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Features

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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Erin Johnson fuses art, technology and activism

I met Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Erin Johnson in her studio in the Edwards Center for Art and Dance. Midday sun streamed in through room’s the large windows, generously lighting the space. There was very little furniture in the room, giving it an airy quality.

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Brunswick

Amidst growth, Brunswick faces food insecurity

Behind Hannaford, a five-minute walk from Bowdoin’s campus, sits the primary facility for Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program (MCHPP). The nonprofit, which handles over a million pounds of food each year, combats food insecurity—a perpetual and growing issue that affects over 200,000 Maine residents each year.

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Talk of the Quad

From S.A.D. to spring

When I was looking at colleges, I placed a very particular (almost unreasonable) emphasis on the weather. I wasn’t looking for anything perfect; rather I wanted something different. The weather in Los Angeles always seemed too sunny and perfect—in fact the weather in California is so perfect that we have a perpetual problem with droughts.

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Talk of the Quad

Looking forward (looking back)

Two figures stand under a tree near the Bowdoin Chapel. It is a birch tree or maybe an oak—I am not sure, and it doesn’t even matter. The tree is just beginning to bloom. Its silvery green leaves shudder in the cool May breeze, and its rosy buds are filled to burst with flowers that reach to meet the morning sun and cast stippled shadows across the grass.

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Space, Place and Sucking Face

Queer faces, straight places: inclusion at Bowdoin

Last Thursday night, I attended my first “underground queer party.” Inspired by Wesleyan’s biweekly “secret gay keg parties,” this was intended to bring together and revitalize Bowdoin’s lackluster queer community. This party wasn’t the local gay club I frequented abroad, replete with handsome men in their mid-twenties, strobe lights, drag queens and complimentary drinks.

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Diversity Matters

Untested complicity, A+ potential: Curricular reform can relieve students of color from the burden of teaching race

This article is the second installment in the Diversity Matters series where students in the Diversity in Higher Education seminar present research based on interviews with 48 seniors. To read the first installment, click here. Students can easily go through Bowdoin with color-blind understandings of race unchallenged and undisrupted.

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Bowdoin Back Home

True north: reflecting on life in Alaska

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.

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International Students

International students seek visibility, resources

Thirteen portraits on a slanting wall in David Saul Smith Union show students’ faces superposed over images that remind them of home. The art is striking, as is the message behind it. Cheng-Chun (Kevin) Yu ’19 and Shinhee Kang ’18, who created the exhibit together, hope to shed light on the presence of international students at Bowdoin and the unique challenges they face as they try to fit in and access the same opportunities as domestic students.

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Talk of the Quad

Towards a better masculinity

In high school, I spent countless hours babysitting younger kids. It was my primary source of spending-money and more importantly an experience that helped me grow immensely as a person. Kids are full of contagious enthusiasm that makes it hard to be anything but happy when you’re around them.

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Talk of the Quad

Conscious about my subconscious

“So, you’re a vivid dreamer. You really need to get those dreams analyzed,” my doctor told me with the authority of her white coat and the distance of a wide desk. I discussed the recurring themes and characters in my dreams: my middle school volleyball coach, my first boyfriend, my second boyfriend, my family friends, my parents.

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Space, Place and Sucking Face

End of the line: journeys on the Downeaster

I love my Amtrak Downeaster six-trip college pass. For 86 dollars, I can take three round trips from the doorstep of campus to Woburn, the gateway to JOB (Just Outside of Boston) land. My three—or four or five, depending on weather and track repair—hour rides have punctuated my seven semesters on campus, bookending Thanksgiving and spring breaks.

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Bowdoin Back Home

Welcome to Leaving Atlanta, Georgia

AUDIO: Carly Berlin reads.  When I came to Bowdoin, everyone asked me where my accent was. Where? Nowhere. This was a matter I had never considered. I hadn’t noticed that my parents spoke with subtle twangs ’til my college friends noted this, but that would be years down the road.

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Talk of the Quad

A shiver down the spine

Eight months ago I checked into Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, changed into a hospital gown and mustard-colored socks and plummeted into the depths of general anesthesia to the sound of Paul Simon’s first solo album.

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About Town

40 Union Street: legacy, community and little red wagons

It’s not hard to see why Union Street Bakery has quickly won a place in the hearts of locals since its opening nearly three years ago. In this short period of time, Brunswick residents have walked again and again up those distinctive green steps, sometimes hungry for gooey chocolate chip cookies, other times for fresh brioche cinnamon buns, but most often, for lively chats with owner Sandy Holland.

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