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Friday, February 23, 2024

The UCD Files: I know what you did last winter

marxheadshot_opYou may recognize the title of this column, as it relates to the ’90s horror movie I Know What You Did Last Summer, but my winter break has given me much worse nightmares, and yours has too. All UC schools shortened the break to two weeks, and all of our old friends from state schools are home for a month. So it is our job as Davis students to pack one month of laziness into half of the time. Our family takes away a few of those days for get-togethers, so in truth your days are exponentially more disgraceful than everyone else’s. If you are like me, your main objective is to clean out your parents’ fridge and clean out your Netflix watch list. This break I’ve found a way to help you get the most out of the system. Winter break is over, but this system can be applied to a day off, a weekend at home, spring break and more.

Here’s Phase 1: How to get the most of your parents’ fridge. When you come home, you have to subtly work some foods into the conversation by saying how much you’ve been cooking them at home. You can lie, it’s totally fine. This subtle conversation should transition into light complaining. This complaining angers your parents and they’ll say you can go to the store yourself if you don’t like what they bought, as if it’s a punishment. Here’s the thing — it’s actually a reward. Go to the store; it’s the only time you’ll be outside. You can fill the cart with stuff you could never truly justify buying for yourself in Davis. Make sure you’re really hungry so as to do the most impulsive buying. Get a bunch of chips and salsa for your Netflix, things that only need to be microwaved, and all of the expensive stuff you wanted but couldn’t get. The best part is when you come home, your parents will pay for it and you will have your dream fridge.

With food in the fridge, you’re now fully equipped for Phase 2: cleaning out your Netflix list. Here’s what I’d recommend for you in breaks to come and even in these upcoming weeks where you don’t go to class. There’s a method to getting the most out of your time spent on Netflix. Don’t pick “Lost,” a mistake I learned the hard way. It’s 121 hour-long episodes, and about 119 of them make absolutely no sense at all. You should find a middle ground here, with a few seasons. Hour-longs are ok (“Breaking Bad,” “Sopranos,” “Game of Thrones”).

The best are the half-hour episodes. These are key because they make Netflix binging into something you can feel productive about. Inside, it feels like a big accomplishment when you finish two seasons of a show in one day. It is much easier with these 20- to 30-minute episodes. Yes, it is sickening to think of all of the things you could have done during this time, but that’s not what you think about. You think about how much of a boss you are because you’re persistent. You started a project, and you won’t stop until you’re done. You gave this show such unwavering dedication that it belongs on your resume, at least more so than anything you’ve done at school. This winter break I started “Parks and Recreation,” a show with 112 half-hour episodes split into six seasons. It is the perfect show for feeling accomplished and not stressing your brain at all. Over break I finished about 85 of those episodes and I’m damn proud of it. I fully endorse this show for your next binge-watching project, even if you have seen it already. It is hilarious and stupid and there isn’t a single plot twist for you to worry about. Other shows of this format that I recommend are “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” “Modern Family,” “Entourage” and “The Office.”

For movies, go to the IMDB Top 250 and start working your way down the list. Watch everything Christopher Nolan has ever made because it will take three hours to watch and 100 hours to think about, so it’s a good way to spend time (my personal favorite is No. 51, The Prestige, but also Nos. 4, 13, 16, 41, 56, 108). Watch movies from Martin Scorsese, because he uses equal parts guns, money and crazy people (my personal favorite is No. 46, The Departed, but also Nos. 18, 76, 113, 133, 142, 211). Make sure to hit all of the Quentin Tarantino movies as well, unless of course you don’t like awesomeness and a little (a lot) of blood (my personal favorite is No. 100, Inglourious Basterds, but also Nos. 5, 55, 77, 172). You can use the animated movies such as Up (No. 114) and How to Train your Dragon (No. 152) in between the others to balance out your day. Crossing movies off of this list is another resume-worthy accomplishment so you can tell your parents you are a hard worker in school and out.

These phases are really important in getting the most out of your break, but they aren’t the only ones. Additionally, if you decide not to be lazy you can get free 24 Hour Fitness passes for a week under different names and emails, reconnect with your friend with a hot tub, become a wine connoisseur, write a column for The Aggie and more. Go make your future breaks better by implementing these activities in your life.

The UCD Files is your weekly in-depth look at our campus and the lifestyle that comes with it, featuring an occasional dropping of knowledge from a senior who has experienced it all.

Feel Free to send questions, comments, or anything you would like to see in future articles to ADAM MARX at almarx@ucdavis.edu.


Photo by CA Aggie Photo Team
Graphic by CA Aggie Graphic Design Team


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