Features  Published 08/10/17 5:23pm

OP-ED: My Internship in North Korea Ends Next Week, and I’m Starting to Get Worried

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Photo by Kok Leng Yeo // CC 2.0


Fire and fury? No thanks.

Until now, my internship in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has been going great. I'm working as a marketing intern at Air Koryo, widely known as one of the world's best airlines, a job that I got through a pretty simple family connection to the venerable North Korean regime (who doesn't use connections for summer jobs, though?). You'd be surprised at how important marketing is, even in a totalitarian perfect state with one airline. I've been living in Pyongyang, and making great money. I go home with hundreds of won a day!

Consider this: at Kim Il-sung University, tuition is free for everyone. There are fifty a capella groups, and their coed Jewish a capella group certainly rivals the Shabbatones. It's NSO all year round, and students still get a good education. The food is certainly better than Commons. The employment rate for graduates is 100%, except for the students who [REDACTED]. 

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 Published 08/08/17 2:17pm

Apply to Join Under The Button's Staff!

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Photo by MJ Kang


It's that time of year again! The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and UTB is recruiting. 

If you're someone who reads UTB often and has thought, "I could write this," you should apply! If you've read UTB and said "I could write something much funnier than this," you should definitely apply! If you never read UTB but the virus we gave your computer took you here, you should still apply. It's the only way to get rid of the virus, really.

Click this sentence to open the application, which also contains more information about joining our staff.

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Satire  Published 08/07/17 2:43pm

Lame Incoming Freshman Ready to "Totally Reinvent" Himself

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Photo by Roman Boed / CC 2.0


For some, the first days of college mark an uncomfortable time for students to reconcile their own identities with a dramatic change of settings. For incoming freshman Chris Richards, however, it’s an opportunity to completely change his personality to become the stud he always wanted to be.

“Ever since I was a kid, I was seen as the weird nerd,” said Richards. “All I did was study and stuff, so no one thought I was cool. That time is over.”

Now that Richards is starting a new life away from home, he says he can completely reinvent himself. “Everyone around me will also be weird nerds,” said Richards. “So if I try hard enough, I can be comparatively cooler than everyone else.”

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 Published 08/05/17 12:56am

True Story: My Sublessee Tried to Sell My Bed While I Was Sleeping in It

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Screenshot by Becky Molinoff


It was a normal Monday night in July. I had just started rewatching The Office for the third time this summer. I was still full from my “homemade” dinner (frozen Mandarin Orange Chicken from Trader Joe’s), so I was not quite ready to have ice cream. But suddenly Michael Scott’s racist jokes were interrupted by a message that popped up in the upper right corner of my computer.

Is it cool if someone comes to pick up the bed on the 13th?

The text was from the girl I've been subletting from during the summer. We had previously discussed that my summer job went through August 15th, so I was surprised to hear that the bed would be auctioned off half a week before I was supposed to leave. Granted, as I am a non-sleeping vampire of the type described in the hit young adult series Twilight, so maybe it wouldn't be that much of a problem for me– but she doesn't know that. I had rather assumed a bed was included in my rent.

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Satire  Published 08/01/17 5:50pm

Forgetting How Terrible School Is, Students Appear Excited for Semester to Start

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/ Public Domain


It's August, people. NSO is weeks away. Midterms are next month. After a quick glance through Penn's meme group, you'd think that everyone would be dreading returning to school. But instead, you see your friend's grand-cousin-twice-removed comment "can't wait to get MERTed again soon!!" on instagram. It seems that for some reason, people might be looking forward to the fall semester.

After some thorough investigation, rising sophomore Olivia Liu explained it best: "I just miss all of my friends so much! It almost makes me forget about the crippling workload and lack of free time I have during the school year."

But there was more than one reason why students were excited to return to Penn:

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Satire  Published 07/28/17 4:32pm

SFS Will Now Offer Undergrads Financial Aid for Only 47 Days

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/ Public Domain


Even though Penn's Financial Aid budget increased by $9 million this year, Student Financial Services will no longer offer fifth-year students aid. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. Another little-known provision in the school's financial aid policy will now be enforced, restricting undergraduate financial aid grants to only 47 days per student.

We spoke to an SFS representative, who told us: "This has actually been our official official policy for 34 years. In an effort to blindside as many students as possible, we decided not to enforce it until now."

When we asked why no one has ever heard of this policy before, the representative responded, "Ummmmmm.... well, it's technically been on our website for, like, ever. You just had to tilt your screen back a bunch, squint a little, and look at it kinda sideways to see it."

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Satire  Published 07/26/17 6:00pm

Rising Junior on Track to Watch 800 Hours of TV this Summer

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/ Public Domain


While scrolling through Grace Heron’s (C ’19) Instagram, you'd think she's a living Vogue spread. From chill photos at her vague part-time internship at an art gallery, to oh-so-fun shots of her in couture in an alley any adult would tell you to stay the hell away from, Heron seems to be living the photogenic summer most can only dream about.

But what goes on between those glamorous snapshots? Brunch with Bella Hadid? Drinks at a bar that’s so exclusive even Malia Obama can’t get in?

This is the kind of investigative journalism UTB lives for, so we did what any Pulitzer winning journalist would do... we slid into Heron’s DMs.

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Satire  Published 07/25/17 4:18pm

Senior Changes Major to Avoid Friday Classes

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Artist's rendering of Laureline Kin celebrating her freedom on a Friday / Public Domain


Laureline Kin had class on Fridays, in her spring semester of freshman year and in her fall semester of sophomore year. That year, she says, was the hardest year of her life. 

In the tail end of this spring and in the beginning of this summer, a difficult decision hung over the College senior's head. In order to complete her major, she would need to have hours worth of class every Friday. Her alternative was to drop the major, but keep the free Fridays. In the end, she opted for the latter.

"Of course it was a tough decision," she told us. "Each option involved a serious sacrifice. I had to pick between pursuing the career and future I'd always wanted, and having three-day weekends. It was hard, but this was the only choice I could have made."

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Satire  Published 07/24/17 5:23pm

Student Repeatedly Lowers Expectations for Summer Goals

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Photo by TeroVesalainen / CC0


Sandra Davis (C '19) started off the summer strong. In May, she'd assembled a list of seven "realistic, totally actionable goals" that would allow her to rejuvenate her mind and body and get ahead for the next school year. The list was as follows:

  1. Organize all the files on her computer ("There are four different folders labeled 'Documents' on my computer," said Davis.)
  2. Figure out what personal finance is ("I thought an IRA and the IRS were the same thing.")
  3. Read one or two books per month ("Yeah, I haven't completed an assigned reading in three years") 
  4. Go to the gym every weekday before work, plus Saturday ("Sunday is a day of rest.")
  5. Start a hip blog, and blog at least twice a week ("Really excited! I just need to pick a topic to blog about!")
  6. Finally decide on a class schedule for next semester, then start studying for those classes ("I'm totally going to get ahead so I don't have to stress out when the semester begins!")
  7. Begin researching internships for summer 2018 ("It's never to early to see what they're looking for, right?")

However, by mid-June, Davis found herself failing to fulfill most of the goals. Always a pragmatic, flexible individual, she made the wise decision to revise her list to the following:

  1. Organize her desktop by sorting by "Date Added"
  2. Ask her dad some vague questions about managing her personal finances so he could see that she was at least thinking about it
  3. Read maybe two books over the course of the summer
  4. Work out once a week
  5. Make a Twitter account instead of a blog, and tweet when she had time
  6. Pick one class that fulfills a foundational requirement
  7. Open a lot of tabs about internships, become disheartened that her resume isn't up to par, and therapeutically close each tab one at a time instead of just closing the entire window

But at this point in July, Davis has all but given up on her original list. Still, she clings to having some kind of summer goals list to fulfill, much like a baby koala clings to its mother but in a not as cute way. Her final list:

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Satire  Published 07/21/17 2:44pm

Sean Spicer to Accept Teaching Position at the Annenberg School for Communication

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Photo by Gage SkidmoreCC by-sa 2.0


Moments after Sean Spicer's resigned as the White House Press Secretary, we learned that he has accepted a teaching position at the Annenberg School for Communication.

We reached out to the spokesperson for the Annenberg School, who told us: "With Sean Spicer's past experience and repeated failures, we are confident that he will be an invaluable asset to Penn's Communications department. The helpful and patient tone he has employed with reporters at the White House will carry over to a classroom quite well."

The spokesperson also released the following course list for the Fall 2017 semester:

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