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Features

Talk of the Quad

A love letter to the Lady Bears

When women were first admitted to the College in 1971, they enthusiastically pushed their way into all aspects of campus life, especially the athletic arena. As former Athletic Director Ed Coombs said in an Orient article from 1979, “I don’t think we or any of these schools [that went co-ed] anticipated the type of sports these women would want to play.

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New group promotes discussion across political spectrum

The Merciless Debate Society, an unofficial discussion group based in Coles Tower, is dedicated to President Clayton Rose’s often-mentioned principle of “intellectual fearlessness.” The students of this group hope to “mercilessly” confront and debate topics that they believe are often ignored on campus.

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Talk of the Quad

From the epicenter

“Yes, I was there for the earthquake … Yes, I felt it … crazy, humbling.” These words always seem to shake my listeners more than the earthquake shook me. Words have that effect. I was in the mountains of Mardi Himal on April 25, 2015 when a 7.8-magniude earthquake shook Nepal.

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Talk of the Quad

The joy of knitting

Recently, I’ve spent a lot of my free time knitting and thinking about making. I grew up with crafting, making creative objects as a part of my daily life. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have my own fabric basket, craft box and knitting needles.

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Bowdoin in History

The Hall effect: how a Bowdoin-taught genius made history

Bowdoin has no shortage of notable alumni to boast about. Yet unless you’re a physicist or engineer, you might not have heard of Edwin Hall, Bowdoin Class of 1875. Hall was born in Gorham, Maine on November 7, 1855, and grew up in the area, ultimately attending the College and continuing on to make enormous strides in his respective field of physics that altered the course of fields such as engineering and technology entirely.

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Students try working in Vacationland

“Work in the state you love” was the tagline of this week’s Maine Employer Career Fair, which brings employees from across the Pine Tree State to campus. For Bowdoin students, that state might be the one they grew up in or one they had never seen before arriving on campus.

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English professor earns international acclaim

This year, the English department brought new and now internationally-award-winning talent to its faculty. Author and Assistant Professor of English Alex Marzano-Lesnevich recently won the prestigious France Inter-JDD foreign book prize for the French translation of their 2017 cross-genre book “The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir.” This award is given by a committee of prominent French journalists to one book internationally per year in any genre.

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Deep in the Heart

Deep in the Heart: putting Bowdoin’s lens on our home

We’re from Texas. Houston and Austin, respectively. At first, this didn’t seem to matter much. We both come from transplant families, families who found Texas by accident—or kismet—depending on which way you look at it. The more we talked, the more we fell back on this shared upbringing in order to make sense of who we are: two ethnically ambiguous, romantically adrift young women in Donald Trump’s America.

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Cyber Chase

Cyber Chase: racing after an understanding of the future

On January 21, 2002, the quirky trio of Jackie, Matt and Inez graced the television screens of millions of PBS kids viewers across the United States for the first time. For a glorious 23 and a half minutes, audiences joined the trio and traveled to Cyberchase, a digital universe, where they protected Motherboard, “the brain of the giant computer system that oversees all of Cyberspace,” from cybercrimes committed by Hacker.

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Spilling the tea: professor brings the flavor home

Rachel Connelly, Bion R. Cram professor of economics, and her family have what she describes as “a long-term love affair with China.” So when her oldest son, Martin Connelly, graduated from Colby in 2008 and suggested that the family start a Chinese tea company, it seemed only natural.

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The Common Food

A faithful recipe: cooking, conversation and camaraderie

Although dating culture is dead at Bowdoin, food culture is immortal. By the time students graduate, they have attended four Lobster Bakes, eaten 256 Bowdoin Brunches and drained 150 PolarPoints far too quickly each semester. Thanks to the fantastic Bowdoin Dining staff, we’ve feasted on goat cheese paninis, seafood scampi and pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, while our peers at other colleges, as Malcolm Gladwell is quick to mention, either suffer through four years of greasy pizza or abandon meal plans and school dining hall culture entirely.

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Many nights at the Museum: Goodyears spark innovation

While the Bowdoin College Museum of Art (BCMA) is well-known for its extensive and unique collections, much of the space’s success and innovation is due to its employees. Anne and Frank Goodyear, co-directors of the BCMA since 2014, have played a significant role in facilitating the museum’s growth and creative aspirations.

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Honors students take their research on the road

While Bowdoin students travel all over the globe during breaks, each year a few students embark on scholarly expeditions as an extension of their senior honors projects. Through the College’s various research grants, students conduct research in cities across the world.

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Talk of the Quad

On anger

I am not a generally happy person. This is not a new revelation (nor is it news, I’m sure, to any of my friends), but it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. I like to say that my “resting emotion” is anger.

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History doesn’t forget: student helps take Nazi to court

While neo-Nazism may have entered the vernacular of today’s political discourse, Sophie al Mutawaly ’19 saw earlier this year that even the Hitler era hasn’t quite come to a close. A German citizen, al Mutawaly spent this past summer as a legal intern at the law firm Rückel & Collegen in Munich.

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Christian student groups celebrate holiday season

The wreaths around campus signal two important things for Bowdoin: winter break approaches and finals draw ever nearer. For some, the holiday season may come with little spiritual connection, perhaps just a red Starbucks cup of coffee, but for others, the holidays start earlier and have significant meaning for their faith.

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Polar Eyes

On display today

Students in the Visual Arts Department  pin, hang  and place their art in the Edwards Center for Art and Dance. For these students, this show is their final; the culmination of months of hard work. Drawings, paintings, sculpture and much more will fill the walls.

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Postcards

All the Northern Lights we didn’t see

The passengers who undertake the 15-hour train ride from Stockholm to Kiruna are of a particular breed—what could possibly fuel a desire to reach the northern Swedish frontiers? This endless expanse of wintry emptiness, save for the sparse scatter of birch trees that dot the flat horizon every now and then?

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Historic house fosters new writing

There is no single leader of the Stowe Writers House, a new writing collective on Bowdoin’s campus. It is a purely collaborative space, devoid of hierarchy, deadlines and judgement. Loosely modelled off of the Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania, the Stowe Writers House group was conceived last year through a collaboration between students and Professor of Africana Studies and English Tess Chakkalakal.

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The future of food in Bowdoin’s backyard

Oysters need time, movement and a little TLC, says Jordi St. John. Otherwise, their speckled shells clench up, congeal, lose the space they need to make a home. Carrying a brush and a sure grin, he runs fine bristles along the plastic bags where shellfish grow, brushing specks of algae that fall into the waves surrounding Merritt Island.

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Politics and craft beer mingle at Moderation Brewing Company

What do beer and politics have in common? A lot, according to Mattie Daughtry, co-founder of Moderation Brewing Company on Maine Street, which opened last March. And Daughtry would know. Aside from running Moderation with business partner Philip Welsh, Daughtry works as a Democratic member of the Maine State House of Representatives.

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Polar Eyes

Campus from the cockpit

It’s a bird, it’s a plane—oh, wait, it is a plane! Teddy Wecker ’22 flies above Bowdoin in a Piper Cherokee. The first-year finished his pilot’s license a few weeks before coming to the College. For him, flying in Maine is a dream.

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Study Space of the Week

Odd building brings light to campus

Most regulars are hesitant to discuss the hidden gem, the Visual Art Center (VAC), because part of the building’s appeal is its serenity and relative obscurity. The students who frequent the  space are well acquainted with one another, as there is a small but devoted group that studies regularly between the glass walls, bookshelves and quirky posters that line the inside.

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Spinning the myths of a Desi Diwali: the festival of lights

When Shankar Mahadevan hits the chorus of the iconic Bollywood ballad “Desi Girl,” impassioned drums and raucous claps fade into the titular line that’s captivated South Asian families and popular media for the past decade: “Dekhi Lakh Lakh Pardesi Girl / Ain’t Nobody Like My Desi Girl / Sab Toh Soni N Saadi Desi Girl.” Translation: We’ve seen millions of foreign girls, but ain’t nobody like my Desi girl / The most beautiful and down-to-earth girl is an Indian girl.

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Postcards

Nikolay’s Russian noise

Cecile and I found ourselves in a crowd of beaked babushkas, their perfume reeking nostalgically as we passed, calling to mind stuffy tea times in my grandma’s living room, surrounded by porcelain knick-knacks dusted with age.

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At Home in All Lands

Thoughts on abroad: when Bowdoin is your study-away program

This past February, during my sophomore spring semester, I decided I wasn’t going to study abroad. Ever since arriving at Bowdoin, studying away for a semester had been on my mind. I’d cycled through a lot of possibilities: minor or major in Spanish and go to Spain or South America, take a semester of Italian and go to Italy, take a biology class and go to Tanzania, take a semester of Greek and do the College Year in Athens.

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New computer science course takes a byte out of cookies

Computational creativity can seem—at first—like an oxymoron. Computer science is often associated with dark rooms and daunting technology while creativity connotes vivid color, energy and novelty. In the case of Assistant Professor of Computer Science Sarah Harmon’s new Computational Creativity course, however, this dichotomy could not be further from the truth.

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Talk of the Quad

Humanity in unknown neighborhoods

Enduring the contempt of strangers can be emotionally draining. And contempt is, unsurprisingly, the primary impulse of those whose doors are knocked on when they’re eating dinner with their family, or when their newborn child has just fallen asleep, or they’re just about to dash off to the airport to catch a plane or when they’re already running late and a bright-faced, sweaty, idealistic kid shows up at their door telling them about the plight of sea turtles or the midterm elections.

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Postcards

It’s Assyria. With an A.

It was by a stroke of fate and a seating algorithm that on an EasyJet flight I met Nino. Romi and I were on our return flight from London. While traveling in pairs is normally not an issue, on a plane with three-seat aisles, the third seat is left to chance.

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Sir mix-a-lot: sampling the lite beer experience

It has been a tough couple weeks for beer. Nevertheless, we’re back providing our readers with the content they crave about the worst beers on the market. We were chided after our last review by the proud staff of the Orient that this is a “beer column,” and so we actually need to “write about beer.” To make up for this grave omission, we are bringing to you a surplus of beer this week—volume and variety, not word count— pushed together in ways that neither the father, the son nor the Brothers Bissell ever intended.

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Talk of the Quad

Have the squirrels gone nuts?

Between Sills and Searles, there exists an exceedingly large population of squirrels. They hang on tree branches and scurry in bushes, but largely, they romp around freely in the open grass. While the squirrels most frequently travel alone, they occasionally appear en masse and sometimes are seen in hot pursuit of other fellow squirrels.

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Community grows at local Brunswick Farmers’ Market

Every Tuesday and Friday, from May 1 until November 20, local farmers set up shop on the Brunswick mall along Maine Street to share the fruits of their harvest with the Brunswick community. It’s unusual to find a Maine city or town without a local farmers’ market, so what sets this particular market apart?

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McCarroll’s book debunks myths about Appalachia

After noticing her accent, the first question Bostonians often ask Director of Writing and Rhetoric Meredith McCarroll, is where she is from. When she answers the South, her new acquaintance responds, usually in an exaggerated southern drawl, “Where in the South?” to which she says, “In the mountains of North Carolina,” more commonly known as Appalachia.

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Postcards

You can’t buy happiness but you can play King’s Cup

This is the story of four American girls—wait—one half-Jamaican, half-Lithuanian girl, Tyrah; one Israeli-born, but Belgian passport-carrying girl, Romi; one Serbian-American girl, me; and the token American amongst us, Cecile. This is the story of how four girls found themselves playing King’s Cup until one in the morning in Kloster bar, near the Södermalm neighborhood in Stockholm.

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Obama accepts prize in honor of Paul Douglas, class of 1913

When President Barack Obama emerged from his post-tenure elusiveness to give a speech at the University of Illinois, he was accepting an award named after a Bowdoin alum. The Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government is named in recognition of a distinguished economist who graduated from the College in 1913.

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Having a normal one: a Steel Reserve on campus

Welcome sweet readers, For guys like us, the explosion of craft beer has been great. Instead of developing fully formed personalities, we can learn a simple vocabulary, e.g. “citra,” “dry-hopped,” “milk stout,” “double IPA,” “notes,” “you’ve had too much,” “I’m cutting you off” and then be semi-functioning members of society, mindlessly quoting “Good Will Hunting” back and forth while drinking overpriced beer to distract from the fact that we have not a shred of individuality.

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Bowdoin creates space for a new kind of George Lopez Show

You’d never guess it from looking at him now—sitting comfortably, a smile spreading across his face as he describes his orchestra, voice bouncing and echoing across the recital hall—but  George Lopez, Beckwith artist-in-residence and director of the Bowdoin orchestra, never wanted to be a musician.

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Seniors have grand plans for Ladd House

Ladd House—occupied by sophomores in recent memory—has a new set of residents: class of 2019. As the only exclusively senior space within the College House system, the iconic red facade of Ladd now represents an experiment in keeping the social scene for upperclassmen centered on campus.

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Dog Bar Jim: more than just exceptional espresso

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.

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Postcards

Postcards: a bald eagle in France

Breakfast at the Paramount in Boston meant a 45-minute wait in the standing line to order, a subsequent fight for a table and an inevitable shouting match between Conversation and Noise. “Izvini sto kasnim!” I yelled, “I’m sorry I’m late!” She waved at the air to both forgive and beckon me to her table.

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andross

Fort of the Future

Four floors of evenly-spaced windows tower over the Androscoggin River. The faded brick structure stands firm, bookending Maine Street just before Topsham. Though unassuming from the exterior, Fort Andross is a place bustling with motion – hundreds of individuals enter and exit every day, each with a unique purpose.

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andross

Amidst rows of storage space, life exists

For many, Cumberland Self Storage signifies transition: a temporary place to store belongings. But for the past 11 years, Manager Steve Howe has been a constant friendly face to greet and help customers. “A lot of people think it’s dull and boring—you just sit on your butt all day long and don’t do anything—but that’s not the case.

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andross

Marketing Maine agriculture

Every Saturday from November to May, vendors selling goods from freshly-harvested mushrooms to homemade body lotions shuffle in to fill the first floor of Fort Andross with their colorful stalls. This is the Brunswick Winter Market, where the vendors are as eclectic and versatile as they are passionate about their craft—whether it is cheese- and butter-making, coffee roasting or knife sharpening.

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andross

Relics for sale, in a modern age

Next door to the Winter Market is the Waterfront Flea Market. In fact, customers have to walk past the flea market to get to the winter market. A lot of people pause before the flea market, look, a bit confused and intrigued, at the couple of mismatched chairs out front, but many just continue to the other market.

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andross

Dam those fish: human-environment interaction on the Androscoggin River

Any north-facing windows at Fort Andross provide a full view of the Brunswick dam, a massive concrete structure on the Androscoggin River with a capacity 19,000 kilowatt-hours, according to the Maine Governor’s Energy Office. Today’s dam is hydroelectric, owned by Brookfield Renewable, a subsidiary  of the international asset management  company, but dams have shaped Brunswick’s development for centuries—the first was built in 1753 to serve the town’s sawmills.

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Alumni

Ian Trask ’05 turns trash into art

Rather than continuing to work in biology laboratories post-graduation, Ian Trask ’05 opted to pick up trash. After winding his way through various jobs, he ended up as a groundskeeper at a hospital in Massachusetts, cleaning parking lots and he ultimately deciding to use trash as a medium for art.

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Talk of the Quad

Eight years later

We are basically in a relationship. It’s been eight years. We’ve lived together for two and a half, traveled around the world, hung out with each other’s families and are currently listed as each other’s “emergency contact.” You can find us eating most meals together in Thorne, popping up most often in each other’s tagged photos and wearing full-set matching pajamas when we go to bed together each night.

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Studying the arctic in the era of climate change

With its history of Arctic exploration and museum research, Bowdoin’s connection to the Arctic go way back. Today, with issues still surrounding various polar environments, Bowdoin continues to make strides in the field, as exemplified through a continuous, cross-disciplinary pursuit by faculty members across several academic departments.

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Talk of the Quad

Americans learning Italian

“Perché gli americani vogliono imparare l’italiano?” (“Why do Americans want to learn Italian?”) This was the question my friends asked when I told them that I was going to go from working on my Master’s in Italy to teaching Italian conversation at Bowdoin.

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