Sonia Su

Student. Journalist. Explorer.

Category: Blog

John Oliver Makes Me Laugh

by Sonia Su

John Oliver makes me laugh. He informs me on timely issues that I otherwise would not have known about. John Oliver is also a comedian. But how about a journalist?

The concept of late-night entertainment shows acting as journalism and thus becoming people’s news sources is not new—but having only recently caught on to the John Oliver fandom, I can’t help but admire the value in his shows.

I look forward to those moments when I, out of boredom and/or procrastination, visit YouTube and find that the Last Week Tonight channel has uploaded Oliver’s latest rant.

The next 15 minutes or so I spend laughing, learning and just loving how well Oliver combines comedy with content.

And I am not alone. From The Wire to Huffington Post, TIME to BuzzFeed, media outlets everywhere caught on to the viral video. And for 15 minutes, this video is considered about 14 minutes “too long” in the eyes of news organizations. Yet, every week, millions tune in and watch.

It’s news, packaged into a humorous and critical take. If humor is what helps get rather important messages across to audiences, then sure, use humor. Unfortunately, following the same logic, if listicles and clickbait-y headlines help drive traffic to websites, then…use them?

Quality content has been becoming increasingly questionable, even among the most established publications—which makes it even easier to appreciate the way John Oliver, among other late-night entertainers, deliver news.

John Oliver makes me laugh. And me? I’m not complaining.


Monday Morning Critic: Why ‘Last Week Tonight’ is One of the Best Shows on TV (ScreenCrush)
John Oliver, Charming Scold (The New Yorker)

Day 303: Managing

by Sonia Su

Sometimes, it’s completely necessary to take a break in the middle of all the mess and just appreciate the time you have.

With a little more than half an hour before my Advanced Production and Design course today, I decided to do just that—at Tatte’s Bakery & Café, of course.

Cherry & pistachio tart from Tatte Bakery & Café

One expensive ($7 plus tax!) cherry & pistachio tart from Tatte Bakery & Café.

Day 302: Fog

by Sonia Su

This view makes it incredibly easy to capture beautiful moments at every time of day. I woke up this morning to see Boston enveloped in an #artsy fog.

Foggy sunrise over Charles River in Boston

A beautifully foggy sunrise over Charles River in Boston. #nofilter #unedited

And since I love to make metaphorical connections between my photos and life, in general…get ready.

I attended a COM networking event tonight, and as with the social media talk on Monday, it was mostly useless and a waste of time. No doubt the connections gained from networking can be the determining factor for hiring managers in deciding whether to hire someone over another. But I officially denounce networking events. (That and social media panels/talks.)

Sitting among a crowd of mostly jobless, desperate graduating seniors (myself included), I just knew the event would be unfruitful. Did I need to hear someone talk for an hour about how to do a proper handshake, how to sit up and stand straight, how to approach people mid-conversation, how to connect with people on LinkedIn (I wish I were kidding), and other, essentially fundamental social activities that a competent human being would and should already know how to do or at least have enough common sense to learn easily? What the heck did I sign up for?

Sure, you might think that maybe if I had a more open mind to the event and actually came slightly more prepared or caring about impressing employers, then I would have had a better time. Sure, my opinion does not mean that everyone else also hated strongly disliked the event for its lack of genuine connections.

And that’s largely why I, and I’m sure many others, dislike the nature of networking. I know, I know. It’s not just about getting something out of someone else. See what you can offer. Blah, blah. I’m sorry but as someone who has gotten a good number of internships and jobs without any superficially useless networking, I would much rather do my own research, reach out to the people I want to talk to, and impress them in ways that don’t involve lining up with a group of hungry students trying to make any sort of impression, in hopes of somehow getting an email address that is publicly listed and emailing them only to forget about them a few weeks later.

I am so tired of hearing about elevator pitches. I am so tired of people believing that they will get jobs from attending networking events. I am so tired of people relying on others to help them get jobs.

How about this? Build yourself and your skills and interests. Make them come to you.

Entitled? Maybe. Overly confident? Sure. But when you are just that damn good, you shouldn’t need to work as hard to get these opportunities. I only hope that I continue to develop my own skills and make a good enough impression that at least someone recognizes it. I’m not saying you shouldn’t hustle and make as many connections as possible. But for my sanity, stay away from networking events.

Believe in yourself. You don’t need that recruiter who talked to 30 other desperate students who are all in the same situation as you and will probably think nothing of you or your business card (sorry, I do love Moo). What you do need is to work on becoming that damn good that both you and others see only great things to come. Why can’t you be successful?

Of course, if that doesn’t work, maybe you’re just better off being “Rhetty to Party.”

Rhetty to Party cup

Day 301: Detached

by Sonia Su

Fall in Boston

One thing that irks me about us humans is the ease of falling into detachment. I’m guilty of it but I also feel acutely aware of it when it exists, whether in myself or others.

What I am specifically referring to includes meetings, social gatherings, and even classes.

So much happens to us every single day. So much occupies our minds. And when we are even busier than usual, it is dangerously easy to fall into a default mode. Detached state. Uncaring façade. No matter how you describe it, I want to avoid it as much as possible—both in myself and in others.

With these two weeks of hell looming over me, my workload and essentially impending doom have been occupying the majority of my brain, so much so that I cannot seem to allow room to care about much else, whether it’s my health or others. And I hate it. There is something deep inside me that keeps wanting to swim out of this foggy, messy state. I don’t want to be permanently like this. I mean, I am positive such unfeeling people exist in the world. These people almost traumatized by their busy-ness. Sure, there are moments throughout this extended murky period where I genuinely enjoy myself or find myself laughing so hard you would think I’m becoming insane. (Thank you, roommates.)

Maybe I’m just especially wanting of these moments now that I have “no time.” Longing for those moments that feel natural and carefree. Why isn’t life always like this, I ask myself. These people can be so much more fun! Where’s the energy?! I suppose it’s naïve of me to think that if people don’t seem as upbeat as I like to see them, then that must mean there is something fundamentally wrong with how easy humans can be detached and almost selfish.

Yes, pretty naïve of me. This is just how humans are. We have our ups and downs, but is it so wrong for me to want to just see everyone always at their highs? I mean, for heaven’s sake, I had dinner with my dad tonight who came just for two days to see me. And yet, we hardly exchanged more than a few words the entire night—with him being his awkward self who acts ridiculously cautious around me to the point where he will literally communicate through others to communicate to me—even if we are right next to each other. (I’ll save explaining that for another day). I blame both my negative attitude toward the entire—albeit rather short—evening and the seemingly detached mood everyone else was in.

But you know who were not detached today? The BU employees protesting for fairer contracts on Silber Way. I only wish we could all be so passionate more often.

Protest on BU campus Protest on BU campus Protest on BU campus

Day 300: Saus

by Sonia Su

Wooo. The real day 300.

Too bad I didn’t keep this in mind today, resulting in yet another indulgent food pic—this time at Saus near Faneuil Hall, after my roommate and I went to a social media talk nearby.

I could write more but my life for these next two weeks is looking insufferable.

Poutine with truffled mushrooms and waffles at Saus Boston

Poutine with truffled mushrooms and waffles at Saus.


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