Elaina Rollins ’16
Forrest Robinette ’16
The tragic death of Bates student John Durkin has shaken the entire NESCAC college community. Durkin, a junior economics major and football player at Bates, was studying abroad in Rome through the Trinity College program when he suddenly went missing. Durkin was shortly after found dead in a train tunnel between St. Peter’s and Trastevere stations. Over 11,000 people have now liked the Facebook page that was initially created to spread the word of Durkin’s absence in Rome.
Durkin was one of 55 students studying in Trinity’s Rome program, along with five other Bates students. Upon the announcement of Durkin’s passing, Bates College President Clayton Spencer released a public statement: “This is a time of deep sadness for our community and for so many people who knew and loved John. We are profoundly sad and share the tremendous grief of his family.” Trinity College President Jones addressed the Trinity campus in an email sent out on Saturday, Feb. 22. Jones expressed his sympathies to the College community and the family and friends of Durkin. He wrote that, “By all accounts, [Durkin] was an exemplary young man and a student-athlete in the trust sense of the word. I also want to extend my sincerest condolences to Bates College, my gratitude to the Trinity administrators at our Rome campus, as well as the Trinity staff in Hartford.”
Bates hosted a gathering on Monday, Feb. 24 for students to share condolences, reflections, and memories about their beloved classmate.
BETTINA GONZALEZ ’16
After a long hectic week of classes, work, and other of life’s relentless madness, it’s nice to do something fun and spontaneous and just a little bit guilty. That’s how I would describe how a friend and I first decided to check out Umi Sushi + Tapas in Blue Back Square; we had had a long week and just needed to get away from campus. Without our own means of transportation, of course, this was a little problematic. So despite having strolled through all the customary spots in Westfarms and Blue Back numerous times, we decided to just take the off-campus shuttle and head over there with the usual herd. Following the crowd has never been my thing. It’s more like a guilty pleasure. In any normal circumstance, I would not be writing about a typical food joint that maybe half of this campus has been to. But then, I stopped and considered the other half – those of you who maybe have not gone, those of you who have not taken the time to take the off-campus shuttle on Saturdays and visited Blue Back, those of you too stubborn or afraid to partake in a little guilty pleasure. I say: suck it up because you are missing out on a pretty damn good thing.
Getting off the shuttle, we walked over to Umi and, as expected, ran into a few other Trinners. The waiting area was full as always, so we had to wait maybe 15 or so minutes before getting seated. As my friend and I waited, we looked around the busy little gastropub trying to figure out how it worked. Umi Sushi + Tapas is a kaiten style restaurant and bar. Kaiten refers to the conveyor belt way of getting sushi and other delicious food around to the diners. I had only been to one once before and quite frankly, I didn’t even know that conveyor belt sushi was actually a thing everywhere. Luckily, when we were seated, our server was there to explain all the kinks to dining in their restaurant. On the conveyor belt are plates with different colored rings; the colors represent the prices of each dish and you can find those prices listed all over the restaurant walls and menu. Because Umi can get busy and crowded, each table has a set of buttons that you can push asking for different kinds of services – refills, busing, and check.
Besides the sushi, Umi also has a full menu to order from. Not surprisingly, I was hungry and so was my friend, so we ordered from the menu in addition to having the conveyor belt sushi. Service was a little slow (though I think they did that on purpose) and we ended up picking up a few plates of sushi and rolls from the belt. There was one instance when we were eating a simple tuna roll and this beautiful decadent plate of spicy lobster roll passed by. We stared at it baffled as it made its way across from us. Quick! Grab it! Too late. That particular plate was on the pricier end so we decided to skimp on the sushi and just wait for it to come back. We waited and waited and waited. Tuna rolls passed by, Philadelphia rolls, a plate of chocolate mousse cake, some shrimp tempura rolls, buffalo chicken rolls, more tuna rolls – at that point, my friend and I thought it was over. We missed our chance. But as soon as we almost gave our hopes up, there it was. Quickly scampering, we grabbed our prize. All I can say is that it was well worth the wait. One piece was a mouthful itself, the mixture of flavors and texture was on point, and if I hadn’t been on a budget I would have happily spent the night eating nothing but several plates of it.
But we were on a budget and still hungry. When our server finally returned, both of us ordered the Umi Ramen, a soup made with spicy miso soup, fried chicken, poached egg, corn, scallions, and toasted seaweed. As typical college students, I don’t know why in Sam Hill we needed more ramen in our life; but to be honest, this was actually the first time we had real ramen (as real as it could get). It tasted flavorful, like it actually had some semblance of nutritional value! All in all, the best part of that meal, I think, was watching my friend struggle as she tried to eat with chopsticks. Next time the Saturday off-campus shuttle is running, consider going to Umi. Right in the center of Blue Back Square, this little gem is a great guilty pleasure spot for a college student on a budget.
ESTHER SHITTU ’17
Winter Vacation. A time when most people are glad the stress of the fall season is over. While many Trinity students spend time with their family and friends throughout the break, Miriam Atuya ’16 decided to something else– pump water. Atuya is a member of the African Development Coalition (ADC) at Trinity. During one of the ADC’s meetings, she met Kate Clopeck who came to speak with the group about her organization called Community Water Solutions.
Kate Clopeck and Vanessa Green, both engineers, began water solutions when they became aware that Ghana’s water problems are not due to lack of technology but from inability to meet basic needs. They created Community Water Solutions in 2008 with the goal of “empower[ing] women to launch sustainable water businesses.” This program also benefits society and is structured to give women empowerment in their patriarchal societies. This project opens up employment opportunities for women who need a job, or a second source of income. Using their Massachusetts Institute of Technology education to launch the program, Clopeck and Green have seen nothing but success in their project.
After hearing about Community Water Solutions, Atuya knew that it was something she wanted to get involved in. She states, “I am interested in [the] social innovations in Africa and their roles toward development, both economically and environmentally.” Atuya was also drawn by the program’s effort to provide employment for the women in Ghana. Having done an internship in Aerobe for safe affordable healthcare, working with Community Water Solutions aligned right along with her interests.
However, due to the costs of the program she needed to fundraise. She planned to ask for small donations from people and slowly gather the required amount. However, having heard about the program only a month before it began, fundraising proved to be a challenge. She says, “In addition to just putting up an online site and asking people to donate, I also reached out to departments in Trinity that shared a similar mission…it helped quite a lot in fundraising.”
Prior to going to Ghana, Atuya had some expectations. “Having done… community development work prior to Trinity and even after coming to Trinity… I thought it [would] be challenging but it turned out pretty well.” After arriving in Ghana, she was given the opportunity to man a project where they would be testing the dirty water in the dug-out and cleaning it. This was all part of a process to ensure that residents had clean water to use. To do this, the participants of the program also trained two women, who had been selected by the community, on how to maintain the water clean.
From this experience, Atuya believes that, “The most important thing is stepping into the shoes of the women and seeing what they’re doing. You’re able to achieve a greater cause if you actually step into someone’s shoes as opposed to viewing them from an outside angle.” While in Ghana, Atuya had the opportunity to fetch water and try to place it on her head, which seemed easy, but she quickly found it was not.
Experiencing the struggle that women in Ghana face of fetching water walking a mile or two away from their homes and having with it, proved to be a powerful moment for Atuya.
When the program came to an end, Atuya felt happy but sad. The project had been a success and the women she had worked had taken a special place within her life. She also came to highly admire the intelligence of the women who she had trained to keep the water clean. Having only been in Ghana for three weeks, Atuya was surprised at all the special connections she had managed to create in the short time period. However, knowing Atuya, being back at school will not keep her from fulfilling her goals and plans, instead she will do whatever she can to make sure others are obtaining the resources they need.
LARA ABIONA ’16
I have recently discovered that when you deviate from the normative culture in terms of race, gender, class, sexual orientation and so forth, you are more likely to feel the constraints of the said culture. As an African-American woman, I do not have the privilege of naturally blending into Trinity’s dominant demographic of preppy, affluent, Caucasian students. I am likely to be ostracized if I do not conform to a Eurocentric standard of beauty. I am twice as likely to be invisible, so I must innovate a way to make myself heard without perpetuating stereotypes of being the “angry Black woman” when standing up for myself or speaking passionately in a classroom discussion. However, I see my marginalization not as a hindrance but as a challenge to reclaim my right to simply be. Being a Black woman on campus is certainly a challenge for many reasons; however, I see it as a healthy challenge that motivates me to transcend my environment in order to find my peace and to hopefully liberate others who suffer in silence.
Having two identities in which I am not in a position of systematic privilege-—Black as opposed to White, and female as opposed to male—compels me to be extremely aware of myself as both an African-American and a female. I think of race and gender unilaterally as well as intersectionally. In terms of race, I have always been an underrepresented demographic. In elementary school, I was the only African-American in my entire graduating class. However, growing up in an environment in which my identity was not well represented led me to form my identity in a very individualistic sense. As I grew up, I noticed some boundaries, such as overcoming the stereotype threat of being the only African-American in AP courses with mostly Asian and Jewish students, and speaking with confidence in male-dominated classrooms. These boundaries were accompanied by my desire to break free from these attempts to marginalize me, so as to access my full potential. Although it felt triumphant, it was a very lonely battle. At Trinity College, the boundaries are more blatant and are accompanied by sheer bigotry and parochialism. Racial discrimination on this campus ranges from racial profiling by Campus Safety officers to denying admittance into fraternity parties that have apparently “reached capacity” while a group of White girls are immediately let in. On one occasion, I was out with a friend on my way to the Umoja House on Vernon Street when a large group of people were on their way back from Crow, and one White male, who I believe was very intoxicated, looked directly at us and started chanting “White People! White People!” The tone in his voice emphasized his feelings of superiority and a deep passion to ostracize me simply because of my skin color.
Gender discrimination at Trinity also creates barriers. The patriarchal design of the social climate sometimes makes me feel as though I must shrink in order to be accepted. There are classes in which I was one of the dominant speakers in classroom discussion and I felt that some of my classmates, both male and female, disapproved of me taking up so much space. As a feminist, it is especially hard to overcome this boundary without being seen as too radical. It requires a level of comfort that I aspire to reach yet have not quite grasped at this point of my life.
Each identity on its own presents obstacles, but the combination gives me even more of a challenge. There are many people at this school with multiple identities that deviate from the normative “Trin” culture who are also on the journey to find their peace. It is these members of the community that give me the strength to continue the fight to be myself. I know that I am not alone.
CAROLINE PICERNE ’15
For some Trinity College students fashion doesn’t come easy. For some, fashion isn’t even a thought, and that’s okay, but for others like myself and Callan Vessels ’15, fashion is what makes the world go round. I got a chance to catch up with Callan and ask her a few questions that help guide her choices in fashion.
When I look around the campus I immediately see what people are wearing. For me, clothes are what come easily. I know how to throw together an outfit last minute whether it’s for a friend or me. Callan Vessels feels the same. I started with something simple, “What do you think of when you get dressed?” “Looking cute and stylish. I always like to look put together,” Vessels said.
I think people need to take Callan’s lead when getting dressed for classes. I know that we all sit in classrooms, take notes, and don’t really look at what drapes over one another’s body, but dressing with style can make each day more exciting.
For Vessels, it’s all about planning ahead and having a “go to look.” “I usually plan my outfits before I go to bed, but when I am in a rush I just throw on something simple like jeans and a cute top,” says Vessels.
She makes it sound so effortless, and it is once you get the hang of it. I know that for some, fashion isn’t important and that image isn’t everything, but the time it takes to push a comb through your hair and put on something that shows your body exists takes less than five minutes. Set the alarm a little early and try it out! Even for class, Vessels says, “A cozy sweater, jeans, and flats is a go to when I don’t plan. It’s always freezing in classrooms so it always works out.”
For those who love clothes, closets serve as their proof of dedication. I personally have my favorites: AG black jeans, Tory Burch short black boots, my grey leather jacket, and an assortment of LNA v-neck t-shirts. Vessels has her favorite items too. “I couldn’t live without my J Brand jeans, camo sweater, ASHA long pendant necklace, fur jacket, Stuart Weitzman knee high boots, my Dolce Vita black booties (for the winter), and then in warm weather, a cute sundress and either wedges or gladiator sandals.” Vessels has it covered from season to season and knows how to put her outfits together for any occasion.
When going out at night, Callan chooses her signature piece, her crop-tops. She feels confident at night in a cute flowing top, blue or black jeans, and boots.” She makes sure she always has a least five bracelets on one wrist at a time and doesn’t leave the house without a tube of lip-gloss in hand.
Although dressing for everyday is fun for Vessels, it is fancy events that really get her excited to shop; “My favorite articles of clothing are my dresses, so I love shopping for formals and nice events. I try to find dresses that no one has seen yet. Depending on the event, I like to get a little sassy with my outfit! I tend to go for dresses that are fitted and festive.” Everyone has a style that they lean towards and want to see more of. Callan hopes this spring will be full of bright and vibrant colors and “definitely more midriff exposure”
With seasons changing and trends coming and going, it’s important to have something that you can always rely on. For Vessels, she thinks a little black dress is a must have and I couldn’t agree more. You never know when something will come up like a formal, a dinner, a family event. With an ever-changing social calendar, a little black dress is always great to own. If you don’t have one yourself, at least know someone in your dorm who does! Ladies on this campus must be prepared and always ready to get a little fun and sassy.
The advice Vessels gives to other students at Trinity College is simple, “try and sass it up, and try not to be as preppy.” Breaking the fashion trends can be tough but that’s what true fashionistas are for! Have fun with it!
TANYA KEWALRAMANI ’15
The cool evening air swept through my hair. It was a welcomed relief. I took a deep breath and sat on the swing on the balcony. The leaves were rustling. I could hear distant chatter from the street near our apartment. Men and women were selling vegetables and fruits on the street. Children were playing with footballs, sticks, cricket balls and stones. All the noise was like music to my ears. This balcony was the only place in the house that was peaceful. All day long, I had heard all sorts of women telling my family and I about how sorry they were for our loss. No matter how many people told us that, they would never fill the hole in our hearts.
My grandfather had passed away a few days ago. At 70, he was the healthiest man I had known. His heart attack was a shock to all of us. Our only consolation was that he had died doing what he loved, playing tennis. He was the light of our family, our hero. He had left us without warning. There was nothing that could be done to fill that. Since his death, our home was filled with people and with food.
My grandmother and her friends would wake up when the morning sunlight was peeking through the clouds. They had the biggest pots and pans I had ever seen. She would throw in some chili powder, garlic paste, turmeric powder, and other spices I had never even heard of before. The strong aroma would wake me up every morning. In the chaos that I felt and was surrounded by, the smells provided me with a sense of comfort, and a schedule. I would wake up, shower, and put on clean clothes. I would then sit with the rest of my family and we would conduct mourning rituals. This took place for thirteen days.
Ironically enough, we never ate the food whilst it was fresh. We were busy meeting people who had come to offer their condolences. We were busy serving them. We were busy pretending like we were fine. It was exhausting pretending to be fine. In all the mess, there was only one time of the day we felt as if we were together, not scrambled everywhere. At 10 o’clock every night, when everyone had left, the only sound that could be heard in the house was the microwave. It was the same meal every night, lentils and rice. We all sat around the table, worn out. It was a hypnotic sadness. No matter what we did, we found it hard to pull ourselves out of it. Yet, while we hungrily attacked the bland food, it somehow brought us closer together. It was the one time of day where we were uninterrupted and through the grieving process we found solidarity.
It really made me think about the power of food. Of course, it soothes hunger. But, there is so much more that it does for us. It is the highlight of any important festival, or occasion. During Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, which is equivalent to our Christmas, my family plans the menu for almost a month. They edit it, finalize it, and then edit it again. The Diwali party at our house involved meticulous planning. The end result is a lavish feast, which results in a sort of food coma. It makes the food coma that much more uncomfortable because of the fancy Indian clothes.
My first Thanksgiving in the United States left me baffled. Everyone bought their turkey several days in advance. Every one of my friends who celebrated Thanksgiving spoke of the food as if they were enchanted. The turkey, the stuffing, the pie. They appeared to be more excited than Christmas. I remember watching a friend of mine cook the turkey. I was too baffled to talk to her. I managed to make a few of the sides, but the turkey really was something else.
Each time that I reach my hometown of Dubai, I have the appetite of a lion. The shawarmas, the hummus, the falafels, the butter chicken, and naan leave me on my bed, unable to move for several hours. More than eating the food, I truly appreciate the time I spend with my family. We make up for four months of being apart. My only job is to sit at the dining table and eat. Simply eating a falafel sandwich in the United States transports me back to Dubai. I can smell the familiar smell of my house. I can almost hear my mother sitting next to me. The power of food is tremendous, because it activates all of our senses without us even realizing it. The power of food truly is wonderful.
SHEILA NJAU ’17
As people tune in to watch the Winter Olympics and cheer on their respective countries, there is a country close to Russia that is not. Instead, the past couple of weeks have been wrought by violence and destruction and the question that remains is when it will end. The problems in Ukraine began towards the end of November when Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovytch, refused Ukraine’s integration with the European Union. For many Ukrainians who waited years for the trade agreement that was supposed to be formed between Ukraine and the European Union, they were dealt a harsh blow. This bitter pill became even more difficult to swallow when in December, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin stated that he would give Ukraine a 15.9 billion loan and 33% off Russia’s natural gas. Many viewed this as a sign that President Yanukovytch was going to form a deal with Russia. Due to the fact that Ukraine used to be under Russia’s rule, it is understandable why many people would become upset at the idea of an alliance between Russia and Ukraine.
It turns out that this is not even the first time that Ukraine has had problems with President Yanukovytch. In 2004, during what is referred to as the “Orange Revolution,” there were protests against Yanukovytch being elected as president as he was considered to be a supporter of Russia. After the Supreme Court ruled for a new vote count, Viktor Yushchenko (not a supporter of Russia) was chosen as the winner. In the end, he managed to be elected to the presidency again in 2010 and did what people had feared in 2004 by electing to side with Russia over the European Union. Once again, the people’s displeasure became evident in the form of protests, ironically taking place in Independence Square, which is in Kiev, Ukraine’s capital. Sadly, on Jan. 22, matters took a turn for the worse as the protests turned violent due to the prohibitions that the government had placed on people such as deeming the protests unlawful and censuring of the media. About five people were killed and hundreds were injured and this was only the beginning of what has been escalating to people throwing Molotov cocktails and the police using live ammunition against the protestors. The mayor of Kiev, Volodymyr Makeyenko, resigned from the President’s Regions Party in protest of the violence.
In February, the protests grew even worse as the death and injury count continued to rise. On Feb. 18, 28 people died (including protesters, policemen, and a bystander) and 335 people were injured. Only two days later, 70 people were killed and more than 2,000 people were injured in what may have been the most violent day since the protests began. It is also the most violence since Ukraine got its independence from Russia. To think that these are only two days in one month is frightening and also jarring. All of this is taking place against the backdrop of the Winter Olympics, which in a way represent nationality and the unity that comes from cheering on one’s fellow countrymen; a unity that at this time, Ukraine does not have. After the violence of Feb. 20, other countries decided to take action with the European Union placing sanctions such as travel bans and “freeze of assets” on those officials responsible for turning what had begun as peaceful protests into violent ones. The U.S. seems to be also following a similar route.
Now it seems that Ukraine’s unrest may be coming to an end. On February 22, the members of the Ukraine Parliament, with a vote of 328 out of 447 members, made the decision to impeach President Yanukovytch and stated that they would hold a special eletion on May 25 for a new president. This also came in the wake of protestors taking over Yanukovytch’s office and residence. This also led to the release of Yulia Tymoshenko, Yanukovytch’s opponent in the 2010 elections. She was imprisoned in 2011 on charges of abuse of office, which many thought was suspicious. At this time, Yanukovytch claims that he will not resign and has left Kiev for the time being. Also, the new Interior Minister has stated that the police will no longer fight against the protesters, which hopefully means that peace will be restored.
Something that I read that I thought to be so true was the fact that even though it was the people who had elected Yanukovytch to become their president, it was with the expectation that he would do what was best for the citizens of Ukraine. Even though the stimulus from Russia may have helped the economy, it also meant that Ukraine would be tied even tighter to Russia, a country that Ukrainians had achieved independence from in 1991. I get it, the lull of power can be an intoxicating thing, but this is not a dictatorship and Yanukovytch should respect the people’s choice because it has become apparent that what Yanukovytch wants and what his citizens’ desire are completely different.
I find myself thinking about the picture that I saw of a Ukrainian priest standing between protesters and the police and how sad it is that things escalated to such a point. Maybe now with these new changes, Ukraine can find balance again as they mourn the lives lost these past three months.
MICHAEL NEWKIRK ’14
Warning: Prepare for some serious generalizations. Pointing to individuals as a way of challenging my interpretation of the culture at Trinity as a whole is the equivalent of pointing to a row of intact houses in New Orleans circa late 2005 and saying “What hurricane?” Note to Self: think of a less offensive metaphor.
I once saw a group of seven girls standing together at a Trinity football game, faces buried in their iPhones, wearing the same thing. I mean that literally. They were literally wearing the exact same thing from head to toe (boots, leggings, Patagonia vests, sunglasses, and Trinity caps). Seeing this inspired an avalanche of thoughts. I understand that Trinity has its fair share of students who attended East Coast prep schools and have certain understandings of what to wear. But, as I thought more about these girls, and our campus climate, I couldn’t help but ask myself this: Why, at Trinity, do we all tend to dress so similarly? These girls perfectly encapsulated the distinct sense of style that dominates all others on this campus. To help you choose an outfit that says, “I clearly go to Trinity,” I have compiled a handy-dandy list of Trinity Fashion Tips.
First, a little known fact is that Patagonia is the only company that makes warm clothing. Unless your fleece says Patagonia on it, it will unfortunately not keep you warm.
Second, wearing officially licensed Trinity apparel that your mom bought at the bookstore is a good way to show that you are a unique, independent individual.
Third, nothing says “I am down with the working class locals on Martha’s Vineyard” like wearing Vineyard Vines.
Fourth, if you buy your nice clothing at a thrift store, make sure to tell everyone it is from a thrift store for maximum irony points.
Fifth, wear boat shoes, because you never know when you might have to suddenly captain a boat. Yes, you may be miles from the nearest ocean, but boat shoes are a practical, casual way to say “I have a summer house on Nantucket.”
Joking aside, I want to make it clear that I am not someone who enjoys judging others based on what they wear. Judging others is usually nothing more than a way for people to mask their own insecurities. I like to think that just because someone dresses like a stereotype doesn’t mean they aren’t a free-thinking individual. But let’s be real: there is a point where one can’t help but judge. And for me, these seven identical girls at the football game are it.
Everyone comes to Trinity with a certain idea of what it will be like. No one arrives here innocent. Everyone has Ralph Lauren-scented blood on their hands. From my understanding, the students who don’t really know what to expect from Trinity immediately get swallowed up by the dominant narrative before they have a fighting chance. Instead of standing out, they try to fit in. This includes how they dress, but how we dress is only a symptom of the problem. The root of the problem is that there are certain archetypes that Trinity students are expected to embody. While guys are expected to be womanizing frat-stars, girls are supposed to be Netflix-watching, iPhone-having, too-many-shots-of-vodka-taking girls who differentiate themselves exclusively through their favorite bachelor contestant. For me, the paradox is that no sane person would admit that these traits actually describe them. So why does it feel like it’s what everyone secretly aspires to be?
As a result of people trying to embody these stereotypes, Trinity can sometimes feel less like a liberal arts college and more like a boarding school. Nearly every pocket of culture on campus has an agreed-upon identity that accompanies it, and many of us simply fill out the checklist of what we are supposed to say, and how we are supposed to act (and dress). This is by no means a problem exclusive to Trinity. But that doesn’t mean we can’t recognize it and begin to fix it.
The part of you that exists beyond your personality is a precious thing. I’ve found in my few years at Trinity that it is important to recognize the part of yourself that makes you who you are and protect it. Recognizing it is hard, and protecting it is even harder. This part of you can be ridiculed and delegitimized and slowly crushed every day if you let it, but you have to be aware of this process and fight back.
How? Stay creative. Don’t worry about being labeled. Nurture the part of yourself that makes you different, or it will be lost in a sea of Patagonias, salmon shorts, and mid-calves. Write, draw, make music, rap, dance, play with action figures, start a slap boxing league, I don’t know. Just do something weird and insane because the last thing this school (and this world, for that matter) needs is something it’s seen before. But for the love of God, don’t let it involve Patagonia vests.
DANIEL WILKINS ’15
“He’s in the darkness now, and I’m the only beacon of light,” says Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey). “Now we gently guide him toward the rocks.” In the second season of the popular Netflix original series, “House of Cards,” Spacey delivers another chilling performance of the manipulative politician, Frank Underwood.
This past week on Feb. 14, the Golden Globe-nominated drama series “House of Cards” had its second season released on Netflix. Procera Networks estimates that 2% of Netflix subscribers, or around 668,000 people, finished the entire season in the first weekend. Considering its beautiful character development and suspense, it is easy to understand why “House of Cards” has quickly become one of the most popular shows currently airing.
While season one seems to lose its tension by the end, season two maintains its suspenseful drama throughout. Season two brings much more of a focus on a larger political sphere, as the show now closely follows a member of the executive branch, Underwood as Vice President, as well as Jaclyn Sharp (Molly Parker), a member of Congress. While the first season split its time almost evenly between investigative journalism and political dealings, this season is much more focused on the politics and closely tied billionaires. While Frank’s crimes continue to be investigated through this season, they hold much less importance to the season and instead seem to serve more as a build up for the third season.
The new season also sees a very interesting relationship develop between Underwood and President Walker (Michael Gill) whose character finally takes off. The second season shows Walker to be one of the few likeable and honest characters. However, in the true nature of the show, Walker’s honesty makes him weak and vulnerable. The political and financial world in “House of Cards” has no room for sympathy, and only those that remain cold and ruthless thrive.
Vice President Frank Underwood exemplifies this premise, as he never breaks from his pragmatic, yet shady, politics. Always sure to leave no weaknesses exposed, Frank’s schemes are brilliantly intricate and are slowly revealed throughout the course of the show. Frank’s character is, however, entirely predictable. Frank rarely reveals any empathy and is willing to use any leverage he can to gain more power. The desire for power drives all of “House of Cards”’ characters, but Frank is the only one who loses his humanity to it. On his rise to power he regrets none of the decisions he made which hurt his colleagues, and it is this relentless cold-blooded calculation which makes it possible for him to continuously succeed.
While Spacey’s performance as Frank Underwood serves as the catalyst for the series’ dark world, it is the real depth of troubled characters that makes the show so effective. One of this season’s newest characters, Jaclyn Sharp, begins the season with Frank, discussing the primary candidates to replace his old position as majority whip in the House. Jaclyn proves her own ruthlessness, capitalizing on every opportunity she has to gain that position and maintain as much power as she can. Where she differs from Frank, however, is the empathy her character delivers in multiple occasions. As she defames and destroys a close friend’s career, she displays great remorse, yet follows through anyways. This conflict follows Jaclyn throughout the season, as she eventually becomes close with a powerful man of opposing interests, the clash between her career and her personal life is one that constantly troubles her.
Jaclyn’s character is a refreshing change of pace from Frank, as despite the self-serving and cut-throat political maneuvers she makes, she clearly shows deep emotional distress and a troubled character.
Similarly, Frank’s wife, Claire Underwood (Robin Wright), is a character that is described as “loyal to no one,” and backs this up by betraying anyone who stands between her and power. This part of her character was well developed and perhaps best demonstrated as she fires the entire staff, including one woman she had grown close to, of her non-profit organization so she could expand the company. Claire continues her path of betrayal throughout season two, until finally her emotions catch up to her. In perhaps the most powerful moment of the season, Claire breaks down in hysterics and it appears her manipulation has finally left her isolated and empty.
Other characters from the first season, including Remy Danton (Mahershala Ali), Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) and Rachel Posner (Rachel Brosnahan), are far more dynamic in this new season. Lobbyist Remy Danton, who has always diligently worked for the highest bidder, finally reaches a point where emotion challenges his business interests.
Meanwhile, Rachel remains trapped by her actions from season one, while Doug, the recovering alcoholic finds himself infatuated with her. Behind the consistent and predictable dealings of Frank, the show’s many supporting characters demonstrate a deeply troubled inner conflict between their lust for power and their morals. In many circumstances, power is the stronger desire.
The only new character of season two who fails to greatly enrich the show is Seth Grayson (Derek Cecil). Seth enters the show as the press manager for the Underwoods and his character remains mysterious from the moment he enters the series. Even the characters within the show often question his integrity, yet the audience never learns the true essence of his character. Judging by the way the series ends, it seems that perhaps his character will have a much larger role and be of greater significance in the third season, yet in this season his character felt uncomfortably distant and ominous.
The second season of “House of Cards” did not disappoint, as it took an already fascinating group of characters and developed them ever further. While the first season was a success, this season far surpasses it in drama and character development.
“House of Cards” plays on a somewhat sadistic desire from its audience, as the viewer finds himself rooting for Frank Underwood to succeed and get away with his crimes, despite how despicable and unlikable of a person he truly is. This accomplishment—to make the audience appreciate a character with few redeeming qualities—is proof in itself of the show’s brilliance.
Peter Prendergast ’16, SPORTS EDITOR
On Sunday, Feb. 23, the Trinity College Women’s Squash team became national champions as they beat out the Harvard Crimson in a 5-4 victory. Eight schools, including Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale, Pennsylvania, Cornell and Stanford, gathered at Princeton’s Jadwin Courts for a weekend tournament spanning from Feb. 21-Feb. 23, all looking for a chance to win the Howe Cup. The Bantams, who finished the regular season with a 14-1 record, were awarded the no.2 seed in the tournament, while the undefeated Harvard was awarded the first seed.
In the quarterfinal round on Feb. 21, Trinity completely swept the Stanford Cardinals as not one Bantam allowed their opponent to win even a single game. Kanzy El Defrawy ’16 was especially impressive in her match, as she allowed only two points in her three games. Following the win against Stanford, Trinity advanced to the semi-final round, to face University of Pennsylvania. Like Stanford, the Quakers proved that they were no match for the dominant Bantams. Trinity took the match with a score of 6-3 as they won in the top five positions as well as in the no.7 spot. Head Coach Wendy Bartlett stated “Penn’s lineup was different than the first time and that may have thrown us off at first. Ashley Tildman’s win really changed the momentum for us.” Tildman ’15 broke the 3-3 match tie as she beat her opponent, Michelle Wong, 3-2.
By beating Penn, Trinity advanced to the finals where they met the very team that tarnished the Bantams’ perfect season only a few weeks earlier: the Harvard Crimson. No.1 seed Harvard had swept Dartmouth College in the quarter-finals and defeated Yale 6-3 in the semi-finals to reach the championship round against Trinity. The two teams met on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 1:00 p.m. to compete for the title. Harvard showed up looking to maintain their perfect season while the Bantams were looking to avenge their regular season loss to the Crimson.
Harvard took a 2-0 lead after the first two matches as Katie Tutrone beat Trinity’s Wee Nee Low ’14 in the no.3 spot and Megan Murray beat Sachika Balvani ’16 in the no.9 spot. Trinity finally got on the board in their third match as Natalie Babjukova ’15 beat Harvard’s Julianne Chu in five games to take the no.6 spot victory.
Co-captain Catalina Palaez ’14 followed Babjukova’s victory with a 3-1 victory over Haley Mendez in the no.2 spot. Palaez’s victory rounded out her perfect season as she finished her 2013-2014 campaign with a 14-0 record. In the next match, Jennifer Pelletier ’14 found herself down 2-1 against Harvard’s no.8, Isabelle Dowling, but she managed to take the last two games, including an 11-6 victory in the deciding fifth game. Tidman followed by coming back from a two game deficit against Michelle Gemmell, winning her fifth and decisive game 11-4.
Tidman followed by coming back from a two game deficit against Michelle Gemmell, winning her fifth and decisive game 11-4.
With the match tied at 4-4, Trinity’s Anna Kimberly ’17 squared off against Harvard’s Saumya Karki for the deciding round in the no.4 spot. Kimberly lost her first game 11-7 but came back to tie it with an 11-9 win in her second game. She took a 2-1 lead by winning her third game 11-5. In her fourth and final game, she outscored her opponent 11-9, winning her match, as well as the championship for Trinity College. Following the victory, Bantam teammates and fans stormed the court to celebrate with Kimberly. Following the match, she stated “I knew she [Karki] was going to be tough to beat. She really stepped up today. This is just the best feeling, such an amazing feeling.”
This championship marks the third title for the Trinity College Women’s Squash team, the first since their 2003 win eleven years prior. By beating Harvard, Trinity snapped their nine match losing streak against the Crimson, stemming all the way back to 2008. This was Harvard’s first loss since they fell 5-4 against Princeton on Jan. 13, 2013.
Brian Nance ’16, STAFF WRITER
Remember the first women’s NESCAC basketball game of the season where the Lady Bantams took down Williams College by 16 points? Well, Mackenzie Griffin ’16 certainly remembers, as the sophomore center pulled down eight key rebounds, tallied five points, in addition to providing stifling defense with a steal and a block for the Bantams as they held the Ephs under 50 points. Williams was ranked fourth in the country at the time and the win gave Trinity confidence as they played with passion, while pursuing goals of securing a home seed for the playoffs.
Mackenzie was involved in numerous sports as an adolescent including soccer, volleyball and basketball. The Stamford, Conn. native started playing soccer as a second grader and remained solely with the sport until junior high school, where she began travel and AAU basketball. Mackenzie describes playing AAU basketball as being one of the best decisions she’s ever made. “The friendships and coaches I met through the process were awesome,” Mackenzie recalls. “My AAU teams were always pretty good. With AAU, you play against competition from all over the country and that definitely helped to prepare my game for college,” Mackenzie said.
Mackenzie’s passion for the game of basketball grew tremendously as a teenager. She eventually became a stand out and her love for the game increased, as she enjoys the running and the action that the sport entails. Mackenzie also states that the sport was an easy way for her to relieve stress and clear her mind. Her enthusiasm for the sport continued to grow as Mackenzie’s mother mentored her and aided Mackenzie in developing her basketball skills. Growing up, Mia Hamm was one of Mackenzie’s favorite athletes as she admired the humility, confidence and the dedication that the Olympic soccer player possessed. “She had such a passion for the game; she was a team player and she was classy both on and off the field,” says Mackenzie regarding Mia Hamm. Griffin has always strived to emulate all of these various characteristics into her game, which she has successfully done so for the Trinity Woman’s basketball team.
The Lady Bantams played host to one of the NESCAC Women’s Basketball Championship Quarterfinals games this past Saturday while simultaneously accomplishing one of their key goals for the season. Trinity pulled off the win in dramatic fashion as they won by a tight score of 79 to 76 over Connecticut College. Griffin scored 12 points and tallied six rebounds in the exhilarating win over the Camels. The Bantams seemed to be playing with great inspiration and passion at just the right time in their season; they hold a record of 16-8 (ranked 4th in the NESCAC, 7-3 in conference play) and have won six consecutive games.
Trinity is preparing to face Tufts in the NESCAC Semifinals this coming Saturday, in Medford, Mass. Be sure to wish Mackenzie Griffin ‘16 and the whole basketball team luck as they attempt to go deeper into the playoffs with another big win against the Tufts Jumbos!
Elizabeth Caporale ’16, CONTRIBUTING WRITER
The Trinity Men’s Swimming and Diving team made the trek up to Brunswick, Maine this past weekend to compete in the New England Small College Athletic Conference 2014 Swimming and Diving Championships hosted by Bowdoin College. The Bantams finished in 11th place out of 11 teams, concluding with a score of 352 points, only a mere 25.5 points behind Wesleyan. Williams College was crowned victor of the meet for the 13th consecutive time, finishing with a team score of 1,849 points. Amherst College followed closely behind the powerhouse Ephs, taking second, while Connecticut College narrowly edged out Tufts to claim third place.
The championships kicked off on Friday, with sophomore Nick Celestin (Woodbridge, Conn.) notching fourth place in the 50-yard backstroke with a college-record breaking time of 23.48. The accolades didn’t stop there for Celestin, as later that day he powered through the 100-yard backstroke in his leg of the 400-yard medley relay, posting another college-record breaking time of 50.98. This contributed to a team record time of 3:29.77 for the 400-yard medley relay, which was swum by Celestin, senior Max Ma (Nanjing, China), and first-year members’ Evan Long (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) and Daming Xing (Beijing, China). Celestin remarkably ended up swimming personal bests in each of his top individual backstroke performances, including a 10th place finish in the 100-yard backstroke finals. He broke the college records previously held in those events at Trinity, which were held by Celestin himself. In addition, Daming Xing ‘17 set two college records on Friday, clocking in at 23.61 in the 50-yard butterfly and 1:56.44 for his 200-yard individual medley later that afternoon.
The second day of the championships brought success for senior Lucas Knight ’14 (Forest Hills, N.Y.), who broke his own college record in the 400-yard individual medley with an impressive time of 4:12.07. Saturday also saw Celestin, Long, Ma and Xing team up for a second time to break another Trinity relay record, this instance in the 200-yard medley. The four swimmers finished in 7th place with a time of 1:35.63.
The meet came to an end Sunday, February 23rd. Max Ma ‘14 set a new Trinity record in the 200-yard breaststroke, with an 11th place finish and time of 2:08.58. Sunday saw another relay squad produce for Trinity, this time consisting of seniors Max Ma, Brendan Kelley, and freshman Long and Xing. The foursome broke the college’s 400-yard freestyle relay record, clocking in at 3:11.09.
The conclusion of the NESCAC Championships and the 2013-14 season marks the end of an era for the six members of the team. Co-captains Brendan Kelley and Max Ma, along with the rest of the senior class, Sean Greer, Will McCarthy, Mark Yanagisawa and Alexandre Zhang, said their final goodbyes to a sport all of them have spent over a decade participating in. We wish them good luck in whatever may come their way, and we wish the returners all the best for the 2014-15 season.
ALI TUCCI ’16
It’s no secret that the transition between high school and college is a difficult and confusing time in most people’s lives. Academic, extracurricular, and personal expectations are all heightened from the moment students begin their college careers. Even Trinity, with its comfortable size, close-knit campus, and overall welcoming atmosphere, can feel overwhelming for freshmen who are trying to find their place in the somewhat unfamiliar setting. Classes bring about new challenges, meeting people and finding friends can be awkward and stressful, and creating the stereotypical home away from home is not always that simple.
Thankfully, this year here at Trinity, a group of sophomores started a freshmen outreach program called Trinsitions. The program is essentially an outlet for new freshmen at Trinity to discover places here on campus and become more comfortable with the ups and downs of college life through fun bonding experiences with their fellow classmates, as well as mentorship from older Trinity students. Trinsitions focuses on many typical first year struggles, such as figuring out what extracurricular activities to join, venting about stressful and demanding schoolwork, or just branching out and meeting new people.
According to Molly Mann ’16 and Gwen Beal ’16, two of the sophomore leaders of the program, “Trinsitions is a student organization of peer advisors intended to assist first years at Trinity College with both the adjustment to a college lifestyle as well as acclimating them to the campus and greater Hartford community. The idea of the program is for first years to be able to find their niche at Trinity.”
In other words, Mann and Beal, along with a group of other student leaders who are part of Trinsitions, took it as their responsibility to create a program that reaches out to any and all Trinity first years in order to make their adjustments as smooth as possible.
“Gwen felt strongly about creating this organization because she realizes that the transition from high school to college is a big one. She hopes to make this process easier and more enjoyable for first years,” says Mann. Perhaps this is what is so comforting and welcoming about Trinsitions: the students who recognized that such a program needed to exist at Trinity all experienced similar obstacles during their first year at Trinity.
“Some of us had a tough transition our first year. We sometimes felt isolated and bored. Others of us did not have as difficult a transition, but still recognize this as an important opportunity for first years to feel more at home,” explains Beal. The founders of Trinsitions have dedicated their time to making sure first year students are not alone throughout the challenging process. Furthermore, Beal shares that the team of leaders who make up Trinsitions “are involved in different extracurricular activities and are pursuing different majors, making us a unique and dynamic group that all students can relate to.” The fact that the leaders of Trinsitions make up an eclectic and diverse group of students only adds to the sense of friendliness that makes the organization so successful.
Rather than the formality that is often associated with mentor relationships between students and faculty members, Trinsitions prides itself on a much more comfortable and relatable advisory model. Given the fact that Trinsitions is a program in which older Trinity students advise Trinity first years, the organization is first and foremost a means for new students to meet other students who are possibly experiencing similar difficulties during their transition processes. In terms of some of the activities that members of Trinsitions are free to take part in, Mann and Beal explain, “We hold weekly events, some nights on campus and some off. Some events include Trivia Night at the Vernon Social Center, dinners off campus, XL Center events, ice-skating at Bushnell Park, etc.” Trinsitions takes mentoring one step further through incorporating social events that are meant to function as icebreakers and initiate friendships within the members of the program.
Looking forward, Mann explains that, “Trinsitions only began this school year, so it is still in the process of being developed. Our hope is that students are able to meet different people in their cass, get off campus, and experience more of what Trinity has to offer.” The leaders of the organization plan on expanding the activities and opportunities within Trinsitions’ realm of possibilities, and, “we are also open to students who have concerns that they want expressed and addressed, as we are liaisons between students and faculty,” Mann added. The leaders of Trinsitions would like to add that if first years want to be a part of the organization, it is not to late to join and to please contact them at Trinsitions@gmail.com.
CAROLINE HARIRI ’17
This past Friday, Feb. 21 Trinity College hosted a Political Science Terrorism Panel Discussion. Assistant Professor of Political Science Reo Matsuzaki introduced the discussion’s two speakers, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Boston College Peter Krause and Assistant Professor of Public Policy in the Department of Political Science at Northeastern University Max Abrahms.
Abrahms began his presentation by talking about his recent trip to the West Bank where he heard two different voices of concern from both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He explained how a strategic model that he studied claimed that “groups turn to terrorism for the strategic utility most effective for achieving their political demands.” Abrahms then connected this model with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Abrahms explained that terrorism is very much correlated with political failure, which shows that this tactic is actually counterproductive. He said that, “Governments are less likely to grant concession to a group that uses terrorism.” This is a fact that has been apparent to various governments throughout history. Even attacking military or government targets, such as guerrilla attacks, are more effective than attacking civilian targets.
In fact, terrorists pay a much greater price when they attack civilian targets. For example, Jihad Syrians have suffered much more criticism and lost much more support since they blew up civilians, which he says was the same for Al Queda. These civilian attacks become much more counterproductive to the cause of their attack, and they end up losing more support rather than gaining it.
Abrahms’ research today revolves around the puzzle of terrorism in regards to the costliness. He is looking to see why terrorism is used if involves such a high cost and risk. His organizational theory is based off the fact that these militant groups are lacking a true leader, and this leadership deficit causes groups to turn to terrorism. In these situations, Abrahms explained that lower members then start to have a higher incentive because “incentives for terrorism are inversely related to membership position.” Thus, the foot agents start to follow these four patterns: they have less exposure to asymmetric conflict, have fewer organizational resources, outbid higher members to ascend and are more likely to have lost loved ones in conflict, causing more “emotional investment.”
Peter Krause then presented his ideas on the effectiveness of terrorism. Krause began the presentation by explaining some of the current terror events happening today, such as the controversies between Fatas and Hamas, as well as Assad in Syria. He questioned these groups’ tactics to achieving unity and wondered whether a united or a fragmented government was better, to which he answered: neither.
Krause argues that these groups are unsuccessful because they both lack a distribution of power. He believes that, “the power structure of a movement system drives its success, and the hierarchy of a movement drives the actions of its group.” These arguments can be found in the central idea that, “Where you stand is where you sit.” The standing position is based on strategic success and the use of violence, and the sitting position is based on the movement in the hierarchy.
Terrorism is a controversial and sensitive topic, especially in our advanced technological era. Abrahm and Krause’s theories have many similarities, but also very intricate differences. For one thing, the definition of terrorism differs between the two: Abrahms believes that terrorism is civilian targeting, while Krause believes that terrorism is political violence. Also, the two differ in which category the political effectiveness lies: Abrahms believes terrorism is strategic, while Krause finds it strategic as well as organizational. The two studied different groups: Abrahms analyzed single groups, while Krause studied groups within movements. Those small details of analyzing terrorism affect the larger ones, such as the explanatory variable for effectiveness—Abrahm’s target selection versus Krause’s distribution of power, and the explanatory variable for violence—the social solidarity and leadership decapitation suggested by Abrahm, and the organizational strength and group position suggested by Krause.
The intention of the panel, as explained by Professor Matsuzaki, was to encourage a debate between Krause and Abrahms, rather than two separate presentations followed by student questions. However, based on the specifics of their research, it seemed like a debate would have been much harder to develop, because both panelists agreed on so many of the causes and effects of terrorism.
The event brought to life some very interesting points that helped the audience decide whether or not terrorism is effective.
Both Professor Abrahms and Professor Krause have done an enormous amount of research studying the causes and the effects of terrorism.
NICOLE SINNO ’17
Here at Trinity, athletics seem to play a large and important role, with over half of the student body participating in a sport. A member of the NCAA Division III, the New England Small College Athletic Conference, the Eastern College Athletic Conference, the New England Wrestling Association, and the College Squash Association, Trinity College has had a rich history of athletic success beginning in the mid-1850s. Trinity’s Men’s Squash team has consecutively won 11 intercollegiate titles and thus has the longest winning streak with over 200 victories in a row.
Trinity’s Ferris Athletic Center, a popular hub for students, is a crucial and central part of the athletic programs at Trinity, including the George A. Kelner Squash Center, the Ray Oosting Gymnasium, the Natatorium, Friends of Trinity Rowing Boathouse, and the popular Anne G. and Richard J. Hazelton Fitness Center.
Recently, Trinity College has stated that major renovations will be occurring. According to the update, the locker rooms in the Ferris Athletic Center will be soon undergoing a “multi-phased renovation.” Both mens’ and womens’ locker rooms, along with laundry facilities, will be refurbished and modernized with a crucial emphasis on increased sustainability.
“From the start of the project we felt a responsibility, not only to the College, but also as good environmental citizens, to try to reduce our energy footprint,” stated Director of Athletics Mike Renwick. “We chose more environmental-friendly fixtures where time and budget allowed.”
In February of 2010, Trinity College hired Mike Renwick to lead the athletics program as the fourth director of athletics in the past 75 years. Renwick joined Trinity from John Hopkins University, where he worked as the senior associate director of athletics from 2005 to 2010. Prior to working at Johns Hopkins University, Renwick served in a variety of roles at Ferrum College in Virginia and Rhodes College in Tennessee.
President James F. Jones, Jr. said, “Our search committee was impressed with Mike’s administrative experience at Johns Hopkins. Even more compelling, we saw how well he embraced our dual emphasis on academic and athletic excellence. His leadership, his energy, and his character will be very strong influences on the mission and vision of our entire athletic program, and we will look to him with confidence to continue the great tradition of Trinity athletics. We are quite thrilled to welcome Mike to Trinity.”
“I am extremely honored to have the opportunity to work with a team of bright, talented, and committed coaches, administrators, students, and alumni to further Trinity’s success and storied tradition,” Renwick said.
Renwick will also be involved with the Ferris renovations. The project team looked at amenities such as shower, laundry, energy-consuming lighting, and long hours of operation to find ways to be more efficient in energy consumption. Along with a new HVAC system, these are the facilities that face immediate impact in the renovations.
“We’ve reduced our water and energy usage and chemical consumption and the clothes are just as clean if not cleaner,” said Environmental Health and Safety and Sustainability Assistant for Aramark Management Services Kira Sargent. Supervising Trinity’s facilities operation, Sargent believes that this is the optimal way to maintain the quality of life at Trinity while also reducing water and energy consumption and expensive operational costs. “It’s a smart long-term investment allowing us to continue investing in such initiatives,” she said.
As of now, renovations are planned to be completed in May. The women’s locker room will be equipped with a water bottle filling station, which will hopefully eliminate the high usage of plastic bottles. Both locker rooms will have new faucets and showerheads in efforts to reduce water consumption “by approximately 20 percent,” according to Trinity College. Renovations will also include upgraded team rooms for in-season athletes and climate-controlled spaces.
“Thus far we have been able to meet all of our project goals and stay relatively on schedule,” Renwick said. “We are planning to open a new, more energy-efficient part of Ferris to the entire community next academic year and are hopeful the upgraded spaces will attract many more students, faculty and staff to Ferris.”
DUNCAN GRIMM ’15
How does violence permeate the forming of the American state? The problem inherent in this question is that within the American past, violence has been ubiquitous.
On Thursday, Feb. 20, Associate Professor of History Scott Gac previewed aspects of his forthcoming book, Born in Blood: A Cultural and Political History of Violence in America. With elements of violence in the United States a subject of the media daily, one wonders just when its culture began to establish itself in the American discourse.
In Wako, Texas in 1993, there was a brutal shootout after a long standoff between federal law enforcement and a heavily armed radical Christian sect. “The world that day bore witness to an America engulfed by violence,” according to Gac. Though the media portrayed the event as something abnormal, the radicalization of religion, Gac remembered that this is a familiar excuse in the historical discourse. Violence, like teachings of freedom and democracy, seemed to be a part of modern America. Gac recalled that the question of violence then was framed as a “political dominion out of touch with its foundational beliefs. The United States, the land of liberty, freedom and democracy—violence only resulted when Americans failed to embrace those ideals. This confusion over American violence traces back to the nation’s beginnings.”
In 1776, Thomas Paine preposed that violence “was the result of aristocratic regal ways. Where there are no distinctions, there can be no superiority. Perfect equality affords no temptation.” From then on, American leaders and political theorists “took the bait,” in Professor Gac’s words. Men like John Adams and Abraham Lincoln cite the Constitution as proof that something other than fighting would resolve disputes. It is this belief, traced throughout American history, which Professor Gac seeks to challenge.
Gac focused on state sanctioned violence in five moments—the 1781 mutiny of the Continental Army, the decision to declare war in 1861, slave emancipation in 1863, the Railroad Strike of 1877, and the call for Federal troops to enter schools in 1957. Professor Gac posited that, “Violence belongs alongside the worthies within the American pantheon.” Liberty, democracy, freedom, capitalism, and equality in 1781, 1861, 1863, 1877, and 1957, respectively, could not have been achieved without some degree of violence. Professor Gac’s work does not attempt to assign blame or place a moral value on events, but to situate violence within the familiar American narrative and understand not only its origins, but the chief actors in the story of violence within American history.
Within the newly militarized American colonies, especially Massachusetts, the ideology was to develop a force which could be called up and disbanded whenever needed (an attempt to counter their fears of a standing army). This would not last. The resolutions of the Massachusetts legislature, laying out provisions for the arming of the colony as well as urging towns to contribute resources and manpower, not only demonstrate the democratization of violence, but also competing concepts of consent. In these early years, the Massachusetts force had no rigid hierarchical structure like the British military except for the directive that soldiers would elect their own officers. This would prove disastrous, and though the notion of consent in military matters is present from the earliest moments of the American state it would not last in this context. Military historian Paul Lockhart described the American solder in 1775 as “an armed tourist, who did as they pleased and went where they pleased.” Out of the solutions grew the formally structured Continental Army, of which George Washington would command.
Fascinatingly, when the Continental Congress created its formal army, they were concerned with temporality and authority; it was not long before this act that they themselves were laying out their grievances with a standing army. To combat this, violence began to be characterized as a “defensive right.” As Abigail Adams said, “Hence it becomes necessary for the humble and quiet, the meek and inoffensive, to turn their attention to the art of war; And while they breath the pacific spirit of the gospel, furnish themselves with the instrument of slaughter. This is requisite in order to preserving themselves in property from the hands of violence…The principles of self preservation prove it lawful, the voice of reason claims it expedient, and the law of God demands it as a duty.”
Others adopted a more naturalistic, or less moral and legalistic, explanation for the advent of violence, inspired by John Locke and Thomas Hobbs. They proposed that the collapse of the relationship between the colonies and the British state was a step towards the disassociation found in the natural world, where the default relationship was violence.
George Washington was the man around which competing theories of the role of violence crystalized. Being from Virginia, Washington represented a unifying force when placed at the head of the largely Massachusetts-based Continental Army.
Giving examples of military leadership and discipline throughout his life, Professor Gac stated that Washington “is somebody who is operating within the strictures of violence…within the time, but he is always on the radically violent end of the spectrum.” Though Washington embraced the democratic ideal (albeit one kept in check), he also believed violence was the best way to produce results in the military context among large numbers of people. He ran a spy ring which he kept secret from Congress, and financed many undertakings independently while out on campaign. He also brought a new discipline to the Continental forces, imposing more traditional. and more functional, standing orders. Yet, Washington’s public persona was stellar, always portrayed with a sword, sometimes a cannon, and often in uniform. There is much more to George Washington’s persona, public image, and at times ruthless action, and he came to embody the revolutionary struggle, justified in doctrine and tempered in violence.
The lens through which the lecture continued to examine origins of violence in the modern narrative can be the 1781 mutiny of the Continental Army. It represents a turning point in the American discourse. The irony of the American Revolution, of course, is that the colonists created their own violent state in order to oppose what they perceived had become the British violent state. When does this become acceptable and how is it understood?
Once the colonists began to see the occupying British force as an invading and unwelcome army, their opposition to violence dissolved, as things like a violent state and a standing army were soon seen as the tools of revolution. After the 1781 mutiny, with 1,300 troops who had not been paid, sufficiently clothed, or fed, Washington brokered a deal between them and Congress. This trend of punishment would continue throughout the Revolution.
What emerged from the 1781 mutiny was the aforementioned move from consent to obedience by organized forces, and serves as a marker which continues to frame the Revolutionary era and ultimately the Constitution itself. The American Revolution is often cited as the birth of certain themes and proclivities in American culture, but it is important to remember that often many violent tendencies emerged from an original desire to preserve democratic ideals.
Professor Gac is the American Studies Director and Associate Professor in the History Department, and teaches courses in nearly every aspect of the 19th century United States, including slavery, violence, music, Civil War, and race relations.
ZANIYYAH ASHBEY ’16
This past Saturday night, Feb. 22 Trinity Students witnessed and participated in Love Jones: Poetry Slam & Talent Showcase. Love Jones is one of the staple events for Trinity College’s Black Student Union, Imani. Even though the event was held after Valentine’s Day, the love did not stop being the theme of Imani’s poetry slam and showcase.
The event featured singing, music, dancing, and poetry performed by on-campus talent. Love Jones also featured local talent and invited a keynote poet, L. NuNu Smith, to come and perform.
Imani transformed the Terrace rooms in Mather Hall from a room fit for a seminar into a warm and homey space with dimmed lighting, candles, and rose petals. “The ambiance of the room was romantic, from the lights, to the music that set the mood. The space was transformed and it was really nice to see,” said Spencer Hugo Vidal ’17
The majority of the performance came from Trinity students. The event was enjoyable for both the audience as well as the performers. Devan Suggs ’17 elaborated on this experience, stating that, “As a performer it was a great experience, I don’t usually perform poetry, but I glad I tried it out. Hopefully I’ll be able to participate in more things like this. It was also pretty impressive to see how much on campus talent there is in the student body.”
Other student performers felt similarly. “I loved it. My favorite parts of the event were the mood that was set and the keynote poet. It was a very nice touch to have strawberries with the sparkling cider, and the keynote poet, L. NuNu Smith stole my heart. I was kind of even a little inspired to write a little poetry even though it is not really my thing,” said Khari-Elijah Jarrett ‘16.
Students that did not perform and were simply there to observe also had similar remarks. Victoria Ellison ’15, explained that, “The event was amazing, the space was positive as well as inspiring. Hopefully I’ll be able to participate in something like Love Jones someday.”
Off campus visitors even enjoyed the event, and were amazed by the array of talent that can be found on Trinity’s campus. A source says that the event “was a great showcase of different styles and talents among the Trintity student body. I really enjoyed the vibe and the sense of love and support in the room.”
Executive board members of Imani, Trinity College Black Student Union, were overjoyed by the success of the event. “This is my second experience with producing Love Jones,” stated the group’s community service chair Bria Lewis ’16. “It has improved so much just over the last year. My favorite part was seeing different kinds of people with various different cultures and backgrounds all enjoying something positive together”
The event even had a very large influences on Imani’s President, Shanese Caton ’14. She stated that “the great turn out for Love Jones makes [her] really excited about our next event, Blackout, Imani’s annual gala. Blackout and Love Jones both have focuses on love and encouragement of community and culture on Trinity’s campus that extends out to all of the student body.”
KRISTINA XIE ’14
There are numerous clubs on campus promoting student engagement inside and outside the classroom. From community orientated volunteer opportunities to calligraphy club, there is something for everyone on campus. For students who can’t find a club that speaks to their interests, they have chance to start one. That is exactly what William Morrison ’14 and Trenton Jackson ’15 did. This semester they started the Trinity College Photography Club (TCPC) based on their common hobby: taking pictures. The duo originally met during June Days, before their official arrival as freshmen on campus, and instantly became friends. They still remain close friends and were roommates during their time at Trinity, and decided on a whim to start the club.
“We figured, why not,” stated Morrison, whose photographs are used by the Tripod in various issues. Gaurav Toor ’14, who serves on the social chair position, encouraged the formation of the club. All three members have been close friends thoughout their time at Trinity. The Photography Club, which will meet on Sundays in Gallows Hill at 5:30 p.m., aims to teach students how to take pictures and edit with Photoshop. The club plans to take trips to Boston and New York City to visit galleries and also to give members the opportunity to take pictures in new surroundings. The club has already generated a lot of interest on campus. As Morrison and Jackson sat at tables outside of Mather during dinner, many students came to inquire about the photographs displayed on the table. From black and white pictures to abstract images, the unique style of photography was intriguing. This display was just a taste of what members will experience and learn from attending their weekly meetings.
Since Morrison and Jackson understand that students are at varying degrees in their photography skills, the club is open to everyone, regardless of experience level. They can ask questions and exchange knowledge about the how-to’s of photography and learn several new techniques. Morrison and Jackson will also provide equipment, but any camera can be used.
“The best camera is the one you carry with you at all times,” revealed Jackson. For many students, this means our smartphones. You do not need a sophisticated and expensive camera to call yourself a photographer. In today’s world, a smartphone is all you need to capture priceless moments. With social media and picture posts, everyone can appreciate the importance of brushing up on their photography skills.
The club has three main objectives and functions as an extracurricular activity on campus. First, they want to use the club as a space for Trinity students to learn about photography. Second, the club will act as an agency. If any other organization needs photos of their events the TCPC will provide photographers for this service. This symbiotic relationship gives members the opportunity to practice their skills and give clubs the candid shots they need. Lastly, photographers will be able to exhibit their work at the end of each semester. This will happen at a gallery showing where members can showcase and share their photos and the progress they have made throughout the semester with their friends and professors.
“This club will become the center of photos on campus,” stated Morrison. Each session, the two photographers will have planned teaching workshops to teach members the tricks of the trade. However, if members have a specific idea of what they want to focus on, Morrison and Jackson are more than willing to assist them by teaching them the necesarry techniques. While they are not professional photographers, they both have had photography experience that began in high school. Jackson, a studio arts major and a Hartford native, became fascinated with cinematography during his sophomore year in high school. Similarly to his former roommate, Morrison developed this hobby during his junior year of high school after he bought his first camera. Since then, they have continued to develop their skill set and versatility as photographers.
During the club’s meeting, new members were given their first homework assignment: take as many pictures as your can using the 3×3 grid system, smartphones included. Jackson pulled up his extensive portfolio, showing examples of how the grid system makes the picture more interesting to the eye. Experienced and amateur photographers are urged to explore this technique using the campus surroundings and people as their subjects. Photographs will be accumulated and shared in the club’s next meeting.
“Join photography club! You won’t regret it, I promise,” exclaimed Morrison. With Trinity’s expanding and vibrant art scene, this club will enhance the artistic climate on campus. So join the club and tell the community what your photos say about you!
KRISTINA RUTH ’15
Do you want to find a way to get involved with your artistic side? Do you enjoy music, poetry, dance, painting, or drawing? The Mill is a club on campus that embraces many students’ talents and supports their passion for the arts. It allows them to explore their interest in activities such as music programming, studio recording, and dancing. Each week, The Mill hosts an array of events such as student art exhibitions, open mic nights, and concerts to unite the campus through our shared interest in the world of arts. Students can also celebrate their peer’s artisitc achievements. The Mill is well known for their concerts that introduce student bands from on and off campus, ranging in different genres of music. In the past, bands such as The Cool Kids, Big Digits, French Horn Rebellion, and Freelance Whales, have played on our campus.
This past Saturday night, The Mill was packed for the opening of their Kickdrum event. Students eagerly waited in anticipation for performances by three bands: the Kickdrums, BFA, and the Woolly Mammoths. Each of the bands offered a different and unique style, which drew in more and more people with different tastes and preferences in music.
The Woolly Mammoths, an instrumental acoustic band from New Hampshire, started the night as the opening act. They set the melody for the night, getting everyone excited about thier music as they played upbeat songs that had the entire crowd dancing in front of the stage. At one point during their performance, all the students in the crowd had their hands up in the air and were swaying back and forth, matching to the beat of the songs. The crowd seemed to be very pleased with the band’s performance, “I loved when they played the song, “I bet you look good on the dance floor,” stated an audience member to a friend. “I was impressed at how they drew in the crowd right from the beginning, usually takes a few songs for the crowd to get involved,” said one attendee. “I think they have a lot of potential! I hope they come back to perform at the Mill!” was a comment made by many in attendance.
The second performace was by BFA, Bachelor’s of Fine Art. They are a power-pop band from New York City. Their style of music gives off a 1970’s and 1980’s post-punk vibe. Their performance consisted of all original songs. They are best known for their song “Skytanic,” which was released in April 2013. One anonymous student stated that the group’s “energy engaged the crowd and had the entire room singing along. I like that their music was all originals. I hadn’t heard of this band until tonight but now I’m going to check out more of this music.” Another student raved, “I liked that their music was completely different from the other two bands playing tonight. It gives me the opportunity to appreciate a few different playing styles all in the same night!” BFA has their own website, bfatheband.com, with a list of their songs as well as their upcoming concert schedule.
Last, but certainly not least, the KickDrums got on stage to preform. They are an indie rock band from Brooklyn, New York. Alex Fitts, head of the KickDrums, joined forces with his friend Matt Pentilla to explore the art behind electronic music. Their band is well known for cross-genre songs that combine elements of current genres as well a new genre of music that will gain more popularity as electronic music becomes more mainstream. They also had an original set list and many students loved their performance of the song “Colors.” Trinity students were eager for their performance saying, “I’ve heard a few of their songs online and I really like their style. I’ve never listened to a lot of cross-genre music before, but concerts like these at The Mill continue to expand my perspective on the various music styles out there.” Another concert goer remarked that, “Their performance was great, upbeat, and definitely worth coming to watch.” When asked what they thought of the KickDrums, after their final performance of the night, the entire crowd erupted into applause. The Kickdrum’s music and schedule of upcoming events can be found on the website, thekickdrums.com.
The event was quite a success judging by the packed house and delighted students. There will be more upcoming events like this at The Mill in the weeks to come. Thanks to all The Mill members for putting this event together and exposing the Trinity to campus to all the amazing bands that preformed. If students are interested in exploring an interest in the arts they should consider joining, and even performing, at The Mill!
Peter Prendergast ’16, SPORTS EDITOR
Held in Sochi, Russia, the 2014 winter Olympic games have thus far proved to be a welcome break from the slow and somewhat dull world of professional sports that usually follows the culmination of the NFL season. This is not to say that the NBA, NHL and NCAA do not deliver competitive and enjoyable games, but most of us are thrilled to watch each country’s best compete on a global stage (before March Madness begins, at least). Thousands of the world’s top athletes have joined in Sochi to compete in winter sports such as as bobsleigh, curling, figure skating, speed skating, alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, cross-country skiing and ski jumping. Currently, in these games the United States has won 16 total medals, including gold medals in snowboarding and freestyle skiing. However, as exciting as these games are, they pale in comparison to the exhilarating and spirited tournament that is Olympic hockey.
The United States national team is comprised of the NHL’s best players, including goalie Jonathan Quick from the Los Angeles Kings, Patrick Kane from the Chicago Blackhawks and John Carlson from the Washington Capitals to name a few. The Americans have won all three of their preliminary contests, the first being a 7-1 blowout victory over Slovakia. The real story however, came from the team’s 3-2 overtime win against Russia on Feb. 15 thanks to forward T.J. Oshie’s astounding efforts through eight rounds of overtime shootouts.
The game was scoreless through the first period as Quick was able to save all thirteen of Russia’s shots on net, even during Russia’s power play due to Blake Wheeler’s tripping penalty. The first goal of the game came nine minutes into the second period as Russia’s Pavel Datsyuk received a long pass from Andrei Markov and snuck a shot past Quick on the inside post. The U.S. answered later in the period during a power play as a pass from forward James van Riemsdyk deflected off of defenseman Cam Fowler’s skate and into the net.
The Americans took the lead on a third period powerplay when Patrick Kane delivered a perfect pass to Joe Pavelski for a one-timer, beating goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to give the U.S. a one goal advantage. Russia answered back minutes later as Datsyuk ripped one past Quick during another man up situation. The contest went into overtime with the game tied at two.
In the overtime period, neither team managed to score, despite Patrick Kane’s breakaway against Bobrovsky in the final minutes. Oshie opened up the first round of shootouts with a goal. Four skaters later, Ilya Kovalchuk answered with a goal of his own. Datsyuk also scored on his next attempt, giving Russia a one goal advantage. Oshie kept the U.S in the game with his second goal, followed by another score for Kovalchuck. Oshie answered with a third goal to tie it up. In the eighth and final round, Quick made a crucial save against Kovalchuk, setting Oshie up for his fourth and game-winning goal.
The following day, Feb. 16, the U.S secured a first round bye in the Olympic tournament by defeating Slovania’s national team by a score of 5-1. Forward Phil Kessel, of the Toronto Maple Leafs, was the hero in this game as he secured three of the team’s five goals. Ryan McDonagh and David Backes contributed goals four and five. Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres started in net and recorded 17 saves on 18 shots.
Following their successful preliminary streak, team U.S.A has advanced to the quarterfinals, where they wait to play the winner of the Czech Republic and Slovakia qualification game.
ISABEL MONTELEONE ’16
February 14th has historically been associated with heart shaped candies, boxes of chocolates, and restaurants overflowing with happy couples in love. While the rest of the world is celebrating the 14th of February as Valentine’s Day, students at Trinity College, other universities, and activists across the country are celebrating a different kind of V-Day, that is “v” for vagina. The V-Day movement is a global activist effort to speak out against violence against women and girls. The non-profit organization, V-Day, was created in 2001 with the purpose of using theater productions like The Vagina Monologues, campaigns, and events to spread awareness about violence – rape, incest, battery, and genital mutilation – against women and girls. Overtime the organization has expanded externally. In 2012, 5,400 events took place in over 1,200 locations worldwide. V-Day raised over $80 million through their events and campaigns, educating millions on violence against women and girls. The Vagina Monologues is one of the organization’s most popular events. Each year, a group of Trinity College students, with the help of WGRAC (the Women and Gender Resource Action Center) spend their weeks preparing to put on the Vagina Monologues, a play written by Eve Ensler, and was directed by Nicole Lim ’16 this year. The performance was held on Friday, February 14th at 7PM in the Washington Room of Mather Hall. The event not only spoke out against female violence, but also, raised money for the Interval House, Hartford’s battered women shelter.
The Vagina Monologues is divided into a segment of monologues, each preformed by a different individual. This year the cast of Vagina Monologues included Maya Mineoi ’14, Sara Bess ’14, Brianna Scalesse ’16, Nancy Fleming, Jocelyn Redding ’16, Neha Surrender ’14, Ana Medina ’16, Xonana Scrubb ’14, Candace Baker ’14, Diana Ryan ’14, Melissa Sital ’14, Hamdi Abdi ’17, Lara Abiona ’17, Paloma Irizarry ’14, and Nicole Dabin Lim ’16. The topics varied from discussing the stigma that comes with talking about vaginas, the word “vagina” itself, sex, female genital mutilation in third world countries, refugee women, assault, and violence. Every monologue incorporated real stories from women all around the globe, and their content was both thoughtful and moving. In addition to the play, a number of booths were set up in the Washington Room with information on assault and violence.
Science Departments professor, Nancy Fleming narrated the play and introduced the monologues by announcing that some acts “will make you laugh, and some will make you cry.” Overall each act reinforced the idea that the vagina is an instrument of female empowerment that needs to be celebrated for its individual significance to every woman. It has for so long been ignored, muted, and associated with negative connotations. These concepts were reoccurring themes throughout the series of monologues that began when Maya Mineoi ’14 performed, “One Billion Will Rise for Justice,” a monologue that both opens and closes the play. In the monologue, Maya stated that injustices to women will continue to occur across the world “until the law is a breathing thing,” until we all, men and women together, unite for justice.
A highlight of the show appeared in the middle of the play. After several acts, the video, “Why Are Vaginas Important to You?” showcased Trinity men giving their personal feedback on why vaginas are significant in their lives. The inspiration behind the video came from a similar production that students at Connecticut College produced to promote their performance of “The Vagina Monologues.” It may sound like an odd thing, but the results were surprisingly powerful. The men that took part in the video talked about how vaginas were vital to the existence of their family, friends, and their own lives. Many discussed how important the roles of the women in their lives were, referring to the way their mothers, sisters, or girlfriends were special leaders in their lives. Bettina Gonzalez ’16, a member of both SECS, Students Encouraging Consensual Sex, and WGRAC filmed the video and made the decision to incorporate it into the Vagina Monologues, an unique, but most fitting addition. Bettina stated, “I wanted the Trinity video to actually be part of the play and give men a voice in the play. I believe that for gender equality to be possible, both women and men have to equally work towards it. Otherwise, the whole premise of “equality” is a farce.” This was one of the most inspiring parts of the play by illustrating the thoughts and sentiments of men on our campus. It also highlights how both sexes must work together to improve the conditions of life for men and women. Without both parties’ support , there will continue to be violence towards women.
Ultimately, the Vagina Monologues left the audience with a greater sense of the importance of loving and appreciating yourself. It also made spectators realize how often women feel insecure about themselves and their bodies because of the way society depicts females. Similarly, it accurately depicted the reality of violence towards women and girls that far too often only further damages women not only physically, but also mentally. Everyday we witness women who put themselves down, both by degradation from themselves and others. This prevents them from realizing their true potenial and hinders their confidence from radiating. The Vagina Monologues attempt to break this vicious cycle and show women and girls that they have a lot to be proud of. It empowers women with the strength not to settle for anything less than what they deserve. Maybe this, the root where these gender-based issues arise, is where the fight against gender inequality should start. However, it cannot be done alone. Women and girls continue to be assaulted, raped, and killed. In fact, “The Vagina Monologues” pamphlet states, “one in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.” In order to combat these injustices, everyone must stand together, men and women, and use another powerful “v” word to make a change – our voice.
Elizabeth Caporale 16′, CONTRIBUTING WRITER
The Women’s Swimming and Diving team plunged into the Samuelson-Muir Pool this past weekend, competing in the 2014 NESCAC Championships hosted by Williams College. The championships were structured so that preliminary races and dives took place in the morning, followed by the finals which occurred in the evening. While the team, headed by senior captains Emily Johnson ’14 (Reading, Mass) and Joanna Wycech ’14 (Stare Babice, Poland) may have not been as successful as they hoped, finishing in eleventh place out of eleven teams with 396 points. The powerhouse ephs won the meet, racking up an impressive 2,007 points. Despite the team’s sub-par end result, many notable accomplishments occurred for several swimmers this weekend though. A multitude of school records were broken this weekend by several team members, including first-year standout Eliza Macaig ’17 (West Hartford, Conn.).
Day one of the meet kicked off Friday morning with Macaig claiming two new school records in both the 50 and 100 back, recording times of 27.49 and 59.84, respectively. Along with these individual records, Friday saw Megan Chiu ’14 (Monterey Park, Calif.), Katie Adams ’14 (Needham, Mass), Lexi Moroney ’15 (Manchester, Mass) and Macaig ’17 take another school record in the 200 freestyle relay, clocking in at 1:39.64. Johnson placed seventh overall in the one-meter diving, and junior Audrey Butler (Manchester, Conn.) contributed with a ninth-place swim in the 50-yard breaststroke finals.
Day two saw two previous school records come and go, one being claimed again by Macaig, the other by the first-year and Istanbul, Turkey native, Ilkin Telli ’17. Macaig broke her own previous record of 59.37 set at in Prelims this morning with a new time of 59.17. Telli replaced senior Chloe Miller’s ’14 record of 10:58.96 in the 1000 free, coming in a few hundredths of a second faster, at 10:58.89.
The Bantams wrapped up the tournament with another three school records, a plethora of personal best times and even a NCCA “B” qualifying time. Moroney swam her way to a personal best in the 100 free with a time of 53.87, which also happens to be the second top time in Trinity history for this event. Another notable personal accomplishment goes to Chiu, who swam a college career best in the 200 butterfly in just 2:14.67. Her time is also now the second top time in Trinity history for that event.
Macaig finished off her stellar weekend by breaking the school and first year record in the 200 back, finishing with a time of 2:06.35. Audrey Butler ’15 earned the honor of being the only bantam on the team qualifying for the NCAA “B” mark, clocking in just under the cut off time of 1:06.08 in the 100 breast stroke with an impressive time of 1:05.94. This time is a personal best for Butler, and she broke her own school record in this event. Butler wasn’t finished though she ended up breaking yet another one of her own school records in the 200 breast, with a time of 2:26.04.
This concludes the ladies’ 2013-2014 season and for seniors Katie Adams ’14, Megan Chiu, Chloe Miller, Emily Johnson, and Joanna Wycech, their career as collegiate swimmers. You can see these swimmers and divers back in action next winter, for the start of their 2014-15 season.
Peter Prendergast ’16, SPORTS EDITOR
This past weekend on Feb. 15, both Trinity’s Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track teams travelled to Tufts for their Cupid Challenge invitational meet. This meet marked the invitational of the regular season before the New England Division III championships that will take place during the weekend of Feb. 21.
Tufts welcomed 25 of the region’s top schools including the NESCAC’s Amherst, Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Connecticut College, Middlebury, Wesleyan and Williams. Central College even travelled from Pella, Iowa for the meet, which was named “Meet of the Week” by the U.S Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
The Bantams competed in the 60-meter dash, 200-meter dash, 400-meter dash, 600-meter run, 800-meter run, 1000-meter run, one mile run, 60-meter hurdles, 4×400-meter relay, long jump, shotput and the 4×800 meter relay. Trinity’s Brendan Gauthier ’16 recorded the ninth best time out of twenty-seven competitors in the 1000-meter run, with a time of 2:40.23. Patrick Hoagland ’16 came in fourth out of 35 in the one mile run, as he set a time of 4:24.96. In the 60-meter hurdles, Geoffrey Bocobo ’16 advanced to the finals as he came in fifth place with a time of 8.65. In the 4×400 meter relay, Trinity came in second place, just behind Colby, with a time of 3:32.33.
Aman Stuppard ’17 finished second in the triple jump as he broke a Trinity College record with a distance of 46’10.25. Stuppard broke his previous personal record of 46’02.75, which he set a week prior at Boston University.
The women’s team also had a very successful showing, as they placed within the top ten in six events. Kathareeya Tonyai ’17 placed tenth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.23. In the 800-meter run, Sarah Ballinger ’14 recorded a time of 2:24.68, earning her
eighth place. Megan Darnley ’15 came in fourth in the pole vault as she set a new Trinity College record height of 11’05.75, almost a five inch improvement of her previous best 11’01.00. Jenna Wilborne 15’ recorded the Bantams’ only first place finish of the day as she reached 11.24 meters in the long jump, beating the second place finisher by over 0.20 meters. Lily Talesnick ’16 placed seventh in the shotput with a distance of 11.48 meters.
In further consideration for the track team, Olivia Reny ’16 was named Trinity’s Bantam athlete of the week for her performance at Boston University’s David Henry Valentine Invitational. She set a Trinity College record in the 400-meter dash with a time of 59.05, beating the previos record by 1.29 seconds. Reny came in 49th place overall with her record breaking performance.
Next week over the weekend of Feb. 21 both teams will compete in the New England Division III Championships. The men will compete against the regions best at MIT and the women’s team will participate at Springfield College.
ASHIRA ANDERSON ’16
Around 6:10 a.m. on Friday morning, I saw yet another article about how the United States needs a higher minimum wage. Prior to clicking on the article, I could see people holding signs about why they needed a higher wage. One man’s sign said he worries about whether he’ll be able to support his family in the future and this got me thinking. While I am all for raising the minimum wage—as I do have two minimum wage jobs here on campus—that sign upset me.
I realize that as much as I am starting to hate the criticism of our generation, it’s no secret that this generation is hypersexual, and while I don’t personally plan on having sex before marriage, many of my peers will or have already. This isn’t an article calling for people to remain abstinent, because that’s a personal choice. All I would like is for people to realize where babies come from, what they mean, and why, quite frankly, people need to stop having them.
The first question is simple. Where do babies come from? Sex. If you don’t know what sex is, and I feel that you might if you’re a part of our generation, ask your parents or go back to public school. I had a pretty good idea of it around fourth grade or so, rendering my mother’s extremely late talk virtually useless. I mean, she had also tried to include the whole good-touch bad-touch thing in there, but I went to Catholic school. We all know the heat they got and sometimes still do get about molestation, so I had seen “Just Yell Fire” in sixth grade. On a side note, for those of you who don’t know, the just yell fire is a method for women to employ against violence. If a woman is being attacked she should yell fire because as nosy and as cowardly as people are nowadays, yelling fire will be much more productive than yelling for help.
The second question isn’t as obvious. I’m going to do my best on this one and since I don’t actually have kids, don’t quote me on this one. Babies mean you had sex. In a perfect world it means that there was this girl or guy you really cared about, so you courted, got married, and expressed your love in a way meant never to expressed with anyone other than your husband or wife again. While that still happens occasionally, a more realistic explanation is that you got all hot and bothered and decided to act on your primal urges, or you thought you loved someone only to find out they were just acting on their primal urges. However, babies also mean that there is now this living, breathing thing that poops and cries, and never actually sleeps when you want to sleep. They get hurt and some of them actually do the hurting. They depend on you for the next 18 years, and realistically, more than that. Yes, at 18 they can go to college and smoke cigarettes, but if family is longer than 18 years, so is parenthood.
The last question, why people need to stop having babies, is why that man’s sign upset me. I’m going to start this off with I still watch “Teen Mom.” It’s not a particularly good show anymore, but it started off with the noblest of intentions and I’m a pretty loyal person. Nowadays, I watch it, much to the dismay of my mother, for the same reason I still watch “The Real World:” it’s entertaining and quite funny. Again, I’m not having sex. While I may be missing the positive aspects of sex (“Girl Code” taught me that sex feels like pizza tastes), I am also missing the negative aspects (teen pregnancy). This poses the question of why does teen pregnancy get so much criticism? That is for another article and I’m sure that topic has been done to death. My question is why does teen pregnancy get so much criticism as compared to pregnancy and/or procreation in general?
When speaking out against teen pregnancy many people often speak of how teenagers aren’t mentally, physically, emotionally, or financially ready. I think adults, really non-teens, need to think more about the financial component of that explanation. Whether you’re married or not married, in love or not it love, young or old, you still need money to have babies. As much as some people may love the Beatles, when they said love is all you need, I don’t think they were talking in terms of parenthood. Yes, I’m abstinent because I’m Christian. But, also because I don’t think you should be having sex if you aren’t ready to have a baby. Yes, there is birth control and I’m not about to take a stand against it, as I am pro-choice. But, as the saying goes, stuff happens. Stuff happening should not be a baby being born. Once that baby fights his or way out from the darkness and into the light that is the operating room, the providing needs to happen. You cannot provide for a baby on minimum wage. Even if that guy were married, and loved his wife, with the position he’s in, he should not have children.
I’m not trying to say you should have a minimum amount of $10,000 in your bank account before you can do the good “in out in out,” but this is something that people, especially people engaging in sexual activity from a young age, should think about. Yes, college students still counts as being a young age, because even though I’m no longer a minor in the eyes of the law and I’m in college hoping to become a doctor, I still am living on two minimum wage jobs.
I hope that after these words I don’t sound like a horrible person when I say I don’t feel all that badly for the man holding up the sign that started this article (although I do feel badly for the kids). Minimum wage does need to go up, but based on everything I just said, supporting your kids isn’t all that good of a reason to. You should be able to support them before you even have sex. I’ll leave with this though.. Had the sign said something like “I had a great paying job until I lost it when (insert tragedy here) and all I could find was a job (insert job here),” I would be much more sympathetic.
SHEILA NJAU ‘17
I was looking at a video recently and one of the quotes that came I across was that life was a series of steps. I agree that life is a series of steps and for each individual, those steps diverge and we have to make certain choices that ultimately decide how our lives end up. But, what happens when you make a choice that takes you down a path that you had never expected? Maybe it is a choice you made when you felt that you had no control over your own life, or one that is made because you were young and you were being adventurous, exploring new avenues. What if the choice was made because your friends had made the same choice? Some of who may already know where I am going with this, others may be confused with my blathering. But what I would like to highlight is not an easy topic and for many people, it has led to a disastrous end and that is drug addiction.
I wanted to see how much of a problem this issue is in the U.S. and it turns out that over the past couple of years, death as a result of drug overdose has been growing as one of the leading causes of “injury death” in the United States. Also, while only about 105 people per year die from drug overdoses, over 6,748 people end up in the emergency department because of drugs. In addition, nine out of ten deaths via poisoning are due to drugs. There may not be as many deaths from something such as car accidents, but those are still lives being lost each year, which does not need to happen. An example is the amount of celebrities who end up dying as a result of drug overdose, some such as Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Corey Monteith, Anna Nicole Smith, Marilyn Monroe, Billie Holiday, and Elvis Presley. For the most part, these people were young and could have gone further in their respective careers, but a choice they made to partake in drug use cost them their lives.
Some argue that these people had exposed themselves to such a lifestyle and that they died as a consequence of such a lifestyle, but that seems hollow especially considering the people that were left behind. What about Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s kids? Or Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter? How are they supposed to understand why they lost their parent so soon? At the end of the day, drug addiction is something that not only affects the person going through the addiction, but also all the people who are close to that person. So, it makes me think how does one even begin? I understand wanting to experiment, but at the same time, what about the other people that will become affected if it develops into a problem? Don’t their feelings matter? Maybe we would like to think that we are invincible, but the sad truth is that we are not. One day we will all meet our end, but we have choices to make in the time that we do have. I just have trouble seeing what could someone to follow such a path. And then I think to myself, what about the other substances that exist, that could lead to the same end as drugs?
What about alcohol and cigarettes? They could prove deadly as well, whether it is immediate or long-term, which is probably the case with cigarettes. Do these people not have the same culpability as those who become addicted to drugs? It is not like these people start using drugs to get addicted. Even when people know what the consequence will ultimately be, people still choose to use these substances. The sad thing is that most of these people are probably nice people who happen to have this big problem. So where can the line be drawn? Can one be drawn? And the thing that scares is that I don’t know. It’s easy enough to tell someone not to use drugs, not to drink, or not to smoke, but when you look at the numbers, people do not seem to be stopping.
So once again, it comes down to life as a series of steps and the steps that happen are a result of the actions that we take. All we have is the knowledge of the consequences that our actions can have. While not definitive or exhaustive, we know what can happen. And that is the beauty of free will and whether we choose to hang ourselves with the rope that we have been handed is up to us. Death from drug overdose is sad, but if the choice to start such a path was made freely, what more can we say. And that is the conundrum that is a part of being human. No matter how many times it is stated that something is bad, people still end up doing it. All that is left to wonder is if this cycle will ever end.
KRISTINA XIE ’16
The lights dimmed and the audience fell silent as a large banner of the state of Georgia was lowered onto the stage. On the flag were a number of towns within the state, including the state’s capital of Atlanta. The impressive banner was lifted and the audience was introduced to a Civil War veteran, who sang a beautiful number called “The Old Red Hills of Home,” which professed his love for his home state. Although the Confederates lost the Civil War, their love for the South cannot be contended. It is in this opening scene where the audience first witnesses Leo Frank, a Jewish, Brooklyn-bred, Cornell-educated, and recently married manager of a pencil factory, played by Mac McCarthy ’14. He does not seem to be too satisfied with his new life in Atlanta, working as a manager of the factory. He longs for his home in Brooklyn and uses New York lingo that his wife, Lucille Frank, has trouble understanding. Mrs. Frank, a Jewish Southerner, captivates the audience with her unique sense of humor and devotion to her conviction of her husband’s innocence. Mr. Frank is portrayed as a hard-working and honest man, who consistently pays his bills on time and treats his factory employees with dignity. McCarthy captured the essence of Mr. Frank’s character with his dynamic personality and talent for theatricality.
“Parade” was first produced on Broadway in December 1998. It won the Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Score in 2000. The Trinity production included an undergraduate cast of 25 students and a professional chamber orchestra under the direction of Gerald Moshell, a professor of music and director of the Musical-Theater Program who was hired to make the storyline come to life. The choreography was composed by Julia Strong ’94, and Micah Greene.
The plot was centered around the murder of 13 year-old Mary Phagan, played by Jamie Brandel ’14, who was one of the employees in the pencil factory managed by Mr. Frank. Little Mary Phagan was portrayed as a sweet innocent girl that was on her way to the Memorial Day Parade celebrated in Georgia at that time in honor of the fallen heroes of the War of Northern Aggression, which we know as the Civil War. She stops by the factory to collect her pay from Mr. Frank, who allegedly killed her in cold blood. It was here that we enter the center of the play’s plot, which involved the false accusations that the townspeople made against Mr. Frank because of his anti-semitism. The play provides a glimpse into the turmoil and unjust treatment of Jews in the early twentieth century in the South. The combination of cults of Southern chivalry, the “flower of white womanhood,” memories of the Confederacy’s defeat in the Civil War 50 years earlier, anti-Semitism, and a declining agrarian society underlies the Southern resentment of Northern industrialists are is the historical undercurrent in the context of the plot. The real murderer was a factory sweeper, Jim Conley, played by Malcom Moon’15. He saw Ms. Phagan in his office, hidden under the table just before her death. Moon, a native of Georgia, had to thicken his Southern accent in preparation for the play. He always dreamt of playing the villain and “had to have secrets, be manipulative, and cunning” in order to play the part of Conley. Moon also reveals that he “stepped up [his] game and focused [his] energy on who Jim really was.”
At his trial, a number of people testified against him and painted a false picture of Mr. Frank’s character. The first people to do this were the “Factory Girls,” a group of young girls who flirted with other young male employees, played by Marisa Tornello’15, Rachel Rossetti’16 and Jamie Ballan’16. The Franks’ servant, Minnie McKnight, played by Ann Satine ’16, also accused Frank of pushing his wife on the floor. She claims he is an unrighteous and selfish husband. It was later revealed that the witnesses had been instructed to lie by District Attorney Hugh Dorsey, played by Erik Bloomquist’14, who was the trial’s prosecutor. His malicious intent was to indict Leo Frank, an innocent northern Jewish man, of the murder. Some historians believe that this trial had the first all-white jury to convict a white man on the basis of a black man’s testimony. The governor changed Frank’s death sentence to life in prison, but vigilantes unhappy with this decision abducted the prisoner and lynched him. Frank’s Southern wife, Lucille Frank, played by Kristan Bertschmann’15, finds the strength and love to become his greatest supporter throughout his trial.
Bertschmann veritably executed her role as Lucille Frank, the only devoted companion in proving Frank’s innocence. Throughout the play, she brings her husband home-cooked meals, fresh clothes and law books. Despite Leo Frank, who under the stress and devestation of his trial pushes his wife away, Lucille goes to all measures to make sure he gets treated fairly. Bertschmann stated that, “it was a very emotional role so [she] wanted to make sure that that came across on the stage.”
The play ends with the lynching of Mr. Frank. Before he is hung, he takes off his wedding ring and requests that it be given to his wife. It was difficult not to feel sympathetic towards Mr. Frank, who did nothing wrong except love his wife and respect his employees.
The closing of the show on Saturday night received a standing ovation. Mac McCarthy reveals that his favorite part of production was his relationship with the cast members, “I’ve been acting with some of them for three years” he reflects, “so it was sad to do my last show with them!” It was easy to see the group’s unique chemistry on stage and their passion for acting, singing and getting into the role of their characters. Their combined efforts and talents proved to make for a successful and a spectacular production for their two shows.
ESTHER SHITTU ’17
5,126 failed prototypes in 15 years! That is the number of vacuum prototypes that Sir James Dyson, founder of Dyson Company, spent time, money, energy, and his heart before he was finally able to find the correct sample. I have never heard of someone spending that much time in trying to develop something they believed in. I can imagine the long nights that Dyson spent looking at one of his failed work. He probably examined every failed copy to determine where he went wrong. Imagine the jests that his family and friends may have made against him. Imagine the disappointment that he faced within himself, as years and years went by and he had yet to make a prototype worth anyone’s time and money.
Having your factory bombed time and time again is enough to make anyone quit what they love. Being the ridicule of your friends because you have spent your entire life on a design that you believe is truly worth attention must have been frustrating. And even though you think that your car engines are worth Toyota’s investment does not mean Toyota believes the same thing. All of these obstacles and more can make a man throw away his tools and give up on making engines. Not Sochiro Honda. He sold his wife’s shop as capital to build up his business. He wrote to 18,000 bicycle shop owners asking them to help him “revitalize Japan” with his bicycle engine business. He was flexible enough to make engines for motorcycles when there was a need for it, and to switch it up when the need was no longer for motorcycles but for small automobiles. He later went on to become a founder of Honda Corporation.
Most people do not know about the struggle entrepreneurs’ face. Young entrepreneurs are filled with hope. But for some, their first failure is the end of their careers. Their first failure is the judgment they place on all other future endeavors. Apart from Dyson and Honda, there are many more entrepreneurs whose first trial at success did not land them at a beautiful mansion with many cars. The idea of Facebook came from a 19- year-old, and since then, Mark Zuckerberg’s life has been full of one lawsuit after another. Did he give up the largest social media website ever known in history? No!
If these three ordinary people did not give up their ideas and they believed in their own work so much as to spend money and years developing and making it something that will survive in the world, there is no reason for you to give up on your ideas as well. Being an entrepreneur does not make you any less human than anybody else. As humans, we make mistakes. For the most part, the mistakes are ways for us to learn and grow making sure we go a different route the next time. As an entrepreneur, you have your failures as learning ground and foundation for your success.
In an interview with “Entrepreneur” blog, Dyson said, “failure helps you learn what works and what doesn’t work.” If you do not hit rock bottom in your idea, how would you know what to do if it ever happened when your product is successful? If your prototype is not so big, how do you know that you need to make it smaller? I always think it is better to try and fix something while you are still developing it, than to face a lawsuit later because of glitches in what you made. Don’t worry about what others will say, and how your family will react. If you believe, as an entrepreneur, that this is truly the next big idea, then you must be willing to spend time and energy making it a product, an idea that everyone will love. Like Dyson said, “life is a mountain of solvable problems.” The question is do you have the patience and perseverance it takes to be a problem solver?
Many say our generation does not have the patience to become problem solvers. But our generation is equipped with so many ways for us to solve problems. We are equipped with so many technologies, and contrary to popular belief, there is a drive within us to become the world’s next problem solvers. I believe there are people like Dyson and Honda in our generation. We may be still learning or growing, but all it takes is for one to become passionate about one aspect of life. A few examples of the young people who had a passion for business in today’s world are Catherine Cook, David Wilkinson, Josh Buckley and many others. These young entrepreneurs are making it big at an age even younger than me. This means although our previous generation had some people who solved all our problems, the world still has more complications that need solving.
SONJAY SINGH ’15
To the Athletic Department and Whomever Else It May Concern:
I was recently made aware of a situation involving a student-athlete who was asked to leave her team after joining a Greek organization. After investigating further, it seems that this particular team created a rule against Greek membership following an incident from over 11 years ago in which a member of that team was forced into a compromising position as a result of a pledging assignment. Amidst other concerns were also worries about both the free time and academic engagement of student athletes during their initiatory semester.
As Inter-Greek Council President, I was of course unhappy when I heard of this situation. The Greek System prides itself on its diverse involvement across campus, encompassing members of various sports teams, cultural organizations, academic clubs and philanthropic foundations. From the Trinity Tripod, to the lacrosse field, to the gilded ranks of the Presidential Fellows, the Greek Community proudly represents itself across a wide range of pursuits. That one such pursuit should be closed simply because one wished to join a Greek organization seemed unfair.
However, upon considering the situation further, I understand the policy and why it was implemented. Of course coaches would desire that their athletes commit fully to their academics and their performance on the field. Of course a team would ban Greek membership after an incident which proved it to be detrimental. But it’s not 2002 anymore and the Greek system has changed in substantial ways. A GPA minimum of 3.0, well above the average for many athletic teams, has been enforced and maintained. The pledging process has been shortened and severe penalties threaten any incidents of hazing, both from the College itself as well as the Inter-Greek Council. Increased oversight from the administration has helped us to develop into a more transparent and regulated body. This anti-Greek policy was certainly sound at its creation but circumstances are not the same anymore and such rules need to be reconsidered.
Substantial pressure has been placed on the Greek community in recent years to develop into a healthier body more representative of the students and ideals of Trinity College. Even when we disagreed with the policies and rationale, the Greek system has strived to improve itself and its relations with the school. Through the Inter-Greek Council, our constituent chapters have committed themselves fully to increasing academic and philanthropic involvement, fostering a safe environment for weekend activities and taking greater responsibility for their members and events. However, if we are to truly represent the student body, then outdated policies which unfairly discriminate against our members must end. Our academic standards and judicial processes are considerably more stringent than any other group’s on campus. It’s time to recognize that the inclusion of Greek members will be an asset, not a detriment, to athletic teams and the College as a whole.
Both the Inter-Greek Council and our supervisor in the Dean of Students’ Office, Timothy Dunn, are more than happy to provide coaches, as well as any other extracurricular staff, with the same amount of transparency that we offer to our superiors. We hope that this will truly show that belonging to a Greek organization will not interfere with membership or performance on an athletic team. I sincerely wish that policies which currently limit student-athletes from joining our organizations will be repealed and urge any members of the Athletic Department to contact the Inter-Greek Council or Timothy Dunn with any further concerns.
SAMIA KEMAL ’14
These days it is rare to see a film with similar content presented in Stephen Frear’s “Philomena” that doesn’t turn the project into a mushy, overly sentimental piece of rubbish. As an audience, most individuals are aware that poignant movies are not extremely accurate representations of life; there are no tear-jerking montages or grand musical scores that carry us through our difficult times. So many films in the same position as “Philomena” fall prey to clichés and dissolve into an emotional mess, but “Philomena” delicately maneuvers each cliché while still retaining its poignancy and providing us with all the cathartic tears that we could ever desire.
The film traces back to 1950s Ireland. Philomena Lee (Judi Dench) is a young, naïve teenager who becomes pregnant after a clandestine tryst at a fair. Philomena’s lack of sexual knowledge contributes to her naiveté. She is rejected by what little family she has left and finds herself at the mercy of a convent.
In her new home, Philomena endures an agonizing delivery and grueling work schedule; slaving away in a steaming laundry room 7 days a week as “penance for her sin.” She and the other misfortunate young mothers are allowed a mere hour a day with their growing infants, and treasure each precious minute with their children. Philomena’s world comes crashing down when her son, Anthony is suddenly whisked away by new parents. She finds herself without the knowledge, means, or ability to track Anthony down; a loss that stays with her for the next fifty years and drives around, trying to uncover what became of him.
Philomena’s story crosses paths with that of recently-sacked BBC journalist, Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) when he finds himself in the unlikely position of pursuing a human interest story. Together, their journey takes them from Ireland to Washington, DC, where they make one enlightening discovery after another.
Philomena and Martin make both a charming and unlikely pair. Martin’s cynicism and impatience is challenged by Philomena’s idealism and unending patience. Though it is never suggested, we begin to imagine the relationship as that of an unofficial mother-son bond, an interesting parallel in light of the fact that Philomena is searching for her true son. Martin’s cynicism is put to the test in many ways, and is confronted in moments in which he throws his journalistic ethics to the wind. In some ways, the film is an exploration of the challenges of being a reporter under circumstances where you find yourself fully involved in the story that you once intended on merely observing from a distance.
In the hands of less-talented actors, “Philomena” could have been a disaster. There is a delicacy that must be given to roles in a film that subtly explores so many complicated issues. “Philomena” explores many facets of religion, sexuality, morals, and age, but maneuvers each subject with effortless beauty. Judi Dench is luminous as the gracious and optimistic Philomena. Most moviegoers are used to seeing Dench as the emotionally detached “M” in the Bond remakes. It was delightful to see her take on an emotionally vulnerable role, one which she handled beautifully.
Though it is a constant struggle throughout the film, “Philomena” ultimately does point fingers at the institutionalized religious rigidity that its lead character is subjected to. Though the institution is put into question, there is something to be said for how belief and spirituality are approached. Patience is a virtue, and the film gave audiences a look into one of the most shining examples of patience and grace. Though there are no easy solutions to the issues presented in “Philomena,” there is forgiveness and ultimately, there is peace.
SABASTION KIMMEL ’13
I think it is important that anyone, from an incoming freshman to a graduating senior, takes a step back, pulls in a deep breath, and gives themselves a moment to enjoy what they have accomplished. If you constantly bury your successes with worries of the future, you will never allow the success to sink in. If you don’t allow the success to sink in, it is hard to build true confidence, which is very important in the real world.
Having said that, your time at Trinity should not be wasted. There is too much opportunity all around you to waste much time. These are the years to build a foundation for what will eventually define a large part of your identity, your job.
The first internship I had was in Traverse City, Michigan. Warren Creamer, the President of Public Finance in the state of Michigan for R.W Baird & Co., was my direct boss. We met at a dinner sponsored by the Traverse City State Bank, which owned the hockey team I was then playing for. Warren and I sat across from each other and connected on various conversation topics. After dinner he extended his hand to me and we shook hands, as he slipped his card into my front pocket. “Call me anytime,” he said.
So that is what I did. I called many times until he finally got back to me. He offered me the internship for the summer after my freshman year at Trinity. I spent the summer working directly for the president of the division. I learned everything I could about municipal bonds and public finance. This all stemmed from me following up with someone I had a conversation with over dinner. If you are persistent, people won’t ignore you, for the most part.
During my sophomore spring, I started my second internship, this time in the wealth management division at Meryl Lynch in West Hartford. As a freshman I had joined the Investment Club, and was head of market research for a short stint of time. One of our senior leaders had just finished a fall internship in the office and offered it down to me. Part of pursuing internships and work opportunities comes from the social situations you partake in due to passions and interests close to your heart. If I had not committed the time or interest in joining the Investment Club, I would have never heard about the internship. Do not overlook the importance of going out with friends, talking about what you really enjoy doing, and pursuing social scenes that fall in line with those interests.
After spending a semester at Meryl Lynch, I had a pretty strong understanding that I no longer wanted to spend any time in finance. I had no passion for it, but I was interested in the money that I assumed would come with working for such a company. In the middle of my sophomore spring I decided I would no longer pursue another internship in finance. I decided to be a bartender at a resort in Rhode Island. I didn’t look at it as just bartending for the summer. To me, it was an internship in hospitality. I worked every day at the Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI, and by the time I went back to Trinity for junior year I had a handful of business cards from men and women in New York, Boston, and Hartford.
During my junior year I spent my extra time building up my first blog with my roommate, Conor Systrom ’13. We both shared a passion for music and wanted to create an outlet for our interests. Vayaconhouse.com became our first side project. We never turned it into much or put money into it, but we did learn a lot from it. Eventually we realized we could go to any show we wanted if we had press credentials. So we created a site that was well established enough for us to apply for and receive press passes for any event from small shows in Hartford, to Ultra, to Electric Zoo.
Trinity graduate Jenny Ley ’12 was at my house one night, and I had mentioned I liked San Francisco and I wanted to do something that wasn’t in an office. She immediately said that I should contact her brother, Duncan Ley, because he owns Tonic Nightlife Group in San Francisco. They essentially run the bar scene. Jenny told me that I should talk to her brother about interning for him, so I did.
After speaking with Duncan several times I was confident that he had an opportunity for me. The specifics of this opportunity were non-existent, but I knew something cool would come out of it. I spent that summer as an assistant for Duncan’s and his business partner.
The first job I got after graduating was with a tech start up called ClearSlide, based in San Francisco. I was part of a new five-man sales team based in New York City. Now working in tech sales was great experience, but I hated it. I could not stand the idea of sitting in an office that belonged to someone I had no relationship with.
While I was working in New York during the day, I was also working as a booking agent for a venue in SoHo called Southside. I ended up separating from my day job just five months in. I became a full time booking agent for two venues in New York in the fall of 2013, and was really hustling to get into a company that could supply me a steady stream of income.
I was very persistent about reaching out to a Trinity alum named Carter Agar. I had never met him in person, but we were introduced via email by Duncan Ley. Duncan introduced us because he was a fan of my lifestyle/music blog www.wallflowerfood.com, and thought it would be great if we connected due to Carter’s position at an emerging tech/music company called Sonos.
Carter told me that he had just met with Thomas, my current boss, at a music conference, and that Thomas was looking for a young, hard-working person to help him build the companies industry relations team.
Thomas and I had breakfast at The Hotel Rivington in early November. To be honest, I had no idea what position I was interviewing for, what the man who I was interviewing with did exactly, or where this job was in the world.
As we enjoyed breakfast Thomas explained to me that he needed someone hungry and passionate about building relationships. He made it clear he didn’t have time for any slow learners, and that if I were to get the job it would be a lot of work.
I had four phone interviews that week. One call with each member of this team, the head of Global PR for the company, the head of Digital Marketing for the company, and the head of Marketing for the company. I still remember looking them all up on LinkedIn to see who they were and what they were into. This is something I learned in sales; always do your research before you get on the phone with someone.
A week after my phone interviews I got a call from Thomas. “You will need to move to Los Angeles. Can you be here December 2nd?” he said.
I sold everything in my apartment in three days. I got rid of my lease and apartment that week, and shipped the rest of my belongings out to California. Only ten days after my phone call with Thomas, I was a Californian. It was not easy leaving my friends or my girlfriend, but it was one of the moments that everyone will have to go through where you have to leave some people you really care about to do something for yourself.
The job I was offered and now hold is Industry Relations Coordinator for Sonos Inc. It is my job to represent my company to any VIPs in music, tech or culture.
Right now I’m working on projects that tie artists playing at Coachella and SXSW with companies like Google and Levi’s. My job is a direct reflection of the work experience I gained during college. I get to work with artists and creative people every day to create new stories and help further their careers. It’s my dream job.
The most important thing I learned at Trinity is not be afraid of what you want. It is possible to pursue a career in almost anything. If someone is going to hire you, they want to know you, not your resume, so always be yourself. The best way to get on someones radar is by meeting with them face to face. Do not be afraid to move away from your friends or family to pursue something you are passionate about. You have a very strong community of people through Trinity. Trinity grads are amazing at taking care of each other. No matter what city you are in, do not be afraid to reach out to them. And that includes me.
BETTINA GONZALEZ ’16
Despite my passive-aggressive suggestion last week not to eat out on Valentine’s Day, I have to say I actually did go out that night. After The Vagina Monologues on Friday, a few friends and I decided to celebrate by treating ourselves to dinner. By the time we left the performance, it was already 9:20 p.m., pretty late to be going out to a restaurant last-minute on Valentine’s Day. Still, we were hungry and nothing on this earth can stop a bunch of hungry girls. One of my girlfriends was especially feeling Mexican and was desperate to go to Coyote Flaco. We were told that the restaurant closed at 10:00 p.m. and that they stop taking new orders at 9:30 p.m. So with literally five minutes left to spare, we went.
Admittedly, I was not too excited to go at first. I had ordered from the restaurant twice before and wasn’t completely wowed by their food. I had also passed by the restaurant numerous times and, in those half second glances from the car, it looked like a cheap, shady place.
Let’s just say, that evening I learned not to judge a restaurant by its storefront (or takeout, for that matter).
We arrived at Coyote Flaco with a minute to spare. Walking in, I was surprised at its interior; it was cozy and actually well put-together, albeit very tight. As expected, the restaurant was packed from all the dating couples celebrating Valentine’s Day. The only seats left were at the bar, so despite only going there for dinner, that’s where we sat.
This was my first time being seated at the bar in any restaurant and I have to say, it was quite the experience. Our server, Reina, was the daughter of the restaurants owners. She was very attentive and conversational, telling us all about her life, her college years, family, and the restaurant. Coyote Flaco is owned by an Ecuadorian family, but its kitchen is headed by a Mexican chef. Reina told us that when the restaurant was established 13 years ago, “There wasn’t a large Ecuadorian population in Hartford so it was either pizza or Mexican food.”
Our conversation with Reina had been such a delight that I didn’t even pay attention to how long it took for our food to come out. And typically, I’m the type of person who vehemently declares, “I’m hungry” and, “They need to hurry up” after a few minutes of waiting.
I ordered the shrimp Fajitas Coyote, a dish made with sautéed onions, green and red peppers, and served with rice, refried beans, guacamole, sour cream and flour tortillas. When my order was served to me, it came in three parts: a sizzling platter with the shrimp and peppers; a quaint tortilla warmer filled with four or five fresh toasty tortillas; and a side dish with delicious guacamole, sour cream, and cleverly-used tortilla chip bowl with refried beans. For less than $14, I got a lot of food. I was very happy.
I had never had fajitas this way. Usually, I would have fajitas that were already “pre-assembled,” so to speak. I was expecting my order to come that way, looking like a confused hybrid between a taco and burrito. But this time, I was the one who was confused. Three distinct platters, a knife, a fork, and my food lay before me, daring me, challenging me to make a move. I must have made a fool out of myself trying to eat, since I sort of made a mess, like a baby trying to figure out how to eat slippery spaghetti with a four-pronged stabbing instrument. But figuring it out was part of the experience. And like a baby in a high chair slobbering over her spaghetti, I still really enjoyed my meal at Coyote Flaco.
My very good Mexican friend who was with me thought that the food was spectacular, though it wasn’t authentic. While I am an advocate of really getting down, dirty, and native with food, sometimes close enough is good enough. It was a stepping stone into a journey of Mexican cuisine that I hope to continue.
With its comfortable atmosphere, friendly staff, and flavorsome food, Coyote Flaco, located literally three minutes away on New Britain Avenue, is definitely a place you want to check out. They deliver, too! And as Reina said, they like us here at Trinity.
BENJAMIN CHAIT ’16
New York Fashion week for fall 2014 ready-to-wear affirmed the power of American designers. With such an increasingly large number of shows to follow, it is nice to know that the prevailing theme of the season is wearability. The European and Japanese love of frivolity that had clenched its power over the American fashion world is gone. The looks that just walked the runway are real clothes for real women.
This is perhaps because designers finally realized that it is possible to combine warmth and style. The Row showed the chunkiest of knits and the thickest of jackets in their signature neutral colors. Their small collection provided the basics that working people can utilize when the temperature reaches below freezing. Similarly, Proenza Schouler showed great tweeds that they infused with color. The talented pair will be keeping their chic downtown girl very warm come fall. Alexander Wang continued his reign as America’s prince of cool. His sporty jackets and high boots are not only functional, but also inspirational, as the bright colors will really pop during the winter months.
One of the best trends that was shown was the lengthening of the silhouette. This is most important for coats for the winter months as they protect from cold winds being blown up the torso. For the most part, the jackets and coats shown this season hugged close to the body and go down to about the knee. Mary Katrantzou did a wonderful job controlling her longer shapes. She incorporated intricate designs and deep colors into her slender looks.
After years splitting his time between Louis Vuitton and his own label, Marc Jacobs is back in New York for good, and his show put a perfect ending to the week. Marc stripped down his clunky silhouette and did something totally focused. The mostly monochromatic looks featured some of the best cutting he has ever done. The collection was a take on the mod moment in the 1970s, his grunge beginnings, and ethereal minimalism.
Personally, the best shows this past week were Rodarte, Ralph Lauren, and Thom Browne. Though I always appreciated, but didn’t fully understand the poetic nature of Rodarte’s clothes, their show was much simpler and much more refined than their previous ones. They used a palette of color was both vibrant and controlled. The duo took inspiration from the “Star Wars” films, and instead of making a futuristic collection, they infused the clothes with a 1930s romantic vibe.
After years of relying on his classics, it was great to see Ralph Lauren take a leap forward. Never one to follow trends, Ralph’s woman retained her signature elegance, yet adopted the sporty minimalism used by the new crop of young designers. His monochromatic looks were done only in white, grey, and baby pink, and he topped them all off with his signature tailoring—a huge trend from the past week.
Most surprising was Thom Browne’s show. Typically more art than fashion, his collection inspired by the Catholic Church proved to be his most relatable and wearable collection so far. His grey wool was tailored and strong, while his gold was heavenly and dramatic. While his looks are still very avant-garde, there are ways to translate this seasons trends into your own wardrobe. First off, don’t be afraid to wear a monochromatic look, secondly, blazers and tailoring are great additional layers for the cold months, and lastly, why not add a great pop of Thom Browne gold to your look?
This past Thursday, the Widener Gallery in Trinity College’s Austin Arts Center presented the “Jack Delano: Photographer (1914 – 1997): A Centennial Celebration Exhibition.” Delano, famous photographer of the Great Depression and throughout the rest of the 1940’s, is the father of Pablo Delano, a current professor of the fine arts here at Trinity. The exhibition is a celebration of his work, marking the 100th anniversary of Delano’s birth.
Delano and his family emigrated from their home in Ukraine to the United States in 1923. Making their permanent residence in Philadelphia, PA, Delano began to study music and photography/graphic arts at the Settlement Music School. His natural talent and skill was recognized quickly and within four years of enrollment Delano was offered an art scholarship of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA). After graduating, he was hired in 1940 as photographer for the Farm Security Administration Photography program. Delano and eight other photographers, including the legendary Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans and Arthur Rothstein, helped to visually document the devastation and anguish that was widespread across the country as a result of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. Delano was assigned the task of capturing the lives and working conditions of people living on the eastern seaboard and in Puerto Rico, where he permanently settled in 1946 after falling in love with the complex ethos of the island and its’ people.
One of Delano’s most iconic images from this collection, “The Laughing Couple” is currently on display. Delano recalls the story behind the photograph in his autobiography “Photographic Memories.” The Connecticut farming couple had asked to be photographed “staring at the camera, not at all like the jolly people they really were.” In an attempt to bring out their true nature, Delano told the husband that his pants were falling down. Realizing the trick that Delano was playing, the wife broke out in laughter as her husband frantically grasped for his waistband. This moment encapsulates Delano’s ability to capture the candid and genuine joys and afflictions of the human condition.
The rest of the exhibit features 41 other black and white and color photographs. They range in location from the rolling hills and steel mills of Pittsburgh, PA to the sugarcane mills of Puerto Rico. The stark white walls of the Widener Gallery contrasts beautifully with the powerful images, letting viewers focus directly on the photos in front of them. This setting creates a strikingly sentimental atmosphere. The contents of the images are each composed in a unique and alluring way that captivates onlookers, inspiring them to learn more about the stories behind the faces photographed.
One of the most poignant photographs in the exhibit depicts an African American woman standing in front of a magazine cut-out, decorated cardboard wall. The caption explains that the mysterious woman is “Mrs. Henry Dukes, wife of a tenant farmer and FSA borrower. She had nine children and had been suffering from cancer.” Delano’s talent for illustrating suffering radiates out of her dark and haunting pupils, putting viewers in a trance.
However, not all of the photographs have human subjects. A black and white image of a detailed jukebox stored inside a wooden shed in a trailer park in Alabama sticks out as one of the more stirring objects photographed. The combination between an urban machine and a rural field creates a distinct and reflective dichotomy.
While the images in the collection are stirring and poignant, they do not leave you in a somber mood but rather in a state of awe for the magnitude of human resiliency. Visitors leave with a greater appreciation and understanding for the human capacity to rebuild a better life after strife and devastation.
In addition to the exhibit, which will be open until March 14 from one to six p.m., two films will be screened on March 5 in the Boyer Auditorium. “Autógrafo: Jack Delano” is a short Puerto Rican biography on Delano’s life which will be screened in Spanish with English subtitles. The other film, “Los Peloteros,” was directed and includes original music composed by Delano. It depicts the lives of rural children and their love of baseball. The film, also screened in Spanish, has cemented itself as a classic in Puerto Rican cinema.
Both the exhibit and films are testaments to Delano’s influence and impact on the artistic community at large. Students and faculty alike would benefit from even just walking through this stirring and inspiring tribute to a legendary figure in photography.
This past year, director Abdellatif Kechiche made his international debut with “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” a film based on the graphic novel of the same name by Julie Maroh. His efforts have provoked responses of both shock and awe from critics worldwide: while the jury at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, headed by Steven Spielberg, awarded the Palme d’Or to Kechiche and his lead actresses, Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux, other critics have expressed their unease with the film’s rather explicit sex scenes.
The story is told through the eyes of Adele (Adele Exarchopoulos) who, at the film’s outset, is 15 years old. We watch her navigate the petty social climate of high school. Although she has the affections of the pretty and popular Thomas (Jeremie Laheurte), her dissatisfaction is evident. It is clear that Adele is looking for something that she is hesitant to admit.
Then Adele meets Emma (Lea Seydoux) when she sneaks off to a lesbian bar one night. Emma is older, outspoken, and experienced: she offers Adele an escape from everything she has been hiding from. The two begin a passionate romance, and suddenly it is as if all of the fears that plagued Adele in high school are gone. Except it’s not quite as simple as that.
As Adele grows older and gets a job as a kindergarten teacher, she keeps her relationship with Emma a secret from her coworkers; but then again, Adele is an intensely private individual. She seems to be a mystery even to Emma at times, even to herself. Adele insists that she is happy, but as the years of cooking and cleaning and teaching roll by, it becomes clear to the audience that Adele is restless. This restlessness drives Adele to cause Emma irreparable hurt.
“Blue Is the Warmest Color” is a film not only of love, but also what it is like to be a 21st century woman. However, as I mentioned earlier, many reviewers have found the presence of the director’s heterosexual male eye problematic. As New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis astutely notes, when Adele first appears on screen, the camera hones in on her ass as she walks down the street.
While Julie Maroh has praised the film as a “cohevise and fluid” adaptation of her graphic novel, she has also expressed disapproval for Kechiche’s handling of the film’s sex scenes. She said, “It occurs to me that this was what was missing on the set: lesbians.” In other words, the sex scenes seem to have been prepared for a heterosexual male eye – Kechiche’s own, perhaps.
Moreover, she has called these scenes “a brutal and surgical display, cold and exuberant, of so-called lesbian sex, which turned into porn, and made me feel very ill at ease.” Though I would hardly call myself a squeamish viewer, I, like Maroh, found the sex scenes incredibly off-putting. I simply couldn’t figure out what they added to the story. It is true that “Blue” is in part a film about passion, but whose, the characters’ or the director’s?
The exploitation of women in cinema – both on screen and off – is a phenomenon as old as the craft itself. Kechiche’s treatment of both his characters and actresses is David Lynch’s treatment of Isabella Rosselini on the set of “Blue Velvet”, or Naomi Watts in “Mulholland Drive”; it’s Alfred Hitchcock’s notoriously foul treatment of Tippi Hedren in “The Birds”; it’s Kubrick’s terrorization of Shelley Duvall in “The Shining.” As long as male directors have sat behind the camera, they have harassed their actresses into giving the performance they’re looking for; they have demanded more of their actresses than they ever would their male counterparts.
Both Seydoux and Exarchopoulos have spoken out about their experience working with Kechiche, calling the on-set conditions “horrible” and stating that they would never work with him again. However, we cannot always judge a film on the character of its director. Therefore, I am reluctant to say that Kechiche’s less than humane methods have produced effective results. The performances both Seydoux and Exarchopoulos deliver are two of the greatest I’ve seen all year – they are truly the heart and soul of this film.
In short, “Blue Is the Warmest Color” achieves a lot of good in its message. Despite his frequent overindulgence, there is a lot to be said for the cinematography, which captures the vivid coloration of a graphic novel without being too literal. Moreover, this film arrives at an apropos moment in French history, presenting audiences with a homosexual love story when gay marriage has only been recently legalized. However, the film’s greatest downfall lies with the director, whose flourishing could not conceal his own exploitative eye.
This past Friday, Yale M.F.A. student, Evan Whale presented his work “Color Space,” in The Mill’s gallery space. The Mill, which is one of the cultural houses on campus, promotes creativity, innovation, and passion in the art community. To foster this kind of environment, the house hosts a variety of art exhibits throughout the semester. The E-Board chose to showcase Evan Whale’s exceptional and one-of-a-kind pieces to encourage conversations about the way art materials can be used and viewed with bold colors. Whale’s specialty and calling card is his use of photography paper as his primary medium. Each piece is a vibrant color, including hues such as red, green, blue, magenta, cyan and yellow. He juxtaposes these colors on black paper and uses it as a reflective “viewfinder.”
The ethos behind his work is searching for a way to convey a kind of non-compositional photography. The pieces of fluorescent colored photo paper are set up around a space, hanging from the walls, and the black pieces are set up on opposite walls. The black paper is reflective and viewers can see how the reflection of the room and the colors are distorted and changes with the angle. This then shows how the varied angles and perspectives can alternate how the image looks to the viewer. All of the photography paper was developed in a dark room under its opposite light. This unique technique allows for the image to radiate under special lighting with different color combinations.
Whale, who earned his Bachelor’s degree at Bard College in 2009, majored in photography. His profile includes various exhibitions around the nation. Audiences are particularly struck by his artwork and innovative usage of photography paper. He also has another set of pieces that play with the idea of space, particularly three-dimensional space. The collection consisted of single pieces of photography paper that were cut in such a way that allowed them to hang from the wall with just a few pieces of tape. The combination of all of them together created a three-dimensional stage by virtue of small folds. Like the strips of his other work, these too were done in fluorescent colors. Students and faculty members observed these two collections that were showcased in the gallery space, and other the works that were in different rooms.
Whale has previously presented his work in New York, New Haven, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, and Berlin. He is based out of Los Angeles, but is currently studying at Yale for his M.F.A. degree. Last year, he was a guest lecturer at his alma mater’s photography department. Much of his work is done in a minimalist style, with vibrant and expressive colors. The combinations of these two elements are what make up Whale’s distinctive style and signature. His primary focus is on the color interactions and perception on the spectators.
This special event provided a chance for The Mill to try something novel. While The Mill traditionally displays Trinity students’ works, Whale was recommended and well received by event goers. Students were able to come and go through the gallery and view his ingenious artworks. Light refreshments were provided and allowed those who came to unwind and talk to the artist in a casual and relaxed atmosphere. Whale, who was present at the showing, answered questions about what his work with those who attended. The event was open to the general Trinity public, as are all of The Mill’s gallery events.
The Mill puts on two or three such events each semester, allowing local artists to showcase their work to the Trinity community. This fosters an alluring environment for students to explore their curiosity and interest in the arts. Along with gallery exhibitions, The Mill invites bands to come play some of their live music. The aim is to cultivate an open and inviting art community. It also gives artists the opportunity to have solo shows and exhibit their works to a large student body. The next gallery event is to be held on March 21 and is open to the entire Trinity community. Art is about sharing culture and promoting dialogue about the way art is viewed and observed.
To see more of Evan Whale’s work and his full CV, visit his website at evanwhale.com
The Tripod cannot get enough of Erik Bloomquist ’14. He was already featured as a “Bantam Artist of the Week” for his uncontended devotion to film making and acting. Raised in Connecticut, Bloomquist began his career by participating in community programs at the Hart School. His love of theater began at a tender age where he was able to entertain his peers through story telling and acting. Now he is featured yet again to discuss his movie in detail, “Founder’s Day,” which Bloomquist directed, wrote, and produced. The thriller is set in the suburban town of Fairfield, Connecticut, and follows the murder of a high school student, Melissa Thompson. When the prime suspect is jailed but more dead bodies continue to appear, every resident in the town turns into a suspect and no one is safe from the killer.
What is particularly interesting about this movie is that it is not even fully filmed yet. Bloomquist produced the trailer to create buzz in the industry and to “build momentum,” looking for potential investors, with the hopes to begin filming in the summer of 2014. While movies are usually casted, then fully filmed, and finally edited in-house by major Hollywood production companies, Bloomquist did not go the traditional route. The independent film was casted with actors and actresses from previous movie shoots. Then, with his adroit editing skills, he pieced together clips of what might be featured in the actual film. This ingenious approach of raising funds and generating anticipation for the film speaks volumes of his determination to produce a large-scale, big-budget film.
“There’s a lot of actors and actresses I am hoping to cast,” Bloomquist states. When asked on who his ideal leading actors would be, he declined to reveal any names, but ensured that there are several suitable potentials for the part. His clandestine tone was intriguing on what seems like a prospective big hit in theaters nationwide.
Bloomquist describes his crime story plotline as the “movie [he] always wanted to see. It is a traditional murder mystery with interesting tones and themes,” which he reveals through his cinematic techniques. With climatic sound effects to build suspense and panoramic views of the quaint town, the thriller already seems like a triumph.
The movie is very reminiscent of “My Bloody Valentine 3D” combined with the “Twilight” saga and “Scream” series. The short clip instantly draws viewers in with the daunting mystery on who killed Ms. Thompson. Bloomquist disclosed some more information about the movie making process. The easiest part was “making the dream a reality,” he stated. His strong visionary skills, matched with his experience as a professional actor and director in previous films has given him the knowledge he needed to execute the trailer and “future movie.” On the other hand, Bloomquist confirmed that the hardest part was “balancing seconds, hours, lightings, feeding the cast, and filming the shots to make it all cohesive.” The ever-growing list is composed of meticulous details that he has to manage to ensure that this film exceeds expectations.
The next step for this multi-faceted director is creating more hype around the movie, which he has already started to do. Bloomquist’s busy schedule, which included at least two more interviews that day, is centered around his academic courses and yes, you guessed it, interviews and press releases. He has flooded every social media website with the trailer’s footage. From countless interviews, tweets and pictures, Bloomquist is on the brink of having it all. He only needs more funding and an even larger fan base.
If there is anything Bloomquist has learned from his years in the industry and advice to aspiring directors and producers is to “surround yourself with the best and the highly skilled.” He couldn’t have said it any better! Stay tuned for his movie debut coming this fall!
STEPH TAYLOR ’15
When I walked around Rome for the first time, I saw monument after monument. I recognized them from pictures I had seen a million times before. It was surreal. I would turn a corner, and the Colosseum was towering overhead.
Even after four months of living in this ancient city, I would still get lost and stumble upon the Pantheon. Eventually, I got to know the city like it was my home, and I immersed myself in all things Roman. My abroad group always knew how to have a good time with some vino rosso (red wine), doing as the Romans do.
Going to “Trinity in Rome” was different than other programs I had heard about and visited. For one, the majority of the students lived in a convent; that was a major change from Trinity dorms. There was also a sense of community and unity among the program. Everyone got to know each other, and we all spent a lot of time with one another in the courtyard at the convent, going to dinner, and travelling together. Half of the students on the program were from Trinity, and the other half of students were from schools like Bates, Amherst College, and Brown.
Aside from trying to master a basic knowledge of the language in Italian 101, I took two classes directed toward my art history major. Splendors of Early Christian and Medieval Art and Michelangelo taught me everything about the city during our three-hour walking tours. I had an intelligent Italian art historian teach me all there was to know about Christian art from the first appearances of depictions of “The Good Sheppard” to the 13th century mosaic apses in Roman churches. We toured basilicas, chapels, baptisteries, catacombs, and museums. In my Michelangelo class we learned about the artist from birth to his death. We examined all of his most famous works like The Pieta, The Sistine Chapel and The Last Judgment in person. I truly learned more about sculptures, architecture, and paintings having been able to study them up close and in person.
Throughout my time abroad I traveled to amazing destinations all over Europe. I traveled with my classes to other cities in Italy for weekend trips or sometimes during the day. During my first month of classes I woke up at 5:15 am every Thursday to take a train with my Michelangelo class to explore Florence. We would walk the city for the first two hours, then go to an authentic Italian trattoria for lunch, and then take a train home. With my Early Christian and Medieval Art class we traveled to Ravenna, a small Italian city.
We stayed in Ravenna for two nights studying the cities ancient mosaics and fortunately got to celebrate their citywide party dedicated to those mosaics called, “Golden Night.” The celebration featured DJs, street food, and street performers. For my leisure, I traveled the first three weekends of the program. First, to the small town of Atrani on the Amalfi Coast, then to Capri with the entire program, and then to Oktoberfest in Munich. The Amalfi Coast and Capri were beautiful to visit while the weather was still warm. My friends and I took a little break from traveling until fall break where we went to Barcelona, Madrid, and Paris. A couple weeks afterward I met up with friends in Prague, which ended up being one of my favorite cities. My last visit was to a small town named Campo di Giove, in the province Abruzzo. My grandmother was born there, and I met family I had either not seen in ten years or family I had never met. Travelling all over Europe was something I always wanted to do. Now I know where I want to revisit in the future.
Food and wine were a big parts of our lives because they are a particularly important parts of Italian culture. Every night we went out for dinner to Roman trattorias serving up the traditional Roman dishes. My personal favorite dish was cacio e pepe from Da Felice. It’s a Roman pasta dish that I had never tried until I went to Rome, and Da Felice has the best recipe. It’s pecorino romano cheese and black pepper melted on tonnarelli (pasta). My favorite gastronomia we frequented was Volpetti. It was just five-minute walk down the hill from the convent, and I would get order gourmet paninis with fresh mozzarella, fresh prosciutto, pesto, tomatoes, and sautéed vegetables on a soft white pizza bread. Aside from making the best paninis in Rome they also sampled the hundreds of different Italian cheeses, oils, vinegars, and meats daily. I have become quite the Italian food snob, and constantly compare food here to food in Rome. Trust me, nothing compares to the real thing.
No article can fully capture my time in Rome. However, I can try to explain all the great times our group had to anyone that asks me. The people I met and the places I visited are meaningful memories I will never forget.
WESLEY SIMON ’14
One of the best experiences I’ve had during my four years at Trinity has been my time as a member of the men’s varsity soccer team. I arrived on campus in 2010 not knowing anyone, but knowing that I wanted to be a part of an up-and-coming soccer program and the “High Five City” legacy.
In essence, “High Five City” represents the confidence every team needs to be successful. The confidence that leads to big time goals and victories, the confidence that leads to one team rushing the field in an epic game-winning celebration resulting in a team pile-on, and leads the opposing team to a silent bus ride home. Although this mantra was established before my time, the story has been passed down that Coach Pilger originally used this as a taunting phrase to describe what our team didn’t have. However, through hard work and dedication, the phrase became our own.
Soon after I arrived at preseason freshmen year I met my new teammates, but little did I know these would turn out to be my best friends for the next four years. We were anxious to get on the field and become part of “High Five City.” Nevertheless, we fell short of expectations our freshmen year and finished with below a .500 record. As we approached the off-season it was evident to our freshmen class that we did not yet understand this maxim that we so heavily associated ourselves with. It was clear that if we wanted to claim “High Five City” as our own we would need to earn it.
We spent many hours working out both individually and with our strength-and-conditioning coach. Our team felt we still did not garner the respect we felt we deserved, and we were determined to prove our critics and naysayers wrong. As our 2011 season commenced, we did just that. We advanced to the NESCAC finals for the first time in school history and received an NCAA Tournament bid for the first time since 1998. We finally knew what “High Five City” meant, and could rightfully claim it as our own.
However, later in my sophomore year I would learn first hand that this team is about a lot more than wins and losses. I woke up one morning in the spring with an extremely swollen right-arm. Although I was hoping it was as a result of all the iron I had been pumping in our off-season workouts, I was rushed to the hospital where the doctors would soon inform me I had a pulmonary embolism, or a blood clot in my lung. Consequently, I was forced to watch my junior year season from the sidelines. I prefer to look at this incident as a blessing in disguise. Despite the fact that it was Spring Weekend, nearly every single one of my teammates and coaches visited me in the hospital. This served as a reminder that even though we were teammates, first and foremost we were friends. Throughout my time at Trinity, my teammates have been there for me off the field just as much as they’ve been there for me on the field. This aspect of being one big family is what truly made my experience special.
Although my class was unable to conquer the coveted NESCAC championship that we worked so hard for, we were able to help the program reach unprecedented milestones and accomplishments during our time here. As legend has it, “High Five City” was born during the 2008 season after a 1-0 win against national powerhouse Williams College, the unbeaten league favorites. Similarly, our team this past season won 3-2 in an overtime thriller against an undefeated Williams team that was ranked 2nd in the country and then later went on to advance to the Division III “final four.” So despite coming up short, I believe we have helped lay the groundwork for the next generation of “High Five City” players as they continue their pursuit of an NESCAC crown, and ultimately a NCAA Championship.
As for myself, playing for this team has provided me with an unforgettable experience and an exceptional group of lifelong friends. This journey has proven to be less about the ups and downs of each season, and more about the people I traveled with along the way. Together, we have discovered the true meaning of our self-proclaimed motto. “High Five City” represents the glory land; it’s a place that you get to only through the confidence that comes with hard work, dedication, and a special group of teammates that believe in each other. “High Five City” is the place you want to be and the place you want to share with your friends, and it is the phrase that will always sum up my experience as a member of this program.
BETTINA GONZALEZ ’16
Valentine’s Day is almost here. What better way to make a love connection than through food? Going out on a date almost inconspicuously means going out to eat. But as with everything else associated with Cupid’s (pay) Day, going out to eat on your date just seems overrated. Besides, eating out in a cramped restaurant packed with couples and bitter waiters doesn’t seem like a fun experience. Why not try eating in? Spending a nice intimate dinner together is definitely the better option, and it’ll save your behind when you try to explain to your sweetheart that you forgot to make that reservation.
The first time I ever tried to be sweet with someone, I cooked him dinner. We had a nice time, and while it didn’t exactly turned out the way I wanted, he seemed greatly impressed and appreciative at my effort. I can’t profess to be the best cook around, but I do have a few tricks in my pantry to make a delicious and fairly inexpensive shrimp pesto pasta dish. All you need are a few utensils, a pot, colander, a pan, and the following ingredients: 4 oz. dry fettuccine pasta, a jar of pesto sauce (or you can be intrepid and try to make your own – it’s just basil, olive oil, parmesan, and garlic), 12 oz. large uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, 6 cloves of garlic (approx.), finely minced, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper.
Boil a large pot of water and then add some salt. Add in the pasta to the boiling water, stirring occasionally. Make sure to keep an eye on the clock and cook the pasta one minute less than box instructions! This will make sure the pasta is cooked “al dente.” Drain the pasta and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, you can also start preparing your shrimp. Rinse the shrimp under cold running water. Season them with salt and pepper and splash some lemon juice.
Put a pan on medium heat. When it gets hot enough, add some extra virgin olive oil and a tablespoon of pesto. Sauté your minced garlic. Before the garlic starts to brown, add the shrimp and the remainder of the pesto sauce to the pan. Cook the shrimp until it’s pink.
Take the pot that you used and put it under low heat. Return the drained pasta to the pot and add in your cooked shrimp and pesto. Mix well to distribute the sauce evenly.
If you would like, add more olive oil and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste – and bon appetit!
If you’re of legal age and you want to be even fancier with your date, try pairing the dish with a glass of crisp white wine like Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio.
For those of you without a kitchen on campus, the only hard part of this dish is finding a convenient place to cook. Luckily when I planned my dinner “date” with my friend I lived in the Fred, which has a community kitchen. However there are other places on campus where you can cook in. Besides the Crescent Street townhouses, there are also functional kitchens in the Summit Suites, Doonesbury, and any of the cultural houses. Just ask around!
Again, any hack can take their Valentine out to eat for their V-Day celebration. Be bold and try something new. Making that special someone dinner instead of taking them out shows a level n of maturity, skill, and confidence that will leave the object of your affection feeling both impressed and flattered.
Long story short: Cooking is sexy.
Sheila Njau ’17
It is now officially February. For some, it means waiting for the day when you get to tell that special someone just how you feel. For others, as well as looking towards Valentine’s Day, they also take the time to appreciate a rich and colorful history and the experiences that have formed that history. Once again, we get to celebrate Black History Month, also referred to as African American History Month. I learned that this month is not only celebrated here in the U.S, but also in other countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom. An interesting fact is that this occasion is celebrated in the month of February in the U.S. and Canada. But, it is celebrated in October in the United Kingdom.
A little background that I learned about Black History month was that before a whole month was dedicated towards celebrating the history of blacks, it started out as a week called the Negro History Week in 1926. It was conducted in the week that included the birthdays of Fredrick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. I found this interesting because I remember learning in history class about the written communication the two shared. One tried to gain freedom for people who had been relegated to slaves and the other fought to keep a disintegrating country as whole. In the end, the two came to a compromise of sorts with the Emancipation Proclamation.
When it first started, the Negro Week was supposed to be a way to encourage the teaching of black history in public schools and this was met with its fair share of criticism. Ultimately, however, this did not prove to be an insurmountable roadblock as in 1969, those black students at Kent State University proposed that Black History week should be changed to Black History month. In 1970, this became reality and in 1976 under President Gerald Ford, Black History Month was finally recognized by the government.
And here we are 38 years later, once again celebrating what the past has forged for the present as we look to what we can make of the future. Here at Trinity, there is a lot happening in celebration of this month such as the screening of “12 Years as a Slave,” which took place on January 31, 2014. There are also the various talks that will be held such as the one taking place on February 13 with Professor Johnny Williams.
Another event that I highly look forward to is the showing of “Malcolm X,” which has the additional joy of having one of my favorite actors, Denzel Washington. When I think of Malcom X, I think of two things which he said that ring true. One is that “we cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves” and second, “we need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity.” Not only do I find these words beautiful, but also so touching because of how they can be applied to anyone.
And that brings me to the main point. When I was trying to learn more about Black History month, I came across the fact that Morgan Freeman was not a fan of Black History month because as he put it “I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history.” In a way, I agree with what he says because for some, this can bring a sense of separation, especially since we are supposed to be of one nation.
But, at the same time, I think it is important to have this month because for many it is a reminder of where they came from, where the beliefs that they hold come from. That is why we have months dedicated to Hispanic Heritage, Asian Pacific American Heritage, Irish American Heritage, and American Indian Heritage as well as others. The past of all these cultures make up American History and there is nothing wrong in celebrating that history and the variations that exist within our culture.
So, stop by Mather and look at the calendar of events being held this month and attend one or two events and the following month do so for another culture because as Malcom X put it, that creates light and that light leads to unity and at the end of the day, is that not we are looking for: unity?
Peter Prendergast ’16
On February 4, Trinity squared off with Harvard in a thrilling and competitive matchup of men’s squash at home in Trinity’s Kellner Squash Center. Trinity and Harvard comprise the two best teams in the nation. The Crimson won the contest by a match score of 7-2 improving their record to 12-0 while the Bantams fell to 15-1. This loss marked the first home loss for the Bantams since their 1996 loss to Harvard.
After three games, Trinity trailed by 2-1. Harvard took the first five matchups, but Trinity’s Zeyed Elshorafy ’16 defeated Harvard’s Brian Koh to win the Bantams’ first point in the sixth match. His victory included a 15-13 victory in the third game and a close 17-15 victory in the fifth and final game. In the no. 7 matchup, Moustafa Hamada ’15 won a second set for Trinity with a final score of 3-1. The Crimson however, won the no. 8 and no. 9 matchups, giving Harvard the victory.
Despite Trinity’s tough loss to Harvard, they were able to rebound on February 8 with a win over the no. 4 ranked St. Lawrence University. The top ranked Bantams fell to the Saints in the first two matchups but rallied to win the next six. Trinity’s Vrishab Kotian ’16 swept St. Lawrences Ibrahim Khan to gain the Bantams first victory. In the no. 4 match up, Juan Vargas ’16 also swept his opponent, Vir Seth. Elshorafy defeated Kyle Ogilvy in three games for the no. 5 matchup. Moustafa Hamada ’15, Afeeq Ismail ’17, and Matthew Mackin ’14 won the no. 6, no. 7 and no. 8 matchups respectively to give the Bantams the 6-3 victory.
The Men’s team is heading to Harvard this weekend to compete in the College Squash Association (CSA) team championship tournament. The Bantams will most likely be awarded the no. 2 seed, in hopes of winning their second national championship in two years and maintaining their top ranked status.
Trinity’s women’s’ squash team has likewise been performing well in the past weeks as they look forward to their last regular season matchup at home against Princeton, as well as their CSA tournament on the weekend of February 21. On February 4th, the squad also lost to Harvard, by a narrow 5 games to 4, for their first and only loss of the season. Harvard’s Amanda Sobhy led the Crimson with a victory in the no. 1 matchup against Trinity’s Kanzy El Defrawy ’16. However, the Bantams made up for this close loss as they swept the visiting St. Lawrence, 9-0. Trinity’s Katrina Sanchez ’16 allowed only five points in the deciding match against the Saints’ Valerie Quan Miranda. This victory improved the team’s record to 12-1 on the season with only a final match to be played before the championship tournament.
Both the Men and Women’s teams boast almost perfect records this season as well as victories at the NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference) championship tournaments. They are now looking to capture national titles at Harvard in the coming weeks. The men hope to maintain their no. 1 ranking with another title, while the woman hope to upset the no.1 ranked Harvard with a strong performance in the tournament.
Tanya Kewalramani ‘14
I sat there for a long time. And then, I cried. I do not know for how long I cried. It seemed like it was forever. My friend sat there in silence next to me. The documentary had shocked us, moved us, hurt us, and made us wonder what we were doing with our lives. “The Square” had changed our lives.
My home, Dubai, is a very sheltered city. Although it is located in the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates has never been affected by the wars, and the protests that it is surrounded by. There are times that I feel as if I am in a city in the United States. With the current situation of the Middle East, are any of us doing anything to help? Ask yourselves, and the answer is no. We might repost a news article on Facebook, or put up a photo on Instagram. But, that is the only way we know how to express our sadness and concern. We may talk about the hardships that people are facing in Cairo in class or within our circle of friends, but we do not give it second thought.
“The Square” is a documentary about the situation in Egypt, specifically the protests that occur in Tahrir Square. The Egyptians struggle for survival, for a better life, a better world. All these people have lost their families, their homes and yet they still fight with all that they have. It is time for us to show that we believe in their cause, that we support them as well. There has to be something that we can do to ensure that these people have a safer future. An important aspect of the entire situation that we need to realize is that once the Egyptian people get the leader that they want, what about what comes next? They need a better standard of living, and that will not happen overnight.
Years ago, I visited Cairo with my parents and their friends. It was chaotic, but beautiful at the same time. Some of the buildings were painted in blocks of colors. People were running around, and some were standing amongst the chaos chatting away as if they were in a garden. The smell of hookah and food filled the air. Children were playing on the street. Women were buying vegetables and fruits. With my limited knowledge of Arabic, I understood snippets of the conversations floating around me.
I saw poverty rampant on the streets and people walking by them as if it did not affect them. I asked our driver about it, and his response was that since there is so much poverty, they were unfortunately used to it. Everyone had a heartbreaking story and they were doing what they could to move along in life.
The next leg of our trip was in Sharm-El-Sheikh, another city in Egypt. It was like being in Cancun. White sandy beaches, a plethora of people everywhere. Tourists were tanning on the beach, drinking mimosas, and playing cards with their families or reading a book. Whilst everyone around me was having a good time, I was upset. After what I had seen in Cairo, I simply could not digest what was taking place around me. I vowed to myself that one day I would change this, but single handedly what could I really do? I was young and naive. Today, I understand the world more and I am still determined to change the situation for countries such as Egypt. However, I know for a fact that I will need help. There is no way in which I can do it alone. We all need to fight the poverty. These people the basic necessities in life, which we take for granted – food, water, shelter, and education. It’s not that there is not enough food in the world. The food is not being redistributed properly.
Not only Egypt, but also so many countries are struggling in the world today. Wealth makes people happy, but it is only temporary. We need to use wealth the right way. Send some money and sponsor a child. Donate clothes. Send supplies to countries that really need the help. Simply donating money will never be enough. These people need the proper supplies to ensure a better life. Education is the strongest tool to help the children who are struggling from poverty. I strongly believe that. It is the stepping-stone to a brighter future. We cannot solve poverty today, tomorrow or even in a year. Yet, we can provide the building blocks to help eradicate a problem that can be solved. Global warming, that’s a whole other issue which we can never truly solve, but the fate of poverty is in our hands.
Kira Live ’17
February 2 was a devastating day for many people. No, this was not because the Denver Broncos lost to the Seattle Seahawks, but because Phil the groundhog saw his shadow. According to The Weather Channel, we have six more weeks of winter ahead of us—yippee. The legend of Groundhog’s Day holds that if the furry little creature emerges from its burrow and does not cast a shadow, due to clouds, then spring will come early. However, if he does cast a shadow, which indicates it’s sunny, then he will retreat back into his burrow foreshadowing another six weeks of winter.
Now, I may live in the northeast, and attend college in the northeast, but I am by no means a fan of winter. Sure, I love the fall with all the pretty colors, brisk temperatures, and pumpkin spice lattes, but once those temperatures drop below forty degrees, I am miserable. Of course Christmastime cheers me up with the lights, decorations, and peppermint mocha lattes, and I get that feeling inside of me that tells me I can make it through the rest of the season. But really, who am I kidding? The majority of winter consists of temperatures that make me not want to leave my dorm room, ice that causes me to nearly drive my car into a pole, and snow that at first is beautiful and lovely, but then melts away and causes everything to just look dead. The only positive thing winter brings with it is the occasional cancellation of an early morning or late night class that I really just wasn’t looking forward to braving the weather to attend. Besides that rare occurrence, winter is a miserable season and we apparently have Phil to blame for that. While you may not have guessed it from what you’ve read of this article, I am actually a pretty positive person. There are only a few things that really tick me off enough to get me to go on an 800 word rant about them: the cold, Bruno Mars, and my older siblings’ lack of responsibility.
So, back to Phil. I really encourage you all to watch the Groundhog’s Day video located on the Weather Channel’s page because it is just simply ridiculous. First off, the unveiling of Phil takes place in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, a place I’ve never heard of and probably will never be able to pronounce. The video commences with a shot of a group of old, identical men, all of which are surrounding a podium, and dressed looking like a combination of penguins and Abe Lincoln. One of the men uses his cane, or a branch—I really can’t tell—to knock on Phil’s cage door before pulling him out and presenting him to the crowd. Another man then proceeds to recite a really badly rhymed poem announcing that winter isn’t ending any time soon.
After seeing Phil presented to the crowd, what I’m most curious about is what has Phil been doing for the past 364 days during a time when he wasn’t doing public appearances as a celebrity? Fearing animal abuse, I decided to cyber-stalk Phil on the Internet. By the way, Phil does in fact have a Facebook page under “Phil the groundhog!!” if you were interesting in befriending him. Unless I relay what I found on Wikipedia, which numerous teachers and professor have drilled into my head not to do, I was not able to find out much about Phil—not even his age. I did, however, learn quite a bit about the men in the stylish penguin-Lincoln outfits, including that only three of them are actually allowed to handle Phil. The men are referred to as the men of the “Inner Circle,” which apparently is not a cult, and is comprised of fifteen diverse men—including a dentist, a chiropractor and a retired funeral home director. While these facts may seem like laughable matters, the Inner Circle men take their volunteer jobs very seriously, as shown by their unique fashion choices. They choose to make sure everyone takes this holiday as serious as they do. I think it’s worth sharing that the “weather philosophy” of the “President” of the cult— I mean Inner Circle is: “winter is to be cold, & summers are to be warm.” I don’t know about you, but I thought his words really shed some light on some things I was ignorant about. Thanks for bringing me to a state of “aporia,” President Bill, I’m sure your ingenious words would have made Socrates proud.
Cheers to the Inner Circle’s fifteen minutes of fame, the wonderful season of spring being closer than it was yesterday, and the fact that I’m spending Trinity Days in the warm and glorious Florida weather.
Jt Mehr ’16
The Trinity Bantams women’s hockey team has been playing great hockey as of recent. The Lady Bantams have been playing their best hockey right when they want to- at the end of the regular season, with the post season in sight.
On the weekend of January 24th, the Bantams played back to back games against Hamilton College at the Koeppel Ice Arena. The first game, on Friday, finished with a 3-2 win for the Bantams. Abby Ostrom ’14 scored the go-ahead goal, off an assist from Brooke Heron ’16, to lead the Bantams to victory over the Continentals. Just a day later, on Saturday January 25th, the Bantams and Continentals squared off again with nearly the same result- a 3-1 victory for the Bantams. With a score tied at 1-1, freshman Andi Nicholson ‘17 netted her first career goal to the give Bantams a 2-1 edge in the second period. Five minutes later in the period, Lauren Fitzgerald ’15 added another tally for the Bantams, leading the team to a 3-1 victory.
Three days after the series sweep of Hamilton College, the Bantams took on the Pioneers of Sacred Heart University. Early into the first period, Trinity recorded the first goal of the game from sophomore Emma Tani. With a 1-0 lead at the beginning of the second period, the Bantams didn’t let up the intensity; Fitzgerald netted her fifth goal of the season just four minutes into the period. The Bantams didn’t look back, and finished the game with a 2-0 victory.
To start off Super Bowl weekend, the Bantams played another two game series, this time against NESCAC opponent Colby College. Without much difficulty, the Bantams defeated the Mules on Friday, January 31, by a score of 4-1. Cheeky Herr ‘16 led the way for Trinity, recording two important goals in the third period. On Saturday, February 1, Trinity was victorious yet again, winning 5-1. This was the sixth consecutive win for the Bantams. This past weekend, Trinity battled the Bowdoin College Polar Bears all the way up in Brunswick, Maine. Competing in another two game series, the Bantams fought hard on Friday night. Cheeky Herr ‘16 scored the first goal of the game midway through the first period. With a 1-0 lead, the Bantams kept the lead until the beginning of the third period; Colleen Finnerty ’ recorded the tying goal for the Polar Bears 3:33 into the final period. Knotted at 1-1, Ariana Bourque added another goal for Bowdoin, leading the Polar Bears to a 2-1 defeat of Trinity. Despite the Friday loss, the Bantams rallied back for Saturday’s game, which ended in a 3-3 tie.
The Bantams currently hold a 10-6-4 record, placing them 4th in the NESCAC behind Middlebury, Amherst, and Williams, respectively. They have won or tied seven of their last eight games, after a slow start to the 2013-2014 campaign. On Friday the 14th, and Saturday the 15th, Trinity is playing away against Amherst College. This is a critical matchup series for the Bantams and their race to the NESCAC Championship as wins against the Lord Jeffs could lead to a third place finish in the conference standings.
I am an IDP student who has attended Trinity since August of 2009. During my time here at Trinity I have been proud to call myself a fighting Bantam, particularly because of the work Trinity has done in the community. That Bantam spirit is what led me to intern with the Connecticut Public Interest Research Group (ConnPIRG) during the fall semester of 2013. The experience was the most wonderfully selfless endeavor I had ever taken on. ConnPIRG invited me to attend two conferences: one was a leadership conference on the UMASS campus in late September 2013 and the other was a conference on the UNC campus at Chapel Hill for the fight against poverty and homelessness. Upon returning from the conference at UNC on October 6th, 2013, the ConnPIRG organizer on campus told me about a community kitchen for a homeless shelter that was to be organized by Chartwells, the food provider for Trinity.
Three other student volunteers and I went to the Chartwells executive Chef who, because he was transferring out, introduced me to the incoming Executive Chef. We asked the new Chef what needed to be done for the shelter and he said they required hot food that was to be prepared by volunteer students. I then set out on the transit bus to find the shelter. It turns out that the original shelter had found a food provider, but they referred me to Todd Sedor, the director of the Plimpton House in Hartford which houses 36 transitional residents. He said they needed food for November, 1, 15 and December 6. I got confirmation from Chef Lipski and let the director of the Plimpton House know that food would be delivered and served by student volunteers. Before November 1, I checked in with the Chef to make sure we were on the same page.
Upon arriving with other student volunteers on November 1 at 3 p.m. to prepare the food, we were told by Chartwells management and then by the Chef via text message that the community kitchen plan was cancelled, with no explanation. I had to call the Plimpton House and explain to the director that there wasn’t going to be any food being delivered. I wrote to President Jones who contacted Chartwells management and they replied that it was a failure in communication. However, we had received no prior communication that there had been a change in schedule or that the plan had been cancelled.
Chartwells didn’t honor any of the dates we had agreed upon. It left me feeling disillusioned, but it also left me feeling responsible because there had been people in Hartford depending on us for food. I have known what that means because I have been homeless before, and had to live in a transitional house for veterans.
Because of this feeling of responsibility, on November 15, I took some of my financial aid money and went shopping with a friend to buy food and cook it for the residents of the Plimpton House. That helped make my holidays worthwhile. The other student volunteers and I still do not know why Chartwells cancelled its agreement with Plimpton House, but it has certainly damaged Trinity’s reputation in the Hartford community.
Elizabeth Caporale ’16
As the spring semester begins here at Trinity, most students pray for the snow to melt, the temperatures to rise, and to skip forward to the days when afternoons are spent lounging on the sun kissed grass of the quad. For all of Trinity’s winter athletes those day dreams are put on the back burner as they look to wrap up their 2013-2014 seasons. For Trinity’s woman’s basketball team, they are focused on their final two regular season games and more importantly, their performance in the upcoming NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference) tournament, which lurks just around the corner.
For the past three years, the Bantams have been able to secure a spot in the tournament, only to end their season at the quarterfinals each time. This year, things are looking bright for the team, led by tri-captains Hannah Brickley ’14, Taylor Murtaugh ’14, and Emily Dixon ’14.
Head coach Wendy Davis cites senior leadership as one of her team’s strengths throughout the 2013-14 season (as opposed to the 2012-13 season, in which the team lacked seniors all together). The senior class seems to be living up to their coach’s expectations as they have shown exceptional leadership and performance this season. Brickley, is not only the current NESCAC player of the week, but has also received the same honor earlier this season as well. Brickley and Murtaugh, both forwards, led the team in points, averaging 13.1 and 12.4 points per game, respectively. The squad is fresh off a succesfull weekend that included two home victories against Wesleyan on Feb.7 and Connecticut College on Feb.8.
Against Wesleyan, Brickley and forward Shantel Hanniford ’14 combined for 34 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists to edge the visitors out with a close 64-61 victory. The following day, the team bested Connecticut College to improve their season’s record to 13-8 overall, including a fourth place ranking in the NESCAC standings, below only Tufts (21-0), Amherst (21-2) and Bowdoin (19-3). Brickley put up 21 points and 12 rebounds in the victory.
After their weekend victories over Connecticut College and Wesleyan, the team will be looking to continue their three-game winning streak as they travel to Rivier University (New Hampshire) on Feb. 11. After Rivier, they will play in their final conference game of the season on Feb. 14 at home against Middlebury (7-14)
As Trinity is presently seated fourth in the NESCAC rankings, they hope to increase their record to 6-4 with a win over the Panthers. The Bant’s could be in position to take the third ranking in the conference if Bowdoin loses either of their last two games against Bates and Tufts.
The NESCAC quarterfinal will take place on Feb, 22. The Bantams hopefully earn one of the top four seeds to gain homefield advantage.
Duncan Grimm ’15
Imagine a world in which Northern intellectuals were praised for associating with Southern Slave holders. Imagine a world where University culture that did everything in its power to exclude African Americans from institutions, dead set on extraditing them from the country. All of this existed–it was at its height in 1830s and 1840s America.
On Tuesday, February 4, MIT History Professor Craig S. Wilder discussed his most recent book, Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities to a packed audience at Trinity College.
Wilder, head of the History Department at MIT, told a story that the North rarely hears. The narrative is often one of a benign version of slavery leading up to the civil war, when Northern abolitionists prevailed and convinced their less radical–but still good-hearted–neighbors that slavery was evil and the South had to be stopped. Most myths are rooted in grains of truth, and indeed the North eventually came to a similar if somewhat less morally motivated conclusion, but a more complete truth as presented by Professor Wilder, revealed a society in which slavery was deeply rooted. In his book, Professor Wilder studied the academic institutions of the North East and Mid-Atlantic regions to paint a detailed picture of Northern slavery during the antebellum years and attitudes towards African Americans from the perspective of slave-holders, colonizer’s, and the emerging abolitionist movement.
Wilder stated of the intellectual community, “The Academy never stood apart from American slavery. In fact, it stood beside Church and States as a third pillar of a civilization built on bondage.” In a recent NPR interview with Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish, Wilder also stated that while researching for his book, he came to realize that, “the emergence of African slavery in the Americas required, in fact, the participation of colleges…it required the participation of the primary social institutions of American society, and that was actually…a real struggle for me as a historian–it’s not easy to see the institutions that I see as particularly benevolent as actually having this very sort of troubling role.”
The story is a complicated one, and involves high-profile individuals with evolving views over the course of the nineteenth century. Wilder posited that the exclusion of African Americans was not simply a racial question, as contemporary events included the oppression and removal of Native Americans, and he grounded his statements in the study of then-scientific theories which justified the racial hierarchy.
Wilder stated that in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, “the relationship between colleges and slavery was not limited to the presence of slaves on campus. The American college trained the personnel and cultivated the ideas that accelerated and legitimized the dispossession of Native Americans and the enslavement of Africans.” Not only were colleges across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic deeply connected (through their founders, faculty, and alumni) to the trade itself, but were also involved in early movements. For example, the American Colonization Society sought to solve the issue of slavery by settling free blacks in Africa, while others still were involved in the early abolition movement. Many members of the ACS in the 1820s and 1830s became the most vocal abolitionists in the 1840s and 1850s.
Slavery in America during the mid-nineteenth century, though a Southern institution, was common throughout the North especially in the states, which had been the original New England and Mid-Atlantic colonies. Residents were heavily involved with the trade and supplying the institution of slavery in the South. The economies were heavily interdependent on one another; New England ships were integral in supplying the West Indies plantations and transportation of raw goods and finished products to and from exchanges. This participation would later firmly establish the North in the trade itself.
The histories of Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Yale, Dartmouth, the University of Pennsylvania, Brown, and William & Mary, to name several, were also tied to the slave trade, a statement justified by their founders or early revered professors. According to Wilder, during Thomas Jefferson’s time at William & Mary College, ten percent of all undergraduate students boarded their slaves with them at school. Further, a Philadelphia merchant supported Penn’s founding using profits from the slave trade, and the mother of the venerable Benjamin Silliman paid for his Yale education from the sale of two of the Connecticut family’s slaves. Years later, Silliman would come to be one of the most ardent voices to adopt the abolitionist cause.
This isn’t to say that slaveholders and abolitionists did not debate the morality or argue for and against the practice, but for a certain time period, it was an institution accepted as cultural normalcy by most. At what is today Columbia University, there was a medal issued at graduation every year by slaveholders for the best essay each year that opposed the slave trade. Though slavery wasn’t yet viewed in the 1830’s as good versus evil, it was being discussed and debated in the public forum.
In his talk, Wilder explained this cultural reality of the relationship between the intellectuals among Northerners and business-savvy Southern slaveholders, and their respective connections to academic institutions through the story of Trinity alumnus. Professor Wilder articulated in his lecture the story of Henry Watson Jr., a student who graduated from Trinity College–then Washington College–in the late 1830s. Watson traveled extensively through the South after graduating from Washington College, and though he purported to deplore the practice of slavery, he later became a slaveholder himself. According to Wilder, many young Northerners like Watson were allured by the wealth of the South. Watson himself left Connecticut for Alabama to set up a law practice and ended up purchasing slaves. Watson confessed that he knew it was a sin, but one with great potential benefits.
In his talk, Professor Wilder clarified that he was not attempting to condemn these academic institutions for their historical records, but rather to highlight historical errors common in our society today, accepted as cultural fact created during and in the aftermath of Civil War as an effort by the North to distance itself from the institution of slavery. “The European invasion of the America and the modern slave trade pulled peoples throughout the Atlantic world into each other’s lives, and colleges were among the colonial institutions that braided their histories and rendered their fates dependent and antagonistic.” Thus, taken in full context, academic institutions were “deployed” as “institutions of conquest” to produce an intellectually inclined culturally savvy graduating classes to become extensively involved in many aspects of the slave trade.
As cultural opinions and levels of debate changed from the dialogue of the 1820’s and 30’s into the polarization of the 1840’s and 50’s, individuals and academic institutions altered their positions as well. As stated earlier, some members of the American Colonization Society and intellectual communities became ardent supporters of abolitionism. Professor Wilder emphasized that we cannot study eras of human triumph and transcendence without also remembering struggle and strife. This country has come a long way since the nineteenth century, but we must remember the entire journey upon which the nation embarked, and not only the glorious destination, which at times even today can seem elusive.
Professor Craig Steven Wilder holds a B.A. from Fordham University, and an M.A., M.Phil., and a Ph.D. from Columbia University. Today, he is the head of the History faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The author encourages anyone interested further in this subject to visit Professor Wilder’s MIT webpage.
Bart Harvey ’16
Every December the senior class looks forward to an event known as the Senior Snowball, which allows seniors to reconnect with members from their freshman dorms. The College and the fraternities organize the event together and is traditionally held on the last weekend of the seniors’ first semester, a time to enjoy themselves before they start to cram for final exams.
The freshman reunion portion of the evening took place between 8 to 10 p.m. This year, the Elton and Jones dorm reunion took place at Alpha Delta Phi. The reunion for the North dormitory and transfers took place at St. Anthony’s Hall. And the reunion for the Smith and Jackson dorms happened at Psi Upsilon.
“People…really seemed to enjoy the freshmen dorm reunions at the fraternities,” Senior Class President Brittany Viola ’14 stated. “Everyone seems to have friends they made in their freshmen dorms, but then as the years move forward, you begin to see these friends less and less, for whatever reason.”
The Senior Snowball itself took place in the Washington Room above Mather Hall. “I hired Power Posse for the sound system, lights, and DJ which the school traditionally goes through for all such events,” stated Viola, “I also hired a decorator, Events by Amy, for the decorations. We had a Photo Booth from 10-12, too which I think was a hit.”
Many seniors noted that their favorite part of the evening was rehashing memories with their old freshman dorm mates. “It was really nice to get together with our entire senior class and have fun outside of our normal friend groups,” remarked Jackie Sanders ’14.
This year the event was held on Saturday, February 8, as opposed to the traditional December date. Viola explained in a Facebook post to the senior class on December 1, 2013 that the change in date was due to “budget constraints.”
“[We] are postponing [Snowball] until the beginning of the next semester. We plan to coordinate around the athletic schedules so that everyone can attend. I apologize for the disappointment and inconvenience this may cause,” wrote Viola.
Assistant Directors of Student Activities Laura Rogalski and Romulus Perez began to work with Viola in mid-January after Viola’s previous advisor Director of Student Activities Nora Huth left Trinity College. From Rogalski’s understanding, “A major issue was a matter of funding not being approved/confirmed for the event by the week of the event that caused it to be postponed to this semester.”
“In terms of advertising prior to the event, we ran into multiple issues when trying to locate a space to hold Senior Snowball as many spaces on campus were already reserved and were finalizing the funding for the event so no advertising could be done until a location was confirmed and funding was confirmed,” Rogalski continued.
However, the confirmed date of the Senior Snowball conflicted with some of the sports teams’ schedules that either had a game planned that evening or were in the midst of preparing for their end-of-season championship tournaments. Men’s Ice Hockey played Middlebury at 7 p.m. the night of the event and POSSE had a planned retreat.
“From my perspective, the week and a half prior advertising did not seem to limit attendees as we had close to 450 students in attendance on Saturday night,” Ms. Rogalski wrote. “Myself and Romulus Perez were in attendance as staff supervisors for the event. Overall, it was a huge success and those who attended were very happy with the program.”
“The alcohol at Senior Snowball was provided by Chartwell’s and was paid for through the Senior Snowball budget, as it is every year. In terms of the pre-Senior Snowball gatherings at the fraternity houses, that alcohol was provided by the fraternities and they registered the amounts with our office and Timothy Dunn, Associate Director of Student Services for Social Houses, who oversees all social events with alcohol,” wrote Ms. Rogalski, “Any social event with alcohol has the amount determined at the time of registration with Timothy Dunn. The goal is to approve an appropriate amount of alcohol based on the expected number of attendees and the attendance capacity of the location.”
Despite the delay, seniors still seemed to enjoy themselves at the event. “I had a really amazing time at Senior Snowball,” remarked Karisa Cernera ’14. “It was so nice to get dressed up and have all of the seniors together. It was really great to reunite with all of my friends from freshman year. Overall the night was a success!”
PETER JUNG ’17
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” Nowhere at Trinity has this call been answered more fervently than by the Human Rights Fellows who set out each year to learn about and address global issues of humanitarian importance.
The Human Rights Program at Trinity was established in 1998 and was the first such program to be instituted at a liberal arts college. Since then, Trinity has played an advisory role in the development of human rights curricula in schools across the country. The overarching goal of the resident program is to offer students a comprehensive and interdisciplinary view into the treatment of people across the globe and throughout time.
Courses include a theatre class entitled “Human Rights Through Performance” where students examine a specific historical phenomenon (i.e. women’s protests in authoritarian Chile) and must create a cumulative performance piece at the end of the semester. “The arts bring the discussion of human rights to a human level, communicating viscerally, kinesthetically, and emotionally” says Professor of Theater and Dance Judy Dworin.
In addition to a wide range of core courses, the program also hosts an assortment of co-curricular events. Each spring, the College invites a prominent human rights advocate to reside on campus for a week to speak, discuss, and interact with the local community. Former guests have hailed from Turkey, Nigeria, Belfast, and the Dominican Republic. The Human Rights Program also sponsors a variety of lectures, films, exhibitions, and performances, many of which showcase the crossovers between the art and humanitarian worlds.
In 2007, Trinity alumnus and Trustee Peter R. Blum gifted half a million dollars towards funding a Human Rights Summer Fellowship and endowment. Fellows are selected students who are given the unique opportunity to intern at major human rights organizations of their choosing, alongside law and graduate students. The internship lasts for twelve weeks and includes a $3,500 stipend. According to the Program’s description, “The summer fellow internship program gives students an opportunity to translate what they have learned in their Trinity courses to hands-on professional experiences, often proving transformative.”
This past summer, seven Trinity students took part in the work of The Clinton Global Initiative, The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights, The National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI), Amnesty International, and the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
Human Rights Fellow Maggie Lawrence ’14, double major in Human Rights and International Studies, characterized her internship with NESRI, a community-based advocacy group, as “enlightening and inspiring.” Lawrence attributed her role as a “cross-cutting intern” which allowed her to coordinate four separate programs at NESRI. Her duties ranged from conducting research into the interplay between state taxes and human rights to presenting on how concepts she learned in the classroom could be applied to make financial structures more equitable.
Stephanie Goetz ’15 and Shanelle Morris ’16 were both interns at IRC, a relief agency for the world’s worst humanitarian crises. Goetz explained how her experience as a case management intern helping clients “from harm to home” helped her realize the “difficulties that refugees face while integrating into a new place, particularly New York City.” Morris reflected that, “It was an interesting experience for me because I saw people from different parts of the world who dealt with global issues I never even knew about.” Both women have expressed a renewed interest in politics and global events, and Goetz is eager to work for a non-profit organization in the future.
Samia Kemal ’14, another Human Rights fellow, served as an Executive Assistant to the Chief Digital Officer at Amnesty International New York. As a part of the largest human rights movement in the world, Kemal played an active role in protests and various Amnesty events including the Pride Parade. She credited her time in New York with giving her a “new perspective on the effectiveness of Human Rights advocacy on a digital platform.”
Currently, the summer fellowship is in the process of being redesigned with much more connection to the Career Development Center. “The old fellowship will not be in place this year,” says Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Human Rights Program Donna-Dale Marcano. “The new structure of what will be focused on in regards to internships is in the process of development along with the new focus of the CDC [career development center] on expanding their services to departments and building a robust internship culture here at Trinity.”
Participation in the fellowship competition is open to all Trinity students. Applications include an essay, transcript, and letter of recommendation, and are reviewed by a Human Rights faculty committee.
Kels Murray ’16
This spring marks the kick off of a new and exciting organization at Trinity College, the Behavioral Economics Society. Founded and led by Sam Russell, Sean Greer, Ian Pickrell, Will Stankiewicz, and Alex Barker, the Behavioral Economics Society has a number of impressive goals in mind for its first semester. To offer a brief description, Behavioral Economics (BE) is the study of psychology as it relates to the economics decision-making processes of individuals and institutions. The million dollar question that Behavioral Economics tries to answer is how do people make decisions and what influences the decision-making process? The society’s mission statement is as follows: “Through Behavioral Economics we hope to construct economic models that better illustrate peoples’ behaviors, with better predictive success of future behaviors and how best to mitigate risks inherent in non-rational actions.”
As weekly club meetings are often difficult to coordinate due to busy schedules, the Behavioral Economics Society has decided to implement a different system. In contrast with the regular structure of weekly meetings like most clubs, the Behavioral Economics Society will utilize their own personal webpage and blog. Here, members are encouraged to post their personal thoughts on newsletters and articles that are sent out regularly, as well as on the clubs functionality as a whole. The society also hopes to introduce its members to several prominent individuals with relevant interests. These individuals will most likely host several lectures and give insightful presentations about the field of behavioral economics. These speakers will be gathered through the professional connections of the Behavioral Economics Societies’ leaders, as well as through peer connections within the Behavioral Economics Society at the reputable Cambridge University (UK).
The society’s recent newsletter from February 4 was packed with a myriad of links and sources for all those interested in perusing or researching. Each week the society will incorporate a different theme into their lectures, discussions and online posts. The theme for this past week was ‘Risk’. They discussed how it is perceived, and how it affects decision-making. Their newsletter also featured a “tweet of the week” by Greg B. Davies, and included several suggestions of videos, books, and podcasts with links attached geared towards giving insight into the field of behavioral economics.
One suggested reading included in the newsletter was a magazine article in The Economist, “Risk Off: Why some people are more cautious with their finances than others”. This article further discusses the society’s theme of Risk.
The main gist of the article is how the economy is affected by the increase and decrease of people willing to make risky business deals. The majority of people are unsurprisingly risk-averse, preferring to take the lesser but more certain reward, rather than the uncertain one with greater benefits. Circumstances like the most recent financial crisis hinder people from taking the risks needed to help the economy recover. The article was an appropriate one for the Behavioral Economics Society to start out with on its first week because it was straightforward and gave insight into the functions of behavioral economics.
The students in charge of the Behavioral Economics Society are extremely excited to use their knowledge and resources to promote creative thinking and critical analysis throughout the Trinity College community. Alex Barker comments, “As co-founders, we want to give students the opportunity to sink their teeth into some of these eye-opening experiments and studies that demonstrate the critical role of psychological factors in various economic situations. Then with the use of a blog and forum, members will be able to participate in ongoing discussions. Behavioral Economics is a relatively new field, fusing classical economics with cognitive and sociall psychology. Many people, including economists, would claim that people are rational creatures.” He poses the question: “Do you think we all make rational decisions? Many behavioral economists would argue otherwise — so would the Behavioral Economics Society here at Trinity College.”
Behavioral Economics is extremely useful for embarking in a career in business. Whether one is majoring in economics, psychology, political science, public policy and law, or simply interested in learning useful tools for a future business career, behavioral economics can be very relevant to one’s studies. If one is interested in a career such as finance, marketing/advertising, government, law, health care or many more, an understanding of behavioral economics can provide invaluable analysis of consumers, customers, clients, other market participants and their interactions that any potential employer would covet.
Paul Craven, Head of EMEA Institutional Business, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, said, “I think Behavioral Economics tells us we make mistakes, and helps us identify them so we avoid doing them. I don’t think it will make you the best investor in the world but if it stops you from making the bad, silly mistakes then its incredibly useful. Whether in the fields of investment or more general decision-making, it is important that we challenge our hardwired beliefs and in-built biases in order to optimize our chances of reaching the correct conclusions. Behavioral Finance is indeed a candle that can illuminate our thinking.”
Currently, there are 54 students signed up for the Behavioral Economics Society- an impressive turnout for the society’s initial semester. Once word spreads through the Trinity grape vine, this society is bound to attract many more students eager to simply acquire knowledge in the field of Behavioral Economics.
BETTINA GONZALEZ ’16
Nothing brings people together like food, even people who are more than ready to jumping down each other’s throats. Last semester was particularly stressful for the executive board of La Voz Latina. From Hispanic Heritage Month to Salsarengue and all our other events, we just had a lot on our plate. Unfortunately, like the proverbial cake, we couldn’t even sit down and enjoy the fruits of our labor. So by December, tensions had peaked. Meaning to say, it was the perfect time to have a meal together.
At the end of every semester, the E-board goes out for a well-deserved retreat. And what better way to get away, to retreat from the stresses of the semester, than to indulge ourselves with good food? So, for our Fall 2013 retreat, we made our way to the U.S.S. Chowder…
Wait, what? No reservations? Never mind.
Turning our over capacitated cars around, the LVL E-board decided to go to La Fonda for our Fall 2013 retreat. We were a big group, fourteen in all. It was no wonder Chowder Pot could not accommodate us. But luckily, the staff and proprietors at La Fonda were gracious enough to make space in their busy little restaurant.
La Fonda is a Columbian restaurant and bar just five minutes away from campus. It’s a small place, almost like a hole-in-the-wall kind of joint. Blink and you might miss it (which is what almost happened with our designated driver that night). Miss it and you’ll miss out on a really good food experience.
When we arrived, a table had already been set up for us. Four or five otables were put together, nearly taking up a quarter of the restaurant. Our waiter was particularly amiable – nice enough to pretend like it was totally normal for a distinctly Asian girl to be with a group of Latinos. And he even put up with my pitiable Spanish skills!
But let’s talk food: For appetizers, we all shared a few baskets of beef and chicken empanadas. As far as I know, every country previously stepped on by the Spanish has their version of empanadas. I’ve had empanadas before from a few different places, but these were particularly surprising to me. They were deep-fried! And made with cornmeal! I was used to empanadas made with flour bread and baked. Of course I’m partial to the empanadas of my homeland, but I’m not one to let food go to waste. Grabbing a well-greased golden pocket of meat, I took one hesitant bite. Not bad. There was just a little too much oil (I had to use extra napkins to soak up all that oil), though luckily the empanadas came with some salsa. The acidity and freshness from the salsa cut through the oiliness of the empanada, making it more palatable.
Actually, that’s an understatement. It was pretty darn good. I had four.
Picking my main course was a bit of a challenge. If it has not been obvious, I’m not too familiar with Columbian cuisine. Reading the menu, there were a lot of dishes that I had not heard of – still, each of their descriptions sounded delicious. After a while, I decided to go with my tried-and-true dish, one that always brings out the “the Spanish in [me]”, as our president commented.
I ordered the Paella La Fonda. Paella is a rice dish originating in Valencia, Spain made with chicken, all sorts of seafood, chorizo, and vegetables, cooked in one glorious pot of deliciousness. And they literally gave me the pot! The dish was served in my own personal caldero. As I took the lid off, a steam of tantalizing, savory, aromatic flavors penetrated my sense of smell. I almost drooled. The paella at La Fonda is by far the best paella I have had since moving to Hartford. Everything was cooked perfectly, the rice, the chicken, the chorizo, the shrimp, muscles, squid, and fish. Every bite had the perfect portion – not too much rice, not too little seafood. Every bite made my taste buds rejoice and my dopamine level soar. I was so intensely focused on my food that, for the rest of my meal, I did not say a word.
Besides, the rest of my fellow E-board members were focused on their food, too. There at that table at La Fonda, we gathered together, talking, laughing, drinking, eating. We left La Fonda feeling stuffed and satisfied, once again, ready to come together for a new semester.
If you’re looking for a nice cozy meal or a few drinks on a late night (or any time really), stop by La Fonda located at 269 Franklin Ave, Hartford. Keep a look out! It may not look like much, but you’ll surely get a lot out of this food experience.
On the last day of January, members from all walks of Trinity college life and community converged at Hamlin Hall for the first official a cappella concert of the spring. This was no normal concert though; it was a medley of each group singing one or two songs to showcase their personality in hopes of attracting new talent to come an audition for them later in the night. The combination of the nervous contenders and friends cheering on current members made for an electric atmosphere.
As each group parted the crowd of cheering students to make their way to the front of the room, everyone got excited with the anticipation of hearing what each new group could bring to the table.
The only all male a capella group on campus, the Accidentals, opened the concert. Jogging down the aisle in jeans, button downs and blazers, the group started off with a 50’s shooby doo-wop song. They then seamlessly transitioned in to “Hey Brother” by Avicii. The rhythm and tempo of the song culminated into a combination of foot stomping and hand clapping the group, who was then joined by the rest of the crowd clapping along. The Accidentals did a great job of warming the audience up for the other performance and briskly left the stage to make way for the Dischords.
One of the two co-ed groups on campus, the Dischords made their way to the front of the room dressed in all black. After introducing themselves, the Dischords began singing “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers, emitting a sense of ease and grace that embraced the crowd with an at-home, campy, feel-good warmth. Their second song was “The Remedy” by Jason Mraz. The uplifting beat paired with the ?? voice of the groups soloist made the lyrics truly seem like the remedy to any ailment.
Making their way through the room with an air of class and sophistication, the Trinitones came next, sauntering down the aisle in an array of black dresses. They immediately moved the crowd with their poignant rendition of “Landslide” by the Dixie Chicks. After their touching performance, the group moved onto the more upbeat “Lights” by Ellie Goulding. Leaving the crowd wanting more after both songs, they left the stage to make way for the Pipes.
The pipes coolly moved through crowd in a mixture of white and black attire to take their turn stage. They started off with “Once Upon a Time” by Sarah Bareilles. Their smooth and blues-y voices cut through the air and hypnotized the audience into a soothing trance. Their harmonies transformed Hamlin Hall into a dimly lit jazz club with wisps of smoke floating through the air. However they quickly quickly converted it again into a church with them acting as the joyful choir. Ending their set with “Ceclia” by Simon & Garfunkel the group continued to heartily yell out, “jubilation!” throughout the chorus.
The night ended with the Quirks, who recently preformed at the White House over winter beak. They brought a breath of fresh air into the room as they walked down in all white. Rachael Burke ’14, who will be shortly joining Jimmy Fallon working on the Tonight Show, soloed and started off the set with her original rendition of “Royals” by Lorde. After enterainig the crowd with her unique voice and performance, the group brought a little soul into the room with a powerful and rich version of “Bottom of the River” by Delta Rae, and band of three siblings that debuted at Duke University five years ago. The energy in the air crescendoed in tandem with the final verses of the heart-pounding and powerful song.
Even after the Quirks had made their way back to the main atrium of Hamlin Hall, the seats were still packed with people waiting for a few extra moments with the hope that there was still more to come. There was a change in the energy of the room as everyone finally stood up and hopeful auditionees made their way to various locations across campus to sing their hearts out in hopes of joining the ranks of these prestigous a capella groups. Even casual observers of the performances were inspired to try out for the chance to become part of one of these all-star groups. Last night was “pick-up night,” a ritual where new members are picked up by the current members in their dorms and congratulated on their achievement. After each individual group gathers all of their new members, they all have the chance to celebrate together and bask in the glory of officially joining Trinity’s a capella community. The performances sent everyone home enlivened and enthusiastic about all the concerts to look forward to in the coming spring months, especially with the addition of the new members.
JILLIAN TOMLINSON FRAKER ‘10
Conor Patric Gregory, genuine, honest, compassionate and curious scholar of life, died tragically from heart complications on Friday, November 29, at his family’s home in Hood Canal, WA. He was 25.
He will be remembered by everyone as a man of strong character. Conor lived each and every day to its fullest. He inspired those around him with his passion, and in doing so he made the world a better place for everyone and everything.
He will be remembered having his book in hand, his constant smile, his positive energy and his contagious enthusiasm.
Conor was born on Feb. 15, 1988, at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, WA. His first love was for movies and books. He spent his childhood looking up to his older brother, hiking, reading and developing a sincere appreciation for nature that carried him through life.
He attended Bellevue High School and was a proud member of the drama club. When he wasn’t perfecting his acting skills in case he got the call to star in a future James Bond movie, he was playing high school sports and diving deeper into literature.
After high school Conor earned a B.A. with high honors in English from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. While attending college, he volunteered at the Hartford Boys and Girls Club, where he developed a passion for public service. He wrote a brilliant senior thesis, “The Rescue of Herman Melville: How Early 20th-century Writers Made Moby-Dick Relevant.” To Conor, Moby-Dick was the greatest piece of American literature ever written, and he made sure to tell this to anyone who would listen.
Upon receiving his degree, he backpacked through Europe with his girlfriend. He called this “the grand adventure,” a motto he lived his life by. Traveling gave Conor perspective, and a greater appreciation of classic literature and poetry.
After returning from his travels, he settled on Nantucket. There, he immersed himself in literature and the island’s rich whaling history while preparing for law school. Conor could often be found in his kayak exploring Nantucket’s waters with a six-pack of Red Hook ESB and a copy of Moby-Dick or a poetry collection by one of the many writers he admired.
In August of 2012, Conor moved back to Seattle to attend Seattle University School of Law. He served as a staff member of the Seattle Journal of Social Justice. He also worked as a summer intern at the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. During this time, Conor exhibited the same passion for law that he displayed in everything he did.
Conor mentioned daily how happy he was to be back home in Seattle, where he could spend more time with his loved ones and embrace his love for the outdoors.
He is survived by his father, Gene Gregory; mother, Wendy Gregory; brother, E.J. Gregory; the love of his life, Jillian Fraker; and his dog, Hana.
Condolences may be sent to Conor’s parents, Eugene and Wendy Gregory at 631 Market Street, Kirkland, WA 98033.
In lieu of flowers, contributons can be made to a foundation to be set up in Conor’s name. The foundation will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Hartford, Conn. Details of The Conor Gregory Foundation has already raised over $30,000, and is currently in the works of attaing its designationaas a non-profit organiztion, details of which will be made available soon.
KIILEY HAGERTY ’13
Trinity might just be one of the most magical places in the whole wide world. Everything from the sprawling views of scenic Frog’s Hollow, to the symphony of cars sans mufflers speeding down Allen Place, to the unpredictable rise and fall of those miraculous New England temperatures that always kept us (and our wardrobes) guessing, it is just the picture of collegiate perfection. Now if you think I’m being sarcastic here, shame on you. I was, and still am, a hardcore Bantam at heart and I loved every single aspect of life ‘neath the elms, even the occasional gun popping off in the distance. I loved it so much, in fact, that I had a minor (who am I kidding… major) panic attack when the calendar struck January 1, 2013, and I realized that my graduation that had once seemed like it would never come, was just around the corner.
When I was at Trinity, let’s face it… I was awesome. I was president of The IVY Society, was an honors-earning major in International Studies who got to spend a year writing a thesis on food (how cool is that?!) and I had made a group of friends that were incredible beyond my wildest hopes. Yeah, it’s hard to be humble when you’re from Trinity. But, as May 19 drew closer, my internal awesomeness meter felt like it was rapidly dropping. As an International Studies major in particular, I was feeling especially lost. Everyone else who majored in econonics and political science seemed like they had their paths much better laid out. They were going to go into either some facet of the finance world, go work for a politician, or join some rank and file in an official corporate setting. None of that appealed to me, and I did not have the professional background to compete. I had done internships, studied and shaped my whole life around what I was passionate about—food, cooking and nutrition, one of my largest projects being the penning of my own cookbook. But how on earth was I going to turn that into a living? I had tried to garner some interest in the cookbook on a part-time basis. I received positive reviews, but no bites. A cookbook without a deal did not make a lucrative career.
I wish I could tell you that things got easier and I had a big breakthrough before graduation and strolled right off that stage and into my bright future, but 1) that would be a boring story, and 2) that’s just not at all what happened. In fact, I strode off that graduation stage having found out during the ceremony that my grandmother, the woman who been like a second mother to me for most of my life, had died. (Curse you forever Facebook Mobile, and sorry Jimmy Jones, but yes, I was indeed playing with my phone during your speech). So, not only was I unsure about how I was going to turn my passion and academic skill set into a legitimate career, but I now had to do it without one of my biggest supporters.
I was at a major crossroads. I could have fallen into the pit that I think many postgrads, and even nervous pre-postgrads fall into, characterized by the loss of momentum, energy and a positive outlook on the future if you haven’t secured a job by graduation or soon thereafter. Or, I could take the advice that I constantly implore my friends to heed when we’re out at restaurants. Be adventurous! Nothing drives me crazier than when someone is so set in his or her ways and ideas about a food. People hold onto what they think they like so much that they won’t even give a new dish a try. You never know, you might like it!
So, in that same spirit, I decided to just grab a fork, if you will, and dig into the unknown plate in front of me. I packed up my bags and moved to that “other coast.” San Francisco is where I started my career in the food industry as an assistant to a celebrity chef. I then moved on to work in sales at an established publishing house. While both of these opportunities were relatively low-paying, not so glamorous positions, they allowed me to have a behind- the-scenes view into the restaurant industry and the publishing industry, both relevant to my path, all the while keeping an eye on that cookbook.
I read about how to get a book published, and I connected with anyone and everyone I could think in the publishing business. I wrote letters and proposals and finally was picked up by an agent who believed in my book and project as much as I did. And now? A mere nine months out of college, I am on my way to being a published author.
Once I got my contracts from Pelican Publishing Company, I decided it was time to break the mold and take a big chance on myself. I cashed in all my chips, packed up my bags yet again, and moved to LA with my illegally cute puppy to chase my dreams. I teamed up with the world’s greatest photographer, who has now become more of a manager, producer and all around kick-ass partner to have in this project, and I’m doing things that I never even dreamed were possible. I go to work each and every day to do what I love—cook—and I am writing pieces and filming clips on what I’m most passionate about—food, health, and how to live well with just a little bit of attitude.
Who knows whether I will be a success or not, but I can tell you that I am only excited now for what the future may hold, all because I took a chance on myself and conquered the fear of the path less traveled. Try something new that others think won’t be possible. Bet on yourself, and take risks. You never know, you might just like how that dish tastes.
SAMIA KEMAL ’14
There are few movies that exist in which an initial critique takes a backseat to the sheer emotional impact that is delivered. Though it has been a few days since I first saw Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave,” I am still searching for the proper place to reflect and analyze the heaviness that would not leave me, even as I exited the theater. Every component of the film fits together like puzzle pieces, all necesary in order to form a total picture. It is the film’s direction, cinematography, acting, and commitment to historical authenticity that deems “12 Years a Slave” as not only one of the frontrunners for this Oscar season, but as a film that will be a classic for years to come.
The autobiography and historical accounts of free-man-turned-slave, Solomon Northup (played by the incredible Chiwetel Ejiofor) gave plenty for McQueen and his cast to reference in order to bring the film to life. The film opens up in what feels like a delicate memory, in which Solomon, a father, family man, and violinist, goes about a calm day in Saratoga, New York as a free man. Later, a traveling duo named Hamilton and Brown (Taran Killam and Scoot McNairy) convince Northup to accompany them to Washington, DC after enticing him with the prospect of earning decent money. In Washington, Northup is drugged and wakes up shackled in a dungeon where he is brutally beaten and enslaved.
Northup, along with other kidnapped slaves, is shipped to New Orleans and sold. He is passed along to a variety of “masters,” and in each household he encounters the harsh reality of slavery in the South. In one instance, Northup is prodded into a fight with the loathsome carpenter, Tibeats (Paul Dano). His resistance not only results in a lynching attempt, but in his eventual arrival at the plantation of the merciless slave owner, Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender).
While Northup’s patience serves as the moral epicenter that carries the film along, Epps is the antagonistic opposite. His alcoholic tendencies lead him to lash out in a bizarre and sadistic way, sexually abusing the young slave, Patsey (Lupita Nyong’o), forcing his slaves to dance into the wee hours of the night, and neglecting his scornful wife (Sarah Paulson). Fassbender is both despicable and entrancing as the deranged Epps, filling the role with a dark and electric complexity that only an explosive actor such as himself can execute.
Fassbender’s fellow co-stars are equally spellbinding. Newcomer, Lupita Nyong’o delivers a performance worthy of a seasoned Hollywood professional, an incredible feat for a fresh drama school graduate from Yale. However, it is the film’s star, Chiwetel Ejiofor, who carries the story with a quiet and determined consistency. Many of Ejiofor’s most powerful moments are drawn from his flashes of resistance and remoteness. He manages to convey volumes in his distant and pensive expressions rather than any commanding monologues.
Ultimately, it is director Steve McQueen’s sense of juxtaposing aesthetics that make “12 Years a Slave” a haunting experience. McQueen is thoughtful in his choice of color and direction. The film moves like a lush painting, with shots of the shocking green bayous, orange sunsets, and close-ups of wriggling caterpillars on cotton. Each frame looks like it could be an intentional photograph. McQueen’s sense of artistry is found in all elements of “12 Years a Slave,” making the movie a gorgeous film about the ugliest of subjects.
McQueen expertly knows how to attract an audience, but he by no means intends to make them feel comfortable. His previous works such as “Hunger” and “Shame” are both harrowing portrayals of human suffering, dealing with characters who are crumbling under their own devices. Similar to his previous films, McQueen delves deep into the notion of suffering, and even enhances the trauma in a bold and unflinching manner. His film is unforgiving, and he forces his audience to peer straight into the darkness of the black hole of slavery.
Though Solomon’s individual story is hugely compelling, McQueen’s narrative ultimately uses Solomon’s devastating circumstance as merely a vehicle to reveal a greater story; one that does not necessarily have a known end. Though slavery was abolished many years ago, McQueen reminds us that there are still many trials today that are far from being over. The vision of Solomon’s unjust transition from free-man to slave allow us to re-value the sacredness of our own freedom and to take solace in our free choice. “12 Years a Slave” leaves us heavy, saddened, and conflicted. Though Solomon was born free, and finds his way back to freedom, there is little comfort to be taken in this resolution. We weep for those all over the world who have had their freedom stripped away from them, and we especially weep for those who have never even know it.
KRISTINA XIE ’16
The Mill hosted an open house this past Saturday night to unveil its brand new recording studio along with an art gallery that displayed student work. The cultural house, which unites artist from all mediums under one roof, has three levels dedicated to everything art related. Connor Sheridan ’16, who oversees “MillMag,” “themilltheblog” website and the faculty lecture series, gave a personal look into house. From painting studios to music jamming rooms, The Mill gives students the opportunity to unleash their artistic creativity in a lively setting. It allows everyone in the Trinity community – from amateur artists to those, as Heather Zusman ’16, house manager, put it, “who are not musically inclined, but enjoy the artsy fartsy world,” to feel comfortable. There is also a photography dark room in the works, but one of the most exciting parts of the house was the recording studio.
The refurbishing of the studio was completely student run. Members painted, sound proofed and ordered all the necessary equipment to make the space come to life. It is open to the entire community “as long as someone is in there that knows how to record and deal with the technical stuff,” revealed Sheridan. Now students have the ability to produce their own tracks and jam to their peers’ tunes. The space is intimate and welcoming, equipped with an iMac, track board, speakers, and a comfy chair. All it needed was someone hitting Mariah Carey high notes in the recording room and a music prodigy producing the track.
Along with the brand-new studio, open house night was a social hub of students from various circles who all shared a common interest and support for the art scene on campus. If the Fred, Austin Arts Center, the Underground and InterArts had a child, the Mill would be their offspring. Combined with a crowd of friends, it was an eccentric and vibrant night for The Mill. Once visitors arrived, they were greeted by a live band, mimosas and an endless night of cheering and shouting. Many students got the opportunity to perform including Michael McLean ’14, who blessed the stage with the presence of his original jokes. Followed by his stand-up comedy act, Rae Rossetti ’16 and Marisa Celeste Tornello ’15 sang a duet together. Ebban Maeda ’16 then lit up the evening with his tight, glittery spandex shorts with a matching sliver twinkling shirt. Together with his band mate, Austin Julien ’16, the duo gave an invigorating performance with the electric guitar and earsplitting drumming. With his signature navy blue and white stars headband, Julien, was so enraptured in his singing that he threw the microphone stand and flipped the speakers! Luckily, he did not break any equipment! If live music did not satisfy your artistic cravings last Saturday night, the opposite rooms featured an art exhibition, showcasing myriad visual arts, all completed by students. Photographs of natural sceneries and graphic drawings were meticulously placed on the white walls, matched with sharp lighting. The walk though gallery seemed like a world away from the main room, where artists performed and the crowd roared.
“The Mill is a cool and unique space where people can gather to express themselves, no other outlet at Trinity compares!” gushed Sheridan. Art lovers can dwell in this space and produce anything the heart desires. There is something in this house for everyone. Upcoming events include another art exhibition by an artist recruited from Yale and live performances throughout the semester. Members can gain house access and utilize its studios after they attend general body meetings on Thursdays at 7 p.m. and several events. All studios are open and there is even a lounge to hangout and enjoy each other’s company. Artists on campus are not a marginalized group, but a thriving and flourishing one. Their creativity and passion to produce art in various forms diversifies the campus.s and enhances the social climate of school community. Bring your talent to the Mill and you’ll be surprised by what you can create!
ISABEL MONTELEONE ’16
The Fred is filled with many talented students from various social niches and artistic interests. Many of them served as mentors in the InterArts seminar, one of the four gateway programs offered to first-year students. Davis Kim was one of these mentors for the seminar, “Art and Society.” Kim isn’t only a phenomenal pianist, but also a friend to all in the Fred and is partially responsible for gracing the Fred’s third floor with music. This past Sunday, Kim eagerly agreed to take some time out of his busy schedule to discuss his musical journey from childhood to now.
Davis Kim is a double major in music and neuroscience. His artistic journey began with his parents’ decision to place him in piano lessons at the age of five. What started as a forceful beginning with music later blossomed into one of his passions. He soon realized that music had a huge potential in being a fundamental aspect of his academic and social life. In his younger years, Kim primarily played the piano because of his parents. It did not take long for them to realize that he was different from his peers. Kim learned at an exceptional pace and proved to be very good indicator that he was ready for private lessons. In his years of taking these private lessons, Kim was exposed to many opportunities to showcase his ability to play. These experiences allowed him to win many competitions as a young musician. However, with time, both Kim and his parents realized that he was a little fish in a big pond with many other talented performers who outperformed him.
When Kim talks about his exposure to music and the piano, he can’t forget about the immense support he receives from his parents. Up until the ninth grade, Kim continued to play because his parents told him to. It wasn’t until his three-year hiatus from piano that brought him to the realization that he truly loved it. During those days, he reflected on the many years he had spent playing. Senior year of high school was a turning point for him. Kim came to terms with his passion and started to play again.
Coming to Trinity, Kim “didn’t really know what to expect.” He was aware of Trinity’s small music and theatre programs, but regardless of their size, he was able to find many ways to thrive. Trinity gave him the opportunity to do more with music than he had ever done before. It allowed him to become multi-faceted in the arts, from joining choir to being involved in major stage productions, along with private piano lessons. “It really opened my eyes,” he said. Kim participated in the Chapel Singers and the Jazz Ensemble since his sophomore year. He has also been taking lessons since the second semester of his freshman year with Paul Bisaccia and is part of a musical group called, “The Boulevard.” In addition to these clubs, Kim attributes much of his involvement in the theatre department to Gerald Moshell, a music professor. He states “Gerry has given him many opportunities.” Kim has played the piano for the productions of “Rent,” “New Brain,” and the upcoming muscial, “Parade.” His involvements with these activities has deepened his passion for the arts.
Last fall, Davis spent the semester abroad at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, a music conservatory in Copenhagen, Denmark. He describes it as an incredibly fruitful experience that strengthened his talents and challenged him, “it was really different being in an environment where everyone is top notch and wants music performing to be a career. It’s really humbling to go to a conservatory.” While at the conservatory, Kim spent two to three hours a day the piano. He is especially grateful for the professional leadership he was exposed to. Kim’s teachers at the conservatory focused on using individualism and interpretation in creating and playing music. These were two concepts that profoundly influenced his music; “what I got out of the conservatory was a sense of individualism in my music and I feel like that that’s almost much more important to me than being technically proficient.”
Reflecting on his college experience, Kim is thankful for his professors’ guidance, “the thing about Trinity is that it’s given me so many opportunities to grow as an artist. I’ve almost learned to appreciate music even more now.” Trinity has provided him with a variety of ways to create music and share his passion with others, “I’ve been able to collaborate more here with people in The Mill, a Capella, the Fred, and of course with InterArts.” The InterArts seminar was a strong component in helping him improve his musical abilities during his first year.
Recently, Kim is working to enhance his improvisation and jazz music skills. “Being around people who love to sing and play instruments has really allowed me to play more freely… not being constrained by the sheet music.” Kim is a remarkable example of the enjoyment that can come with hard work. His passion is reflected in his commitment and devotion to strengthening the art scene on campus.
For the past few weeks, Kim, along with the entire cast of “Parade,” has been hard at work in preparations for what is sure to be a spectacular show. Performances will be held in the Austin Arts Center. The musicial will premiere on Thursday, February 13th at 7:30 p.m. and again on the 14th and 15th, an excellent chance to see great talent in action!
By PETER PRENDERGAST ’16
In the 2013-2014 season, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning had one of the most impressive and record-breaking years in the history of the NFL. He completed 450 passes for 5477 yards and he set a league record of 55 touchdown passes. With the help of some of the league’s top wide receivers, he led the Broncos to an AFC championship and his first Super Bowl appearance since 2006. For the past three weeks, the nation prepared itself for Super Bowl XLVIII, as Manning looked to win his second championship ring and the Seattle Seahawks geared up for a chance to win their first Super Bowl. The game was to be one for the ages as the NFL’s number one offense and number one defense met at New Jersey’s MetLife stadium on February 2. However, in true Peyton Manning fashion, the Broncos choked, as they were no match for Seattle’s strong defense.
Denver elected to receive the opening kickoff and Manning took the field at the 15-yard line. The very first snap of the game sailed over the quarterback’s head as he mis-cued the snap count. Bronco’s running back Knowshon Moreno recovered the fumble in the end zone, resulting in a safety, giving Seattle an early 2-point advantage. Seattle received the ensuing punt and managed to drive up field, setting kicker Steven Hauschka up for an easy 31-yard field goal. Denver received the ball again but turned possession over to the Seahawks after a quick three-and-out. On their next drive, the Seahawks gained 58 yards and Hauschka completed another field goal for another 3 points.
With twelve minutes on the clock in the second quarter, Manning threw an off-balanced pass intended for tight end Julius Thomas. The pass was intercepted by safety Kam Chancellor. The Seahawks drove the ball to the one-yard line to set running back Marshawn Lynch up for a touchdown. With just over three minutes left in the half, the Broncos managed to drive the ball down to Seattle’s 32-yard line. However, on first down, defensive end Red Bryant was able to disrupt Manning’s pass, resulting in an interception by linebacker Malcolm Smith. Smith returned the ball for a 69-yard touchdown run. The whistle for halftime blew and the teams returned to their locker rooms with the score set at 22-0, Seattle’s favor.
The second half continued in similar fashion as Seattle’s Percy Harvin returned Denver’s second half kick-off for an 87-yard touchdown. Seattle scored again with just over three minutes left in the quarter as quarterback Russell Wilson connected with receiver Jermaine Kearse for a 23-yard touchdown pass. The Broncos finally managed to break through Seattle’s secondary as Manning found receiver Demaryius Thomas in the end zone in the last drive of the 3rd quarter. The Seahawks scored their final touchdown in the 4th quarter, as Wilson threw a 10-yard pass to receiver Doug Baldwin, who managed to break three tackles in order to reach the end zone.
With the final score of Super Bowl XLVIII set at 43-8, Russell Wilson was replaced by back-up quarterback Tavaris Jackson, head coach Pete Carroll was drenched with a jug of Gatorade and Seattle’s sideline erupted in excitment and celebration. The final whistle blew, and the 2013-2014 NFL season came to an end, the Seattle Seahawks crowned the reigning champions.
Following the game, NFL commisioner Roger Goodell presented the Lombardi trophy to the new champions and veteran linebacker Malcolm Smith was named superbowl MVP.
Despite Denver’s crushing loss, the football world can still appreciate all that Peyton Manning has accomplished. For example, he now holds the league record for most completions in a Super Bowl, as well as the most career post season losses by a quarterback.
by Brian Nance ’16
“My most exciting hockey moment was scoring the game tying goal in our first game against Bowdoin last year and then coming back the next day to score the game winning goal also against Bowdoin,” states Abby Ostrom ’14
Ostrom is a leader on the Trinity College women’s ice hockey team and a great representation of a student athlete at Trinity. The senior left wing wears #14 for the Bantams and has tallied up numerous accolades on her athletic résumé, one of which being the feat she pulled off against the Polar Bears, who were leading the NESCAC standings at the time. The two time Jewish All-American ended last season tied for third on Trinity’s leaderboards for game-winning goals as she scored a team high of four. Abby is on track to finish her final season at Trinity as one of the team’s most valuable players.
The American studies major is involved in numerous activities off the ice as she also plays Varsity Softball, works as an Admissions Assistant, and is a Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) representative here at Trinity. She juggles all of those activities along with enjoying her interest in freelance photography and even being the head coach of a 14u summer travel softball team.
Olstrom hails from Carlisle, Mass and attended the Loomis Chaffee School located in Windsor, Conn where she was the captain of her prep hockey team. Growing up, she played a variety of sports including field hockey, soccer, baseball/softball, as well as ice hockey. She was young when she first laced up the skates and had this to say when I asked her about what made hockey stand out from other sports. “My brother and dad both played hockey, so I started skating at three and playing hockey at five. I really liked being a part of a team and I enjoyed the mental aspect of the game.” Olstrom admits that her parents are among her biggest mentors as they have been very supportive of her athletic career.
She began playing travel hockey at the age of eight, playing for two different travel teams as well as a third team in a youth hockey league. “The combination of the three programs aided my development as a hockey player and as a person,” says Olstrom. However, once she started high school, she ended her travel hockey playing days as she began her career in the NEPSAC/Founders League that Loomis competed in. Looking back on her high school experience, Olstrom remarked, “Loomis definitely helped prepare me for the collegiate level… I learned how to balance my academic and athletic responsibilities.” She finds that she was well-fashioned to take on the NESCAC after being a member of the NEPSAC for four years.
The women’s hockey team has had some big moments so far this season while currently holding a record of 10-5-3 through 18 games. Reminiscing on her career as a Bantam, Olstrom said, “My favorite team moment was beating Amherst for the first time in program history my sophomore year. It was an awesome game and a team effort and a game I will remember for a long time,”
Abby Olstrom will be playing her last regular season game in a Trinity jersey on Feb. 22 against Wesleyan.
By JT MEHR
The men’s squash team had quite an eventful past week, culminating in a 9-0 defeat against NESCAC rival Williams College. The victory over Williams not only kept the Bantams undefeated, but also made them the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) champions for the eighth consecutive year.
On Jan. 25, the Bantams played a home match against the University of Rochester. First year starter Affeeq Ismail ’17, playing in the number 8, swept his opponent by a combined score of 33-11. This set the tone early in the matches for the Bantams. Sophomores Zeyad Elshorafy ’16, Karan Malik ’16 and Juan Vargas ’16 recorded wins for Trinity, along with Juniors Moustafa Hamada ’15 and Elroy Leong ’15. Matthew Mackin ‘14 also won at the number 9 position, leading the Bantams to a 7-2 victory over the Yellowjackets.
Later the same week, the Princeton Tigers rolled in to Hartford on Wednesday, Jan. 29, to take on the Bantams in front of a packed crowd at the Kellner Center. Despite struggling at the top three spots, the Bantams won at each of the bottom six positions en route to 6-3 defeat of the Tigers. Elroy Leong ’15 played a tremendous match in the no. 5 position, outscoring Taylor Tutorne of Princeton 33-11. This win boosted the Bantams overall record to 12-0 and gave them their 161st win in a row at home.
After back-to-back home matches against Rochester and Princeton, Trinity travelled to upstate New York to compete in the NESCAC Championship at Hamilton College. The Bantams had a long day of competition on Saturday, but they didn’t disappoint. Trinity first squared off against the eighth seeded Mules of Colby College in the quarterfinals. From the get-go, the Bantams were playing with high energy and had little trouble against Colby, winning the match 9-0. Not even one player for the Bantams gave up a set to the Mules. Later that afternoon, Trinity faced Middlebury in semifinals play. Yet again, the Bantams won the match 9-0. Junior Pranay Merchant recorded his second victory of the tournament, in straight sets, at the number 9 position. This capped off a perfect day for the Bantams, putting them in the NESCAC finals on Sunday.
For the championship game, Trinity competed against the Williams College Ephs. Like most of their matches, the Bantams were able to defeat the Ephs 9-0. Many of the players for the Bantams posted 3-0 records for the weekend, including Moustafa Hamada ’15, Miled Zarazua ’15 and Juan Vargas ’16. In the span of only two days, Trinity beat its three opponents in the NESCAC conference tournament 27-0. With the win over Williams, Trinity currently has a 34 match-winning streak and a record of 15-0 for the season. The no. 1 nationally ranked Bantams host the Harvard Crimson, ranked just behind the Bantams at no.2, on Tuesday at the Kellner Center. This is looking to be of the best, and arguably most important, matches that Trinity will compete in this season.
Following the match against Harvard, the Bantams will host St. Lawrence on Feb. 8. The team will then travel to Harvard from February 14-16 for the CSA Team Championships. Trinity is looking to wrap up their season with yet another National Championship.
Natasha Boyd ’17
Trinity College has been granted $200,000 by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and you know what that means- a rollercoaster from North to Funston is in the works! Just kidding. The actual point of the grant is still pretty cool though. In a city where only 15.4% of adults over 25 have a bachelor’s degree, Trinity is going to be expanding it’s involvement with the K-12 schools in Greater Hartford. More specifically, the grant was given so that a new position, the wordy ‘Director of Urban Educational Initiatives’, would be provided for. The new director will have a host of responsibilities, from developing partnerships, to teaching classes, to coordinating and organizing the many outreach clubs and programs that are a part of Trinity. As of now, Trinity’s various urban programs are randomly scattered and overseen by different faculty and administrators. Hopefully, creating the position of a director will unify them to create more efficiency and better use of resources. As Board of Trustees Chairman Paul Raether said, “The director will serve as an educational expert and liaison between faculty, community partners, and schools, as well as a repository for information, enabling the College to expand and enhance its urban education programs.” The end goal is essentially to strengthen educational opportunities and lower the barriers to getting into college, through a variety of measures that will be carried out by the students and faculty of Trinity.
As President Jones wrote in the application for the foundation, “Trinity is inextricably tied to its home city, and has placed initiatives to support students and teachers, improve educational outcomes, and reduce real or perceived barriers to higher education for Hartford students squarely within its mission…While the College’s work has had a positive impact thus far, an academic administrator – a single point of contact and resource for faculty, students, Hartford school administrators and teachers — is critical to our ability to maximize scale, scope and outcomes.” For years Trinity has kept this statement in mind to rewarding results, and the director will have a lot of work to do considering how many urban initiatives Trinity already has. The Community Learning Initiative, or CLI, is a model for experiential learning: a faculty member from Trinity works alongside a person or group from Greater Hartford to involve students beyond the classroom. It’s one of the largest outreach programs on campus, consisting of almost all of Trinity’s academic departments, approximately 80 community organizations, and around half of Trinity’s student body. On a local level, many after school recreational activities are also sponsored by Trinity, such as the Samba Fest, citywide STEM Fair, or the skating lessons taught at the Koeppel Community Sports Center. Another partnership is with the Hartford Foundation, a tutoring, academic enrichment, and SAT prep program that runs after school and during the summer, works with over 200 students from kindergarten to their senior year of high school. Called the Dream Camp, Trinity students from the Boys and Girls Club offer academic support in combination with the Jones Zimmerman Academic Mentoring Program (J-ZAMP), which also provides homework assistance. Additionally, Trinity’s Individualized Degree Program, although in the service of Hartford’s adults and not children, is still an incredibly inclusive program that has helped nearly 700 graduates attain a liberal arts education since its founding in 1973.
One of the most important parts of the job will be working with the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy ( HMTCA). Established in 2011, the innovative early college model describes its “vision” as creating a student who “will be an effective communicator who conveys ideas clearly, responsible citizen who shows willingness to work toward improvement of the community, information processor who effectively gathers, assesses and analyzes data, collaborative individual who learns from and contributes to the HMTCA community, and knowledgeable person who uses a variety of complex reasoning skills to solve problems.” Its partnership with Trinity has yielded impressive results; already the school was awarded the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence and has been testing in the top 10% of the state. HMTCA receives advising on its curriculum to help students prepare for college. Academic coaches from HMTCA work with Trinity to establish what’s needed for a college student, especially focusing on writing and science skills. In addition, the after school ‘Academic Center’ provides tutoring and homework help, and some high achieving students can select classes to attend at Trinity in their senior year. It will be very interesting to see what new heights the school can reach when given the opportunity to deepen its collaboration with Trinity.
Obviously the new director will have plenty of work ahead of him or her. The grant will be supported for only two years by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, after which it will be sustained through the school’s own resources and other philanthropic contributions. Linda J. Kelly, the president of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, commented that, “Trinity College is a valuable community partner in the effort to make certain all of our region’s children have the opportunity to succeed; the grant will help to ensure that the college can continue to deepen and broaden its partnerships in urban education, and assist local students in their efforts to be college and career ready.”
Ali Tucci ’17
Take a look around you, at your classmates, friends, teammates. You might be looking at the next young entrepreneur of today’s world- a Trinity student with an original and groundbreaking idea on the brink of its launch. Thanks to the Career Development Center, Trinity’s Entrepreneurship Competition has provided innovative and aspiring students with the opportunity to further develop their creative ideas. Through extensive training workshops and supervision from alumni mentors, the competition’s candidates dedicate time and energy towards transforming what was once a simple idea into a cutting-edge enterprise.
On January 16th, the Career Development Center officially announced the five teams that made it to the final round of the competition: Dream Team, INTELSATH/Gymtrack, KGG Solutions, Member Links, and Underdog. While the ideas range from a new social network prototype that focuses on just the professional world to a redefinition and expansion of fantasy sport leagues, the five proposals are undoubtedly equally innovative. Competitors Gillian Burkett ’14 and Gwen Schoch ’14, the dynamic duo behind KGG Solutions, explained some of the ups and downs of the rollercoaster ride that the competition has so far been. KGG Solutions is developing an alternative approach to the military’s process of gathering intelligence in areas of counterinsurgency. “The most exciting part of the competition has been Trinity’s support,” says Burkett. “So many startups have no network when they begin. We have only been working on our project for a few months and already have $2,000 in seed money from Trinity, a mentor who is a Trinity alum, and we have attended workshops that are useful in all aspects towards developing an idea into a product or service.” Furthermore, the winning team of the competition is rewarded $10,000 in order to continue to develop and solidify their product.
Alex Barker ’14, of Underdog, seems to be on the same page with the members of KGG Solutions in terms of appreciation for Trinity’s support and encouragement throughout the competition. “I would have to say being picked as a top 5 team and winning the seed money for our idea have been the most exciting moments so far,” he says. Barker and his fellow aspiring entrepreneur, Jake Shimmel ’14, teamed up to create a new fantasy sports model that incorporates winners of college athletic games instead of individual players, and they are so far “pleased that a group of accomplished entrepreneurs responded so positively to our idea and business proposal.”
While Burkett and Barker both articulated the excitement, passion, and determination that is expected of any young entrepreneur on the brink of success, they also explained the difficulties that the competition has posed in terms of balancing the creation of their start ups with everyday tasks here at Trinity. Burkett says, “The disadvantage that students have when trying to create a start-up is that they have to manage the project on top of everything else like schoolwork, athletics, jobs, and other activities.” Perhaps that is the reason why making it to the final round of the Trinity Entrepreneurship Competition is such as huge success in itself; competitors are still full-time college students, not college graduates with the freedoms of the real world.
However, as the competition progressed, Burkett and Schoch found that a schedule that best fit their needs eventually fell into place. “Gwen and I have been able to block out a few hours per week ahead of time devoted to our project. We are both extremely committed to the competition so we have been able to manage our time well so far,” Burkett continued.
If the competition calls for one thing, it is a strong sense of commitment. All eleven of the competitors who are currently in the final round have both dedicated time and perseverance, as well as willingly sacrificed other aspects of their lives for an entire semester in order to come out of the competition on top.
Looking forward, the five final teams plan on working even more closely with their new mentors in order to better guarantee themselves coming out on top. Both KGG Solutions and Underdog will rely on their alumni mentors for help and advice on the final business plans and the big pitches at the end of this semester. Burkett explains, “We are currently working with our mentor to nail down some issues in our business plan that investors would be concerned with.”
The Trinity College Entrepreneurship Competition, and all of the talented young students currently involved, works to exemplify the benefits of a liberal arts education and the well rounded nature of all Trinity students. Many say that the competition is proof of all that Trinity has to offer its students, both inside and outside of the classroom. The world’s next Steve Jobs could be right here within the walls of Trinity College, and the Entrepreneurship Competition is serving as a successful outlet for aspiring entrepreneurs in need of an opportunity and a helping hand that will be sure to open many doors.
Hillary Vossler ’17
Recently in December of 2013, Trinity College joined the Say Yes program. In addition, Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Washington University in St. Louis, Brown University, Williams College, Smith College, Kenyon College, Muhlenberg College, and Northeastern University also agreed to join the Say Yes program.
By joining the program, the colleges and universities agree to support the financial needs of students if they meet the Say Yes qualifications. By doing so they are creating motivation for the future of a student who hopes to give back to the community and inspire educational success in others.
George Weiss, who was born in Hartford and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, founded the Say Yes program. Say Yes provides financial support, in addition to other services such as extended day/year programming, mentoring, tutoring, school-day academic supports, family services, health care, and legal services.
Say Yes hopes that students will be more inspired and motivated to graduate high school due to their financial support and other supportive services in college. In addition, Say Yes wants students to apply themselves throughout high school in order to be competitive for admission into nationally ranked colleges and universities.
Committed to improving the education of impoverished children, Say Yes is a nationally recognized non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the graduation rates of inner city students, at both the high school and collegiate level. Say Yes is committed to improving the education of impoverished children, realizing their potential and the challenges they face by living in poverty. The support provided by Say Yes will help students overcome these challenges.
Weiss’s inspiration came from a party his fraternity hosted for twelve inner-city children when he was a sophomore at college. Weiss easily got along with the children, and he listened to their stories about the struggles they faced. He was inspired by their enthusiasm and bravery, and vowed to keep in touch with the children even after he graduated college.
When Weiss was more established, he went back to the University of Pennsylvania and met up with those same twelve children and took them out to lunch. The children, who were now young adults, had all graduated from college. The students were inspired by Weiss and his generosity, and as a result Weiss was even more inspired than before to make a change in impoverished children’s lives.
In 1987, Weiss returned to Philadelphia and visited the Belmont School. There, he made a promise to 112 sixth graders that he would pay for their college educations if they graduated high school. The first Say Yes chapter was founded, and not shortly after that spread to other communities. Programs began starting earlier than sixth grade and provided more support, like health and wellness, to ensure emotional and social support and development.
Say Yes programs were producing positive results and began to expand to school districts. Test scores, graduation rates, and college enrollment rates were all showing improved results. The Say Yes Hartford chapter began in 1990 with the Annie Fisher Elementary School students. The 76 students visited the University of Hartford and received the same promise from George Weiss that he made to the Belmont School students in 1987; that he would pay the post secondary school education costs for everyone in the class. The gift was linked with the Hartford Scholars Program that provides half priced tuition at the University of Hartford for Hartford public school graduates.
Throughout the decade, Say Yes expanded to Cambridge and later to Harlem. In 2008, Syracuse, New York, was the first city to apply the Say Yes Program to all 32 schools in the district. In 2012, Buffalo, New York planned to implement the Say Yes program to their public schools. The Say Yes program is rooted in the belief of an education gap between students who go to inner city schools versus suburban schools. They believe there is an achievement gap that is shown in their grades, standardized test scores, dropout rates, college admission, and college-completion rates.
Say Yes addresses four major obstacles that would close the achievement gap: academic, social, and emotional readiness, health and well being, and financial resources. The earlier this strategy is applied to the student’s academic career, the more likely it is that the student will be successful in graduating high school and continuing on to college.
The Say Yes program believes that it will cause beneficial long-term effects, like a lower crime rate, a higher employment rate, a larger taxbase, residential growth, and improved educational outcomes. Say Yes has the support of lawmakers, mayors, county leaders, business leaders, teachers, school boards, and social programs, all who see the potential in the Say Yes program, and what positive outcomes it will bring in the future.
The support of these institutions provides necessary services for the advancement of Say Yes, like diagnostic testing, evaluation, tutoring, professional development, family services, mentoring, employment opportunities, college counseling, scholarships, legal support, and health services. These serve as resources for the Say Yes program, providing enrichment and promoting longevity to the program.
Dan Wilkins ’16
The message in Tim Wise’s lecture on “White Denial in the Age of Obama” was clear—racism is still a pertinent issue rooted in American society. Wise captivated the audience by using a mix of analogies, personal anecdotes and statistics to demonstrate the prevalence of racism in our culture.
Wise opened the lecture by acknowledging the inherent problem that someone like him, who is white, is leading a discussion on racism. He claimed that, despite his own experiences and involvement in human rights, he had little to add to the conversation in comparison to the experiences that people of color face on a daily basis. However, Wise acknowledged that Americans don’t seem ready—or comfortable—to discuss racism with people of color. Until that can happen, Wise feels that it is important for people like him to continue to lead discussions to raise awareness of the still present issue of racism in America.The biggest problem Wise addressed was the way racism has become subconsciously engrained into the minds of many Americans. In one instance, he cited a specific study, which demonstrates the subconscious nature of modern racism. In the study, a group of white participants were asked a serious of questions that were found not to be overtly racist.
This same group of people were then shown a series of images while the researchers observed the participants’ brain signals. When an image of a black person was flashed across the screen, almost all of the participants showed increased activity in sections of the brain related to fear. While the people in this study were not overtly racist they showed that they subconsciously held biases against people of color. Wise affirmed that this level of deep-rooted racism exists for a variety of reasons. One of the main causes he highlighted was the way the media portrays various races in America. In one specific study, individuals were asked to picture a criminal. According to Wise, 75% of white people and 45% of black people pictured a black person. Wise claimed that the media treats black criminals significantly differently from white criminals and, as a result, causes significant racial biases.
Wise supported this claim by sharing a few statistics. Although there are no studies that prove a disparity between the amount of white drug users and black drug users, people of color are five times more likely to be incarcerated for drug possession. In addition, 88% of stop and frisks conducted in New York City are done on its black residents.
Wise later used a personal story to show how racism exists in America’s school systems. As a child Wise had a particularly racist teacher who had warned his mother that many of his friends were children of color. His mother promptly had this teacher fired. However, years later, Wise recognizes that removing that teacher did not change the school system at all. Racism was still rampant within the curriculum.
To follow this story, Wise presented the audience with a question. What if we were to test teachers and not allow those that are racist to teach? Wise claims that the majority of the teachers he has asked this question to reply that this sort of limitation would cause a significant shortage in teachers. One of the greatest causes of racism in America is that school children are subjected to racist influences and thinking.
One of the most controversial (and significant) claims that Wise made was the influence of right wing politicians on American racism. Wise referenced the deathbed confessions from the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, Lee Atwater, to support this point. In Atwater’s confession, he reportedly admitted the GOP used certain code words to gain white votes by playing off of the fears of people of color. Wise asserted that right winged fears of “big government” and “taxation” are truly just ploys to gain votes using racist undertones. According to Wise, Atwater’s confession confirms that the Republican Party continues to engrain racism into its members’ minds.
The final message Wise left with the audience is the importance that people continue to discuss and identify racism within America. White people in society have the luxury to ignore racism because they don’t need to understand it. Racism is not directed at them and, therefore, they do not face it on a daily basis. Wise made an analogy to his own life to get this point across. While he was in school, Wise never took calculus. He says that today he is completely ignorant to calculus, because he was never forced to take it. Wise claims that white people are largely ignorant to racism in the same manner. They have the luxury of going through their days without having to acknowledge racism, because it does not directly affect them. People of color, however, do not have this luxury. People of color are forced to face the realities of racism because they encounter it every day. However, Wise admitted that the answer is unclear as to how Americans can work to eliminate racism. On the other hand, he says the first step is to keep talking about racism and to spread awareness about how significant the issue still is.
Ana Medina ’16
Despite the financial difficulties and after many petitions to the school, WGRAC (Women Gender Resource Action Center) was very pleased to hire Melissa A. Richards as a Program and Training Manager. WGRAC is proud to present itself as a center of support, advocacy, and community. While WGRAC runs many activities, such as discussion groups, guest speakers, SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) training, and awareness programs, it has all been done by Laura Lockwood, the director of WGRAC, and the loyal members of this center. However, once one is immersed into the life of a “WGRACer,” it can be seen that there is no such thing as enough help. While WGRAC did have help from Lauren Donais a year ago, she left upon being offered the opportunity to run her own Women’s Center at UCONN. This left WGRAC with one person less to help in all its activities and so the search began.
Starting in the Fall of 2013, WGRAC members facilitated interviews with potential candidates for Donais’s position. After a hectic search, the members and staff of WGRAC were happy to welcome Richards into their community. While she has only been here a short while, she has already been busy with the Big Sister/Little Sister Program and Promoting Healthy Awareness to the Body (PHAB). In addition to helping with these programs, Richards also helps Lockwood run programming, as well as training workshops for bystander behavior.
Originally from Shelton, Connecticut, Richards found herself moving to New Britain in order to avoid the hour long drive to the University of Connecticut. Having completed her B.A in social work at Southern Connecticut State University, she pursued her Master’s of Social Work at UConn. On her background, Richards comments, “I always knew I wanted to help people and I didn’t want to go into the medical field. With social work it’s very personal, more one on one level and [you] just learn about all the social issues [such as] dating violence and sexual assault. Then you pick your passion and that’s how I wanted to connect with people.”
While only being a recent graduate from UCONN’s School of Social Work, Richards has had extensive experience with Women’s Center. “During my B.A at Southern I worked at a Women’s Center and at UConn I got a professional position at their Women’s Center,” Richards explains on her experience that qualified her for the position. In addition to this, she also worked on a grant from the Department of Justice: Violence Against Women, in which she successfully secured $500,000 in funds to help nine different schools in the state, one of which was Trinity, and Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services (CONNSACS). Through her work with this grant, Richards explains how she got into contact with Laura Lockwood, and thus began a network that would be invaluable to Richards.
Now on campus, Richards exclaims that she, “likes [that] it’s small and my experience [has been] with public schools. They were really big so I like that it seems easy to meet everyone. I [also] definitely like the students in WGRAC [and their] commitment and passion.” While her position in WGRAC is only part-time, Richards has big goals in mind for the center. She explains, “Similar to my experience at Southern, so many people made me disappointed when they didn’t know where I worked and my experience here is the same. [At WGRAC] we are a place for everyone, not just feminists or women. There’s support, we plan programs, not only on sexual assault, and we discuss media literacy. Knowing what we are and who we are is basic, but I think it’s a start.”
Richards has quickly stepped up to the plate and been a great support and resource for students. Make sure to stop by the WGRAC lounge in Mather and welcome our newest Trinity staff member.
Sophie Katzman ’14
After living in a double in Jones, a two-room quad in Park Place and a single in Vernon, the Crescent nine-person townhouse is almost beyond comparison. There’s nothing like moving into a brand new home, especially with a group of my closest friends. Even from the outside, the aesthetic is clean and welcoming. The yellow and green façade is reminiscent of warm days; even in the deep winter freeze. Upon entering, there is a living room with an updated dorm style filled with muted green furniture complimented by wood colored tables and chairs. The open kitchen is adorned with steel appliances and granite countertops. The counter is perfect for enjoying a quick meal, while the table is better for dinner gatherings. Having a fully furnished kitchen makes it easy for healthy living; cooking is the perfect antidote to a long day in classes or a night out. Further, it’s a nice break from three years on the classic Chartwells’ meal plans. Behind the kitchen is perhaps one of the most convenient parts of the house the washer-dryer set. Not to mention it’s free, making laundry simple and efficient in our busy college lives.
The house has the perfect balance between individual and communal space. In our suite, the first floor has one bedroom with its own bathroom equipped with a shower and toilet. The second and third floors are identical, each outfitted with four single bedrooms and a bathroom setup. The bathroom is laid out so that there is one room for a shower, one room for the toilet and a counter in between with two sinks as well as plenty of cupboard space for toiletries. The setup makes it easy for everyone to get ready at once.
With a roomy townhouse, there are ample ways to decorate. For our house in particular, we each put our own personal touches to our rooms. The bedrooms are a good size, furnished with a full bed, desk, closet, and drawers. They are very well updated versions of other Trinity dorms. The window is covered with a very functional shade that opens and closes easily in contrast to the makeshift pull-down white shades that fill most of the other dorm room windows. Additionally, the bed and desk look more like apartment furnishings as opposed to dorm fixtures. One thing it’s missing is a bookcase or shelf and a nightstand, which you can add on.
Each of our bedrooms has its own unique touch that exemplifies the girl living in it. Some of the styles represented are coastal, sleek contemporary design, shabby chic, countryside, and eclectic flair. However, no room simply uses one of these styles, rather there is a variety of modes in each of the rooms. I would say that my room is a mix between shabby chic and contemporary, with a few traditional assets. My style has transitioned over my four years; this time, for most of the décor, I chose black and white and neutral tones. Thus I replaced my traditional damask pink and white duvet cover with a simpler linen one. To accent the plain off-white piece, I decorated with a gray velour throw blanket complimented by two gray sparkly throw pillows. I chose black and white pillowcases spelling out “Love” in a contemporary font as well as an embroidered butterfly pillow for added elegance. With such vast wall space, there is plenty of room for art. Behind my bed is a framed print of my favorite photograph “Dovima with Elephants” by Richard Avedon. On the adjoining wall are lithographs of two of my favorite books from a unique company called “Litographs” that prints texts of books into the shape of a defining scene or character from a book. I have one of Daisy and Gatsby from Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” and a silhouette of Emma from Jane Austen’s “Emma.” Next to them is a board of vintage postcards from my travels abroad. Across the wall, I have a crafted vanity with a decorative black mirror set above a bookcase. Next to that is a canvas inspiration board of quotes, pictures and other trinkets. Finally, I decorated the wall next to my closet with wired letters spelling my initials filled with pictures and unique greeting cards. For style inspirations, I frequented blogs such as Refinery 29 and home magazines and for accessories I shopped at Fab.com, Urban Outfitters, HomeGoods, the new H&M home, and various unique boutiques just to name a few.
Overall, there are very few disadvantages to living in the new townhouses. If I had to name anything I would say the negatives are limited parking and uncomfortable couches, but there is a parking lot being built and the more recent houses already have better furniture! Yes, there is an additional cost, but for all the new appliances and amenities, it is definitely worth it. I would recommend living here at least once during your four years if you can!
Bart Harvey, ’16
On Wednesday, Dec. 18, Dean Frederick Alford notified the Trinity College community that the Zeta Theta Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma was found innocent of violating the College’s hazing policy. However, the sorority was found guilty of violating the College’s social host policy and being “misleading” about its new member initiation plans. The Honor Council charges began after the Hartford Police Department received an anonymous tip on Thursday, Nov. 14 stating that it was Kappa Kappa Gamma’s “Hell Week” and the prospective members of the sorority were being forced to sleep in a loft owned by Kappa and located above the sorority’s garage.
Under Trinity’s new social policy, there are very strict guidelines as to what constitutes “hazing” in the updated student handbook. Therefore, when President Jones was contacted by the Hartford Police,he requested the matter be investigated. During the Honor Council’s investigation, it became apparent that Kappa had also “failed to abide by the College social host rules and the rules governing the integration of new members into the organization,” Dean Alford wrote in an email to the Trinity Community.
These matters were then taken to the Student Honor Council to determine whether the organization had violated College policy and the appropriate punishments if they faced guilty verdicts. Kappa was now under the microscope and the Honor Council found themselves in an unprecedented situation, as it was the first case involving a violation of the new social policy that had been introduced in October of last year. Internally, Kappa decided that it was in their best interest to elect Emily Misencik ’14 to be acting president and handle the accusations from the College. The investigation began, according to Misencik, when Dean Card investigated the anonymous tip and found new members of the sorority above the loft and and asked that they leave. However, Misencik stated that the new members were not being forced to sleep there. “We were having a party later that evening and those girls were getting ready and hanging out before the party,” she explained.
The Honor Council came to the unanimous decision that there was not enough evidence to indicate that Kappa had violated the College’s hazing policy. The Council “could find no evidence to suggest that the women who were sleeping in a heated room in an outbuilding that the sorority uses as its Chapter Room were there under duress or that they were engaged in activities that would have violated the hazing policy. The council did not believe that the women were required to spend the night, and the weight of the evidence indicated that many new members did not participate,” explained Dean Alford in a campus-wide email. “Kappa Kappa Gamma doesn’t support hazing and neither does Trinity. They both have very intense definitions of hazing and so I was really happy that the Honor Council found us not guilty of that because that was my main goal going into the [case],” Misencik stated.
However, the Honor Council did find Kappa guilty of violating the social host policy. “The panel… found that the sorority had violated the social host policy by hosting an unregistered social event and disrupting the lives of neighbors and had not been forthright about that event,” explained Dean Alford.
The Council voted 4-1 in favor of stripping Kappa’s ability to take on new members this academic year, prohibiting any new or prospective members from all activities of the sorority, and forbidding the sorority to recruit new members until next fall at the earliest. In addition, the remaining members of the organization are unable to sponsor or co-sponsor social events between now and September 2014. After this time, the sorority may petition the Dean of Students to have their social and new member privileges restored. Kappa submitted an appeal to the Honor Council shortly after the decision was announced. Misencik stated that the grounds of their appeal were on, “the punishments being directed at the new members, but we are not appealing the unregistered party, we are taking full responsibility for that.”
The Honor Council charged the sorority as a whole, not individual members. “I hope no one [individually] felt persecuted,” Dean Alford explained. “The disciplinary process is meant to allow objective members of the community to uphold the College rules and standards.” Misencik stressed that Kappa Kappa Gamma is looking to put this incident behind them. They plan to start fresh next fall when the sorority can rebuild their image by going through the “new member orientation program that is approved by the Dean of Students Office,” according to Dean Alford.
“Kappa was not found responsible for hazing as we ensure the health and well-being of all of our members. We are committed to the ideals of Kappa and desire to be contributing members of the Trinity community and we are working with our national organization [in order to be] committed to shaping the Greek experience that supports a positive growth of members involved,” Misencik remarked.
Bettina Gonzalez ’16
I’m a firm believer that good food is not found in the most upscale Michelin star restaurant. Good food is found in the streets, where experiencing the sensation of “delicious” is an escape, a reward from the long tiring days of daily life. Good food is made by cooks, whether home or professional, who want, no, need, to be creative in order to survive the mundaneness of life. Good food does not always come from a restaurant or an experienced chef. It can come from anyone who wants it.
This is not the traditional Food Dudes.
I am not here to showcase restaurants. Those things come and go all the time. I am here to give you a food experience – whether it is in a restaurant or your own place. Because food is always an experience.
Your first time living away from home comes with a harsh realization about life:
Feeding yourself is hard work.
Between classes, work, sports, bingeing on Netflix, extracurriculars, and homework, many of us tend to be too busy to feed ourselves. Of course, there’s still Mather or our other eating hubs on campus to satiate your hunger. But sometimes, if you are anything like the food junkie that I am – craving for something hot, savory, and delicious, something that will satisfy the need for an occasional mouthgasm – food at Trinity just isn’t enough.
And during my first year here at Trinity, I was convinced that the only places for me to have a good cheap meal were few and far between.
That was until last summer.
While working on campus, I ran into a friend, a fellow foodie. She was an alum, a veteran in surviving through the apparent food drought I was feeling at the time. Complaining that I hadn’t had anything decent to eat in a while, she took me on a bus trip that changed my perception of food life in Hartford.
Just a short bus trip on the 39 towards New Britain Avenue (that’s the bus you take to the mall), is A Dong Supermarket. A Dong is an Asian grocery store located in West Hartford. Open since 1989, the supermarket sells a variety of Oriental food products, both prepared and ready to serve, and the usual (or perhaps unusual to some) grocery items.
I have to admit, I was a little intimidated when I first came in. Even though I am Filipino, many of the food items were more or less foreign to me. I was not sure what to get. I stood by the entrance a little perplexed but then I turned my head to left and saw my hunger’s saving grace.
A dozen or so servings of roasted chicken, pork, and duck hung over a glass-case oven. The savory smell was intoxicating and nearly made me salivate. On the other side of oven-display was a restaurant kiosk where one could order the roast of their choice, tightly packed in a foil container, for less than $10 a pound. A little further down the kiosk counter, A Dong also offers a variety of freshly made Vietnamese sandwiches, pastries, and tarts.
I was excited. I was enthralled.
I was hungry.
Turning to the lady behind the counter, my friend and I ordered a whole duck.
“Crispy or regular?” the lady asked. I asked for a crispy one, hoping it would be something close to Chinese Peking Duck. Peking Duck is a Chinese specialty that I was introduced to early in my youth. Foodies go crazy for its perfectly crispy skin and tender meat. The lady nicely complied and grabbed a newly cooked one from the oven. I watched as she masterfully cleavered the whole duck and expertly fit the entire thing in a foil container.
One whole duck from A Dong, which feeds four or five people, costs little more than $18, whereas ordering from a sit-in Chinese restaurant will often cost you upwards of $25 to $30 if you’re lucky. Excited about the bargain, I decided to use my extra grocery money and buy a few other ingredients to make an amazing dinner for me and my friend.
Back on campus, I quickly reheated the duck in the oven for a few minutes, trying to burn some excess fat off. In a small pot, I boiled some white Jasmine rice, the perfect complement to any of A Dong’s roasts whether you get the duck, chicken, or pork. Adding a little more zing to our meal, I sautéed chopped garlic in a hot oiled pan, splashed a little bit of soy sauce, and cooked some bean sprouts until tender. No fancy work needed. Less than thirty minutes to the table and bon appetite!
Even if you are not a huge fan of Asian cuisine (which trust me, I’m not much of one either), this meal is simple enough to give you just a little intro the vast flavors of Asian cooking.
Want to try your hand in a simple, quick Asian-inspired dinner? Then you should definetly make sure to stop by A Dong Supermarket located on 160 Shield St, West Hartford. Check it out even if you’re shopping for food staples or just to try their roasts (don’t forget the sauce!). If you got to the mall, you went too far. Go back – there’s more to eating than the usual corporate chain joint.
Benjamin Chait ’16
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli recently debuted what is arguably their best couture collection they’ve done for the house of Valentino. The collection was a trip around the world through interpretations from operas. Most pieces from the fifty-five look show were not only profoundly wearable, but astonishingly beautiful. That is perhaps why it is so confusing that Katy Perry chose the gown she did. Perry has come a long way since the glitter wings and whipped-cream bras, but this gown was certainly a step back. The gown cut her body, hid her beautiful curls, washed her out, and looked messy. It may be the biggest night for music, but having musical notes on your dress when you’re such an established artist isn’t comically cute, it is drastically literal.
I couldn’t say that I expected more from the fashion at the Grammy Awards. Unlike other award shows where people dress with refinement, and the overall looks from this award show were aggressive and ironically anti-fashion. These artists tend to either underdress or over do it. This is ultimately a shame because the atmosphere of the Grammys allows for more freedom and experimentation.
There were, however, some truly wonderful looks this year. Beyoncé and Jay-Z continued their streak as the most talented and most fashionable power couple in music. Jay-Z looked refined and like a gentleman. The patterned evening coat referenced the Rat Pack, and cemented Jay-Z as the contemporary Sinatra. Beyoncé elegantly balanced herself on the rope between being conservative and showing off her skin. Queen Latifah stole the red carpet. She not only outdressed those younger than her, she outdressed those older than her who tend to dress worse than the young and over-styled one-hit-wonders. Black gowns on the red carpet can tend to be bland, but Latifah’s gown sparkled on the carpet and on the stage. Alicia Key’s blue gown showed off her stunning figure while still showing that she is a serious musical artist. Men tend to look either boring, sloppy, or ridiculous, but Macklemore and Ryan Lewis looked fantastic in their well-tailored and dramatic tuxedos. They also had the best performance in recent Grammy history. Honorable mentions include Anna Kendrick, who mixed classic red carpet glamour with subtle sex appeal, and Daft Punk who remained true to their persona while still rocking it in classic tuxedos.
For someone who is so eager to change male partners, it’s a shame Taylor Swift was less willing to change up her look. She looked nice. She looked boring. Pharrell, on the other hand, didn’t look boring, looked ridiculous. This was sad coming from a man whose taste level is so high.
Not that many people looked bad and not that many people looked great. Most people looked fine, and that’s such a shame coming from such an eclectic group. The producers of the Grammys should perhaps think to invite more exciting style icons such as Kanye West, Rihanna, Lana Del Rey, and Lady Gaga. Better luck next year musicians.
Isabel Monteleone ’16
The last few years have been absolutely monumental for the Quirks, the youngest of Trinity’s all-female a capella groups. Their latest high-profile performance, which took place over winter break, truly took this perfect-pitched group to a whole new level. On December 21st, the Quirks were invited to perform in Washington, DC in the White House Grand Foyer, where they delighted visitors from around the world and staff alike to take part in celebrating the holiday season. This musical treat, for both the groups that were honored to perform and the visitors themselves, has become an annual tradition at the White House. The Quirks, one of seven groups to be invited to perform this year, were thrilled to sing alongside youth orchestras, chamber singers, and other phenomenal groups. This incredible opportunity has continued to grant exposure for a group that has been filling Trinity’s campus with harmonious sounds and extending the group’s talents across the country.
Rachael Burke, a senior member of the Quirks and the group’s public relations coordinator, largely helped to make this performance possible. Burke says the Quirks were invited to perform at the White House back in November: “The performance was a culmination of our musical and personal progress as a group. It was amazing and inspiring to perform at our nation’s capital and definitely something we will remember for the rest of our lives. We current Quirks are so thankful for the founders of our group every day and were honored to have them join us at the performance in Washington.”
Molly Belsky ’16, a sophomore Quirk, who described the thirteen other members of the Quirks as “what has made [her] feel like [she] belongs at Trinity,” was beyond thrilled to be part of this opportunity to gain national exposure as well as reunite again with the group during winter break. Belsky had spent her Sophomore Fall at Trinity/La Mama, the New York City performing arts semester study abroad program. After having spent months apart from some of her closest friends, she says she could not have been happier simply for the chance to sing with the Quirks before returning back to Trinity for the spring semester. Belsky described the experience as “one of the best things that could have possibly happened. The Quirks were what I missed most about this place [Trinity] and it was the best way for me to re-acclimate to Trinity.” Belsky, like many other Quirks, has a strong bond with the group – this friendship they all share only adds to the reason why they click so well vocally.
The Quirks performed in the foyer of the White House for two hours, singing everything from holiday classics like “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, “Carol of the Bells”, and “Christmas Is All Around,” from the Love Actually soundtrack, to their standard set of angelic renditions like “Wagon Wheel”, “Bottom Of the River”, and “Royals.” Belsky, eagerly reminisced about the night they all arrived in DC, stated “when we started to sing for the first time, I couldn’t stop myself from smiling.” Collectively, the Quirks’ strong friendship, admirable work ethic, and natural talent put them in a great place for many more successes to come.
This White House appearance is but one of the many ways that the Quirks have made an impression in the a capella world since their founding as a senior project in 2003. In 2012, they opened up for a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park, and have also performed with the Yale University Whiffenpoofs both in 2012 and 2013 at Infinity Hall in Norfolk, Connecticut. Additionally they have competed in the Silver Chord Bowl, an event that showcases the best collegiate a cappella groups in the nation. As one of Connecticut’s most publicized a capella groups, the Quirks have been seen on WNPR, NBC Connecticut, and in Connecticut Magazine. They’ve also performed at several events in Hartford, including this year’s Hartford Hodge Podge and the 40th Annual Festival of Trees & Traditions at the Wadsworth Athenaeum. In addition, the Quirks were featured on the website of the UK magazine New Musical Express, and have performed with Grammy-winning founder of the Allman Brothers Band, Jaimoe Johanson and his Jasssz Band.
In recalling the various events and venues where the Quirks have performed, Belsky remarked, “it was so awesome to get exposure. I don’t know how we’ll top this…but the great thing about the Quirks is that we’re excited to perform anywhere. Being invited to perform at the White House was an incredible thing, but this isn’t the end for us.” The Quirks’ third studio album will be released this winter, but until then, be sure to look out for them in their upcoming concert for a capella tryouts on Friday, January 31st in Hamlin Hall, where you’ll have a front row seat to see this talented group sing!
ZACHARY HAINES ’14
“Captain Phillips” opens on the tiny town of Underhill, Vermont where merchant mariner Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks) is preparing for the voyage of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama from the Port of Salalah, Oman to Mombasa, Kenya. In accordance with NATO advisory, the ship is to transport food, water and other aid supplies to Africa. Though Phillips is aware of the vague threat of piracy off the Somali coast, he must proceed with this relatively routine assignment.
As the Maersk rounds the Horn of Africa, another crew prepares to set sail. In the coastal city of Ely, Somalia, Abduwali Muse (Barkhad Abdi) receives orders from a local warlord to hijack the Maersk and plunder its cargo. Whereas the staff of the Maersk is completely unarmed, Muse and his three-man crew set out with AK-47’s and iron ladders to scale the sides of the ship.
Phillips has little time to prepare for the oncoming attack. He places a call for immediate military support to no avail. Muse boards the ship and holds Phillips at gunpoint. A rather tense series of events onboard finds Muse and his crew taking off in one of the Maersk’s lifeboat with Phillips as their hostage. The US Navy is called in to negotiate this delicate situation.
Admirers of director Paul Greengrass, best known for his action-packed blockbusters “The Bourne Ultimatum” and “The Bourne Supremacy,” can rest assured that the ensuing events are perfectly wrought with suspense.
Attested by the recent award-season hype, one of “Captain Phillips’ greatest strengths lies in the performances by the film’s lead actors. Tom Hanks has obviously proved his ability time and time again, so it should come as no surprise that he is able to inhabit the film’s high-tension environment with ease. In my opinion, the film’s true gems are the amateur actors cast as the pirates.
Barkhad Abdi makes a particularly strong impression as the lead pirate, Muse. According to a recent interview, before Abdi was cast in the film, he was working as a chauffeur and had no aspirations to become an actor. You would not know it from his performance: he gives Muse both the ferocity of a hardened criminal and the vulnerability of a man who has been presented with few other opportunities in his unforgiving home country. First-time actors Barkhad Abdirahman, Mahat M. Ali and Mohamed Ali co-star in equally impressive debut roles.
I was originally concerned about how the film would portray Somalis. Regardless of the film’s foundation in true events, I hoped that the film would do justice to the complexity of the situation. “Captain Phillips” is not a film of heroes and villains. Although it would certainly be simple to create villains out of the pirates, screenwriter Billy Ray has expertly avoided this facile solution. Rather, Ray has drawn many astute parallels between Phillips and Muse. I have not read Phillips’ autobiographical account of his abduction, A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea, so I do not know the exact nature of Phillips’ and Muse’s relationship during their days together in the Maersk’s lifeboat. However, I can say that the script Ray has crafted is a refreshingly sympathetic spin on a dire situation.
Nicole Sinno, ’17
On December 4, the American Studies Association (A.S.A) voted to boycott Israeli academic institutions, quickly causing striking backlash among colleges and universities all over the country. Chartered in 1951, the American Studies Association is our nation’s oldest and largest association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history. According to the ASA, their resolution pledges to combat, “all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism, discrimination,and xenophobia,” and show support for the “aggrieved peoples in the United States and the world by enlarging freedom for all, including Palestinians.” A.S.A states that the resolution is in solidarity with students deprived of their academic freedoms and published its reasons for supporting the boycott.
“The A.S.A’s endorsement of the academic boycott emerges from the context of US military and other support for Israel; Israel’s violation of international law and UN resolutions; the documented impact of the Israeli occupation on Palestinian scholars and students; the extent to which Israeli institutions of higher education are a party to state policies that violate human rights; and finally, the support of such a resolution by a majority of ASA members,” as stated in an open letter posted on the ASA website. College President Jones, among more than 80 university professors and nearly all Ivy League presidents, fiercely condemned the resolution as misguided and unprincipled. “Academic boycotts subvert the academic freedoms and values necessary to the free flow of ideas, which is the lifeblood of the worldwide community of scholars,” said Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust. Former president of Harvard University Lawrence H. Summers, called on administrators to deny Harvard faculty members the funds to attend ASA meetings.
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations also sent university presidents urgent letters advising them to dissociate from the ASA. Here at Trinity, faculty members are divided over President James Jones’ decision to denounce the boycott in an open letter. More than 20 faculty members have signed a letter strongly criticizing his statement and opposition to the boycott, while more than 30 other faculty members have signed a separate letter supporting President Jones. In his letter to the president of A.S.A, Jones writes that himself and Dean of the Faculty, Thomas Mitzel, wish to go on record and publicly renounce the boycott on part of the A.S.A.
“The Dean and I oppose academic boycotts in general because they can so easily encroach upon academic freedom. In this strange case, why the ASA would propose an academic boycott of Israel and not, for example, of Syria, the Sudan, North Korea, China, Iran, Iraq, or Russia escapes rational thought. Trinity has participated in the Rescue Scholar program since its inception; we have welcomed scholars from some of the most repressive countries on the planet, and it is inconceivable to us that we would ever be welcoming a Rescue Scholar fleeing Israel for political reasons. As President of the ASA, you have tarnished a once distinguished association.
-James F. Jones, Jr.”
A letter signed by more than 30 professors at Trinity college, expressed gratitude and support for President Jones and his stance on the boycott. “In taking this clear-throated position against the A.S.A’s condemnable boycott proposal, you align yourself with the broad consensus of academicians and leading institutions in American higher
education,” the letter says.
At least five institutions, including Bard College, Indiana University, and Brandeis University, have withdrawn from A.S.A membership. Prominent higher-education organizations such as the American Association of University Professors and Association of American universities denounced the boycott as well. “Such actions are misguided and greatly troubling, as they strike at the heart of academic freedom,” said the American Council on Education’s president, Molly Corbett Broad. William G. Bowen, former president of Princeton University and president emeritus of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, believed that college presidents were opposing the boycott simply because they viewed boycotts as a bad idea. “It is dangerous business, and basically unwise, for institutions to become embroiled in these kinds of debates,” Mr. Bowen said. “The consequences for institutions are just too serious.” Curtis F. Marez, president of the American Studies Association has continually stated that the boycott was aimed at Israeli institutions, not individual students, and furthermore would not threaten academic freedom.
However, at least one college president has resisted in publicly condemning the boycott. Christopher Eisgruber, president of Princeton University, has responded to inquiries regarding the boycott with a letter verbalizing how he does “not intend to denounce the A.S.A., make it unwelcome on campus or inhibit the ability of faculty members to affiliate with it.” Instead, he hopes, “A.S.A’s more thoughtful and reasonable members will eventually bring the organization to its senses-here, too, engagement may be better than a boycott. That is forindividual faculty members to decide.”
Esther Shittu ’17
The American Dream. I have heard those three words so much in the few eighteen years that I have been alive. What is the American Dream? Who came up with the idea and the notion that there is such a thing as the American Dream? Is it just the notion that you have a nice car, a nice house, two kids, and a loving beautiful spouse? Honestly, I believe the American Dream is a hoax. Don’t get me wrong, I congratulate those with a beautiful loving spouse, two kids, a nice house, and a car. To have a dream that one can live for and work up to is a great asset to life. However, the American Dream does not just come from having a great spouse, two kids, and the house and car. There’s a hidden part. The one no one dares to speak of. Many immigrants came to America to live the American Dream. They brought their children, their whole family to become “Americans.” And although it may not be their original thought or intention to try to fit into this underlying notion of what it means to have that dream, they eventually do.
I came from Nigeria, which makes me an immigrant. I wanted to speak what was and still is considered “proper English.” In a sense, I wanted to get rid of the accent that, until the moment I said my first words in America, I did not know I had. So, I tried to speak the way I was taught by my teacher. As a result, I became really self-conscious. How could I not? I was being laughed at for saying words a certain way. This, in turn, made me ashamed to speak. There were countless times when I avoided saying anything with the “h” sound because I did not want to try to and explain that I am actually saying “happy” as opposed to “appy.” But as years went on, I realized I am not the only one with this issue. I am not the only one trying to live the “hidden” part of the American Dream. Immigrants who come to this country do not realize the dream comes with a factor that cannot be taken away. In order to truly have the American Dream, and have people acknowledge that you are in fact living the dream, you must be Americanized. And what do Americans know how to speak better than anyone else? English!
What amazes me even more is that a country that supposedly celebrates the differences and cultures of other countries, actually has ideals that force everyone to live or speak in a certain manner or way. We put each other down with phrases like “go back to your country” or “speak English.” Whenever I hear, “speak English,” I immediately get upset. I am not upset because English is not a beautiful language. It is. Rather, because many people in our society try to measure what is proper and perfect English. Many people do not realize there are foreign countries that have English as the first language. This includes Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi, Pakistan, Palau, and so many others. So, when I hear a friend who is not from this country speak about his or her wish to speak better English, or when someone asks me whether or not I knew English before coming to America, or even when I read in class about the many immigrants that are so desperate to learn English perfectly that they do not want other immigrants teaching it to them, it gives me pause.
Tell me if I am wrong, many Americans try to speak Spanish, but the accent is not always right. I know of a Caucasian male who speaks Yoruba, but his accent is not as perfect as native Yoruba speakers. Does that make him a lesser person? Will I tell him to go back to his country? You see, America is great. It is a beautiful country and a land of opportunities. But, I get tired of watching people trying to develop the American attitude. It is probably because I watch myself trying to become Americanized. I tried to “lose my accent.” I tried speaking the perfect English, so one day I will have the American dream. Is it so that one day I will be accepted? But, I realized I already speak English. Do I have an accent? Yes! But does that make me any less of a person or any less educated?
It reminds me of the novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. The big nurse in the story wanted the patients in the mental ward to do things her way. I do not live like that. I cannot live like that. If America is a country that accepts people of different culture, you can’t put pressure on them to be just like you.
My advice to those who are not Americans, do not try to imitate a language you already know how to speak. It is better to keep the accent. It brings you closer to the homeland you left than to lose it, and lose the connection between you and your heritage. This land has a reputation for accepting everyone, but it is wrong to accept people but tell them to leave behind what makes them unique. Let us all just be who we are, whether we are “Americans” or not. It is better to live life as yourself rather than trying to acquire a dream that God did not intend for you.
Oliver Rothman ’16 Staff Writer
On Saturday afternoon the defending Division III’ national champion Amherst Men’s Basketball Team faced off with the Bantams of Trinity College in the Ray Oosting gym. Entering the game, Amherst displayed quite the resume, including the sixth ranked spot in Division III Men’s Basketball and an eight game winning streak. Also, the defending Division III national player of the year happened to be Amherst’s starting point guard, Aaron Toomey. However, Trinity was coming off of a two-game winning streak of their own, including a ten point victory over Tufts in an important NESCAC conference game. From the tip-off, the game was a defensive battle as both teams shot below forty percent from the field.
After trailing 21-11 with 7:40 minutes left in the first half, Trinity went on a 13-6 run, cutting Amherst’s lead to three with three minutes remaining in the half. This run was highlighted by point guard, Jaquann Starks ’16, as he contributed nine of the thirteen points during the run. Starks sparked the run with a floater, along with junior center and co-captain, Georgios Papadeas ’15, as he followed it up with one of his own. After the first half, the scoreboard read 32-26 in favor of Amherst.
The Amherst Jeffs came out after halftime and regained their double-digit lead with fourteen minutes left in the second half. However, sophomore forward Shay Ajayi ’16 led the Bantams on a run as he scored six unanswered points on a three point shot followed by three free throws as he was fouled behind the three point line during the next possession. Then, with twelve minutes remaining in the game, guard Rick Naylor ’16 came off of the bench and hit a three pointer, cutting the Jeffs lead to five. However, the Jeffs quickly answered as they went on a 12-3 run, extending their lead to fifteen points with less than ten minutes remaining in the game.
After a Trinity timeout, the Bantams were able to pull within seven points of the defending national champions on an offensive rebound put back by freshman forward Ed Ogundeko ’17. This was part of a stretch late in the second half, where Trinity’s defense stifled Amherst, allowing no points and causing four turnovers in a span of four minutes. Unfortunately, there was not enough time on the clock for the Bants to climb back from the fifteen point deficit as the final score read 67-61 in favor of Amherst.
Starks led the Bantams with eighteen points, followed closely by Shay Ajayi ’16’ as he contributed seventeen of his own. Starks also led the team with four assists. Ogundeko led the Bantams with nine boards, as Amherst could not keep him off of the glass.
The Bantams managed the game well, even when they were down by double digits. Trinity out-rebounded the Jeffs, (41-38.) Trinity also had more second chance points and more bench points than Amherst. Trinity also shot higher percentages than Amherst from behind the three-point arc and free throw line.
With the loss, the Bantams fall to a record of 11-7 and 3-2 in conference play. They look forward to playing five of their next six games within the NESCAC, as each game will be a pivotal battle as the playoffs loom in the near future.
At this point last year, the Bantams posted an 8-11 record, ending with and overall 9-15 record. As evidenced when comparing this year’s record to last year’s, the team has grown into a serious playoff contender and hopes to end the year on a run. For their next game, the Bants look to rebound from this loss on January 31 at Bowdoin, followed by another NESCAC contest at Colby on February 1.
CARLY GOROFF ’17
The new year has brought change for the student body. The start of the second semester here at Trinity means new classes, different professors, and a change in routine from the mellow weeks of winter break. No longer can students sit on the couch pressing “Next Episode” on Netflix all afternoon long. True, when swamped with homework on just the second day of classes, there are some changes to routine that students might dread.
Over winter break, Timothy Dunn, Associate Director of Student Services for Social House in the Dean of Students Office, implemented a training program for the Greek organizations at Trinity in hopes of implementing positive changes to their presence on campus. As of second semester, all Greek organizations on campus underwent training to help address some of the issues students, administrators, professors, and alumni are often concerned with.
The Inter-Greek training was a two-day workshop held the weekend before the start of classes. Chapter heads from every Greek organization on campus were in attendance. One of these participants was Sonjay Singh ’15, Inter-Greek President. Singh was pleased to see the administration making an effort to push an agenda forward, an agenda covering aspects of the Greek life that it aims to reform. This is the first time a comprehensive program has been put in place by the college to help facilitate and instruct our school’s Greek organizations in topics such as leadership, sexual harassment prevention, and bystander facilitation. In addition, the workshop allowed attendees to hold discussions. By feeding off of their input and suggestions, the training allowed the facilitators to gain a better understanding of the ongoing problems surrounding these social organizations.
Safety was at the forefront of the weekend training. The workshop focused especially on areas of sexual harassment prevention. Singh saw the sexual harassment bystander training as the most pertinent part of this workshop. “Having fun is important as well but the most important aspect is that everyone feels safe”, Singh said. Fraternities and sororities were instructed in how to take an active role in creating a safe environment. By avoiding the role of a passive bystander, the training hopes to reduce and prevent incidents of sexual harassment. Further, the training focused on the dangerous consequences of binge drinking, helping the Greek organizations promote responsibility and minimize the amount of TCERT incidents on campus.
In addition, the training covered other topics such as the school’s policies on rushing. The Greek organizations were reminded that hazing and other inappropriate rush activities were not to be tolerated by the administration. More social issues were also discussed, including why some students at Trinity feel that the Greek system is all together too exclusive. In particular, some freshman boys feel frustrated when excluded from the nightlife the Greek organizations offer.
Some see this workshop as a means for the administration to put serious effort into reforming the school’s controversial social organizations. The training has demonstrated effort on both sides of the equation: the administration as well as the leaders of the Greek organizations themselves. Singh recalled that the training was well received and participants were all very involved over the course of the two days. Some students view this training as a good first step in reforming the reputation and role of Trinity’s Greek organizations. Hopefully, this means a safer and more inclusive social scene for Trinity, as these recent efforts show initiative and concern over the wellbeing of the community. While understanding that Trinity students still want to have fun, some believe this training will allow for concrete boundaries and procedures to be set so that the safety on Vernon Street is paramount. Those concerned about the current system feel these measures can help insure that Trinity’s Greek organizations are a positive influence on the lives of its students while still maintaining an active nightlife scene.
As students grudgingly move back into their second semester routines, the transitions from Netflix-binging to pulling all-nighters in the library can be an annoying change. However, Trinity students, administrators, and alumni can look forward to Trinity’s future as 2014 starts off on a good note. Taking the time to make strides in reforming the debated Greek system into a more positive presence on campus is surely a sign of good things to come for Trinity’s future.
Noah Gitta ’15
Despite America’s reputation as the land of opportunity and a place where anyone who works hard has the ability to achieve both economic and social upward mobility, that image we know and love seems to be slowly vanishing. Almost gone is a country that once prided itself as the place where an individual’s socioeconomic status at birth did not determine their future. The same ideals motivated my parents to leave Uganda to the United States. In early December of last year, President Obama delivered a speech on how the United States of America’s growing income inequality threatens the foundation of equal opportunity from which all Americans benefit. He went on to explain how this is not only a problem for the poor but it affects all of us. Unfortunately, whenever solutions for the widening income disparity between the rich and the poor are brought up, there are some people on the right who see fixing this problem as waging “class warfare.”
The renowned conservative Margaret Thatcher once said to one of her parliamentarian opponents, “He would rather have the poor poorer, provided that the rich were less rich. That is the liberal policy.” Today, the idea of “class warfare” being pushed by the GOP echoes the same message. By equating support for the poor to an unfair burden, the wealthy will have to bear their financial success in order to assist the poor. It’s well known that in a capitalist system, there will always be winners and losers and as a result there will be a natural difference in individuals’ incomes. Our country’s economic success has a lot to do with the growth of the middle class that began as low-income households were eventually able to earn enough money to attain upward mobility.
What a “class warfare” perspective ignores is the fact that since the 1970’s, the top 1-percent of income earners in the US has enjoyed most of the income growth, while the bottom 99-percent income has experienced dismal gains. The data from the Congressional Budget Office in a 2011 report confirms that from 1979 to 2011 the bottom fifth of earners’ incomes grew by 20-percent. But, during the same time span, the incomes of the top 1-percent grew by 275-percent. These numbers cover only one side of the story.
As the middle to low income households were being left out of America’s prosperity during the past three decades, upward social mobility for this income group also stagnated. New data from a Harvard report, titled “Is the United States Still a Land of Opportunity? Recent Trends in Intergenerational Mobility,” disputes that social mobility has remained stable for most children born during 1971-1993. However, the study found that for the working-middle class (second fifth income distribution) the chances to move up the economic ladder had fallen. For the richest country in the world not to have an evenly upward mobile society is a disappointment considering all the resources at our disposal.
Today, the U.S. economy is recovering, but at a sluggish pace. Income inequality does however stand in the way of any substantial economic growth. The middle class and lower income households stimulate the economy through consumer spending and make up a vast majority of our workforce. The reality that college tuition prices have outpaced the income growth in the middle class makes it harder for people to gain access to higher education. As a result, this damages our international competiveness when it comes to innovation. Moreover, if salaries and wages remain stagnint for the bottom 99%, their inability to pay back personal debt will make this country more vulnerable to the financial crisis that we just experienced.
If this doesn’t bother you, the effects of the income gap on our economy and democracy should. A common criticism from the right is that the poor always want help from the government without even participating in basic civic duties, such as voting. Since most of the economic growth has been concentrated at the top of the income distribution, millions of citizens start to believe that the system is geared to favor the rich. The idea that voices will not be heard over the wallets of our country’s wealthy keeps low income and middle-class individuals from believing in the democratic process and ultimately leaving our country’s policies and leaders to be chosen by a small rich minority. In order to fix this inequality, “class warfare” must not be used against policy reforms that are designed to help bridge the income gap between the top 1-percent and the bottom 99-percent. For this country to return to full strength, income inequality has to be recognized as an issue that affects not just one class but the country as a whole.
KAILEY CARPENTER ’17
This year Trinity College expanded it’s academic opportunities by implementing the January term, or J-term, with success in part. The new term started on January 6th, and allowed students to take part in a wide range of half-credit courses in a smaller, more personal learning environments. In addition, students in certain courses were given the opportunity to travel off campus, journeying to places such as New York City and even Nicaragua.
The idea for J-term evolved from the fact that each year around three-hundred students, including international students and athletes, remain on campus during the break between New Year’s and the beginning of the second semester. Students have expressed their want to use this time in a more advantageous way, and the J-term seemed to be the perfect solution.
The J-term spanned over a two-week period. The professors were given much flexibility in the scheduling, allowing some classes to be held for two hours per day over the two-week period, and others for four hours per day over one week. The twenty-hour courses underwent review and scrutiny, as any other undergraduate course is required to go through.
The Curriculum Committee established a three-year trial period as a way to make any corrections and adjust the program based on the reactions of the participating students. Johannes Evelein, Associate Professor of Language and Culture Studies and member of the Committee, stated, “We decided that a three-year period would allow us to launch a program, learn from the first year, tweak it, and over a three-year period arrive at something,” that will either be lasting or discontinued.
According to online enrollments however, out of the eleven original J-term classes posted, five were cancelled and many of the rest had low enrollments. One of the classes titled Music in the 1960’s displayed an enrollment of 3 people, while Sport in Society had 11.
One of the interesting courses offered over the J-term was the sociology class titled Reproductive Justice in America, with Professor Morris, discussing the restriction of women’s reproductive health choices amongst the unequal aspects of society. Malaine Thorpe ’15, one of the four students who attended the course, recounted her experience, saying, “Four out of five days we met in a seminar style classroom, discussed the readings, watched films about Reproductive Justice issues, and listened to the professor share her insight about the issues.” According to her, the small size of her class did not deter her experience in any way. “On the last day of our course, we took a trip to New York where we visited the National Advocated for Pregnant Women (NAPW). There we met Lyn Paltrow, the director and founder of the NAPW. We discussed some of the laws and policies that influence the reproductive rights of women,” she said.
Through J-term, professors aimed to have a closer relationship with their students through small class sizes, something that is fairly rare to find during a regular semester. Professor Morris appreciated the added advantages of the J-term, stating, “Meeting for an abbreviated number of days but for longer stretches of time during those days really fosters a more intimate class environment. I feel like I have gotten to know the students much more quickly than is possible in a seminar that takes place over a longer time period. This includes having discussions in which there are no right answers and on which not everyone agrees. Teaching a J-Term course has been quite fun, and I think the students are enjoying it as well.”
An additional goal of the J-term was to foster new and inventive ways for course design. Other courses offered during the term included Writing about Place, Soccer, Race, and Nationalism, and The Godfather: The Art of Hard Choices. Before several classes were cancelled, the various courses available derived from all five academic disciplines: natural sciences, the arts, numerical and symbolic reasoning, social sciences, and the humanities.
The feedback given by the participating students has provided the necessary information critical to the further development of this new program. When asked about her overall experience with her January term course, Thorpe replied, “This was one of my favorite courses at Trinity College thus far. There was a lot of reading, making this course very time consuming, but that can be expected from any one-week class. The discussions were engaging, and I learned a great deal about women’s Reproductive Rights. I would definitely take another J-Term course in the future!”
With the inaugural J-term in the books, the Curriculum Committee can now gather and reflect on changes that can be made to improve the program in the future.
CAMPBELL NORTH ’17
For Brandon Serafino ’14, the sky is the limit when it comes to exploring his creative potential. As a member of the Accidentals, actor in many of Trinity’s musical theater productions, dancer in the Elemental Movements, the on campus hip-hop group, and composer of original work on a variety of instruments, his days are shaped by his artistic passions and extracurricular activities.
The roots of his continually blossoming appreciation and exploration of the arts, especially in music, can be traced back to his childhood. Growing up, parts of Serafino’s house acted as physical evidence of his family’s love for music. His father, who was a guitar player and traveling musician, filled their basement with instruments. Serafino would often go there and swivel a tree that held a group of guitars, and marveled at all the different worlds each set of those six strings could let him into. His father showed Serafino the genres of blues, jazz, and classic rock while his two older sisters exposed him to the popular 90’s music at the time, ranging from Jay-Z to the Spice Girls. This eclectic combination first introduced him to the possibility of crossing and mixing genres.
Serafino’s interest in music persisted throughout his adolescent years, where he sang in church and school choirs, as well as performed in musical theater. However, it was not until his freshman year at Trinity where he elevated his love for music from a hobby to a vocation. As a member of the Accidentals, he started to take voice more seriously and declared his major in music, with a concentration in ethnomusicology, the study of how music and culture affect each other.
As a participant in the InterArts program, Serafino was required to produce a final project by the end of his third semester, halfway through sophomore year. He decided on a music piece that he created electronically. However, his project was not composed of notes, but rather everyday sounds, like a spoon hitting a cup, an electric toothbrush, and a siren from the street, that he had recorded and hooked up to his computer. Serafino described this as the first work he produced that he was fully proud of because it was innovative and eccentric.
This appreciation for the atypical culminated into one of Serafino’s main themes in his current work. He aspires to create music that is a non-conventional “mish-mash” that is soulful with heavy rhythms and a flare of hip-hop added in for attitude. Additionally, he loves incorporating a little bit of Brazilian flare, like the Samba, especially after spending six weeks there this past summer.
One of the most valuable things that Serafino brought back with him from Brazil is their concept of music. “Brazilians don’t think about music so concretely,” Serafino said, “it is not something you have to do in an academic space or only if you’re trained, music there is for everyone, played on every street corner, it is in their blood.” This new notion has helped Serafino think about music in a more holistic way. He noticed that much of Brazilian rap also focused on social inequalities. This helped to illuminate his theory of how music can be used to affect social change.
As the main student organizer for the International Hip-Hop Festival, Serafino has been able to directly witness the impact music can have. The kind of hip-hop emerging from the Middle East inspired by the Arab Spring has been used as a platform to talk about social issues.
Two artists who preformed last year from Syria and Iraq inspired Serafino with their ability to use their ties to their countries as a way to move their society forward. “Music, especially hip-hop as a revolutionary form of music, is an affective, nonviolent way to get people riled up and spread awareness about issues,” Serafino explained.
Serafino also drew upon this aspect of music in general when describing why he loves to preform and sing; “I love being able to interact with the audience and have the chance to spark them, singing can wake people up, make them feel good and communicate emotion.” This passion was sparked when he went to see Savion Glover tap dance. “It was just him with a jazz quartet behind him,” Serafino recalled, “his feet were moving at an unbelievable speed, he was pouring sweat and it was all improvised, three hours straight.” The ability to see this force and creativity in a person reinforces the power music has over our soul.
After graduation Serafino hopes to work as a representative for a record label and then produce his own music. However, his ultimate dream is to be able to record an album and collaborate with musicians from around the world and give back to those communities. “I want to travel, share the musical history of different countries and build a community through music,” Serafino shared.
Sheila Njau ’17
I rarely pick up a newspaper or watch the news to learn more about current events. However, what I do find interesting (or more accurately, sad) is the fact that I know an inordinately large amount of information about celebrities. I can usually tell people how many times someone has been married, how many children they have, and all the movies they have starred in, even if I have not watched that movie. But then ask me about the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine and my mind is mostly blank. Yes, I know that these problems exist, but I couldn’t tell you in what context they occurred or how severe they are.
This issue, however, did not really hit home for me until a few weeks ago when I went to Google News and the top story of the day on Dennis Rodman and his entry into rehab for alcoholism. Then, the second top story was that fourteen people had died in a bombing. I was astounded. It’s very good that Dennis Rodman made the decision to enter rehabilitation. However, when one celebrity’s decision to seek mental help eclipses the loss of many innocent lives, something has to change. What is even worse is that this is not an unusual incident. There are multiple times when a celebrity does something such as break up with their significant other, win an award, or say something that is “controversial” and these takes trivial events take precedence over problems that other countries may be facing. And these problems in other countries are often a matter of life and death.
The fact that we focus on celebrities as opposed to world problems is not something new. But, it leaves me wondering: Why? I do appreciate and anticipate the different series I watch on a weekly basis. However, what is the cost of our guilty pleasures? I think of my younger cousins and how the shows they consistently watch include “My Little Pony” and “SpongeBob SquarePants.” And yet, what do they know of what is going on beyond the United States? How much do they know about what is going on beyond the state of Massachusetts? Sadly, not much. If you ask my cousin about Taylor Swift, she could probably give you a whole biography and most of the lyrics to her songs. That alone is impressive. But, at the same time, how beneficial is it to know all the lyrics to “You Belong With Me?” How beneficial is it to know the entire storyline of “Scandal” by heart? It isn’t beneficial, especially when people are dying on a daily basis in various areas across the country and the world. Americans can’t seem to focus our attention on serious issues and instead we pursue enjoyable, light-hearted news.
After taking a look at Google News today, it was good to see that the top story was not something that a celebrity had done. As sad as death is, especially to innocent people, it is good to hear and learn about these incidents. I firmly believe that knowledge is the first step towards finding ways to resolve the problems that we are facing today. And not surprisingly, a story about Justin Bieber’s arrest came in fourth place while a break-in at Selena Gomez’s house made fifth. These two stories managed to come before a story about Syria’s civil war and the funeral of Avonte Oquendo, an autistic 14-year-old who went missing in October.
Some might say that if I wanted to learn about what is going on in the world, then I should subscribe to a newspaper such as The New York Times or The Boston Globe. But, in this day and age, so much information is available at our fingertips because of the Internet. Is it too much to ask that the more relevant news stories come first? I think of the younger kids who would have no inclination to pick up a newspaper, but would not face a similar qualm about going online. If this news were made more visible online, then the reign of stories such as who Taylor Swift is would go into a steady decline.
I’m not saying that I want to give up watching my shows any time soon, especially at the end of a long day. But, it wouldn’t hurt to know less about celebrities and more about what is going on in the world. I am not trying to assume that many people face a similar problem of being uninformed. There are many who read the newspapers and watch news channels on a daily basis. For those of us who do not, maybe it’s time to do better. After all, aren’t we all a part of one world?
Brian Nance ’16, Contributing Writer
Shay Ajayi ’16 is the six foot five inch, 195 pound forward you have probably noticed while making your way across campus. A Brooklyn native, Ajayi attended Medgar Evers College Preparatory School in Crown Heights which is a forty-five minute public transportation trip from his home in Clinton Hills. The sophomore forward has been playing tremendously well for the Bantams since he first donned the blue and gold last year. His stat sheet is one that proves that he is and will continue to be a key player for Trinity as they battle in the NESCAC for years to come.
The Brooklyn native played numerous sports while growing up, some of which included soccer and football. It wasn’t until he was a teenager that Ajayi’s passion for basketball grew. When asked how he started playing basketball, Shay said, “I began playing basketball because of my brother. He was a great influence on my interest in basketball during my early teenage years.” A couple years later, when Ajayi was a freshman in high school, he tried out for his school’s varsity basketball team and made it, proving that he found his niche.
Ajayi was always one of the “tall guys” in his adolescence while towering over opposing players and teammates when playing ball in his early days. Ajayi says he grew up striving to mimic Dwight Howard’s playing style while aspiring to incorporate key attributes of strength, explosiveness, and jumping to create the physical prowess that a forceful big man embodies.
Along with playing basketball for his prep school’s team, Ajayi also played for a very competitive AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) basketball team. When speaking about his experience and how AAU basketball helped him prepare for the college level, Ajayi had this to say: “It definitely helped me prepare for the collegiate level to a certain degree. However, I must point out that the players at the collegiate level are incredibly strong, so it was very hard adjusting due to the fact that I was now going against players ranging from ages eighteen to even twenty-six.”
The 2012-2013 season was an impressive rookie season for Ajayi as he led Trinity in various categories including field-goal percentage, blocked shots, rebounding, and three-point field goal percentage. He was also second in scoring and third in free throws for his team and even earned his name in the leaderboards for the NESCAC as he was 8th in field goal percentage and 14th in rebounding in the league. Despite having such a breakout season, Ajayi said he placed his primary focus this offseason on getting better at ball handling and shooting as he strived to add variety to his game.
Ajayi has continued his success this season as he leads the Bantams in total points. When asked about his outlook on this season he said, “This season I feel very confident in my team. We have the talent and ability to go far in the NCAA playoffs. At the moment we have a better record than the past few years, so to say the least I feel very confident that we will compete for this year and the next few years.”
Kristina Xie ’16
“May I have a small piece of grilled chicken, please?” I asked this politely to the Chartwells lady. The chicken was to be added to my whole-wheat wrap with two slices of Swiss cheese and a dab of regular mustard. As you probably guessed, I am very particular about how I like my food. I would describe myself as a very picky and health-conscious person. I prefer an apple over fries and I prefer water over soda. As I ordered my food, I did not realize how hungry I was. I had just gotten out of class, having skipped lunch to finish some work and I needed to refuel before I headed to the gym. The lady then stabs into a piece of stiff chicken in a yellowish broth and throws it in my wrap.
“Can you cut it into smaller pieces, please?” I said. She then gives me this expression of “What is your problem?” I just stared back at her with an expression that said, “Well, that’s how I like my wrap.” Without any words being exchanged, our grimaces said it all. Quite frankly, I was a little annoyed by this encounter. I just asked for a finely cut, small piece of grilled chicken? I didn’t know a cutlet of attitude came with that. I rarely have issues with Chartwells employees. I really enjoy their vibrant energy and welcoming smiles. However, at times, I do get those workers who woke up on the wrong side of bed. This horrible customer service sucks compared to the amount people have to pay to be on a meal plan. To add to this unsatisfying list is the options we have to choose from. Since I’ve arrived at Trinity, I have been displeased with the meal plan options.
I honestly feel like I’m being cheated out of my money when I pay for a meal plan. Chartwells does not let you leave the meal plan unless you are a senior and/or have access to your own kitchen. This does not seem fair to me since I have access to a communal kitchen and I prefer ordering quality food rather than eating in the dining halls. Over the break, I started this “wholly organic diet,” in which I only ate organic foods. I felt empowered, energized, healthy, and, at times, I felt like superwoman. I went to the gym, did my squats, while watching Beyoncé videos. I also did my cardio while watching the Food Network Channel. So when I was forced to come back to campus and eat Chartwells food, the first word that came to my mind was “yuck.” If I wanted to eat clean and healthy, I realized I would have to go off campus to do my own grocery shopping. At home, I ate fresh salmon and kale. I also made almond butter, jam and avocado sandwiches. We, as a student body, are paying all this money to have access to food, but is it all worth the cost? Honestly, no. I pay more for a Silver Meal Plan to get fewer meals weekly, but access to more dining halls. I also have more Chartwells dollars to buy overpriced fruits and yogurt. These fruits are not even organic in the first place and they only have miniature oranges, overly ripe bananas, and dissatisfying apples. I absolutely refuse to pay $8.99 for grapes and $3.69 for Fage Yogurt when I can get it for a dollar at Wal-Mart.
I can’t eat organic here. I simply do not have the freedom to choose and create my own meals. So this leads to my main question: Does being dependent on a meal plan teach us how to be adults? We are in college to learn, to become well-rounded individuals, to hold administrative positions in the “real world.” While these are the objectives of college, it does not address the life skill of cooking and choosing healthy options. If I’m hungry, I can just grab food from the dining hall. Well, in the real world, you have to learn how to cook and maybe you shouldn’t choose to eat chicken tenders every day with fries. I believe that in order to start living a healthy, wholesome life, you have to start in college. I’ve become dependent on the meal plan to provide me with food when I’m hungry. If they don’t have certain options, then I do not eat it because it takes more work to go off campus to purchase it. We strive to become dedicated students and well-rounded individuals, but how can we learn certain life skills when we are forced to take part in a meal plan that does not offer great alternatives. The only other alternative on campus is Goldberg’s, which, if you ask me, is equally as bad as Chartwells and worse-priced than any basic bagel and sandwich shop.
In conclusion, dining on campus is dissatisfying and quite frankly a disappointment. Customer service is not too great either considering the amount students are paying. But then again, there are always omelets at the station and peanut butter sandwiches if I’m truly desperate.
KRISTINA XIE ’16
While students tend to think of Trinity as non-artsy compared to other liberal art institutions, Hartford is filled with a vibrant and inviting art scene. Unlike major cities where exclusive art exhibitions and galleries are only opened to a select few, Hartford’s art scene is open to all. From students to senior citizens, art is a freedom of expression and a manifestation of creative imagination. Thus, anyone is allowed to witness great art.
Most Trinity students do not take part in the art scene available in Hartford. Hartford may not be New York City, but it still boasts a unique collection of artists and artistic institutions.
For all the students on campus buried under mountains of lab reports and assginments, take a break and travel to the Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art, the oldest public art museum in the United States. Their current exhibition, “An Artificial Wilderness: The Landscape in Contemporary Photography” will be showing until February 23. Featuring over sixteen photographers, the exhibition displays modern images of man’s destruction of Mother Earth. These photographs will take you to places all around the world, including Australia, Bangladesh, Iceland and Mexico. One of the great things about large museums like the Wadsworth is its college-friendly budget admission fees. The first Thursday of every month is free for visitors from 5-8 p.m. Additionally, visitors with a valid student I.D. pay a meager $5 admission fee instead of the hefty $10. Located less than a ten-minute drive from campus, the Wadsworth is a great trip to take with your science buddies and friends during the weekends.
In addtion to large museums, like the Wadsworth, the city hosts a variety of small galleries and cinemas that stray from the traditional norm. This provides students another outlet to get off campus and explore the city around them.
Another upcoming event worth checking out is called the “Be Mine Valentine’s Event” at the Art Cinema. This holiday event will take place on Saturday, Feb 8 at 7 p.m. What is exceptionally unconventional about this movie theater is that it is one of the last remaining classic movie houses that shows X-Rated features in North America. Another unique feature to the Art Cinema is its couple’s only balcony, ensuring an intimate space for couples to enjoy the movie. Couples and even singles celebrating Valentine’s Day will have a rare and erotic experience at this movie screening. Spectators will walk out with a new appreciation for nudity and love scenes! Your Valentine’s Day will not just be another mundane date with dinner and cheesy roses. This event will spice up the night!
If an X-Rated movie screening is not your cup of tea, check out the Charter Oak Cultural Center. Located less than ten minutes away, the center showcases and produces art that creates social change through its youth arts institute and professional and social justice programming. While we tend to think of art solely in tangible outcomes of a finished painting or sculpture, the process and its purpose of creation is equally as important as the outcome. The Cultural Center educates and teaches children and adults about art techniques and empowers them through art multi-media. An example is their upcoming event, “The Vagina Monologues,” a series of talks about women and their bodies. Opening on Valentine’s Day, all funds from the $5 student admission fee will be donated to groups working to end violence against women. Another event to check out is their Jazz Night every Monday at 8p.m. at Black Eyed Sally’s. Listen to some melodic tunes, while enjoying buttered cornbread and smoked BBQ ribs. If that does not satisfy your artistic cravings, check out the art exhibit, “The Wall: Jennifer Wroblewski, Don’t Stop Mountain.” This installation features work from local and regional artists. Charter Oak is a hub of creative and vibrant energy for Hartford’s art community. All are welcome to explore the work generated in this revenue to advance social change and empowerment.
There is more to Hartford than shopping in Westfarms Mall and dinning out in Blue Back Square. There is an exciting art scene thriving in various parts of the city. While it may be easy to stay on campus and stick with your circle of friends at Mather or at Vernon Social Center, remember that college is about exploring and discovering something new about yourself and the area you are living in for four years. When you make the effort to try something new, not only does it brighten your day, but also refreshes your perspective on why you’re in college. Take a break and enjoy the art scene in the immediate neighborhood.
Esther Shittu ’17
The holiday season is finally upon us. It is a time for singing, celebrating, praising and laughing. It is the time when we pray and wish for certain gifts. This is a time when happiness is contagious. But there are families who are unable to feel the complete joy that everyone else is bustling with. There are children, who hope that on this holiday season their wish will come true. Unfortunately their families are not able to meet such needs. These children will go without having gifts under the Christmas tree. They will go without the joy of Santa making their wish come true.
However, for the past ten years or so, Trinity’s own Annual Community Event Staff (ACES), has been bringing holiday joy to children. They started off this year by planning their Halloween on Vernon event, which is an event where they invited kids from around the neighborhood to come and get into the Halloween spirit. This past week they raised about $4800 for their Thanksgiving Drive through the help of Trinity professors, students and athletic advisors.
They prepared thanksgiving baskets which included everything that is needed for the Thanksgiving meal, such as turkey, pie, stuffing, mashed potato, cranberry source basically everything that they believe that 100 hundred families will need to have an enjoyable and great thanksgiving. They raised these baskets for families of St. Augustine school. Last weekend they bought over a $1000 of groceries, and they received the turkey from Chartwells, which they packed up in brown paper bags. They then had volunteers drive them the bags back and forth to the school.
But, just because the semester is over and they are overwhelmed with exams and hundreds of papers does not mean that this group is going to stop anytime soon. There are many children who will go without getting at least one thing on their list this Christmas. And ACES is helping out with that.
According to Megan O’Brien ’14, co-president with Bria Lewis ’16 and Georgie Wynn ’16 of Aces, “we have over 150 children at the interval house, which is a domestic abuse shelter in Hartford for women and children, from babies to about 17 years old. It is a range of gifts that the children are requesting.” These gifts are then matched up with the name of the children and posted on the snowmen. The way that the gifts were chosen was according to O’Brien. “ACES worked with someone at the interval house and they had the children write down whatever was the top on their Christmas list. All of the teenagers are getting gift cards from different places and then the younger kids got to pick whichever toy that they wanted” said O’Brien. Those who have already sponsored a snowman are supposed to return them by this Wed. December 4, 2013. ACES will then wrap the gifts and the gifts will be sent to the children who will receive them at their holiday party. According to O’Brien, there are only seven snowman left, which says a lot about the Trinity community. Megan has just got involved with ACES this year, yet she and her fellow co-presidents have made major differences since the beginning of the fall semester.
Joy Kim ’17 is one of the members of the Trinity community that has chosen to Sponsor a Snowman this year. She decided to sponsor a snowman because she was glad to hear there is community service available for kids who come from less fortunate backgrounds. She is sponsoring a six year old girl who wanted a Barbie car.
As someone who saw ACES tabling for the sponsor a snowman event, it touched my heart to see all of the snowmen posted outside the window of Mather. It makes one want to buy each and every child a gift. I chose to sponsor a two to three year old girl named Cassandra, who wanted was a Dora Pony Stable. If you think about it there will be thousands and even millions of girls and boys that will have a wish in their hearts this holiday season. There were probably millions of families that wished that they had angels such as the ACES Club to bring them meals for thanksgiving so that they can have it like they had imagined. Unfortunately that was not the case. The truth is that it is impossible to save the world in one complete instance, but groups like Trinity College ACES, make you imagine that by joining them, you are making a difference. Merry Christmas, Happy New Years! Have a great holiday Trinity.
Kristina Xie ’16
The Trinity Mock Trial Association brought seven Mock Trial teams from all over the Northeast to campus in order to compete in the first ever Trinity College Mock Trial Invitational, affectionately coined the Trinvitational.
The teams who visited campus are all members of the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA), which releases a trial case every year in August. Over 600 teams from all over the country take this case and argue it in competitive, simulated trials from September all the way until the National Competition in April.
This year, nationals will be held in Orlando, Florida. Currently, Trinity’s Mock Trial Team is in “pre-season” with most teams who are involved in the invitational circuit. Trinity’s team is also practicing for Regionals in February.
This year’s A squad consists of Jhon Pacheco ’14, Bobby Boyle ’16, Ethan Cantor ’16, President James Geisler ’14, Vice President Youlan Xiu ’15, Treasurer Meredith Munro ’14, and Secretary Ali Caless ’14. This year’s B squad consists of Tanya Kewalramani ’15, Karla Mardueno ’15, Ursula Petersen ’15, Sonjay Singh ’15, Katherine Feehan ’16, Sam Hines ’16, Julia Mardeusz ’16, Andrew Miller ’17, Sebastien Broustra ’17, and Richard Pizzano ’17.
Behind the scenes, Tournament Director Meredith Munro ’14, Assistant Tournament Director Youlan Xiu ’15, Tournament Coordinator Ali Caless ’14, Tab Director James Geisler ’14, Co-Tab Director Jeff Pruyne ’15, and Tournament Assistants Jhon Pacheco ’14 and Bobby Boyle ’16 kept the Trinvitational running.
The A-team members did not compete in the Trinvitational, but instead organized the pairings, tabulation of scores, judge placement, and general organization of the tournament. With the help of Romulus Perez, Assistant Director of Student Activities, and Nora Huth, Dir. of Student Activities, the tournament took place in the beautiful Seabury Hall seminar rooms. Opening and Closing ceremonies for the tournament were held in the Washington Room in Mather Hall.
Among the extremely gracious and qualified judges were a few familiar faces – Adjunct Professor of Public Policy and Law Edward Cabot joined the ranks of judges, as well as Trinity Mock Trial Founder and former President Zachary Green ’11.
Every year, Trinity’s Mock Trial team competes at invitationals around New England that are hosted by other Mock Trial teams, including the Tufts Mock Trial Association, the Yale Mock Trial Association, and the Boston College Mock Trial Association. This year, Trinity has decided to join the ranks of host schools.
On November 23 and 24, Trinity brought UConn, Wesleyan, Williams, Southern Connecticut, UMass Amherst, and Bryant to compete with their B Team, while the A Team ran the tournament. The B team truly shined at the Trinvitational, taking second place on the heels of UMass A, with Bryant College taking third. Trinity’s own Julia Mardeusz and Richard Pizzano took home individual witness awards, while Katherine Feehan and Sonjay Singh tied for an attorney award. This award for the Trinity B Tean marks the most successful pre-season showing by a Trinity B Team since the team’s inception in 2008.
The next step for Trinity Mock Trial is to send an experimental A Team to Yale’s 18th Annual Invitational on December 7 and 8. Yale will bring some of the most rigorous competitors from all over the country. Trinity’s A Team could be matched against the former AMTA National Champions, but they welcome the competition. Looking forward, Trinity hopes to be well prepared and highly competitive by February 22, when both the A and B teams will travel to Boston College for AMTA’s Official Boston Regional.
Pooja Savansukha ’15
“Blue Jasmine,” Woody Allen’s most recent film is a comedy-drama that depicts a contemporary adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ award-winning play, “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Woody Allen is known for directing films that tend to have a bittersweet romantic feel. His recent films have used the backdrop of Barcelona, Paris and Rome to further the romantic essence of his story-lines, embracing stereotypes to create light-hearted films. “Blue Jasmine” departs from Woody Allen’s typical oeuvre by depicting something that explicitly comments on contemporary society. It is also the first film that Woody Allen’s has directed in America since 2009s “Whatever Works,“ which starred Larry David and was set in New York.
Despite the shift to a deeper issue that is more disturbing in its’ extremely realistic portrayal, the film retains Woody Allen’s patented and much loved, light comedic style. “Blue Jasmine,” is fuelled by Cate Blanchett’s hilarious, sentimental, and incredible performance as a 21st-century Blanche DuBois. Set mostly in the city of San Francisco, “Blue Jasmine” traces the life of American socialite Jeanette, also known as Jasmine, who is played by Blanchett. While she enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle in New York with her wealthy husband Harold (Alec Baldwin), things change for the worse when she learns that Harold is in love with another woman and wants to get a divorce. This prompts her to expose her husbands’ suspicious financial dealings, resulting in Harold being arrested and eventually committing suicide while in prison. She is left broke and has to move to San Francisco to live with her less affluent sister.
Baldwin’s character is an attractive tycoon, married to Jasmine and he is depicted in the half of the film that involves flashbacks to their flamboyant lives. Jasmine, the socialite wife is so busy enjoying the fruits of her husband’s trickery that she coerces herself to look the other way and remain in complete denial of his swindling habits. Jasmines’ character as the wife of a swindler raises questions such as ‘How much did she know? In “Blue Jasmine,” just when the audience almost believes that she was truly unaware, a twist in the plot revealing that she was the one responsible for exposing her husband’s misdemeanors depicts her knowledge of this. The ironic and disturbing topic of the film is laid out in what happens to Jasmine after she is displaced from her life of wealth and comfort. The deterioration of her mental state, consequent to the loss of her wealth and status is highly reminiscent of what happens in our society.
In her life with Harold, Jasmine was not simply wealthy. Her wealth had defined her place, position, and identity. It transcended from being something she has, to something that she is. When she suddenly loses her money, she loses the essence of her identity, and consequently her role as the happy, sophisticated societal figure that hosts parties and always knows just what to do or say. A question that is raised by her loss of wealth is, who is she? She herself has no idea. It is disturbing that there is no depth to her character. Without money, there is nothing to her. This loss of identity comments on the way certain people today tend to become so attached to wealth or status, that they lose the essence of who they truly are, stripped of material goods. Jasmines’ inability to confront her own true self in light of this harsh reality, makes her lose her mind. She finds herself addicted to sleeping pills, talking to herself, and blabbering to strangers on the streets.
Having lived a grand illusion to begin with, she is unable to create a new illusion to distract herself with. This leads to her falling apart. Jasmine’s tragic flaw, parallel to that of Blanche DuBois, is that she is a woman of ‘refinement’ who refuses to ‘’lower’ herself to become someone she thinks she is not. Although that does make her a snob, it is disturbing that she is genuinely unable to not be that way. In her job as the office assistant of a dentist, her twitchiness and discomfort reveals that her character is beyond a snob. She is psychologically unable to be someone else, she would rather go crazy. Jasmine’s slow mental breakdown is a manifestation of her stubborn natue and her inability to be anyone other than her dream of who she wants to be. Seeing her dream shattered and consequently the deterioration of her own life, allows the audience to realize Woody Allen’s comment on society through the film.
Reiterating the timelessness of the issues that Tennessee Williams herself pointed out, Allen has diversified his own oeuvre. While I would have hoped for Jasmine to have had a realization of some sort, if not a happier ending, her complete down-spiral at the end makes the story even more thought provoking and reminiscent of the dangers of being attached to money, power and status. While many people have classified Woody Allen’s films as too cheesy or cliché,’ “Blue Jasmine” definitely extends itself to cater to wider audiences.
BENJAMIN CHAIT ’16
With the holiday season already well underway, it can be difficult and overwhelming to come up with unique and affordable gifts for everyone on your holiday list. While there are no official rules about gift giving, some sort of guide could be useful.
Though it seems rather basic, the motto “treat others the way you want to be treated” applies when giving a gift. Remember to ask yourself when you finally found a gift, “would I be happy if this was given to me?” or “is this gift on par with what I imagine the other person will do for me?”
When it comes to gifts, people claim to love the extravagant, but what does extravagant really mean? Despite popular notions, nothing is more extravagant than a personal or heartfelt gift. Intimacy is always more luxurious than a costly price tag. When shopping, never buy a gift based on the item’s popularity, but always buy based on the person. Take about five to ten minutes per person on your list and start thinking of that person’s character, interests, and lifestyle, and then afterwards begin your search.
The problem facing most people is the balance between having limited funds and having too many people to buy gifts for. One way to solve this problem is to give a group gift when possible. If you’re in some kind of group like a sports team, club, Greek organization, or close-knit friend group it can be daunting and expensive to get a gift for everyone. A Secret Santa exchange is always a good idea. Secret Santa ensures that everyone will get a gift, but also that each person only has to buy one gift. Also due to its nature, the process requires thinking or learning about another person and his or her interests.
If Secret Santa isn’t for you or your group, perhaps consider a large dinner. If everyone agrees to dress up and go out to a nice celebratory meal, then there is no fuss over buying presents. The result is the greatest gift of all: memories.
Many if not most of us at Trinity have at least one roommate/housemate. For the holidays, it is a great idea for everyone to buy something for the room rather than for each other. A new pillow, a poster, a coffee table book, a bar set, or even a decorative antique given to the room/house rather than a specific person ensures that everyone, even you, can benefit from the gift. Most of our parents are from an entirely different generation than us, so they appreciate and utilize things we perhaps overlook or consider outdated. Day planners, notebooks, desk journals, and recipe organizers make great gifts for parents, aunts and uncles, and even for friends. For my birthday this year I was given a brown leather journal with the monogram on it and I carry it with me wherever I go. My journal is made by Gallery Leather. The Maine-based brand makes an amazingly large array of journal-like products in a wonderful variety of shapes and colors. The option for monogramming is always available and the company also makes great photo albums which can be gifted either empty or full of old photographs.
People tend to overcompensate when buying gifts for a romantic partner. This is perhaps the trickiest realm to master in terms of gift giving. Focus less on labels and prices and more on classic romance. Go to Things Remembered in almost any mall or online and get a classy keepsake monogrammed with either initials or a love note. Nothing could be more romantic than a couple’s photo in a large frame engraved with a deep and loving message. If you’re buying jewelry, look at vintage shops or small local business.
Never go to a place you know your significant other already shops at, in order to keep the price and return options a mystery. Never be afraid to ask a sibling, roommate or best friend for advice on a gift, sizing, or particular brand. If you can’t find anything that works, the most heartfelt and romantic gift is a mix-tape. Though it seems like a throwback in this digital age, it is a great way to show you care and also document your romance. A mix tape is a perfect example of taking inexpensive materials and making them priceless.
Sometimes a perfect gift is collaboration—especially when a big cost is a factor. For best friends the element of surprise can be thrown out if the end product is worth it. If you’re shopping with a friend and they see something or try something on but the price is too high or the time to buy it isn’t right, go back and get it for them for the holidays. You know it will be something they love and they will appreciate your attentiveness. If you’re buying a gift for someone that you know they want but you know nothing about, don’t be afraid to ask them. For example I don’t know much about electronics, so if I were to every buy an electronic as a gift for someone I would open up a dialogue with him or her about the right model and software. Also, when buying any gift over $200 it’s always good to get a second opinion—but make sure it is from someone who will be honest.
With winter breaks comes winter vacations and thus a prime opportunity for gifts. A romantic weekend, road trip, or a weekend spent with friends is way to give the gifts of adventure and excitement. But if you’re going on a family vacation or know friends are going somewhere, get them something for their trip. A cool hat or vintage Patagonia are splendid presents for snowy climates.
Despite the cold, the winter is also a great time to think of a tropical climate. A beautiful cover-up from Tara Michelle can work for almost any woman on your holiday. The brand is based in Darien, CT and Nantucket, MA and specialized in resort and beach wear designed by women and designed for women. Callan Vessels’ ’15 mother, Tara, and her friend, Michelle, started the brand as an end to the search for the perfect beach cover-up. In addition, for men, Chubbies work as a perfect tropical weather gift and have great holiday patterns.
Monogrammed gifts go a long way—especially now that almost anything can be monogrammed. Even relatively cheap items like pens, golf tees, matches, beach bags, phone cases, and polo shirts can become one of a kind with just three letters. Not only is it cool to have monogrammed items, but when giving a monogrammed gift the immediate reaction is “wow, you took the time of day to find out my middle name and get me something very personal.”
Books are another great way to give personal gifts. Think beyond just the current bestseller list. Find old editions—perhaps even first editions—of a friend’s favorite book. It shows you care and applied effort. A great place to buy books is the Strand bookstore. They have an intimidatingly large collection of almost every kind of book you can imagine. If the person you’re buying for isn’t a big reader, remember that coffee table books make great gifts. For fashion lovers I recommend Blood, Sweat and Tears by Bruce Weber or Take Ivy. For the sports fan, you can’t go wrong with Greatest of all Time. This massive book is one of the best selling in Taschen’s history and is sure to please almost any guy on your list.
Old magazines make wonderful gifts too. Old issues of Vogue, GQ, Town & Country, and Sports Illustrated are perfect to adorn any coffee table and can easily transport the reader to a world gone by.
Films also make great gifts. Instead of new releases from Best Buy, look into the films by distributed by the Criterion Collection. The films are artsy and rare, and they’re packaged in the highest quality. Because the covers are redesigned with such great style, they stand out as the top tier of home entertainment for the educated mind. Lastly, the golden rule of gift giving is to give a gift to everyone who gets you one, while not expecting one back from everyone on your own list. My mother for examples keeps about ten pre-wrapped gifts—perfume, cologne, candles, baby clothes, and candles—which are ready to be given out on short notice. Buying an additional few versatile gifts to have just in case is really helpful, and if you don’t give them out, you can always keep them for yourself. One of the most important parts of a gift is the card. In my option, witty or shallowly heartfelt cards that are pre-bought are never acceptable. Instead get stationary and handwrite letters expressing your love, thankfulness, and holiday cheer that people will hold dear for the rest of their lives. And because it is the season of giving, make sure to give back. Volunteering with family and friends, giving money to The Salvation Army, or partaking in a gift drive to help those less fortunate is the best gift you can this holiday season.
Campbell North ’17
Candid and kind, Liam Doran ’14 has found a balance between two extremes of Trinity’s curriculum, computer science and creative writing. This unique combination is the product of Doran’s diverse upbringing.
Growing up, Doran had direct exposure to art in his house because his father has a BFA in sculpture and often displayed his work. His father was also a newspaper editor and supported his writing ambitions. On the opposite end of the spectrum, his mother is a web developer and encouraged him to follow his passion in computer science. Doran’s older brother also played a role in his future pursuits by blazing the trail for him and doing theater in middle school.
Doran participated in theater throughout high school and even preformed in a show at Trinity. The show, directed by Professor Mitch Polin, Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance, was a four-hour long production entitled “The Chekhov Project.” Doran is also best known on campus as one of the active members of Trinity’s improvisational comedy group, “The Moveable Joints.”
Being a member of the group has helped “keep me sane,” states Doran. With meetings about three to four times a week, the group has performances about once or twice a month.
Doran incorporated this idea of transformation and metamorphosis, which comes naturally in improv, into a novella he recently finished. The novella, “Cold,” focused around one main character and his deterioration from being a good guy who went through a rough patch, to a complete disintegration of any moral fiber. The story starts with the character going through a bad breakup with a woman he is obsessed with and responding to it by deciding to become a sociopath. The character is “not necessarily anyone you want to be friends with,” explains Doran, “but he is very intriguing.”
For Doran, a certain mood needed to be set to be able to write about such a dark topic. “I can write about a character like the one in “Cold,” who is not a good person and is messed up, it’s just hard to get into that zone because obviously I’m not like that and I don’t really know anyone like that,” elaborated Doran. One of the ways he does this is by really thinking about the character and what they would do in certain situations.
Sharing personal work like this does not daunt Doran. Critiques are great, as Doran has come to know through experience, because when you can’t place your finger on what is off in your work, sometimes someone else can articulate it for you. Whenever he is having trouble writing, Doran looks to Kurt Vonnegut’s rules for writing for inspiration.
Another method Doran employs to help him write is to just start with one sentence and go from there. “A lot of times a story will just come to me by one line or something I hear and then I try to develop it,” he said. A recent example of this was a kind of modern Bonnie and Clyde story he wrote. “It’s kind of weird to think that we’re so culturally interested in crime,” explained Doran. With this aspect, he drew people into the story and then turned it on its head by deconstructing the romance of criminal life. For Doran, it’s not about immediately trying to articulate a message through writing; it’s about writing something you’re interested in and then letting meaning speak through that passion.
Doran would love to incorporate some aspects of his passion for computer science into his writing. Eventually he wants to write a short story from inside a computer but has not had a concrete start yet. However, writing science fiction orientated work has proven to be challenging, so instead Doran has decided to do the opposite and incorporate his love of writing into his computer science career. His senior project is a web note-taking app. The idea behind it is to make note taking more efficient and organized. For example, if you’re talking about character development and want to define it; a note branching off of it will be a ‘definition’ note. It will essentially look like a concept map or a very organized brainstorm.
After graduation, Doran has a very general plan for the future. Ideally he would like to move to either New York or San Francisco and work for a start-up and take improvisational classes. “If everything works out,” says Doran, “I plan on being very busy.”
At the end of the day, it all comes back to balance. Sitting on the computer and being able to either creatively write or work on a project for computer science is very important to Doran, who appreciates “being able to work out different parts of the brain.” This emphasis on balance is good for everyone to remember, especially with finals looming in the distance. So if you’re feelings stressed, take a page out of Doran’s book and remember to try to switch it up.
On Friday, November 22, Trinity hosted an event by the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) Touring Company, an improvisational comedy group. The event, an evening of comedy also featured a short opening set by Trinity’s much loved, premier improvgroup, ‘The Moveable Joints.’
The UCB has alumni all over the professional comedy world (on shows like the Daily Show, 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, and many others). It is a sketch and long form improvisational group founded in Chicago, which moved to New York and Los Angeles. Its members met mostly at the IO Theater in Chicago. They pride themselves in the fact that “Far and away, our most popular show is the long-form improvised comedy provided by UCB Tour Co. A four person team enacts a 90 minute show with a 10 minute intermission off a single suggestion. Though no lines have been planned and no characters assigned, you can be assured your audience will be laughing in delight.”
The performance at Trinity was presented in Mather’s Washington Room. The opening act by the Moveable Joints involved their usual format of asking for a word from the audience and working with it. The word they were provided with was ‘goldfish’ and it was incredible to see how far they were able to go, making goldfish related jokes. They then performed a few short, funny skits. Their fifteen minute performance warmed the audience up for the UCB Touring Company’s act.
The UCB comedy group consisted of four people, two men and two women who began by talking to the audience about recent events at Trinity. Having cracked a few jokes, they proceeded to call a volunteer from the audience who they would interview, for inspiring a majority of their act. The volunteer, a resident of a quad in Hansen Hall was asked questions pertaining to his life at Trinity, and his future goals and aspirations.
It was remarkable to see the immediate and improvised but nevertheless extremely organized series of situations and skits that they were able to perform to recreate moments from the life of the volunteer that they interviewed. Perhaps the funniest of these was their exaggerated depiction of one of the volunteers’ roommates who he had described as being reserved, and artistic. Although they spent about seven to ten minutes interviewing the volunteer, they were able to perform inspired acts for almost forty five minutes. They maintained the audience’s engagement as their humor was consistently excellent.
For the second part of their performance, they asked for a word from the audience, to inspire their act. The word provided was “tropical.” They immediately interpreted “tropical,” as one of Trinity’s big parties, rather than the tropics. They immediately began to depict an airplane scene, where a couple bothered their neighboring passengers by calling themselves the party of the plane. Their jokes eventually extended to connect with a recurring funny idea that they had performed in their earlier act.
At the end, the audience was clearly disappointed that the show was over. There were laughs heard through, and after the performance as the audience recalled their favorite parts.
The evening of comedy proved to be an ideal way to spend a Friday night, to unwind after a stressful week at college.
By Malcom Moon ’15
From November 21 through the 23, Garmany Hall at Austin Arts Center showcased the performance, “Disintegration Loops Part 2: Tales of the Uncanny.” The play told a “story of two men engaged in a scientific experiment to reshape history. By reenacting a past catastrophe, they hoped to create a future filled with hope and love. Yet memory and perception affected their attempts to recapture time.”
Directed by Professor Mitch Polin, Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance, the play featured student actors Lily Kernan ’14, Aadya Pandey ’17, Allen Rios ’17, Schirin Schenkermayr ’16, Dan Trainor ’17 and Dominic Yao ’15, who each brilliantly performed their roles. Their performance, coupled with the stage setting and the lighting and sound effects created an intriguing, and thought provoking world.
Garmany Hall, a versatile space was interestingly transformed to allow the audience to surround the performance space, creating a greater sense of engagement and intimacy with the actors. The stage exuded a laboratory-like feel, given the minimalistic set, and the overwhelming use of white. At the very center of the stage was a large, box-shaped machine (the time machine). The arrangement of white chairs around the stage was curious in that the chairs closer to the machine were complete chairs while those further away had broken back rests. This arrangement was meant to parallel the formation of a crystal. The white flooring of the stage also had markings that were similar to those on a microchip, suggesting that the entire performance was going to take place on a microchip. Among other things, an object on stage that seemed to stand out was a jug of water that was strangely lit up in blue. Although the set- up of the audience surrounding the stage created a sense of closure between the performance and the viewers, the setting and the story being depicting had a distancing effect as they compelled one to actively think and assimilate what was being depicted. Unsurprisingly, one would say that given it was a play directed by Polin, it was fascinating, yet confusing.
Through the use of dual roles and depictions of parallel situations, the actors portrayed the characters of Chris, Aaren, Alex, and a scientist. The play opened with a scene depicting the scientist (played by Yao) attempting to control and test the extent to which he is able to manipulate Chris (played by Schenkermayr). He is able to do this by feeding her a bug. He then proceeds to tell her that her mother was abducted by a group of men and that she has to pay them a ransom. He does this to extract money out of her, and she willing signs multiple cheques without questioning anything he says. He also makes her read a passage about civil disobedience by Thoreau that explains how one shouldn’t obey something unless they truly believe in the motives of what is asked of them. It is ironic that although she repeats this passage, it has no impact on her as she doesn’t, or rather is unable to stand up to the scientist.
Similar to the situation between Chris and the scientist, is the experiment that Aaren (Portrayed by Kernan and Trainor) and Alex (portrayed by Rios and Pandey) have set up, in that they attempt to go back in time. They do this in order to be able to go back in history and change it. While it starts off as a fun experiment, Aaren has the realization that he is able to go back in time more than once. Through this ability, he is able to go back to when Chris was being controlled by the scientist. He pursues a relationship with Chris and wants, and believes that he can save her from the scientist.
Throughout Aarens’ attempts to go back in time, Alex comes across as a good and helpful friend in the way he attempts to keep him within reality, and is understanding of his relationship with Chris. At the end, as Aaren goes back multiple times to observe what the scientist has been doing to Chris, he tries to explain to Chris how he has figured out how to trigger the situation. Yet, as Chris begins to notice cuts in Aarens’ arms that are familiar to her, it becomes clear that Aaren is not able to keep the promises he made to Chris (that he would save her) because he himself is under the influence and control of the scientist. Aaren ends up having been a victim of the scientist’s manipulation without even realizing it.
Although the use of scientific jargon and numbers can be distracting, the play seems to ultimately be about human relationships and hierarchical structures within people. The experiment within the world of the play is time travel, but the fact that the entire play takes place on a microchip raises the possibility of the entire set up to be an experiment in itself. This is fascinating, given the revelation that it was the scientist who was really in control of the time travel experiment, much to the oblivion of Aaren and Alex.
Finally, as a sequel to Disintegration Loops I, which was performed last spring, it was interesting to note how the play also depicted different fragments of time and how memory and perception affect relationships. The most direct, yet subtle connection between the two plays was the presence of the sign board that read “Elephants Only” that was also used in Disintegration Loops I.
Congratulations to the Cast and Crew of “Disintegration Loops II: Tales of the Uncanny!”
KRISTINA RUTH ’15
According to Paul Collins author of “Not Even Wrong: Adventures in Autism”, autism is much more than a disorder. As he put it, “a disability is usually defined in terms of what is missing…But autism…is as much about what is abundant as what is missing.” As with many disorders, children with autism are stereotyped as “being different” from early on. They often struggle in school because many other children don’t know enough about the disorder and simply ignore them or make fun of them for it. But, the truth of the matter is that autism is becoming more prevalent in our population as time has progressed. Autism Speaks states that one in every 88 children has autism. Instead of pretending that it doesn’t exist or treating individuals with autism like they are a different species, society as a whole needs to not only become more educated about the topic but also learn ways to include them, especially in the classroom. As Collins mentions, individuals with autism should be treated like everyone else. Their contributions to society are just as important as contributions from everyone else. Just because they have a disorder doesn’t mean that they are insignificant.
On Friday November 22, Taylor Higgins ’15 and I (Kristina Ruth ’15) hosted an autism awareness fundraiser. The two spent a lot of time researching and talking with local community members to hear various perspectives on the disorder. They looked into all the special dietary studies past researchers had conducted. They read local Hartford blogs about various families with autistic children. In addition, they spoke with Louise Balsmeyer ’14 who had interned with Autism Speaks about her opinion of how autism is viewed in today’s society and how it should change. When she spoke at the event, she made a great point in saying that rather than pretend that it doesn’t exist, we as a community need to incorporate their perspective into our own.
Autistic children are just as intelligent and talented as non-autistic children, they simply express themselves in a different way. Society gets so caught up in seeing things in a certain light that they often forget that there are other ways of seeing things. Balsmeyer also mentioned that the reason autistic children are often bullied in school is due to other childrens’ lack of knowledge about the disorder. When they do not know why one of their peers is acting differently from their other peers, some children tend to use bullying as a coping device. This can have damaging results for everyone in the long run. More autism cases are diagnosed every year and now is the time for people to become more engaged in the cause. Various Trinity students came out Friday to support autism awareness and donate to Autism Speaks. The hosts of the event hope that in the future years at Trinity, other students will continue to hold events to make the campus more aware of this disorder.
Speaking with different community members about this topic makes people look at autism in a whole different way. The hosts of the event had always been supportive of the cause but had never heard so many people’s perspectives on it before. The best part about this was seeing how positive and supportive parents in this community are. Their passion for their children is amazing and should inspire the rest of us to become just as engaged in the cause as they are. Instead of being so fixated in our own views we should try to look at things from their perspective. It’s time to speak up.
SOPHIE KATZMAN ’14
GEORGINA THERMOS ’14
For their last review of the semester, the Food Dudes decided to enjoy a nice American breakfast at Quaker Diner. Quaker Diner is your quintessential old-school American diner. The diner is set back on Park Road in West Hartford and has a traditional railroad-car design with a long brick building and a dome-shaped roof. When you go inside, immediately you feel as if you have been transported back in time, to the days when diner’s first came about. The layout is simple; there are just enough booths along the sides to fit a hungry crowd. The counter, lined with swivel chairs, faces green and black tile with a chalkboard and laminated papers naming the daily specials. There are shelves under the ceiling filled with trinkets to add to the homey feel. Quaker Diner is the type of place that heeds age-old regulars. The booths are large enough for families, yet they are also a comfortable place for those regulars to read their morning papers while sipping hot coffee.
Quaker Diner has been around for over eighty years. It was founded by Aristedes Bassilakis, known as “Harry,” in 1931. The diner has stayed in the family; currently the grandson of the founder owns it. Thus, it has a very dynamic family feel.
Quaker diner is as classic as a diner can get. Serving breakfast all day long, they have plenty of options to choose from. The Bassilakis family definitely knows how to do breakfast right, keeping the menu simple, but absolutely satisfying. Order your eggs any style with a side of Quaker Home Fries and toast. Egg whites are an available substitute and adding an extra egg is only $1 more! Omelets are offered and customers are encouraged to personalize them any way they like. Tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, spinach or cheese can be added to your omelet for an extra 0.60 cents per item.
A real breakfast isn’t complete without indulging your sweet tooth. French toast and pancakes are served in portions of two or three pieces. Treat yourself and add chocolate chips, blueberries, or raspberries to your pancakes. Or, if you’re in between a sweet breakfast and still staying healthy, whole wheat French toast is also available. In addition, the menu suggests a variety of ‘Specials,’ including specialty omelets, raisin French toast, and Belgium waffles.
Georgina ordered the Canadian bacon and cheddar cheese omelet with an iced coffee. The bacon and melted cheese were cooked to perfection. The portion size was just the right amount and not too large as some modern-day diners tend to do. The home fries were cooked with a delicious seasoning to give the meal a little kick. Sophie went with her guilty-pleasure breakfast favorite: chocolate chip pancakes. The hearty and fluffy outside mixed with the melting chocolate chips was the perfect mix of savory and sweet. Paired with a warm mug of coffee, they were a nice breakfast treat.
Next time you’re not in the mood for Mather, step into town and visit Quaker Diner. The Food Dudes name this one of Hartford’s best breakfast spots! The diner is open Monday through Friday 6a.m.-2:30p.m and weekends 6a.m.-1:30p.m. A friendly reminder: they only accept cash or checks.
ANA MEDINA ’16
Despite the chaos awaiting us all with finals right around the corner, many of us are getting ready for the holiday surprises that await us at the end of the semester. However, all across the country a select group of students anxiously await an early holiday gift, a full ride scholarship to one of thirty-four prestigious universities on the Questbridge network.
This scholarship foundation aims to give talented and exceptionally intelligent low-income students the opportunity to attend one of the nation’s higher education institutions. Trinity has the privilege of belonging to this network and thus brings in approximately ten students per year with a full ride scholarship. At this moment, high school seniors all across the country are receiving the news of their acceptance into one of the 34 institutions. Here is a look at the exceptional Questbridge scholars Trinity has admitted.
Dabin Lim, more commonly known as Nicole, is currently a sophomore with an intended major of Theatre and Dance. “During my sophomore year a senior girl told her about Questbridge so I asked my counselor to tell me more about it,” she mentions. Upon finding out that she won the scholarship she exclaims, “I screamed! There was a class next to the lab I was in and everyone came in asking what happened. I shared my story with them and we all celebrated.” While being an exceptional student, Lim shares that she believes her personal statement is what really earned her the scholarship. “I wrote about being from a low income family and how coming from a pastor’s family I had a lot of restrictions in my life. I could not always do what I wanted because culture and money held me back. I also talked about the difficulties I faced when I arrived in California from Korea during high school. I had to adjust quickly in order to get ready to attend college.” Currently Lim serves as treasurer for Shondaa Steppers, social chair for the Quest Scholars Network, and enjoys going every so often to Peter’s Retreat. She hopes to use her time at Trinity to make as many connections as possible and dreams of one day owning her own cosmetic brand.
Bettina Gonzalez is currently a sophomore with a double major in Film Studies and Psychology. She states that she found out about Questbridge through her former National Honor Society Sponsor. While also being academically strong, Gonzalez believes that “being homeless but still being at the top of her class, along with having a tumultuous family life where she had a lot of responsibility, made her a good candidate for the scholarship.” The day the results for the scholarship came out, Gonzalez shares that she thought she would not be a recipient of the scholarship but upon opening the e-mail and reading the “congratulations” she could not help but cry because “she knew that even community college would not have been a possibility due to the intense financial restrictions she faced.” Now at Trinity, Gonzalez hopes to “lay the foundations for her life afterwards: to make connections, do well academically, get as much experience as possible, and be in the film festival four years in a row.” Currently, she is the media specialist of LVL, social media coordinator of the Student Health Advisory Council (SHAC) and the Health Center, a member of Nightwatch, one of the managers of Cinestudio, social chair of the Quest Scholars Network, secretary of Latin Dance Club, is involved with the Trinity Film Society, WGRAC, and Students Encouraging Consensual Sex (SECS). “Sometimes I find it amazing that I came from homelessness and am now in one of the wealthiest higher education institutions in the country,” Gonzalez comments on her Questbridge scholarship accomplishment. Post graduation Gonzalez hopes “to never go back to the difficult lifestyle she endured and instead she hopes to keep moving forward from here and make the most out of her life by doing something that I’m genuinely passionate about.”
Allen Rios is one of the newest additions to the Quest Scholar family. He is a freshman who intends to double major in Theatre and Dance and Women Gender and Sexuality Studies. “My high school counselor kept pushing this scholarship to everyone. She knew what a great opportunity it was because we had a least a couple of recipients every year,” he explains. Placing Trinity as his top choice, Rios believes that coming out to visit Trinity during his application process really helped him earn a winning spot. “I came around mid-November and made connections with both students and faculty…around two weeks later I received the big news that I was coming to Trinity,” he states. Upon receiving the great news, Rios comments that aside from just being excited, he also felt a big weight come off his shoulders. “Coming from a low income background, I knew college was nearly impossible to afford. One of the best feelings in the world is knowing that I was going to receive a fantastic education without being drowned in debt after four years,” he shares. While at Trinity, Rios hopes to “open people’s eyes in one way or another. I want to reach out to people and let them know that their experiences aren’t representative of real life and that they should want to make the world a better place…” While only a freshman, Rios serves as a first year representative for La Voz Latina (LVL), volunteers at Cinestudio, is involved with Encouraging Respect Of all Sexualities (EROS), the Quest Scholars Network, and the Women and Gender Resource Action Center (WGRAC). After graduation Rios hopes to help people achieve their dreams. “…Being a gay Latino, I lost count of the times that I’ve felt the whole world against me. I hope I can someday be financially successful enough to help people achievetheir dreams because it’s stupid that a lot of people in this country can’t accomplish their dreams because of something as stupid as money.”
SERENA ELAVIA ’14
I always thought that I lived a healthy life. I go to the gym six days a week, eat fruits and vegetables and don’t smoke. In mid-September, I had a routine examination with my gynecologist and was not expecting anything to be abnormal.
But when the doctor called with my test results two weeks later, I learned that maybe I wasn’t that healthy after all. The results of my pap smear (a routine test examining cell tissue from the cervix) tested positive for high grade dysplasia, which is abnormal precancerous cell growth on the surface of the cervix. Dysplasia occurs in two forms, low and high grade, which correlate to the extent of the abnormal cell growth.
While low grade dysplasia generally progresses slowly and can heal itself, high grade dysplasia greatly increases a woman’s chance of cervical cancer and is known to be caused by the sexually transmitted disease Human Papillomavirus (HPV). The word “precancerous” put fear into my heart. She proposed that I may have contracted HPV from a past, unprotected sexual encounter. I told her that I completed the HPV vaccine Gardasil and it was impossible for me to have the disease, but I was subsequently informed that the vaccine only protects against four out of the more than 40 types of HPV. We scheduled another appointment to run more tests for HPV and see the extent of the dysplasia.
Each day that passed leading up to my next appointment brought more stress and anxiety. While I was able to carry on with my work, I quietly struggled underneath. Randomly during the day, my eyes would well with tears and I would have to abruptly excuse myself from whatever I was doing. Hiding under the looming shadow of cancer at the age of 21 was the most frightening experience I have had.
One week later, I underwent an invasive cervical biopsy (where tissue is collected from the cervix) and a colposcopy, a procedure where a physician uses a tool called a colposcope with a camera to examine the cervix.
When my doctor called me two weeks later, I answered the phone with a shaky hand and a pounding heart. It turns out that my previous test results were a false positive. I never had dysplasia or HPV. I was completely healthy.
As the original carriers of HPV, men generally do not know if they have the disease or not, as symptoms rarely appear and the disease does not interfere with their daily life. To make matters more complicated, regular STD testing does not test for HPV and there is no other HPV test for men.
Men who carry the disease can unknowingly pass it on to their partner during unprotected sex, which can lead to a cervical cancer diagnosis in women. Each year approximately 12,000 American women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and almost 4,000 of them die from the disease. HPV can also cause anal and penile cancer in men, and research in this area is ongoing.
If we never make mistakes, then we never learn how to do things correctly. Not wearing a condom every time is a dangerous mistake. But by always wearing a condom during sex, we can prevent the spread of HPV and lower the number of cervical cancer diagnoses. Both men and women are responsible for having condoms readily available and ensuring that they are used during sexual activity. Even if you are in a monogamous relationship, that does not erase you or your partner’s past sexual partners, who could have HPV. One person with HPV who has unprotected sex can inadvertently affect many others. The Health Center has condoms available in the lobby and they can be purchased at any convenience store. It only takes one time of not wearing a condom for someone to contract HPV.
The Gardasil vaccine protects against strains 6, 11, 16 and 18, which are four of the deadliest strains of HPV. It may not protect against every strain, but Gardasil is one way of preventing cervical cancer. Over the last few years, though, more women have opted to not get Gardasil or fail to complete the three shot course of the vaccine because publicity for the drug has died down since its initial release in 2006. Not having this vaccine puts women at a greater risk for contracting a strain of HPV that leads to cervical cancer.
There are no reported harmful side effects from the vaccine. As well, Gardasil has recently been approved for males up through the age of 26 and the vaccine prevents men from contracting one of the four deadly strains that can lead to anal or penile cancer and genital warts. While Gardasil will not cure someone currently infected with HPV, it will prevent them from contracting the deadliest strains of HPV and passing it to others. Those of you who are opposed to vaccinations, I urge you to reconsider. The Health Center and your physician have Gardasil vaccines available and every young man and woman at Trinity can make time in their schedule for three consecutive appointments over a six month period. The Health Center will bill insurance for the vaccine and there is no additional cost for students.
Regular pap smears are important for women to have every two years starting at the age of 21 or after beginning sexual activity. Getting a pap smear, which only takes five minutes and is not painful, is the only way to screen for cervical cancer and can detect the early stages of cancer. If you are over 21 or sexually active and have not had a pap smear, make an appointment with a gynecologist or a nurse at the Health Center. Getting a pap smear is necessary for every woman, whether you are in a monogamous relationship or not.
While my story has a happy ending, not every woman’s does. It is easy to see the posters and pamphlets warning us against STDs in the Health Center and think that it won’t happen to you. But the reality is that HPV is a serious threat to all college students, which includes every Trinity student. I chose to write about my experience in hopes that other young men and women at Trinity can learn from it and share with their family and friends. Being a college student comes with many challenges, but HPV and cervical cancer do not have to be two of them.
BERNAT IVANCSCIS ’14
On Thursday November 14, the common hour event at Gallows Hill featured the interdisciplinary workshop led by Trinity professors Diana Paulin (English/American Studies) and Sarah Raskin (Neuroscience) along with Hartford Hospital psychiatrist Dr. Harold Schwartz. In the discussion they addressed the issue of mental health and the social and cultural reception of madness in the context of the shooting at an elementary school last winter in Sandy Hook, CT.
The three perspectives offered a multi-layered insight into the problems surrounding mental illnesses and the possible social control of “madness”. Advertised as an interdisciplinary workshop, the three lecturers showed how their respective fields of academia could add to the debate of psychiatric treatment, crime control, and the issue of collective response to such tragedies as a mass murder with school children victims.
Diana Paulin addressed the problem of the social perception and representation of madness. Incidents when a collective of people must respond to an act of madness unveil the social norms and beliefs of a society. Professor Paulin highlighted the fact that the medium of such response is deeply embedded, and thus affected by, the very language through which a society communicates. The shifting terminology of mental illnesses is also a good example how both professionals and everyday people are constantly trying to grasp what they mean by “illness” or “madness”: “neurodiversity,” “shifting normalcy,” or “changing landscape of mind” are evidence of unsuccessful attempts to construct a neutral language of madness. Professor Paulin also emphasized the role the media is playing in constructing a specific perspective of the representation of madness.
In the second lecture, Sarah Raskin addressed the topic of brain damage. Her lecture proved to be the link between Diana Paulin’s socio-critical analysis and Dr. Harold Schwartz’s focused assessment of the Sandy Hook shooting. Her lecture presented the multi-faceted approaches to evaluate and define brain damage. The lecture also made a point by highlighting the fact that different definitions of such a vague term like “brain damage” can greatly affect nation-wide statistics on patients suffering from brain damage. After presenting the anatomical map of the brain and the ways in which physical impacts can cause damage to certain sections of the brain, Professor Raskin continued her presentation by focusing on the issue of “mild brain damage,” (mTBI). Mild brain damage is a problem that is not easily approachable or assessable. According to statistics, mild brain damage not only affects veterans and military personnel, but is also one of the leading causes of disability and deaths among juveniles. The problem of keeping a record of people affected by mild brain damage is the disparity in accessing data: Professor Raskin explained how social environment, racial weighing, and crime record could greatly modify statistics. Furthermore, such statistics may be drawn out of context and be abused. The second lecture thus ended on the note that mTBI is a crucial category in addressing psychosocial symptoms produced by, for instance, young people, but is very hard to frame due to its broad range of variations.
In the last lecture, Dr. Harold Schwartz addressed the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, where a 20-year-old young man shot 20 children and six adult staff members after shooting his own mother. He committed suicide at the scene. In less than five minutes, it became the second deadliest mass murder shooting by a single person in the history of the United States.
After providing the necessary details on the incident, Dr. Schwartz presented statistics on weapon control in multiple countries. His first conclusion during his lecture is that more severe gun control can greatly reduce the potential of such incidents occurring again. However, his main focus is on the 20-year-old murderer, Adam Lanza, and the way he became a psychotic criminal without anybody noticing it in his community.
Dr. Schwarz’s analysis found that the boy, was addicted to video games, a loner, and a solipsistic “grievance collector.” According to Dr. Schwarz, Lanza could not relieve himself from inner frustrations but did intend to “leave a mark” in the world, as it is normal among young and ambitious men. His one-sided perspective on the world left him to be a solipsist who is devoid of any exterior reflections on his behavior.
Dr. Schwartz’s solution to avoid such state of mind rests on three legs: the concept of the theory of mind; mirror neurons; and Polyvagal Theory. The theory of mind implies the mentalization process of the individual, when a mental agenda or focus is created. Mirror neurons explain how an inter-subjective relationship between two people (as in: a face-to-face setup) can have an effect on both individuals. Polyvagal Theory explains how physiological state affects psychological experience, for instance, in a social context.
Dr. Schwartz’s assessment notes that instead of treating young offenders as criminals with the punishment of seclusion, it is more important and beneficial to lift these “criminals” out of their solipsistic environment and integrate them back into a more thriving and input-rich socio-cultural environment.
Zachary Haines ’14
“Geography Club” played at Cinestudio this week as part of the lineup for the annual EROS Film Festival. The Entin brothers, Gary and Edmund, adapted the 2003 novel by Bret Hartinger, in which gay teens find themselves struggling to find acceptance in their high school. The film opens with Russell Middlebrook’s (Cameron Deane Stewart) attempt to meet a clandestine hookup in a local park; instead, he runs into Kevin (Justin Deeley), his school’s star football player. Terrified of having his intentions uncovered, Russell flees. It is clear that in this cookie-cutter suburban neighborhood, the gay community must operate covertly or risk social ostracism.
On a school fieldtrip, the two become closer as Russell begins to help Kevin with his science homework. However, it soon becomes evident that the two harbor much more than feelings of friendship for one another. When they finally kiss, they are horrified to discover that their classmate Min (Ally Maki) has seen. They return to school petrified that she will reveal their secret and shatter their illusion of heterosexuality.
However, Min has a secret of her own: she too is gay, and, with a handful of classmates, has formed a secret support group under the guise of the “Geography Club.” She invites Russell to join, offering a safe place to confide in his peers without fear of judgment. At the same time, Kevin convinces Russell to join the football team, immersing him a community that is anything but accepting of the crowd they have deemed “different.”
As if Russell couldn’t get more confused, he is also pressured by his best friend Gunnar (Andrew Caldwell) to go on a date with one of the high school’s tween starlets, Trish (Meaghan Martin). Straddling two social extremes, Russell attempts to maintain the façade of straight football player while still secretly dating Kevin and attending meetings of the Geography Club.
Russell’s breaking point comes when he is compelled by his teammates to do harm to one of his fellow Geography Club members. He begins to feel that he can no longer stay silent; unfortunately, the rest of the Geography Club members are not on board: none of them trust that their revelation will be well received by their peers, none of them are ready to sacrifice their chances of “fitting in.”
On top of all this, Russell cannot convince Kevin to take a stand with him. Their relationship is put under immense strain as Russell becomes fed up with secrecy, yet Kevin believes it to be vital to his existence. Russell is to make the difficult choice that many high schoolers in his position have been faced with before: whether to bend to social pressures or take the risk of making his true self known.
“Geography Club” is no feat of art cinema: admittedly, it is incredibly corny and formulaic. It comes across exactly like your average teen movie, which, in a way is its genius. This is exactly the kind of movie that needs to draw in a large teen audience. It is so important for young people to internalize the film’s message: that there will always be a greater pay off in being yourself than in conforming to supposed “norms.” As someone with teenage siblings, I feel as though I am acutely aware of the importance of this sentiment. Obviously, this is not specific to gay teens, but anyone who has ever felt marginalize or outcast by their peers, which is something that the film does an excellent job of addressing. I would love to see “Geography Club” reach a wide audience of young people: I believe that a drama that promotes self-acceptance in such a communicative, accessible way is longer overdue, especially for the young audience that needs it most.
Immanuel Adeola ’14
“Disintegration Loops Part II: Tales of the Uncanny” tells of two men engaged in a scientific experiment to reshape history. By reenacting a past catastrophe, they hope to create a future filled with hope and love. Yet memory and perception affect their attempts to recapture time. The play is revolves around two people’s fight to recreate the perfect moment, through science, so that, in their eyes, the world can be placed back in its natural order. Danielle Conley ’14 is the dramaturg for the production. Dramaturgy looks at the world of the play, making sure what happens in the performance is relatable to a contemporary audience. The Trinity Tripod sat down with Conley to talk about her role in the production.
Conley is new to the world of Dramaturgy, which she describes as “a foreign object to me, something I had heard of, but never thought I’d have a chance to practice. So when I started working on the show, I messed up a lot.” She is working with Professor Mitch Polin, the director of the play and the head of the Theater and Dance department, who she has worked with on numerous occasions, including Disintegration Loops Part I.
The cast of Disintegration Loops Part II has only six people, yet they all bring a great amount of passion and enthusiasm to the show. All of them have worked with Professor Polin, and their close friendship will undoutedbly contribute to the dynamic of the production. According to Conley, they all “mentor each other, I think, in terms of helping each other understand this world that we’ve created, and having Professor Polin as a mentor to us all has been great.” Conley has worked as a development intern, looking at grants and proposals, and has been a performer and part of stage crew. Recently, she has become more interested in writing plays. All of these things are factors of creating a performance and each role comes in at different points on that timeline. In describing her experience in theater and how it has shaped her interest in dramaturgy, Conley says “Dramaturgy allows me to be involved in the entire process from start to finish; from the moment that a director decides to put on a performance to the night it closes, as well as the history and future of that specific show. It gives me the ability to understand the entire world of the play rather than focusing on a fraction of it, which I love.”
Dramaturgy allows one to appreciate the entirety of the play, thinking through all the different aspects that goes into its planning and execution. Conley says “I find that when I’m in another role, I’m entirely engrossed in that role, which has been great, but to be honest, it has been kind of unfulfilling, but being a dramaturg allows me to fulfill my creative strand, my academic strand, and my emotional strand, because all are necessary when trying to view the play from all perspectives. It’s made me stand back and admire every role that is needed in the creation of this alternate universe.”
There are several people and places that inspire Conley and her work in the field. Her mom has been such a strong, loving, and supportive force. A lot of her previous work centered on family because of how important she is in her life. Cleo of AX, the co-ed literary society that Conley is a part of has inspired a lot of her recent work. The sense of community and respect influence the themes in the work she’s been writing. Conley is applying to the masters and PhD programs in dramaturgy for the upcoming year and looking at programs abroad. The production will be showcased on November 21 at 7:30 p.m. till 9:30 p.m.
BENJAMIN CHAIT ’16
Simplicity is the ultimate form of decadence when it comes to everyday style. Less is absolutely more—at least in the 21st century. These days, people are very busy, and to waste time or energy with lots of excess material is most certainty outdated. For instance, it is much more glamorous to travel freely with one large carry-on bag, rather than having to worry about keeping track of four, five, or six bags. It is much cooler to have a smaller wardrobe of greatly loved worn-in pieces than it is to have a closet full of trendy clothes that are overpriced and only worn one or two times.
There are many ways to approach style, but the best way is with ease. Fashion should always come secondary to personality and intelligence. However, clothing and accessories can be both an extension and an expression of one’s self. This is best demonstrated with wallets. What goes in a wallet is personal: driver’s licenses, insurance cards, business cards, credit cards, social security numbers, small photos, and perhaps even a small worn down love letter you like having on you at all times. The wallet that holds your precious information should be just as personal on the outside as the contents that it holds within.
When it comes to wallets, the smaller and simpler the better. Minimize what you carry around with you because no one needs a bulging wallet full of old receipts and obligatorily-taken business cards that can barley fit into a back pocket of a pair of jeans. In my opinion, cardholders are more stylish and more practically than traditional bi-fold wallets. Smathers and Branson has a great selection. Their needlepoint wallets come in a varied selection of styles and patterns, symbols of sports teams, and even favorite drinks. If needlepoint isn’t your thing, having a cardholder with your favorite image is a great way to make your wallet more personal. For example Jamie Pielock’s ’15 love of fly-fishing is reflected right on the front of his wallet.
There is however almost no better than place for a monogram than on a wallet. It’s a subtle detail that really makes something feel like it’s your own. Personally, I have my wallet monogrammed. My mother bought me a green Goyard cardholder as a present last year. Goyard is a truly unique French luxury leather goods brand. Each of their pieces is hand painted and can only be bought in a few stores around the world.
Celebrities like Nicole Richie, Diane Sawyer, Diane Kruger, Kirsten Dunst, Orlando Bloom, and Ashley Olsen favor this brand, as well as Trinity student Nicole Soviero ’14, Caroline Melly ’14, May Woollcott ’16, and Caroline Picerne ’15. After having my cardholder for about four months I realized that I wanted to get it monogrammed. I took it to Barney’s in New York and worked with the Goyard specialist for over an hour to pick the perfect colors and size for the monogram. Though it was a bit of a process, it was totally worth it. My wallet is light, functional, from a recognizable yet underground brand, and totally and uniquely my own.
Some people may not favor a bold statement or monogram on a wallet, but there is still room to play around. Ashley Stewart ’16 has a classic zip-up clutch wallet, which looks great in her purse or by itself. Instead of traditional leather, Stewart’s wallet is ostrich skin. The exotic textile instantly references 1950’s glamour and class while being as versatile and stylish as regular leather. Ostrich skin can also work for men too. Although it’s best to keep it to natural earth tones with Ostrich leather, other leathers look great when dyed.
Many men carry classic calfskin wallets in black or brown. But why not swap out the standard—dare I say boring—option for the same wallet in a royal blue or hunter green? Even those who like to be shy and subtle when it comes fashion should take a risk when it comes to wallets—after all they remain hidden in bags and pants for most of the day. When you pull out your wallet, what do you want it to say about you? I hope you don’t see yourself as dull and cluttered, but rather as easy, light, and fantastic.
Pooja Savansukha ’15
The 15th EROS Film Festival took place at Trinity Colleges’ Cinestudio, last week. The event was sponsored by EROS (Encouraging Respect Of all Sexualities), Trinity’s LGBT/straight student alliance, and showcased a varied selection of LGBT feature films and documentaries that would appeal to all film lovers. These films included “The Last Match,” “Geography Club,” “Reaching for the Moon,” “Test,” “The Kids are Alright,” “Breaking the Girls,” and “Valentine Road.” In addition, the Queer Resource Center also hosted a Sunday brunch, and a candle light vigil, in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Transgender Day of Remembrance annually occurs on November 20th. It is a day to remember those who have been killed because of transphobia, the fear or hatred of transgender and gender non-conforming people, and it serves to raise awareness concerning the violence endured by the transgender community. The Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1998 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a graphic designer, columnist, and activist, to commemorate the murder of Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts. Since its inception, The Transgender Day of Remembrance evolved from a web-based project started by Smith into an international day of commemoration.
Typically, a Transgender Day of Remembrance memorial consists of a reading of the names of those who lost their lives during the previous year and may additionally also include candlelight vigils, art shows, food drives, film screenings, marches, among others. This usually culminates in a Transgender Awareness Week, such as in the case of EROS’ Film Festival.
The first film that was screened, “The Last Match,” depicts the relationshp between two Cuban Youngsters, Reiner and Yosvani, and how the pressures of their famiies, girlfriends, and poveerty affected their lives in the streets of Havana, Cuba.
“Geography Club” directed by Gary Entin explored the life of a closeted highschool teenager who is looking for love. The teenagerer ends up pursuing a relationship with someone of his same gender, and must deal with the conflicts concerning coming out, as well as the pressures of being a ‘misfit.’
Reaching for Moon,” a 2013 film is adapted from the novel, ‘Rare and Commonplace Flowers” and it traces the story of the love affair between the poet Elizabeth Bishop and the architect Lote de Macedo Soares. This takes place against the backdrop of the military changes in Brazil.
“Test,” directed by Chris Johnson depicts a young dancer, Frankie enjoying life and erotic freedom in San Francisco. Frankie faces a conflict when he starts to consider whether or not he should take an HIV test.
“The Kids Are All Right” directed by Lisa Cholodenko is a comedy that captures the dilemma faced by the son of a same-sex couple who seeks out the sperm donor who made his birth possible.
“Breaking the Girls” is a thriller that traces the turmulent reationship between two attractive college students who become moe than friends when they make a deal to kill off eachother’s nemesis.
The last film to be screened was “Valentine Road,” the delves into the issues concerning homophobia, sexism, racism and class struggle, through the story of a 15 year old.
Each of the films contributed towards raising important question pertaining to issues commonly faced by trangender communities.
A candle light vigil, and the naming of the victims who were murdered on account of their sexualiy, gave Trinity students, the oppurtunity to show their support and respect towards the community. A poem written by a member of EROS was also read to those that attended the event. This was an especially moving piece.
While an important aspect of our liberal arts education is to become more open-minded, putting our education to practise is extremely important. Supporting events such as this gives us the oppurtunity to do so.