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Features

Talk of the Quad

Finding some clarity

First and foremost, allow me to preface this article with a word of caution: this is a personal dialogue. In the process of writing, I concluded that this submission was going to be nothing more than a way for me to organize my thoughts—a process for me to take what was crammed into my mind and place it onto paper.

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Brunswick

Let’s try love: Brunswick group fights for peace

Each Friday since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, a group of Brunswick residents gather on the town green on Pleasant and Maine Streets, armed with signs calling for world peace. Initially conceived of as a protest to urge the United States government not to retaliate in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the group has continued to convene every Friday at 5:00 p.m.

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Budget Bowdoin Dining

Simple soups to comfort the soul

Did you know that in the 12th century, doctors prescribed those with illnesses broth made from bone marrow and chicken fat? Truly, the more things change, the more they seem to stay the same! Soup is one of the least time intensive and most low effort big-batch meals that humanity could come up with.

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Talk of the Quad

Some thoughts on home and place

There I found myself, in an unfamiliar land, surrounded by familiar faces. After an eventful day of getting lost on the subway, missing breakfast and facing near (phone battery) death, it’s easy to see why I found a certain respite in fresh New York City bagels and conversation with high school friends.

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Talk of the Quad

We’re not in northern Maine anymore

I grew up in Orono, Maine. To anybody who’s actually from Maine and has knowledge of the local geography, Orono is in central Maine. That’s the truth. However, I still tell fellow Bowdoin students that I’m from “northern Maine” because people from the West Coast typically think that anywhere north of Augusta is just an outcropping of moose and deer-filled wilderness.

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BSG

New publication strives to give voices to marginalized

For Senior Class President Carlos Campos ’22, providing students with a platform to share their stories in a safe, inclusive, creative space is a priority. His new project, “People of the Global Majority,” a student-run publication supported by Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) and its president Ryan Britt ’22, aims to give a voice to historically marginalized students on campus.

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Talk of the Quad

Don’t apologize, do better

I’ve never been good with apologies. As ashamed as I am to admit it, I used to view apologies as the very end of the long journey that is personal growth. In my mind, becoming a better person would always play out just like in the movies—a sappy apology and a sweet conclusion as the credits roll.

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Talk of the Quad

Through the trees

Content warning: This article contains descriptions of child sexual abuse One day, my sister and I were playing in the woods. I followed after her every step of the way. I was looking for fairies, she was hunting for bugs.

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Talk of the Quad

Yes, it’s me

Despite living in Chamberlain Hall for three months last fall, I had never been on campus before this year. Sure, the caricature of the person that I desperately tried to be was there, flat-ironing her poor hair to death.

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Brunswick

Mentor groups remain hopeful despite pandemic challenges

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has limited Bowdoin students’ ability to form and foster connections in the Town of Brunswick, Saul Cuevas-Landeros ’23 is still determined to create opportunities for students to engage with the community. This year, Cuevas-Landeros is co-leading Bowdoin Central Mentoring, a Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good program dedicated to mentoring students in the Brunswick area.

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Books

Bowdoin alumni bridge age gap through writing

When Anneka Williams ’21 started her first year at Bowdoin, she never expected to write a book during her time at the College, let alone co-publish one with someone nearly 60 years her senior. However, Williams, who is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Climate Change at the University of Copenhagen, did just this.

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Administration

Behind the mask: The face of Bowdoin’s COVID-19 response

Mike Ranen usually starts his morning by checking the College’s COVID-19 test results around 6 a.m.. The results of those tests will dictate the course of his day. On a good day, Ranen can balance his job as the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Residential and Student Life, as well as his role as the College’s COVID-19 Resource Coordinator.

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Talk of the Quad

The love I know

While I was studying back home in Thailand, my morning routine was taking a driving lesson taught by my grandpa. I would drive through the streets of suburban Bangkok, surrounded by electrical poles holding up black cables that tangle more viciously than your previous romantic situation.

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Talk of the Quad

When we were friends

I have a good friend who’s no longer a good friend. We’re no longer on speaking terms, and I don’t know how much longer this will be the case. Even though we only met last September, they became one of my closest friends, and I became one of theirs.

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Notes from the Garden

Summer Harvest: gathering

A chipmunk is stuck in the greenhouse; I must’ve surprised it when I wandered through yesterday. I left the door open so they could find their way out, and upon opening the door, I saw one of the garden’s human neighbors taking a pleasant stroll through the rows.

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Anti-Racism

New institute to tackle social justice education

The Office of Inclusion and Diversity is spearheading a new program this semester designed to educate student leaders in promoting social justice and equity. The eight-session Social Justice Leadership Institute incorporates elements of past student workshops and campus-wide dialogue initiatives.

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Maine

BPS Fellowships offer hands-on approach to the Common Good

For Justis Dixon ’23, the summer wasn’t spent going to the beach or relaxing in his home, rather, it was instead spent in an office in Topsham contributing to the Common Good. Over the summer, Dixon and a handful of other Bowdoin students participated in the Bowdoin Public Service (BPS) Maine Government Summer Fellowships which aim to give Bowdoin students hands-on government experience by pairing them with local governments in Maine.

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A look back on the College’s testing program

Last March, during its 218th academic year, the College sent the student body home for the first time in institutional history. In the midst of every major world event from 1794 to present day, Bowdoin felt that it had the ability to maintain the safety of its students, faculty, staff and surrounding community.

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Beneath the emotionless waiting room

Content warning: This article contains descriptions of substance use disorder and violence. I remember staring at the ceiling of some waiting room of some hospital that I can’t remember the name of. I had spent the previous night riding with my uncle down from Cleveland, Ohio to Johnson City, Tennessee.

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Pinky D’s: Behind the iconic Friday night poutine truck

The Pinky D’s food truck, a mishmash of black and white checkers complemented by pink racing stripes, is nearly as colorful as the meal served out of it: poutine. The dish, a staple in Canada, is made of thick-cut fries topped with piping hot gravy and cheese curds, making it the perfect late night snack for hungry Bowdoin students.

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Professor Takematsu researches the science of sunlight

Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Kana Takematsu follows the sunlight and wants Bowdoin students to do the same. “I’ve always been interested in light,” Takematsu said. Back in her grad school days at the California Institute of Technology, a guest lecturer in geology took Takematsu’s inorganic chemistry seminar on a field trip to a natural science museum.

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International Students

International students reflect on a tumultuous and frustrating year

Following a programming series for ‘international students week,’ the International Student Alliance (ISA) organized a celebration reflecting on a bittersweet year, which took place at 30 College on Thursday afternoon. While the celebration was an uplifting and recreational event, many international students also voiced frustrations and concerns in response to the uncertainties that lie ahead.

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Under pressure: the unseen burden of expectations

I think often of my walk back home from my bus stop after school when I was younger. I was often shaking in fear, with my eyes stinging with tears at the thought of what I might come home to—either an empty, quiet trailer to finish my homework, or an angry, drunken mother who would take her frustrations out on me and disrupt the rest of the evening.

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Mr. Tuna: Brunswick’s new mobile sushi staple

Drawing in hungry Bowdoin students with fresh and mouthwatering sushi rolls, the Mr. Tuna food truck has quickly become a staple of the Bowdoin foodie’s diet. The truck offers an array of sushi roll options of every style and flavor, satisfying customers no matter their personal taste.

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Brunswick

Restoring the Lemont Block

The Lemont Block, a four-story historic brick building on the corner of Maine Street and Pleasant Street that has been an iconic part of the Brunswick skyline for over 150 years, is about to have a new chapter added to its storied history.

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International Students

‘This International Life’: Professor Devgan talks about lived experiences as an international student

As part of programming for International Week, which celebrates international students and occurs in the last week of every April, Bowdoin’s International Student Association (ISA) hosted a talk led by Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology Shruti Devgan “This International Life.” Devgan, a former international student and current international scholar herself, shared her own experiences with these identities as well as her perspective on how recent events have challenged and complicated the experience of international students in the United States.

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Sazón y Corazón

Where a poor man can eat like a king

A family friend of mine once said: “Peru is the only country in South America where a poor man can eat like a king.” This exchange came in Lima during a night out at a Madam Tusan chifa restaurant where I had Cru Yok pork with vegetables and pineapples, roasted duck and a side of Min Pao.

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Breaking the silence

Content warning: This article contains descriptions of child sexual abuse and of mental health difficulties following such experiences. Sometimes, when my mother was gone, her boyfriend would come into my room. He would always knock on my bedroom door the same way, a sound that still creeps into my thoughts from time to time to this day.

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Pandemic Picks

Pandemic Picks: Let’s hit the road

  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.

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Vacuoles of Knowledge

How (not) to be a god

The year: probably somewhere around 560 BCE. The place: Mount Etna. The star of this story: Empedocles, Greek philosopher and self-proclaimed god. Now, just for a little background on the god situation, this kind of claim was not new for Empedocles.

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The wave that carries me away

Content warning: This article contains descriptions of alcoholism, domestic violence and verbal abuse.  I will never forget the thumping. I find myself on the ground, my head spinning so haphazardly that I can’t stand up. I lay on the floor of my kitchen and stare at the ceiling above me; it falls in and out of focus.

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Anti-Racism

Xing ’23 and Asian Students Alliance shed light on racism with group photo project

Five years ago, the Asian Students Alliance (ASA) and South Asian Students Association (SASA) created #ThisIs2016, which took the internet by storm. After remembering the series five years since its conception, Cheng Xing ’23 proposed the ASA’s Affinity Group Photo Project, an iteration of #ThisIs2016, in hopes of providing a platform for members of Bowdoin affinity groups to express themselves on campus.

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Sazón y Corazón

Latin-QUE? The Complexity of the “X”

Identity is extremely complicated, particularly for people of Latin American origin here in the United States. Numerous ethnic classifications for people like this exist here, but the two most commonly used terms are “Hispanic” and “Latino/a.” Although sometimes used interchangeably, these two terms differ greatly in meaning and origin.

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Campus

‘A living autobiography’: Bowdoin Moments seeks to capture the Bowdoin experience

The Bowdoin experience can now be inscribed onto a digital space, dedicated to documenting memories and celebrating Bowdoin’s unique community. Created by Max Freeman ’22 and Camilo Pareja ’22, Bowdoin Moments is an online platform where anyone with Bowdoin memories—whether they be students, faculty, staff members, alumni and visitors—is invited to share their stories in geospatial tags accompanied with a few sentences of reflections.

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Pandemic Picks

Pandemic Picks: Returning myths to their gay glory

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.

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Brunswick

Bay Bowls: Brunswick’s new spot for a technicolor refreshment

During the College’s two-day break, many Bowdoin students living on campus found a moment of refreshment while enjoying free smoothie bowls sponsored by the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG). More than 1,000 students picked up a bowl from the newly-opened Bay Bowls on March 21 and 22, and the store’s owners are excited to continue serving the Brunswick community.

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Sazón y Corazón

My favorite happy neighborhood

Google often artistically alters its logo to commemorate notable events, holidays or historical figures. Known as a Google Doodle, it often contains interesting information about what’s being commemorated, and I enjoy reading about the different people and occasions being recognized.

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Class of 2023 council launches friend-matching program

Making friends is no simple task, with or without a pandemic. The return to campus earlier this month marked the first time the majority of students could see long-missed friends in nearly a year. The 2023 Class Council is helping their classmates foster new connections through a “friend-matching” program.

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Social Media

Meet “Janie at Bowdoin,” the TikTok star of campus staff

As students geared up for a return to campus unlike any other, one Bowdoin staff member found herself at the center of unexpected Internet stardom. With thousands of views across more than 20 videos and features on multiple local news networks, Director of Content Janie Porche became a community favorite through her popular TikTok account: @Janie_at_bowdoin.

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Brunswick

Giltner ’23 worked to bring historic rocket launch

For James Giltner ’23, what started out as a search for how to fill his semester away from Bowdoin turned into a groundbreaking learning experience—one that culminated in a historic rocket launch. Last fall, Giltner worked full-time at bluShift, a Brunswick-based company that launched a rocket from the Loring Commerce Center in Limestone, Maine, on January 31.

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Sazón y Corazón

The reggaeton revolution

Every December, music streaming service Spotify releases their annual “Wrapped” review, which examines the most popular music of the year for both individual users and the platform as a whole. Across social media, Spotify users shared their most beloved artists, songs and genres, as well as the occasional “top 0.5 percent of listeners” badge.

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Talk of the Quad

Why I miss the noise in my mind

During my first year on Bowdoin’s campus, thousands of questions would swim through my head on any given day. Some of them would be necessary (Thorne or Moulton today?), others slightly less so (What would my psychology professor look like without his famed beard?).

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Talk of the Quad

Distance in the age of surreality

I was taught to appreciate distance on a small playground during a rainy day. Having attended a boarding school in suburban China since I was 12, I remember the compulsory military training that first confounded my idea of an inseparable family life, forever based in unconditional love, connectedness and rationality.

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Sazón y Corazón

The rats are at it again

The world held its breath this last week as the American election dominated headlines, news and the thoughts of millions of people. Democracy won once again in the United States as Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in one of the most polarized elections in American history.

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Mindfulness Over Matter builds dynamic meditation community

As anxiety over the elections runs high in the student body, Mindfulness Over Matter, a student-run meditation group, encourages students to find the time in their busy schedules to pause and practice mindfulness. Through a variety of meditation sessions—available four times each week—as well as meditation tips and facts that they share with the Bowdoin community on their Instagram page, the club hopes to emphasize the restorative and healing properties of meditation.

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