Monday, March 10, 2014

You Don't Remember The Score

"If you think back to the first sporting event you went to, you don't remember the score, you don't remember a home run, you don't remember a dunk. You remember who you were with. Were you with your mom, your dad, your brother, on a date?"
-Mark Cuban


I've had the privilege of going to many baseball games at Yankee Stadium, but I'd never been to a professional rugby game.  Two weekends ago, that changed for me.

NYU gave out some tickets to the rugby game for the Harlequins vs. Worcester, so I went with my friend Kat.  Thankfully, it was a beautiful, sunny day in London (I swear, these are becoming more and more common) so the walk from the train station to the stadium wasn't bad at all.  The weather was perfect as we entered and found our seats.

via Kat's Instragram

Now, I'm not really sure about any of the rules of rugby, but we watched some of the players practice, and it kind of looked like grown-men cheerleading.  I couldn't tell you what moves they were practicing or why, but three guys lifted another into the air and he caught the rugby ball.  It looked like something out of the movie "Fired Up."

Thanks but no thanks
Anyway, once the game started, it looked like typical rugby.  You know, guys running each other into the ground and such.  However, I tend to find that I like sporting events for the atmosphere and the people, not just the actual sport.

Last Wednesday, NYU gave students tickets (gosh, isn't NYU great?) to go see the England vs. Denmark soccer game (football match) at Wembley Stadium.  Again, I went with Kat and a few of my other friends to take a quick (3 hour) study break.  

Note the English flags made out
of people in the stands
With a Finance midterm looming the next day, I figured the soccer (football) game would help me relax.  Again, the atmosphere was incredible, and it was even better once England scored!  When basically all the people in the stadium are united, it's such a great, sometimes even overwhelming, environment to be in.  People were running up and down the aisles waving England flags, singing the National Anthem, and cheering so loudly!  It really took my mind off Finance for a few hours (still debating whether this was a good or bad thing...).

So, I can check "going to a rugby game" off my list, and add another experience to the stories I tell my soccer-obsessed cousins when I go home.



Rachel

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Laughter Is Sunshine

“Laughter is sunshine, it chases winter from the human face.”
-Victor Hugo

It's been sunny here in London for the past few days, and I'm hoping that it's a sure sign of Spring to come.  In true NYU fashion, another free theatre show was arranged, this time to Les Miserables.


I didn't know anything about the play.  I had never seen the movie, or listened to any of the songs (except for the cover on a Glee episode), or even read the book.  I expected nothing.

It was so incredible.  I was tearing up after the first act, and full out crying at the end of the play.  So many characters, so many incredible actors.  The play brought out a whole range of emotions from sad to uplifting, and I left the theatre speechless.

Now I'm convinced I have to watch the movie, and read the book, and see the play again.  For me personally, the theme of love stood out the most.  It gave me goosebumps.



Rachel

Friday, February 7, 2014

Love, Peace, United

"Olympics for me is love, peace, united."
-Jackie Chan


There's been a lot of doubt surrounding Sochi's preparedness for the Olympics, but today is the day.  Ready or not, the Olympic games are finally here.

Politics and sports have often been intertwined, affecting social norms.  The 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa was a defining moment in bringing South Africans of every race to unite around their national team.  It's also often believed that if Yugoslavia had won the 1990 World Cup, the war and breakup of the country would not have happened.

And now, social pressure is being put on Russia to change it's anti-gay laws ahead of the Olympics.  The anti-gay laws in Russia garnered much media coverage.  From videos, to pictures, to pulling out sponsorships, this has been a pretty interesting Olympic season, and it's only just begun!  Here are some of my favorite messages of support from around the web:







via BrewDog








Let's hope that all of our athletes are safe, competing in the sports that they love, and being 100% themselves. 


Rachel

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Jack Taylor Just Lost More Money In One Day Than I’ll Make In My Entire Life

In fact, so did 77 other billionaires on Bloomberg’s Top 200 Billionaires list.

The numbers are a little more than disturbing.  If you take into account the median household income in the United States is $53,046 (according to the Census Bureau), the average American, working from age 22 to 70, would make a little over $5.5 million by the time they reach 70. (Check out the calculator here)

That’s if you didn’t spend any money on rent, food, gas, shoes, Netflix, or the internet bill.

For me, I was a little more optimistic.  Best-case scenario, I get a job making $65,000 right out of college.  I’ll make a little more in my lifetime, with a grand total coming in at around $6.7 million.

But that’s chump change compared to Jack Taylor’s $380.2 million loss.

Here’s what $380.2 million could do:

  • Build you a couch (or eight) made of $100 bills
  • Pay for NYU tuition.  Six thousand times.
  • Buy 79,000 pounds of marijuana (legally in Colorado)
  • Give every person in the USA $1.20 (hey, that's a soft serve at McDonald's for every single person in the United States)

Even though Jack Taylor lost a ridiculous amount of money, there is a silver lining.  Taylor is a self-made man.  A veteran of World War II, he came back to his hometown of St. Louis and started a car rental service company, Enterprise.  His motto from the beginning has been: “Take care of your customers and your employees first, and the profits will follow.”

With news headlines about manipulative companies and suspicious activity in the financial services industry, it’s good to know that there’s a man who’s made his fortune genuinely caring for customers and employees.  And that should give us hope, not only as assurance, but also for our own future successes.


So, yes, Jack Taylor lost more money in one day than the average American will ever make in her entire life.  But he landed on Bloomberg’s billionaires list while maintaining an honest and caring business.  And hopefully, more of us will too.



Rachel

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Every Day

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson


Between studying for finals, a quick trip to Germany, and being home for the holidays, December was a very busy month.

The one photo I will share from December is of my usually adorable puppy yawning and showing off his canines.

You're gonna hear me RAAWWRRR
He's usually really very cute, I swear.

I just recently got back to London, and January so far is a lot less busy than the previous month.  Of course, it's hard to judge being only a few days in, but my past week has involved a lot of sitting on the couch watching all six seasons and two movies of Sex and the City.

New Years Resolutions never really have been a part of my January routine.  Sure, I've printed out an exercise plan I'd like to follow, but chances are it's going to stay on the printer for another few weeks.  My family always had this tradition of writing something we disliked about the past year on a piece of paper, then throwing our papers into the fire.  I think it makes New Years more symbolic, but also a little more real at the same time.

2013 was definitely my best year yet.  Here's to hoping 2014 can only be better!



Rachel

Sunday, December 1, 2013

When Thou Art At Rome

"When thou art at Rome, do as they do at Rome."
-Miguel de Cervantes

As our days throughout Italy progressed, we decided to take a 3 hour drive to Rome. We woke up at 6AM, and by 7AM we were on our way. We were all pretty tired, especially so early in the morning, but the sunrise greeted us with the loveliest warmth.



Driving through the Italian countryside was peaceful and smooth, which was a stark contrast to the driving conditions I faced in Rome.  Driving in Rome is like driving in New York City, except add more pedestrians jaywalking, cars swerving in and out of nonexistent lanes, and Miley Cyrus blasting through the speakers.  It was a very interesting (read: terrifying) experience, so when we found a place to park, we stumbled out of the car, relieved that we were all still alive.

Our first stop was the Monument to Victor Emmanuel II.  It quite reminded me of a monument you might find in Washington DC.  At this point, the sun was a big ball of fire up in the sky.  To illustrate this point, it decided to ruin all of my pictures of the monument that I took.  But that's ok, because we all preferred sun to rain for our day in Rome.

Big ball of fire!!! (aka the sun)
We walked over to the Colosseum, which happened to have one of the sides of the fa├žade under construction (ruins? under construction? I feel a conspiracy theory coming on...), but it was cool to see nonetheless.  I felt like a Roman walking on the cobblestone street, except I was wearing shoes, a luxury not afforded to most Romans at the time.

You're gonna hear me ROOOAAARRRR
 Next on our list was lunch.  We were so so hungry after walking around in the sun for a few hours, so we headed over to Piazza Navona  to eat.  *ANGELS AND DEMONS SPOILER ALERT* Of course, I was really excited to be in the same place that Tom Hanks/Robert Langdon go to at the end of Angels and Demons.  When I saw the obelisk with the dove on top, I felt as if I was on a real life adventure through Rome to find a cylinder of antimatter.  Well, not really, but it was still really cool.

Robert Langdon, Rachel Levine, hmm...
After satisfying our tummies, we headed off to the Pantheon.  *ANGELS AND DEMONS SPOILER ALERT*  Again, another location that Robert Langdon goes to in the movie.  I was having all sorts of fun running around and reciting lines from the movie.

Another obelisk!!
The outside of the Pantheon was a busy busy place, but Alison and I spent a while outside admiring the architecture.  It always fascinates me how ancient people built such grand monuments, chapels, cathedrals (basically anything big and made out of rock) without heavy, modern machinery.  The inside was equally beautiful, but of course, I ran straight to Rafael's tomb.

Santi's Earthly Tomb
After the Pantheon, we took a quick walk over to the Fountain of Trevi.  Switching gears to The Lizzie McGuire Movie (not as exciting as Angels and Demons if you ask me), we all made a wish a threw a coin into the fountain.  Again, the architecture of the fountain was truly fascinating, and I'm not going to lie, I felt a tingle as I threw my coin into the fountain.

I wish for gelato!
The heat was finally starting to get to us, so we popped into a shop and got some gelato to cool off.  Obviously, all our diets were on hold for this trip; who can resist pizza, pasta, and gelato?

#foodienotfattie
Our last stop in Rome was Vatican City.  Since I decided that I was going to get a cap as a souvenir, Sidney suggested I get a pope hat.  However, when she said 'pope hat', she was envisioning a mitre.  I, on the other hand, thought she meant a cap with the picture of the pope on it.  Well, guess which one I actually found, and bought, in Vatican City?

POPE HAT
I'm not sure if the Holy Father would be too impressed, but he seems like a pretty chill guy, so I wore it around Vatican City to protect my eyes from the burning sun.


Vatican City, where Angels and Demons begins, was where our trip ended.  We sent a postcard to one of our friends (a devout Catholic), then walked back to the car, drove out of Rome (no easy feat) and back to the villa in Tuscany.



Rachel

Friday, November 29, 2013

Gratitude

“Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
-William Arthur Ward

I absolutely love Thanksgiving.  It's full of tradition for me.  I've done the same thing for Thanksgiving for the past 19 years of my life.

I've always woken up to sit on the couch and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in my pajamas.  Some years, my dad even took us into Manhattan and we would find a spot along the parade route and watch the parade.  It's always amazing to see the huge balloons in person.  The night before the parade, the balloons get blown up and spectators are allowed to walk around and see all the blown-up balloons.  It's amazing to see it as a kid.  The Parade has always been a very important part of Thanksgiving for me.

It doesn't air in England, so I'm keeping up with the tradition by streaming it online (which may or may not be legal...).

Another tradition is watching whatever football game is on with my family after our huge late lunch.  Again, because I'm in England, I don't think I'll be watching an American football game today, but hopefully some sports event is going on that I can watch while I digest food.

  I've never been involved with the food preparation, so the only tradition I have regarding Thanksgiving dinner is eating it.

I'm so thankful for my wonderful friends, family, and opportunities that life has given me.  I feel so blessed everyday to be surrounded by amazing people.  Yes, Thanksgiving is a day to show immense gratitude, and the holiday is a good reminder that we have so much to be thankful for every day.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!



Rachel