When President Obama cold-called Richard Blanco and asked him to be the 2013 inaugural poet, he gave the poet three weeks to write three potential poems. Working from his home in Bethel, Maine, Blanco said he circled and circled until he landed on the first line of “One Today,” the poem he read to over one million people at Obama’s inauguration last January in Washington, D.C.
“I kind of compare it to tuning an instrument, where you hear that right chord and something amazing happens—and, for me it was that first line, ‘When the sun rose on us today,’ which was when I was watching the sun rise over Bethel and the mountains, or the pines actually,” he said. “From there, the poem sort of started writing itself.”
Blanco visited campus last Friday, October 25, headlining Family Weekend with a day that included a student poetry workshop, public book signing, and an evening reading that filled the seats of Pickard Theater. His visit was funded by the Office of Student Life, Office of Multicultural Student Programs, the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, and the Latin American Studies Program.
When most Bowdoin students think of a gap year, their minds go towards volunteering, working, or traveling for a year. But probably not serving in the armed forces.
Joonmo Ku ’12 left Bowdoin after the fall semester of his sophomore year to serve in the Republic of Korea Army. As a South Korean citizen, Ku was required to spend either two years in the service as an enlisted soldier or three years as an officer.
“I wanted to save time and do the two-year stint, and I did it halfway through sophomore year because I thought it would be better to go through all the training when I was younger,” Ku said.
Prof. Katie Byrnes, Education. Photo by Kate Featherston
Prof. Eric Chown, Computer Science. Photo by Brian Jacobel
Hours after receiving his Bowdoin diploma in the spring of 1983, Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings boarded a flight to Swaziland, where he would spend the next two and a half years.
Born and raised in Boston, Hastings’ decision to attend Bowdoin was nothing out of the ordinary. After he was accepted, Hastings decided to defer for a year to continue working his summer job, selling vacuum cleaners door to door.
“I loved it, strange as that might sound,” said Hastings. “You get to meet a lot of different people.”