This week, I find myself once again unable to justify recommending a book. While this could be due to both my overall diminishing creativity as the semester comes to a close and the fact that my mind is focused on finding a job in one of the worst economies in recent memory, I’m inclined to believe that a book recommendation just isn’t what everyone needs right now.
If you have been following this column, you have come to expect a book recommendation every two weeks. This week, I write no such column. And for that, I am sorry. However, even if I do apologize for the pain you might go through by not receiving a book recommendation, I’m not sorry about the column I am writing.
I will never forgive people who make fun of other people for reading shitty, gay fan-fiction. In a country where people still ban books because of the sexual and romantic identities included in the pages or where a movie about gay characters can’t include a single fricking accurate sex scene, you’re just a downright terrible person if you hate on queer people for looking towards obscure Tumblr posts or websites for some form of media representation.
When people think of English literature, they often think of tweed, Oxford, an old white dude and the film “Dead Poets Society.” All of these have one thing in common: inaccessibility. Well, perhaps not old white dudes.
I have read more books for pleasure in the past few months than I have in the entirety of my time at Bowdoin—and I’m a senior English major. I’m also not alone. It seems like every day I get off a Facetime call with friends or a Zoom call with a professor where we just talked about this great new book we read.
Today, I’m writing with a cup of jasmine tea by my side. I just finished preparing a marinade for the lamb steaks I will cook for my roommates later, and I finally started the first chapter of “Normal People” at the recommendation of too many friends.
While the world keeps changing every day, and indeed even Bowdoin’s world will change again for the Fall 2020 Semester, it is important to remember that COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon. During these difficult times, we must think of the mental and physical health of students and faculty first.
Because of the devastation caused by SARS-CoV-19 across people, communities, countries, and the world, scholarship must—and will—change. The only question is whether we resist that change or allow it to transform the ways in which academia interacts with the world, our new reality.
Once daily, I swallow a tiny pill that contains 100 mg of the drug Sertraline, more commonly known by its brand name, Zoloft. Sertraline has many side effects, including, but not limited to, worsening depression, dizziness, drowsiness, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased sex drive, impotence or difficulty having an orgasm.
Two weeks ago, at an on-campus event highlighting the authors Richard Ford and John Banville, President Clayton Rose introduced Ford, saying that “he has been awarded too many prizes to count.” While Ford’s resume boasts impressive prizes including the Pulitzer, it hides a part of his character that Rose chose not to highlight.
When Benjamin Rachlin ’08 was studying English at Bowdoin, he wanted to be a rich short-story writer despite the paradox. But when he returned on Tuesday, it was to discuss a work of nonfiction, Rachlin’s first book, titled “Ghost of the Innocent Man: A True Story of Trial and Redemption.” The book follows the true tale of a man who lived a life unimaginable to most Bowdoin students and delves into the ugly and overlooked cracks of America’s criminal justice system.
This past Saturday, customers of all ages buzzed in and out of the trademark Brunswick store, Gulf of Maine Books, at its 40th anniversary celebration and sale. The Maine Street store has drawn readers and writers to Brunswick, from local high schoolers to best selling authors.
Last weekend, the Nordic Ski team made history. The warmth of the shining sun and cheering crowd of peer supporters led to Bowdoin’s first ever Chummy Broomhall Cup—essentially the Maine state Nordic championship. After placing two men and two women in the top three, including the two first-place spots, the Polar Bears asserted their dominance within the state.
He may be taking off his jersey and helmet, but Derek Whitmore isn’t leaving the rink anytime soon. Travelling the world to play ice hockey, leaving his family at a young age to compete and working through injury after injury, rep after rep, practice after practice, Whitmore’s love for the game never faltered.
Not all students imagine confetti-shooting cannons as they arrive on a plane for their first year at college. For Antonio Watson ’12, those cannons also contained sunshine and glitter. Watson lives his life with the goal to explore his authentic identity.
On September 29, the men’s cross country team took to its first race with fresh legs and a new mindset after a long and grueling summer of training. The arduous work of running eight to 14 miles a day—for some at 5 a.m.
“You aren’t immortal. Your time is limited and precious,” my mom constantly tells me.
It’s not as if she gives this advice to deter me from doing the things I love—or even from pursuing life-threatening endeavors.
Monday through Saturday, you can usually find reruns of Seinfeld playing at 90 Union Street, home to Brunswick’s new (as of last spring) cafe, Dog Bar Jim. That is, when it’s not 85 degrees out and you arrive to find a sticky note that reads, “Too hot for Seinfeld,” on the vintage TV that rests near the cash register.
On Tuesday, surrounded by oil paintings of Maine’s coast, a small group of students gathered for an intimate conversation in Lancaster Lounge about the presence of international voices at Bowdoin and the neglect international students feel on campus.
Scuffed Carhartts, funky mountain art and red walls keep the warmth inside Kaladis Brothers Coffee during the dark winter months, when a cup of coffee is about 130 degrees hotter than the temperature outside. Although Rachel Zafren ’18 spends most of her year away from Anchorage, every other customer is coming up to talk to her.
This coming fall, Bowdoin will add Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich to its roster of creative writing professors. Marzano-Lesnevich will be the first tenure track creative nonfiction professor in the English department. A former lawyer and the author of “The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir,” they bring an interdisciplinary approach to creative writing.
I was walking around Boston, having a joyous time. It was nice to be in a new city where I could forget my problems for a day. I wouldn’t say I was in epic emotional turmoil, but a month earlier I was officially diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, put on some pretty hefty medication, told that my Nordic ski career was toast and that I would potentially never be able to exercise again.
Bowdoin has already seen some effects of the influenza epidemic, characterized by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as moderately severe this year. According to Director of Health Services Dr. Jeffrey Maher, the bulk of the cases will present in the coming months.
Bowdoin announced yesterday that it is initiating a Guest Semester Program for spring 2018 designed to accommodate students who currently attend inoperable universities in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Students who cannot attend their schools because of transportation, housing or financial difficulties have until December 18 to apply for the program.
This week, Bowdoin hosted the largest event series in the College’s history in recognition of HIV/AIDS. The schedule surrounding today’s World AIDS Day recognition has so far included a screening of the Oscar nominated documentary “How to Survive a Plague,” as well as a discussion with a cast member and a panel on the local and global view of HIV/AIDS.
Last week, Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) kicked off its annual No Hate November programming, a month dedicated to eliminating bias and increasing discussion around identity on campus.
The event series has been held for five years, but this year the focus has changed to promote student voices on campus.
Today, at the second annual President’s Research Symposium, over 100 students will present research across the fields of STEM, the humanities and social sciences. Last year’s symposium was the first to include research beyond STEM fields, and about 40 percent of this year’s research projects are non-STEM, according to Professor of Chemistry Michael Danahy, the coordinator for the event.
Last Friday was the first meeting of the Accessibility Task Force—a group of administrators, faculty members and students intended to look holistically at accessibility on campus. The task force coordinates the College’s efforts to be accessible and accommodating to all people in all capacities as well as to be in legal compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The move to reconvene the committee comes after a group of students circulated a petition last spring calling on the College to increase support and commitment to students with disabilities.