed-on unsharpened pencil without an eraser.

    4.) You paid a lot of money for that playstation/xbox/wii. It’d all be in vain if you didn’t use it. There are children dying in Africa.  You should appreciate what you have.

    5.) The task at hand was only a suggestion. You don’t HAVE to do it today. Or ever.

    6.) It’s Thursday. That’s practically the weekend. It IS the weekend in Saudi Arabia.

    7.) You’re just resting your eyes.

    8.) You’re always told to seize the moment, don’t waste your time doing mundane tasks that no one will remember in 6 months. Carpe diem and stuff. You’re not going to flunk that class or get fired just because you decided to live…off of food stamps.

    9.) You need to tweet some interesting links because social media is the new way to market yourself and stay up-to-date and connected. Everyone knows the latest way to a quick hire is tweeting about trending topics and #mileypregnant.

    10.) You need to download new music so you can have a soundtrack for when you start working.

    Thanks for reading this and being really productive.

    Message in a Bag

    Another tango dance with some beautiful packaging 
    Pretty Kate Spade Packaging
    Reflective Logo
    brought me to realize two entirely unrelated things:
    1. There are hidden messages all around us – even if they are paid-for slogans that are supposed to incite the very feelings that I am appreciating here
    2. Online shopping would be my demise were I to live in a country that had addresses that didn’t involve using a big politician’s portrait or pothole as a reference point.
    “Live Colorfully”
    The funny thing is – a lot of these so-called hidden messages are not really hidden at all. We’re just too wrapped in our own messy lives or glued to our various screens that we don’t even notice these tokens around us.
    As for the online shopping epiphany – This isn’t really a new realization. It’s just one that I am more and more convinced of every moment I spend on Amazon, Pinterest, Wanelo or any other online black hole that thrives on consumerism. We are all going to need some sort of credit card rehab…or exorcism. Or, you know, we could just go outdoors. 
    More tokens:

    Rewriting Brown Sugar

    It was the day I truly met Lebanon, but little did I know how much Lebanon would be a part of my life.
    Lebanon was as young, naive, confused, sometimes as innocent and sometimes as mischievous as I was and as I grew up… Lebanon grew up with me and along the way it took on all my baggage, my dreams… I felt Lebanon and Lebanon felt me.
    For many people Lebanon was that first friend, the first to talk to us, the first to understand, Lebanon has always been that kind of friend to me. And like any relationship, I watched it grow I’ve watched it change.
    The union of Lebanon to the mainstream was a hard thing to imagine, Lebanon was always this personal, regional thing that belonged to just me. Anyone could get a piece of Lebanon, I knew I was going to have to share and that was hard to get used to.
    Just when you think you know everything there is to know about Lebanon it finds a way to surprise you and remind you why you fell in love in the first place.
    I always thought one day I would outgrow my relationship with Lebanon. I never thought it was a fad like many. But I never thought it would grow and mature. I thought it would be an adolescent memory I’d look back on, like a crush on the captain of the football team, but I realize we have more than that…much more… we have history, a friendship. We listen to each other & we laugh together, we finish each others lyrics, I don’t have to pretend with Lebanon & and Lebanon doesn’t have to pretend with me. My feelings have never been more clear, and I know they will never go away.


    – Replaced “hip-hop” in original text taken from the film “Brown Sugar”