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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?).
I still remember the call the day after I received the acceptance letter from Bowdoin. It was from my best friend. Well, “best friend” before she simply disappeared during our junior year of high school and nobody knew where she went.
Buildings and classrooms were closed. Dining halls only offered take-out meals. Common areas around campus, normally overflowing with talking, laughing students, were deserted. “Closed to Visitors” signs were placed across the quad, making it eerily empty and devoid of activity.
Hey everyone. I’m writing this on Sunday, November 15; it will be published on Friday, November 20. I can only hope that the past week hasn’t been too stressful or emotional, but I know it most likely has been, and that tomorrow will be the culmination of that.
On Thursday night, two days before the move-out deadline for most on-campus students, dining services served Thanksgiving dinner at both dining halls. This year, one of the College’s most extravagant meal traditions has been adapted to a smaller scale.
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.
As businesses on Maine Street round off a fall unlike any other, many of them must quickly shift gears to plan for the upcoming winter—a season which will bring cold weather, holiday shoppers and the return of many Bowdoin students to Brunswick.
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.
Two thousand and three-hundred miles, 32 days and a fiery motivation to take on a mental and physical challenge were all it took for Triana Willmert ’22 and Dylan Sloan ’22 to complete the Tour Divide cross country bike route between the Canadian and Mexican borders during their gap semester this fall.
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.
For this piece, I’m writing solo and without my dearest writer-in-crime. And unfortunately, because of that, this piece will be undoubtedly less funny. Feel free to stop reading now. Our articles in the past have discussed student life on campus and things we yearn to see change in our interactions with students and professors regarding race.
Bowdoin’s Catholic Student Union (CSU) fosters unity and strength through shared faith and experiences. Despite its members being scattered across the country, CSU has maintained a regular schedule that includes weekly meetings, mass watch parties, prayers and meditation.
Hello loves! I hope these past couple of weeks haven’t been too stressful and that all your midterms have wrapped up! (Crossing my fingers for you all!) Here’s the vibe check for the next two weeks, November 6 to November 20.
For most Bowdoin students and faculty, the past week has been a time for brief conversations and announcements about how class structures and schedules may be impacted by the results—or lack thereof—of next week’s elections. But for Professor of Government Michael Franz and the 75 students in the two sections of his Campaigns and Elections class, next week will provide the culmination of two months of analyzing political data and studying election history.
Sometimes I wonder if my path to becoming a chemistry major started because of my love for baking. Friends that know me well know that I often bake desserts such as flans, cakes and various types of cookies for birthdays or other celebrations.
When Bowdoin announced that seniors would not be returning to campus this fall, Sophia Salzer ’21 decided to take the semester off, instead dedicating her time and energy to Maine Planned Parenthood’s campaign for Sara Gideon, the state’s Democratic candidate for U.S.
It’s a Sunday afternoon in October. I’m sitting on my couch underneath my new plush blanket covered in cartoons of ghosts and of the word “boo.” There’s a candle burning on my desk. Outside, the leaves are swirling down from the trees, like a typical Maine autumn day.
In a surprise email, the long awaited decision of Bowdoin’s plan for the spring semester has finally been released. And we won’t sugar coat it—things look pretty bleak for our first years. It was decided that, after being used as guinea pigs to see if everyone got COVID-19 while back on campus, the first years have served their purpose and are to be shipped home in November, not to return until next year.
On Monday, the College opened Thorne dining hall for indoor dining for on-campus students. For months, students have picked up meals from Thorne and Moulton dining halls, filing through the six feet apart stickers, grabbing to-go meals without a salad bar and choosing items from a snack section in lieu of the usual SuperSnack.
Historically, Bowdoin women who wished to enter the field of business faced increased hurdles in getting internship and career opportunities. Founded by Kayla Baker ’09, Bowdoin Women in Business (BWIB) serves as a community of peers with resources, solidarity and support.
“Sweet Caroline, BUM BUM BUM!” Hearing this line belt through the speakers as sweaty students push against each other, fighting for dancefloor space, is an average Friday night at Bowdoin College (Pre-COVID, of course). This scene leaves much to be desired.
In the lead-up to Election Day, the Bowdoin College Republicans have been focusing their programming away from organizing and activism and toward internal, issue-focused discussions. The club has elected not to endorse a candidate in any election, including the presidential race, which co-president Oron Steingrub ’22 called a “typical” practice.
While the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will certainly make this election unlike any other, the Bowdoin Democrats (Bowdoin Dems) are still offering interested students multiple opportunities each week to participate in Democratic organizing. Between thrice-weekly phone banks, twice-weekly group walks to the polls in Brunswick and in-person canvassing, Bowdoin Dems’ eight-person officer team has created ways for students, both remote and on-campus, to get involved as Election Day quickly approaches.
Amidst the tumult of a semester with unprecedented restrictions, routines and expectations, Bowdoin Wellness Services has been nurturing a sanctuary of tranquillity and community through weekly yoga sessions, led by Assistant Director of Wellness Services Kate Nicholson.
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.
I had never witnessed a more beautiful scene in my life. The red and white shades colored every shop and restaurant around me. The coastal night sky boomed with fireworks as the moonlight shone on the pristine waters of Larcomar, a shopping centre in the district of Miraflores, Peru.
This Tuesday, as Americans gathered at home to watch the presidential debate, Bowdoin students tuned in to Bowdoin Votes’ Debate Watch Party, the group’s effort to provide a nonpartisan environment for engagement with the presidential race.
It is officially fall in Brunswick: cooling temperatures, changing leaves and the beginning of essay-writing season. For first years, it means getting back their first college papers and potentially facing the disappointment of lower-than-expected grades. “I was really struggling to get a strong cohesive idea throughout my paper,” said Ian Pratt ’24 of his first paper on Plato for his first-year writing seminar, “Human Being and Citizen.” That’s when Pratt decided to make an appointment with a writing assistant through the Baldwin Center for Learning and Teaching (BCLT).
Greetings and gratitude, y’all! I hope you’re all settling into the new school year well. Here’s the vibe check for the next two weeks. I’ll explore the overall theme, discuss the main challenge and give advice on how to overcome it.
With pictures of professors passionately lecturing and students of various backgrounds having engaging conversations plastered on Bowdoin’s website, one is bound to make assumptions about the academic culture of the College. It’s a picturesque bastion of liberal arts education, a breeding ground for new ideas and radical thought, a nursery for critical thinking and passionate debate.
Thursday, September 17 Several students on campus reported being approached by a man offering to sell illicit drugs. Security identified a possible suspect who was later identified as an 18-year-old Brunswick resident. The Brunswick police located the suspect and issued a criminal trespass order barring him from all College properties.
As many of you know, there have been a series of phone scams going around that try to get your social security information. Yes, these people are the pirates of the modern age. But they can be your friend too!
Every Monday, Jill Tian ’21, who is studying in Beijing, China, logs into her first Zoom class at 9 p.m. and continues to stay on Zoom until 2:30 a.m., eventually going to sleep around 3 a.m.
With most first years living on campus and a majority of sophomores, the House residents during a typical semester, remote, the College Houses are facing a unique set of challenges in facilitating and building community this fall.
One of the most beautiful jerseys added to my collection over the summer became a canary yellow “19/20 Brazil” jersey stamped with a green print reading Black Lives Matter on the back. My body proudly displayed this jersey on August 16, a cloudy afternoon somehow perfect enough to go walking and hunting for Eevees on Pokemon Go.
Immunocompromised is a word that has been tossed around quite often this year. In the terms of the pandemic, it is labeled as a pre-existing medical condition describing these mythical people who somehow can’t handle the coronavirus like the rest of the American population would.
During the first month at Bowdoin, the most common question everybody asked me was “Where are you from?” I think I just gave up at a certain point (maybe starting this semester) and gave them what they wanted to hear—“I’m Chinese American.” To be honest, I don’t even think I answered their question, but it was enough.
Jasper Gordon ’21 has been baking with his family as long as he can remember. After feeling homesick his first semester, Gordon began baking bagels out of Burnett House. His passion for baking bagels started as small batches for friends, but since then, Gordon has started taking orders through a Google Form which has led to “Jasper’s Bagels.
What’s the relevant context for this summer? George Floyd’s death? The protests? A sea of students reading “White Fragility” and watching Ava DuVernay’s “13th”? Perhaps it was a combination of all of the above. Whatever it was, something shocked the white kids we knew into sending us a f*ckton of texts on June 2.
A space known for its open doors to women and LGBTQ+ students on campus, the Sexuality, Women and Gender Center (SWAG) at 24 College Street offers warm conversations and friendly companionship over tea in the kitchen or around pizza in the garage.
Face masks were mostly associated with East and Southeast Asia during the pre-COVID-19 era (which I now dub PCE). They helped filter out air pollution or, for motorcycle riders, vehicular exhaust. Cloth masks kept faces warm in the winter.
Walking down Maine Street today is a different experience than many Bowdoin students may remember. Brunswick’s wide sidewalks now hold expanded outdoor dining alongside space for masked pedestrians to walk, but there is also another notable difference—there are few students grabbing gelato or biking to their favorite dinner spot.
Like many other Bowdoin students, the second half of my spring semester became an unusual mix of awkward online classes, dreading trying to find a summer job and fear of the coronavirus reaching the doorstep. Unfortunately, COVID-19 decided to visit my household, and thus for a major part of it, I stayed locked inside my tiny room binging on “Rick and Morty” and fried plantains.
In an effort to address significant barriers to community-building this semester, Counseling Services has made major changes to their programming. In an email to the Orient, Interim Director of the Counseling and Wellness Services Roland Mendiola discussed the multitude of resources Counseling Services will offer this semester, including mental health classes, workshops, presentations and consults, along with the online counseling and psychiatric sessions that Counseling Services has offered previously.
Sparked by the murder of George Floyd in police custody in late May, students, faculty, staff and alumni at predominantly white colleges and universities created Instagram pages to provide community members of color the opportunity to share their experiences with racism at their respective institutions.
Over the past three weeks since George Floyd’s death at the hands of the Minneapolis police on Monday, May 25, Americans across the country have taken to the streets in protest. These mass demonstrations focus not only on justice for Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others who were slain by police violence, but also on calling for an uncompromising reexamination of institutional racism in our nation.
The summer of 2012 was an extraordinary one for me. The birch trees of Northern California stood out against the fiery sunsets. The kids in my host family and I shared “High School Musical” references while “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen played in the background.
From early January to mid-March of this year, I spent much of my free time swimming, surfing, sunbathing and hiking around the beautiful island of Oahu. Studying at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, I spent most of my time in the classroom learning about Hawaiian history and culture, the U.S.-militarized Pacific and American imperialism.
I was a yearbook writer in high school. Yes, no need to comment, I know that is literally the most useless job in history. My memory of it is punishment enough, thank you. It kinda pains me to think about all of the hours I spent fixing comma splices in copies about homecoming dances and sophomore cheer seasons, but I guess the Orient has some sense of humor and considered that the same thing as writing jokes because I was literally hired as the comedy writer this year due to my experience in yearbook.
I sing and play my music loudly to mask the ominous rattling coming from the engine of my 2003 Jeep Liberty. On my drive, I pass all of the major landmarks of my hometown. The pizza shop I used to work at, the only grocery store in town, the donut shop, the ice cream place, my high school, the bank, the car repair place and the tobacco fields.
When President Clayton Rose first announced that the College would transition to remote learning on March 11, the news set off a firestorm of messages in “ISA Bowdoin,” a WhatsApp group chat for members of the International Students Association (ISA).
Last fall, I took a nonfiction writing course with Professor Marzano-Lesnevich (ML). I’m not an English major or minor and have never considered writing as a career. I took this class because I enjoy writing, and I think it is a very applicable skill.
From near and far, Polar Bears choose Bowdoin for many different reasons. Here are some current students’ reflections on academics, community and why they chose Bowdoin. ACADEMICS: “One thing I wish I knew before coming to Bowdoin is that you have to give 110% effort every minute of every day.
It’s mid-afternoon on a Monday, and my ability to focus is at an all-time low. I’m in my bedroom at home, sitting at my desk. On my laptop screen, an instructor from my abroad program is starting a remote class session from her home in southwest England.
Among the many life-altering disruptions caused by COVID-19 was the cancelation of spring semester sports. As someone who bawled his eyes out onto the shoulders of 30 scantily-clad men at the end of my final Bowdoin hockey season—an end that I was completely prepared for—I cannot imagine how difficult it has been for spring athletes who have had their opportunity to write their final sports chapter unexpectedly and abruptly taken from them.
We’ll admit, it’s a bit of a strange moment to memorialize. Our Zipcar, a black Subaru Crosstrek, is parked at the Potash Boat Launch on the Colorado River, a gear explosion surrounding the vehicle and PC, Ellie and Chelsea digging through bags, boats and splash jackets.
About two weeks into isolation, I started watching Hulu’s revival of the 2000 movie “High Fidelity.” It’s exactly the kind of self-referential, music-snobby, Gen Z/millennial television show that is so ubiquitous these days—characters who are unbelievably self-absorbed, yet uncomfortably realistic.
During my first ever Zoom class, my professor delivered a moving speech. She said that this crisis has forced her to define and defend what she believes is the purpose of a Bowdoin education. In her opinion, that purpose is to make us leaders—in our families, in our communities and in the world.
A silver lining during the pandemic quarantine: the unexpected joy of cooking for myself. From getting groceries to preparing the ingredients to putting them in the pan, cooking is not only a life-sustaining skill, but it is also a much needed reprieve from the world that allows one to indulge in the taste of memories and home.
Editor’s Note: This article contains a discussion about an attempted suicide. On March 25, the Virginia state legislature signed a bill requiring public schools to provide teachers and staff members with mental health awareness training. For Charlottesville native Lucas Johnson ’22, who helped champion the bill, this marked his third successful effort to push through legislation promoting mental health education in schools.
Every afternoon, Annie Rose ’20 calls the same home-bound senior citizen in Brunswick. Their conversations flow naturally from topic to topic, just as a conversation with a good friend would. “How’s your family these days?” “What do you think of the presidential primaries?” “Have I told you my story about a seagull eating raw meat from the back of my pickup truck?” Rose and this woman have never met in-person.
I can’t look at the pictures yet. I know exactly which ones I love most: PC and Ellie resting on the grass on our first day home, a blurry Andrew pointing at the camera on his birthday, Allyson grinning widely with orange-painted cheeks at House Olympics.
Saturday marks one month since President Clayton Rose took a shotgun to the semester (rest in power Miss Bowdoin, 1794-2020), which means it has now been one month since I’ve felt any sense of agency. I’d like to think that I’ve kept some semblance of my college self together, but considering my tolerance is now half a White Claw and I can slowly feel myself going illiterate, that one might be a bit of a stretch.
The Orient has compiled a list of academic support resources available to students while remote learning for the remainder of the semester. This list will be updated as resources change. Last updated: April 24, 2020. Baldwin Center for Learning and Teaching The Baldwin Center for Learning and Teaching (BCLT) continues to offer a number of resources to students seeking academic support, which are detailed below, as well as special events listed on its website.
I had such great plans. I was going to serve my country and do something good in the world. I was going to adventure around obscure corners of the globe. I was going to defer the enormous student loans waiting for me after graduation.
When social distancing started, I decided it was time to clean out my phone. I mean, I hadn’t played Hay Day™ since (probably) the seventh grade, but there it was, taking up almost 2 GB of data (this is so shameful, I know).
As thousands of people across the globe are ordered to stay in their homes, many have turned to baking, reading or painting. Two Bowdoin students, however, have opted for a different activity: matchmaking. The pair, who wish to remain anonymous, created Bowdoin Quarantine Matches, a platform that uses a Google Forms survey in order to match students with similar interests.
Sam Wilson, co-founder of Black Pug Brewing, dons a black latex glove and hands a customer a 32-ounce “Pug Jug” of craft beer through an open car window in the parking lot of the brewery. On the other side of Brunswick, Ben Gatchell, the owner of Dog Bar Jim: The Coffee Shop, hands paper cups of coffee to customers through a window labeled “Pick-Up.” He too, wears gloves.
On Sunday, February 16, a 61-year-old woman with symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19) attended a service at the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in Daegu, South Korea. She scanned her thumb on an electronic pad to prove attendance and prayed in a basement packed with about 1,000 other attendees whom she hugged repeatedly per church ritual.
With almost two weeks of social distancing under my belt, I’m about one bad Zoom call away from talking to the walls. I’ve run the gamut of classic quarantine activities, from finally purging my wardrobe of nostalgic high school t-shirts to telling myself I have the personality to get into baking (wrong).
Diana Grandas ’20 was in Austria over spring break visiting a friend when she received word that the College would be transitioning to remote learning. Suddenly, she found herself unable to return to campus and had no way to retrieve her belongings.
Stage One: Denial. I arrive in one of my last classes before spring break in a huff. “West Trek is cancelled,” I complain. “All because of coronavirus. It’s all fear mongering. I refuse to take part.” That day, I receive an email from The Atlantic with the subject line, “Why you’ll probably get coronavirus.” I delete it immediately.
When Kailyn Braley started as a security officer at the College late last August, as with any new job, she had to adjust. “I know sometimes a uniform can be off-putting, and it was something that was a struggle when I first started working here,” Braley said.
I wake up, and I check the phone. Here’s a novel idea of the day: How’d you figure the world would end? As it turns out, feeling like the world’s going to end creeps in unsuspectedly.
John Rensenbrink was working in the fields of his family’s farm in northern Minnesota when his mother told him that America had dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The year was 1945, and Rensenbrink was 17 years old.
Adrienne Rich (1929-2012) was a renowned feminist poet throughout the second half of the 20th century. Her poems explored themes of feminism, social justice, queerness and environmentalism. One of my favorites is called “My heart is moved.” “My heart is moved by all I cannot save: / so much has been destroyed / I have to cast my lot with those / who age after age, perversely, / with no extraordinary power, / reconstitute the world.” Two of the most influential people in my life, a married couple who teach at my public high school, introduced me to this poem.
Every Saturday in Thorne Dining Hall, the Bowdoin College Republicans meet for dinner and conversation—with a touch of politics. The club has an email list of 95 people, but attendance is usually limited to the same six or seven people each week, admitted club co-president Theo de Quillacq ’21.
Over the years, there’s been an overabundance of conversations at Bowdoin around hookup culture. Whether it’s over brunch after a night of partying, under blinking fairy lights at a group of girlfriends’ weekly wine night or onstage at “RISE: Untold Stories of Bowdoin Women.” It’s been the subject of countless Talks of the Quad and columns in the Bowdoin Orient.
Produced, edited and filmed by Marcus Ribeiro ’23 The noise level in Moderation Brewing Company oscillated between murmurs and shouts at Tuesday’s trivia night. Bowdoin students, faculty and staff sat alongside Brunswick-area residents as they all huddled around tables to discuss where the seat of the Anglican Bishop of London is.