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.
MAKENZIE RUSSO ’16
On Wednesday, November 13 Trinity College’s M.O.C.A held a discussion based upon the debate as to where the line is drawn between protecting students’ freedom of speech and penalizing anonymous cyber bullying. The discussion was most directly linked to the web page “Trinity Confidential” that frequently publishes anonymous posts that target specific individuals on campus. The majority of the posts are negatively charged, spiteful, and call out particular individuals. The repercussions for these actions may go much farther than anticipated and therefore it has become a topic worth discussing. Several important points were raised during this discussion, including what steps the administration has taken to begin addressing the problem. Professor Silk and Dean Alford were on the panel for this dialogue and they offered their own personal opinions while listening to the input of the students who attended the meeting.
The overall consensus in the room was that cyber bullying has become an issue on Trinity’s campus. The negative comments that are posted on this page, although they are unsubstantiated, are often hurtful and unnecessary. The eclectic range of the comments that are posted on “Trinity Confidential” have created the question at hand “what is tolerable?” We all understand that we live in a digitized world, one where computerized communication is prominent and negative comments are a norm. These issues are not unique to Trinity College and have been around for years but have now taken a different form. Dean Alford even suggested that these comments have shifted from bathroom stalls to Facebook walls. However, the future implications are now very different and the possibility of future employers drawing conclusions based off of vicious anonymous accusations is very real. There is no question that free speech should be protected but there is a fine line as to what exactly should be protected.
Many students were curious about what steps are being taken to address the issue of cyber bullying. Dean Alford explained that “Trinity Confidential” was brought to the administrations attention when a crime was confessed on the site. An email was then sent out to all students that mentioned how these comments that incorporate racism, homophobia, and other inappropriate statements are a terrible reflection on Trinity College as a whole. Since then, they have spoken to a lawyer and have investigated the terms and conditions of both Facebook and Google to see if there is anything that can be done to have the posts removed.
Ultimately, the fate of this issue is in the hands of students. During the discussion it was repeatedly mentioned that there is much hesitation for students to stand up to these anonymous posters and put their names next to any posts. Individually there is not much that can be done to stop the posts from flowing so long as the demand for them still exists. Therefore, a collective movement must be sparked to create a more civil and united environment on campus that would eliminate the need and want for such a site. The snide remarks made on “Trinity Confidential” generate a hostile setting and drives out good sentiments. The panelists and attendees agreed that these anonymous posts speak volumes about the culture on this campus and students should want to take steps towards establishing a community where there is no need to worry about being the target of an anonymous post.
These suggestions made by the panel and by students are both realistic and reasonable. It is not rocket science that once the students backlash against this site and no longer pay any attention to it then it will no longer hold any power.
Regardless of who should be held accountable for publishing these posts, We should come together as a whole to decide that we have no interest in what these faceless commentators have to say. The problem will then evaporate on its own. In the mean time, it was made clear that administration will continue to do everything possible to protect the students from any possible harm brought forth by this site.
SOPHIE KATZMAN ’14
GEORGINA THERMOS ’14
Even though Wethersfield Avenue is only five or ten minutes away, it’s not somewhere students often find themselves going. However, this week the Food Dudes decided to venture over to the South End and try Costa del Sol. Costa del Sol is an authentic Mediterranean-Spanish restaurant. Although the street has an industrial feel, Costa del Sol has a very bright, polished exterior with maroon awnings and palm tree esque plants.
After studying abroad in Barcelona together, the Food Dudes are always looking for new Spanish restaurants to try. This one did not disappoint us. 25 years ago, a family from Galicia, Spain started the restaurant. Since then, Costa del Sol has been passed down to different members of the family and kept a strong place in the Hartford restaurant scene. Upon entering the restaurant, we felt as if we were back in Spain. The art and design of the restaurant were reminiscent of Spain. On the back wall, there’s a large mural with a scene of the Spanish-Mediterranean coast. The stucco buildings and clear blue water in the painting made us feel as if we were sitting right by the water in Spain. The restaurant even has its own little gift shop with trinkets and mementos. Being there was like a mini-vacation in itself. The space is especially large with a layout suitable for family dinners as well as larger events, such as banquets and private parties. There are different rooms filled with distinctive types of tables adequate for the various functions. We were seated in a little nook by the window. Inside the small alcove, we were surrounded by Spanish art including works by Joan Miró, which definitely added to the Spanish aura.
The menu is uniquely Spanish, but with distinct dishes ranging from different regions. The majority is Galician cuisine, since the owners came from Galicia. However, there are other influences. Due to the rich land and coastline, Spanish food includes fresh seafood and meats as well as homegrown vegetables, cheese and olive oil. Since lunch is the main meal in most parts of Spain, the menu was all encompassing. There were soups, small salads, and of course, a selection of tapas. Tapas are small dishes served one after the other at many restaurants in Spain. Their entrees included meat, fish, pasta and eggs as well as Paella dishes to share.
We had the Pan Catalan to start, since this was our favorite small dish in Spain. Pan Catalan is bread with a tomato and olive oil spread. At Costa del Sol, they added their own addition of grilled vegetables or ham. Sophie had the vegetables; the combination of the rich oil, crispy bread and vegetables was a succulent mix. Georgina paired the country style bread with two thin slices of Iberico ham. For her entrée, Sophie had the Tortilla de Patatas. In Barcelona, this was her favorite dish for lunch or dinner. The tortilla is an omelet filled with eggs and potatoes, cooked in a casserole. They served it on a plate with three slices and a small salad to garnish the dish. One bite into the omelet made her feel as if she was sitting in a café on the main street in Barcelona. Georgina had a seafood pasta dish. It was a delicious blend of shrimp and steamed vegetables on top of linguini in a light white wine sauce. All of the ingredients were so fresh and flavorful.
The Food Dudes did not leave with empty stomachs. If you are looking for a traditional Spanish restaurant just around the bend from Trinity, stop by Costa del Sol at 901 Wethersfield Avenue. It truly is a “Sunny taste of Spain.”
ANA MEDINA ’16
It is common to hear that, after high school, students will delay their college education to dedicate themselves intensely to a sport. This is exactly what Ryan Cole ’17 did when he played for the Lincoln Stars and Indiana Ice in the United States Hockey League and then for the Amarillo Bulls of the North American Hockey League.
Growing up in Anchorage, Alaska, Cole comments that, “…hockey is more than a game. It’s a way of life. Almost all of my friends played hockey and every elementary, middle, and high school had an outdoor rink.” Raised in an environment that fostered such passion and admiration for the sport, Cole knew hockey would be his way of life. “Playing in front of packed stadiums with the bands playing and classmates lining up two hours before game time. It eventually just became a lifestyle and something I loved,” he recalls.
Cole participated in the Alaska All Stars hockey program from the age of seven to the age of 16. Afterwards, he transferred to Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire for his sophomore year of high school and upon graduating, was drafted by the Lincoln Stars. He played with the team a few months before being traded to Indiana Ice. Again he had a short experience there as he was then traded to the Amarillo Bulls. He played for the Amarillo Bulls for his final two seasons before arriving at Trinity College.
Commenting on his two years playing junior hockey, Cole states, “It was a great time for me to grow as a hockey player and a person. I also matured physically, something I attribute my success to at the college level.” While playing for a junior hockey league was demanding work, Cole did not use that time to completely neglect his academics. He attended community college courses to keep up with his schoolwork. In addition to this, he also ran a charity and held a job to help pay for his expenses.
Cole expresses that his favorite part of the experience was the freedom he was granted. “…you are basically living on your own so you really have to grow up and learn to take care of yourself and make your own decisions,” he says. In addition, Cole states that he also enjoyed playing in front of the large crowds; some were as large as 9,000 people! Despite the perks, Cole acknowledges that there were also some cons. “My least favorite part was probably the length of the season. We arrived in late August and the season was not over till mid-May in which we played over 80 games and maybe had five days off the whole season.”
Starting out in Alaska and then moving to Nebraska, Indiana, and Texas, one can’t help but wonder how Cole came to Connecticut. “My brother Brandon Cole ’17 was being recruited by Coach Matt Greason and I decided to visit with him. After seeing the school and the hockey facilities I knew I was in the right place,” he answers. While it is only Cole’s first semester at Trinity he mentions that his favorite part about campus is the support our students show for the athletic teams. As of now, he hopes to double major in Economics and Philosophy. He states that his ultimate goal is, “obviously…to get a degree and move on to a strong law school. Besides that, I really hope to lead our hockey team to a NCAA National Championship. I believe we have the talent and the heart to do some big things, it’s just a matter of when, not if.” In addition to keeping up with his academics and playing hockey, Cole hopes to join Habitat for Humanity and work on some community service projects with them.
As for his first game of the college hockey season, “…it was mostly just adjusting to the speed and style of play. Where junior hockey is much more offensive, fast paced and physical, college hockey is much more defensive and system oriented,” Cole states. Despite the adjustment, he felt that towards the end, once all the nerves had calmed down, the team overall began to play a lot smoother. Part of what encouraged the team so much was the enthusiastic crowd supporting them. “…when we see the student support like that we elevate our game significantly. So I wanted to thank everyone that came out and supported us and showed that Trinity College has the best home ice advantage in the NESCAC,” he comments.
Still fresh in his undergraduate career Cole expresses his desire to play professional hockey after college, preferably somewhere in Europe. However, if that does not work out he hopes to go back to Alaska and work with his father as an attorney.
MAZIN KHALIL ’15
An article recently was written about the shuttles that traverse our campus, carrying students from one side to the other and to destinations in-between. This article titled “Campus safety shuttle a forum for disrespecting Trinity students,” however, unfairly portrays the shuttle drivers and the shuttle itself.
In this article, a particular incident was highlighted in which a female reported the campus shuttle driver for not stopping on Allen Street, for opening the door of the shuttle to briefly mock the girl, sticking her middle finger up and then driving away. I’m here to tell you that this was not what happened, nor is it how it happened. I was on that shuttle and the time was 2:05 AM. The shuttle was making its way down Allen Street when it reached the end of Allen, there were 3 students, a male, and two females standing next to the Soccer House. As the shuttle turned, the male student slapped the side of the shuttle with both hands. The driver was then called a “b****” and, as she turned down Broad Street, the female that was with the group continued chasing after the bus shouting “b****” and “Are you f****** kidding me?” The driver of the shuttle opened the door and stated “Wonder Woman,” because of how fast the girl was running after the bus. The incident ended in the shuttle going about its course, and the driver and told that she had to go back on Allen to pick up those students because they complained.
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t tolerate any form of disrespect at all. If I was the campus shuttle driver, I would not have stopped either. There is no reason that this person is being looked at negatively because of the disrespect and lies that a few students relayed.
More importantly, it is extremely frustrating that students tell one-sided stories such as the one told and do not explain what happened prior or explain what brought about the reaction of the shuttle drivers. Basic science, particularly physics, explains this: every action has a reaction. The shuttle driver did not choose to ignore those students. In fact, the end of Allen isn’t even a stop on the shuttle.
What aggravates me and what has motivated the writing of this piece is not the article that was written itself, but the shared sentiment of students like the one that reported incorrect and erroneous information that is putting the jobs of others at risk. One of the erroneous statements written in that article was that the shuttles don’t have trackers. Both shuttles are equipped with GPS, and their location can be tracked by googling “campus safety shuttle tracker trinity college.” You will be taken to the Campus Safety website which links to Verizon’s page for tracking the shuttle. The user name and password are provided on the website as well.
We as Trinity students undermine the efforts of the campus shuttle drivers. They have to put up with us when we’re drunk, with our complaining, nagging, rowdiness and our constant inability to show them appreciation.
MADELINE BURNS ’16
This past Wednesday, Governor Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii signed a bill that legalized same-sex marriage in Hawaii, starting December 2 of this year. This legislation comes in the wake of Illinois’ announcement last week of Governor Pat Quinn’s plans to sign a bill for marriage equality on November 20. Including Illinois, Hawaii marks the 16th state to legalize gay marriage. Considering that at this time last year gay marriage was only legal in 9 states, this is a drastic upswing in the rate at which states are taking legal action towards marriage equality.
Separate from state legislature, in the Senate, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act was just approved this month. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, now in effect, bans any form of discrimination in hiring or employment based on the employee’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Prior to the passing of this act, there was no federal law that protected the rights of LGBT individuals in the workplace. Similarly to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act now prohibits employers from taking sexual orientation or gender identity into account in the workplace, whether that be when considering applicants for jobs or employees for promotions.
While these legal actions are considered by many to be a sign of progressive movement forward, others argue that at this point in time we should have already addressed these issues of equality as so as a nation. In this way these actions are not something to applaud but rather something to condone because there is still much that needs to be done in terms of LBGT issues and marriage equality in this country. Though I agree that there is much to be done for LGBT rights, I still believe that progress is progress and that it should be recognized as something good that this country is doing. When you take a step back and look at the issue from a global perspective, the progress America is making serves as an example for LGBT rights throughout the world.
Across the world, in Vietnam, big steps toward marriage equality were made this past week. Gay wedding ceremonies were decriminalized and same-sex couples were given the right to live together. While there is still much progress to be made, same-sex partners still won’t be recognized as legally married, this decriminalization marks a big change in LGBT rights for Vietnam and for the world. So on a national scale the progress being made in terms of LGBT rights is not where it should be. However, on a global scale, we are setting a precedent for the rest of the world. If we continue to move forward in the direction we’ve been moving, the possibility of marriage equality in all 50 states is an attainable future.
What needs to be taken into consideration here is that while marriage equality is certainly a right no one should be denied, and as such is an integral part of LGBT issues in this country and world wide, there are also other LGBT related issues more pertinent at this time than marriage equality. Of paramount concern is the issue of violence and harassment among the queer and trans community, and its direct correlation to queer and trans homelessness and suicide rates. One of the intrinsic causes of this issue is the lack of understanding and visibility when it comes to trans people in our society. According to the Gender, Violence, and Resource Access Survey conducted by the Trans Student Equality Resources, 50 percent of transsexual Americans have been raped or sexually assaulted by a partner, and transsexual women have a one in 12 chance of being murdered.
Addressing the issue of violence against transsexual men and women means concentrating on where this issue begins – trans youth. Support for trans youth is among the most urgent matters that need to be addressed in the realm of LGBT issues. The abuse suffered by transsexual youth directly correlates to the dramatically high suicide rates among the trans population. According to a report of the national transgender discrimination survey conducted in 2011, 41 percent of the survey’s 6,450 participants had attempted suicide. At the core of this issue of spiking suicide rates among the trans population are phobia and sexism and discrimination against trans people, starting from a young age.
Transgender Day of Remembrance is coming up on November 20. This day serves as a day of memorialization for those that have been killed as a result of violence against the transgender community. Trinity held its own vigil in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance this past Sunday at the conclusion of the Eros Film Festival. The names of transgender victims who had been killed in 2013 as a result of transphobia and violence against trans people were read aloud at the vigil. The fact that in 2013 we are still reading these names of people killed as a result of this hatred of transgender and gender non-conforming people is alarming, and I think that just as much attention should be brought to this horrible injustice as to the issue of marriage equality in America.
While I do not mean to detract from the significance of marriage equality in this country and worldwide, I think that people who support gay rights, and consider themselves to be active in the fight for marriage equality, should also consider the ways in which they can address the issues the transgender and queer citizens of this nation are facing, and show just as much support for that as they do for marriage equality. In this way, the nation can move forward and continue this trend of progression in the name of LGBT rights.
KRISTINA XIE ’16
I can honestly say many things do not offend me. I have a neutral stance on pretty much everything. However, there is one thing that makes me annoyed, that is the negative connotations associated with being a Posse Scholar on campus. I heard through the grapevines that one professor described Posse Scholars as “miracle students from underdeveloped communities coming to college” and “at-risk youths.” This is not only offensive, but also, quite frankly an ignorant statement made by someone who is unknowledgeable about what the Posse Foundation is, so let me educate everyone.
The Posse Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship given to students who demonstrate leadership abilities in all categories, from academics to athletics. Before students are picked to be in a posse of 10-12 students, candidates have to go through several rounds to prove that they can cooperate well with others and become a support system. After each round, only students who demonstrate these abilities advance to the next. In the final round, the Deans of each college hand select students and a posse is born. From there, students are required to attend weekly meetings from their senior year of high school to the end of their sophomore year in college. This is only a meager glimpse of the entire process, which also includes retreats, intensive discussions and one-on-one meetings with trainers and on campus advisors.
The assumptions about Posse Scholars on campus made me evaluate how I identified myself freshmen year. Now, more than ever, I am confident enough to assert that I am a proud scholar. Posse is not only for minority students or “at-risk youths in urban areas.” I would like to give you my own profile and background as an example of what type of students and characters are part of the Posse.
I grew up in the East Village of New York City, filled with hippies and NYU students. I also attended one of the Eight Specialized High Schools, the Brooklyn Latin School, which specialized in Latin and the humanities. My high school was filled with students of all ethnicities and we wore uniforms identical to the ones Blair and Serena wear in Gossip Girl. I am not from the “ghetto” or “at-risk” to any extent. As you can see, Posse scholars come from all backgrounds and have a wide range of interests and hobbies.
This can be applied to my Posse brothers and sisters who work hard to diversify the campus. We participate in many organizations on campus to make our community more inviting, inclusive and vibrant. Thus, when professors or other members of this campus make false generalizations about Posse, I feel personally attacked. My family on campus is my Posse. They have kept me humbled, motivated and reminded me of New York roots. Thus, when we are categorized in such a negative light, I want to scream and tell people that they’re wrong. I never had to defend my beliefs, identity, and family as much as I had to here.
Although many people believe that a full-tuition paid scholarship is the ultimate prize of being a Posse Scholar, it really isn’t. I have developed close relationships to my siblings and advisor. Whenever I am down or need someone to give me advice, I know I have ten other people who will give me their insight. I have inherited a beautiful and talented family who has consistently shown their loyality and support for everything I’ve done and will do in the near future. So for those of you, who have negative perceptions or don’t know what Posse is about, I urge you to reconsider your assumptions and ask yourself, have you spoken to a Posse Scholar? Have you asked about their past or what they’re passionate about? If not, do so and see what kind of charisma and drive we have. We do not only diversify the campus, but we also burst the superfluous bubble that seems to have made this campus so distant from the real world.
DAVE SIPPRELLE ’14
On Sunday, Los Angeles Times columnists Rebecca Solnit published a resounding statement on how Western media rhetoric is misrepresenting the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. “Mobs,” “panic,” and “looting” are the keywords to the media’s “language of disaster,” and Solnit argues that Western journalism’s employment of such terms distorts our understanding of the typhoon’s aftermath, vilifying the survivors as lawless thugs and looters. The journalistic rhetoric of disaster has the capacity to focus the narrative on the wrong things. It mischaracterizes disaster zones as hotbeds for anarchy, as opposed to communities afflicted by tragedy, loss, and hunger. These concerns are somewhat merited.
However, is it untrue that the country is devolving into chaos? Putting aside the questionable ethics of focusing the narrative on looting as opposed to the devastated families, a depiction of rice warehouse looting by starving mobs is a rendering of a reality. It is a snapshot of the typhoon’s grave social, civil, and political impact, and how human communities in Yolanda have been driven to radical measures in order to survive. Perhaps the anarchy and the tragedy are not mutually exclusive phenomena, but anarchy is conditioned by the tragic aftermath of natural disaster.
When people are deprived of their basic needs and government institutions are either unresponsive or limited in funding recovery, people will often take drastic measures in order to provide for themselves. Hurricane Katrina and the federal government’s disorganized recovery agenda come to mind. Even in the case of Hurricane Sandy, Jersey Shore convenience stores and private homes were raided. The “language of disaster” does not necessarily manipulate the facts nor does it necessarily mask the tragedy. Moreover, it points to an alarming political reality.
Not only has the government failed to appease survivors and their caloric needs, but Typhoon Haiyan has revealed the Philippine’s ineffective legal-rational authority, and its proclivity for bureaucratic corruption. The state has failed to properly allocate available public resources towards the relief of the affected communities, thus exacerbating the impact of the tragedy. The concern that media rhetoric discourages humanitarian aid seems far-fetched: the UN, international aid organizations, and the foreign governments capable of providing bilateral aid do not base their decisions off headlines of the Associated Press or the Chicago Tribune. However, in light of the recent revelations that government officials are misappropriating foreign aid and pocketing aid funds, the journalist’s narrative should work to clearly convey this.
Thus, the “language of disaster” must reorient itself to terms like “corruption” and “misappropriation” in order to enhance the relief process and promote solutions. Regardless of how the UN handles the business of disaster relief, typhoon survivors are beseeching individual donors (donors that might read the Associated Press or the Chicago Tribune) to give to the Red Cross and other relief agencies as opposed to the list of government bank accounts provided by the Philippines diplomats. Foreign aid that is funneled into these bank accounts is likely to be misappropriated into the pockets of unaccountable government officials and senators. Furthermore, the “language of disaster” should shift to a discussion about disaster preparedness within international organizations and aid agencies, in order to establish pathways to emergency relief. There needs to be an organized and systemic approach in place in the case of climate crisis, so that misguided local bureaucrats do not have the upper hand in the recovery process. The UN climate talks offer a forum for this to take place.
The words of a journalist lack the capacity to articulate the pain of loss and trauma felt by grieving families and the four million citizens that have been displaced from their communities. Nor do words have the ability to effectively heal these wounds. Yet words can raise pragmatic solutions and responses, in hopes of promoting unimpeded relief.
ESTHER SHITTU ’17
When I was young, my father told me that college is competitive. I probably believed him, but I truly did not understand what he meant. As my first semester of college comes to an end, I am absolutely flabbergasted. This is my hardest semester ever and they tell me that it will only get harder.
It is as if I was in dream and someone has now thrown a bucket of cold water on my head. My eyes are now wide open and I’m no longer in a dream. I have gone from the girl that could not wait for college to start to the one that wishes that December 18 would come sooner. Don’t get me wrong, I am not exactly waiting for the final exams and papers that I know come with the end of the semester, but I cannot wait to have a month where the pressure of school is not constantly looming over my head.
I know that many upperclassmen will disagree with me that freshman year is hard, but as someone who is now going through the process, I beg to differ. First of all, one has to go through the process of getting to college. College is a place where you have never been before. You live with people you have never met before, which is intimidating in and of itself. Afterwards, you have to adjust to your classes. Truthfully, some of the materials that are taught in the classes are not hard. The difficulty comes when you must work to fit your standards to that of the teacher’s. You have to meet the teacher’s standards, which can be different for every class.
Every class has its own set of rules. If you do not meet that rule, there is a chance that you will fail. You also have to understand your professor’s method of teaching. I believe that the hardest part of this semester for me is that I did not connect with my professors the way that I thought that I would.
Moreover, the work may not be hard but the pile of homework that you have is as tall as you are. I was not accustomed to spending at least three hours each night reading for a class and getting through only 20 to 40 pages because, not only do you have to read it, you now have to take notes on it and try to understand it. You must do this so that when your teacher calls on you, you know exactly the point that she is trying to make.
And let’s not talk about the amount of lab work that many of the science professors assign to students. I did not take lab this semester, (thank God) and I absolutely doubt that it is in my future. However, having a roommate with lab has made me realize that I will probably never complain about being bored during my free time again. While figuring out the academics, we now have to add the social life to it as well, so that we do not go crazy with all of the studying that we supposedly have done. Freshmen are taken from their comfort zone and put in a place where it seems you not only now have to learn to read again but also learn to talk and walk so that you do not fall flat on your face in front of others.
The essence of my argument is that college is hard. This semester especially has proven not to be a walk in the park as I thought that it would be. I had planned on studying, going to office hours, doing whatever it takes to get A’s in each of my classes. I go to tutoring sessions, I use the writing center, and I have been to office hours. However, I still feel like I am swimming at the deep end of the pool even though I don’t yet know how to tread the water. I felt alone at times or I felt overwhelmed. The time seemed to fly but sometimes it didn’t fly fast enough. My time here had me thinking: is it worth it? I honestly do not know if it is worth it, but there are times when I definitely do see the value of a college education. I mean how are we to get the skills that we need in each of our respective careers if we do not come to college.
However, I am tired of receiving a letter grade that tells me whether I am intelligent or not. I am tired of feeling like I am playing pretend because I know that having a test will not exactly help me succeed in life. Like I mentioned before, I do not know whether college is worth it. What I do know is that I have accomplished the greatest challenge in my life. There will be more challenges, I am sure. I will have to make it all the way to senior year and think about what I want to do with my life after college. However, until that point comes and until I have to survive the real world, I can thank God that he helped me survived my first semester at Trinity.
This semester has been a difficult one and I am glad that it is time for me to haves some free time and I look forward to enjoying my winter break.
Maggie Elias ’17, Staff Writer
Trinity campus was abuzz this past weekend for Homecoming 2013. Many familiar faces were seen all over campus as alumni and families came to visit their wonderful alma mater. Many interesting and fun events were held all throughout the weekend to celebrate and welcome returning students.
To start off the busy weekend of events, the Trinity Club of Hartford hosted their annual banquet on Thursday, November 7 to honor the Club’s Person of the Year. This annual award, started in 1959, is given to an alumnus of Trinity College who has given an exceptional amount of time and service to either the College or the local Harford community.
This year, the Person of the Year award was given to Jeff Devanney ’93, Head Coach of the Trinity Varsity Football team. “I was very, very humbled to receive the award. You look at the names on the list of who has received these awards and I was so grateful to be thought of in even the same breath as these people. As a Trinity person, it was a wonderful evening to be around such wonderful members of the community,” Coach Devanny said.
Two exhibitions also opened on Thursday night and continued throughout the weekend. First was the “Slickrock and Canyons Art Exhibit.” This exhibit was a display of black and white, detailed images from the 2014 Environmental Science Field Trip to Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. The experiences and findings were documented and displayed wonderfully. The other exhibit was the “Frank Ozereko Exhibit.” Selections of trace prints and sculptural ceramic teapots by Ozerko were on display all weekend.
On Friday, November 8, a panel discussion with Public Policy and Law alumni was held. Alumni Meredith Reeves ’06, Public Defender, Committee for Public Counsel Services in Salem, Mass., Michael Lenihan ’07, Fellow for the European Stability Initiative, Breen Power ’06, Business Manager, at Pfizer Neuroscience Research Unit, , and Elizabeth Guernsey ’06, Director of Policy and Operations at the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, all gathered to share their post-graduate experiences, career paths, and successes. It was a wonderful opportunity for current students and graduates to network and connect with Trinity graduates.
The Trinity College Class of 1963 was celebrated throughout the entire weekend, since this year was their 50 Year Class Reunion. A reunion luncheon was held for the entire class and their families on Friday afternoon, which was then followed by the ‘Pass the Baton’ 50th Reunion ceremony. On Saturday, November 9, the Class of 1963 had a meeting followed by the annual clock dedication and reception. Lastly, to wrap up the events for their class, the annual 1963 Scholars Reception and Dinner was held.
In addition, alumni college programs were offered all throughout Friday afternoon for Class of 1963 and other alumni. Christoph Geiss, Associate Professor of Physics and Environmental Science, led a “300 Million Years of Trinity History” tour that offered a different perspective on Trinity’s beautiful campus and its history.
Susan Masino, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, held a lecture on “Ketogenic Diet and Adenosine: Basic Science and Translational Opportunities” which explored links between metabolism and brain activity.
Lastly, Ron Kiener, Professor of Religion, had a presentation on “The Slow Rise and Quick Fall of the Muslim Brotherhood”. This lecture discussed the ideological roots and central personalities in the development of the 20th century movement known as the Muslim Brotherhood.
On Saturday morning, a very special memorial service was held in honor of the late Dr. Chester “Chet” McPhee ’68, who passed away in December of 2012. Dr. McPhee was a much beloved alumnus and member of the Trinity community. For years, he coached swimming and diving, football, lacrosse, and water polo at Trinity. After finishing coaching, Dr. McPhee remained an active member of the Trinity community. He worked in the Athletic Department, was substitute teaching for physical education classes, and worked on special assignments for the Athletic Director.
Chaplain Allison Reed, who worked closely with Dr. McPhee’s son, found the memorial service extremely touching and memorable: “Dr. McPhee possessed a wit as sharp as his intellect and a keen passion for music. Both of these gifts his many students and colleagues greatly enjoyed as well. It was an honor to work with Coach McPhee’s son, Jeff, and his family to prepare for Saturday’s service, and the College is indebted to alumni Jimmy Balesano, Denise Jones ’80, and Luke McCarthy ’94 for sharing with the Trinity community their poignant and powerful testimonials to the life of their coach, mentor, and friend.”
Following the wonderful service, students and alumni gathered to watch the Bantam football team defeat the formerly undefeated Wesleyan University. The Trinity Trinitones performed the national anthem, and fans waved their “Trin Nation” rally towels to cheer the beloved Bantams to victory. During halftime, Trinity’s 1993 undefeated football team was honored and celebrated.
To wrap up the enjoyable weekend, La Voz Latina held the Salsarengue Fiesta, their annual event for students, alumni, families, and friends to listen to live Latino music and dance the night away. Many gathered and had a blast dancing, listening to wonderful music, and spending time with friends.
Another Homecoming weekend has passed here at Trinity, but the excitement has not. The school spirit and support between students and alumni will continue and strengthen and be much anticipated until Homecoming 2014!
By JT Mehr ’16
This past Saturday, Trinity football ended their season with its best performance to date. The team had a convincing, 40-10 victory, to snap the Wesleyan Cardinal’s undefeated record in front of the many alumni, family and friends visiting for homecoming weekend. With a cumulative record of 6-2, Trinity finished the season second in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), behind only Amherst, Middlebury and Wesleyan, who ended the year with a three-way tie for first and share of the NESCAC title.
The Bantams appeared to be clicking on all cylinders during Saturday’s game. Most notably, they effectively ran the ball on offense all throughout. The running back tandem of captain Evan Bunker ’14 and Ben Crick ’14 was impressive yet again; Crick ran for 103 yards and also added a touchdown to top it off, while Bunker rushed for 85 yards, respectively. Bunkers performance not only helped lead the Bantams to victory, but he became the NESCAC’s all time leading rusher, ending his career on a high note with 3,828 yards. Bunker and Crick will be missed by the Bantams come next fall, but junior running backs Chudi Iregbulem, Michael Budness and Jacob Rivers look to fill their shoes.
The Bantams were the team to put points on the board first against Wesleyan. On their second drive of the game, quarterback Sonny Puzzo ’17 led the Bantams down the field for a touchdown, capping the drive off with a three yard touchdown pass, on 3rd down, to senior wide out Eddy Franca. The Bantams picked up the pace even more after their second possession, scoring another touchdown on their third drive, via a 13-yard rushing touchdown from Ben Crick ’14. This gave the Bantams a 13-0 lead midway through the first quarter, and they never looked back.
Towards the end of the second quarter, with the Bantams leading 16-3, junior Linebacker Rob Gau deflected a pass from Wesleyan Quarterback Jesse Warren, which was intercepted by fellow Linebacker Frank Leyva ’16 and returned to the 20-yard line of Wesleyan. This interception by Leyva allowed Sonny Puzzo ’17 to score a touchdown on a flee-flicker pass from running back Evan Bunker ’14, and gave Trinity a 23-3 lead at halftime.
The Bantams were the first to score, again, in the second half, by a field goal from kicker Ben Rosenblatt ’17 midway through the third quarter. Early in the fourth quarter, the Bantams defense stopped the Cardinals on 4th and 3, resulting in a turnover on downs and possession for Trinity. In the preceding drive for the Bantams, Sonny Puzzo ’17 threw a 31-yard bullet to A.J. Jones ’14, increasing the lead to 33-3. Wesleyan bounced back on a 45-yard touchdown pass with 8:17 remaining in the game, making the score 33-10. The Cardinals were driving down the field yet again in the last two minutes, but quarterback Jesse Warren threw a pass that was intercepted by safety Casey Tanner ’15, and was returned for a touchdown. This capped off the 40-10 victory for the Bantams.
The Trinity defense played its best game of the season against Wesleyan. The Cardinals quarterback Jesse Warren was intercepted three times by three different Bantam defenders (Brendan Bader ’14, Frank Leyva ’16 and Casey Tanner ’15). Furthermore, the Bantams held Wesleyan to a season low 99 rushing yards, and season low total of 270 yards total.
Not only did the Trinity football team win its final game of the season, and snap Wesleyan’s undefeated record, but it kept alive the home winning streak, which is currently at 51 games, dating back to 2001.
Kristina Xie ’16, Contributing Writer
The beginning of November is a great time to be on campus. From Homecoming to the EROS Film Festival, Trinity is filled with all kinds of excitement and activities. To add to the madness is the Bantam Blintz Competition to conserve the most energy in Trinity’s residential dorms. The contest began on Sunday, November 3 at midnight and will continue until midnight of Wednesday, November 20.
Last April, Summit East and Goodwin Hall were able to reduce their energy consumation by 18 percent, the most out of all the dorms on campus. Bantam Blintz is being monitored by the Facilities Department and managed by Aramark, Trinity’s food, facilities, and uniform services. For students who are interested in monitoring their dorm’s progress, they can log onto www.trincoll.edu/bantamblitz to get updates on the competition.
To make this year’s contest a little more competitive, some changes have been made. Some of these amendments include elimination rounds and grouped up residential halls. All of the dorms on campus are grouped in four brackets, each consisting of multiple dorms. At the end of the first week, one group will advance to the next round. The three least eco-friendly groups will be eliminated.
During the second week, the residents of the remaining dorms will compete for bragging rights as the most environmentally-friendly dorm on campus. The first bracket includes Summit North, Summit South and Summit East. The second bracket includes Elton, Jones, Jackson, Wheaton, Smith and Funston. The third bracket includes Vernon Place, High Rise, North Campus, Board Walk, Park Place and Doonesbury. And the fourth includes Cook, Goodwin, Woodward, Jarvis and Northam. The students in the winning dorm will each receive a prize along with much gratitude from Mother Nature!
“The goal of the Bantam Blitz is to raise the awareness of students about ways they can reduce their electricity usage in their dorms and also so that they can take small steps to combat rising energy use and climate change,” said Kira Sargent, sustainability analyst for Aramark.
In order to accurately determine results, real-time readings need to be obtained. Thus, Aramark worked with Noveda Systems, an energy and water monitoring company, to install sub-meters on each of the buildings. The sub-meters are connected to an online database, which will allow students to easily view their dorm’s progress. To determine the percentage decrease, the amount of electricity used will be measured against the baseline established between October 26 and November 2.
To publicize the competition and to remind all students and faculty members to conserve energy, each of the residence halls will have a contact person – either a resident advisor or a volunteer representative. He or she will remind students of some of the easiest ways to save energy such as unplugging chargers when not in use or turning off the lights when no one is present in the room. Other simple tactics to combat energy consumption include turning off computers and recycling plastics, paper, and other reusable materials. Students can also pledge to be proactive members by signing a petition. At the end of the first week, the dorm with the most pledges will be eligible for a raffle.
Trinity has eagerly jumped on the “go green” bandwagon in their commitment to conserve energy at the most basic level. For those students who do not know, Trinity is a member of The American College and University President’s Climate Commitment. This means that Trinity is required to decrease its carbon footprint and lower its greenhouse gas emissions to reduce global warming. Other institutions have also completed an emissions inventory, set a target date for becoming carbon neutral, taken steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, integrated sustainability into the curriculum, and made the action plan, inventory and progress reports publicly available. Curbing electric consumption would help Trinity in meeting its goals, especially since electricity usage contributes about half of the greenhouse gases that Trinity produces annually.
Trinity takes pride in being a proactive leader of change. The campus can add to its winning titles and recognition by becoming more an eco-friendly school, especially since climate change is such a prevalent issue today. If all students and faculty members take simple measures to save energy in their dorms and in classroom buildings, the entire college will be doing a service to the Earth. But quite frankly, our campus looks more charming greener!
Gillian Burkett ’14, Contributing Writer
In today’s extremely competitive job search, students are continuously looking for ways to separate themselves from their peers and to showcase their skills and strengths to potential employers. For some students, especially for those who attend excellent liberal arts schools, the skills needed to go into certain industries are lost in the traditional education structure. Many professionals have recognized this gap, and a number of programs have arrived on the market that aim to bridge the gap between a traditional college education and the real-world business skills needed to succeed in any corporation or professional environment. One such program is the Fullbridge Program.
The Fullbridge Program was started in July 2010 by Peter and Candice Olsen, a couple who has seen this gap widen from both sides. Peter and Candice have both run extremely successful companies: Peter was CEO at publishish company Random House, while Candice was founder and CEO at iVillage.com, an online forum for women. When the Olsens sent their seven children into the work world, they found that a lack in basic business acumen was holding their kids back.
In January 2012, the first Fullbridge program was launched. This program was aimed at college students and graduates. Since 2012, the company has grown to offer a number of programs each winter and each summer in many cities across the country including Boston, New York, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles.
Fullbridge teaches entrepreneurial thinking and real-world business skills through hands-on, interactive learning, and close peer-to-peer collaboration. Skills learned at Fullbridge include developing financial statements and analysis, valuation and financial forecasting. Other units focus on skills that include Excel, PowerPoint and presentations, project and time management, strategy, innovation and brand, market research, and sales and marketing.
For students looking to go into finance, basic knowledge of these skills is pertinent. However, for students looking to go into any other industry in the corporate setting, knowledge of these skills is also extremely sought after by all employers. These skills also encourage students to become more entrepreneurial both during the job search and throughout their careers.
Unlike the traditional academic setting, Fullbridge combines collaborative group work with modules on business exercises. Participants are then required to immediately apply these new skills by creating a model of some sort, whether it be an Excel spreadsheet, PowerPoint presentation, memo, or case brief. These deliverables are then reviewed by the Fullbridge Coaches who provide immediate feedback. This creates an extremely fluid and dynamic learning environment.
Fullbridge has an extraordinary portfolio of coaches, many of whom have been in the professional world for a number of years and are interested in the success of Fullbridge participants as future successful employees. Throughout the program, coaches act as bosses, but are also committed to helping participants not only understand the material, but also to foster professional awareness through development of “soft skills.”
The development of these “soft skills” is why many students have found the Fullbridge Program to be very beneficial. Some of these skills include thinking critically and always looking for solutions, learning to be flexible, learning to work with teams and to disagree effectively.
Eight Trinity students have successfully completed the program and a number have found the program to be a transformative experience. Kody Sun, University of Pennsylvania student and a Fullbridge participant this past summer, said that the opportunity to collaborate with others was one of the most important skills he learned at Fullbridge.
Sun recognized that, “social and emotional intelligence are instrumental in finishing team-based projects.” Going further beyond understanding that effective teamwork is necessary in accomplishing goals. Kody learned how to address the necessity for a team to reach its “optimal functioning capacity” through developing skills in social awareness.
Fullbridge is currently accepting applications for students interested in applying for any of the 2014 programs. Applications are due by Monday, December 2. The programs being offered are: XBA in Business Fundamentals, XBA in Entrepreneurship, and the Internship Edge program. The Business Fundamentals program and the Entrepreneurship program are both four weeks long and the Internship Edge program, being piloted this winter, is two weeks long, and is aimed at giving students the competitive edge in the internship search process.
All programs are available for students of all years and all majors. Fullbridge is seeking highly motivated students who are looking to gain an edge in the career search process, which is why many Trinity students have found success with the program in the past.
Visit www.fullbridge.com/ programs for more information on where specific programs are being offered during 2014.
By Kristina Smithy ’14
As I strolled up to one of my favorite campus eateries two weeks ago something glaringly caught my eye as I opened the door. A big “B.” Spending the last two summers in New York, I have become accustomed to seeking out these ratings and avoiding anywhere that does not have an A. This came to me as a shock because for the past three years I have been eating at the Bistro almost daily and assuming the food was safe. It’s uncomforting to know that the Hartford Sanitary Commission team has rated on of our three dining options as anything less than up to sanitary code.
After seeing this new grade, I paid closer attention to the cleanliness of the Bistro to see where they went wrong. Sure, the salad bar looked a bit wimpy, the tables still had the occasional dirty napkin on them, and the infusion plates were stacked high however nothing really dirty jumped out at me. This made me wonder what was going on behind the counters and behind closed doors that the students could not see. As I walked out of the main dining area I glanced into the side entrance of the kitchen to find a cart of cake slices, and my personal favorites the hummus and pita and the cheese and grapes combo. Now we all know what happens when people assume so I wont, however, they looked like they were just sitting there, seemingly untouched for who knows how long. As someone who always checks to make sure their cream cheese is cold before biting into a bagel in fear of food poisoning, this find was very upsetting. If these snacks were being left out, who’s to say that other products that need refrigeration are not getting it. Not to be dramatic here but will I ever be able to enjoy my pita and hummus again? I’m not sure.
When previously asked to comment on the on goings of the bistro kitchen, certain members of the management team did not want to comment. If they are embarrassed of the grade, they should be working to fix the problems and leaving a tray of hummus out in the open is not the way to do it. Students and their families pay a lot of money to come here, they should be able to rest assured that the food they are eating is safe and made in a cleanly environment. This grade may be a blessing in disguise to motivate the school to keep their dining halls up to code.
NONI GHANI ’16
Last week, my friend and I were walking down Crescent Street to our townhouse when we noticed something different—at the very end of the street a fence was being constructed between Broad and Crescent. Our first reaction was confusion and then, eventually, anger. Why build a fence around Crescent Street? Are we encouraging a fenced attitude in an open campus? There has always been a debate about whether or not to keep Trinity an open campus or a gated one. A gated campus would mean only students and visitors would be allowed to freely roam the school. The age-old argument for a fence around the school perhaps stems from the frequent muggings and thefts of laptops, phones and jewelry that occur around campus, mostly on Summit Street. A fair number of students feel potentially threatened and worried about walking around campus at night. A few years ago after a particularly brutal incident involving a student, there was a rally to increase security around the school and a demand to secure the campus by putting gates at the entrance and regulating entry into the campus during the night. This raises a fundamental question— should a college like Trinity be an island in the community with no connection to the people who live around it? Trinity is surrounded by an economically depressed neighborhood with run down houses, small corner shops and high levels of unemployment, which stands in stark contrast to the privilege and wealth of the college community. It is often said that a residential campus is one that imparts values of democracy to the young minds, teaching them about heterogeneity, integration, socioeconomic and ethnic diversity, inclusion, and empathy. Putting a fence around Crescent Street is counterintuitive to the ongoing community outreach efforts that Trinity has put in place. It will only create more division and segregation and deepen the feeling of “otherness” and exclusion that exists between Trinity students and the city of Hartford, creating chasms that lead to divided communities and divided cities. By erecting a gate around campus, we will be reducing our civic involvement in Hartford. Issues that occur in the neighborhood will become distant and isolated to us, existing either “in here” or “out there.” But we as Trinity students still remain part of the wider community of Hartford. In reflection, putting up fences around Trinity could potentially lead to a greater feeling of alienation and animosity in the community around us, which in turn could lead to more violence, thefts and the targeting of Trinity students. The mission of Trinity College according to our website is to “foster critical thinking, free the mind of parochialism and prejudice, and prepare students to lead examined lives that are personally satisfying, civically responsible, and socially useful.” So— how would we accomplish this mission by isolating ourselves even further? What civic responsibility would we learn from being a privileged island in the middle of Hartford? What values would we inculcate by emphasizing this sense of “otherness?” What message would we be sending to our fellow students who are from Hartford? In fact building a fence would be directly inconsistent to our mission statement; I do not believe that we are practicing what we are preaching. We have an open campus, but we are fostering a fenced attitude. If we want to be responsible world citizens let us not forget that good citizenship starts at home.
NYKIA TANNIEHILL ’15
“How are you?” It’s my go-to question and a pre-packaged, freeze-dried solution for my inherent awkward nature. For years, I was unsure of what to say when I encountered people. A simple “’hi” seemed impersonal, a casual wave was empty without the accompaniment of some cheerful greeting, and my attempts at trying “the silent head nod” would signal a need for medical attention rather than a warm acknowledgment. After a few years of trial-and-error—and a few mild neck injuries—I found the perfect balance of authenticity and brevity in “How are you?” However, it was not until a recent encounter with a co-worker that I began to seriously consider re-evaluating my greeting of choice. Halfway between crafting an earth-shattering peppermint mocha and sweet-talking the undecided customer before me, I stepped aside to make room for my co-worker behind the barista counter. She breezed past me to make a bee line for the refrigerator. I recognized that stride—the kind that marks one’s rapid transition from a zombie-like college student to a tardy Olympic Long Walker. “How are you?” I asked, almost mechanically. I was surprised by the sudden silence, as her store room shuffle came to an abrupt halt. I peered around the wall to see her standing there solemnly with a clever grin on her face. “Hey, what if I had given you some really dark answer just now?” I couldn’t help but to smile back at her insightful observation. “I really don’t know,” I answered. In all honesty, I am truly unprepared for an honest, heartfelt response to that question. Truth be told, I embrace “How are you?” as a filler phrase in any standard greeting. Very seldom do I listen intently for the answer. I always assume that others will reply with an equally mechanical response of “I’m fine” or “I’m good.” At the most, I’m prepared to honor “Very well, thank you!” as an extensive, yet acceptable response. In fact, I have only received a somber response on one occasion, and that response was enough to make me wish I had given that silent head nod another chance. Call it social etiquette or a universal distaste for “oversharers,” but a genuine no-holds-barred reply to “How are you?” makes most people want to dig a hole, hop in it, and only come out when the pity party is pooped. We share this consensus that when others express interest in our well-being, it is a gracious and short-lived gesture. Unless we’re having a heart-to-heart, there’s a three-second window within which the standard greeting must occur. The first second is for eye contact. The next is for verbal acknowledgment—“Hey, how are you?” Only one second remains for the response. Often, one can kindly offer to split that last second in half with a quick “I’m well, and you?” The exchange can then conclude in two ways. It can be stitched up neatly with a “Good, good!” or it can trail off into the dark abyss of lightning-fast greetings. That’s just how it is. Any effort to extend that exchange and offer the unabridged version of one’s life story is not just frowned upon—we hate it. General reactions can range from a feigned expression of sympathy to an awkward crab walk towards the nearest exit. Only a kind soul will stay for the aftermath, desperately trying to use the ruins to build a bridge out of Awkwardville. Even then, their faces will contort into this pained expression, as they tell you about how much they really need to make it to their next engagement…but don’t worry, you can call them if you ever need to talk. If one looks closely, exploring our tendency to react in this way can reveal a few precious tidbits about human nature. To ask how a person is doing without expecting an atypical answer is the equivalent of “eating with our eyes” on Thanksgiving. We pile up our plate with pleasantries only to realize that clearing it will be impossible. This isn’t to say that we’re all heartless or that we don’t care at all about how anyone’s day is going. It merely draws attention to the fact that we belong to such a fast-paced generation. In the heat of the hustle and bustle, we’re left with no choice but to pencil personal exchanges into our calendars. On the other hand, much can be said about our general reluctance to truthfully answer such a question ourselves. So much fear lies in sharing any of our struggles, especially if there’s a potential to deter someone who was kind enough to inquire in the first place. The tender nature of that fear alone is enough to make me want to savor such a greeting, reserving it purely for moments when there is time to really stop and listen. Maybe my standard greeting of choice might actually hurt more than it helps, especially in an environment that can only be described as “on-the-go.” More and more, I’m questioning how likely it is that such a simple question pushes us to limit ourselves to three seconds and 140 characters when our spirits are bursting at the seams.
WILL WALTHALL ’14
Conventional television may be in trouble. In the world’s ever-changing media sphere, Internet reigns supreme. Instant access to information has begun to define the way we live our lives and how we communicate. Instant access to entertainment is a commodity that is only growing hotter. And the guys in the Netflix corporate office are smiling as their company continues to rack up impressive profits. Troy Wolverton of the San Jose Mercury recently reported that the video service notched $31.8 million in profit after earning $1.1 billion in the third quarter alone. That is quadruple the company’s profits during the same quarter in just one year earlier. And one year before that the future of Netflix was put into serious question. In 2011, the company’s profits plummeted after a high number of subscribers withdrew from the service after an announcement that customers would have to pay for DVD delivery service and the instant service separately. Customers who had access to both for a combined monthly price of eight dollars would now have to pay $20 if they wanted to maintain their current habits of consumption. Critics called Netflix business strategist’s farsighted and assumed their demise would come with their changing business model. Critics obviously didn’t know what kind of deals CEO Reed Hastings had in the works. But before we look forward to where Netflix is going, let’s revisit their rise to success. Netflix was founded in Los Gatos, California in 1997 as a mail order movie service. Their base of subscribers continuously grew throughout the first decade of the new millennium and helped sink the long-reigning video store empire, Blockbuster that announced its final 300 stores would finally be closed after filing for bankruptcy in 2010. Two years before Blockbuster’s announced its collapse, the Los Angeles Times reported that Netflix was teaming up with Starz Entertainment to introduce a catalogue of about 2,500 movie titles and television programs available to watch instantly on the Internet. The power of choice was placed in the hands of subscribers. This marked a monumental shift in how entertainment would be consumed but TV, not movies, would be the key. Netflix’s instant access service launched around the exact same time that Hulu launched its free TV services. Hulu offered a free service that only offered a few episodes of programs primarily produced by NBC. Advertisements drove revenue for the free streaming service but soon they wouldn’t be able to compete with the rapid growth of the Los Gatos company. The New York Times reported that by 2010, Netflix had become the source earning the most evening Internet traffic in North America. Much like Apple, Netflix became the popular leader in innovation against its competitors. HBO Go, Hulu Plus and other premium video and television services adopted almost identical models but haven’t been able to keep pace with the powerhouse Netflix is today. While facing public scrutiny in late 2011 when Netflix doubled its prices, the company was simultaneously in negotiations with screenwriters, directors and producers looking to create original programming available exclusively on Netflix’s streaming website. While they didn’t stand alone as streaming services that offered original programming, they jumped ahead of their competitors by investing in creators who were equipped to produce high quality, critically acclaimed series. I am not suggesting that Netflix clearly stands apart in supplying superior television programming. They have, however, joined the ranks of premium and cable networks like HBO, AMC, and Showtime in producing programming worthy of awards and in 2013, Netflix set a precedent when the 2013 Primetime Emmy nominations were announced this past summer. For the first time ever, programs aired exclusively on the internet, specifically Netflix, were nominated for awards including Best Dramatic Series, Best Comedy Series and a bulk of remaining prestigious categories. “House of Cards” received nominations for Best Dramatic Series, Best Actor, Best Actress and a victory for Best Director. None of this should have come as a surprise to anyone considering the talent the Netflix original program boasts. Former Academy Award Best Actor winner Kevin Spacey anchors a strong cast that worked with two-time Academy Award Nominee for Best Director, David Fincher, in the first two episodes of the series. “House of Cards” was not an inexpensive purchase. USA Today reported that Netflix bought the exclusive rights to the series for a ridiculous $100 million, outbidding HBO and AMC. Wired revealed that the streaming pioneers spent another $45 million on the revival of the formally cancelled quirky comedy series “Arrested Development.” Additionally, Netflix spent $95 million to the production rights to “Orange is the New Black” and “Hemlock Grove.” Netflix shelled out approximately $240 million for four seasons of television programs at a time when the company’s long-term success seemed unlikely. The gamble paid off as the company’s revenue and profits are higher than ever. The reason Netflix struck gold with their original programming acquisitions is based on one crucial aspect: the consumer has full autonomy about how he or she watches. Netflix is responsible for the phenomenon of binge watching. By purchasing the rights to popular shows like “Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men” and 30 Rock (among many others), Netflix flipped convention on its head by making every episode a particular season available at once. This has created a large sub-culture among their subscribers that prefer watching several episodes consecutively instead of waiting for a new installment each week. “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey calls Netflix’s innovative model a “paradigm shift” that has serious implications as to how we consume entertainment programming. No, network television isn’t going away anytime soon but our impatient generation doesn’t have to be as patient anymore. Netflix is revolutionizing the way we watch TV. And in case you were wondering, yes, I did watch the entirety of “House of Cards” in a span of two days.
CHANEL PALACIOS ’14
Anonymous websites are all the rage nowadays for some reason. Perhaps people are too shy to express their feelings publicly, or too cowardly to stand by controversial statements. Whatever the reason, Trinity College has its own sites. We have Trinity Crushes and Trinity Confidential, both on Facebook. Trinity Crushes is meant to send out to the interweb your secret crush. It’s a nice idea, and has probably made someone’s day just to know someone is thinking about them. The Trinity Tripod had an email interview with Trinity Crushes about this last semester. That article unsuccessfully tried to determine who was behind Trinity Crushes, but it also raised a good point. Where do moderators of anonymous sites draw the line? How can they determine what is acceptable for the internet? Anonymous websites can get people into more trouble than is necessary. This is where Trinity Confidential differs from Trinity Crushes. Trinity Confidential is essentially the same idea as Trinity Crushes. You can post anonymous thoughts, not just crushes, and have everyone see it. However, people have taken to just saying racist, sexist, and elitist things. I’ve seen posts stating that liberals need to get off this campus, women need to not complain when they get cat called, and various other disgusting things. I’m not arguing about how people need to be more accepting or respectful. I’m arguing that this site has never met its purpose. It was supposed to be for people to get their secrets off their chests. Perhaps some of these thoughts should have been kept secret? People are either posting disgusting and hateful things, or being attacked for expressing a real opinion that they are entitled to. Trinity Crushes is by no means perfect, and very often there are extremely disturbing things, but it’s limited to one category, and that is just personal crushes. Trinity Confidential is an entire universe of disgusting comments, not limited or constrained in any way. There are debates about Greek life, there are political comments, and my personal favorite, the never ending debate about “nice guys.” That’s another opinion piece in itself, but in essence the nice guys are complaining about being ignored because girls only want frat boys. I have an issue with that because it paints most of the females at Trinity as very shallow. There’s also the issue that nice guys don’t complain about being a nice person, it’s simply innate. However this is one of the more tame debates going on within the Trinity Confidential page. The rest blatantly objectify both men and women, make students from both privileged and under privileged homes ashamed of their upbringing, and make students too uncomfortable to really express themselves without the shield of anonymity. The saying is that everyone has the right to their opinions, but I would have to disagree when it comes to anonymous websites. Opinions should be based on fact, and that just does not exist nowadays. It’s perfectly fine if people want to form opinions that are completely unfounded because hey it’s America, but they need to be willing to put their names on their opinions. Trinity Confidential has been nothing but persons attacking other persons’ opinions. Everyone knows it’s pointless to argue on the internet, because you cannot face the person you’re arguing with. When it’s confined to one community, the Trinity Community, how are students supposed to feel knowing that someone they’ve been passing in the library every day has been attacking their thoughts? There are students who are willing to respond from their own Facebook accounts, instead of through the anonymous link, and I applaud them. I don’t always agree, in fact I rarely agree, but at least they had the courage to put their name on it. During my freshman year, there was another anonymous website called Trin Talk, and on the whole it was much the same as Trinity Confidential. There were sexist topics, racist topics; everything bad. However, there were active moderators. You could send them a message asking them to remove something and they would oblige. But the real accomplishment of this website is that it was shut down. The moderators graduated, and determined that the immaturity of the website should not be maintained. I’m not giving them a medal for doing so because they created the website to being with, but they had the wisdom to realize that it had gotten extremely off topic and out of hand, and they did not let it continue. Trinity Confidential needs to consider doing the same thing. Confidential is supposed to mean secret and intimate. It means being able to trust who you are speaking to. Trinity Confidential is not that. It’s secret, but anonymous and disconnected. Perhaps they should change their name, or perhaps moderate things better, but either way it has not achieved any meaningful purpose. It’s only allowed the nastiness and prejudices to come out of people when it would have otherwise been contained.
KRISTINA XIE ’16
My name is not Lily, nor Katie. I am not from New Hampshire or outside of Boston. I did not attend a prep school nor am I part of a sports team. I do not get drunk every weekend and hookup with random people. Too many students do, but I am part of the marginal few on campus who don’t. There is nothing wrong with all the things I listed above, but it is simply not my cup of tea. When I first came to Trinity, I fell in love with its sprawling campus and academic flexibility in its course offerings. But I struggled to socially fit into the Trinity culture. Growing up in New York City, I became accustomed to trains, overcrowding and endless nightlife options. The transition from being a New York City gal to a Trinity student was difficult to handle. I wanted to transfer and attend a school that did not emphasize the party culture as much as it did here. But the point of this opinion piece is not to downgrade Trinity’s reputation or criticize my follow peers. After almost a year and a half of being part of this campus, I learned the difference between adapting and assimilating. I also learned to love Trinity unconditionally. There are a lot of great opportunities to grow and resources to take advantage of during my four years here. When I see some acquaintances I occasionally bump into since freshman year, I notice their change of style. Instead of wearing sneakers, they are sporting Beanie Boots and they have upgraded their North Face to a Patagonia fleece and a Trinity cap. I then ask myself, why haven’t I assimilated to the culture? Wouldn’t I be more popular if I wore the same Tory Burch shoes or Polo cardigan? Wouldn’t I be perceived as socially acceptable if I made those changes in my own wardrobe? These questions always filled my mind when I saw a bunch of homogenous looking girls giggling and walking to class together on the Long Walk. But I brushed these questions to the back of my mind and continued to reflect on who I wanted to be on this campus. This year, I have come to the realization that there is a significant difference between assimilating and adapting to a new surrounding. Assimilating is for the weak-minded who do not have confidence in their individuality to stand out. I don’t want to become another typical Trinity student that this college has a reputation for. I also do not want to judge those students who chose to participate in the party life because it is their prerogative, but I am against changing one’s identity in order to be socially accepted. The goal is to add a new spunk and innovation to this campus community rather than continuing the segregation patterns. As a tour guide, I brag about the beauty, athletic achievements and academic flexibilities. However, like any other college, there are some aspects I do wish to change, but it cannot happen if we, as individuals, do not embody the changes we want to see reflected on this campus. Thus, I’ve decided to focus on the progressive changes that this institution has made in the previous years. Many students I talk to often complain about Trinity. Although I do share similar feelings, what makes my situation different is my attitude. If we simply pay attention to the bad things, then that tells us something about our own character. My only advice to new and struggling students is to discover your own passions, which will lead you to clubs and activities and thus, inevitably, the creation of beautiful friendships. We are young only once and four years is a great deal amount of time to waste complaining and assimilating to a culture that you are not proud of. If Trinity has taught me anything, it is to believe in my own individuality and get lost in my passions and love for learning. Trinity can be a bubble if you make it one. It has socially conditioned me to navigate and survive in a challenging and superficial climate. That is a priceless lesson to learn at one of the most expensive institutions in the country.
SOPHIE KATZMAN ’14
GEORGINA THERMOS ’14
In downtown Hartford on the corner of Allyn Street, located in the middle of the bar and concert scene, there is small restaurant that you wouldn’t necessarily spot called Aladdin. But being highly recommended by the local community, the Food Dudes knew they had to go and see what the rave reviews were about. Most restaurants in the downtown area don’t have a delivery option, but Aladdin offers this convenience for their customers. Regardless, the Food Dudes decided to go for dinner to get the full experience.
On this particular Thursday night, many people were milling around downtown, making Aladdin the place to be. It’s a very casual eatery with many tables and booths. When we walked in, the server behind the counter was very friendly and curious to know whether we’d ever been to Aladdin. Since they offer a diverse menu of both pizza and Mediterranean options, the server was kind enough to walk us through and explain the different varieties. The décor was very simple and not specific to any type of theme. They decided to go with the classic pizzeria look: brick ovens behind the counter for their extensive pizza options, and the Halal meat roasters right next to them, which you can’t miss. In addition, there is a transparent case underneath the counter with some of their specialties, including Spanakopita, hummus, and grape-leaves as well as Baklava and other dessert pastries. Overall, Aladdin is a comfortable place to dine by yourself or with a larger group.
The menu is large and diverse, offering a variety of Middle Eastern traditional appetizers and plates. The Food Dudes had some help from the server who told them about a few of their most popular dishes. Ranging from falafel salads to lamb skewers to four cheese pizzas, there is no doubt you will find something you like at Aladdin. The Food Dudes decided to explore their traditional entrees. Georgina ordered a chicken kebab on a pita. It took 15 minutes to prepare, but was served to perfection along with the other plates. Inside a warm pita pocket were four chicken cubes seasoned with light spices and flavor. Lettuce, tomato, pickles, and sauce topped the meat. The pickles offered a sweet compliment to the savory spiced chicken, each ingredient complimenting one another smoothly. It was very tasty and different than the Greek-style chicken kebobs Georgina is used to. She was intrigued to see this particular combination of toppings and enjoyed every bite of it. Sophie went with a few vegetarian dishes because she couldn’t decide on just one. To start, she ordered the hummus appetizer. The order came with a generous portion of lightly seasoned hummus to share with the table and a basket of soft pita bread. For her main entrée, she ordered the Greek Salad, which was filled with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, and olives. It was topped with a light dressing and Mediterranean spices. She added falafel for a finishing touch. The falafel was crisp and savory, especially dipped in the fresh tahini sauce. The Food Dudes left very full and satisfied!
If you’re looking for an authentic Mediterranean restaurant or a slice of pizza, step into Aladdin Restaurant, located on 121 Allyn Street in downtown Hartford.
BENJAMIN CHAIT ’16
When it comes to style, there is a fine line between staying classic and following the trends. This is especially clear with shoes. Ever since the sartorial push towards classics that happened about 10 years ago, the overall style of our culture has radically changed—influenced heavily by the minimalism of Paris in the 1960s, the Kennedy style, and simple and classic American sportswear.
The idea of being stylish is very tricky. It’s a constant pull and push between wanting to fit in and standing out, but also between showing one’s knowledge and evolution of cut, color, fit, and fashion, while still wanting to look effortlessly cool. It is not very hard to look good, but it can be rather hard to look like yourself—first off you must discover who you are.
Who you are completely influences what you wear. The clothes you wear speak to both the way you want to be seen, and also how you see yourself. Personally, I hope there are more personalities at Trinity than the brown boat shoes and duck boots lead on. The homogeneity is something that should be fought against, and it most certainly can be done while remaining in the classic American style.
One of the most stylish women on campus is Caroline Fryer ’14. Her style is ironically understated, classic, and simple. Fryer favors old cable-knit sweaters, clean minimal lines, lots of black and camel, and barley any make-up. This approach to dressing shows that Fryer has both the intelligence and the confidence to know that she doesn’t need to overdo an outfit or use make-up in order to look beautiful.
Perhaps the best example of her style is a pair of penny loafers that were grey and white with orange. Not only was this the best take on the classic shoe I’ve seen in a while, but also a college student was wearing it. Fryer later told me that her shoes are from Diane B in New York.
Only a few weeks later I spotted Rosie Carroll ’16 wearing an all black pair with large Prada-inspired soles. Carroll is an authentic California girl and over the past two years I’ve watched her mix the best of the East and the West. Her sweater, scarf, jacket and skinny jeans were all also in black. When one is wearing only one color, the cut and fit are more important than ever. Her large jacket and clunky cool shoes elongated Carroll’s legs. The penny loafers perfectly exemplified Carroll’s tomboy style, but with a very strong feminine edge—the perfect shoe to stand out with in a sea of brown boots and plain flats.
For men, there are also better options than the traditional Sperry topsider. The driving loafer is a much classier shoe and actually serves a purpose—it grips the foot pedals of the car. Driving loafers only look better with age and can be worn at any occasion one would wear boat shoes. They are also thinner and less clunky than boat shoes and make the man wearing them seem more elegant and stylish.
Desert boots also fit perfectly in the catalogue of American Style. They are light, durable, able to be worn all year round—and much handsomer than duck boots or Timberlands. Men tend to take less fashion risks, but shoes are a great place to start mixing classic and masculine with daring and fashionable. The best place to buy men’s shoes these days is Cole-Haan. They have taken the best shoes of our father’s generation, but with a modern twist. The shoes also have the same technology used by Nike, so the shoes feel like sneakers.
One of my favorite pairs of shoes to wear is the smoking slipper. It is definitely a strong look, but fits perfectly with classic American and European styles. They can be worn with a tuxedo, or with a pair of jeans. Personally I have around ten pairs and I keep going back to them. Though I never would have expected it, they look better worn in which is great because they can be an investment. My favorite brand is Stubbs and Wootton of Palm Beach. I’ve become very loyal and now my parents and close friends favor the brand too. There are, however, many other great places to get the slippers—shoes which perfectly fit in and stand out.
JAMES GEISLER ’14
On Thursday, November 7, Trinity’s Director of Institutional Research and Planning, Dr. James J. Hughes, gave a talk outlining his unique perspective on the use of cognitive enhancing drugs. Dr. Hughes has an impressive and extensive background in bioethics, human enhancement, neuroethics, moral cognition, and the regulation of emerging biotechnologies. He is well published in these fields, including one book titled, Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future. A self-proclaimed democratic transhumanist, Dr. Hughes believes that human enhancement methods should be safe and made widely available.
In his talk, Dr. Hughes reviewed many of the common objections to off-label stimulant use and suggested that there are a number of ethical arguments to be made for the everyday use of cognitive enhancing drugs. Dr. Hughes made it clear that he was not necessarily advocating the non-prescription use of specific cognitive enhancing stimulants, such as Adderal or Ritalin. Rather, he was suggesting that an ethical argument can be made for the use of cognitive enhancing drugs in general.
Dr. Hughes first noted that stimulants of various sorts have been in use for thousands of years. Tea, of course, is a caffeinated beverage that is a historic staple of many cultures. In addition, coffeehouses have a longstanding tradition as hubs of intellectual discussion and the exchange of ideas. Many have even suggested that early coffeehouses served as the necessary vehicle for the spread of key Enlightenment ideas, such as reason, democracy, and human rights.
After walking through a brief history of amphetamine use in the United States, Dr. Hughes provided a brief scientific explanation of the mechanisms behind three of the most common cognitive enhancing drugs: Ritalin, Adderall, and the new drug modafanil (marketed as Provigil). In a nutshell, these drugs prevent the reuptake, or reabsorption, of dopamine, creating higher levels of dopamine in the brain. In simpler terms, dopamine sends a signal to the brain to pay attention. With increased dopamine levels, people can better control their own behavior, focus on the task at hand, and maintain cognitive clarity.
Dr. Hughes then explained the great success that these drugs have had for countless individuals—he mentioned members of his family who were finally able to think clearly, and millions of children and adults who have taken the drug frequently without developing any addiction. He stressed that, “Yes, many of these drugs are used inappropriately.” However this doesn’t take away from the millions of people using the drugs properly and successfully.
After reminding the audience that taking another person’s Adderall is in fact a felony, Dr. Hughes argued for the use of cognitive enhancing drugs within four ethical frameworks. First, he proposed that their use is compatible with virtue ethics. Such drugs increase the virtues of self-control and temperance, which in turn affect the regulation of other virtues. Dr. Hughes argued that cognitive enhancing drugs allow people to exercise the virtues specific to their social roles. Additionally, he claimed that taking a cognitive enhancing drug in an academic setting is not truly cheating in the same sense that steroids are cheating in sports. Athletes agree to both rules of competition and rules of preparation. Students agree to do their work and to not plagiarize, but students are free to use whatever strategies of preparation they want. The second ethical framework was one of cognitive liberty and autonomy. For this, Dr. Hughes argued that cognitive enhancing drugs enhance autonomy, since self-control and executive function, both of which are enhanced by stimulants, are the basis for autonomy. People should be free to take drugs that increase their self-control.
The third ethical framework was a utilitarian framework, which of course asks, which policy would result in the greater amount of happiness for the greater good? Dr. Hughes contends with widespread improved performance in social roles, that society, as a whole would become more efficient and diligent. The fourth ethical framework was a newly emerging ethical approach, the capabilities approach, which suggests that the ethical weight of something should be measured by what capabilities it affords people.
Dr. Hughes believed that the use of cognitive enhancing stimulants would increase aggregate capacities for reason and self-control and would therefore be compatible with this framework. Dr. Hughes came to the conclusion that we should feel obligated to make cognitive enhancing stimulants a legal part of society, in that they would enhance our capacities for reason, intelligence, and self-control.
SERENA ELAVIA ’14
He’s big, he’s loud and he makes one mean Puttanesca pasta. If you can’t take the heat, get out of Trevor’s kitchen. Ladies and gentleman of Trinity, if you’ve never experienced Trevor at the Bistro, you are missing out on something amazing. Coming up on his 14th anniversary at Trinity this January, chief Infusion cook Trevor Tiggett has made quite the name for himself on campus. During lunch and dinner Mondays through Thursdays, Trevor whips up scrumptious pastas, burgers, salmon and steaks for the Trinity community. “I like to make people happy with good food,” says Trevor about his job.
As a frequent Infusion customer, I have always wondered how Trevor manages to have each meal cooked and perfectly presented in 15 minutes with so much chaos going on in the Infusion kitchen. Between buzzers, receipts, and people asking a thousand questions all at once, Trevor makes cooking look like a breeze and is always on his game. According to him, it’s all about being organized. “Before I take your ticket, I’ll get the pan heated up and get your vegetables cooking,” he says. During downtime, he is cutting vegetables or preparing mashed potatoes, so he does not have any delays while feeding customers. Always putting the customer first, Trevor is more in touch with Trinity students than anyone else on campus. While Chartwells’ management may create the Infusion recipes, Trevor tweaks them based on what he knows students like and dislike. In our conversation, I mentioned how I missed the seafood linguini dish. To my surprise, he called over his manager and said that he wants to start cooking it again. Now, folks that is dedication to students. If something in a dish isn’t cooked right or doesn’t taste good, Trevor says he will never serve it to a student. Flashing back to my sophomore year, I remember one incident where a student didn’t like his meal. Trevor promptly took the plate back, re- made the meal, and returned it to the student, who was much happier. “People have to be brutally honest in cooking,” he says. Relying on student feedback, Trevor is always looking to hear how his cooking can be improved. This is why he hates computers—Trevor is a people person. With so much face-to-face interaction lost between cell phones and laptops, Trevor continues to tout the benefits of in-person discussion, which is how he ended up at Trinity.
Born and raised right here in Hartford, Trevor graduated from Hartford Public High School in 1985, and he says that degree meant something back then. Everything Trevor learned about cooking, he learned from his uncle. Cooking clearly runs in the family as Trevor’s brother Lonnie works in Mather. From an early age, Trevor always knew that he wanted to go into cooking and got his start as a dish boy. With such a love of food, Trevor sometimes brings food to a BYOB party, especially his jambalaya.
His first major stint was being a cook in a restaurant called The Cellar in the Hartford Civic Center. At one point, the Civic Center was a bustling hub with Whalers traffic, Channel 3 News and many other athletes. In the mid 90s, when the fabulous Gail King was an anchor for Channel 3 News, she used to pop into The Cellar and one day Trevor had the pleasure of cooking a burger for King and her daughters. Not surprisingly, she said it was the best burger she had ever eaten. Trevor said that King and her daughters are gorgeous. Little did Trevor know that King would not be the last famous person he would cook for. When basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal played on the Orlando Magic, the Boston Celtics would play at the Civic Center. On a random day when Trevor was heading into The Cellar, he didn’t realize that he was walking behind Shaq. Upon entering the restaurant and realizing who it was, Trevor cooked Shaq a burger on the house and got his autograph. The list of athletes who have eaten Trevor’s food continues: professional wrestlers Bob Backlund and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, former Chicago Bulls and Sacramento Kings player Reggie Theus, retired Atlanta Hawks superstar Dominique Wilkins, the shortest NBA slam dunk contest winner Spud Webb, and retired New England Patriots’ players Willie McGinest, Terry Glenn, and Troy Brown. With an armful of autographs and satisfied customers, Trevor eventually left The Cellar after ten years there.
After leaving The Cellar, Trevor relocated to a soup/sandwich/salad café called City Rollers. But after City Rollers closed, Trevor was suddenly out of a job. The sous chef at Trinity at the time (January 2000) was a friend of Trevor’s and set him up with the Infusion position. Growing up, Trevor used to play recreational football at Trinity, but never in a million years did he think he would end up working on campus. Infusion meals were previously cooked in the Bistro hallway, which allowed a few stealthy students to steal sausage. But eventually, the fire department mandated that Trevor move his station into the kitchen and the Infusion station was built and students have been lining up ever since.
With the benefits of cooking on a campus and his love of Trinity, Trevor has no plans to leave anytime soon. Regarding culinary school, he would love to attend and fine-tune his skills, but why leave when life is so good?
Pooja Savansukha ’15
Last week, the Widener Gallery at Trinity Colleges’ Austin Arts center opened artist Frank Ozerekos’ exhibit, “Traceprints + Teapots.” This exhbit displays a series of prints, and ceramic teapots that are inspired by subject matter ranging from Turkoman jewelry to African decorative arts, these “Imaginary Vases” suggest figures, trophies and ornamentation. “While the theme of imaginary vases appeals to Ozereko, the ceramic teapots that will be on view are quite real,” said Felice Caivano, Fine Arts Curator at the Widener Gallery. “Their substantial presence and figurative qualities boldly assert themselves. They hold the potential for use, but are never meant to pour tea. One could easily imagine the printed images springing to life and envision the teapots at home within the lively world of the imaginary vases. Where the interchange of imagination and reality meet, Frank Ozereko creates magic.” Through the exhibt, Ozereko attempts to examine the two disting types of artwork that share common ideas that are drawn from nature, historical ceramics, architecture and decorative arts. Being interested in both, two and three dimensional media, Ozereko has taken dvantage of being able to work with both for the ehibit. He claims that, “It is exciting to work in two – and three-dimensional media in which the restrictions and potential of each influences the other.” His prints and ceramics share a similar visual vocabulary that is composed of abstract patterns and symbolic elements.
From 1980 – 2012, Ozereko was a professor in the art department at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In his artist statement, he claims that “I recently retired from teaching and am as busy as ever, finding time for new activities such as ceramic workshops.”
Ozereko has been the recipient of Craft Fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has also displayed his work nationally in solo and group exhibitions. More recently, he was awarded a residency in printmaking by the Ucross Foundation. Many of the prints at this exhibition were made during this residency. The exhibition will last until December 9th.
Campbell North ’17
Grounded and genuine, senior Lenny Rutigliano has remained devoted to incorporating his love of theater and writing throughout his Trinity career. He has taken a unique route on his artistic journey that has led him to an interesting intersection of academics and art.
As a lover of literature, Rutigliano was constantly reading in his youth. One of his favorite writers was JK Rowling, who became a big inspiration His mother was also a big reader and helped solidify his appetite for reading. Rutigliano’s family played a supportive role in encouraging him to follow his passion for reading and writing. In eighth grade he wrote and published a fantasy fiction book entitled The Creature of Darkness: The Past Reborn.
One of his English teachers, who Rutigliano described as his Mr. Feeney from the TV show Boy Meets World, helped inspire him to stay invested in writing and pursue it throughout high school. It wasn’t until senior year when Rutigliano was introduced to the world of performance and drama. In the fall he was an assistant director for a show, which helped him get his foot in the theater door. The spring of his senior year Rutigliano was chosen to play Danny Zucko in his school’s production of Grease. “I still remember the audition, I had never really acted before and was so nervous” Rutigliano recalls.
Four years later he still gets a little nervous when preforming but his acting career at Trinity has helped him feel more prepared and ready for anything on stage. Some of his performances the role of Father Donnelly in The Marriage of Bette and Boo, a role in a play directed by Trinity professor Mitch Polin, and most recently as Selah Morse in Disintegration Loops Part 1.
One of the techniques that Rutigliano uses to get into character is by understanding them directly through text. “I am an English-minded person so I always try to analyze how a character comes to life through text” says Rutigliano. He also will jot down any interesting mannerism that he notices. This inference and observation through text translates into Rutigliano’s senior thesis
It will focus on one of his favorite books, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. His thesis will explore how Conrad develops the image of hollow men and how T.S. Eliot then takes this image and runs with it. It will also focus on how Eliot refines it and makes it his own.
Rutigliano incorporates these notions into his acting style as well. He also plays off the concept of choice and the decision-making process. “I think about feeling like you’re at a crossroad when you one path becomes open and one closes, and realizing one’s not better than the other, they’re just different paths,” Rutigliano stated. This element is also central to his writing. In terms of character development Rutigliano focuses on why characters would make certain choices and what drives that process.
In addition he also draws from personal experiences. His current position as a high school teacher at the Sport and Medical Science Academy has given him new insight into power dynamics. “I’ve found it’s been really interesting,” Rutigliano explained, “because the teachers are technically supposed to have the power but if you’re doing it right you want to give the kids power and just facilitate them.”
Ideally he would like to be able to have more time to write and eventually publish his work but right now teaching is at the forefront his attention.
This ambition towards writing translates into his desire to eventually become a full-time English and drama teacher. A powerful moment that solidified this love was after parent-teacher conferences. One of his students came in the day after and told him that his mother had cried on the way home from being proud of him. “It’s that deep down good feeling you get from moments like this that make me want to keep doing this,” Rutigliano said.
After graduation Rutigliano plans on continuing his teaching career either at the same school or at a school in New York, where he is from.
No matter what, though Rutigliano wants to encourage everyone to make art a part of their daily lives. Even if it isn’t your direct focus, you can still manage to meld into other parts of your schedule and activities. “Creativity and art doesn’t have to be separate from whatever else you do, they can all feed into each other” says Rutigliano.
Head Curator and Librarian at the Watkinson
In September the Watkinson Library (which holds Trinity’s rare books and archives) announced an initiative to raise funds to acquire one of the greatest rarities of American literature—a first edition (1855) of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. There were 795 copies of the book printed in Brooklyn, New York in 1855, and less than 200 survive. There are only seven copies in Connecticut libraries—six of those are at Yale (the seventh is at Wesleyan). A copy recently sold for over $200,000 at auction, but we have an opportunity to acquire one for less than a third of that price. At this writing we have achieved 20 percent of our goal.
To help raise an awareness of this effort, there will be an “open mic” marathon reading of Whitman’s famous poem “Song of Myself” at Vernon Social on Thursday November 14, from 4:00–6:00pm. Several faculty members have promised to read (including Chris Hager, Clare Rossini and Dan Mrozowski), and we’re hoping that students will get up in front of the micropohone and get creative! You can read it “serious” or you can read in a funny voice (Yoda? Rapper? Sports color commentator?). Raffle tickets will be sold ($1/ticket) for drawings of coupons to Peter B’s (for a free coffee or tea and a pastry) as well as packets of Watkinson Library holiday cards (four styles, each featuring a rare item in the collections).
“Song of Myself” is the first of twelve untitled poems in the first edition, occupies over 40 pages of the book, and is one of the most influential poems in American literature. Walt Whitman paid for the publication of the Leaves out of his own pocket. He designed its distinctive cover, and oversaw all the details of the book’s composition and printing (setting some of the type himself), as well as its distribution and reception. “I greet you at the beginning of a great career,” Ralph Waldo Emerson now-famously wrote in a private letter to Whitman, and indeed Leaves of Grass has since been called America’s second Declaration of Independence, one that (according to one scholar) “ushered in a new era in American letters, describing specifically American experiences in a distinctly American idiom.” The copy that the library intends to acquire is owned by a well-respected antiquarian book firm in New York City, and is currently on display in the Watkinson.
Next semester we will offer an “art print” for sale, inspired by the book and created and produced by local letterpress shop “Hartford Prints!” Run by three sisters, this shop is on Pratt Street in downtown Hartford. Professor Clare Rossini’s First Year Seminar on poetry will be setting a few lines from Leaves of Grass in metal type, and printing them at Hartford Prints!—copies of which will be sent to donors of $50 or more with our thanks. Finally, in conjunction with the English Department, we will sponsor a public lecture on February 20th entitled “I pass so poorly with paper and types”: Walt Whitman’s First 795 Tries at Leaves of Grass” by Dr. Ed Folsom, who is the Roy J. Carver Professor of English at The University of Iowa, and a world authority on Whitman.
Samia Kemal ’14
Set during Thanksgiving Day in a grey and wintery suburb outside of Pittsburgh, Dennis Villenueve’s “Prisoners” presents a tale that prods yet again at the question of what is “right” and “wrong” by delving into the heart of a “Parent’s” worst nightmare.
Keller Dover (Hugh Jakman) is a stouthearted, religious, and over protective father whose self-reliance and preparedness crosses over to compulsion. His basement is a hodge-podge of natural disaster combatants ranging from wood, to chainsaws, to dirt, to multiple types of tools. Dover brings his family of four to neighbor Franklin’s (Terrence Howard) house for Thanksgiving for a low-key, unassuming family get-together. While the adults are joyfully regaling in the holiday spirit, the young daughters of Dover and Franklin beg to play outside, and the families agree under misunderstood circumstances that the girls would be looked after by their older siblings. When both families come to the realization that both girls are nowhere to be found, the last remaining insight into their disappearance lies in the presence of a sinister-looking RV parked on the street that has since disappeared with the girls.
The RV is later discovered by Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) who, due to his success for solving sixteen missing children cases, has been assigned to investigate the case of Keller and Franklin’s missing daughters. When Loki enters the vehicle, he finds Alex (Paul Dano) a young man with the IQ of a 10 year old who appears to be the only link to the disappearance of Joy and Anna. After keeping Alex in custody, Loki determines that he could not be responsible for the disappearance of the girls, and releases him. This decision enrages Keller, who firmly believes that the key to finding his daughter lies in answers that Alex is simply refusing to reveal. Keller later kidnaps Alex, and attempts to torture answers out of him.
It is this pivotal moment that creates a shift in the film: who is now the kidnapper? The torturer? The prisoner? In some ways, Villeneueve creates characters that each satisfy these roles. The title of “Prisoners” aptly represents each character of the film for they are each a “prisoner” in their own unique way. Whether they be prisoners to their desires, compulsions, addictions, obsessions, or legitimate locked-up prisoners, Villeneueve means for his title to permeate its way throughout the film, rather than to one instance.
Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal are also especially riveting in the film. Hugh Jackman delivered an Oscar-worthy performance for I felt as though I was actually watching a man whose daughter had just been kidnapped. Jackman didn’t waver in his performance, and its evident that he gave all he could humanly give in his delivery. Gyllenhaal’s character is equally powerful as he depicts a character that is as enigmatic as the tattoos on his body and wholly committed to the case.
“Prisoners” is the type of film that is so rife with symbolism, theories, and question marks, that one could dedicate an entire Senior Thesis to discussing its intricacies. After watching the film, a friend and I unknowingly wiled away two hours discussing questions, references, and potential character backgrounds. Though there is a level of complexity in “Prisoners,” it does not detract from its straightforward storytelling. In some ways, it is the perfect balance of concealing and revealing, giving the audience a multitude of things to think about long after the credits stop rolling, and also quenching their thirst for an explanation.
Malcom Moon ’15
Last week kicked off the Theater and Dance departments’ presentation of senior thesis performances for this fall. Seniors who are Theater and Dance majors have the opportunity to direct their own projects, stemming out of the skills that they have acquired thus far, coupled with their personal interests. While watching an on-campus student performance is always exciting and inspiring, to watch a student directed project makes the experience all the more enticing. On Wednesday, Jackie Taylor ’14, and Nikki Cella ’14 presented their theses performances titled “The Journey of Forgiveness” and “What’s Underneath Must Be Released to Be Understood.” This was followed by Meredith Kasslers,’ ‘14 senior thesis, “Will We Ever See Eye to Eye?” that was performed on Thursday. The theses were presented at the Trinity Commons Performance Lab, and were successful in engaging and arousing the audience on both nights.
On Wednesday night, the show was started off by Professor Leslie Farlow who introduced her advisees, Jackie Taylor and Nikki Cella who directed performance projects. Taylor presented her thesis performance first. The performance greatly combined the use of a combination of text and movement to tell a story. The story centered around the testimonies of a character who is an alcoholic husband and a drug addict (portrayed by Billy Siems ’14); as well another, who is a drug dealer (portrayed by Aymara Heath ’14). While the two characters had individual monologues, and were independent from each other, they collaboratively had a powerful impact on the audience. The characters used text to plead to the audience for forgiveness, by claiming that their bad actions did not stem from bad intention. This raised the question of how we place blames and accusations in society, and whether a bad action that comes out of good intention can still be categorized as a crime. In addition to the text, a trio of dancers, Nikki Cella ’14, Stephanie Hewett ’14 and Carolyn Meighan ’14 performed strong movements that complemented the text by highlighting its hidden meanings. Their movements were fluid, but of strict vocabulary combining elements of ballet and modern dance. The music used was contemporary, alluding to the time period of the issues being raised and questioned through the thesis: the present. At the end, the two characters delivered their monologues while kneeling on stage, and the performers joined them in kneeling. As the lights faded, the audience was left with a visual of lit candles. This came across as a symbol of hope, and was a strong moment in the piece.
At the end of Taylor’s thesis performance, there was a short intermission that was followed by Nikki Cella’s directed piece, “What’s Underneath Must Be Released to Be Understood,” described as “a movement exploration into the discovery of, and relationship we have with, the dark shadow that lives within us all.” The performance began with a video projection that depicted a series of hand gestures and a woman yelling. As soon as the video ended, the music was up and the performance began. Three dancers, Julia Callanan ’16, Chelsea Cummings ’14, and Madeline Kim ’16 were tangled up by a string on the ground, and they struggled together through a careful choreography of movement to get untangled, in order to experience a sense of release. Meanwhile, dancers Stephanie Hewett and Ella Wechsler- Matthaei ’14 portrayed characters who were engaged in a separate conflict. Ella’s character was domineering over Staphanies’ as she controlled her movements. Eventually she began to circle around Stephanie’s character, who was attempting to make her way to join the other dancers. Eventually, the dance appeared to portray a tug-of-war like situation between the three dancers and Ella’s character, for Stephanie. The performance was extremely strong, and it engaged the audience not just by movement but also by the fact that its message was more implicit, calling for a greater audience participation.
On Thursday, Meredith Kassler presented her thesis performance “Will We Ever See Eye to Eye?” that she described as a combination of “three short and adapted vignettes that explore or question the progression of equality between men and women within contemporary society.” The thirty minute performance consisted of three scenes. The first, titled ‘Eye to Eye’ featuring Kassler and Forrest Robinette ’16 and directed by Savvy Reuben ’15, depicted a date scene involving an argument over who will pay the cheque. The second scene, ‘The Interrogation’ featuring Reuben and Henry Moorhead ’14, directed by Kassler depicted a scene where two people who used to date are reunited and Moorhead consistently interrogated his ex-girlfriend regarding her current love life. The final scene ‘Smile,’ featured Heath Harckam ’15 and Kassler who also directed it. The scene came across as the strongest of the three and it depicted a man and woman being questioned by the police, following an incident where the woman punched him for ‘pestering’ her to smile while crossing the street. The dynamics between the male and female in each scene were relatable situations that threw light on specific attitudes and gender hierarchies that penetrate our society. Light humor, skillful acting and powerful lighting made the overall performance extremely effective, as it not only had the audience engaged but also left members to contemplate over the questions that it raised.
CHANEL PALACIOS ’14
Now is probably a good time for seniors to start freaking out about what to do after graduation. Seniors are getting emails about senior rings, senior portraits, degree applications, and more. Seniors can’t just focus on classes anymore. There are job searches or graduate school applications.
Either way, it’s a lot of pressure. I’m going to focus on the graduate school application process because that is more stressful for me. At least for seniors, if we don’t get a job offer right away, we can blame it on the economy. It’s nothing personal. Graduate school applications are entirely different.
They are looking at your grades, your jobs, your letters of recommendation, your personal statement, and your writing samples. All this needs to be looked at before programs decide if they like you or not. It’s similar to undergraduate applications. Try and show your stuff quickly and in the best way possible. No pressure.
So far, the process is still like the undergraduate application process. You need letters, scores, and GPA. The differences are still there. For instance, some programs require the GRE. It’s like the SAT, but—while the SAT is about 50 dollars—the GRE is a nice 185 dollars. Haven’t they heard of students eating cup noodles for weeks on end? It’s pretty pricey. The good news is that not all programs require it. Some may require it for the university’s requirements, but in reality don’t care about them.
My fingers are crossed that the programs I’m applying to are like that. Then there’s the letter of recommendation. No offense to high school, but professors seem a tad bit more busy nowadays and getting them to get those in on time is no easy feat from what I hear. Back in high school, it seemed like I could apply to a handful of schools and surely at least one school would accept me. It’s not quite that easy anymore. It’s even more competitive. It’s fighting for the last piece of turkey on Thanksgiving. You’ve already had your share, but you need just a little bit more. My apologies to the vegans and vegetarians out there. Substitute your own analogy. The point is that we’re getting thrown back into the application process, whether it’s for graduate school or for a career.
I have just gained more respect for freshmen. Everyone thinks it’s the easiest year because classes are definitely lighter. However, they’ve just come out of the whole application process. They’ve earned the freedom to enjoy freshman year without a ton of stress. Except for science majors. Sorry guys. I forgot what the process was like, and now all the stress is coming back with a vengeance. I can’t cruise through my whole senior year anymore and (even better) the applications are twice the cost. Apparently no one got the whole broke college student thing. They tell me this is what life is like. It’s pressure, not enough hours in the day, and a lot of caffeine. It’s a hell of a lot of fun, though.
For you job seekers, or people who just really cannot handle any more schooling, kudos to you for being brave enough to get into the world of employment. Or unemployment. Whatever floats your boat.
Granted I’m not applying to graduate school to avoid seeking employment, it sure would be a nice perk to get to delay it a little bit more. Get your resumes in order, stretch the truth a whole lot to make yourself seem more qualified, and work on your handshakes. We can’t get away with wimpy handshakes anymore. People judge your handshake just as much as your shirt. No fist bumps until you get the job.
Whatever path seniors are taking, it’s going to be stressful. I know graduate school and careers aren’t the only paths (and God bless whoever can take time off to do nothing), but applying to anything will always be stressful.
I wish I were applying to undergraduate school again. This is nostalgic writing. It’s a plea to my fellow seniors to get all their things together and get ready to crush this next month. Most applications are due in early December and, since Homecoming and Thanksgiving are coming up, there’s only so much time to get everything done on top of class work. Get some red bull, get some coffee, and try to sleep over Thanksgiving because finals start once these applications end. There’s never really a moment of downtime. All I can say about the hectic schedule is that seniors are going to really enjoy their last winter break. Let’s get together and commiserate. Or celebrate getting it all done. And then figure out jobs. And then figure out real life.
NYKIA TANNIEHILL ’15
“Once you get to junior year, you just don’t have time for anything other than what’s important. If people or situations aren’t serving you the way you need them to in a given moment, this is the year you learn to let them go.” I looked up to catch my friend in the middle of a saucy hairflip before she took a sip of her drink, clearly pleased with her words of wisdom. Cramped around a table in Buffalo Wild Wings, the rest of us exchanged tentative glances, as if to silently debate the validity of this statement. Somewhere between ordering drinks and the delivery of the salads, the nature of our conversation had quickly shifted from small talk to “real talk.”
“She’s right, that’s so true,” said the girl to my left with whom I had only recently become acquainted. “You’ve been trying to bring every person and every problem along for the ride, but something about junior year just doesn’t allow that anymore.”
Suddenly, my chipped nail polish became the most fascinating thing in the world. I twisted and tugged at my fingers in my lap, refusing to come to terms with the topic of conversation. Here I sat in the heart of Brooklyn, with two accomplished Communications majors going into their senior year. The last thing I wanted to do was take their advice for granted. However, with my history of being sensitive and a little too accommodating, the concept of letting go seemed impossible.
My interactions with others are characterized by my desire to be friendly and give as much of myself to others as I would hope they would give to me, especially in times of need. My greatest strength—and ultimate weakness—is my empathetic nature. In terms of challenges, asking me not to cry at the end of Toy Story 3 is a tall order in itself. Asking me to walk away from situations over which I have little or no control is even taller, but in no way was my reluctance to accept these comments the product of fear. I just would have preferred to master Magic Johnson-sized challenges before confronting Yao Ming-sized challenges, if I had my way.
Time and circumstance didn’t grant me that opportunity. Two months later, I was elbow-deep in classes, preparing to study abroad, forgetting what it felt like to sleep, and looking the Yao Ming-sized challenge of conquering junior year square in the shins.
I soon found that 24 hours in a day was simply not enough. My meal times shortened, my opportunities for long heart-to-heart sessions lessened, and my weekly shopping trips became a thing of the past. A task or obligation occupied every minute of every day. Each accomplishment became less like a careful contribution and more like a Hail Mary shot in the last four seconds of a basketball game.
Despite the ensuing madness, life didn’t stop. How could I expect it to? Facebook and Twitter still buzzed, juicy stories from the weekend still circulated, and Girls Night Out was still mandatory. I began to panic. Two months ago, my friends made the solution to this whirlwind seem so simple—sort out anyone and anything that serves your being and make it your business to answer to those wholeheartedly above all else. But how can anyone truly figure out who or what is serving them well when stress is inevitable and there’s barely enough time to breathe? I feared that I would appear as selfish to those who knew me as a compassionate person. Who am I to walk away from things that hinder my happiness?
I still have not found the answers to these questions. However, I am learning that so much goes into taking care of ourselves on a day-to-day basis, and any additional matters to which we are successfully able to lend our time and energy is a matter of sheer grace. That, in itself, is a source of wonder and a reason to take pride in the people and causes we treasure. Beyond that, a large part of letting go is trusting myself to decide what I can and cannot handle. I also need to trust the sincerity of my intentions.
More and more, I’m learning that choosing my happiness is not malicious, and it does not have to disregard the feelings and concerns of those around me.
Rather, it requires me to acknowledge the fact that I am one woman. I’m definitely not Wonder Woman, and certainly not every woman. I’m just this woman with only so many hours in a day and only so much energy to make them all count. Who am I to deny that I am perfectly worthy of receiving just as much of me as I give to others? That’s a truth with which I try—and fail—to negotiate on a daily basis.
Despite the demands of the outside world, we are consistently in control of our immediate world—and perhaps the true nature of our immediate world is that it’s ever-changing. There are no constants. However, rather than siphoning out the things that cause us anxiety, maybe it’s all about remembering to hold fast to the things that help us heal quickly. Maybe it’s about reserving our right to cling to anything that gives us the strength to keep giving to a world that won’t always take what we have to offer. Maybe it’s about being brave enough to trade cram sessions for hour-long chats and sleepless nights for the occasional power nap. It’s true—everyone and everything can’t come along for the ride—but a pit stop or two never hurt anybody.
FORREST ROBINETTE ’16
Last week, a professor of mine asked our class, “Why do we write essays?” It was a question I had never put much thought into up until that point. I suppose my most immediate answer would be, “because we are told to.” Teachers and professors assign essays and we complete them because we want to pass the course.
However, with his comment my professor was getting at a much more important question about the value of writing essays. What instructional purpose does essay writing serve? What do we take away from it? My professor argued that writing is a means of finding one’s identity. It is through essays and other written assignments that we form our views about the world, about others, and about ourselves.
I was partially skeptical of this claim because I know that I have completed many written assignments over the years that I would not characterize as meaningful in any way. High school AP tests sprung immediately to mind. I have a particularly vivid and traumatic memory of the writing portion of the AP U.S. History exam. I remember desperately trying to recall everything I learned about Richard Nixon and then scribbling as many words onto the page as I could before the proctor said “time’s up.” I would hardly characterize that essay as “meaningful writing.”
In high school, I also remember in-class essays in which our teacher told us to resort to bullet points in lieu of complete sentences if we knew we weren’t going to finish by the end of class. This kind of “under the gun” writing, in my opinion, does not help us find our identity. It is just about the regurgitation of facts in an essay format. It is no different from a test in that way. For me, in-class writing accomplishes nothing because students aren’t even given adequate time to organize their thoughts.
When my professor described writing as a kind of self-discovery, I believe he was not referring to stressful writing assignments such as in-class essays. Instead, I think he was describing writing assignments that allow a student to explore a subject that they are passionate about. And I think that the vast majority of professors at Trinity embrace this kind of writing assignments. Many of my professors thus far have encouraged me to develop a connection to my subject. When a student is passionate about what they are writing about, the writing does become a kind of exploration into one’s own mind.
I imagine that this attitude towards writing might be a little laughable to some students. It does seem quite idealistic. I know there are many students who detest writing essays. I’ve heard many of my peers say that they would always rather take a test. I think many students feel this way because essay writing is often taught so poorly. I was first introduced to the essay in middle school.
I was taught an extremely strict and formulaic way of writing. There were so many rules, which made my writing rigid and boring. I was told, “start with your universal statement,” “insert three quotes per paragraph,” and “restate your thesis in your conclusion.” When we deviated from these rules, our grades were lowered. In this kind of writing, the writer has no real voice and is denied the opportunity to be creative. The writer is simply following a predetermined formula.
When I first arrived at Trinity, I had to work very hard to break out of the five-paragraph format that had been drilled into my mind in high school. Bad high school writing instruction cripples many students as they enter college and it gives them a negative attitude towards writing. During my first semester here, I had to unlearn much of what I was taught in high school in order to succeed academically. And I think many students go through a similarly difficult transition. It is for this reason that I think so few students would describe writing as a process of “self-discovery.” For most, it is a boring and unpleasant chore that we have suffered through during our time in academia.
Thankfully, there are so many good professors here at Trinity who help us break out of the high school writing stigma. I cannot think of an essay that I have written here at Trinity that I would describe as tedious. This is because all of my professors have focused on my ideas and my ability to communicate those ideas. In an ideal world, that is what essay writing should consist of.
I will not go so far as to argue that essay writing should be fun. However, I will say that essay writing can be extremely useful. Above all, an essay is an act of persuasion. You must persuade your professor that you have something of value to say. In whatever career you choose, the ability to persuade someone of the validity of your ideas is sure to be a valuable skill. Essay writing helps you organize your ideas and present them in a way that is understandable and clear to others.
Aside from developing one’s career skills, writing allows us to make sense of our thoughts, our views, and our values. I think my professor was right to describe writing in the way that he did. It is an act of exploration. It forces us to put our thoughts into words and make sense of them. High school writing instruction (and some college writing instruction) needs an overhaul to help students view writing in this way.
SONJAY SINGH ’15
Complaints about safety on campus have always been a central discussion about ways to improve the climate at Trinity. Although Campus Safety has made strides in the last few months towards improving security at night including expanding their staff and monitoring more locations across campus, there is still more which could be done. The Campus Safety shuttle has been a particular problem for many students who cite reliability, ease of access and even disrespect from the drivers as some of the dissuading factors in the shuttle being a useful form of transportation.
One problem in particular is the lack of functionality to the online tracker, a system still advertised on the website despite the fact that it hasn’t been functional for several months. Although a tracker is a fairly common feature for campus shuttles, being used in similar schools such as Brandeis and Tufts, it has not been maintained at Trinity. Other schools such as Washington University in St. Louis have a set schedule so that students know where the shuttle will be and when. On a campus in which crime is common especially at night, every effort should be made to minimize the amount of time that students spend walking. The lack of a tracker forces students to wait outside for up to 45-minutes according to some reports in high-risk areas such as outside Anadama, Vernon Street and Allen Street. There is also no way of knowing when the shuttle is offline for an employee break. Although the drivers deserve the time-off, more of an effort needs to be made to notify the student body when this is occurring so that they can plan accordingly.
More concerning are the many reports of drivers being openly hostile. One female student who chose to remain anonymous reports trying to flag down a shuttle from Allen and being completely ignored by the driver. After rushing to catch the shuttle, the driver stopped briefly to mockingly open and shut the doors before flashing the student her middle finger and driving away. Reportedly, this was at 1:55 making it the last shuttle of the night and forcing the student to walk back alone. This kind of behavior by employees tasked with our safety is completely unacceptable and suggests a systemic disrespect of the student body by campus safety employees. Even putting the disrespect aside, a shuttle driver should never leave a student stranded on Broad Street in any situation, especially when they are operating the last shuttle of the night. “If you’re going to promote people taking the shuttle, it needs to be more reliable. It shouldn’t be this burdensome event where you don’t know when it will arrive, have trouble getting it to stop and are disrespected when you get one,” said one student in response to these issues.
Although campus safety is generally very pleasant with many representatives such as Officer Habibovic and Officer Lee quickly gaining reputations for fairness and prompt response, it does not excuse the actions of this particular shuttle driver.
Although I am sure that transporting inebriated students cannot be easy this is no excuse for disrespect for the student body or for the various other problems with the shuttle. To simply bring the service up to the standard level of operation seen at most schools would not be difficult and we should begin moving towards it as soon as possible.
Kristina Xie ’16, Contributing Writer
On a gloomy Friday, nothing was worst than sporadic showers and gray clouds to end one exhausting week. On a happier note, the first Friday of November was the annual celebration of Diwali, hosted by the International House in collaboration with seven other organizations on campus. Diwali, or the “Festival of Lights” is one of the most famous Hindu holidays, commemorating Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. In places such as India and Trinidad and Tobago, families decorate their homes with lights to help Lakshmi navigate her way and bless them with a prosperous year. The mundane Washington Room was transformed into a combination of Bollywood and Moroccan themed paradise with lights that surrounded the entire room. To add to the décor, there were posters of Hindu gods, Henna and bangles station along with red tablecloths to tie the theme all together. The savory smells of paneer, naan and chicken masala from Bombay Olive wafted as quickly into the room as guest arrived for the celebration.
“This is one of the biggest and most rewarding events for the Ihouse!” exclaimed Mona Deng ‘16, an IHouse E-Board member. The set up took around three hours prior to the event, with the help of members from other organizations. The opening event was a presentation given by Gaurav Inder ’15 on the historical importance of Diwali. He invited members of the audience to come on stage to say Diwali in their native tongue. But the most entertaining moment was when Abhilash Prasann ’16 shared a childhood memory of lilting a woman’s sari on fire “accidently.” Diwali is filled with all kinds of appropriate or inappropriate excitement, according to Prasann. Another E-Board member from the IHouse, Pratistha Shakya ‘15 shared an anecdote of her memories back home. She revealed that for her family, the holiday is spent cleaning intensively “places that haven’t been cleaned for a long time.” Whichever way people chose to celebrate Diwali, it is always filled with food, festivities, exchange of gifts and family bonding.
The event ended on a classic IHouse note: dancing to the tunes of Bollywood music. IHouse board members encouraged guests to get up and dance. A circle of students and faculty members formed, all dancing and improvising Indian dance moves. The event was a success based on the number of students who eagerly arrived. There was a great mixture of international and American students from all classes. Present among faculty members were Dean Alfred and Dean Reuman, who chatted with guest and enjoyed some of Bombay Olive’s delights.
Although our campus celebration ended, it does not necessarily mean your Diwali festivities has end too. The IHouse gave the Trinity College community a two-hour micro glimpse of what the typical holiday is like. We can continue to celebrate for another four days, honoring all the Hindu gods and devouring all Bombay Olive’s specialties and of course, dessert! The next biggest event for the cultural house is Chinese’s New Year, “We can’t wait to put on another great event for Trinity!” exclaimed Jahnavi Shah ’15. Until next time, be sure to attend IHouse’s weekly events and activities, promoting diversity and welcoming students from around the world!
Nicole Sinno ’17, Staff Writer
Recruiting season has arrived at Trinity, and while most of us are worrying about exams and papers, the Class of 2014 has already begun the lengthy process of job searching. Among the busy senior class is a group applying for Teach of America, a program that sends a diverse group of highly qualified college graduates to teach for two years in low-income communities.
Lydia Kay, Trinity graduate ‘13 and first year TFA teacher in New Orleans, applied to TFA so she could immediately start teaching while receiving continuous support and training. “I’ve always been passionate about working with children and thought I wanted to teach, but didn’t want to go straight to grad school”, said Kay. Described as the hardest two years of their lives, Teach for America requires all corps members to attend a rigorous pre-corps training institute before going into the field. Corps members are given access to extensive professional development and online resources during their two years to help them develop into strong classroom leaders. According to TFA, “We provide our 11,000 teachers with intensive training and support which begins with a 7-week training program during the summer and includes two years of 1:1 coaching, professional development, and frequently graduate-level coursework”. Corps members are included in teachers unions, affected by budget cuts, and work as true colleagues with the local teachers. “I don’t think I would get such a strong sense of community from most other teaching programs,” Kay said.
Teach for America (TFA) is a nonprofit organization that trains teachers for a two-year commitment in the country’s most underserved schools. Annual pay typically runs between $30,000 and $50,000. Not only does TFA give students a chance to give back to their country, but also provides them with many material attractions. According to the New York Times, “Teach for America has become an elite brand that will help build a résumé, whether or not the person stays in teaching. And in a bad economy, it’s a two-year job guarantee with a good paycheck; members earn a beginning teacher’s salary in the districts where they’re placed.”
Teach for America believes that transformational schools can exist in every neighborhood, and looks for individuals who show leadership potential, perseverance in the face of challenges, and ability to adapt to changing environments. “It is a pioneer in the field. [TFA] makes it easy to get involved and portray a great mission that is easy to get behind,” Josh Goldenburg ‘14 said.
TFA Intern and Campaign Coordinator Shanese Caton ’14, spreads the word about TFA through presentations, student organization, information sessions, and movie screenings. She stresses that TFA corp members are strong leaders who continue to work against educational inequity event after they move on from TFA. “The work never stops – everyone is working towards giving children access to the lives they want. And what they want is what every hardworking individual in this country wants – to achieve the American Dream without barriers,” Caton said.
Be it urban or rural, small towns and large, disparities in education exist throughout the country. Teach For America works with 48 regional offices spread across the country to assign corps members to high-need areas. Currently, high-priority regions include Las Vegas Valley, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Detroit, and Memphis.
“Rather than giving money or talking about how unfortunate it is that some students do not have the resources and opportunities to succeed, Teach For America gives graduating seniors the space to actually work with students to help them achieve success despite their circumstances,” Caton said.
Recruiting season has already begun with frequent visits to college campuses, and in the 2013-14 school year, more than 10,000 corps members will teach 750,000 students in 48 regions across the country. Admission to Teach For America is highly selective, with the acceptance rate over the past three years averaging below 15 percent. Alneada Biggers, Harvard Class of 2010, couldn’t believe how few of her classmates got accepted to TFA. “This wasn’t last minute, and they’d been student leaders and volunteered,” Biggers said. To be accepted by Teach for America, applicants must survive an extensive process, with thousands of cuts at each step. The process includes a lengthy online application, a phone interview, a presentation of a lesson plan, a personal interview, a written test, and a monitored group discussion with several other applicants. Lydia Kay, however, had a very positive experience with the application process. “After I applied, I heard less than a week later that I made it onto the final interview. It was a group of 12 of us and we were all very supportive of each other. Obviously it was stressful, but TFA did a great job of making the whole experience as positive as possible. They definitely make sure you’re really committed while applying,” Kay said.
Teach for America has also been faced with criticism and controversy on behalf of its training methods, specifically TFA’s approach to teacher preparation of five weeks’ training before placing recruits in front of students. Many think recruits aren’t ready for the challenge of teaching solo in a classroom for the first time with such little preparation for the real world.
Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota, the state’s largest teaching union, says that career teachers “value experience” whereas TFA “equates enthusiasm with experience”. TFA’s temporary nature of 2 years, to some, seems a “quick fix” for the larger problem of low teacher pay and low performing education programs.
As many American college graduates see teaching as a low-paying career with little stability, most students enrolled in four-year teaching programs have graduated in the bottom half of their class. Teach for America works to address this problem by providing a temporary solution and putting undergraduates from top schools into needed areas to provide top quality education.
In a perfect world, teaching would attract enough high quality students that TFA would no longer serve a purpose. However, until then, TFA is a positive force that helps improve education throughout the country and help low-income students live a better future.
BENJAMIN CHAIT ’16
On a recent trip to New York I happened to go for a walk along Fifth Avenue. Only a few blocks later I was standing in front of the world famous windows at Bergdorf Goodman. The windows are often considered to be some of the best installation art around—especially considering that they get completely redone about 20 times a year. Currently the windows are a retrospective of the red carpet gowns designed by Giorgio Armani for Armani Prive. Gowns worn by Camilla Belle, Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Chastain, and Zoe Saldana were only some of the dresses featured in the exhibition. The opportunity to study the cut, shape, and beadwork was certainly one to be taken, which was why I was saddened when I later thought about the collection of dresses chosen and who was wearing them.
The window displays got me thinking about size and color. Two of the dresses, Anne Hathaway’s gown for the 2009 academy awards and Zoe Saldana’s gown for the 2012 Cannes Film festival, were noticeably too small for the mannequins and only two dresses worn by non-white celebrities were featured. It was quite sad to think about the hundreds of thousands of eyes that will look into those windows and get a very limited idea of what is considered beautiful, especially considering that none of the high-profile custom gowns made for Adele were chosen to be presented.
Anyone who takes fashion seriously is an idiot. However the fashion industry has a very serious role in what is considered beautiful, sexy and attractive. And they have, for the most part, failed in reflecting the real world, but we as an American culture have also failed—for the most part—in not demanding better. Even seemingly positive steps forward are still halted by a certain standard of beauty. Though the number of non-white women on fashion magazine covers has heavily increased, most final images are victims to severe skin lightening during the retouching process (Gabourey Sidibe on the cover of Vogue; Aishwarya Rai on the cover of Elle India). Also, when most non size-two women are featured on covers, they’re cropped oddly or hidden under shapeless garments (Adele on the cover of Vogue; Melissa McCarthy on the cover of Elle). There are very few dark-skinned models and the whole idea of “plus-size” is ironically offensive. It is realistically impossible to have plus-size as there is no standard size of women to be bigger than. It’s tragic how scared our society has become about widening the vocabulary of beauty. It’s as hurtful to see this continuation by the fashion world, as it is to watch both men and women negatively tear women’s body shapes apart.
But not all hope is lost. There are still members of the fashion elite who are changing and expanding the notions of beauty. Alber Elbaz of Lanvin has spoken often and loudly about how he wants to see women of all ages and sizes wear his mostly un-corseted clothes. He ended his spring 2011 show with a group of five black models. Though it sounds minimal, it is quite a large statement compared to what is seen in the rest of the runway shows.
Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy uses one of the most diverse collections of models in his shows. His spring 2011 couture presentation featured only Asian models, who arguably have the hardest time breaking into the fashion world despite the large fashion markets in Asian. One of the most used models by Tisci is Lea T. A native of Brazil, Lea T. was physically born a male, and is the only prominent transgendered model in the industry. Kanye West is one of Riccardo Tisci’s best friends, thus his fiancée, Kim Kardashian, is one of Tisci’s muses. Though she doesn’t exemplify the ideal role model, seeing a confident and beautiful women who isn’t a size two, is refreshing and important for both the fashion and real world to see.
Of the Spring 2014 shows, no show was more epic or more important than Rick Owens’s Parisian spectacular. The American designer’s show wasn’t a typical fashion show, but rather a step-team dance performance. The women in the show were of all sizes, all ages and almost all black. The great clothes coupled with the dancing, the women, and the fun, was the most important message coming out of the fashion world so far in the twenty-first century. Not only because of the commentary on race and size in the fashion world, but also because the message of the show was all about strength and celebrating women.
After all, nothing is cooler than standing out. Think about Beth Ditto’s stunning nude cover of Love Magazine, Alek Wek, who’s gorgeous dark skin, shaved head, and wide bright smile have helped to make her her a favorite among the fashion world, or the lanky frame and large nose of actor Adrian Brody who walked in the Prada Menswear show in 2012. My goal this week is simply to point out how we as a fashion-consuming culture need to demand changes in the representation of beauty. I want people in this world and on this campus to expand their ideas of what is beautiful to each feel sexy and confident.
No one should ever be made to feel ashamed for who they are. Fashion is fun and it’s a way to express oneself. You should always feel comfortable and positive in the clothes you wear and the skin you’re in.
STEPHEN CHASE ’14
On Friday, November 4 The Mill, the student arts collective at Trinity College, hosted the first-ever “Monsters at the Mill” event. It included a Halloween concert and a haunted house.
The Mill is a diverse group of creative students committed to enhancing the social climate at Trinity College. As a group representing the myriad of social niches on campus, we actively seek new opportunities to promote themes of creativity, innovation and passion. The goal is to unify a vibrant and eclectic student body and improve social culture by fostering the student arts. As a venue, The Mill enables creative expression, artistic collaboration and innovative thought.
The event began at 6:00 PM with student DJ Connor Proctor ’14 performing on the back deck as students played candy pong and enjoyed food provided by Domino’s Pizza and Bombay Olive. Students flcoked to the house to enjoy good music, food, and the spooky Mill members dressed in their best Halloween attire. The seven-hour event included a haunted house and ended with a concert featuring the Micks.
Over the past two weeks leading up to the event, Mill members worked to convert the house, located at 79 Vernon, into a haunted house, blacking out windows and designing a spooky maze through eight different rooms on two floors of the house.
At 8:00 PM, Trinity students began filtering through the house as Mill members, dressed in their scariest outfits, scared those who dared enter the house by grabbing at their feet and jumping out of dark corners.
Makeup artist and Trinity student Briana Calcagno ’14 converted many Mill member’s faces into bloody and scarred zombies. Calcagno was able to achieve the realistic effect of blood by using chocolate syrup and red food dye. She used the fake blood to place scars and bloody gashes on the members’ faces. In addition, Calcagno dressed in similar attire and walked up and down Vernon Street scaring passersby, encouraging them to attend the spooky house. The Mill’s newly renovated recording studio was among the scariest rooms as blood covered zombies appeared from behind the glass.
At around 10:30 PM, as the final groups were filtering through the haunted house, the indoor concert featuring The Micks began. The Brooklyn based group describe themselves as “a bunch of friends from Brooklyn who like to hang and play music together.” The group of four friends released their EP titled “Brooklyn Bound” in March of 2013. Band member Ebban Maeda is a current student at Trinity College. For over two hours, the rock group of four friends performed to a large crowd, which filled the Mill’s venue space. Check out their music and more information about the band on their website www.themicks.bandcamp.com/.
The Mill co-presidents Louise Balsmeyer ’14 and Allison Cazalet ’14 were pleased with the success of the Mill’s largest event of the semester, stating they hope this becomes a new Halloween tradition at Trinity.
SOPHIE KATZMAN ’14
GEORGINA THERMOS ’14
The Food Dudes have recently been reminiscing on their days abroad in Barcelona. Their favorite part of the day was sitting in a café for hours in the afternoon, watching the passersby and enjoying their cappuccinos. Since they’ve been back at Trinity they’ve realized cafes or coffee shops are what’s missing in this city—or there are just not enough of them. They aren’t talking about Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks, no—they mean the real deal: lightly dimmed rooms with community styled tables, and of course, the comfy couches to nestle in with a good book.
For all of you out there who are looking for a cozy nook, other than the Underground, we have found just the place. Take a moment out of your day to escape to J. René. Located in West Hartford, it stands on Park Road, right across from Quaker Diner and A Little Something Bakery. J. René is a beautifully serene café. It is an intimate space, displaying their collection of coffee roasters, afterburners and profile roasters. This display shows their customers how fresh their coffee is. All of their coffee is made from these roasters and their smaller profile roaster is specifically meant to experiment with new flavors.
The interior design of the café is modernly sophisticated. With chic lighting structures dangling at different heights from the ceiling and rich mahogany floors, a calm vibe emanates from the room. The community styled counters and tables encourage socializing. Smaller tables with stainless steel-esque chairs are conducive to informal meetings or friendly get-togethers. The counter faces the front of the store and the window outside. Currently, there is a colorful view of the autumn leaves falling off the trees. Behind the counter, is a contemporary set-up. There are two black screens representing the menu in a typewriter block font. All of their coffee instruments are visible, making it an interactive experience for the customer.
J. René is named after the owner of the coffee shop, José René Martinez Onofre. Having a Puerto Rican background, coffee is a huge part of his culture. In opening this shop a little over a year ago, he has been able to bring the social aspect of a café to the Hartford community.
The menu is simple and classic. It is authentic without a doubt, offering the most original coffee for true coffee lovers. They have a few different house blends, lattes, cappuccinos, mochas, macchiatos and Italian sodas. They also offer a small variety of sweet treats, which vary day to day. These treats include: apple-walnut bread, biscottis, and even traditional French macaroons. Each of us ordered a cappuccino just like the old days in Barcelona. Sophie had hers with soymilk, while Georgina went with the standard option of regular milk. Both girls were satisfied with their warm beverage on a chilly fall day.
J. René is open Monday thru Thursday 7am-6pm, Friday 7am-9pm, Saturday 7am-6pm, and Sunday 7am-3pm. Come stop by and grab yourself a cup of coffee or bring your books for a quiet place to study. Customers also have the opportunity to purchase to-go bags of their many flavors of coffee beans brought from Brazil, Ethiopia, Mexico, and Guatemala to name a few. Especially in the coming winter months, J. René can be the perfect place for your daily coffee buzz.
ANA MEDINA ’16
It’s common to hear people say, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” However it rarely sinks in, not until you realize you have done exactly the opposite of what you’ve been told. Without intending to, many have fallen into this trap and made judgments based on someone’s appearance. However, these judgments may take away the opportunity of meeting someone completely extraordinary. Take Kevin Martin ’17 for example. His strong build would tell you that he probably plays a sport, which he does- football. Looking at his kind face, you can tell that there is something more beneath the surface. At the young age of 23, Martin served as a proud member of the United States Army and earned a Purple Heart.
Born in Madison, Connecticut, Martin did not always plan to be a part of the Army. He mentions, “at the end of my senior year [in high school] I read books about wars. I wasn’t doing much and it made me think that there was an opportunity, and going out there was something my generation was called upon to do. It’s once in a lifetime.”
Despite the difficulties faced while at war, Martin has no regrets. He remembers leaving for Afghanistan six days after Bin Laden was killed and returned April 6. Life on the battlefield had a great impact on Martin. He recalls his most impactful moment in combat as, “it had to be the first time [I was shot at] because it was something I had never felt. You will never have an adrenaline rush that can compare to it so, after that you knew what to expect.” In that moment he explains that, “you never know what you were going to feel, [getting injured] happened very quickly to me.”
In order to be awarded or considered for a Purple Heart, one must be “part of the armed forces of the United States [and] be wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy.” Martin’s road to earning this honor was not an easy one. He explains, “I got hit by a roadside bomb…I was knocked out and had superficial cuts and injuries. My left ear [was injured].” He states, “I just remember waking up and seeing my legs and arms. It was the most relieving moment in my entire life and it was also the happiest moment. I wasn’t sad, I was very happy.” After going through such an experience, Martin says he now feels invincible, and surviving such an injury made him feel fearless. He states, “I believed that at 20 I was untouchable [and I still do] until proven otherwise.”
Martin also had an immense amount of support from his family and friends. “I have never met more generous people than my family and friends back home. It made [everything] worth it. I used to get packages every other day after getting hurt,” he describes.
After receiving his injury, Martin mentions that he did not consider submitting forms for a Purple Heart. He says, “I didn’t think much of it until I was talking to a command major and he talked to me…very powerful[ly and said, ‘Do you know these will be passed down your family?’ That’s when it actually hit me,” he says. Upon hearing this, Martin decided to go through with applying. It was a long process, particularly with endless doctor reviews. However on Christmas Eve, Martin was greeted with an extraordinary gift—a Purple Heart award.
Now at Trinity, Martin says, “ I’m just really happy to be a college kid and that’s all I really want to be. Just want to be here getting good grades and being happy.” Though only a sophomore, his favorite parts of Trinity already are football and the academics, which both provide many opportunities for him to succeed. While he has no set plans for his future, aside from enjoying life, he is considering a major in American Studies.
To people considering joining the armed forces, he advises, “you better really want to do it, it’s a binding contract. You can’t flunk out or drop out [and] it’ll be the biggest commitment of your life. Be sure it’s what you want.” Despite his cautionary words, he encourages people to go after what they really want. Having this positive attitude, regardless of his difficult experiences, Martin shows us that when you have a dream, it’s never too late to start. “Although experiences are difficult…in life if there’s anything you want and you really want it just go do it. Don’t give it a half thought, just do it and good things will happen,” he says.
BERNAT IVANCSICS ’14
The Allan K. Smith Writing Center hosted its most recent talk with author Mira Bartok on Thursday, October 2,. The reading, held in the Smith House Reese Room, featured Bartok’s latest book, ‘The Memory’ Palace, a New York Times bestselling title and winner of the National Book Critics Circle award, published in 2011.
Bartok’ describes ‘The Memory Palace’ as a literary memoir. It is not merely a journey through memories and time since the narrative contains a bulging force and effort to withdraw any image that can be redeemed from a disintegrating gallery of memories. Bartok is in the process of building a gallery, an idea based on a 16th-century Jesuit monk’s concept to tie flashes of memories to images and images to rooms in an elaborate edifice. In a sense, time and space are combined in a way that they are able to complement each other. The past is seemingly leashed to forever-present snapshots, which can now be arranged on a mental map for recollection. But Bartok’s prose is aware of the essential flaw entailed by the idea of the solidification time. She gives the title “Order of Things” to the first part of her novel, referencing 20th century French philosopher and social scientist Michel Foucault’s groundbreaking book of essays with the same title. Similar to Foucault’s model of human perception, which he employs on a global scale in his book, Bartok’s model applied to private remembrance playfully reconstructs the shifting “filters” with which memory treats a specific section of time. Memory’s focus shifts overtime, and memories overlap. Bartok is aware that although a potential gallery can be constructed on a vast sample of memory images, this gallery will most probably resemble a haunted palace with its invisibly shifting walls and corridors.
Can memories be collected then? And who is remembering these memories? As opposed to traditional memoirs, Bartok’s protagonist is not herself or herself a literary persona, but her schizophrenic mother, a constantly receding and eventually, reemerging figure. It is Bartok’s persona, who recounts her mother’s story, but in many cases her role in administering the mentally ill women seems marginal. It is her mother who frames much of the memory-images contained within the Memory Palace. Her underlying presence is showcased even in the very first sentences of the novel: “Even now, when the phone rings late at night, I think it’s her. I stumble out of bed, ready for the worst.” Bartok’s struggle to come to terms with her mother and her deteriorating relationship with her husband intertwines with Bartok’s very own battle against partial amnesia. In a comment during her reading, she recounts how following a car accident and while writing “The Memory Palace” she organized her thoughts and memories by building shelves and slots for her drafts. In a way Bartok had already enacted the Memory Palace before her own Memory Palace was written.
Many of the scenes in “The Memory Palace” take place in northern Norway, a region only a couple of degrees below the North Pole where during the summer the sun rests for a mere 3-4 hours and during the winter rises for the same short interval. Although Bartok and her husband eventually leave Norway and head back to Cleveland, Bartok’s fascination with the North Pole and early 20th century exploration narratives, such as Amundsen’s, dates back to her childhood. At this point in her reading, Bartok introduces a recurrent project of hers, which consists of short stories that rewrite famous or historical figures’ life or legacy from an alternative perspective. Sticking to the theme of polar explorations, Bartok reads the tale of an early explorer, Sir John Franklin, and his British crew that set out to find the North Pole but arrived seriously unprepared. In her comical sketch, Bartok enumerates the ridiculous gadgets, such as silver teaspoons, that the explorers carried along while not having proper coats or boots. Eventually the crew was lost, and at this point the focus of the narrative shifts to the mourning wives, who were left at home. Losing their burden of gender roles, the wives finally gain freedom.
Addressing her last major interest, astronautics, Bartok presents another sketch of a famous historical character. However, this time it is not a person, but a dog, the space dog Laika, who was one of the first animals in space on a Sputnik 2, and who died on November 3, 1957, while in geocentric orbit. Bartok’s tale introduces another Laika, bbased on the previous Laika who returns to Earth a hundred years later. In a small town she stands beside the road but does not respond to visitors. One day, a young man approaches her, humbly and lovingly, and Laika emits her first bark in a century. This iconic instance of barking refers to the dog’s own name, which in Russian means “barker”. Laika was muted by various globally scaled enterprises: the space race, Soviet political negotiations and so forth. Bartok’s short story conveys the alternative ending of an otherwise tragic story, in which a simple mongrel dog was encapsulated in humanity’s memory without letting her give a voice to her presence there.
The Allan K. Smith reading series will continue next month on November 6 with guest lecturer Andre Dubus III.
POOJA SAVANSUKHA ’15
This past weekend, our campus community had the chance to watch the Trinity College Music Department’s adaptation of the muscial, “Into the Woods.” Not only were all the five performances well attended, but they were also very well received. The Austin Arts Center’s Garmany hall provided an intimate setting for the audiences to be enticed by the fairy-tale atmosphere invoked by the performance.
“Into the Woods” is a musical originally written by James Lamine, with music and lyrics by Stephen Soundheim. It has been performed on Broadway and at other significant theatres, and has also won several awards. With that said, it was a great oppurtunity for members of our college community to participate in its adaptation, as performers or spectators.
“Into the Woods” is an adventurous story that interweaves the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales, with a new twist. In the production, the plot is set in a child’s bedroom, with her mother reading her a bedtime story that comes to life, thus morphing the room into the woods. The main characters are taken from “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “Rapunzel,” and “Cinderella,” as well as several others and given the familiarity of most audiences with these characters, the story becomes all the more moving. The characters from the fairy tales are tied together by the main plot that depicts a baker and his wife who learn that they have been cursed with childlessness by the witch next door. They consequently embark on a search for the special objects needed to redeem themselves from the curse by lying to and stealing from Cinderella, Little Red Ridinghood, Rapunzel, and Jack. While, everyone’s wish is granted at the end of Act One and a happy ending is achieved, the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later, in the second act. This portion of the story is narrated as the nightmare of the young girl. In this nightmare, she sees a Giant stepping on some of the beloved characters. Eventually, the remaining characters slay the Giant, and each of the previously killed characters returns to illustrate the lesson they learned from their bad choices. The survivors plan to rebuild their lives together, and the Baker’s wife returns as a spirit to give her husband one final lesson to “Tell their child the story of the Woods; actions have consequences — even for future generations.” As the baker begins to tell the story the witch appears, with the final moral, warning him to be careful what he passes on to the children At the very end, the cast came together for a last reprise of the title song, concluding that we all must venture Into the Woods , but never to forget the past.
The story was very well directed by musical director Professor Gerald Moshell, and Stage director, senior Erik Bloomquist. While the audience remained mesmerized by the performance given its story line, and the lyrics and the instrumental performances played a major role in engaging the audience. Bloomquist did an excellent job, reflected by the effectiveness of the stage directions in depicting humor in the performance, and in drawing out the audiences’ fascination given the number of disappearing acts.
The cast consisted of Paloma Irizarry, Kathryn Durkin, Malcom Moon, Brandon Serafino, Marisa Tornello, Rae Rossetti, Jackie Pennell, Tina Lipson, Maggie Munoz, Ann Satine, Jamie Brandel, Sarah Wallingford, Luke Hickox, Mac McCarthy, Nicole Sagullo, Ebban Maeda, and John Stiller. They each played their roles extremely well, and stood out individually not only for being good singers, but also excellent actors. Their level of coordination throughout the performance also reflected a great deal of skill.
While every scene in the musical was extremely memorable. some of the most noteworthy scenes that induced the most laughter and fascination were those involving McCarthys’ portrayal of the wolf from Red Riding hood, as well as the scenes involving interactions between the two princes from Cinderella and Rapunzel (portrayed by Mac McCarthy ‘14 and Luke Hickox’ 14) Moons’ portrayal of the naive Jack, (from Jack and the Beanstalk) Durkin’s potryal of Cinderella, Serafino and Tornellos’ adorable depiction of the baker and the bakers wife were also extremely captivating to the audience.
Perhaps the only complaint that most people seemed to have was the length of the show, but the quality of performance compensated for this. The performance provide an ideal mental break for students at the end of the stressful midterms week, and facilitated an always welcome revisit to childhood stories and fantasies for the audience.
Pooja Savansukha ’15
Last week, the Thursday Common Hour and Faculty Research Committee Lecture Series presented a talk, “The Lives of Photographs: Puerto Rico 1980 and Beyond” by Fine Arts Professor Pablo Delano. The talk explained the context under which Professor Delano’s father, and prominent photographer Jack Delano’s photographs, documented social conditions in Puerto Rico in 1942, assumed new meanings in 1980. The lecture also addressed the idea of a re-photography project and digitization.
Professor Pablo Delano’s parents, Jack and Irene Delano were extremely prominent photographers, particularly in Puerto Rico. Jack Delano’s photographs are particularly interesting in the way that they are specific to the people of Puerto Rico. In the 1940’s. He worked on a project where he captured a breadth of photographs representing the lives of Puerto Ricans, as a Farm Security Administration photographer.Working on this project acquainted him with Puerto Rico, and also made him fall in love with the place and its people.
Delano’s archive of Puerto Rican images was furthered by a series he did in the 1980s when he revisited some of the same places and people that he had originally encountered in the 1940s. He continued to photograph people until the 1980s’ and kept working until he passed away in 1997. Professor Delano revealed that it was interesting to compare the change in the depictions of the photographs from the 1940’s and the 1980’s. Puerto Rico through Jack Delano’s lens appeared to have evolved into a completely different place than it used to be in the 1940’s. The photographs revealed a shift in purchasing patterns (evidence of supermarkets and small malls), employment patterns (newly created jobs), industrialization (factory workers) as well as a shift from horses to vehicles. While an overall development was evident, there was also evidence of drug abuse, crime, and poverty. Given Delano’s primary interest in people, it was significant to note that even though the photographs depicted a changed Puerto Rico, the primary values of Puerto Rican society such as generosity, humility, and love of the neighbor seemed to have been maintained. The preservation of these valueskept him and his wife on the island until their death.
Additionally, Professor Delano also provided an example where, among the images in his fathers exhibition after the revisit that was eventually published in “Puerto Rico Mio,” there was one of a funeral, which depicted a man walking down the street carrying an infant’s coffin on his shoulder, with a few people behind him. A visitor at the show thanked Delano in the guest book, because the photograph allowed him to witness his sisters funeral as she had passed away before he was born. This was indicative of the emotional connection the people developed with Delanos’ photograhs.
Professor Delano plans to edit his fathers’ photographs and produce a book, as he has received a grant allowing him to travel and bring back images that his father had captured in Puerto Rico.
Professor Delano admitted in his talk that although he is first and foremost a photographer, he doesn’t plan on doing a photography project continuing his father’s legacy in Puerto Rico for a number of reasons. He believes that his fathers’ work must stand on its own and should not be viewed through a different perspective than his own. Addtionally, unlike his father, he does not live in Puerto Rico. This means that his perspective becomes that of an outsiders which is by default different than his fathers’ perspective. That being said, Professor Delano also announced that he currently working on a project in the Caribbean and he is writing about Trinidad, which is an idea that has been born out of his Puerto Rican experience.
Finally, arriving back at the concept of “The Lives of photographs,” Professor Delano explained that he had the opportunity to meet with people, or families of the people that his father had photographed in Puerto Rico. This was an extremely meaningful experience as it provided a way to track the way the lives of specific people and their generations had changed since they were photographed. It was an emotional experience for not just Professor Delano but also for the families as they were able to gain access to the images of people that they my have not had the chance to meet. This gave Professor Delano a clearer picture of the way that photographs had impacts on the lives of people. The fact that Delano’s muses were traceable has more recently also resulted in the Center for Railway Photography and Art in Chicago to plan an exhibit showing his photographs along with new photographs depicting the current lives of the same muses, and their families.
Speaking of the contemporary state of the photographs and responses to them, Professor Delano narrated an incident where his father was approached by an artist who wanted to enlarge his photographs , work on them them and then display them in a gallery. Jack Delano was against this because his photographs were taken for the sake of the people(to help them) rather than for the sake of earning a profit. Despite this the artist went ahead with undertaking his proposed project, and today there are several copies and versions of Delanos’ photographs that are commodified, thus taking away from the very purpose of their portrayal.
Towards the end of the talk, to return to a “happier note,” as Professor Delano claimed, he reiterated the folk uses of his fathers’ images. The photographs served the purpose of documenting lives and lifestyles to eventually facilitate a way to help these people.
The lecture was very well attended, and the audience consisiting of students and faculty were engaged and intrigued by the extent to which photography can impact society. Delano is respected as a societal figure in Puerto Rico, for his work. If there were one thing that the audience may have taken away from the talk, it would be that art is not always for art sake; as exemplified by Delano’s work, it is capable of making a real difference in peoples’ lives.
Pooja Savansukha ’15
Last weekend on November 1 and 2, the Aetna Theater in the Wadsworth Athenaeum presented “The Witching Hour,” by the Ensemble of the Judy Dworin Performance Project. The performance combined dance, theater and sign language to portray the unfair trial of a woman from Connecticut who was accused of witchcraft in the 17th century.
“The Witching Hour” is an award-winning, ongoing dance and theater project that addresses witch trials through the unspoken stories of women who were accused, and eventually convicted as “witches.” The project also comments on the dangers of discriminations. “The Witching Hour” eloquently explores the results of differences becoming problematic, as well as the clash between cultural beliefs and puritanical hierarchies. The performance incorporated the use of puppets, an interesting set and costumes that transferred the audience into a different time period. The visual imagery on stage complemented the excellent performance that included music, dance and text.
While the performance depicted an appropriate subject to portray around Halloween, the fact that it was based on a true story made it all the more jarring. The protagonist in the piece, Katherine Harris is a 17th century landowner in Wethersfield, Connecticut. While she was not really a witch, she was accused of wichcraft. She was originally brought to Wethersfield as a servant, but having inherited a piece of land, she gained wealth and power, which became the cause of her downfall as people believed that she had risen above the status considered appropriate for her, as a former servant, and also as a woman. She became a victim of a false accusation, simply because of the envy and hatred that people felt towards her. Her neighbors disliked her and they collaboratively and repeatedly testified against her in a case that accused her of witchcraft, until she was ultimately convicted. She became the first “witch” to be sentenced in America. Harrisons’ trial also caused a stir because it was discovered that she was actually innocent. This resulted in a push for the reform in the ways that witchcraft cases should be handled.
“The Witching Hour” uses performance to engage the audience into a subject that directly focusses on witch trials but in doing so, also comments on the broader issues that surround it. Close-mindedness, discrimination and irrational and unfair values still surface in contemporary society in various forms, and these aspects of the witch trial suggest the universality of subject. The witch-trial becomes symbolic of the misdemeanors in our own society. “The Witching Hour,” can be described as a story about the targeting of certain people whom society ostracize because of their beliefs.
In the performance, movements were used to not only depict actions but to indicate status and hierarchies that reflected the time and place being depicted. The story was weaved together lyrically, but one of the most interesting aspects of the performance was the use of sign language. The narrator performed sign, which effectively made the performance accessible to a wider audience. Recognizing the significance of the subject matter, and the principle being depicted the ensemble did a great job in making an impact on the audience.
Most people associate witch trials in America with those in Salem, but few people know that Americas’ first “witch” was hanged in Connecticut. The performance that is part of an ongoing project stemsfrom thorough research of witchcraft in Europe, America and more specifically Connecticut. Dworin, the artistic director of the performance explained that one of her primary reasons of depicting the witch trials in Hartford is because they were a precursor to the Salem Witch trial, and are often unheard of. The performance appeared even more powerful, given that the audience could relate more to an event that has taken place in Hartford and the greater Hartford area.
While the performance was enjoyed by all members of the audience, what made it all the more inspiring for students was the fact that Judy Dworin, the artistic director as well as Lesley Farlow who played the role of the protagonist are both Theater and Dance professors at Trinity. It was great to see them exemplify the ways in which art can be used to make social statements, an idea that Professor Dworin is committed to.
Campbell North ’17
Sitting under the fluorescent lights of the Art Studio, Jason Symonette ’14 looked very natural in his home away from home where he spends “10 to 12 hours a week.” Looking down at one of his currently in-progress pieces, Symonette recalled his foray into the artistic world.
“For my whole life I’ve sort of been doing art,” states Symonette about his primordial roots in his current passion. When he was younger, his two older brothers and he always used to “mess around with stuff” and “created with whatever was around” in his hometown of Philadelphia.
Symonettes’ high school was rooted in the Quaker tradition, which played a large role in his life. His curriculum was very artistically focused, causing Symonette to branch out as a result of which he was originally not planning on incorporating art into his college experience.
His initial plan was to major in the social sciences and play soccer for Trinity, which he did for three years. However, a series of unfortunate, but ultimately prolific events, changed the direction of his path. After his mother passed away from cancer in 2009 and he battled with depression, “All [Symonette] felt like [he] had left were [his] hands.” His natural efficacy in art and his success in studio classes at Trinity pushed this feeling forward and helped him realize what he wanted to discover through his art. “After all I had gone through,” says Symonette, “I wanted to investigate my head and try to understand my reality.”
In his work there is an underlying notion of transcendence, the idea that societal institutions can corrupt the purity of a person and that human’s are best when they are independent, and defining reality on their own terms. For example, in your parent’s reality you’re a child, and in your cousins reality you are a cousin but in your reality you are just you. His personal journey exemplified these ideas and has been a main source of inspiration.
These concepts are at the crux of Symonettes’ artistic message. He attempts to understand himself by understanding the world around him in terms of composition, color, materials, and subconscious imagery. “I’m always riffing off different artists and ideas while trying to investigate my own potential” says Symonette about his insatiable curiosity and desire to constantly draw from different areas of society, like music and history. “I want people to understand that realities are completely individual but we share society,” Symonette concluded.
The transformative nature of art has also been a keystone for Symonettes’ progression as an artist. For him, a piece can never be completely finished because it can be used as a jumping off point and inspiration for others. Art acts a mechanism to express an individual’s train of thought or stream of consciousness. Nothing in the world is ever truly static, and therefore art should not be either.
In Symonttes’ eyes art has always been “a metaphor for a metaphor.” In a lot of his pieces he arranges inanimate objects in a certain way to try to establish a mood and let the audience see what he sees. “Even if they do not sense the mood I attempted to create, the object itself is still going to be transformed and hold new meaning.”
One of his ‘dream’ projects that would encapsulate this idea would be to create a documentary that centered on his old job, which was to drive around and pick up boxes around Philadelphia for the archive center at the University of Pennsylvania.
He found it to be particularly interesting because essentially, he was following these inanimate objects, on their journey around Philadelphia. The drivers that traveled this route were also very diverse so it would be interesting to talk with them about how they all ended up at this job, because “it’s kind of crazy how all the possible different combinations of life paths and circumstances can ultimately share a kind of common ground.” Additionally, he felt that Philadelphia itself was very unique because it has such an eclectic mix of people and neighborhoods in very close proximity to each other that in just one day you can see a very wide range of perspectives on life.
Symonette has observed this theme in other aspects of life as well. He believes that “we need to be aware of the other, because sometimes it’s not as different as we think.” Symonette has personally experienced this in terms of his friends. “I am friends with such a diverse group of people who think they would normally never get along, but I kind of am a common denominator between them,” he says. “We need to see that other people may have different realities and perspectives, we need to be less afraid and confused by things we don’t know or understand,” he advocated.
One way Symonette wants to affect this change is by following in the footsteps of his mother and becoming a teacher. He wants to affect a change in the youth through art, specifically in the way art has the ability to draw from many different aspects of life. For example “you can teach literature, you can teach history, science, political science, sports all through art. By gaining perspective Symonette feels we all can better our place in life.
Symonette is currently focusing on the near future and his senior thesis, will focus on this idea of color, Dadaism and the New York School art movement. It will include a little bit of abstract expressionism, pop art, some contemporary comics, anime, and post impressionistic techniques. For the show he, “is really looking at the past eras in art by applying [his] own perception and incorporating [his] own world and to try to show through visual mediums the common ground we all walk on as individuals.“
So get ready for what is sure to be a very eye-opening and perspective-changing show that will be open in the late spring.
Ryan Miller ’17, Contributing Writer
Last Thursday, October 24, Trinity College hosted its annual Sustainability Day here on campus in an effort to raise awareness of sustainability. The college called on students and faculty alike to meet our present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs through efficient usage of resources.
Several projects were on display in Mather Hall, including one about water bottle fillers that could potentially be installed on campus, and another regarding future composting in Mather. Green Campus, a student organization with the aimed at promoting sustainability practices around campus, was at a table collecting signatures in support of projects that are viable for Trinity to implement in the next few months, if sufficient funding and oversight are available.
One proposed project calls for the installation of Elkay hydration stations in common spaces around campus. Water bottle fillers would encourage usage of reusable water bottles, provide convenient hydration, reduce our dependency on plastic water bottles, provide a rapid fill water to quench thirst, and help minimize disposable plastic bottle waste in the environment. The hydrations stations would be placed in Mather Hall, Vernon Social Center, and the Athletic Center as well as gooseneck fillers on other existing water fountains.
Another project sets in place a composting system of the food waste from Mather Dining Hall by taking waste to one of the commercial composters in the state. Composting is a great way to recycle biodegradable items including coffee grounds, tea bags, stale cereal, wet paper towels and expired herbs and spices that would otherwise end up in the garbage.
Facilities, the event host, put together several posters for the event outlining existing campus practices towards sustainability, like electronics recycling and Bantam Blitz, the competition between residential buildings to see who can save the most electricity. This year’s Bantam Blitz will run from November 4th through the17th among most residence halls.
Also on display were the results from a waste audit program, “Fresh Perspectives”, taken from two freshman dorms and one upperclassman dorm. The trash and recycling from the second floors of Funston and Jackson were combined to represent the freshmen, while two hallways in Cook were observed to represent the upper classmen.
Although half of the 16 pounds of trash thrown out by the freshman could have been recycled, the freshman recycling rates of 33 percent still doubled that of the upperclassmen. The upperclassman wasted food, neglected to recycle empty bottles, and had a much higher portion of trash that contaminated the recycling bin. Thus, their recycling rate was a mere 17 percent, closer to Trinity’s average yearly rate of 13 percent.
“Fresh Perspectives” is part of a yearlong student-run project in collaboration with Green Campus to promote recycling among the freshmen, and begin to change the campus culture surrounding recycling. Priyanka Menezes, Class of 2014, and Kira Sargent, Campus Environmental Health and Safety manage the program. The program follows a $1,000 mini-grant that was awarded by the Colleges of the Fenway and the New England Campus Sustainability Forum.
Previous activities related to the grant money included a sustainability survey at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, two events involving handing out recycling bins in first-year residence halls, and the Trashion Fashion Show contest at the Fred last Friday. The latter event was a competition encouraging people to use recyclables to make clothes or sculptures. Events such as this raise awareness to sustainability and offer an exciting new lens to recycling.
Existing school policy dedicated to sustainability on campus includes providing transportation alternatives to the use of personal vehicles and promoting of the use of renewable, reusable, recyclable, and recycled materials. Trinity also follows single-stream recycling. Single-stream recycling allows for students to dispose of all recyclables into one bin without having to separate and sort recyclables.
When papers, plastics, metals, and other containers all go into one bin to be processed together, it reduces the work for both recyclers and collectors. More materials bypass the landfill and the collection process becomes more efficient, since recycling trucks only need one compartment for the mixed materials and the collection can be automated. Single stream recycling also allows for a broader range of materials, since the update in the recycling process allows for an expansion in its capabilities. The overall increase in recycled materials; single-stream recycling makes it easier to do the right thing.
Trinity College’s mission statement identifies the community as “committed to enhancing environmental awareness, responsibility, and sustainability throughout the College community.” Through increased environmental sustainability policy Trinity sets an example and enhances its role as a leader in liberal arts education within the greater community. As leaders of innovation in our society, Trinity has the potential to demonstrate sustainable principles in campus operations and endowment policies.
Maggie Elias ’17, Staff Writer
On October 18th, a sunny, but chilly afternoon, President James Jones, Board of Trustees chairman Paul Raether, and the president of the class of 2014, Brittany Viola gathered behind the Fuller Arch on the Long Walk to speak at the Trinity College Wall of Honor Induction Ceremony.
The Wall of Honor recognizes Trinity College’s most generous and significant philanthropists. Started in 2000, there will now be 123 names engrained on the walls beneath the Fuller Arch, dating back to 1823, with eight additions this year. This wall was created to honor those members of our community who have had the largest impact on Trinity and its students through their generosity. These donors have shaped and transformed our campus and community through establishing scholarships, endowing professorships, founding remarkable programs, and in many other ways. The generosity of these members has not only benefitted Trinity’s students and faculty but also families and friends, the local Hartford community, and colleagues all over the world.
This year’s ceremony was particularly special because for both President Jones and Chairman Raether it would be the final Wall of Honor induction at which they would preside, since both are set to retire this spring. President Jones reflected on the past and the future, speaking about the inductee’s histories and the excitement about what lies ahead for Trinity as a result of these donations. He spoke fondly about his time at Trinity and remarked on the new perspectives and ideas that are to come with the new president. Chairman Raether, who has been serving the Trinity College Board of Trustees since 1988 and was elected chair in 2002, spoke fondly of all of the inductees. He spoke of how each and every member has set an exceptional example of what it is to be a leader. In addition, they have set a standard that should aspire alumni, parents, and students alike to have an impact like these members have done.
Senior Class President Brittany Viola ’14 was asked to speak at the Wall of Honor Induction ceremony and the organizers were extremely grateful to her for filling in for SGA President Ambar Paulino who had a last-minute scheduling conflict. Brittany reflected fondly of her past four years and the many experiences here at this beloved college. She spoke beautifully about the quality of professors, enduring friendships, and intimate community, all of which are unique to Trinity. In addition, she spoke of how the education at Trinity provides a foundation for each student’s future success. Both members of the Wall of Honor and current students have developed skills of creativity, critical thinking, and effective communication and collaboration here at Trinity. She thanked the philanthropists greatly and credited Trinity’s reputation as a leading liberal arts college to their efforts and hard work. When reflecting on the ceremony, Brittany said, “The Wall of Honor Ceremony was a wonderful celebration of the most generous philanthropists in the college’s history. It was a great experience to have the opportunity to meet Trinity alumni and their families who have so profoundly impacted our time at Trinity.”
This year’s inductees were Leslie Warner-Maloney and Kevin J. Maloney ’79, the Marie and John Zimmermann Fund, Jennifer B. and Jeffrey E. Kelter ’76, Heidi M. Greene ’78 and Michael J. Kluger ’78, P’13, David F. and Karen Kelsey Thomas ’78, P’13, Richard E. and Corneila Parsons Thornburgh ’80, Weezie and John S. Gates, Jr. ’76, P’13, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the family of the late Dorothy “Becky” Beckemeyer and Evald L. Skau, Class of 1919. These members have funded many different areas of Trinity, including the Jones-Zimmermann Academic Mentoring program at the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy, the theme houses on Vernon Street and Allen Place, specifically the Mill, I-House, TREEHouse, and House of Peace, the Maloney Family Professorship in Economics, which supports Professor Mark Setterfield, and the Kelter Family Scholarship, which provides financial aid for students from Western Long Island. In addition, these members’ donations have contributed to recent renovations such as the Gates Quad and Vernon Social. At the ceremony, the inductees who could attend were recognized and received a token of appreciation.
These are only a few examples of the generosity of all of the members of the Wall of Honor. Each of these members set an incredible example of alumni who are truly fond of their alma mater and wish to see it grow to its fullest potential. Their hard work, dedication, and loyalty to Trinity College and our community is greatly appreciated and much gratitude is owed to them.
Elizabeth Valenzuela ’17, Contributing Writer
As part of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Hillel, Trinity’s Jewish organization, had its 8th Annual Pink Shabbat on Friday, October 25. This program is a traditional Shabbat service that places an emphasis on breast cancer awareness. Pink Shabbat was begun eight years by Trinity student Molly Goodman. Since then, it has become a Hillel tradition that brings many students together for a special dinner.
Lisa Kassow, director of Hillel, shares how this event has become more and more meaningful to her as the years have passed. She is deeply gratified to see the amount of students who come together for a cause. This program is especially important to her because her mother is a breast cancer survivor and she is a breast cancer survivor. Lisa thinks that it is wonderful that Trinity students want to participate in Shabbat, “a particularly Jewish experience.” She also applauds the Hillel students who invited their peers to share this experience with them.
Pink Shabbat was held in Hamlin Hall, which was beautifully decorated in pink. Bright pink t-shirts were sold at the door, with all proceeds going to Sharsheret, a national organization of Jewish breast cancer survivors. About one hundred and fifty students attended the event. Sophie Katzman, co-president of Hillel and chair of Pink Shabbat, welcomed everyone. She shared how breast cancer affects Jewish women in particular. The rate of Ashkenazi Jewish women, or those of Eastern European descent, who are diagnosed with breast cancer is ten times higher than the rate of the national population. This is a frightening reality to Jewish women, which is why breast cancer research is so important.
According to Sophie, the purpose of Pink Shabbat was to engage Trinity students in this important cause. Engagement in issues is part of the Jewish principle Tikkun Olam, which means “healing the world.” It is a tradition deep within Judaism that calls Jewish people to serve others and pursue social justice. After welcoming students, Sophie introduced the Quirks, who sang a beautiful interpretation of “Never Let You Go” by Jakaranda.
First-year student Zach Bitan led the candle lighting ritual. Participants followed along in Hebrew. The blessings on the grape juice and challah followed. Pink ribbon-shaped challah were prepared by Kappa Kappa Gamma sisters. Each person touched the challah or touched a person touching the challah for this blessing.
Sophomore David Linden led the Dvar Torah, or “words of the Torah.” He began by asking for those who have been affected by breast cancer to raise their hands. Surprisingly, almost every hand went up. He shared a personal story about how breast cancer affected his family in 2010. He urged everyone to enjoy life, because it is fleeting.
Breast cancer survivor Rachel Marcus spoke next. She shared her own experience with breast cancer, a disease she was diagnosed with after “fifty years of believing that life was grand.” Although her doctors told her that the lump on her breast was not cancerous, she persisted and her diagnosis was eventually confirmed. According to Rachel, the support of her friends and family throughout her diagnosis and chemotherapy motivated her and gave her strength. Fortunately, she is now cancer-free. She urged all women in the crowd to have regular mammograms and trust their instincts. Lisa Kassow believes that her positive attitude is extraordinary and that she is a woman who sparkles with life, energy and gratitude.
Pink Shabbat participants made a chain of the names of the people they know who have been victims of breast cancer. According to Lisa Kassow, “This chain is meant to be an extending community of people we care about.” Dinner and dessert were served shortly after. In keeping with the theme, the cupcakes were, of course, pink.
Sheila Njau ’17, Contributing Writer
According to the Center for Disease Control between 1976 and 2007, the number of deaths from influenza has risen from 3,000 to roughly 49,000. While it is not necessarily considered as one of the top killers of Americans, the flu still poses a serious risk and there is the additional risk caused by the fact that the type of flu can change from one season to another. Each year from around May to October, it is thought to be the seasonal flu season and one of the best methods of prevention is getting a seasonal flu vaccine, not only for you, but also to stop it from spreading to other people.
The flu is triggered by the influenza virus and can be given to other people through coughing, sneezing, and also through contact with a sick person. Despite the fact that children and older people are the ones most at risk of contracting the flu, it still does not mean that other age groups remain safe. The flu can present itself with symptoms such as a fever, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, coughing, a runny nose, and headaches. The flu vaccine helps protect against four types of viruses including influenza A (H1N1), influenza A (H3N2), and two kinds of influenza B virus. Also, even though the flu vaccine takes up to two weeks to take effect, it can serve as a preventative measure for several months up to a year.
Also, there is the question of whether the flu vaccine can give you the flu, which has been a concern for some and in some instances has acted as a deterrent to getting the vaccine. The response remains to be that you cannot get the flu from the vaccine, but there have been side effects tied to the flu vaccine as well as the nasal spray, which is given to some in lieu of getting the shot. While the flu vaccine does not give people the flu, there are people with certain conditions who are advised against getting the shot. For instance, people who have severe allergies particularly concerning eggs and people who have ever suffered from Guillain-Barrè syndrome. Also, some side effects include soreness, redness, or itching on the place where the shot was received, hoarseness, sore or red eyes, a headache, fatigue, fever, and coughing. Keep in mind, however, that most of the people who receive flu shots do not have any serious symptoms after the fact. In addition, one has to consider the fact that the flu shot does not guarantee that you will not get the flu, but with the shot, there is a better chance of avoiding this disease.
Trinity College has about 2,254 students on its campus, but according to the Director of Health Services, Martha O’Brien, only “about 400 get shots from us each year”. And while, many people have to pay a certain fee in order to receive the flu shot, here at Trinity the students do not have to pay to get the shot because as Martha O’Brien states “the shots for students are free as the President pays for each student out of his discretionary budget”. Unfortunately, this year we almost did not have the flu vaccines due to a problem concerning a backorder. O’Brien, however, not one to give up “called every company I could get a phone number to order them”. Thanks to her efforts, the students now have a supply of flu shots for this year.
And so, starting last Thursday, October 24th, the vaccine became available for the students and was offered from 8:30am – 12:30pm in the Alumni Lounge at Mather Hall. The shot will be offered once again on Wednesday, October 30th from 8:30am – 12:30 pm in Terrace Room B at Mather Hall. For those students who are unable to go receive the shot at this time, there will also be the opportunity to get it at the Health Center on any Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday between the hours of 9:00am – 12:00pm. You may, however, expect a wait time that can last from 15 to 20 minutes.
And yet, prevention does not just stop with the flu vaccine, as the Health Center suggests other things to do besides getting the shot include taking probiotics, which help keep the digestive tract healthy, trying to minimize stress, which can be a bit difficult with ongoing midterms. As the Health Center October 2013 newsletter states “de-stress by napping, exercising, or however else works for you.” For those interested, there are classes offered in Yoga, Zumba, Belly Dancing, and probably others that can be used as modes of distressing; finding ways to make sure that we can find ways to stay on top of the upcoming flu season.
Alex Coggin ’16, Contributing Writer
Thirty-one seniors, nominated by their departments and programs, were named President’s Fellows for the 2013-2014 academic year. Founded in 1974, the Society of President’s Fellows recognizes students for academic excellence within their respective majors. The Fellows meet four times a year with President James F. Jones and various Faculty to discuss topics of interest–the concluding meeting is a dinner in April.
In many ways, these fellows are representatives of Trinity’s best. Being selected as a Fellow is a reflection of not only current achievement, but of three whole years of consistent outstanding performance.
The President’s Fellows are credited with starting the Trinity Papers in 1981-82. The Trinity Papers is an annual journal, comprised of about 6-10 papers selected for their showcase of outstanding liberal arts scholarship. The papers are chosen by an editorial board comprised of President’s Fellows of the current academic year. The Fellows on the editorial board anonymously judge each submission to the Trinity Papers, and choose the strongest submissions to feature. The Trinity Papers are an important way of presenting the work of Trinity students to the outside world.
For the seniors selected, being named a President’s Fellow is an extreme honor. There is no application process for the Fellows. They are chosen by their professors and department faculty without their knowledge. For Biology Major Catherine Guariglia, this is what makes its honor so poignant. “It feels as though all my hard work in my major has been noticed and is paying off.”
The distinction of being chosen to represent a department and major to the President of the College is another aspect of what makes the honor so significant. Senior Public Policy and Law Major, Sam Livingston notes, “receiving this honor from the Public Policy & Law faculty and from President Jones is by far and away the highlight of my entire academic career. Being placed in the company of all the other Fellows and asked to advise President Jones on pressing issues at Trinity is a humbling experience.” Like many other recipients of the honor, Sam notes, “It has opened my eyes to a greater responsibility I have to represent Trinity and to inspire students in the Public Policy & Law major.” Danee Conley (Theater and Dance) struck on a similar idea. “[this honor] means that I can play not only an integral role in my department, but also within the college.”
Many of these Seniors are in the process of working on senior projects and writing theses. These students are conducting research on some of the most engaging and pressing topics of today. Psychology Major Rachel Reingold is researching the increases in Ecstasy use in college students–exploring the various beliefs and expectancies associated with drug, and comparing these perceptions to those of other illicit drugs. Julia Rivera is writing her Sociology thesis on what is currently happening to the favelas in Brazil in light of the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, specifically through analyzing the discourse surrounding the urban changes taking place in preparation for the games and how they highlight existing inequalities in Brazil. Computer Science major Vlad Burca is doing a senior research project on Expander Graphs. “To give you an intuitive sense of what these graphs are, think of the subway system in Manhattan – a graph where the train stations are the nodes and the train rails are the edges. So what is special about this graph is the fact that there are not many “train rails” going out of the stations, but there is still a high connectivity between the stations – you can get from one station to another one in within a reasonably small number of stops. For Computer Science, I am working on algorithms to generate this kind of graphs,” Burca explained. “I am trying to prove, theoretically, why these constructions work and to find other interesting applications.” The students that have been named President’s Fellows are conducting some of the most interesting research within their department, and Trinity as a whole.
The students named as Fellows continuously push their respective departments forward, and are being recognized for it. Because of their consistent dedication to their field, the Fellows will now get the chance to apply their interdisciplinary knowledge towards advising President James F. Jones on Trinity’s most important and pressing issues. It is because of students like these that Trinity maintains its status as a distinguished Liberal Arts Institution.
Congratulations to all the Seniors named as this years President’s Fellows.
American Studies – Madeleine V. Dickinson
Anthropology — Anne L. Arnzen
Biochemistry – Taylor S. Murtaugh
Biology — Catherine M. Guariglia
Chemistry – Alexandre X. Zhang
Classics — Zach M. Haines
Computer Science – Vlad S. Burca
Economics – Daniel C. Mullan, Jr.
Educational Studies — Pornpat Pootinath
Engineering — Hokchhay Tann
English — Lenny A. Rutigliano, III
Environmental Science — Linnea K. Gotberg
Art History – Emily M. Misencik
Studio Arts – Victoria C. Trentecoste
History — Michael R. McLean
International Studies – Tram N. Luong
Language & Culture Studies – Justin S. Pizzo
Mathematics — Gokuleshwor Pokharel
Music – Christina M. Lipson
Neuroscience – Lisa Saa
Philosophy – Whitney D. Ronshagen
Physics – Erik Quinonez
Political Science – Gaurav Inder S. Toor
Psychology – Rachel E. Reingold
Public Policy and Law – Samuel D. Livingston
Religion – Emily A. Kleidon
Sociology – Co-Fellows: Jacob H. Pullis and Julia A. Rivera
Theater and Dance – Danee J. Conley
Urban Studies – Shaun J. McGann
Women, Gender and Sexuality – Mia Schulman
KATHLEEN MEERSMAN ’17
Please, according to Webster Dictionary, means to afford or give pleasure or satisfaction. From this small description, it is giving the common courtesy to tell someone you appreciate what he or she has done for you, though this useful word is almost extinct.
Let’s take saying please and thank you into account. As little kids, we learned that saying thanks to someone is a form of being polite. Last Christmas, I watched all my younger cousins open their presents and not even whisper a word close to thank you. Maybe it is just me, but I say thank you for the smallest things. When someone specifically takes time to get you a present, I expect a thank you to escape your lips at sometime during this transaction.
However, this leads to the over users of sorry and thank you. For example, I say sorry probably twenty times in an hour. I don’t know why, but I think that saying sorry tries to reinsure that everything is back to normal. If someone says sorry excessively for something that doesn’t need a sorry, it lessens the value of saying it to someone when you really mean it. Although saying sorry more than once isn’t a crime, it is also losing its meaning.
Table manners have also been swept underneath the table. From the day I was born, my parents preached that saying excuse me, pardon me, and thank you should be second nature. Excuse me should be as natural as blinking the dust out of your eyes. I am not sure what caused this decline of common knowledge, or do I?
When walking into a building with a crowd, usually the door welcomes you with a smack in the face because the prior person didn’t think that holding the door was necessary. Who knew that holding a door for someone could mean so much?
Walking down the street, it is also evident that if you even dare to look at someone and smile, you are considered weird and should run away from that person. I believe that saluting people when you walk by someone is just being nice and courteous. Even though there is a select amount of people who still smile and say hi, it sometimes get masked by others’ negativity. I don’t really know why only the South is known for being friendly. Aren’t they just like us?
Actually, they are not whatsoever. When going to the South, I am always welcomed by an overwhelming sense of love. Going to South Carolina since I was born, I grew fond of southern hospitality. Everytime you walk into a building, there are people that race to say hi to you first. Some people might find this excessive and unnecessary, but I believe that the smallest transactions can make your day. When you are there, it is clear that everything is laid back and relaxing. Coming from Chicago, it is refreshing because everyday I am welcomed with a door smashed into my face or a dirty look because I dared to smile. Southern hospitality should serve as a wake up call that we need to relearn what please means.
Stepping on to the campus of Trinity College, I got a sense of being at a prestigious university; everyone is bound to be nice. I always was told that the New England atmosphere was somewhat standoffish meaning this new world wouldn’t be friendly like the South. Even though the person who told me this information was speaking the truth, I had an optimistic view. However, perceptions can mislead anyone.
This optimism made my first experience here a rude awakening. I remember walking down the Long Walk, I smiled at someone and they look at me as if to ask, “why are you looking at me?” Being at Trinity, it is evident that there is a sense that smiling at someone you don’t know is unacceptable. Don’t get me wrong, there are still a handful of people who will smile back at me and seem genuine. I don’t know what causes individuals to be disgusted with me, but I think it stems to the fact that they think they are better than me. This disgust was also translated into a slam in the face with a door or ramming into me in the cafeteria just to be one step closer to the 20-minute wait at the smoothie line.
I think that the decline of table manners and common courtesy have come from our societys’ high pace and apathetic mannerisms. Back in Chicago, the mentality is “every man for themselves.” I have noticed that most people think that their time is more important than everyone else’s and if they bump into someone, the other person is at fault. This might stem from the fact that nobody takes accountability for things they do unless it is something extraordinary. I also think that individuals don’t like to admit that they are at fault. I believe this because people have egos. Why would you admit you’re wrong? This might show some kind of weakness. Not apologizing after running into someone shows that you believe you are better than them and you don’t need to “stoop down to their level.”
It seems that saying anything with the thank you or please is losing it’s meaning no matter if you use it or rarely use it. We need to hope that the future generations learn how to say these words more often. It scares me to think that manners are becoming a surprise when they escape someone’s mouth. Like the dinosaurs in the Tertiary period, there will be a new extinction, the common courtesy period. The coming period is the rude period. Who knows how long this period will last.
This essay was written for a first-year writing course with Professor Irene Papoulis.
BENJAMIN CHAIT ’16
One of the most underrated and sexy images of our time is the portrait of actress Angelina Jolie in a bathtub in the Ritz Hotel in Paris, France. The photo, shot by Annie Leibovitz for Tom Ford’s Hollywood portfolio in “Vanity Fair,” features a naked Jolie with her back and head turned to the camera, half-submerged in about eight inches of soapy water. Besides Jolie’s breathtaking beauty and Leibovitz’s skillful technique, what makes this images stand out from other nude celebrity portraits are the three visible tattoos on Jolie’s back. Jolie has well over a dozen tattoos, and the three visible in this portrait are “know your rights” written between her shoulder blades, a prayer on her shoulder, and a tiger on the entirety of her lower back. Jolie’s tattoos are all done in black ink and have meanings stemming from her family to her travels, and even her humanitarian work. Jolie is arguably the most famous actress in the world, and considered to be as important to celebrity and glamour culture as Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn. However her classically beautiful looks are given a touch of modernity and unique edge via her stunning collection of tattoos.
Beyond Jolie’s influence, tattoos have really become in style over the last 20 years. Though tattoos have been around for quite a while and exist in many forms, they are now beginning to be perceived in a more positive light. These days many celebrities and sports stars, as well as ordinary people, have tattoos. What makes tattoos so special is that are not just physical statements of style, but rather stylish external expressions of emotion. Tattoos are also a great style investment. People often say that a pea coat, a little black dress, or a well-cut suit will last a lifetime, but tattoos really do more than these material goods. They are the ultimate style accessory.
Two of the fashion world’s biggest icons are large fans of tattoos as well. Designer Marc Jacobs is covered in them; the purveyor of fine taste, has some of the campiest tattoos out there, however they’re done by one the best tattoo artists, Scott Campbell, at Saved in Brooklyn, New York. Among Jacob’s thirty-plus tattoos are Elizabeth Taylor in 3-D glasses, a collection of rainbow stars, SpongeBob SquarePants, Kermit the Frog, the red M&M, a donut, the work “Shameless” on his chest, and two self portraits: one as a Simpson and one as a character from South Park. Though they’re anything but classic and timeless, they are purely for fun, and for a man who puts out so much beauty in the world, it somehow seems to work.
The model Freja Beha Erichsen, who has been the face of many brands, has 16 tattoos. Erichsen has mastered an elusive beauty which lends itself to being both masculine and feminine. Her skinny frame and all-black style has not been seen since supermodel Kate Moss broke into the fashion world in the 1990’s. What Erichsen did perfectly was understand that all of her tattoos must fit together in some way. They all perfectly complement each other and all of her text tattoos are done in the same unique font. It is so refreshing to watch the playback from a fashion show and see Erichsen in a full-length couture gown with the word “float” on her neck. It not only makes her stand out, but also gives light to the future- these beautiful gowns will now be worn by stunning girls who have tattoos.
Helen Mirren has a subtle one on her hand while rapper Lil’ Wayne is completely covered—eyelids and all. Singer Rhianna has a vast collection of tattoos that reflect her personal strength. Actor Brad Pitt has a few done in a very minimal and abstract fashion, including a design sketched by his life partner, Angelina Jolie.
There are no official rules for tattoos, but here are some suggestions. Stick with black ink, it’s more classic than color, it will also look better with age. Think of placement- uncommon places like the middle of the back, back of the forearm and on the thigh can be different and cool. Classic symbols like numbers, religious symbols, names, designs from state flags, nautical and army symbols, and Latin phrases show depth as well as timelessness. Don’t be afraid to think abstractly. Think about the meaning of a tattoo and a way it can be played with. For example, for my second tattoo I chose a fly-fishing hook on my wrist in lieu of a full text quote from my favorite book, “A River Runs Through It” by Norman Maclean. Lastly, regardless of the sentiment, getting a tattoo of a rose on one’s lower back in honor of a deceased grandmother is never a good idea. Instead look to what Caroline Picerne ’15 did. Picerne’s grandmother passed away on her fifth birthday, so she got her grandmother’s nickname “Doll” tattooed on her wrist. Doll became Picerne’s nickname, so the tattoo has a very sentimental meaning.
Even at a fairly traditional school like Trinity, many students have tattoos. While some people here rock many tattoos—like Carolyn Zimmer ’15 who has four, others choose a more modest route. Last year I discovered that my friend, Benjamin Plumer ’14, has a Palmetto tree and a half moon (the design featured on the state flag of South Carolina) under his right arm. Plumer got his tattoo because his family is from South Carolina and he personally feels connected and most happy there. His tattoo is a prime example of one that is subtle, masculine, timeless, and most importantly, meaningful. Similarly, I was captivated when I learned that Elaine Kissel ’16 had her father’s initials tattooed on the back of her neck. The hidden tattoo is done in a simple font and is a perfect example of a minimal tattoo.
Many worry that their tattoos will turn out to be major regrets, obstacles in the job process, or ends to family ties, but Kissel and Plumer’s tattoos are examples that shatter all of those fears.
So, why not get the tattoo you’ve been fantasizing about having? Whether your tattoo is on public display or completely private, it adds a profound sense of mystery. Not only are they, for the most part, physically attractive, but the question “what does your tattoo mean?” is one of the sexiest questions that can be posed.
Personally, I have twelve tattoos. In order, I have “Et tu, Brute?” on the left side of my chest, a fly fishing hook on my right wrist, Ernest Hemingway as a boxer on my right thigh, an anchor on my left arm, “XIV” on my left wrist, a bee on my left shoulder, a staircase on my left hip, a button on my right leg, an “H” on my right elbow, a pearl on my left wrist, a fox on the back of my right arm, and most recently, “G. Edward” (my father’s first initial and middle name) on my left forearm. They all stand for people, places, works of art, film, literature and poems that mean a lot to me. And even though relationships ended with three of the people for whom I got tattoos for, I have no regrets. They all represent important moments in my life. Though I have no plans for a sleeve, I do plan to get more. Life is full of such wonderful moments and people, and I love documenting—in ink on flesh—the impacts they have had on me.
CHRIS FILPO ’17
“The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” – Albert Camus
Are people really happy? It is difficult to know what makes people truly happy today. It seems as if society strives for happiness, but when do we actually experience those moments that truly make us happy?
In our culture, people may be happy for a moment, a day, or maybe a weekend. Yet, in the morning, many individuals wake up feeling upset and disappointed that they are back in their usual routine and no longer living the fantasy of the weekend. On Mondays, we always follow the same repetitive routine and weekly schedule, experiencing things in life that may not be as joyful as our days off. At the start of the weekday, we wake up in the morning and get ready either for school or work. You might hate your job and say, “Damn! I have to go to work today” or you may be in college saying, “Ugh, I have this big paper to write.” Some people cannot wait for the weekend to either relax or go out and have fun. Usually the good times are cherished and remembered for a couple of days after they occur. However, when life is tough and you start to become unhappy, it feels as if this unpleasant feeling becomes unforgettable.
In our fast-paced culture, the chances of failure are constantly present. People are always struggling and experiencing conflicts instead of having a good time. People always have responsibilities, and this causes us to feel worried, anxious, and concerned. And that’s how life is. In the Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus illustrates a great image of our world. Constantly pushing a rock up over a mountain and watching it roll back down; Sisyphus embraced this as his life. This notion reflects how people’s lives never change as they constantly accept their daily routines. It may seem upsetting but this is how people have to behave in this world. Never quitting and constantly fighting to reach the top will eventually bring joy to their lives.
Happiness has become this cultural objective that society should pursue. If you say you are not happy, people pity you and view you with disgrace. Honestly, I haven’t been truly happy in a long time because I don’t wake up in the mornings looking to be happy. There are many experiences in my life that bring me joy, like celebrating Mother’s Day and watching my mom’s smile as she appreciates the day with her two sons. I will always remember when Dr. Viktor E. Frankl stated in Man’s Search for Meaning, “Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.” One must let happiness come to them. It should not be something to strive for in life. The same way love is unconditional, so is happiness.
Life has many phases where we try to enjoy or accomplish things. Once it’s all over though, we move on and time fades this good feeling away. We wake up the next morning, with new purposes and new things to strive for. As I move on to the college phase of my life, I have had people ask me, “What do you think about college? Isn’t it wonderful?”
“It’s ok. It’s just college.” I would respond unenthusiastically.
“Well are you not happy? Are you not having a good time?”
“Some days I have a good time but nah, not really.” I would say.
These people would look at me as if I am crazy. College is seen as a great accomplishment that should make people happy. Yes, it brought joy in my life but the days in our lives are still moving forward. That happiness faded away and now I have new purposes, a new drive. As a scholar and an athlete, I aspire to continue to reach the top of the mountain in both fields. As we continue to move forward, life only becomes more challenging.
However, that is how we grow as people. It is this challenge that pushes me forward. We should push, not to find happiness, but to discover meaning if there is any. And in order to find meaning in our lives, we must embark on challenges and experience moments of suffering. Eventually, facing these moments of hardship may lead us to understand and value what happiness is.
I think we have two options in our lives. We can either live pursuing happiness while we’re young or we can live life finding meaning to live and grow old looking back at those experiences. In order to understand the world we live in, we must look within our self and discover what we really want. Once we figure that out, we need to persevere, like Sisyphus, for the rest of our lives. At the end, happiness will find us.
This essay was written for a first-year writing course with Professor Irene Papoulis.
KRISTINA RUTH ’15
On October 21, Christopher Duggan, author of “Fascist Voices” came to Trinity to discuss the effects of fascism in Italy during the 1930’s. Duggan’s book not only discusses fascism from the political side, but also delves into the journals of Italian students, professors, and soldiers. All of their accounts praised Mussolini and his efforts for the fatherland, especially during the war. Looking back, many wondered how a government could have such a strong influence on so many people. What was it that made fascism so appealing?
During this time period, “40 percent of Sicilians over the age of six were illiterate.” Many people, especially in the South, did not vote and were uninvolved in politics. Their scope of knowledge about government policies was very limited, however as long as they had a secure and stable government to protect them they did not care about the corruption that took place behind closed doors.
Duggan described their view on politics perfectly by saying, “In a world where natural and man-made disasters could strike at almost any time-death, disease, injury, drought, famine, earthquake, landslide, conscription, arrest, brigandage or lawlessness-any force, human or supernatural, with the capacity to stave off misfortune could be looked to with a potent mixture of hope, awe, enthusiasm and solicitude.”
Duggan discussed how Mussolini was viewed as a god-like figure, using his charisma to create an untouchable image that made people want to follow his lead. In 1938, a university student, Maria Teresa Rossetti, wrote about her experience as a student during this time. She emphasized the importance of her faith and passion for the Duche and fascism. Another university student, Athe Gracci, also wrote about her devotion for both politics and Mussolini. Their journal entries and letters to the Duche were a way for them to indirectly become involved in politics, expressing their devotion for the nation. In addition, Dugan discussed another diary entry, which emphasized the Duche’s role as a father figure during difficult times.
The people were constantly told that Mussolini was reading their letters, staying on top of local issues, and making sure that the people were taken care of. When conditions are poor, and previous governments have abused people, they tend to look for a leader that seems stable and has an legitimate agenda. This is exactly what Mussolini did. He made sure to incorporate his views in all aspects of society. The newspapers, schools, and the Catholic Church all supported his leadership. How could people rebel against a leadership that is reinforced in every part of the community? A Neopolitan woman wrote a letter to Mussolini during the 1940s expressing her belief that he truly was an “Apostle of God”.
In the lecture, Duggan explained that despite the influence that Mussolini had on the people, the tide began to change as Italy became more involved with Hitler. Eventually skepticism began to arise as the Duche’s actions began to be more self-driven. His alliance with Hitler made the common people afraid of what could potentially happen to Italy as a nation if they continued to help Germany take over innocent nations that had never posed any threat to them before. At this point, the people “endured fascism rather than supported it,” says Duggan. As people became more aware of Mussolini’s true intentions, they began to lose faith. There were some people that continued to be faithful to his cause up until he was killed, but that was only because they were unaware of the actions he had taken behind the scenes.
So was fascism really that influential? Because of the nation’s illiteracy rates and poverty rates, Mussolini had an advantage that most political leaders did not have. He was able to mold a particular society by portraying himself as the hero who would save the people from poverty and degradation. Eventually, Mussolini’s true colors shined through and his actions in the war exposed him as the manipulative dictator that he really was. In the end Duggan explained that it wasn’t fascism itself that was appealing but rather the idea of it.
MAX NIKITAS ’17
One could argue that the first controversial diversion from traditional baseball mores came in the 1930s with the advent of lighting at professional parks. For over half a century at that point, baseball was viewed as the quintessential fair-weather day game. This notion conjures up the idyllic picture of a warm summer afternoon accompanied by a light breeze, cracker -jacks and ballpark hot dogs, and thousands of fans who share a love for a game which, “next to religion,” according to President Herbert Hoover, “has furnished a greater impact on American life than any other institution.” Indeed, some pastime purists still contend that the game was intended to satisfy this ideal portrayal—such is evident by the fact that Wrigley Field in Chicago installed lighting only 25 years ago.
Nevertheless, few, if anyone, would suggest that this development has significantly undermined the aesthetic value of the baseball experience. Indeed, many probably are not aware of the controversy sparked by this now eighty-year-old phenomenon, particularly since all of the most important games in the season and postseason—i.e. the World Series—are played in the dark. However, most baseball fanatics are familiar with the controversy over the implementation of instant replay in the game, a device first used at the tail end of the 2008 season.
The debate over this decision by Major League Baseball is, however, far from old news, as the organization announced this year its intention to promote a more widespread usage of the technology next season. Some have argued that umpires should rely on themselves and each other, as they have done for years, to make informed decisions—controversial calls are not only nothing new, but have always been part of the game—rather than resort to the consultation of a device meant for, dare I say, football.
Indeed, umpires collectively are somewhat like the Supreme Court; and, the frustration over bad calls from fans and players alike can be likened to that of the Republican Party over, in their view, a similarly erroneous, albeit inevitable evil, Obamacare—one can contest the legitimacy of a ruling repeatedly, but the verdict itself is the end all and be all. Indeed, the Republicans have waged a full-scale war on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; and, the government shutdown, as a direct result of their inability to compromise–has compromised the reputation of the GOP on Capitol Hill.
While the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party as a whole emerged victoriously with the eventual surrender of the right-wing Republican establishment (ending the shutdown), Republican lawmakers are trying to capitalize off of the technical difficulties present in the online health care registration website. This misfortune for the President and his agenda truly could not have come at a better time for certain GOP members of Congress, particularly Senator Ted Cruz, whose quasi-filibuster and overall obstinate behavior could prove politically disastrous for him and his colleagues in the House moving forward. Indeed, he and many others believe that these technical issues are only reinforcing the Republican Party’s claim that Obamacare was doomed to fail from the start.
Democrats however, have lashed out at the Right, accusing them of petty criticism which stems from their hoping—for purely political reasoning—for the failure of a law so beneficial to many Americans. While most likely not a fatal blow for the law, these initial issues are casting Obamacare in the worst light to date, and placing the President in the unenviable position of having to defend his most significant accomplishment, according to the New York Times, “like a TV pitchman.”
Indeed, the fundamental problem is beginning to be resolved, as independent contractors and governmental personnel have been hired to fix the technical difficulties with the online portal. Nevertheless, the current debate over the implementation of the law is quite similar to the one over the instant replay in baseball. Republicans, like the purists, have argued that the law should be removed before it becomes further implemented and undermines the entire process which it is trying to serve.
Democrats, like those open to the change, posses an argument similar to that of those favoring the new technology, which points to other governmental programs from the past, which like the usage of lights in a ballpark, were met with significant opposition, but are now accepted as necessary facets of our governmental services and overall structure.
Indeed, both issues seem to have already been resolved; for, the Democrats have asserted their mission to promote the Affordable Care Act and help people look beyond their shortsighted concerns over essentially temporary issues.
I agree that the Republicans must cease to try to promote the failure of a policy which has not yet been given sufficient time to be instituted and “play out.” As a Conservative, I am wary of the shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act; but, I also am confident that the best approach is to let the program run its course. Further recalcitrance and obstinance on the part of the GOP will only prove fatal for its prospects in the 2014 midterm election cycle; for, indeed, this constant struggle is essentially futile.
If we are so convinced that the President’s agenda has been centered around an unsustainable program, why not just let its results speak for themselves? While these initial problems with registration may seem a victory for Republicans, the party must step aside from the issue for now—which includes ceasing to call for the resignation of Kathleen Sebelius. Overall, while Republicans continue to harbor a sense of frustration over Obamacare it must, much like the Boston Red Sox, learn to accept a bad call, put it behind them, and focus on the next objectives.
CHLOE MILLER ’14
While many Trinity students look forward to their midterm mini-vacation as a time to eat home-cooked meals, sleep in their childhood bed, or actually catch up on studying (or Netflix?), several students took advantage of this fall’s Trinity Days with a three-night camping and rock climbing trip in the Adirondack Mountains.
As part of a new Experiential Education program run out of the Athletics Department at Trinity, the trip was the first of many student-organized trips focused on outdoor recreation, leadership skills, and wilderness education. The program was designed as an extension of Quest, the popular pre-orientation backpacking program for incoming freshman. Director of the Quest Program Kevin Johnson sees the experiential education program as a way to bring outdoor opportunities to the entire student body, and to provide interested students an opportunity to peer-lead such trips.
“This isn’t the typical education that you’d get from a classroom, but important life skills that go beyond the walls of school. There’s an opportunity for everyone to get involved,” said Johnson, who came to Trinity this year after spending many years leading Outward Bound and other wilderness orientation programs in New York.
Dave Bell ’14 was the student leader for this trip, along with seven other student participants: Mike McLean ’14, Jami Cogswell ’16, Schirin Schenkermayr ’16, Adam Hammershoy ’17, Victoria Zimmerman ’14, Will Gleysteen ’14, and Anthony Flores ’16. There was a wide range of experience among the participants, from McLean, who is president of the rock climbing club, to students who had never rock climbed outside before.
Bell and Johnson began planning the Trinity Days rock climbing trip in the second week of school, and were able to use equipment from the Quest program for both camping and climbing. Food and transportation were included in the program, and each participant paid just twenty dollars to subsidize the trip.
They had originally planned to head up to the White Mountains of Vermont, but due to the government shutdown the recreational areas were closed. At the last minute, Johnson was able to find a comparable site in the Adirondacks, near Keene, New York. As an added bonus, the Reel Rock Film Tour, a series of climbing-related films, was playing in Keene on Saturday night, so the group got the chance to relax and watch some of the climbing great on the big screen.
“It only rained one of the nights, and we were still able to climb every day!” said Johnson, stressing the importance of flexibility in outdoor excursions such as these. The group did different types of climbing on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of Trinity Days, including crack climbing, face climbing, and a day of hiking to an overhanging cliff.
“We had to bushwhack our way through a couple miles along a ridge, and the view from up there was amazing,” said Bell, who said that was his favorite part of the weekend. “Everyone, no matter their skill level, was definitely challenging themselves all weekend,” he added. Johnson, Bell, and other participants who had relevant experience helped teach technical skills throughout the weekend, such as belaying techniques, “anchoring,” and self-rescue skills.
“The main point of this trip, besides climbing, was to teach self-reliance,” said Bell, who has been a Quest leader for three years and spent a semester in Utah and Wyoming on a NOLS outdoor leadership course. He is interested in pursuing a future career as an outdoor guide, and this program is giving him real, marketable experience.
Johnson is in the process of launching the rest of the experiential education program, which will include shorter day trips, longer trips outside of New England, on-campus clinics, and a half-credit leadership course. Activities will include canoeing, hiking and backpacking, backcountry skiing, ice climbing, and many other exciting outdoor sports.
“The leadership course will be designed to teach students the different elements of planning an outdoors trip and giving them the skills they need to execute a trip,” said Johnson. Students will go over risk management techniques, learn practical wilderness skills such as fire-building, and learn relevant first-aid and emergency procedures for the backcountry. The main assessment point of the course will be a mock trip proposal that students will then execute under Johnson’s close supervision. The long-term goal of the program is to produce student leaders qualified to lead and facilitate a variety of trips offered to the student body. Johnson and Bell both see very high interest levels in outdoor activities among students at Trinity, but many don’t realize how much is being offered. The rock climbing club, started in 2010, has brought at least 50 people out on trips this year, and has a weekly appointment with an indoor climbing gym. The Outdoors Club, rejuvenated under new leadership, has been organizing hikes this year almost every Sunday to mountains within a few hours’ drive, and have had great turnouts. The Experiential Education program will advertise future trips through complementary student groups such as these, as well as on outlets such as Trinity Today and through word-of-mouth. Johnson sees the experiential education program as an extension of the Quest program as well. “There are a lot of people I meet who didn’t participate in Quest but say they really wish they had, and now there’s an opportunity for that,” Johnson said.
SOPHIE KATZMAN ’14
GEORGINA THERMOS ’14
This week, the Food Dudes decided to venture to our favorite breakfast spot, located in Bishops Corner, just off Asylum Street. Bishops Corner is a vibrant, family oriented neighborhood offering a variety of different eateries and shops. On either side of Lox, Stock & Bagels there is a Whole Foods Market, Bertuccis, Five Guys and Walgreens. Because it is just a few minutes from Elizabeth Park, in the fall or spring months it is the perfect place to grab a picnic brunch to bring to the park. Lox Stock was suggested to us by a student from the greater Hartford community. In contrast to other bagel places around Hartford, Lox Stock & Bagel is your authentic bagel shop, offering the freshest and affordable bagel breakfast. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, there is always a line and tables filled with families. It is the ideal place to go after morning sporting events or religious services. If you’re on the go, you can call in your order before and skip the wait by picking it up through the express line.
For a small space, their layout is conducive to fitting many people. There are tables and booth seating scattered throughout the room. On the walls, there are colorful pieces of abstract art with images of food and people cooking. They are very festive at Lox Stock & Bagels and enjoy decorating their establishment based on the time of year. Right now, for Halloween, there are orange and black leaves and pumpkins decorating the windows.
The restaurant is set up with over-the-counter style ordering. On the other side of the counter, there is a large, colorful, eye-catching menu that lists the different bagels, spreads, sandwich options and drinks. On the wall, there is also a chalkboard posting their daily specials in colorful print. If you want to enjoy your Lox, Stock & Bagel experience after you leave, you can buy some of their bagels and spreads to go. They also have a vast assortment of coffee flavors, including Hazelnut, French Vanilla, Columbian, and Jamaican Me Crazy.
They offer a wide variety of flavors of bagels to satisfy the diverse tastes of their customers. Featured flavors include—blueberry, whole wheat, pumpernickel, chocolate chip, sesame, and even pumpkin for the autumn season. Georgina ordered a toasted whole-wheat bagel with vegetable cream cheese. To drink, she had a hazelnut-iced coffee, and all of this was only $5. Sophie decided to go with the classic combination of a bagel and lox. It was toasted on a whole-wheat bagel with lox, lettuce, tomato and onions. Their Nova Scotia Lox is extremely fresh and tasty. She paired it with a cup of Columbian roast. The bagels are a good size—you will feel just the right amount of full after eating one.
Anytime you’re in the mood for a really good bagel, don’t hesitate trying Lox, Stock & Bagel. Visit their website, www.loxstock.com. to check out their menu before stopping in for a bite. We promise you won’t leave hungry!
MADELINE BURNS ’16
With midterms underway and Thanksgiving break soon approaching, it’s time to start dreaming again of the luxury that is free time, which for book lovers like me means that never ending list of “books to read” separate from college textbooks and required readings. Whether you consider yourself to be a devourer of all things literary, or the type that only reads the microwave instructions on a bowl of ramen, what I am attempting to construct for you in the remainder of this article is a list of the 20 books you should read before you graduate college. This is not a list of the best books of all time, nor the most important books to read in your lifetime, but rather the ones that I believe that a college student preparing to enter this so called “real world” has much to benefit from. I’m not claiming to be an expert on literature through the ages, and this list is probably lacking some of the greats; nevertheless here is my list, in no particular order, of the 20 books you should read before you graduate:
1. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” – Steven Chbosky
Even if you’ve seen the movie adaptation that’s recently come out, I still recommend that you go back and read the book if you haven’t already. Steven Chbosky’s novel about a teenage boy struggling with what every teenager struggles with – drugs, sexuality, friends, relationships, school, acceptance – is a refreshingly unique take on a well-worn literary topic. The voice of the protagonist, Charlie, is contemplative, humorous and original and that in and of itself makes the book worth reading. On top of that, the plotline itself is relatable, yet refreshing and not too over clichéd as many bildungsroman stories are. As a relatable, original, well-written work, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is absolutely one of the books that you should read before the end of your college career.
2. “The Bell Jar” – Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath tells the story of a woman battling insanity, existence and the human mind like no other author can. The realness of the book is haunting, especially taking into consideration Sylvia Plath’s own tragic death. It is certainly one of the darker selections on this list, but also one of the most eye opening and beautifully written.
3. “Sophie’s Choice” – William Styron
Ever since I read “Sophie’s Choice” my senior year of high school, I have always regarded William Styron as one of the most eloquently written authors of the century. While this may seem like an overstatement, select at random any passage from “Sophie’s Choice” and see for yourself. The intricacy of his wording, phrasing and imagery is beautiful and genius. Not to mention that the plot itself is mesmerizing in a disturbed yet profound way.
4. “Me Talk Pretty One Day” – David Sedaris
To describe Sedaris’ writing in a strictly adjectival sense – witty, bitter, unforgiving, wry, dark, – brilliant. His sardonic yet completely accurate humor makes him one of the best comedic short story authors in America. I would recommend any and all of his novels, from “Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim” to “Naked,” however “Me Talk Pretty One Day,” a collection of essays from 2001 is one that I feel embodies Sedaris as an author and provides the reader with an ample sampling of his witty and original writing style.
5. “Night” – Elie Wiesel
In the realm of Holocaust literature, Elie Wiesel’s “Night” is an essentiality. There are few words to describe just how thought provoking, poignant, and tragic Wiesel’s writing is, so I’ll merely advise that you read the novel, and trust my assessment of its cultural and literary importance.
6. “Love in the Time of Cholera” – Gabriel García Márquez
As love stories go, Gabriel García Márquez’s “Love in the Time of Cholera” is one of the most beautifully constructed, with a heart-wrenching plot and an attachment to the characters that leaves the reader completely invested in their story. Márquez’s storytelling is unflinchingly brutal, yet beautiful and elegant. He makes you question the meaning of love, life, and death, and while it may make your head spin, it is definitely a must read for anyone entering into the real world.
7. “Hamlet” – William Shakespeare
Whether or not you’re a Shakespeare enthusiast, “Hamlet” is undoubtedly one of the classics you should have read by the time you’ve finished college. It is integral component of understanding modern culture and literature, and touches upon themes that every twenty-something can relate to, such as moral corruption, appearances and reality, madness, and mortality.
8. “The Catcher in the Rye” – J. D. Salinger
This novel in many ways define the coming-of-age genre, as Holden Caulfield struggles with the rejection of mature societal conventions and the preservation of a childlike innocence in a dull, adult world. A controversial novel, most readers either love it or despise it, but nevertheless, if you didn’t have the opportunity to read it in high school, you should read it now. It is a fundamental American classic that you should have under your belt by the time you’ve graduated.
9. “The Book Thief” – Markus Zusak
Before you go out and see the new movie adaptation of Markus Zusak’s “The Book Thief,” I would highly recommend, no, I would insist, that you read the novel first. The story is narrated by Death himself, who tells the story of young girl Liesel growing up in a foster family in Nazi Germany. I don’t think that any description I give of the beauty and genius behind Zusak’s writing and storytelling will do the novel justice, so I’ll just say this – go out and read it.
10. “The Sun Also Rises” – Ernest Hemingway
“The Sun Also Rises” is the archetypal novel of the Lost Generation that, while deceptively simple, in actuality is a magnificent novel considered by many to be one of the great American novels. This novel is one that can be read again and again and interpreted in completely different ways every time it’s read. So if you read it in high school and hated it, read it again, you might view it in a different light as a college student, and be able to appreciate Hemingway’s masterful and evocative writing.
11. “How to Breathe Underwater” – Julie Orringer
This collection of short stories is one of the lesser-known works on this list, however, that doesn’t make it any less exceptional. The novel is comprised of nine short stories ranging in topic from the tragedies of youth and growing up to the struggles with self-acceptance. Whether or not you’re a fan of short stories, Julie Orringer’s work is highly relevant to our generation, and is written in a way that both haunts and inspires the reader.
12. “Never Let Me Go” – Kazuo Ishiguro
This novel is, admittedly, a more frustrating read than most of the books on this list. Told from the perspective of a woman reflecting back upon her life, retelling significant events in her life from a historical account. This relation can be somewhat dry and slow at times, as the narrator is very specific and detail-oriented. However, Ishiguro’s writing is well crafted, and the slow storyline serves a purpose, as it builds up to an ending that both shocks the reader and allows them to appreciate the novel for what it is.
13. “The Bluest Eye” – Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison’s first novel, “The Bluest Eye,” while less read than “Beloved” and “Song of Solomon,” is in my opinion one of her best novels. The complexity of the themes she explores about whiteness as a standard of beauty and the damaging effects of societal expectations on young black women is woven together in an intricate and beautifully crafted novel that is both disconcerting and illuminating at the same time.
14. “Everything is Illuminated” – Jonathan Safran Foer
Jonathan Safran Foer tells the story of an aspiring writer in his 20s (also named Jonathan Safran Foer) who travels to Ukraine to try and discover his heritage and find the woman who helped his grandfather to escape from the Nazis. The story is a split narrative between Jonathan and Alexander, a Ukrainian native that helps Jonathan with his search for a world that no longer exists. His writing is concise and each paragraph he writes holds meaning. It is a Holocaust novel, but at the same time, not a Holocaust novel, and Foer’s focused and innovative writing ability makes it well worth the read.
15. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” – Ken Kesey
Set in a mental hospital in the 1960s, Ken Kesey’s novel illuminates the struggle against conformism and conventionality and how one’s perception of reality may more accurately reflect the world than the appearance of that same reality. Funny, but also thought provoking and reflective, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is a must-read for its comments on society, sanity and the price of freedom.
16. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – Stieg Larsson
This book makes the list as a representation of one of the best crime novels published in the past ten years. Larsson’s journalistic flair and polished phrasing, along with his pure story-telling ability makes this novel one worth reading.
17. “And Then There Were None” – Agatha Christie
While Stieg Larsson may be one of the best modern crime fiction novelists, Agatha Christie takes the crown for one of the best crime fiction authors of all time. “And Then There Were None” is the world’s best-selling mystery of all time, and as such, is a must read for any college student.
18. “Their Eyes Were Watching God” – Zora Neale Hurston
Zora Neale Hurston, one of the most important American authors of the twentieth century, writes a Southern love story that is not so much about love as it is about a woman fighting to make her voice heard in a society where she is overpowered by the men in her life. The themes of independence and loss and race and female empowerment that Hurston so eloquently weaves throughout her novel make it one of the most significant works of the twentieth century, and therefore worth reading.
19. “State of Wonder” – Ann Patchett
Ann Patchett, better known for “Bel Canto,” writes an equally worthy novel in “State of Wonder,” a provocative exploration of morality and scientific inquiry and what it means to love and be loved. The novel is set in the Amazon rainforest, where Dr. Marina Singh journeys into the unknown in the name of science and also human connection. Patchett’s descriptions bring the reader into the world of the Amazon, and allow them to see the world through the eyes of an explorer discovering the difficulties of science and love.
20. “The Collected Works of Edgar Allen Poe” – Edgar Allen Poe
The genre of horror manifests itself in many different forms – zombies, vampires, and the supernatural seem to be the prevailing representations in many recent movies and TV shows. However, the truly terrifying horror stories are the ones that remind us that our world is full of its own horrors. Edgar Allen Poe explores themes such as man’s perpetual endeavor to escape the clutches of death, and the darkness of the human psyche. While the entirety of “The Collected Works” is over a thousand pages, reading at least a few of his brilliantly crafted short stories is something everyone should do before their college graduation.
There are many other books that I excluded from this list either simply due to lack of space or because I realize that we’ve all been told a million times over to read “Harry Potter,” or “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and while I’m not trying to detract from their brilliance, I don’t think it needs to be reiterated. Rather, I tried to provide some titles you’ve heard, and some you haven’t, and hopefully I’ve sparked some interest and added a few books to that ever-growing list of “to-read”.
ANA MEDINA ’16
Very few times in our life are there moments so powerful, that they leave an imprint on our minds. Sometimes the intensity of such an event leads us to learn something that we believe everyone should know. While many of us may share such knowledge through conversation with others or simply with friends, Professor Theresa Morris chose to share her experience with the entire country by writing Cut it Out: The C-Section Epidemic in America.
Professor Morris has been teaching in the sociology department at Trinity since 2000. Freshly out of her Ph.D. program, Morris applied to jobs everywhere. “My husband was on the job market too and I was pregnant during this time so we needed a job,” Morris explains. Initially, she chose Trinity amongst all offers because the institution had offered her husband a job as well. Both she and her husband felt that the small class sizes would allow them to connect with their students. While her husband is now teaching at Manchester Community College, Morris remains at Trinity because she enjoys the connections she can make with her students. “My absolute favorite part of teaching here is working with students and my favorite class is Reproduction, Birth, and Power. I do research in that field, so I feel attached to it,” Morris says. She further explains that she “enjoys introducing students to material they have never thought about, in particular in birth and reproduction.” “Just giving them that information and watching them continue their research with that realm” is what Morris truly loves about her job.
Even though Morris conducts research within the field of reproduction, it was her own birth experience that led her to write her book. “My son was born in 2000 and he was a surprise C-section. I was upset about that because I was ready for a natural birth,” Morris explains about her unexpected C-section. She went on to say that a vaginal birth is something very empowering for a woman. Having that opportunity taken away from her, Morris embarked on a journey to search for peace and most importantly, knowledge.
Having had an unexpected C-Section, Morris looked into having a Vaginal Birth After a Cesarean (VBAC). She found that, “the risk is the scar from the C-Section could come apart when the baby is coming but usually, when there’s a scar it’s a minor separation.” After all her research and consulting with various people, Morris went through with a VBAC. “ I was so happy and it was a more empowering experience but what struck me, was researching the risks. I felt I had to put so much research into it and it struck me that not many people have the ability do to this,” says Morris. Morris reflected that, as a professor, she had the knowledge to go about the research but many women do not have the same background that she does. Noticing the lack of information she received from the hospital and her doctor, Morris wanted to find a way in which she could pass her knowledge down. Thus, her book came to be.
Morris began the project in 2006 and it was not until October 7, 2013 that her book was released. “This project took too long! I conducted my interviews very slowly…with the ideas that I might write a book. Some people told me, ‘this is an article not a book,’ but in 2009 a friend sent me a packet of book proposals, successful book proposals. I realized I could do it and so I did that,” she explains. She continues to describe the process of getting her proposal accepted, “I wrote the proposal in four to five months and I sent everything to California. They told me no. The NYU Press, a month after April 2010 let me know they liked it and asked for another chapter. I got a contract that summer and my proposal went out for review. I had to have it finished for 2011 and then there were revisions for a year so it officially came out in 2013.” Having finished the book a year ago, Morris explains that it feels so strange for people to perceive it as new.
The path to October 7, 2013 was a long one for Morris so it brings into question: What kept her inspired to pursue the project to its end? “It’s really important information… so there’s that desire to get it out that it is an important issue. It was also important to have support. My husband was very supportive. He would say, ‘I think this book is important so you need to give the time to it’ and it’s good to have someone remind you of what’s important,” Morris comments. In addition to her husband’s support, Morris also felt very fortunate to have such a great editor. As a journal writer, Morris was already tough, especially when receiving critiques. However, the world of books brought upon a whole new level of critiques, which her editor was more than prepared to help her deal with. Having such a hardworking editor Morris also felt obligated to see the project to its end.
Morris hopes this book reaches people with various backgrounds. Her book has been advertised in both, the academic and non-academic spheres. However, her ultimate goal is to get the conversation started. She hopes that policymakers get to hear the information in her book—she understands that if people don’t begin talking about the problem then it will never be fixed. “It’s more of getting a message across instead of selling one,” she states.
Currently, Morris is conducting ethnographic observations at two hospitals in the area. She is looking at the role of nurses and has had students help her on the project. Using this information, Morris hopes to begin a book that will compare hospitals and explain the strains they face.
Morris stands as an example of what one can achieve through hard work and perseverance. “Often times, you don’t have an affect on someone’s life but you want to and when you do, you really want to make it positive.” However, with her book now published, Theresa Morrison will certainly have a positive affect on many women’s lives.
For the majority of my time at Trinity I have been unequivocally under the impression that everyone was overreacting about campus safety. After all, I’m from a large city myself, so robberies and crime to me were a reality of urban life and not something to be overanalyzed. The debate about closing campus and increasing security to me seemed unnecessary and indeed problematic as I imagined it would only add to the deep tension with our community members outside our gates, and could exacerbate problems on campus with the profiling of students of color by other students, or even campus safety. But this semester I have been on alert. I’ve tread more lightly on campus and double-checked my surroundings as the paranoia which had been instilled in me reared its head. When passing the scenes of robberies I thought about what I would do if I were ambushed by a hooded figure who ordered me to hand over my possessions, and I avoided areas which to me seemed unsafe. All the while I thought about the fact that I was thinking this as a 6’1 male, and could only imagine what others may feel while they make their own trek across campus. But then something happened that made me think.
One night while I was on campus I was within clear earshot of a campus safety radio and I heard something. “There’s a student in the parking lot with their car light on,” said one campus safety officer. To which presumably a superior responded, “he’s white, that’s not our priority.” As soon as I heard that I turned to my friend to make sure that I heard correctly, and indeed I had. We sat for a moment in silence to register what we had heard. If white folks are not the priority of these campus safety officers, it is easy to infer who are.
Now, I know that some readers may question why this was such a big deal. Aren’t most crimes against Trinity students committed by Hartford residents who are predominantly nonwhite? I don’t have the numbers, but probably. Shouldn’t the focus of campus safety’s scrutiny be on those same non trinity students who seek to do us harm? Sure.
However, these are not the central questions; the central question is how campus safety and our student body determine who these people are. Sure, the majority of people who commit robberies on this campus may be people of color who are not Trinity students, but that does not mean that every person who meets such a description is intending to do harm to Trinity students, and it does not mean that a white Trinity student who would not meet such criterion would not have such motives.
Though I am white, and I have the privilege of not being racially profiled in this manner, this irks me on a visceral level. This irks me because I, like many white Trinity students, feel entitled to break the rules or the law without fear of consequences because I am not perceived as “suspicious looking.” This irks me because I have to hear stories of my friends of color being watched as they browse the aisles of convenience stores because they are perceived as a threat. This irks me because wearing a Trinity hoodie and bean boots does not preclude you from the ability to do harm to another person or to participate in illegal activity. I can only imagine what it feels like for a person of color, Hartford resident or Trinity student alike, to walk across our campus and immediately be labeled as a criminal by campus safety and our student body because of their appearance, and I think that this merits some thought from all people who have never been touched by such injustice.
I write this not as a vendetta against campus safety. I think that they have made an honest effort to curtail crime on campus, and have had to make due with an extremely difficult situation. Also, I have no information to make me believe one way or another whether this employee (to my knowledge many of the new campus safety personnel are not in fact campus safety officers, but are private contractors) was acting on his own intuition or simply following campus safety protocol.
What I do know are two things: that no one on the other end of the radio told him he was acting in an inappropriate manner and that this is not acceptable.
I want to feel safe on campus. I do not want any more Trinity students to be robbed of their possessions, or to be put in harm’s way. However, I do not want my security at the price of others’ ability to walk across campus and without being perceived as a criminal, simply because of the color of their skin.
CHANEL PALACIOS ’14
As everyone has noticed, the construction of more townhouses is going strong, and rather quickly. However, because the schools are building the townhouses with such speed, there are always improvements to be made once they are actually inhabited. This wouldn’t be an issue if residents were given proper notice.
I don’t know of residents complaining that workers are improving the emergency lighting, or fixing the laundry machines. We’re grateful, or at least I am. There was a small power outage a couple weeks ago and half my lights stayed on. So at least I know we have back up sources in that situation.
However, residents have good reason to complain when they don’t know someone is present in their homes. For instance, over Trinity Days I was the only one in my townhouse to stay at school. I opted to stay and cover work shifts for others and to catch up on work and rest. This is the actual purpose of those days. I woke up on Tuesday morning, thinking I was home alone, and walked out of my room to use the bathroom. When I go to sleep, I use very minimal clothing, as in almost naked. This is too much information for the Trinity community, but it’s vital to the story. I do have the right to be comfortable in my home. Imagine my surprise when I found there were workers in my house. Thankfully, I live upstairs and they were downstairs, but this shouldn’t even be a possible scenario. Had I gone downstairs to get water (as I tend to do) I would have been extremely embarrassed. As it is, I was already uncomfortable finding men in my home.
This situation, and various other situations, would not have happened if the school would notify residents when construction and maintenance will be happening in their rooms. Townhouse residents are aware of the necessity for continued work, but we need to know when people are coming. A doorbell is not sufficient, considering the heavy sleepers out there.
There was notice for the first couple weeks of classes saying there would be workers going in and out, but we are now halfway through the semester. Workers haven’t been inside for about a month. I am by no means upset at the construction and maintenance workers. They were all very friendly and fun to talk to. They apologized for all the noise they had to make and apologized again when they weren’t out in time. That was ironic because I didn’t know they would be there for a certain time.
This issue should be attributed to the school. I emailed the area coordinator explaining the situation and requesting notice for all future events. I did not get a response. This is completely unacceptable.
I was not expecting an apology, because the school rarely apologizes for its mistakes, but a minimal acknowledgment of my email is common courtesy. The lack of response is disrespectful and it takes away all confidence in this school. I will never know when there are going to be people in my home. How will I, as well as other residents, know if there is a robbery in place or just routine maintenance?
The townhouses are expensive to live in, as they are supposed to be apartment style living. If we’re supposed to treat them like actual townhouses, then there should be rules on both sides. In the “real world,” landlords are required to give notice before showing up or bringing any kind of workers into the building.
Yet the residents are not given this consideration. We are still being treated as children, as individuals who don’t deserve notice, apologies, or acknowledgments. Workers come through when they please. I’m sure they are notified when they have to be inside, so why can residents not also be notified?
It really shouldn’t have come to this in any way. I do not want to have to publish an opinion piece in The Trinity Tripod just to get some kind of acknowledgment from the school every time something happens. At this rate I don’t expect any response because that would indicate a semblance of respect for students at this school. It points to a larger problem on campus. Who are residents supposed to speak to when legitimate issues arise? If the administration will ignore students, why should students trust the administration to really advocate for us?
BENJAMIN CHAIT ’16
Fashion week has become more a of fashion month. Although fashion week began in New York, the shows have moved on to London, Milan, and Paris. That doesn’t include the additional shows in Germany, Japan, China, South America, Los Angeles, and Miami. Twice a year there are the ready-to-wear shows, the menswear shows, the couture shows in Paris, and then the cruise, pre-fall, and resort collections. In addition, there is custom-made clothing for editorials and high-end clients. There is an astounding amount of clothing made each season, which makes the choice of what to wear much harder than it appears.
Despite the claim that fashion is art, people really crave clothing they can wear on a daily basis. Although the days the editors, buyers, photographers, models, and the fashion elite world spend in London are relatively short compared to the full weeks spent in New York, Milan, and Paris, they are wildly important to the way that those in the stylish world dress.
The key to understanding London fashion is practicality. While Paris has mastered the frivolous, stunning, and Avant-garde fashion, it is London that has mastered the elusive cool of street style. There is an eclectic mix of people in London who all have to face city life, country life, and very unpredictable weather. While in London over Trinity days, I was taken aback by the incredible style I saw. Everyone in London dresses up more than people in America do.
I was staying with a friend in the Chelsea area, the Upper East Side equivalent in London. However, there was no single homogenous style like the well dressed but predictable people of Park Avenue have. The people in Chelsea each mastered the tricky art of personal style. There is an overall interesting mix of influence in London street fashion: partly a play of masculine and feminine, partly posh and stuffy, and partly 80’s underground punk. And as I ventured to other parts of the city, the style only became more eccentric and stylish.
Contrary to popular American belief, London is not a preppy city, but rather a classic one. Hunting coats and camel sweaters are favored over whale-embroidered pants and popped collars. Signet rings are everywhere and so are penny loafers. Penny loafers are classier and more formal than boat shoes and when worn-in well, as they can hold the same unique worn and torn look as a favorite pair of sneakers. There were also as many women wearing them as there were men. Black jeans are favored over blue ones, and on rainy days they’re tucked into hunter boots to weather the storms.
Many Londoners favor fur, which isn’t as popular in the United States. Fur—fake or real—can really add class and glamour to an outfit. One reason the English are more stylish is because their go-to staples are fancier than ours. Instead of hoodies, Londoners favor old oversized cable-knit sweaters. Instead of ratty t-shirts, people favor ratty flannels. And instead of bright colors, people favor neutral colors and black and white. Some of the best style I saw on my trip was on a rainy Sunday afternoon. The overall crowds of people were more stylish in the rainy streets and pubs than they were out at various chic London Clubs.
The minimal cool, often associated with Paris, is really alive on the streets of London. This is perhaps due to two of the most creative fashion designers of the past decade, Phoebe Philo and Stella McCartney. These two Brits have climbed to the top of the fashion world, each with their own distinctive minimal approach to dressing women. Female designers are simply better at designing women’s wear because they’re better at understanding how women feel, which is just as important as how they look. Compared to the work of the late English mastermind Alexander McQueen, the clothes made by McCartney and Philo can be worn everyday. Their influence on fashion can be seen in trickle-down brands like Topshop as well as on the streets. Though Philo designs under a French label, her British practicality can be seen in every look that comes down the Celine runway.
Another stylish British designer Christopher Bailey, is the current creative mind behind Burberry. The military heritage of the brand is strict, and that gives Bailey a wonderful boundary to push against with his punk sensibility. Over the past several seasons, Bailey has added spikes, roses, and leopard to the classic look of the English brand. The high fashion of old England is merging with a grunge sensibility is seen in the Bailey’s collections, but also in the wardrobes of London’s biggest style icons, like Jude Law, Eddie Redmanye, Kate Moss, and Poppy and Cara delevingne.
To get the London look, all one must do is think simple and classic. For a great place to shop here in the United States, I recommend Jack Wills, a clothing company who prides itself for being “Fabulously British.” The company takes the place of the now dead Rugby line from Ralph Lauren. The Jack Wills look is part preppy, part nightclub, and part hunting party. The closet store is in New Haven.
But if one piece will totally transform your look and give it a British cool, it is a Barbour jacket. The classic hunting coat was seen all over the streets of London, the more worn-in the better. I was lucky enough to find a great coat from the 1970s from a vintage shop on Portobello Road in Notting Hill that specializes in vintage Barbours. Barbours are as practical as they are stylish, and wearing one can mentally transport you to a gorgeous street in London on a rainy day, a very chic place to be.
ZACHARY HAINES ’14
Internationally acclaimed director Pedro Almodovar has always taken a rather tongue-in-cheek approach to melodrama: film such as 2007’s Volver, starring Penelope Cruz, and 2002’s Talk to Her (2002) – which received the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay – are so equally charged with comedy and grim severity that it is unclear whether laughter or tears constitute the appropriate response. This year, however, the absurdly comic half of Almodovar’s creative genius has finally won out over the sensitive dramatist, producing such profoundly weird results that critics eve
“I’m So Excited!” begins on a strip of tarmac in Madrid. Jessica (Penelope Cruz) reveals to Leon (Antonio Banderas) that she is pregnant, and he is about to become a father; in the midst of rejoicing, the two forget to inspect the landing gear of Flight 2549. This scene closes with the image of the spiraling axel of the plane’s propeller, a menacing Hitchcockian homage.
As Flight 2549 ascends, we are introduced to the bizarre cast of characters on board: Norma (Cecilia Roth), a notorious professional dominatrix who could blackmail half the Spanish bureaucracy with her arsenal of clandestinely taped videos; Bruna (Lola Duena), a virgin and self-professed psychic, who vomits when impending death draws near; Senor Mas (Jose Luis Torrijo), a banker who is fleeing the country to avoid an embezzlement scandal; and the three flight attendants – Fajas (Carlos Areces), Joserra (Javier Camara), and Ulloa (Raul Arevalo) – who act, as one critic said, as a “campy Greek chorus.”
Flight 2549 cannot land: the landing gear is jammed and, if the pilots (Hugo de Silva and Antonio de la Torre) cannot secure a runway, the plane will go down. However, this issue takes a backseat to the drama onboard: confronted with the possibility of a fiery end, the passengers act on their darkest passions, lose all inhibitions, confront old flames and ignite new ones. The ensuing events include a mescaline-induced sex romp in the middle of business class and a choreographed tribute to the Pointer Sisters, to name a few highlights. The peril looses its potency as this onslaught of weirdness takes center stage.
It is ironic that the most entertaining aspects of “I’m So Excited!” contribute to the film’s overall shortcoming: Almodovar is too aggressive in his hunt for the absurd and sacrifices cohesion as a result. Don’t get me wrong: some of the film’s vignette-like excursions are undeniably enjoyable: the aforementioned Pointer Sisters homage is enough reason to see the film in my opinion. However, once Almodovar’s fierce rejection of subtlety becomes apparent, the film quickly becomes tiresome.
I found myself missing the balance that made previous Almodovar films so uniquely ambivalent. I craved the restraint and versatility he demonstrated in Volver, where he used his wicked sense of humor sparingly enough to cut the bitterness that would have otherwise overwhelmed the film. I want to discover a dynamic character among the ensemble cast who could tow the line between comic levity and dramatic gravity, much like Volver’s Raimunda (the role for which Penelope Cruz received her first Academy Award nomination), but found the ensemble cast of I’m So Excited! sadly lacking.
Cruelly, the Hitchcockian spiral, which reflects the roundabout course of Flight 2549, also unfavorably mirrors the film’s plot. The myriad subplots circle around and around, never leading anywhere fruitful. In the end, everybody is happy; except, in my case, the viewer. With such a diverse array of characters, Almodovar had all the ingredients for funnier, smarter, and more engaging film; if only more care had been given to these characters, their stories, and their potential for interaction under the given circumstances, not just their capacity for quirky behavior.
Despite the objections just raised, there is something to be said for the film’s unabashed campiness; and at a brief eighty-eight minutes, I’m So Excited! is not require much of a commitment from its audience – except, that is, a commitment to Almodovar’s uncompromising vision.
BERNAT IVANCSICS ’14
On October 15, the Interfaith Community embarked on its annual Interfaith Study, which explores a certain region’s or town’s religious and spiritual heritage. After visiting New York City last year, this fall the community travelled to Newport, Rhode Island, and visited four sites altogether: the Touro Synagogue, the Trinity Episcopal Church, St Mary’s Catholic church, and finally a non-religious place (but which in its name alludes to Trinity’s traditional hymn) the Elm Mansion. The group of 20 students was led by Allison Read, College Chaplain; Damion S. Hutchins, Assistant College Chaplain; Lisa Kassow, Trinity Hillel Director; John P. Campbell, Roman Catholic Campus Minister; and Leslie G. Desmangles, Professor of Religion and International Studies.
Departing around 7:30am from the Admission Center parking lot, the two and a half hour trip to Newport began as a quiet and sleepy tour towards the eastern coast. Although Newport is a small coastal town with all visiting sites in walking distance from the Visitor’s Center, the itinerary for the day turned out to be tightly packed from the beginning.
Founded in 1639, for many decades Newport was considered to be the most thriving and important towns of the east coast. The information center at the Touro Synagogue and the guide leading the group into the building unveiled many important historical facts and aspects regarding Newport’s role in the history of the US. Founded in 1763, the Touro Synagogue is the oldest surviving Jewish synagogue in North America. It is modest but spacious and its functional interior showcass a fully renovated praying room and guards an over 500-year-old copy of the Torah. Its founder, Isaac Touro was the cantor and leader of the first Jewish community arriving in Newport. His residence and work on the east coast coincided with the War of Independence, during which his loyalty to his place of service enabled the synagogue’s survival during the British occupation. Later, President Washington’s visit to Newport and the Jewish community explicitly proclaimed full segregation of the town’s social and religious life, which, in Newport’s case, also entailed full tolerance and the official abolishing of bigotry.
After an afternoon at the synagogue, majority of the Interfaith group sat in for a lunch at Brick Alley Pub and Restaurant on Thames Street (one of the main streets in Newport, ironically pronounced “teimz” by the locals). A couple of other students explored Newport’s shipyards where the huge hulks of luxury yachts and fishing ships were dragged into the dry dock and awaited refurbishment.
The second sight of the trip was the Trinity Episcopal Church. Founded in 1698, this church is the oldest in the state and was designed by a local builder, Richard Mundy, who based his plans on the works by Sir Christopher Wren. Wren is considered one of the most important architects in British history and the designer of St Paul’s Cathedral. The church is made entirely out of wood and features the rare architectural layout of the pulpit placed in front of the altar, which explicitly advocates the “sola scriptura” (the script only) attitude of the Episcopal Church. Another rare and extraordinary feature of the building was the layout of its pews: a set of walled boxes. Today, these boxes are free to be occupied by anyone, but were strictly and expensively maintained by affluent local worshipers.
A couple of blocks down from the Trinity Episcopal Church stood the dark maroon stone building of St Mary’s church. Although it is most notable for being the church at which John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy married, St Mary’s church also evolved from a long history beginning in 1828. The copper plaque of the President is still maintained on the side of pew Number 10, in order to commemorate his attendance of the church. Throughout the last 150 years, St Mary’s has become one of Newport’s most important Catholic churches and has been registered to the National Register of Historic Places since 2008. The final destination of the trip was The Elms, a huge mansion from the late nineteenth century. A meticulous audio guide helped students on their way and explained how sheer chance and a lot of dedication could save the site from being turned into a parking lot. Located at 367 Belleuve Avenue, The Elms was the “summer cottage” of the Berwind family. It was constructed in an age when the telephone had already been invented but was considered rude to call anyone outside one’s house. So in the case of The Elms, an intricate telephone network was solely used within the house to call servants or maids to the bathroom.
The Interfaith group arrived back to the bus exhausted but excited. Newport’s weather offered a rarely clear and warm fall afternoon. Newport’s experience not only featured a spiritually diverse town but also highlighted the fact that a colonial settlement could against all odds provide a tolerant and productive social and spiritual life for its residents for hundreds of years.
MARIA DYANE ’17
Media has always played a significant role in our societies. Nowadays, media, through its various platforms (press, television, radio, books and internet), has gained some power over people. This power can be qualified as manipulative. Indeed, media has been successful in influencing people’s attitudes and opinions about everything; even their identities.
I have, for so long, trusted that media, or to be specific in my case: TV, will always give the correct information. All I have to do as a viewer is watch, trusting that TV shows will always convey the right message. I was clearly on the wrong path. Taking a gender class last year, widely opened my eyes to being more critical of what I was watching.
In my gender class one of the topics that we discussed was masculinity. As an introduction to the topic, we watched the movie, “Fight Club”, which featured Brad Pitt. We followed the movie screening with an interesting discussion of how masculinity is defined through media. Masculinity in media is usually confused with gender. Being masculine or feminine doesn’t make us less of a man or a woman. Some of the ways shows are put together may convey that single wrong message about masculinity or femininity instead of promoting the right or brain stimulating.
After my class, I went back home to watch my two favourite series: “Gossip Girl” and “Glee”. As I was watching, I was stuned when realizing how media can shape our perception of things. Masculinity is being confused, in most cases, with gender and looks which are associated with male physicality and strength.
I love watching “Gossip Girl” and “Glee”. A lot of my friends do too. I remember that both Gossip Girl and Glee had great success when they first came out. With approximately 3 million viewers for “Gossip Girl” and an average of 9 million viewers for “Glee”, one has to admit that these shows are not only a delight but also an influence on how we view our society.
Throughout high school, I could see the reflection of the “Gossip Girl” script in my daily life as a teenager: how people dress, talk and behave. I am again in love with “Gossip Girl,” but sometimes, shows can unwittingly transmit a wrong message or rather a narrow view on a topic. Many teenagers who watch the show enjoy it but are put in a small narrow bubble where they are not brought out of their comfort zone. “Gossip Girl” doesn’t give room to critical thinking when it comes to masculinity for instance.
In “Gossip Girl,” I couldn’t help by distinguishing one definition of masculinity: Chuck Bass. Chuck is a rich, handsome, powerful businessman who has three important things in life: sex, alcohol and power. He is a strong, authoritative, intelligent and aggressive heterosexual man. Chuck is able to get any girl he wishes in his arms, which is another trait of the masculinity portrayed.
Soon, another character arises in the picture. Dan was introduced as a different kind of the masculinity. He is a thin, sensitive, middle-class male, who is not a business man or a politician; he is a poet. He is a romantic and shows his emotions and feelings to others.
However, Dan’s image of masculinity lost its value as soon as he got introduced to the “manly” world when he became Serena’s boyfriend. Instead of challenging this traditional image of masculinity (Chuck Bass), he incorporates himself in it and tries hard to be like Chuck Bass: a rich, powerful and good-looking man. This journey is highlighted in the series to show the importance of fitting in the right mold of masculinity.
In the same show, we find another representative of the male gender: Eric Van Der Woodsen. Eric is not pictured as a man but instead a mature boy. Being gay and sensitive challenges the traditional masculinity concept in the series. He is the actual renaissance of a new perspective that masculinity should incorporate in its definition. Yet, his role is not upgraded during the whole series and therefore does not argue for challenging the traditional masculinity. On the contrary, the series implies that, men like Eric should be bullied and can’t exist in our society because there is something wrong about them. “Gossip Girl” therefore sends the false message about what masculinity is about. It first associates it with men only, and also gives it specific attributes: money, power and a good body.
Masculinity, as many other concepts, has been stripped from its true meaning and has been channeled to serve financial and status purposes. Media has helped a lot in shaping this flawed meaning, and it is through it that, we could be able to reconstruct the idea of masculinity, away from discriminations and illusions. There is no such thing as the perfect body, or the perfect charisma or the perfect man: the images are creations of special computer effects. These false impressions create a low self-esteem in men and lead to serious issues like suicide and domestic violence, since men feel the need to show that they are strong in a way or another and often take it out on women and children.
However, I believe media has already started challenging the traditional image around masculinity through numerous shows. One example would be the series “Glee.”
At the beginning of “Glee,” the dilemma of masculinity was brought up by two main conflicts: first, McKinley football players are not comfortable with Kurt being gay and they are showing him what he should be like by bullying him; and the second is, boys joining the choir group, usually associated with females, and therefore losing their masculinity.
The first stand against the traditional view of masculinity comes up when Kurt joined the football team and led them to their first win. By doing so, he showed that he is as strong and intelligent as the other “masculine” guys but in his own way and nothing will make him less of a man. The second one was when all the football team was forced to sing Beyonce’s song “Single Ladies” and they loved it and that showed that they weren’t less of men. However, the masculinity dilemma never got resolved because there will always be another character bully who is ready to set up that traditional image of masculinity. “Glee,” nevertheless, showcases this tragic challenge, confusion and brainwash the classic media used to transfer through its different stands, by challenging the traditional image.
On another note, “Glee” disputes the traditional view of masculinity, by not attributing it to a single gender. Some of the common traits of what masculinity is defined by, are seen in the personalities of two women: Coach Shannon Beiste and Coach Sue Sylvester.
Being masculine women, both coaches are often mistreated and are given this image of repulsive, weird women who are not supposed to embrace masculinity. However, as the series develops, the characters accept them and that puts in the viewers’ perspective the following questions: is masculinity a gender term? Is masculinity a predefined term? Are we masculine when we are born or do we choose to be? This kind of diversity in views is not illustrated in “Gossip Girl” by any character. In fact, the more a character in “Gossip Girl” is away from being strictly a feminine woman and a masculine man, the less of attention the character gets in the show.
I think media is recovering slowly from the role it chose, to be a dictionary where everything has a definition, or where you could find what you want to become. Media should be a tool that challenges people’s preconceptions, builds their confidence and makes them comfortable with who they are. In the case of masculinity, I think our role as individuals is acknowledging the masculinity concept and miss interpretations, then standing up to people who bully others because they think they are less of a man and finally taking up initiatives that defeats this brainwashing the media has installed. I believe that “Glee” is an example of how we as viewers and producers can utilize and develop our critical eye and embrace diversity.
This essay was written for a first-year writing course with Professor Irene Papoulis.
WILL SCHREIBER ’16
During last Thursday’s Common Hour, attendees in the Terrace Rooms sat around round tables to listen to Dr. Janice Naegele speak. The students and professors in attendance listened to Dr. Naegele’s ambitiously and accurately titled presentation, “Stem Cell Cures for Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.”
Dr. Naegele’s credentials are substantial. After attending Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts for her undergraduate degree, she went to MIT for her doctorate. From MIT, Naegele went on to do research at Rockefeller University and the Yale University School of Medicine. Today, she researches and teaches at Wesleyan University. Her lecture at Trinity, which was sponsored by Trinity as well as the Connecticut Stem Cell Initiative, concerned her laboratory focus: the potential to cure temporal lobe epilepsy with stem cell treatments.
Before delving too deeply into her particular research, Naegele spent some time conducting an impromptu lesson on stem cells and epilepsy. Stem cells are the most versatile sort of cell in the body—they can proliferate and become more numerous, or they can differentiate into different types of cells, including nervous and muscle tissue. Because of this ability, they’re called pluripotent cells: they can become many types of cell, to perform multiple tasks. This ability stands in marked contrast to other sorts of cells, who are stuck with one identity that’s unalterable. Because of this fundamental flexibility, there is “a lot of interest right now in stem cell treatments for various types of disorders.” If stem cells could replace diseased ones, it stands to reason that certain ailments could be ameliorated.
However, stem cells to date have been the subject of much controversy, which has limited their use. The prospect of embryonic stem cells, which are created in a process that destroys human embryos, is the subject of fierce debate. However, Dr. Naegele hopes to take advantage of another type of stem cell: induced pluripotent stem cells. These cells are normal cells that have been induced to act like stem cells, in that they gain an ability to differentiate into various types of cells (hence their name, pluripotent, which refers to the capacity to perform more than one role). By using these cells, scientists can exploit most of the advantages of embryonic stem cells without having to contend with the associated controversy.
Next, Dr. Naegele educated the audience on epilepsy, a “disorder characterized by recurring electrical storms.” There are hundreds of kinds of epilepsy, but all are characterized by a prevalence of seizures. As epilepsy affects one percent of people worldwide, it’s an especially important phenomenon to understand and treat. While it can sometimes be treated with surgery, there are often multiple sites of action, and even surgical procedures won’t eliminate symptoms. Dr. Naegele primarily studies temporal lobe epilepsy, which is one of the more common forms of the disease, partly because it can be acquired due to traumatic brain injury.
In her research, Dr. Naegele has found that temporal lobe epilepsy is likely related to a lack of inhibitory neurons in a part of the hippocampus called the dentate gyrus. In her presentation, she compared the dentate gyrus to a gate, capable of keeping excitation out of the hippocampus. In a normal brain, this reduces the amount of neuronal firing to a manageable and healthy level. In temporal lobe epilepsy, however, inhibitory neurons in the dentate gyrus die. As a result, there is too much neuronal firing, leading to the seizures that cause so much pain in sufferers. To Dr. Naegele, this finding was extremely exciting—it offered a mechanism by which to treat epilepsy. “If we could replace those neurons that form the gate we could be able to restore balance” to the brain. By replacing the dying neurons with stem cells, it might be possible to treat epilepsy.
To study this possibility, Dr. Naegele enlisted the help of mice. First, she induced temporal lobe epilepsy in the mice. Next, their seizure frequency and intensity was measured with electrodes. After recording this baseline, some of the mice were treated with stem cell transplants that mimicked the inhibitory effects of the dying cells in the dentate gyrus. Their subsequent seizure activity was measured and compared to untreated mice. What they found was a “tremendous reduction in total number of seizures” for the mice given stem cell transplants. While there are many caveats to this study, it offers an exciting indication that we are nearing the discovery of a treatment for temporal lobe epilepsy. Though treatments are not quite at the point where human subjects can be enlisted, it’s only a matter of time before the science reaches this checkpoint.
In addition to epilepsy, stem cells may be valuable in treating medical ailments like spinal cord injuries, strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. In addition, they may offer a way to replace cells after chemotherapy treatments. In Dr. Naegele’s words, there are “many different options for cell replacement,” and while advances on epilepsy are extremely promising, they are only one of the many uses of induced pluripotent stem cells.
ZINEB KOUSKOUS ’17
As a former member of the Moroccan Youth Parliament and a freshman at Trinity College, it came to my attention the fairly high participation of women in American politics. Women’s representation in African politics varied with time and from one country to another; however it has remained relatively low due to a wide range of factors. This lack of women’s voice in Africa’s political scene has a direct influence on the political situation on the continent. Morocco as an example is still behind regarding women’s involvement in politics mainly because of the mind-set of its citizens and their lack of education. A solution that addresses these two features will definitely increase the voice of women in Morocco’s political scene.
African women have a long way to go in terms of involvement in politics. Women are leading only two out of 54 African countries. Although being the president is not the only way to have a voice in politics and governance, the striking numbers show that the African political scene is dominated by males. The Guardian reports that in 50 recent elections to parliaments in Africa as of 2009, women took 27 percent of the seats in countries that implemented quotas or reserved seats for women, whereas the percentage was 14 percent in countries that didn’t.
During the colonial era, women like Modiko Keita and Sekou Toure from Mali and Guinea respectively, played a crucial role in the struggle for independence. However, their contributions were forgotten and women were seen as nothing more than political pawns. A few countries such as Botswana, Rwanda, Malawi and Liberia registered significant gains in women’s participation in political power, which clearly influenced the growth of the nations in terms of women’s intellectual power. Rwanda and Botswana are now two of the fastest growing economies in the world and Liberian female leaders won the Nobel Peace Prize 2011 proving that women were having a good impact when given the chance. However, the rest of the continent is yet to follow the paths of these few nations that also need to keep empowering women and making their voices heard.
Moreover, more than 70 percent of African women are illiterate according to the CIA World Fact book, which leads to a smaller number of women who are able to play a significant role in politics. Among these elite, few are voted for because the majority is not educated to make reasonable choices or to change the male mind-set and vote for women. Additionally, many of the brave women who enter the world of politics get attacked due to common or religious beliefs that they should not be accepted as candidates. Even when African women make it to the final rounds of elections, it is extremely hard to change people’s mind-set as the majority grew up perceiving women as inferior; the structure of the society gave women a lower place and praised men, which explains why men still can’t accept being lead by women. Linked to the mind-set also, most African men think that women are under their control and protection, a concept that rarely gives women an independent say or voice. Therefore, a wide range of factors mean women lack a voice in African politics but if education and mind-set are addressed properly, other causes will be solved.
Women are widely perceived as tools to be used for the political purposes of men. They are not considered as individuals with opinions and ideas, and when most men outline policies or make decisions; all that comes to their mind is their own world. In politics, women exist to help execute these policies, to prepare for the campaigns, entertain and serve at political events, and above all support their husbands involved in politics. Furthermore, after the independence of most African countries, a cultural and economic ideology was established whereby the man had to secure all the needs of his family, whereas the woman had to take care of the household, children and do “women’s” work such as milking, bringing water, sewing…etc. The lifestyle adopted since then for women excluded any involvement in politics.
In addition, many institutions were created after colonialism and they were mostly male dominated which eliminated female chances of having a say in politics. But how are Africa’s political systems doing with the lack of women’s participation? Africa’s political scene lacks democracy and seems very narrow minded. Women make over half of the African population and excluding them from decision making simply means losing half of the expertise and brain power that would be put into policy making in Africa. In addition, the lack of women representation leads to a shortage of the perspectives taken into consideration in the democratic process.
Most laws and constitutions don’t highlight issues faced by women and don’t address women’s needs as much as laws in which women have input during the policy making process. If women had a voice, their unique approach would help Africa progress and would make a better use of the resources available on the continent. Men need women to make many decisions; their various approaches will not necessarily bring ideal democracy to Africa, but will at least make choices less biased and include women.
Morocco has indeed improved significantly regarding women’s involvement in politics. According to the international institution of democracy, the percentage of female candidates in the various local elections has increased from 0.08 percent in 1960 to 1.62 percent in 1997 to 4.91 percent in 2003, and the percentage of female elected moved from 0 percent in 1960 to 0.34 percent in 1997 to 12.8 percent in 2003. Hence, Morocco now ranks 69th in the world instead of 118th in 1997, in terms of female representation in politics. However, the overall involvement of women is still low and below the African average. The main cause here is the limited access to education and information and the mind-set of Moroccans both males and females. Over 50 percent of Moroccan women are illiterate according to the World Fact book, and therefore, very few women run for election and fewer get voted for.
Most Moroccans don’t vote for women because the majority of people have the perspective that men are superior and more mature to make decisions and lead in politics. Other factors such as the way men use religion to keep women at home play a smaller role in the current situation because most of the women in politics today are Islamists. History didn’t contribute as much as education to the situation because women were more involved in politics during the colonial era. Is there a solution?
As a former member of the Moroccan Youth Parliament, I feel very concerned about this situation. Therefore, I thought about a potential solution to tackle the lack of representation of women in Moroccan politics. The solution consists of creating an award competition for the female politicians that can best solve the main root causes of the problem and have a lasting impact on the women’s voice in the Moroccan political scene.
The idea is a competition where 100 competent women who want to run for local elections or for the parliament will have a funded consulted political campaign, mainly addressing education and beliefs. To encourage women to apply for this initiative, the organizers (youth mainly but in partnership with governmental institutions) will work on advertisement using social media, national TV, schools, hospitals, mosques, administrations…etc., then make it known to the public. Nominations will also be open because many competent women who can make a positive difference in politics need a push to get involved. Given the power of youth and their dedication, the project will have enough man and woman power to become a reality. As many women apply, their profiles will be on the competition’s website and their posters will be posted around the city where they are running. Hence, even if they don’t win the competition, people would know that they are running and they have a chance of getting elected. The winners would run a free campaign and a higher chance of winning the elections because usually male candidates are not that competent, but can afford to run.
However, for this solution to be implemented, many restrictions and obstacles have to be overcome. On one hand, the government needs to agree with the idea and fund it, which is quite hard to get because the Moroccan government doesn’t yet trust youth with such big projects, and financial operations are not clear to the public making it hard to justify whether a denial of the proposal is just or not. On the other hand, according to the Freedom House rankings, Morocco is only partially free. Therefore, the female candidates will be in danger or constrained if their free, independent opinions don’t go along with the government’s ones.
This idea can solve the mind-set problem, although it will take more time. As people are told about how great the female candidates are and what their plans are, they become more politically aware and know more about what each person would do if elected. This will create a revolutionary change, as the 50 percent of Moroccans who are illiterate don’t know much when they vote, they just follow the common belief that a man deserves it more than the woman. With this solution, their mind-set will change sooner or later. Moreover, this solution is giving a fair chance to both genders, and given that women have less access to resources, they will focus on their political visions and worry less about funding. To have a sustainable initiative, all the women who win and are represented in politics will assist the project as much as they can.
This essay was written for a first-year writing course with Professor Irene Papoulis.
From studying abroad to participating in an internship over the summer, Stephanie Hewett ’14 has managed to incorporate her love of dance and art into many aspects of the Trinity experience. In an engaging interview with the Tripod, she recounted her first steps into the world of dance. Even though she was raised in a non-artistic but supportive family, Hewett discovered her love of dancing at the age of five. Her younger years were spent practicing the precision and technique of ballet.
Her admission into a preforming arts middle school allowed her to gain exposure to a new genre of modern dance. After studying the Martha Graham technique that focuses on bodily contractions and releases more than classical ballet, Hewett concentrated mainly on contemporary dance. Her passion then led her to audition for a spot in a performing arts high school in New York City.
When she arrived at Trinity, Hewett was unsure about whether or not she was going to major in dance. However, the influence of a group of upperclassmen and her friends helped her realize that dancing was an integral part of her life that she should pursue.
Relationships and personal experiences are the cornerstone of Hewett’s artistic inspiration. “I want to explore the concept of communication and express how important it is,” Hewett stated. Spending her junior year abroad studying at a conservatory in London allowed Hewett to delve into this concept with greater depth. Living in a flat with five other students fostered an environment that allowed them to “open up, be vulnerable” and explore how, “no matter how messed up the world can seem, they can use art as a voice to try to fix it.”
Hewett then applied this theory to life situations. After noticing how people on the tube, the London subway system, always looked apathetic and reserved she and her friends attempted to break this barrier. They dressed up without any inhibitions or boundaries: in strange hats, heels, and whatever else they could find and took to the streets. Improvising dance movements around different parts of the city was their way of showing people that they do not need to feel inhibited and withdrawn but rather they be themselves and rejoice in their individuality.
A formal project manifested their impromptu dance in an untitled piece that Hewett choreographed. The piece featured two women from the conservatory who wore cardboard box masks, which she had designed. Hewett choreographed the piece and incorporated the masks as a way to convey how concealing the face allows the body to speak in a louder voice.
This switch from being a dancer to choreographer is a decision that Hewett is still on the fence about because her passion extends to both. However, she is beginning to lean more towards choreography because it will allow her to narrate her stories exactly the way she wants. While she loves peforming, dancing in someone else’s creation does not allow for the same kind of creative freedom.
The latest piece that Hewett choreographed embodied the importance she places on being able to clearly communicate her ideas. The dance was inspired by the concept of A priori, which is knowledge through reason and reason alone. “It was really great to take the notion of A priori, which I leaned in philosophy class, and depict it through movement” stated Hewett about being able to express an idea in her own unique creation.
Hewett had the opportunity to witness first-hand how being able to express yourself through art can be a cathartic therapy. During her sophomore year she took a class that visited the York Correctional Institution. While there, the students helped the female prisoners work on a dance pieces that they were peforming at the end of the year. The experience motivated Hewett to intern there over the summer. She saw how dancing transformed the prisoners detached and reserved to open and engaged. Touched by the experience, Hewett felt fortunate “to be a part of that journey, to help them tell their story in a way that is not intrusive and allows them to tell it in their own voice”
Her plans for the future include following this selfless and altruistic path towards becoming involved in dance movement therapy programs for mental health patients, the elderly, and children with autism. Before graduation however, Hewett plans on creating a piece for her senior thesis that will concentrate on this concept of therapeutic self-expression. The main thesis will be centered on the idea of communication.
Hewett plans to bring together many different mediums to incorporate into her project. She is currently looking for artists on campus to participate, so be on the lookout for this opportunity. The final product will be preformed on campus sometime in May, so save the date for what is sure to be a very exciting and moving piece.
SOPHIE KATZMAN ’14
GEORGINA THERMOS ’14
After a long weekend away, the Food Dudes decided it was time for a visit to their number one spot in Hartford, Tangiers. There is nothing more pleasing on a Sunday afternoon than being greeted by at least five of the always-smiling Lebanese brothers. Tangiers is an international food market, showcasing specialty foods from all over the world. In addition, they prepare dishes to eat at the counter or take home.
The family owners of the market are behind the grill in their button downs and ties, cooking their delicious meals. Most of the store is dedicated to displaying their various on the shelf and frozen products. Tangiers provides families in the area with all the must-have Mediterranean cheeses, seasonings, olive oil, and more! The store is filled with delicious homemade pastries, served in individual pieces or if you want to take some home they sell them in bulk in large containers. Most of the dishes they serve are taken from the storeowner’s personal and published cookbook. The food options are endless. Grab a hold of your own copy and you too will be a master chef!
Although we’ve been to Tangiers countless times, knowing that we were writing about the cuisine, we decided to do a tasting of a diverse selection off their menu. To start, we ordered an assortment of appetizers, including hummus, feta, and black olives. We dipped their warm pita in the hummus, adding the feta and olives for a delicious Mediterranean sandwich.
Georgina ordered the chicken kebab wrapped in soft and heated pita. The chicken cubes were grilled to perfection and topped with traditional tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, and of course, crumbled feta. Having tasted authentic chicken kebabs from Greece and in her own home, Georgina is always amazed at how fresh and delicious it is. Sophie went with her classic order of falafel salad. The falafel sits atop a bed of lettuce, tomato, and onions. The Mediterranean tenderness is sprinkled in the crunchy chickpea balls. Paired with their classic tahini sauce, the dish tastes as if it’s coming from a vendor right off the streets of Jerusalem.
Their open kitchen is also reminiscent of a traditional middle eastern marketplace. With the stove just behind the counter, we can watch them fry the falafel bits and toss the salad right before our eyes. Even though our tummies were full, we couldn’t leave without the sweet taste of their baklava. Each of us had a small square for dessert. The nuts, honey and cinnamon, wrapped in flaky filo dough was the perfect finishing touch to our Mediterranean lunch!
Tangiers is located right on Farmington Avenue in West Hartford. You can check out their menu at tangierswh.com. The storefront blends in with its surroundings so, it’s easy to miss it. Next time you’re headed off campus for a bite to eat make sure you look out for it, you don’t want to miss out on their tasty Mediterranean cuisine!
ANA MEDINA ’16
Trinity has a multitude of organizations and activities that allow students to indulge in their passions and interests. However, even with over 100 organizations and clubs, some students find that there is always something new to add to the list. This is exactly what Alex Suarez ’16 and Julia Duggan ’16 did when they initiated Project PACKS.
Despite being extensively involved across campus Duggan and Suarez felt there was still more to do. Suarez is involved with Latin Dance club, volunteers for the Coming Out Network and is a Questbridge Scholar, as well as part of their executive board. Duggan is an avid field hockey player and a teaching assistant for Chemistry. In addition to their individual involvements, both are part of the Dischords and are Residential Assistants. Now, both are proud to add co-presidents of Project PACKS to their list of activities.
Project PACKS, which stands for “Providing Academic Change for Kindling Students,” is a club that aims to help disadvantaged children focus in school. “Our goal is to help kids have an easier time getting educated and enjoy the experience education provides. We also want to help the general Hartford community with a focus on education,” Duggan explains. Suarez and Duggan have found that often children who are part of low-income families have a hard time concentrating in school. Their general worries might be concerned with having enough food to eat for the week, or even just for the day. That, in addition to other problems at home, can create a distracted and unmotivated student. Duggan and Suarez hope to alleviate this worry by providing students with food and school supplies.
While the idea of Project PACKS may seem simple, Duggan and Suarez have been developing the organization since the summer. “We both stayed on campus to do research this summer… and we were just talking about how Trinity is such a nice community and we both felt lucky to be here. But, the minute you step off campus not everyone has the same lifestyle or outlook on school,” Suarez and Duggan explain about evolution of their idea for Project PACKS.
Both noticed that despite having one or two classes they dreaded throughout the semester, there was always a course they could not wait to get to. During the summer, when they had the opportunity to talk to students from the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA) they noticed that students did not feel the same. “They didn’t know how to be involved in school besides academics. To them school was the place they did homework and that’s it,” Duggan comments. As involved students on campus Suarez and Duggan want students to have a different perspective on school and what it can offer an individual.
Both, Suarez and Duggan, have strong connections to this project that drives their ambitious goals for the organization. “I personally haven’t grown up in an affluent family and I know first hand how worrying about stuff, like food or your family finances, affects you in school. It’s such a great help to get past that and I don’t want others to go through what I did. I want them to feel hopeful about getting to a place such as Trinity,” Suarez shares. Similarly Duggan shares, “ I grew up with a reading disability so I remember how frustrating it was and what it felt like to hate school but, once I got past it I learned to love it. I want to help others they way I was helped.”
Currently Project PACKS has been given 20 students to help by Hands on Hartford. These 20 students will drop off their food backpacks with Hands on Hartford and Project PACKS will then stuff them with food and give them back to the students. As of right now, students are anonymous but Suarez and Duggan hope to eventually build a relationship with the students they are helping.
While they are only starting off with 20 students to help, they hope that the number increases and participation with the organization increases. The end goal for Suarez and Duggan is the eventual construction of a new library. “We definitely would like to fund or aid in the funding of the library in another country or renovate one that is here in Hartford to give kids access to better resources,” Duggan explains.
Getting involved with Project PACKS provides flexibility and everyone is encouraged to join. For more information about getting involved contact Alex Suarez or Julia Duggan at their Trinity e-mail.
Nicole Sinno ’17, Staff Writer
With more than three million supporters, activists and volunteers in over 150 countries, Amnesty International works to protect human rights worldwide, through national online networks, high schools, universities, and community groups. With its global headquarters based in London, Amnesty has established organizations in 68 countries, Amnesty International USA being the largest country section of the organization with nearly 250,000 members.
Diana Ryan, co-president of Amnesty at Trinity College, was eager to join Amnesty in her freshman year after interning at Amnesty International in New York City. “I absolutely loved my experience there and wanted to continue advocacy work at Trinity,” she said. Ryan, who is currently ttudying human rights and educational studies, will be graduating in 2014 with many valuable experiences obtained from leading Amnesty’s chapter at Trinity.
“Being involved with Amnesty has taught me that the work never ends! Unfortunately, every day something new comes up, which motivates to be informed and find ways to take action,” Ryan shared.
Amnesty was created in 1961, beginning with one man’s outrage and his determination to do something about it. After finding out that two Portuguese students were imprisoned for a raising a toast to freedom, British lawyer Peter Benenson published the article, “The Forgotten Prisoners” in The Observer. The article further prompted the “Appeal for Amnesty 1961,” a worldwide campaign that was reprinted in newspapers all over the world, and brought forth a remarkable response to fight for human rights. This man’s call to action resonated with the morals and aspirations of people, and consequently began Amnesty International’s journey.
“As a chapter, we’re interested in educating the campus about domestic and international human rights issues through fun and engaging events,” Ryan said.
Some past events that Amnesty has hosted at Trinity include panels, tabling, movie screenings, and letter writing nights on a variety of issues.
On Tuesday, October 8, Trinity’s chapter hosted “Amnestea,” an event in which students were invited to write letters about current human rights issues while snacking on tea and cookies. Some topics written about included the Chinese activists who were detained for ‘gathering crowds and disturbing social order, unjust charges against indigenous leaders in Honduras, and an Indian journalist and human rights activist who is currently detained.
“Amnesty has had many success stories, but most recently is their contribution to the release of Herman Wallace, a man who was held in solitary confinement for over 40 years,” Ryan said.
In 1972, Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace, originally convicted of unrelated cases of armed robbery, were charged with murdering a prison guard. Placed in Closed Cell Restriction (CCR) and forced to endure periods of 23-hour cell confinement, Woodfox and Wallace endured very restricted conditions throughout their extended incarceration.
Louisiana prison authorities didn’t bother to review the men’s continued isolation, and instead simply agreed to the original decision of harsh, CCR confinement.
Affected by decades of solitary confinement, Wallace and Woodfox showed clear psychological effects and serious health concerns. On October 1st, a federal judge overturned Wallace’s conviction and ordered his immediate release.
Amnesty International also welcomes the release of prominent Iranian human rights lawyer and prisoner of conscience, Nasrin Sotoudeh, as well as at least 11 other political activists. ”While the releases are a positive development, they must be a first step that paves the way for the release of all prisoners of conscience held solely because they peacefully exercised their rights,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa deputy director at Amnesty International.
Sentenced in September 2010 to six years for “spreading propaganda against the system” and “acting against national security,” Amnesty International campaigned for Sotouder’s release for years. “It’s great when we can step back and think about what is affecting the rest of the country and the world,” Ryan said.
Trinity’s Amnesty chapter is looking for any new members who have an interest in human rights. They meet every week at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays to discuss human rights issues and invite students to bring in topics they’d like to discuss in a welcoming space that encourages students to share opinions and take action.
On Thursday, October 24, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Amnesty International will be showing a documentary on film-maker Bassel Shehadeh from Syria at the International House. Food will be provided, and everyone is welcome.
“Our biggest achievement is when students stop by our events and learn something new. It’s too easy to get absorbed into our problems,” Ryan said.
Maggie Elias ’17, Staff Writer
As Halloween creeps closer and closer, Trinity’s community service office begins to get busier in anticipation for an exciting event. The Annual Community Events Staff (ACES) will be hosting their 23rd annual Halloween on Vernon on October 27 from 1 to 4 p.m. Members of ACES have been preparing and awaiting the arrival of this enjoyable and lively tradition. Every year, on the Sunday before Halloween, students, faculty, and most importantly, local children, gather together on Vernon Street for games, events, and sweet treats.
Trinity students lead hundreds of local children and families through the fraternity houses, cultural houses, and dorms on Vernon Street that ACES works hard to transform into many different haunted houses. Of course, trick-or-treating is also a part of these haunted houses too! The children also can participate in a variety of fun, Halloween-themed activities, such as candy pong, face painting, temporary tattoos, and cookie decorating.
ACES will be tabling outside Mather all week during lunch and dinner to try and get anyone and everyone involved. Volunteers will also receive a free shirt. Megan O’Brian ’14, president of ACES, is extremely excited for the event and encourages students to, “Please sign up if you haven’t already done so! Halloween on Vernon is a fun event which is greatly appreciated by families in Hartford and continues to grow every year.”
Other community service clubs on campus have been busy with their own events this semester as well. Trinity’s Habitat for Humanity chapter has already participated in quite a few activities. On Sunday, September 21, members traveled to Bloomfield, Conn. to work on two houses for Hartford’s annual Habitat for Humanity Build-a-thon. Trinity students and Hartford volunteers built walls at one of the houses and a deck at the other. In addition, the Trinity chapter was a sponsor for the event and donated $6500.
Habitat for Humanity also did some successful fundraising during Parents Weekend. At the football game, members held a raffle in order to raise funds. Lastly, Habitat members also partnered up with Hartford residents this past Saturday, October 19, to participate in tree planting at Colt Park.
For students who are looking to get involved with Habitat for Humanity – or just enjoy running and supporting a good cause – there is an event approaching. On Saturday, November 2, Habitat is hosting Habitrot, the chapter’s annual 5k walk. For more information, students can contact Alyssa Cuyjet ’14.
Trinity College Best Buddies, a group dedicated to helping those with intellectual disabilities, has been in full swing as well. Students who participate in Best Buddies spend time with local people with intellectual disabilities in order to provide them with one-on-one companionship. This semester, members were paired with their buddies and had their first event on Sunday, September 21, which was the Best Buddies Meet and Greet. Members of Best Buddies and local disabled residents met on the Cave patio for a barbeque and some socializing. Trinity students had a blast getting to know their buddies and meeting the other buddies and members as well.
Best Buddies members will be meeting with their buddies on campus again for Halloween on Vernon. The buddies always have a blast at this event, and it is a wonderful way to show local residents the Trinity campus and community. Although the pairing has taken place, students can still get involved by being an associate buddy, in which they attend and help out at all the on-campus events. Students who are interested can contact Ada Chai ’15 or Garry Ng ’15.
January Experiences of Living and Learning and Outreach (JELLO) has also been busy giving back to the Hartford community. Every Wednesday, two or three volunteers head to Place of Grace, a food pantry down the street from Trinity that is operated by Grace Episcopal Church. In addition, members of JELLO have partnered up with Knox Parks Foundation and participated in frequent weekend events. Trinity students participated in tree planting and park cleanups at local parks. On Sunday, September 21, JELLO members traveled to Keney Park, and on Saturday, October 19, they volunteered at Colt Park. JELLO also participated in a “Source to Sea” river clean up along the Connecticut River on Saturday, October 5.
Ben Williams ’15, one of the JELLO leaders, says, “This year has been exceptional for JELLO. We set out to offer frequent service opportunities around Hartford to enable members to learn about and give back to the community. So far, we’ve held frequent, well-attended events, and intend to have even more in the future.”
A very recent community service event that just took place was the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. This past Sunday, October 20, on a beauty fall morning, Trinity students gathered in Bushnell Park in downtown Hartford for this event, which is sponsored by the American Cancer Society. School groups, work teams, families, friends, and pets gathered in their pink clothes to show their support against breast cancer. Music played and everyone walked laps around the park while enjoying the weather and each other’s company. Elizabeth Goetz ’16, who attended this year’s walk, said, “The walk was a wonderful and rewarding experience for me and the other Trinity students. It was great seeing the Hartford community come together for such an important cause.”
The Trinity community has clearly been extremely busy and involved in community service on campus and in the local community. These clubs and many others will continue to host all different events to participate in. For those students who may not be a part of an on-campus community service group, but would still like to be involved, the club leaders are always welcoming and eager to have new members get involved.
Sonjay Singh ’15, News Editor
President James F. Jones Jr. released his final annual address to the faculty earlier this month, exploring the state of security concerns, fundraising, administrative bloat, capital spending and new social policies as he departs from campus. The address provided a great summation of President Jones’ accomplishments throughout his tenure as well as his hopes and concerns moving forward with a new president. At times, it was also a very human look into the sometimes mysterious executive branch of Trinity College, illustrating the bittersweet nature of President Jones’ departure and his nostalgic view of a storied tenure.
President Jones opened by addressing the growing security concerns expressed by administration, alumni, parents and students, explaining advancements in campus safety and the nature of recent crimes on campus. Recognizing that most incidents involve the theft of cell phones, due to ease of anonymous resale, President Jones explained that through GPS and video surveillance, Campus Safety has made strides in apprehending criminals while also acknowledging that more can be done.
He then moved into a discussion of the new presidential search, saying that, “I want you to know that I am not involved in the search process, and will not be offering any nominations, as is only proper for a departing president.” However, he expressed full confidence in the search committee led by Cornie Thornburgh, Chair-Elect of the Board of Trustees, and reiterated that this should be a time of optimism and pride in the college.
After speaking briefly on the orientation program, including Quest, which he pioneered, President Jones then moved into a long discussion of Trinity’s success in admissions. This year’s admissions cycle boasted 7,653 applicants (just shy of the record of 7,720) and offered admission to 32-percent of candidates with a yield of 25-percent, totalling 605 students. Among the many accomplished members of the Class of 2017 are four Presidential Scholars, as well as an increased number of students involved in science, mathematics, engineering and technology fields. President Jones attributes some of the success to a pilot program which matches top candidates to department chairs earlier than usual. This program has led to more students attending VIP days due to a greater connection with the school and led to less admissions attrition.
President Jones then lauded Trinity’s marketing firm, 160over90, for its continued work in communications to prospective students. Admitting that the College hasn’t always put enough effort into publicizing its best attributes, Jones is thankful for the firm’s work in helping to improve advertising in an increasingly high-speed age. Through an online questionnaire for prospective students, the firm is able to more carefully cater its publications to prospective students and they have already had success in publicizing the presidential search.
Expressing the need for more funding so financial aid can be offered to a greater number of outstanding students, President Jones then moved the focus to recent fundraising efforts. Despite last years troubles, Trinity College is doing much better this year with increases in the Trinity Fund and “Early Bantam” campaign, new members of the Parent Directors (a $10,000 threshold), an increased number of government awards and new grants for scientific research. Noting that “[o]ur Advancement professionals will tell you that their job is more about ‘friendraising’ than ‘fundraising,’” President Jones announced a set of Academic Advisory Boards meant to “reconnect groups of alumni with keen affection for the College back to the heart of their alma mater. These alumni-composed groups will have many goals, among them advising the Dean of issues in their fields, supporting activities which foster student education as well as other projects including fundraising and outreach.
President Jones also congratulated Tom Mitzel on his return to Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs. Mitzel’s first assignment will be structuring a document which will serve as a united faculty voice on the academic future of the College. By examining enrollment data of the past and projections for the future, department heads will start forming opinions this semester and working towards a recommendation.
After mentioning both obvious capital renovation to the campus, such as Vernon Social and Crescent Street, and the more minor such as renovations to Gallows Hill and the Jacobs Auditorium, Jones moved on to praising the faculty and the elimination of many high-level administrative positions. Particularly proud of the reduction of administrative bloat, Jones noted “Based on data compiled by COFHE, as of 2011 the number of non-faculty staff at Trinity was 485 while the median for all COFHE schools was 513. Since 2005 Trinity reduced the number of non-faculty staff by 16 while COFHE schools averaged an increase in the number of non-faculty staff. In my opinion, we are as lean as humanly possible to administer a college as complex as Trinity.”
After noting the improvements to campus culture which can be brought about by the new house system, although surprisingly ignoring completely the changes to selective social organizations, Jones closed his speech, powerfully concluding: “As should be the case for every departing president, my pledge to you is that beginning July 1, I will never intrude in any way into Trinity affairs. I will return to campus—only when invited—to officiate at weddings, funerals, and the like, but I will always be available to help faculty, staff, and students with letters of recommendation or in any other way I can assist any of you from afar.”
Elizabeth Valenzuela ’17, Contributing Writer
On Thursday, September 26, the Interfaith House hosted an event called “Eat, Drink and Be Holy.” The Interfaith Council, representatives from the different faith communities on campus, and Joe Barber, the Drector of the Office of Community Service & Civic Engagement led this event. Its theme was service and its purpose was to introduce students to a community service initiative that hopes to collect non-perishable food items every week to distribute to Hartford schoolchildren. The name of this effort is the Backpack Nutrition Program and it is sponsored by Hands on Hartford.
Upon entering the Interfaith House, visitors were greeted by an intimate setting that consisted of small round tables with candles on them. This environment facilitated discussions between participants while they dined on delicious Mexican food from El Sarape. The Interfaith House is a student-run space that serves as a safe place for students to discuss issues of faith and spirituality. That night, the topic was service and the issue was food security in the Hartford area. Faculty members and students shared their unique perspectives on service before introducing the Backpack Nutrition Program.
The first speaker was Professor Todd Ryan, member of the Philosophy Department and advisor to the Interfaith House. He spoke of his personal philosophy of service, which he developed after reflecting on his life experiences. He shared the story of an experience that helped shape his philosophy. When he was a Master’s student, he attended a conference and met a specialist in the interfaith movement. This stranger took an interest in Professor Ryan and arranged for him to study in Paris for a year. He was amazed by this man’s generous act and felt that he could never repay his kindness. Professor Ryan said, “We couldn’t have achieved what we have if it weren’t for the generous people who have contributed to our success.” Professor Ryan says that when he helps others he is imitating the generosity of those who have helped him.
Catholic Campus Minister John Campbell spoke next on the Catholic Church’s teachings on the importance of service. He said that Catholics base their beliefs about charity on the Bible. Specifically, the Beatitudes, which are the pronouncements of Christian ideals from Jesus, and the Corporal Works of Mercy, which include feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty and sheltering the homeless. Minister Campbell emphasized that the Church, as well as individual Catholics, takes this tradition very seriously, and so feel compelled to serve others.
Lisa Kassow, the director of Hillel, spoke about Judaism and its beliefs about community and service. She said that the Jewish faith is about communities based on relationships with God and others. These communities consist of people with shared values who come together because they are moved to do good works. She cited Deuteronomy 16:20, which is a very important verse in the Torah that states, “Tzedek tzedek tirdof” or “Justice, justice shall you pursue.” This passage in the Torah communicates the importance of righteousness to those of the Jewish faith.
Joe Barber spoke about community service from the perspective of non-believers. He says that when he was in college, he wanted to make the world a better place but was not sure how. When he arrived in Hartford, he felt it was where he belonged and ever since, has dedicated his life to making it a better place. He believes that it is important to do well by others and to pay things forward once we achieve success.
Student leader Mazin Khalil ’15 shared Islam’s perspective on charity and service, which is based on one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It is Zakat, or giving charity. This is usually in monetary form. Serving others is an integral part of Islam, which believes that the community is like a body; when one part hurts, the whole suffers.
The last student speaker was Lisley DaSilva ’16, who represented the Christian community and spoke about its stance on service. She cited Matthew 25:35 which states, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” In this verse, Jesus is telling his followers that any good deed they do for others, they do for Him. She shared that service is an important part of her personal life.
Finally, Chaplain Allison Read spoke about The Backpack Nutrition Program, a campus-wide effort to distribute food to Hartford schoolchildren. It is sponsored by Hands on Hartford. This program will focus on the food security issue that exists in Hartford. Some students receive food in school during the week through a free breakfast and lunch program but do not have the resources to eat three meals a day during the weekends. To help correct this problem, the Interfaith Council has committed to filling twenty-five backpacks of food each week. All Trinity students are encouraged to pay it forward and aid in this effort by donating non-perishable food items to the Interfaith House.
Esther Shittu ’17, Contributing Writer
On Thurs., September 26, Trinity College hosted the Latino Forum titled “The Emerging Political Clout of Latinos.” The forum began with some interesting facts about Latinos in order to engage the audience. According to Tom Mitzel, Trinity College Dean of Faculty, “Latinos make up 43% of the Hartford population. It is also Latinos who had a great impact on the 2012 election and will have a significant impact on the 2014 election. Although it seems very far away, [they will affect] the 2016 election as well.”
The forum was meant to be a discussion about the Latino influence throughout the United States. The Latino Endowment fund sponsored and coordinated the event, which consisted of experts in the field of Latino studies, such as U.S. Representative Linda Sanchez, Mark Hugo Lopez, Director of the Pew Hispanic Center, and State Senator Andres Ayala Jr. People from all over Connecticut attended this event– not just students from Trinity.
The forum was designed to stimulate a discussion about the local problems that Latinos face in Connecticut. However, it also investigated issues concerning national problems that Latinos face as well. California Congresswoman Linda Sanchez was invited to attend the forum to discuss these national issues. However, Ms. Sanchez, was unfortunately unable to attend. She did, however, make a video that discussed the growing influence of Latinos everywhere.
According to Congresswoman Sanchez, the Latino population has changed dramatically over the last 30 years – Latinos used to make up only 20 percent of the Hartford population, but now they are Hartford’s largest ethnic group, making up 43 percent of the city’s people. Ms. Sanchez also said that, “It is clear in Hartford, and all over the country, that Latinos have not only raised their voice, but they’ve amplified it to a point where it can no longer be easily ignored.”
Congresswoman Sanchez recognizes that Latinos are changing the face of leadership in the country. She said, “There is not a record setting 31 Latinos in the U.S. Congress; that is a 20 percent increase in just two years.”
However, the Congresswoman did not just praise Latinos for their improvement in the leadership of the United States. She also stated that Latinos are able to do more. Based on the 2012 election, it seems that only 48 percent of eligible Latino voters actually showed up to vote. To Congresswoman Sanchez, that is unacceptable, especially based on a special saying in Washington: “If you do not have a seat at the table, you are going to end up on the menu.” What this means is that if one does not have a seat at the table where all the decisions are being made, then it is very unlikely that your needs, concerns, and issues are going to be voiced and heard. By not going out to vote, Latinos are not going to have true representation.
Congresswoman Sanchez ended her video by thanking the Latino Endowment fund for being a champion for education and the workforce community. She relates with education personally and acknowledges that her parents are the only two people in the history of the United States who can say that they have two daughters serving in Congress.
Other than Congresswoman Sanchez, Mark Hugo Lopez, Director of the Pew Research Center, spoke about nationwide statistics concerning Latinos. Lopez mentioned that is because of the youth that there was a growth of about four million Latino voters from 2008 to 2012.
According to Lopez, the number of Latinos that are eligible to vote reached 23.5 million in 2012, which is a far cry from the 19.5 million that were eligible in 2008. Lopez said this number is growing because of “the story of young people coming of age.” It seems that the youth are making such a big difference in this country, especially since about 800,000 Latinos turn 18 every year.
Regardless of this number, Lopez echoed the concerns of Congresswoman Sanchez when he noted that many Latinos who were able to vote did not vote. This issue brings up the question of who among Latinos actually comes out to vote, and at what rate? Lopez believes that it seems the answer lies in education: “College educated Latinos and Cuban Americans tend to have a higher turnout rate than Latinos who do not have a college degree.” Another reason is the geography of Latinos. It seems that states like California and Texas have the nation’s largest Latino populations, and therefore more candidates seek Latino votes in those states.
Lopez closed his discussion by speaking about the future. He noted that the future of Latino voters seems bright because by 2030, a huge number of Latino youth will have turned 18. He estimates that therefore 40 million Latinos will be eligible to vote.
The third speaker at the forum was State Senator Andres Ayala. Ayala spoke about what Latinos can do to meet their needs, and also about how Latinos can make political representatives pay attention to their problems. Senator Ayala believes that, “Latinos must grow [their] own political power independent of any structure that exists out there because the fact of the matter is [politicians are] not supporting [Latinos] anyway, anyhow.” Senator Ayala believs that “political savvy” and “political know-how” will allow Latinos to be leaders everywhere. He believes that the reason politicians neglect the Latino population is because Latino voters to not get to the polls.
During the question and answer session, one student asked about what republicans and democrats in Washington need to do to convince Latinos that they are sincere about wanting them to come to the polls on voting day. The senator answered that the parties need to prove that they care through their actions. Senator Ayala referenced President Obama, who uses his capital to pass bills that are important to him. Senator Ayala believes that in the same way, the President and other democratic representatives can use their capital to pass bills that are important to Latinos, such as new immigration laws.
Jason Rojas, the Director of Community Relations at Trinity and a Connecticut state repsentative, also spoke at the forum. Rojas spoke about some of the challenges that he faced as he was trying to get elected to the Connecticut House, and the advice that he has for many Latinos and minorities who are also looking to have political impact in this country. Rojas believes that Latinos should truck ahead in spite of the negative comments that they are going to receive. His advice to future Latino politicians is that they should ignore the naysayers and be motivated to do what they want to do, because no one will give them anything in the world and “one has to go out and work for yourself.”
Elisa Dolan ’15 attended this forum and thought it was interesting how prominent Latinos are in Hartford. Dolan believes that is was interesting that Rojas is focused on Latinos, instead of Hartford as a whole.
All in all, the forum was a great discussion. It applauded Latinos for their growing influence in this country, but also mentioned ways in which they can improve in terms of political influence.
Nicole Sinno ’17, Staff Writer
Cities across the country are on alert as officials warn of a surge in stolen Apple products, dubbed “Apple picking.” According to the Federal Communications Commission, 30 to 40 percent of robberies in several major cities involve cell phones, including 38 percent in Washington, D.C. and 40 percent in New York City.
In the past week, the Trinity College campus has seen a spike in robberies and phone thefts ranging in location from Vernon Street to Mather Dining Hall.
According to Campus Safety it has been more than one and a half years since the campus experienced any incidents of this type, and they are working closely with Hartford police to investigate the recent crimes, apprehend the perpetrators, and improve the safety of our campus by increasing patrols.
The first incident was reported at 4:05 p.m. on September 19. Campus Safety notified the campus that a student had been the victim of an armed robbery after getting into a four-door SUV on Summit Street containing four men, one of whom he had previously met. The victim had joined the perpetrators for a pre-arranged meeting and while travelling down Allen Place, the student was robbed of cash and his cell phone. Fortunately, the student was not harmed.
The next incident was reported on September 28 at 8:40 p.m as an attempted robbery. A Trinity student was walking on Summit Street by Mather Hall when he was approached by someone who attempted to steal the student’s cell phone. The attempted theft of the student’s cell phone was not successful, and the suspects fled.
In spite of the recent robberies, Molly Toms ’17 felt appreciative that Campus Safety wasn’t keeping students in the dark. “I wasn’t all that shocked by the incidents, just thankful no one was seriously injured. I appreciate how communicative Campus Safety has been with the students and I know that by being smart at nighttime and embracing the systems designed to keep us safe, we can ensure fewer incidents occur in the future,” Toms said.
“Students are equal partners with us in protecting themselves and the campus. We certainly want people to carry their phones with them, but if you are listening to music or texting on your phone while walking, realize that you may not be aware enough to prevent something from happening. Offenders will utilize the distraction to their advantage and act quickly,” said Francisco Ortiz, Director of Campus Safety.
On September 29, Campus Safety notified the campus of a third incident. Two Trinity students were walking on Vernon Street when they were approached and robbed of their cell phones. With the help of student bystanders, Campus Safety officers were able to catch and detain one suspect until Hartford Police arrived to make the arrest. The perpetrators did not have weapons, the students received medical treatment, and the stolen phones were recovered.
Students seem to have a calm and practical attitude toward this past week’s occurrences. “Clearly it’s alarming that these incidents happened, but we have to remember that we are in a city. More security would definitely be helpful, but overall I’m not worried about my safety,” Miguel Adamson ’17 said.
Campus Safety officials urge students to remain aware of their surroundings at all times and keep their phones and electronic devices out of plain sight. Ortiz stresses that students be conscientious. “One [theft] happened on a late Sunday night, while another occurred during a beautiful Thursday afternoon,” Ortiz said. The Campus Safety Office hosted a safety orientation for freshman, in which students were told to walk in groups, use well-lit campus walkways especially at night, and use the campus shuttle. “If you feel the uneasy about something, don’t hesitate to call Campus Safety for a walking escort,” Ortiz said at the information session.
In response to the recent robberies, Trinity has taken direct and immediate action to ensure the safety of its students. Campus Safety has increased officer patrols on foot, in vehicles, and on bikes, while Hartford Police has increased officer patrols in and around campus in direct response to recent events. “We’re doing a lot of things on this campus to raise the bar professionally,” Ortiz said.
Campus Safety has upgraded security throughout the campus, and expanded the system of outdoor blue-light phones. The campus now does more direct paroles and has increased bike patrols throughout the night. The local Hartford police department has also provided Trinity with additional resources to enhance safety, such as perimeter patrols, especially in the evening hours and on weekends.
“We care about each other and about our College. I share your love of walking on our beautiful campus, and I want you to feel you can do this freely,” President James F. Jones said.
Maggie Elias ’17, Contributing Writer
Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. At least 44,000 blood donations are needed every single day. An actual blood donation takes between 10 to 12 minutes. Every blood donation saves up to three lives.
These are some of the Red Cross’s motivators to encourage Americans to give blood. However, the brothers of Psi Upsilon are also doing their part to convince Trinity students to donate.
Psi Upsilon has hung banners advertising the blood drive on Tues, October 2, since it is the first Red Cross Blood Drive of the year. For the past week, Psi Upsilon brothers have been sitting in the Mather lobby during lunch and dinner trying to draw anyone and everyone to sign up and donate.
Who can donate? Almost anyone! Donors must be at least 17 years old and weigh 110 pounds. Potential donors under 17 must recieve parental consent. Also, students will not be allowed to donate blood if they have gotten a piercing or tattoo within the last year. The Red Cross also considers exposure to malaria when it comes to donating blood – students who have recently traveled to a country with malaria must wait a whole year until they will be able to donate. If a student has lived in a country where malaria has found, there is a three-year waiting period for donation eligiblity. Mad Cow Disease exposure also disallows candidates from donating blood.
These restrictions, although plentiful, still allow a large portion of the Trinity College student body to be able to donate blood.
The Red Cross affirms that people should donate because the blood donation may very well save someone’s life.
Many students also feel a civic responsibility to donating blood because they have previously benefited from Red Cross medical care in the past.
Molly McGlynn ’17 donates because her uncle needed a blood transfusion at one point in his life, so she never wants anyone to be in the position in which a blood transfusion is not readily available.
The students who coordinate the blood drive also make sure to offer cookies and juice to all those who donate blood.
“It’s for a really good cause, so if you’re debating on whether or not to give blood, you definitely should do it!” said Jeff Durkin ’16.
Donating blood is a quick, but extremely vital and significant way to help the community. The process is extremely straightforward, with one, single pinch that lasts a couple seconds. All you have to do to prepare for donation is get a good night’s sleep, have a large, healthy meal with plenty of protein, and be well hydrated.
During the process, you can do whatever is most relaxing for you, whether it be closing your eyes and breathing deep, listening to music, watching something on your phone, or talking to the others around you.
Afterwards, you just have to stick around for 15 minutes to recover. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids for the following 24 hours and stay away from vigorous exercising and lifting.
Most importantly, you can enjoy the wonderful feeling of knowing that you may have just saved someone’s life by donating blood.
URSULA PETERSEN ’15
Last Wednesday, students at Trinity had the chance to attend a screening and discussion of Charlie Chaplin’s film “The Great Dictator.” It would be an understatement to say that Charlie Chaplin is simply recognizable. The man is iconic. One of the most famous actors of the 20th century, Chaplin is known for his silent films, but perhaps one of his most famous films, “The Great Dictator,” isn’t silent at all. This is evident in a few ways. Yes, literally, sound technology was newly conceived at this time, meaning “The Great Dictator” did have sound. But more striking was the silence that Chaplin broke during this film. “The Great Dictator” is known to be one of the most famous and controversial satire films ever made, as it directly parodies Hitler and Nazi Germany.
The film is set in the time just following the First World War, in the fictional nation of Tomainia. Chaplin plays both ‘the Jewish Barber,’ a Jewish war veteran who lives in the Jewish Ghetto, and Hynkel, the dictator of Tomainia who bears an unflinching resemblance to Adolf Hitler. Throughout the course of the film, the barber deals with attacks and vandalism wrecked upon his business and home, as well as being sent to a prison camp. In contrast, Hynkel’s most strenuous day is splitting time between having a bust of himself composed and watching over numerous experiments that hope to advance weapon technology. Of course, both of these characters go about their days and lives with typical, bumbling Chaplin slapstick. Hynkel, though a powerful and ruthless dictator, is often shown to be comically dwarfed—both in height and intelligence. Chaplin portrays Hynkel as simply ridiculous; the man cannot do anything without growing angry at his own incompetence. In a few of the scenes in which Chaplin parodies the style of public speaking that Hitler is well-known for, you can actually hear Chaplin yelling in gibberish that is meant to pass off for German. For instance, in one of the scenes where Hynkel flies into a rage and begins to scream in ‘German,’ one can clearly hear Chaplin merely repeating the phrase: “Cheese and crackers.”
Chaplin was well known for his social commentary in films. He often played the ‘tramp’ or the ‘clown,’ figures known to be the underdog. In Chaplin’s films, the little guy stands up against the man, the machine, and often prevails in one form or another. Chaplin’s philosophy is seen throughout almost every single film: The underdog is the wise figure, those consumed by greed or power, in comparison, becomes idiotic. This is especially apparent in “The Great Dictator”. The Jewish Barber, upon first sight, is bumbling and uncoordinated. He is absent-minded, but comically so. The comic side of this character is however, often overshadowed as the Jewish Barber is constantly harassed by police and anti-Semites. He is subject to physical violence, harassment, and vandalism. And yet, at the end, The Jewish Barber is wiser than Hynkel and the anti-Semites. He escapes the prison camp, and in a comic-twist, is mistaken for Hynkel himself. He uses his position as ‘dictator’ to preach for progress, forgiveness and acceptance, and appeals to the core philosophies of Democracy. The oppressed and bumbling clown is raised above all the power-hungry, clinging to the wisdom only found by those who have experienced true hardship.
The film, though it was comical at times and served as a platform to promote democratic ideals, it was not without controversy. “The Great Dictator” was released in 1940, just one year into the Second World War. According to Chaplin’s biography, had he known about the later horrors that would take place in Germany, he wouldn’t have made the film. Chaplin’s slapstick parody of Hitler and his climb to power, when looked at from the context of the holocaust, is hardly amusing. While Chaplin was unaware of exactly how insane Hitler would become, he turned the man into a caricature with his portrayal of Hynkel. Hynkel is an idiot: plain and simple, but he isn’t loathsome. He provides much of the comic relief, and is shown to be hilariously incapable of maneuvering the rungs of power and politics. However, his real-life counterpart was hardly a source of comic relief: Hitler was responsible for an estimated 11 million deaths, 6 million of which were Jews. By portraying Hynkel as an idiot, Chaplin was exhibiting the opinion that Hitler was also an idiot. The controversy lies therein: Did Chaplin’s portrayal of Hynkel/Hitler as such a comical moron whitewash Hitler’s dictatorship and the deaths he had executed? Refer, again, to Chaplin’s insistence that had he been more aware of the horrors of concentration camps, he wouldn’t have made the movie. However, seventy years has passed since the making of the film. Most of us weren’t around to see the effect Hitler had on pop culture and social commentary during this time. Therefore, despite the faults Chaplin may have found after completing the picture must be set aside: the social and historical commentary is too important to ignore.
BART HARVEY ’16
The Trinity women’s soccer team continued their torrid run this past week, defeating Albertus Magnus and two tough New England College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) in Bates and Tufts. The Bantams dominated the game against the visiting Albertus Magnus College Falcons, giving the team five wins, matching their total from the last year.
The Bantams controlled the ball for the entirety of the first half, but was held scoreless despite 11 shots, until late in the period. Forward Rachel Zanko ’17 dribbled the ball towards the outside of the box and ripped a shot that bounced off the top of the crossbar that looked to be headed out of bounds. Luckily, Zanko was surprised as she watched the ball fall straight down in front of the net and produce enough backspin to bounce off the fallen goalkeeper and into the back of the net, giving Trinity a leg up headed into intermission, 1-0.
The Bantams carried their momentum into the second half, mounting three goals on ten shots, courtesy of defenders Julia Leahy ’16 and Kelsey Thomas ’16 and star forward Abbey Lake ’16. Trinity’s dominant defense continued in this game as they only allowed Albertus to get four shots. However, the Falcons were able to take advantage of a corner kick to break the shutout. This was only the second goal the Bantams had allowed in their first five games. Goalkeeper Monica DiFiori ’16 grabbed four saves in her fifth win of the season.
Saturday’s matchup against the Bates College Bobcats was not as one-sided as their game on Tuesday. Forward Karyn Barrett ’15 opened the scoring in the game as tri-captain midfielder Elisa Dolan ’15 sent a through ball forward in front of the goal. Barrett beat the defense to the ball as she snuck the ball past the goalkeeper at the 17:34 mark. Bates was able to score the equalizer in the 58th minute as sophomore Leah Humes rocketed the ball passed goalkeeper Difiori. Trinity was able to notch the game-winning goal when midfielder Kendra Lena ’17 blasted the ball passed the diving Bates goalkeeper to keep the Bantams undefeated on the season, moving to 6-0.
In Sunday’s matchup versus the Tufts University Jumbos, the Bantams took the lead early in the game and never relinquished it. Just three minutes into the game, Trinity took the lead, 1-0, after midfielder Laura Nee ’17 made a short corner kick pass to Dolan at the edge of the box, which she then put in the top right-hand corner of the net, for her second goal of the season. Four minutes later, the Bantams struck again, as Barrett and Lake worked a give-and-go in the middle of the field for Lake’s team-high fifth goal of the season and second in the NESCAC.
Tufts came charging back in the latter half of the first period as Carla Kruyff lofted a 30-yard free kick into the upper left-hand corner of the net past a diving DiFiori. Tufts almost tied the game five minutes later as Katie Coyle ‘15 had space in front of the box, but was blocked at the last second. Trinity regained their two-goal lead when Dolan made a beautiful dribbling combination in the penalty box that drew the goalkeeper. As the goalkeeper was charging, Dolan delivered an easy pass to forward Andi Nicholson ’17 who scored on an empty net.
The Bantams remain undefeated with a record of 7-0. They maintain sole possession of first place and have moved up to the 5th ranked spot in Division III schools in New England. The Bantams will face Westfield St. on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 4 PM, before they face NESCAC foe Bowdoin on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 12 PM.
BART HARVEY ’16
So far this fall, ten Trinity College varsity athletic teams have competed in interscholastic competitions. This article is designated to give brief highlights and details as to what each team has accomplished just one month into their respective seasons.
The men’s tennis team has not played in any head-to-head matches thus far. However they competed in the Middlebury Inivitational on Sept. 15 and in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regional Championships on Sept. 28. In the ITA Regional Championships, tri-captain Dan Carpenter ’15, seeded No. eight, fought off a tough first round opponent and cruised in his second-round match, before falling in the third round. The tennis team will open match play against Skidmore on Oct. 5 at 1 PM.
The women’s tennis team has had similar scheduling, as they have only competed in ITA Regionals thus far. They’re team efforts were highlighted by Melita Ferjanic ’16, who was seeded No. five, as she won her first two matches in straight sets. She then bested Amhersts’ Jen Newman in the third set before she fell to the number three seed in the quarterfinals. The rest of the women’s fall will only play in tournaments as they prepare for head-to-head matchups in the spring.
The women’s volleyball team has enjoyed a successful fall so far as they are 9-5 on the season, and 1-2 in the New England College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). The Bantams enjoyed a sweep at home during the Trinity Invitational as they won all four of their matches that weekend. The team will face Hamilton on Oct. 4 at 8 PM as they begin to head down a tough stretch in their schedule.
The golf team’s fall season is short but sweet. They have competed in four of their six tournaments so far this season. In three of those tournaments, the team has finished in third place or higher. Jeff Durkin ’16 won medalist honors as he shot a 2-under 68 to lead Trinity to a win in the Trinity Invitational.
The Trinity field hockey team has experienced a somewhat disappointing start to the season. After starting 3-0, the Bantams have dropped the last three games out of five, putting their record at 5-3 and 3-2 in the NESCAC. The Bantams experienced a heart-breaking loss against No. 2-ranked Tufts this past weekend. Both defenses dominated throughout the game, but Tufts finally broke through on a penalty corner early in the second period to give them the deciding goal, 1-0.
The football team hasn’t missed a step since finishing last year undefeated and NESCAC champions. The Bantams are 2-0 on the season, after winning a thriller at home against Williams. In front of a nervous Trinity crowd, quarterback Henry Foye ’16 found wide receiver A.J. Jones ’14 in the back of the endzone with 18 seconds remaining to give the Bantams a 20-13 victory, preserving a 48-game home winning streak at Jessee/Miller Field. The Bantams will look to make it 49 straight as they take on Hamilton this Saturday at 1 PM.
Women’s Cross Country
The women’s cross country team has seen top five finishes in all three of their invitationals so far. In particular, the Bantams came in second out of 19 teams this past Saturday at the Blazer Invitational. Bridget Maquire ’16 and Cassandra Cronin ’17 finished fourth and fifth, respectively, with times of 20:30 and 20:34 in the 5,000-meter race.
Men’s Cross Country
The men’s cross country team has seen similar success, placing in the top five in two of their three invitational. Patrick Hoagland ’16 finished second overall with a time of 27: 45, boosting Trinity to fourth place among twelve teams in the Blazer Invitational.
The men’s soccer team enjoyed a splendid start to their season going 6-0 before tieing Bates in double overtime and losing to Tufts this past Sunday, 2-0. The team’s success is highlighted by a thrilling overtime win against No. 2-ranked Williams on Sept. 14. Defender Shaun McGann ’14 gave the Bantams the game-winning goal in the second overtime. The Bantams will look to cement itself in the NESCAC standings as they take on Bowdoin on Oct. 5 at 11 AM.
Much like the men’s team, the women’s soccer team is still lamenting their win over Williams. Williams had defeated Trinity 17 straight times before the Bantams overcame the Ephs 2-0 on Sept. 14. The team is 7-0 on the season and has only allowed four goals in seven contests so far. Trinity is looking to pursue an undefeated season as they take on Westfield St. this Tuesday at 4 PM and Bowdoin on Oct. 5 at 12 PM.
DONNA KIMMINS ’16
Last Sunday many of us crowded around our TVs to tune into the 65th annual Emmy Award Show. The following offers a list of the night’s winners: “Breaking Bad” and “Modern Family” conquered the evening taking home several awards throughout the show. “Breaking Bad” started the night off with their first win for “Outstanding Drama Series.” Anna Gunn won the award for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama” for her role as Skyler White in “Breaking Bad.” “Modern Family” took home the second award of the night for “Outstanding Comedy Series.” “Modern Family” also took home the award for “Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series.” The director of the show, Gall Mancuso, accepted the award. The third award for “Outstanding Movie or Mini-series” went to “Behind the Candelabra,” beating out “American Horror Story” and “Political Animals.” Michael Douglas took home the award for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Mini-series or Movie” for his role as Liberace in HBO’s “Behind the Candelabra.” Ellen Burstyn took home the award for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Mini-series or Movie” for her role as Margaret Barrish Worthington in “Political Animals” on USA. “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central received a few awards as well. The show took home the award for “Outstanding Variety Series” and “Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series.”
This week Lamar Odom posted a message to his fans on Twitter, stating “I have let this man and many others get away with a lot of sh–. He wasn’t there 2 raise me. He was absent ALL my life due to his own demons.” He addressed his father and how he blames him for all of his personal problems. After this tweet, he praised the Kardashian family and all that they have done for him. Some say it was a ploy to win back his wife, Khloe Kardashian, and get back in the good graces of her family. Last Friday was the couple’s four year wedding anniversary and Khloe was spotted leaving the gym without her wedding ring on.
BENJAMIN CHAIT ’16
Over the past several years there has been a seemingly forced push towards rediscovering the preppy style. Going to college in the Northeast, specifically New England, where the preppy style and culture seems to be most popular, it seems odd that such a traditional style could be translated into a major fashion trend on the New York runway. Jack McCullough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, Miuccia Prada of Prada, and even Kim Jones of Louis Vuitton have designed collections over the past few fashion seasons that each tackle and give a new spin on the classic preppy look.
However, no one in recent memory has captured the true authenticity of the preppy style quite like menswear designer Michael Bastian. This Babson College graduate, originally from upstate New York, was the men’s fashion director for five years at the luxury goods powerhouse, Bergdorf Goodman, before starting his own men’s line in 2006. Only a few short years later in 2011, Bastian was accepting the award for menswear designer of the year from the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Bastian reflected on his years at Bergdorf Goodman with the intention of giving men what he saw that couldn’t be found in the collections being put out by other design houses. Bastian has a realistic and simple mentality to design—if he himself wouldn’t wear something, he will not put it on the runway or let it be sold in stores. This sounds simple enough, but comparing him with Thom Browne, who makes stunningly beautiful but ridiculously un-wearable clothing based on classic preppy Americana, Bastian is a real fresh breath of air in the frivolous world of American fashion.
Over the past years, Bastian has used a wide array of muses for his collections. For Spring/Summer 2012, the inspiration was James Dean. Bastian was inspired by Dean’s movie wardrobes, but also by his real life fashion choices as well as the attitude he brought to the clothing. For Fall/Winter 2013, the inspiration was the work of 20th century painter Andrew Wyeth. His take on the darker side of New England prep featured longhaired models, subtle tiger printed camouflage pants, chunky knits with wolfs on them, and an overall feeling of a stylish winter on the shores of Maine. The collection was somewhat of a merging of a winter collection from Ralph Lauren, but restyled by the prince of fashion Goth, Rick Owens. However, a simple and stylish American guy could easily wear every piece of the Fall/Winter 2013 collection.
It doesn’t take long to notice that a large number of looks sent down the catwalk for both women’s wear and menswear are highly ridiculous and un-wearable. However the hallmark of Michael Bastian is that every piece can be worn. Bastian has perfectly filled the gaping hole for the man who wants nicer clothes than those made by stylish brands like J. Crew and Banana Republic, but without feeling foolish and overdone. The only problem with Bastian’s own line was the pricing, however a few years ago, Bastian personally reworked his company and drastically lowered the prices of his clothing.
But along the short yet fruitful journey of Bastian’s career as a designer, he has been apart of a few mindboggling collaborations. While most hot young designers are approached to design a ten piece collection for Target or Walmart, Bastian has collaborated collections for big name collections. He has helped design four sandals for the Brazilian brand Havaianas, 15 pairs of reading glasses and sunglasses for Randolph Engineering, 14 polo shirts for the mass appealing brand Uniqlo, countless pairs of dress slippers for the exclusive Palm Beach based footwear company Stubbs and Wootton, and most notably, a several collection collaboration with Gant. This impressive list not only proves Bastian’s ability to juggle and create, but how accepted and in demand this man and his relatively new design house are.
Personally, I fell hard for his collaborations with Gant. I’m a huge fan of Bastian but even with his price reductions, I can only afford to buy four or five pieces a collection from his signature line. The Gant collaboration is about a third of Bastian’s regular prices and is meant to target the collegiate man. The first collection, done in 2010, was inspired by the sport of lacrosse. After having read an article on the contact sport in the “New Yorker,” Bastian sent lacrosse sticks, pads, and helmets down the runway along side rugby shirts, with the netting of a lacrosse goal, cut off shorts with embroidered sticks on them, and even polo shirts with an emblem of a lax bro. Since his collaborations have drawn inspiration form the Galapagos Islands, Boston, baseball, the army, and even the sport of boxing. His work for Gant is made for a real guy’s guy.
When compared with the standard slew of fashion houses, the house of Michael Bastian is relatively small, but deserves as much attention as a big house, especially because his designs are so in tune with a certain style found around this Trinity campus. The classic American preppy style from one of Bastian’s favorite books Take Ivy is reinvented with better cuts, better lines, yet there is always a sense of humor, like the famous Charlie Brown Sweater or his signature cut off shorts with the boxer shorts showing underneath. In his latest collection, Bastian took us to Paris via inspiration from films like the “Red Balloon” and “The Dreamers.” And despite the French influence, the foundation of his collection is just so classically American. If one ever doubts the state of American menswear, I beg of them to look to Michael Bastian and see that this man is the Ralph Lauren of our generation, only so much cooler.
PETER PRENDERGAST ’17
The Trinity College men’s football team recently extended their home win streak to 48 games this past Saturday with a last minute win over Williams College. Trinity, which went undefeated last year currently, holds a 2-0 record, including a win at Colby on September 21. The Bantams are looking to keep their 2012 NESCAC championship intact, as they are tied with Amherst, Middlebury and Wesleyan after the first two games of the season.
This past Saturday on September 28, the Bantams met the Ephs at home on Trinity’s Jessee/Miller field for a classic NESCAC showdown. The bleachers were packed with students, alumni and faculty as Trinity kicked off at 1:30. Williams began their opening drive on their own 29-yard line and they managed to move the chains on reaching a first down after three plays. Trinity gained possession as Mike Mancini ’14 intercepted a pass from Williams quarterback Tom Murphy. Trinity was not able to capitalize on the turnover and the first quarter concluded with the score tied at 0.
The first score of the game came late in the second quarter when Williams running back Alex Scyocurka found the end zone with a one yard rush. After failing to convert the extra point, Williams held a 6-0 lead. After the half, Trinity received the ball and began their next drive at the 20-yard line. After losing possession again, the Bantam defense was able to hold Williams to a ‘3 and out’, forcing the Ephs to punt again. On the next drive, Trinity managed to score, as quarterback Henry Foye ’16 found Michael Budness ’15 in the end zone on a 17-yard touchdown pass. Trinity failed to convert the point after attempt, leaving the score tied at six. Williams answered Trinity with another touchdown of their own early in the fourth quarter as Murphy found Williams receiver Darrias Sime in the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown pass and a completed extra point attempt. With the pressure on, Trinity needed to find a scoring opportunity to equalize the score. After gaining possession with 12 minutes to go, Foye found receiver A.J Jones ’14 for a 28-yard touchdown pass.
With the score tied at 13, the Bantam defense managed to defer Williams on their next four possessions. With just 53 seconds left to play, Trinity corner back Brian Dones ’15 intercepted a pass from murphy to give trinity possession in the last minute. Starting on the Williams 28 yard line, the Bantams marched up the field with 26 rushing yards between Ben Crick ’14 and ’Evan Bunker ’14, placing the ball in good scoring position for Trinity’s final chance. With 18 seconds left, Foye threw a perfect pass to Jones for the game-winning touchdown.
Foye threw for 225 yards, and three touchdowns and Trinity’s running backs rushed for 150 yards to Williams’ 87 yards. The team extended their win streak to 11 games. In the coming week, the squad will be facing two more NESCAC contests, including a home game against Hamilton on October 5th, and a game at Tufts on October 12th.
BERNAT INVANCSICS ’14
With its first lecture last Thursday, September 26, The Center for Urban and Global Studies inaugurated its “Global Vantage Point Series” for the 2013 fall semester. According to Gaurav Toor ’14, who welcomed the program’s first lecturer, Daniel J. Older, this series of lectures was launched in 2008 after the realization that Trinity’s intellectual environment lacked student presence in terms of academic involvement. By now, the “Global Vantage Point Series” has become a regularly held event providing an opportunity for student activism concerning urban and global studies and other related academic fields.
In the upcoming lectures of the series, the next of which will be on October 10, Trinity students along with professors will give lectures and engage in discussion every second Thursday during the common hour at CUGS from 12:15pm to 1:15pm. The six lectures in total, two in October, two in November, and one in December, will cover multiple topics and locations ranging from engineering to history, and Tanzania, Africa, to Yucatán, Mexico.
Entitled “The City as Story,” Brooklyn-based writer Daniel José Older commenced the lecture series by mapping out the way words and streets, texts and cities, narratives and urban landscapes correlate. Inspired by the “ebb and flow of urban life,” Older admits that the impact of a certain landscape or environment can greatly affect his writing. Besides being a writer and composer, Older’s “civil” job ties him to the harsh reality of humanity: he is a paramedic, often taking multiple shifts in a row, writing stories between emergency calls, and having a nap on the stretcher while the ambulance rushes towards the next scene. But his choice of employment was conscious, and his consciousness is an important factor concerning his ars poetica.
As Older responds to students’ questions following his lecture, he articulates a disposition much unlike that of many writers who delve deep into Gutenberg’s galaxy; he is not in favor of a writer who spends all of their working hours behind a desk while keeping distance from the moments when “humanity is just in your face.” Older’s literary universe requires an imagination in which the “city looms large” and where the mortar-and-brick built urban landscape transforms into the textually woven fabric of a narrative.
“Text” and “texture” share the same etymological root, similarly to “pupil” [student] and “pupil” [the opening in the middle of the iris]. Older explains that Romans named their colleagues and academic peers “pupa” or “pupilla” (diminutive of “pupa”), the tiny reflected images in each other’s eyes. Streets and street names also carry their origin and history within. Thus, cities are never neutral but are “focal points of power, a messy, often disastrous intersection of life and death, poverty and wealth, spirituality, violence, culture and commerce.” “Words have power,” Older says, “but to organize a habitable environment, our notion of power has to be changed.” Instead of striving for the ability to possess and control, humanity should acquire the power to engage and coordinate.
Instead of the “power to”, cherishing the “power with” or the “power over” is essential. For example, words have power, and the notion of possessive power is deeply encoded in our language and in our urban environment. Wall Street in New York City bears the name of a physical wall erected in the 17th century by the settlers and employees of the East Dutch Indies Company to repel Native Americans, who were attacking the newcomers seeking revenge in response to settlers slaying their tribesmen. Names commemorate, and thus cities are living memories. A storyteller’s job is to explore this network of interwoven stories of lives and deaths, dreams and memories.
Towards the end of his lecture, Older wraps up with reading aloud from one of his newly published short stories, which appeared in his most recent book, Salsa Nocturna, subtitled “A Ghost Noir Collection.” He aims to demonstrate a narrative environment, which is built by words and sentences that behave similarly to blocks of buildings and networks of streets. His short story features a gravedigger who does a favor for his son’s girlfriend. He buries a dead hipster boy murdered by Frankenstein-like sci-fi Golem. But this is only the plot, a simple one compared to the intricately designed background of information, which is carefully displayed among the text. Cityscape and private memory permeate each other within the gravedigger’s story. Older manages to handle a dazzlingly complex background to contextualize his narrative. Suddenly, the audience realizes how the concepts of action and context, narrative and verbal environment, one’s own fate and the genius loci fit together to create the private universe of a story.
Continuing the “Global Vantage Point Series”, on October 10, engineering students Vishal Bharam ’14, Bicky Shakya ’14, and Mark Yanagisawa ’14 will give lectures on teaching robotics to students in Hartford for Dream Camp. In addition, the lecture will be about a sanitation project undertaken by Trinity students in Tanzania. Their presentation, entitled “Hartford and Tanzania: Engineers Local and Global” will be held at 70 Vernon St, between 12:15pm and 1:15pm.
SOPHIE KATZMAN ’14
GEORGINA THERMOS ’14
West Hartford has caught on to Connecticut’s pizza trend. Last Monday, September 23, Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria established its newest location on New Britain Avenue in West Hartford. It is the perfect ten-minute car ride for hungry Trinity students craving pizza. Pepes comes with a lofty history, as one of the oldest pizzerias in the United States.
Italian born, Frank Pepe, founded his pizzeria in 1925. Before opening the pizza parlor, he was a soldier in World War I and a factory worker. He was illiterate with little money, but with the help of his wife and their perseverance, they started a noteworthy business. The first location in New Haven began as a bakery, and Pepe lived above the bakery with his family. Since the 1920s, it has grown and new locations have been added all over Connecticut, but it continues to carry Pepe’s “old reliable” reputation.
Upon entering, we were welcomed by “Grand Opening” banners and traditional old-style lettering. The hostess led us to our seat. Each table is marked with the same brass numbers that mark the address on the outside of houses. This aesthetic touch made us feel at home while we anxiously awaited our pizzas. The pizzeria has a friendly, spacious atmosphere. An open archway curves over the brick ovens, so we could see our food being artfully created. Retro-lit signs stating “The Original Tomato Pies,” fill the nooks and crannies. There are round tables and booths giving it plenty of space for families, groups of friends, or couples looking to enjoy a classic pie.
At Pepe’s they pride themselves on their unique technique of burning the edges of their pizza crust, customers are made aware that this is not an amateur glitch. Our waitress explained the tradition of the burnt crust, which originated from “coke,” a byproduct of coal, which used to be used in the wood-firing ovens. However, if burnt crust doesn’t wet our palette, they can cook it in a different fashion to meet your tastes. The menu was small, but just right. They present a simple array of pizzas, salads, and drinks. The standards are the “original tomato pie”, a pizza without cheese, and the “original tomato pie with mozzarella”. They offer a wide variety of fresh vegetables, meats, and spices as toppings to flavor the pies.
Their specialty is the “White Clam Pie,” which originated from the days when Pepe’s used to sell Rhode Island little neck clams at their shop. Other novelties include their “fresh tomato pie”, only offered in the summer, the “white spinach, mushroom, and gorgonzola pie,” and the “margherita pie,” which all sounded equally delectable to us.
It took us a few moments to decide on the right pie. In order to satisfy our different cravings, we each ordered our own small pizza. Georgina went with her hearty appetite for meat, ordering the classic tomato pie with mozzarella, adding oven roasted chicken, spinach, and mushrooms. Sophie chose the classic tomato pie with mozzarella, adding spinach and garlic. The thin, burnt crust added the perfect crunch to the warm mozzarella and tomato. We could agree that this was one of the best pizzas we’ve ever tasted!
Frank Pepes is located on 1148 New Britain Avenue, just across from Goldberg’s bagels. It is open daily from 11am to 10pm.
ANA MEDINA ’16
Not many eighteen year olds can say they have built a school, nor can they say they have been a principal at such young an age. However, Trinity’s own Fatty Al Ansar ’17 can say this with a smile.
Al Ansar is an international student from Mali. She has just started her freshmen year and already has big plans for her future. “I’m really interested in women’s rights and I want to get more knowledge about human rights. I want to bring this knowledge back to my country,” Al Ansar comments on what she hopes to do with her Trinity experience.
As a proud recipient of the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship , Al Ansar is expected to return to her country and become a leader that will inspire others to follow in her footsteps. As the first month of the school year is coming to an end, she has found that her favorite part of Trinity is the resources. “I like how they have so many resources to help students. Teachers are very supportive and I love WGRAC (Women Gender Resource Action Center).”
Building a school is not an easy task, especially in Mali where Al Ansar faces many challenges. “They say who do you think you are, you’re just a girl. I also have to face challenges on my culture. In my culture something is wrong if you’re not married at my age. Having a dream like mine is very rare,” Al Ansar explains her obstacles. Growing up in an area that did not provide education for girls, Al Ansar saw the value of education from a young age. She saw many women in her country getting married at the age of ten, to men 20 to 30 years their senior. “You can run away from anything, but an education can help you speak up,” says Al Ansar about how education helps give young girls a voice.
Despite the difficulties Al Ansar faces, she has taken large steps in reaching her dream. During one summer she had the pleasure of running a co-educational school as the principal. She states, “ I was only 17 and also a girl. You can imagine that Mali is a country where girls standing in front of men are rare. Sometimes teachers would not listen to me.” However, Al Ansar still made great changes to this school. At the beginning of her experience, she noted that student attendance was incredibly low and she could not understand why. After doing some investigating she noted that children were beaten for giving wrong answers and not praised when they gave correct ones. Though it took a lot of effort, Al Ansar pushed for teachers to behave differently towards her students and even initiated programs that would encourage students to try harder in classes. By the end of the summer, Al Ansar had made every student in the school show up for classes.
It is accomplishments such as these that have also led Al Ansar to be invited to forums hosted by Michelle Obama. In June of 2011, Michelle Obama hosted a forum that invited 75 young African women to discuss leadership in their country. “It was inspiring–and not just because I met Michelle Obama–but just hearing other stories of women and the challenges they’ve faced makes me think that I’m not the only one,” Al Ansar comments on her experience.
Al Ansar has faced many obstacles, but has proved that nothing and no one will stand in her way to make her dream become a reality. With her sister as her inspiration to fight for girls to have an education, Al Ansar knows that the reward is well worth the fight. For those interested in her cause, on Wednesday, October 2, Al Ansar will share her story with our community at Cinestudio after the Girl Rising film.
Al Ansar hopes her time at Trinity will serve as an example for others in her country to follow her footsteps. “I need to be educated and I believe in education. You can’t fight for anything you yourself don’t have.”