In the fall of 1964, Bowdoin’s president James Stacy Coles wrote in delight to a friend about the seniors he noticed around the College’s new Senior Center, the 16-story tower that would later bear his name.
“[They] seem to walk about with greater pride,” he wrote. “They have spontaneously spruced up their personal appearance.”
Last fall marked 50 years since the completion and opening of the Senior Center, now known as Coles Tower. Since then, many things have changed on campus. Just as it did in 1964, though, the Tower primarily houses seniors and plays a significant role in the cultural fabric of the College.
Originally, the Tower was conceived as part of a larger program called the Senior Commons. In a senior thesis tracing the history of the program, Benjamin Brennan ’08 wrote that it was “an effort to bring about sweeping social and curricular changes at what was regarded as a very traditional school.”
This was a version of Bowdoin that would be hardly recognizable to students today: a conservative, all-male institution where the vast majority of social life happened inside fraternities. Classes were held every day but Sunday, and women were never allowed in campus dorms.
The goal was to remake the experience of Bowdoin’s upperclassmen, loosening these social restrictions and emphasizing engagement with the outside world. The College felt that its seniors were spending too much time with younger students in fraternities, and hoped to bring them out of fraternity houses and into more contact with one another in the Tower.
“There was this idea that we wanted to find a center for communal life and intellectual life for senior men,” said Senior Lecturer in Environmental Studies Jill Pearlman.
To accomplish this, the College created new, interdisciplinary senior seminars that cut across Bowdoin’s traditional distribution requirements. They arranged for scholars-in-residence to live among seniors, and planned a new dining hall where they would eat together. Seeing this as an innovative, modernizing program, they wanted a physical structure to match, one where seniors would both live and study together.
Hugh Stubbins, a prominent modernist architect, designed the new Senior Center. While the building was the first example of modern architecture at Bowdoin, many of the College’s peer institutions, and larger universities like Harvard and Princeton, had built their own modernist buildings over the previous two decades.
At Bowdoin, students had long desired more modern facilities. An Orient editorial from 1945 lamented that “the only things modern on our campus are our toilets and kitchens.” “College campuses are architecturally conservative—rarely does anything new happen at them,” said Pearlman.
When colleges do decide to pursue new architectural styles, though, the trends often spread quickly.
“Everyone was getting their own modernist building after the war,” she added.
Construction began in 1963. On January 20, 1964, while the fourteenth and fifteenth floors were under construction, an electrical fire engulfed the top of the building. Secretary of Development and College Relations John Cross ’76 was then a fourth-grader living in Brunswick. In 2011, he discussed his memories of the fire in a piece for the Bowdoin Daily Sun.
“We slogged through the slush left by rains that had fallen on heavy snow and joined a crowd of students and neighbors in staring up at the tower and the fire crews that battled to contain the blaze,” he wrote.
Surprisingly, the fire, whose repairs cost $200,000, did not much delay construction. The building opened on schedule for the fall semester in 1964. At the time, it was the tallest building in Maine (it now ranks second, after Portland’s Franklin Towers).
While the physical component of the Senior Center program appeared to be a success, many students saw it as an effort to weaken fraternities and feelings about the academic components were mixed. The College soon struggled to fill senior seminars.
Following the resignation of the Center’s original director, history professor Bill Whiteside, in 1970, the decrease in interest among seniors meant that younger students were occupying many of its rooms.
“It was kind of a model that worked for a little while… But by the time I was a senior, it wasn’t exclusively a residence for seniors any more,” said Cross. “It became sort of another dorm.”
By 1980, with the curriculum largely defunct and the building populated by students from a range of class years, the Senior Center was renamed Coles Tower, after the man who had presided over its creation.
Cross said the name change was “a recognition that the Senior Center program had been replaced by a more flexible curriculum.”
Coles Tower Today
Having outlived its original purpose and numerous subsequent architectural movements, Coles Tower fills a far different role than it did at its creation.
“It still stands out. It’s kind of on its own little island,” Pearlman said. “Like many modernist buildings, it hasn’t aged very well.”
Pearlman was optimistic, though, about the renovations currently taking place.
Today, the Tower is central to the social life of many students in a way that few in the heyday of fraternities would have anticipated.
“The tower is the hub of social life for a lot of seniors,” wrote Matt Friedland ’15, a Tower resident, in an email to the Orient. “It houses a solid amount of the senior class, so a lot of events both during the week and on the weekends happen in the tower.”
“It would be the place from which the Bowdoin Bubble, if it existed, would originate,” he wrote.“It’s definitely a social hotspot,” said Lela Garner ’16, another resident of the Tower. “It’s really easy to access other rooms, not like in Brunswick or the freshman dorms where you have to go and knock on everyone’s door.”
However, the social atmosphere dissuades some students from living in Coles as well.
“It seems a bit too chaotic and hectic for me. I need a quiet space,” said Bintou Kunjo ’15, who lives on School Street. “I think it’s party central.”
While the senior seminars of the 1960s are long gone, classes are still taught at the top floor of the Tower. Visiting Assistant Professor of English Morten Hansen has chosen the classroom in each of his two semesters at Bowdoin.
“The view provides a pretty backdrop and counterpoint to discussions and lectures without being a distraction,” he wrote in an email to the Orient. “My sense is that most students like having classes up there overlooking the campus and the surrounding area.”
Many residents appreciate the building’s social life considerably more than its architecture, however.
“I didn’t love it at first, because it felt quite institutional,” said Garner. “When I walk into my home, I don’t want to see cement walls and lots of doors.”
“It’s definitely as comfortable and home-y as you make it, but you have to put in a good amount of effort to make it look nice on the inside,” wrote Hallie Bates ’15 in an email to the Orient.
Despite reservations among students about the building itself, the Tower’s status as a central location for seniors seems to be having a resurgence.
In Fall 2006, 22 percent of the apartments in the Tower were occupied by quads of all seniors. This past fall, that number had risen to 70 percent.
Associate Director of Housing Operations Lisa Rendall said that it is typically one of the first housing options to fill up in the lottery, along with Harpswell Apartments and the quads in Chamberlain Hall.
Survey shows drug use increases as students age
Recreational drug use among Bowdoin students tends to increase as graduation approaches, with current juniors and seniors reporting significantly higher incidences of drug use than they did in the fall of 2010, according to Orient surveys from 2010 and 2013.
The survey results showed that the number of seniors who have smoked marijuana at least once at Bowdoin increased to 60 percent up from 46 percent during the fall semester of their sophomore year.
Seventy-three percent of respondents from the Class of 2014 have smoked marijuana at least once, a large increase from 32 percent in their first semester at the College in 2010.
Student anxiety rises to highest levels
A record number of students sought the help of Counseling Services last semester, when counselors held 1,823 appointments with 291 students, compared to 1,282 counseling sessions with 259 students last fall.
Bernie Hershberger, director of counseling services, said that roughly 45 percent of students visit counseling during their time at Bowdoin, and, in any given year, 25 percent do so. Larger colleges and universities see approximately eight percent of their students in a year, according to Hershberger.
Of the 544 respondents to the Orient’s survey of drug use and mental health, 152 students reported that they had received counseling at Bowdoin since the start of the academic year. Twenty-six students reported seeking counseling elsewhere.
Students boost local businesses on Maine Street
Despite a struggling economy and a slow winter, many local Brunswick businesses are thriving thanks to faithful customers from the Bowdoin community.
“Surprisingly, things have been great here,” said Sydney Wall, manager of Wild Oats Bakery. “We’re always seeing new people.”
“Even with the seating we have now it’s still not enough,” said Wall, referring to the 2010 expansion of the bakery's seating area.
319 students apply to live in College Houses
Three hundred and nineteen students have applied to live in College Houses for the 2013-2014 school year.
Rising sophomores submitted the bulk of the applications, though 10 of the applicants are upperclassmen, according to Director of Residential Life Mary Pat McMahon.
There are 200 available spots in social houses, not including eight beds reserved for proctors. College House applications allow students to apply to multiple Houses, so total numbers of applications can be calculated in two ways: how many students rank a House as their first choice, and how many students applied to a House in total (regardless of rank).
Snapshot: Den of Thieves
President Mills addresses BSG on divestment in closed executive session
Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) spent the majority of its 90-minute meeting on Wednesday in an executive session. President Barry Mills and Vice President for Finance and Administration Katy Longley attended the meeting—closed to the public—to discuss issues relating to divestment.
BSG President Dani Chediak ’13 stated afterward that the meeting “was very enlightening. We discussed divestment and carbon neutrality as well as ways to promote awareness of environmental issues on campus.”
In December, Mills announced that the College would not commit to divesting the endowment from fossil fuels. At a meeting earlier this month, Bowdoin’s Climate Action Group asked BSG to take an official stance on divesting, but BSG decided to wait to meet with the administration before possibly issuing a statement.
- February 15
Plans for a new dorm to go before zoning board
The College is working with the Brunswick Town Council, Planning Board and town residents to negotiate the zoning of the former Stevens Retirement Home on Harpswell Road for use as a dormitory next year. Situated directly across from the Brunswick Variety and Deli, the building would be used in its present layout after some cosmetic renovations. Twenty-five to thirty students would live in doubles and singles in the converted dorm.
- February 15
Trustees award tenure to four humanties professors
On February 8, the Board of Trustees voted to advance four Bowdoin faculty members to the rank of tenured professor, effective July 1. The four appointees are Sarah Conly of the philosophy department, Mark Foster of the English department, Doris Santoro of the education department and Jill Smith of the German department.
Forty-eight percent of Bowdoin’s faculty is tenured. These individuals have been promoted from “assistant professor”—the title that comes precedes tenure—to “associate professor,” or have attained full professorships.
Every member of the philosophy, German and education departments is tenured now that Professors Conly, Smith and Santoro have received the promotion.
- February 15
Winter storm Nemo blows through campus
Bowdoin students bundled up for the biggest snowstorm of the school year last weekend, as Winter Storm Nemo dumped more than two feet of snow on Maine and much of the Northeast. Portland recorded a total snowfall of 31.9 inches, an all-time record. The heavy snowfall and gusting winds prompted many departments on campus to take additional precautions. Director of Facilities Operations and Maintenance Ted Stam said that keeping roads and paths clear was the biggest challenge facing his department.
Editorial : Higher standards
It’s a safe bet that on a campus tour of any NESCAC school, the tour guide will tout the college’s “work hard, play hard” environment, assuring visitors that students take socializing just as seriously as studying.
A holistic Bowdoin experience will be made up of late nights in the library, frantic study sessions, College House parties, and perhaps a handful of stories about debauched weekend escapades. “Work hard, play hard” works as long as the former does not lead to the latter—but judging from the results of the Orient’s recent drug and mental health survey, it does.
Bowdoin students lead busy lives. We hold ourselves to high standards in all that we do—classes, athletics and extracurriculars—in order to achieve some measure of success. As our workloads have increased and expectations continue to soar, data shows that students are turning to recreational drugs in higher numbers.
Half-Assed: Downton Abbey’s lesson on privilege
I must begin this article with two prefatory remarks:I’ve been watching way too much Downton Abbey.To any prospective employer: please do not hold the next sentence against me.
Our democratic, capitalistic, (pseudo) meritocratic way of life is seriously imperfect. That’s right, I said it.
When I say imperfect, I am not suggesting that there are improvements we can make. I do not mean to propose alterations to the size and scope of regulations. I am not even critiquing the functioning of our markets; I, for the purposes of this article, want to call their very existence into question.
Hypocritical Hippopotami: Bowdoin Problems: Hypocrisy happens
Fucking up at Bowdoin really isn’t easy. Scratch that. Fucking up at Bowdoin is really easy. Talking about it is the hard part.
Have you ever noticed that when you’re applying to colleges, the rating sites use this statistic: “percent of students that graduate in five years?” Never made sense to me. It only takes four. Could that many students have had existential crises and had to skip town for a year to pose for pictures in Africa?
Now I get it. People fail sometimes. Plans go awry. Shit hits the fan. Even super successful Nietzschean mind controlling supermen make mistakes occasionally.
Divestment: Administration should be more transparent on divestment issue
See also, counterpoint by Miles Pope '09: Endowment must be used for education, not politicization.
Two weeks ago Bowdoin’s administration publicly expressed its views on divesting the endowment from fossil fuels in a statement to the Orient. President Barry Mills and Senior Vice President for Investments Paula Volent argued that although only 1.4 percent of the endowment was invested in the top 200 fossil fuel firms, divestment would have cost the school $100 million dollars.
These numbers are alarming, yet it is strange that the administration provided a figure for estimated losses from divestment without publicly releasing a study to back up its numbers. Students should not take the administration’s numbers at face value and should continue to advocate for more information on the feasibility of divestment.
Divestment: Endowment must be used for education, not politicization
See also, counterpoint by Ben Richmond '13: Administration should be more transparent on divestment issue.
While Scott Budde (“Administration’s ‘misinformed’ response to divestment raises more questions than it answers”) is surely correct that fossil fuel companies help cause serious environmental problems, this is not reason enough for Bowdoin to divest from them.
Bowdoin does more “good” by maximizing the resources it has: by promoting top-rate scholarships (including environmental) and educating undergraduates, than it would by diminishing its endowment—no matter how well-intentioned the causes may be. As President Barry Mills said, Bowdoin “is not a political action committee.”
- 6 days ago
Editorial: Proceed with caution
Campus is changing. Projects are underway at the the Naval Air Station Brunswick, the Stevens Retirement Home, the former Longfellow School, and beyond as part of the College’s beautification plan. As Bowdoin takes on these initiatives, it should keep in mind the importance of maintaining a cohesive campus. The College purchased Stevens Retirement Home on Harpswell Road in November, with the intent to convert it into a dorm as soon as next year. This acquisition will alleviate the housing crunch of the past few years, though it does not seem wise to make repeated reactionary purchases to solve this problem. Bowdoin should act sustainably in its execution of the many development projects currently on the docket. One of the things that makes our school so unique is the bounded feeling of our campus, which can easily be traversed in 10 minutes. Development that sprawls far beyond the Quad may threaten the close-knit environment we currently enjoy, and will increase our energy demands.
- 6 days ago
Editorial: A host with the most
For many students, the gray area in Bowdoin’s alcohol policy is cause for trepidation when it comes time to register as an alcohol host (A-host) or event host for a party. This is a good thing. Signing Residential Life’s party registration form can have serious implications, and is entirely an act of generosity toward one’s peers. It’s a commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly, and a favor that deserves respectful behavior from partygo- ers in return. Bowdoin’s A-hosts agree to assume legal responsibility for distributing alcohol at a registered event. By and large, this system of accountability works well, and allows students to consume safely under the auspices of the College Houses. But the College’s alcohol policy is not the law, which can bring down harsh penalties on A-hosts if something goes wrong. In recent memory, no A-host has received summons from the Brunswick Police Department for furnishing alcohol to minors, but this doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen, and it is incumbent upon underage partygoers to make sure it won’t. Bowdoin’s current alcohol policy may seem paradoxical, problematic or overly indulgent, depending on who you are. It only works if we all take responsibility for our own actions, and are mindful of the risks our peers take so that we can have a good time.
- February 14
Letter to the editor: Bowdoin must lead in energy reduction
Back in the early ’80s we started to hear about the disturbing increase in carbon dioxide levels measured atop the Hawaiian volcano Mona Loa. Then not much later, fellow scientists talked increasingly about the implications of this increase, and the likely effects on our climate. Public awareness at the time was minimal at best, and even most climate scientists failed to adjust their living habits to provide an example toward a reduction in carbon dioxide emission. Times have certainly changed in that there is now far more awareness of the consequences of increased carbon dioxide emissions. Clearly we have far to go, but there is a change afoot. But this change will drag on slowly, too slowly, until there is a realization of a sense of personal responsibility.
- February 14
Home In All Lands: Ignore Mali at the peril of its total collapse
In a week marked by an ongoing Bowdoin divestment debate, a papal resignation, the State of the Union address and a surprise nuclear test, it’s no small wonder that the situation in war-torn Mali isn’t getting much coverage. After the sudden spike in interest last month following the launch of France’s intervention in the North African nation—“Opération Serval”—foreign news coverage of Malian affairs has largely returned to the way it has been over the last decade: essentially non-existent. Only reports of kidnappings and the occasional piece about the increasing influence of Islamist groups are enough to pique the interest of the media on both sides of the Atlantic. Mali is seen, wrongly, as being no different from any other failed African state, when in fact the repercussions of its collapse would have a significant impact far beyond its borders. In Mali, like in many former colonies, the borders were drawn without any regards to geographical, ethnic or political considerations. This partly explains why the some of the Tuareg—a people known for their nomadic lifestyle and stunning blue robes—have rebelled against the governing power in Mali five times in the last century. Until last year, each effort of the Tuareg people to create an independent nation, Azawad, resulted in a stalemate or was successfully suppressed by Mali’s army. Yet something changed in January 2012, when the most recent rebellion was launched.
- February 14
Gender and women’s studies majors deserve your respect
When you tell your friends that you’re a neuroscience major, they respect you. Although they might not actually understand what you’re learning, they recognize its worth. When you tell your friends that you’re an English major, they may not have read Joyce or Chaucer, but they recognize the difficulty of your coursework. When we tell our friends that we’re gender and women’s studies (GWS) majors, we get nervous laughter in response. Our friends don’t seem to understand what it is we study, why we study it, or how it is of any intellectual value. We tend to crack jokes about our classes to our friends. At home, we often shy away from telling our grandparents just what it is we are studying at Bowdoin. Why is there so much shame surrounding the GWS major? We are passionate about our course of study, so why are we embarrassed by it? Perhaps it’s because we’re not oblivious to how GWS majors are sometimes perceived on campus.
Lindemann archives college treasures in Special Collections
The Hawthorne-Longfellow Library houses over one million books and reading materials that students can check out, but the most precious items—such as Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain’s medal of honor, James Bowdoin’s library, and a handprint from Abraham Lincoln—lie behind two glass doors on the third floor.
The George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, supervised by Director Richard Lindemann, protects Bowdoin’s historical treasures.
Lindemann found his passion as a graduate student in the history program at the University of Virginia, where he trained as a medievalist. Despite his taste for this that epoch, he turned his attention to library work.
Advanced Winter Leadership Seminar trains students for winter weather
When winter settles in the Maine woods, most people scurry indoors to take comfort in a modern marvel called the thermostat. Yet for a select group of students, the arrival of winter means it is time to throw off cushy comforts and boldly go where few have willingly gone before—the wilderness.
At least that’s where you’ll find the men and women of the Bowdoin Outing Club’s Advanced Winter Leadership Seminar (AWLS).
The Outing Club also offers a popular Leadership Training (LT) course, where selected students learn how to organize and lead outdoor expeditions safely. Although seemingly similar, Assistant Directors of the Outing Club Rebecca Austin and Devin Farkas explained that AWLS is different in two critical ways.
A Day in the Life: Jennifer Edwards, Curator of Visual Arts
There is no such thing as a typical day for Jennifer Edwards: her job at Bowdoin as the curator of visual arts is one-of-a-kind.
Edwards’ love of art was developed right here at Bowdoin, where she graduated with a major in visual arts and a minor in art history in 1989. Being an art major was a clear decision for Edwards.
“Choosing visual arts as a major seemed natural given that art had always being part of my life and that I learned best visually,” she wrote in an email to the Orient.
348 and Maine street: Logo-heavy clothes make winter tomatoes
Some things are hard to find these days. Because I am not a farmer, nor pretend to be a farmer, nor own anything close to almanac, I am not talking about things that are hard to find in the winter season—like blueberries that taste like anything.
Despite my aversion to agriculture (which is really just a dislike of dirt), I must admit that a winter tomato is pathetic on the palate.
By “these days” I rather mean “the modern day.”
Freshmen Fifteen: Don’t let Bowdoin boot self-expression
Making the trek across campus is not always a simple task, especially when there’s a foot of snow on the ground. To survive Brunswick in the winter, one must have the proper gear. This includes a nice hat, a puffy coat, a pair of gloves (not mittens), but—most importantly—a pair of snow boots.
It’s nearly impossible to get across campus without being miserable if you don’t have the proper shoes. Trust me: I know, because I don’t have the proper shoes. Obtaining a pair of boots for winter has been on my agenda for quite some time now. In fact, I’ve been mentally preparing for harsh conditions since September. And yet, I can’t seem to commit.
To buy Bean Boots, or not to buy Bean Boots? It’s a bit silly, but this conundrum has been plaguing me for months. So much so that buying a decent pair of snow boots has become somewhat of an insurmountable task.
Talk of the Quad: Sophomore slump
Yesterday marked the application deadline to study abroad. All sophomores who desire to leave Brunswick and venture into the “real” world next year have made the formal commitment to do so.
This also means that those people—a reported 50 percent of the Class of 2015—have already declared their majors and minors.
The planning this entails has made my fellow classmates and I conceptualize the rest of our Bowdoin careers on a detailed level. When I come back, will I have enough Government credits for a major? Should I major in Biology and try to minor in English? Musings like this have been commonplace among my peers over the past few weeks.
Talk of the Quad: “To Bowdoin!" Abroad among Dukies
Since arriving in India, I’ve done a terrible job following current news events. I’d like to think it’s because I’m too busy or trying to conserve my limited 3G internet access, but neither is true. I actually like the feeling of getting away from news; it’s nice to escape and really be present here.
But this became impossible after Friday, February 1, when the news broke that a fraternity at Duke University hosted an Asian-themed party, sending out email invitations with insensitive and demeaning language. Later images showed partygoers dressed in costumes that promoted Asian stereotypes.
The 17 other students on my Duke-sponsored study abroad program got word of the party soon after it happened. They vented their frustrations, and one girl even drafted a letter to Duke’s student newspaper, the Chronicle. Two days later, I opened my Facebook and noticed a Yahoo News story about the event featured on my news feed. Shocked that the party was making national headlines, I asked my parents if they’d heard anything about it; turns out they’d just watched a segment about the scandal on the “Today Show” that morning.
- February 15
Winter Weekend 2013 revives 70-year tradition at Bowdoin
By 1940, Life Magazine took notice of the growing Bowdoin tradition and published a three-page pictorial on the 1939 festivities. Life wrote, “But they knew that all the Northeast offered no gayer, jollier college parties than the annual winter house parties at Bowdoin.”
- February 15
Benjamin-Buttoning Bowdoin: playing in the snow helps balance students' workloads
The “work hard, play hard” ethic characterizes many of my Bowdoin experiences, and most of my Bowdoin friends. Balance is implicit to our happiness, and so we counter the rigor of our schoolwork with fierce bouts of enjoyment. If you aren’t sure what I mean, compare a student studying organic chemistry to a spectator at the Bowdoin-Colby hockey game—chances are, they have the same heart rate.
- February 15
Goggles and Gloves: Animal testing in Bowdoin labs aids learning, prompts moral reflection
I struggled to assess whether my discomfort stemmed from pure squeamishness or a deeper moral anxiety. I had grown fond of my rat after weeks of daily testing. My dad offered, “Well, it’s not like you’re killing them.” Well, actually, I would be. I did.
Arts & Entertainment
Student-produced 'Vagina Monologues' voice female gender issues
Conversations that are usually kept under wraps were professed to a full house as 36 Bowdoin women clad in red and black filed onto the stage for Bowdoin’s 16th annual rendition of the Vagina Monologues at Kresge Auditorium.
Sponsored by V-Day, a global organization that works to end violence against women throughout the world, the Monologues broach largely undiscussed topics about the female body and sexuality in an accessible and often lighthearted way.
The show began with cast members reading quotes taken anonymously from female Bowdoin students.
Master printer Peter Pettengill to partner with Putnam
Next week the College will launch its annual Marvin Bileck Printmaking Project under the direction of Coastal Studies Artist-in-Residence Barbara Putnam and master printer Peter Pettengill.
The Marvin Bileck Printmaking Project was established by artist Emily Nelligan in memory of her late husband. The project brings one printmaker from out of state each year to work with a local Maine artist in Bowdoin classrooms. This gives students the opportunity to watch professionals at work, as well as to practice pulling some prints themselves.
As the guest of honor this year, Pettengill has worked with numerous well-known artists, including Louise Bourgeois, Walton Ford, Neil Welliver and Gideon Bok.
Hipster drivel: Musical elements run amok in Atoms for Peace's debut album
Now here’s a hard one. Though, as I kept having to remind myself while wading through this album’s murky depths, if it had been easy, Thom Yorke—notably of Radiohead—wouldn’t have made it.
The record in question is “AMOK,” the debut record of Atoms for Peace, one of those supergroups that refuses to call itself a supergroup. The band takes its name both from a 1953 speech by President Eisenhower and a song title on Yorke’s 2006 album, “The Eraser.” The musicians that comprise the band were even commissioned to play Yorke’s solo material live, for which Atoms for Peace were originally billed as “Thom Yorke???” during Coachella in 2010.
This naming makes sense: “AMOK” sounds like a vanity project of Yorke, his ethereal whisper the cohesive element to the album’s otherwise frenetic electronic jumble. Normally, vanity projects represent the worst work of an artist looking for vindication outside a certain genre. In the hands of anyone but music’s greatest living crotchety-bastard legend, “AMOK” would be an album of pathetic excess. Instead, we get an impenetrable piece filled with jumbled beeps on a time signature even Battles would have a hard time keeping up with. My first bit of advice: listen to this with headphones in. The second bit: don’t expect a Radiohead album.
Portrait of an artist: Audrey Blood '13
Since stumbling upon her calling, Audrey Blood ’13, visual arts major and music minor, has fallen head over heels for the visual arts.
Until taking her first visual arts course at Bowdoin, Blood had not even considered taking up art.
“In high school I wanted to pursue music,” she said. “I always thought that I would go into the performing arts.”
Your feature presentation: 'Impossible': an incredulous sobfest
While my fellow socialites trudged through the snow to the Cold War Party to get out their historico-political ya-ya’s for the year, I decided to top off a Winter Weekend full of sleigh rides and s’mores with a movie about one family’s harrowing saga of near-death trauma and third-world hospital nightmares. Why not?
Just watching the trailer for “The Impossible” gave me a lump in my throat, so I had an inkling that I might be in for an emotional evening. I came prepared with tissues in hand and the proverbial waterproof mascara.
In my case, the waterworks kicked in after the 19-minute mark. And, unlike your average tear-jerker which allows for the occasional break to catch your breath, “The Impossible” was an emotional sprint all the way through.
Tournées film festival surveys award-winning French cinema
Long, aesthetically jarring scenes, unconventional plot lines, and abrupt endings are what really distinguish French cinema from its less daring American counterpart.
This week, a survey of French cinema rolled through the Bowdoin campus with the Tournées Festival.
The festival, a program of FACE (French American Cultural Exchange), is overseen by the Cultural Services at the French Embassy that provides access to French language films to colleges and universities throughout the country.
- February 14
World-renowned Ying Quartet returns to Brunswick
The Grammy Award-winning, world-renowned Ying Quartet concluded its five-day residency at Bowdoin with a sold out performance in Studzinski Recital Hall last Monday evening. The quartet performed four pieces before an auditorium packed with students and Brunswick residents, beginning with Robert Schumann’s “Quartet in A Major, Opus 41, No. 3.” “It is a very beautiful piece, inspired, we think, directly by his happiness at being newly married,” said Phillip Ying, violist and spokesman for the group.
- February 14
Student musicians take the stage at BMC showcase
The Bowdoin Music Collective (BMC) gave amateur artists the stage at last Friday’s spring showcase, BMC’s debut event of the semester. The lineup was split between acoustic and electric acts, with songs ranging from Of Monsters and Men’s “King and Lionheart” to Rihanna’s “Take A Bow.” Many student acts also performed original songs they had written themselves. The floor of Jack Magee’s Pub was full for the duration of the event. David Raskin ’13, BMC co-president and member of student band phar/OS, said he expected a high turnout given attendance in past years.
- February 14
Fichtner's 'And the Boy' depicts horrors of World War II
Sam Fichtner ’14 presented his short film “A Chlapec: And the Boy” on Tuesday night in Smith Auditorium. The film, which Fichtner directed himself, was the product of his fall semester study at Prague’s renowned film school FAMU International. Fichtner is a film studies minor. “And the Boy” was his first experience actually making a film. “Our film department, intellectually engaging and comprehensive as it is, focuses on studies, history, and theory,” he said. “In going abroad I was seeking to get some hands-on experience.” Fichtner’s desire to create films landed him in Prague, one of the global centers of film. He chose a film production program with CET Academic Programs, which provides students with access to world-class resources, including materials from Barrandov Studios, the largest film studio in Europe. Fichtner’s academic work was tailored to prepare him the culminating project of the semester: creating a professionally made short feature.
- February 14
Portrait of an artist: Michael Hendrickson ’13
Michael Hendrickson ’13 has always been a fan of the stage. In high school he was heavily involved in theater and sang in several choirs, but it was not until he came to Bowdoin that his a cappella career took flight. Hendrickson is a busy man. A psychology major with a minor in education, he is a member of two a cappella groups—Ursus Verses and the Longfellows. As a first year, Hendrickson was immediately drawn to a cappella as a creative outlet, but he was not originally planning on singing in two groups. “I picked the Longfellows first,” he said. “It was a tough decision.” It wasn’t until the second semester of his first year that he joined Ursus Verses.
Athlete of the Week: Selena Lorrey '16
Guard - Women's Basketball
Women's swimming breaks several records in NESCAC championships
The women’s swimming and diving team came in seventh in the NESCAC championships this past weekend, smashing several school records in the process.
With a final point total of 1972.5, Amherst won its first ever NESACAC women’s swimming championship, defeating long-time rival Williams. Finishing seventh, the Polar Bears had a final point total of 707.
Though not triumphant, the team ended its 2012-2013 season on a high note, breaking several long-standing school records and posting many season best times.Katherine Foley ’13 had the best individual performances of the weekend for the team, coming in second overall in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:21.04 and fourth in the 1650-yard freestyle with a time 17:25.69. Both times broke school records, with Foley beating her own time of 10:33 in the 1000-yard freestyle and breaking a record in the 1650 that had stood since 1995. To round it out, Foley broke her own record that she set last year in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:01.27.
- 3 days ago
No. 7 women’s ice hockey sweeps Amherst to secure No. 2 seed in NESCAC
With two resounding victories, the women’s ice hockey team is riding a wave of momentum into the playoffs and will host Williams, the seventh seed, in the quarterfinal round of the NESCAC tournament tomorrow.
After last weekend, Bowdoin remains the No. 7 team in the nation with an overall record of 18-4-2. Amherst has dropped out of the top 10 in the latest poll.
Despite the box scores, Head Coach Marissa O’Neil pointed out that the games were very tight.
- 3 days ago
No. 17 women's squash finishes season by winning the Walker Cup Division championship
The women’s squash team won the National C Division championship at Yale University this past weekend. The Polar Bears recorded three wins on their way to a perfect weekend, the program’s first-ever championship win in the Walker Cup.
The Walker Cup is the championship for teams within the C Division of the College Squash Association. In collegiate squash, the teams ranked 1-24 are all divided into three different divisions based on rank. Teams 1-8 play in the A Division, 9-16 play in B and 17-24 play in C.
The squad faced tough opposition that has silenced them in previous years. The women began by defeating Colby 8-1 on Friday, and then overwhelmed both Hamilton and Wesleyan in two breathtaking 5-4 victories to win the division.
- 3 days ago
Women's track and field sprints to fifth at New England D-III Championships
The women’s track and field team placed sixth out of 25 teams at last weekend’s New England Division III Championships.
As the sixth seed, Bowdoin made no leaps to increase their final position, but did match its rank by providing several personal best performances.
Addison Carvajal ’16 took fourth in the pentathlon—a personal best—as did Katherine Harmon ’14 in the weight throw with a distance of 15.49 meters.
- 3 days ago
Men's track nabs eighth at D-III New England Championships while breaking meet record
This weekend at Bates, the men’s track and field team took eighth place in a 21-team competition featuring the stoutest D-III track and field competitors New England has to offer.
The team walked away with a new meet record and plenty of strong performances despite a relatively weak overall showing.
“We had some great performances on the track, and some of our guys came through at a really high level,” said Head Coach Peter Slovenski. “The distance medley was a come-from-behind first place, and [junior] Coby Horowitz, who was seeded second in the mile, took first.”
- 4 days ago
Women's basketball tops NESCAC-best Tufts in historic upset
In a dramatic performance on Saturday, the NESCAC’s eighth-seeded Polar Bears defeated first-seeded Tufts 60-54 in the first round of the NESCAC tournament, improving their record to 14-10 and handing Tufts (23-2) their second loss of the season.It was a historic upset, the first time in NESCAC women’s basketball history that the bottom seed has toppled the top seed. The Polar Bears have a history of excellence in the NESCAC championships. Never ranked lower than fifth in tournament history, Bowdoin won the first seven NESCAC titles and has made it to the final round nine times in 12 years.Forced to rebuild after the graduation of a large senior class last spring, the young Polar Bears snuck into the tournament by beating Connecticut College in the final game of the season.“No one expected us to make it a close game, let alone win it,” said Captain Kaitlin Donahoe ’13. “All season our coaches have been telling us ‘just get into the playoffs and anything can happen,’ and we made it by the skin of our teeth.”For the first time in program history, the Polar Bears are the underdogs in the NESCAC tournament.“I think the whole school has embraced it,” Donahoe said. “I’ve had more people, who I didn’t even know followed us, come up to me this week and say congratulations. Everyone loves an underdog. It was easy to look at it as a negative thing at first, seeing that we weren’t in the top four where we would have usually been, but now it’s empowering knowing that no one gave us any chance to beat Tufts. It’s bringing us together closer as a team.”After clinching their playoff berth, the team had a week of rest before facing Tufts, the seventh-ranked team in the nation. “We needed to put everything that had happened, good and bad behind us and just consider it a fresh start,” said Head Coach Adrienne Shibles. “If we played to our potential, we had a good chance to win.”“The week going into Tufts, we focused on the belief that we could do it and play execution,” said Donahoe.Though being the eighth seed took some of the pressure off of the Polar Bears, each match from now on feels like a matter of life or death. “We know if we lose, we’re done,” said Donahoe. “Amherst and Tufts are going to go on to the NCAAs, win or lose. It’s win or go home. It’s fueled us even more to not take a play off, to bring intensity and to talk to every play, to do all the little things that we talk about day in and day out.”Earlier in the season, the Polar Bears were hammered by Tufts 62-44. The Polar Bears lost their composure against the Jumbo’s intense defense, giving up 20 turnovers. “Tufts is one of the best defensive teams in the nation,” said Shibles. “The first time we played them they got a lot of steals and forced turnovers from doubling us or collapsing on us in the paint.”On Saturday, Shibles said she felt that her team gave up too many turnovers in the first half but was able to tighten up ball control after halftime. “Their defensive pressure didn’t rattle us this time,” said Shibles. “We talked about being strong with the ball: ‘They’re going to be all over us trying to get their hands on the ball.’”“We were a little fearful the first time we played them since we had never really faced a NESCAC defense,” said Donahoe. “I didn’t see that intimidation or fear from anyone this past weekend.”Bowdoin looked to draw out Tufts’ quickly shifting defense and double team traps in the paint, allowing them to move the ball to the players on the weak side.The Polar Bears shot excellently from the perimeter, sinking 11 of 19 3-pointers, often with the obstruction of a Jumbo defender’s hand. Bowdoin sunk 57.9 percent of its 3-pointers, while Tufts made just 19 percent. “They were definitely pressure shots,” said Donahoe. “In practice, we picked up the defensive intensity against each other, and I think that has translated really well into games.”Ultimately, the match was an offensive team effort with balanced scoring. Selena Lorrey ’16 led Bowdoin with 11 points off the bench.“It was clear she was really mentally ready to go,” said Shibles. “You could just tell she was really feeling it behind the arc; she has a lot of confidence in her shot.”Tufts scored the bulk of its points from up close.“Their posts are very guard-like—they’re dangerous because they can take you off the dribble and shoot,” said Shibles.At halftime, the Polar Bears led Tufts by six, but there was no celebration or break of focus in the Bowdoin locker room. “We immediately started talking about things that we could do better,” said Donahoe. “We’ve been in this situation before where we got that complacent feeling. We didn’t want that to happen again since we knew the Tufts coach was going to be in their face. As much as it stunk going through hardships in the regular season, I think we’ve learned from them and they are helping us out now.” The Polar Bears will make their 13th straight appearance in the NESCAC semifinals tomorrow, facing the NESCAC’s No. 2 and nationally sixth-ranked Amherst. The Polar Bears will travel to Amherst, Mass., where the Lady Jeffs hold a 77-game winning streak at home. Bowdoin lost to Amherst 74-58 in the regular season on January 18. The Polar Bears led by six at halftime but fell apart in the second half when the Jeffs amped up their defense. The Polar Bears are more excited to face Amherst coming off the confidence boost from the Tufts-upset, according to Lorrey. Donahoe categorized this week’s practices as “most positive and uplifting.” “We’re focusing a lot on limiting their second-chance opportunities,” said Donahoe. “They got a lot of offensive rebounds and put-backs, and we bailed them out a lot sending them to the line. After looking at film we saw there were a few sets where they continually scored on us with the exact same play six to eight times. So were focusing on what we need to do to shut down their strengths.”The last time Amherst developed a large home win streak—a 25-game run in 2009—it was the Polar Bears who snapped it. Tomorrow, they hope to do this again. “We feel if we continue to play the way we played this past weekend, we can beat anyone, and it is fun to be the spoiler,” said Shibles.
- 4 days ago
Men's ice hockey clinches NESCAC's first seed but loses final match to Trinity by five goals
The men’s ice hockey team clinched the No. 1 seed in the NESCAC tournament by winning its final two home games of the regular season this past weekend against Tufts and Connecticut College. Despite its strong finish in Watson Arena, the team floundered at Trinity on Monday night, losing 10-5. Bowdoin kicked off the Winter Weekend schedule against Tufts at home on Friday night. The Polar Bears scored their first goal just 1:19 into the game when Ollie Koo ’14 slammed a loose rebound past the Tufts goaltender. Bowdoin kept up the early pressure and Kyle Lockwood ’14 was able to steal the puck and dish it to senior Rob Tocyzlowski, who put it past the goalie’s left side.Bowdoin pounced at the beginning of the second period as well when captain Dan Weiniger ’13 brought the puck down the center, drew the goalie right and slipped the puck around him to make it 3-0 just 18 seconds into the period. Towards the end of the period John McGinnis ’15 found Tim Coffey ’15 in front of the net for a power play goal. Colin Downey ’14 kept the early-period goal streak alive when he put away the puck with some help from McGinnis and Koo. Bowdoin found a sixth and final goal when McGinnis, with his third assist of the night, fed Connor Quinn ’15 across the crease.“We always stress how important it is to start periods off strong and we got some good breaks against Tufts,” said Weiniger. “We like to come out flying and set the tone for the period right from the opening drop.”
Steve Messina ’14 was solid in goal for Bowdoin with 27 saves, but Tufts ruined his shutout at 12:37 in the third period after an unlucky rebound. After the 6-1 victory, the Polar Bears faced off against the Connecticut College Camels on Saturday afternoon for their last regular-season home game. Bowdoin had trouble converting its initial opportunities into goals due to the outstanding play of the Camel’s goaltender. But at the end of the first period, captain Tim McGarry ’13, who had just finished serving a 2-minute penalty, stepped back onto the ice for the conveniently waiting puck. He held off the Conn. defenders until Jay Livermore ’14 arrived. Livermore drew the defense left and found Lockwood unguarded on the back half of the net. The teams played to a deadlock until midway through the third period when the Camels went on a power play. An awkward bounce managed to slip by the pads of Max Fenkell ’15 to even the game 1-1. “We were controlling the play and limiting their chances, but we weren’t getting the sustained pressure that we’re used to so we couldn’t grind down the opposing D down like we usually do,” said McGarry. “Letting them hang around in a close game gave them confidence down the stretch and led to them scoring a late goal.”The game soon went to overtime, and after a near game-ending shot by McGinnis, the Camels (who needed the win to make the playoffs) pulled their goalie to play with an extra attacker. Bowdoin held off the one-man advantage and was able to blast the puck down towards the empty net. Players from both sides converged on the puck, but it was Lockwood who finally gained control of the puck at Connecticut’s blue line, spun and sent it straight into the net with 1.8 seconds left to win the game and seal Bowdoin’s No. 1 spot in the playoffs.“We took care of business and we secured the home ice in the league, which I think is wonderful for this team and how hard they work,” said Head Coach Terry Meagher.In a meaningless matchup in terms of championship seeding, the Polar Bears played a rescheduled game against Trinity on Monday night. The Bantams scored the most goals (10) any team has scored against Bowdoin in at least10 seasons, dating as far back as the online records go. “This was the weirdest game in my career here at Bowdoin,” said Weiniger. “We carried the play through the first 12 minutes of the game and they got some early bounces to get ahead. From then on they got in the engine and we couldn’t seem to stop them.”The surprising shootout featured playing time for three different Bowdoin goalkeepers: Fenkell, Messina and Connor Shannon ’13. The Bantams took advantage of power plays throughout the game, converting four of their five man-up situations. They excelled offensively even while six Polar Bears were on the ice, and hammered Fenkell with 27 shots in just over 30 minutes of play, five of which went past him for goals.“The game on Monday was bizarre in so many ways; they capitalized on their opportunities and we ended up chasing. As you continue to chase you take more risks, and next thing you know there’s 15 goals on the board,” said Meagher. “To be honest, I’m surprised that doesn’t happen more the way that puck fires and goes around the rink. But the bottom line is that even when we were down a fair amount, we didn’t give up and we kept playing hard.”The Polar Bears, despite having seven power plays of their own, were only able to convert on two. Bowdoin will host a quarterfinal match against Hamilton tomorrow at 1 p.m.“We are focusing on creating a playoff mentality within the team that includes playing a more gritty physical game and trying to generate some ‘ugly’ goals from scrums in front of the net,” said McGarry. “We believe that these are the things that will propel us through the playoffs and will complement our speed and skill game nicely.”Tickets for the men’s and women’s doubleheader are available free for students with a Bowdoin ID and $3 for the public, and can be picked up on the second floor of the Buck Center.
- 4 days ago
Men's basketball ends promising season with loss to Tufts
The men’s basketball season ended last Saturday as the team fell to Tufts in a NESCAC Championship quarterfinal, 82-71.
Despite early concerns about the team’s ability to be competitive after losing a talented crop of seniors, the Polar Bears made it just as far in the playoffs as they did last year, and were within three wins of the same record. The team will return four of its five starters and is in good shape for the next season.
Sharpshooter Andrew Madlinger ’14 led the No. 5 Polar Bears with 22 points on only 14 shots, including 5-of-8 shooting from 3-point land. Keegan Pieri ’15 put up 14 points and nine rebounds. Bryan Hurley ’15 played his usual role of floor general, scoring 11 points while handing out nine assists.
- February 15
Women's basketball sneaks into playoffs while Donahoe '13 joins 1,000-point club
Women’s basketball finished its regular season with a 72-59 win against Connecticut College on Sunday evening, boosting its overall record to 13-10 (4-6 NESCAC) and earning it the last playoff spot in the NESCAC. On Saturday, captain Kaitlin Donahoe ’13 surpassed the 1,000-point mark, but the Polar Bears fell a point short to Wesleyan, 70-69. With the Polar Bears leading on Saturday, Wesleyan grabbed an offensive rebound in their last possession and took the lead by one point. The Polar Bears had one possession left but failed to score due to a travelling violation. “We had a chance to win the game and we didn’t put the ball in the hoop and they made that big play down the stretch,” said Head Coach Adrienne Shibles. The Polar Bears faced adversity even before the game began. Notified at noon on Saturday that their scheduled game against Conn. was called off due to the blizzard, the Polar Bears received a surprising call four hours later informing them they were playing Wesleyan in a couple of hours. “It was not the team we were prepared for,” said Shibles.