January 21, 2013

K,

This is a letter of reference I wrote about you seven years ago, on February 23, 2006. I don’t think I’ve ever let you read it before. I think you’re ready now…


Letter of Reference for Kerem Ozkan as Resident Advisor.

​To whom it may concern,

​I haven’t known Kerem Ozkan for very long, which may seem like a hindrance for me to accurately represent him. That’s the (maybe) bad news. The good news is, despite us having only one semester to know and learn about each other, Kerem proved most of my previous life hypotheses wrong by already developing a strong connection with me halfway through last semester. Kerem is complex but he’s also pretty straightforward. Despite his thorough web of nuances and idiosyncrasies, you can still define him…

Personality

​He’s charismatic, he’s charming, I would even go as far to describe him as “cute.” And he’s friendly. Maybe too friendly. If Kerem were in a Greek tragedy, his tragic flaw might be being overly friendly. But to distinguish his friendliness, it is not a carefree, detached friendliness. It is a caring, determined friendliness. What I mean by this perhaps being a tragic flaw is that he is determined to make connections. (Of course this would all be my psychological inference of his personality but…) He is determined to care about people and to help people and to establish levels of trust and willingness to talk about their issues of concern; and in return, people care about Kerem, and help, trust, and appreciate listening to his own issues of concern. While these connections are established between Kerem and his friends mutually, I recognize that Kerem is the one to help ease the connection forward, comfortably for both parties. And the reason I might be/am spending a significant part of my initial description of Kerem on his desire and ability to create and keep connections is that I believe it distinguishes his personality from any I’ve met before. And I’m often jealous of it…

Motivation

Kerem is the only friend I have at New College who has successfully bridged a gap between Pei and Dortstein, and still actively promotes the intermingling of the two. Now, several of us have met and befriended people who we would not have known without him. He is very, very enthusiastic about getting first-years and other years to meet one another and eventually hang out together. I believe that the fact that Kerem has even made several upper-class friends (and now, is trying to share them with other people rather than keeping them to himself (like some other socially selfish first-years)) is a testament to both Kerem’s friendly uniqueness and his very motivated social life…

Cooperativeness

Kerem has worked with several different first-years to start up New College’s most popular band at the moment, No Face. He has been the most active one in the group to work with the Equipment TAs to stage their 4+ performances. Most notably though, I’ve been most impressed with his ability to cooperate with 2nd Court residents and the police extremely well in the face of his band’s noise complaints, and harsh criticism on the student forum. Kerem, more than anyone in the two bands receiving complaints, dealt with the matter very well, and responded to students’ complaints on the forum directly. He was the one who was able to negotiate a tentative band schedule, and talked to administration about getting a music room for bands to practice. (Last time I heard, I think they are getting one…?) I am not just writing it, but Kerem responds to criticism very well, and has worked very well in conflict…

Responsibility

In honesty, I can’t say certainly that Kerem is prompt or timely. It is not a problem for him, and I haven’t seen it impede his academic progress; and I would say his lateness in completing assignments is just as present in him as it is the average student. However, the good news is that, with certainty, I can say that Kerem is a very dependable person and friend outside of class. He is trusted by several of our friends, and trusted to a high degree. I trust Kerem, more than any other friend, to be around to talk when I need to, and to be able to talk about serious things. I have definitely shared big things with Kerem that I haven’t shared with anyone else. I am also certain that I am not the only one of his friends who trusts him this much…

Ability to deal with conflict

Most of what I can express about Kerem’s ability to handle conflict has been mentioned above— in his ability to seek connections with people to work on his personal concerns, his ability to handle criticism from a large audience, and his ability to cooperate with people to get tasks done. He also impressed me with the way he dealt with one instance of an off-campus visitor crying alone in his room. It’s a long story, but Kerem could explain it himself in person…

Sensitivity and openness

​The key to why Kerem could be a great RA. Kerem is maybe the most understanding friend I have. Kerem is willing to, and wants to, understand how people feel. He has been very good at not judging me when I have irrational thoughts. I feel good about talking to him about my problems because he can understand the irrationality that can come with other people’s personal issues. Because of who he is, I have been able to talk to Kerem about my most sensitive issues concerning depression, relationships, sex, family problems, and self-esteem. Kerem has been very supportive of my own and other people’s feelings, and he has yet to rule out someone he doesn’t want to understand. Like most other New College students, Kerem is very open to other cultures and ideologies; but unlike most other students here, Kerem is just as open to other people’s problems, mistakes, and insecurities. What I guess I really mean is that Kerem loves people, on a general basis and an individual basis. And I can definitely, definitely tell you that when I think of Kerem, I think of him meeting people, working with people, and helping people. With the best of my intentions, and with an honest knowledge of Kerem, I will say that Kerem is the best person I know for this job.

Sincerely,
Paolo Roy

January 10, 2013

K,

This is a list of the 60 Most Important Songs To Me In 2012

image

60. Everywhere - Fleetwood Mac

59. Cool - Gwen Stefani

58. Drive - The Cars

57. Under Pressure - Queen and David Bowie

56. This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) - Talking Heads

55. Ripple - Grateful Dead

54. On Melancholy Hill - Gorillaz

53. Catfish - Waxahatchee

52. Someone Like You - Adele

51. Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen

image

50. Fall From Grace - Siouxsie and the Banshees

49. Burn - Usher

48. Heroes - David Bowie

47. Paranoid - Kanye West

46. Sara - Fleetwood Mac

45. These Days - Jackson Browne

44. If I Were A Boy - Beyonce

43. Holocene - Bon Iver

42. Fifteen - Taylor Swift

41. I’m Old Fashioned - Ella Fitzgerald

image

40. Closing Time - Semisonic

39. Midnight Life - The White Panda

38. Pyramids - Frank Ocean

37. The Marfa Lights - Mark Mcguire

36. I’ll Take Care of U - Gil Scott-Herron and Jamie xx

35. Wild Ones - Flo Rida feat. Sia

34. Fineshrine - Purity Ring

33. I Shall Be Released - The Band

32. You Belong With Me - Taylor Swift

31. The Trapeze Swinger - Iron and Wine

The Top 30 continues after the jump.

Read More

October 24, 2012

I’m way overdue, babe. Here’s my new jam — “Everybody Loves Sunshine” by D’angelo.

—k

6:41pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Zn5bhvVvu1O-
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Filed under: music 
October 15, 2012
K,
Been awhile. Let’s get this thing back in action. To start things off on my end, may I direct you to New York Magazine’s excellently written and researched list of The 25 Most Devoted Pop Culture Fanbases.
Spanning from Mad Men at #25, to the ICP at #19, to Tyler Perry at #11, to, well, I won’t give it away, the list delivers an insightful cross-section of our generation. It doesn’t simply illuminate what we like or find popular, but it highlights the units of culture we use to define ourselves. Whether it’s a study of devotion, obsession, or attachment, it arguably gives a better profile of American identity than any list I’ve ever read.

K,

Been awhile. Let’s get this thing back in action. To start things off on my end, may I direct you to New York Magazine’s excellently written and researched list of The 25 Most Devoted Pop Culture Fanbases.

Spanning from Mad Men at #25, to the ICP at #19, to Tyler Perry at #11, to, well, I won’t give it away, the list delivers an insightful cross-section of our generation. It doesn’t simply illuminate what we like or find popular, but it highlights the units of culture we use to define ourselves. Whether it’s a study of devotion, obsession, or attachment, it arguably gives a better profile of American identity than any list I’ve ever read.

August 25, 2012
K,
Check out this piece on Mo Isom, a girl who’s trying out to be the kicker for LSU’s football team. Besides this being the best article I’ve read on Grantland, it’s also one of the very best pieces of sports journalism I’ve ever read.

K,

Check out this piece on Mo Isom, a girl who’s trying out to be the kicker for LSU’s football team. Besides this being the best article I’ve read on Grantland, it’s also one of the very best pieces of sports journalism I’ve ever read.

August 23, 2012

K,

Check out Commander Venus. It was Conor Obert’s first band, and he started it with Tim Kasher of Cursive and Tim Fink, The Faint’s vocalist.

August 21, 2012
"Drake’s critics might call his approach overemotional, sad-sack, or wimpy, but his version of masculinity is simple, and can be observed anywhere young men are hitting on people: First you act grave and sensitive; then you convey how weighty and fraught with complexity your life is; then you chin up and demonstrate how stoic and manly you are about it. This can be attractive, and Drake isn’t exactly duplicitous about it. “Having a hard time adjusting to fame,” he says, drunk-dialing an ex on “Marvins Room”—quickly followed by “I need someone to put this weight on.” (Calling him a sad-sack just adds weight; now he’s misunderstood, too.) Drake, it has to be said, is fantastically compelling in this role. Self-presentation isn’t just his great topic; it’s also his great strength."

— Pao, check out Nitsuh Abebe, a music critic who writes for New York and Pitchfork. I usually avoid reading too much about music — especially pop music — but this guy really has a unique perspective. His stuff doesn’t really lend itself to short excerpts, so go check out his take on Coldplay, Rihanna & Drake, Party in the USA, and the merits of self-absorbed pop music.

2:29am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Zn5bhvRrGFPd
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Filed under: writing 
August 15, 2012
K,
OK Computer and In Rainbows, when sequenced together, complement each other perfectly(?). And apparently, Radiohead designed this intentionally. According to a few conspiracy theorists (and allegedly Thom Yorke himself), there are a number of cryptic clues that link the two albums:

Ten years after OK Computer shocked the world, Radiohead released In Rainbows on October 10 (10/10). Though no one was expecting the album to be released until 2008, Radiohead announced In Rainbows just ten days in advance. In Rainbows, which consists of ten letters, has ten tracks, and would be downloadable from a rumored ten servers.

The only way to understand this is to do it yourself. I just did it and I’ll wait for you to finish before discussing anything.
First, go to iTunes -> Preferences -> Playback -> Set crossfade to 10 seconds.
Then, create this playlist:
1. Airbag (OK Computer)2. 15 Step (In Rainbows)3. Paranoid Android (OK Computer)4. Bodysnatchers (In Rainbows)5. Subterranean Homesick Alien (OK Computer)6. Nude (In Rainbows)7. Exit Music (For A Film) (OK Computer)8. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi (In Rainbows)9. Let Down (OK Computer)10. All I Need (In Rainbows)11. Karma Police (OK Computer)12. Fitter Happier (OK Computer)13. Faust Arp (In Rainbows)14. Electioneering (OK Computer)15. Reckoner (In Rainbows)16. Climbing Up The Walls (OK Computer)17. House Of Cards (In Rainbows)18. No Surprises (OK Computer)19. Jigsaw Falling Into Place (In Rainbows)20. Lucky (OK Computer)21. Videotape (In Rainbows)22. The Tourist (OK Computer)
Then, feel free to check out this guy’s analysis of how these 22 songs match up with the 22 cards in a Tarot deck.

K,

OK Computer and In Rainbows, when sequenced together, complement each other perfectly(?). And apparently, Radiohead designed this intentionally. According to a few conspiracy theorists (and allegedly Thom Yorke himself), there are a number of cryptic clues that link the two albums:

Ten years after OK Computer shocked the world, Radiohead released In Rainbows on October 10 (10/10). Though no one was expecting the album to be released until 2008, Radiohead announced In Rainbows just ten days in advance. In Rainbows, which consists of ten letters, has ten tracks, and would be downloadable from a rumored ten servers.

The only way to understand this is to do it yourself. I just did it and I’ll wait for you to finish before discussing anything.

First, go to iTunes -> Preferences -> Playback -> Set crossfade to 10 seconds.

Then, create this playlist:

1. Airbag (OK Computer)
2. 15 Step (In Rainbows)
3. Paranoid Android (OK Computer)
4. Bodysnatchers (In Rainbows)
5. Subterranean Homesick Alien (OK Computer)
6. Nude (In Rainbows)
7. Exit Music (For A Film) (OK Computer)
8. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi (In Rainbows)
9. Let Down (OK Computer)
10. All I Need (In Rainbows)
11. Karma Police (OK Computer)
12. Fitter Happier (OK Computer)
13. Faust Arp (In Rainbows)
14. Electioneering (OK Computer)
15. Reckoner (In Rainbows)
16. Climbing Up The Walls (OK Computer)
17. House Of Cards (In Rainbows)
18. No Surprises (OK Computer)
19. Jigsaw Falling Into Place (In Rainbows)
20. Lucky (OK Computer)
21. Videotape (In Rainbows)
22. The Tourist (OK Computer)

Then, feel free to check out this guy’s analysis of how these 22 songs match up with the 22 cards in a Tarot deck.

August 10, 2012

K,

Not sure if you’ve seen this or not, but Rihanna’s "We Found Love" video is one of the most powerful, most disturbing, best videos I’ve ever seen.

We contemplated a while back whether finding “love in a hopeless place” represents something positive or negative. Right now, I see both. Despite the most shadowy imagery I’ve ever seen in a pop music video, I feel like Rihanna sees a light that I don’t. Am I overanalyzing this? Help me.

9:26pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Zn5bhvRAE19p
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Filed under: music rihanna 
August 8, 2012
Hey Pao,
Check out Amanita Design's puzzle games. You can spend hours on these without getting bored. And they're just incredibly beautiful.
I suggest starting with Samorost.

Hey Pao,

Check out Amanita Design's puzzle games. You can spend hours on these without getting bored. And they're just incredibly beautiful.

I suggest starting with Samorost.

5:49pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Zn5bhvR0uBUb
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Filed under: games 
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