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Features

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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Talk of the Quad

Cute guys, coffee and cardiomyopathy

I was walking around Boston, having a joyous time. It was nice to be in a new city where I could forget my problems for a day. I wouldn’t say I was in epic emotional turmoil, but a month earlier I was officially diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, put on some pretty hefty medication, told that my Nordic ski career was toast and that I would potentially never be able to exercise again.

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Breathing out, tuning in

In the Peter Buck Center for Health and Fitness, an intimate room on the third floor with purple cushions, dim lighting and statues of Buddha seems out of place. But several nights a week, students and community members come to Room 302 for meditation classes, retreating from the chaos of campus, if only for 55 minutes.

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Zumba and the power in taking fun seriously

Do not be alarmed if, when passing Room 213 of the Buck Fitness Center, you hear “MEOW” or “WOOP” coming from behind a closed, pulsating door. These noises are always synchronized with the beat of a new Jennifer Lopez collab or the breakout hit of yesteryear.

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Babson brings experience in North Korea to Bowdoin

After a faculty departure left a gap in the Department of Government and Legal Studies’ curriculum, Associate Professor of Government and Asian Studies Henry Laurence asked his friend Bradley Babson, a former World Bank employee to North Korea and current consultant for the World Bank and the United Nations, to join the Bowdoin faculty for a single semester.

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That’s a wrap: D’Alauro ’95 closes DVD rental shop

While students took a break from studying to watch “Stranger Things” or one of the other nearly 2,500 television series on Netflix during finals last month, Bart D’Alauro ’95 was packing up “E.T.,” an inspiration for “Stranger Things” and the 38,000 other discs that composed his now-closed DVD rental store on Maine Street.

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A conversation with DeRay Mckesson ’07

Harry DiPrinzio: You currently produce a podcast each week, but you’re also a full-time organizer and activist——How do you manage the work of communicating with all these people, preparing for podcasts, getting guests to come on, educating yourself about what’s going on and educating others like celebrities and other activists? 

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Seasonal Affective Disorder rises as temperatures fall

December on Bowdoin’s campus means shorter days, colder nights and the potential onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) for some members of the Bowdoin community. “SAD is a phenomenon that arises for certain people related to diminished light which typically occurs in Maine from the end of October and continues to into Mid-February,” wrote Director of the counseling service and wellness programs Bernie Hershberger in an email to the Orient.

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War hero Andrew Haldane ’41 to be featured in biography

On May 18, 1940, Andrew Haldane ’41 received a wooden spoon from his classmates, the award given to the student voted the most popular member of the senior class. Haldane—football captain, baseball player, president of the student council and class secretary—would later find himself called into service for the U.S.

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Talk of the Quad

A year of grief at Bowdoin

There are three fish that live in a tank in the waiting room of the Counseling Center on College Street and every week I get to spend a few minutes just staring at them. One is fat and large, it swims slowly and only turns just as it reaches the glass wall.

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Students partner with alternative learning school

Throughout the semester, Bowdoin students in Education 1101, Contemporary American Education, have been exploring topics that arise in educational systems throughout the United States. Issues ranged from discrimination and privatization to charter schools and special education.

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Between the lines with Marieke Van Der Steenhoven

Bowdoin’s foundation is its history. For centuries the institution was mostly wealthy, mostly white and all male. These students fought on both sides of the Civil War, influenced federal policy, founded colleges—and invested innumerable resources back into their alma mater. 

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Heading north with the Arctic Studies program

Each year, there are on average only eight students who focus their studies on the Arctic. Spearheaded by Susan Kaplan, professor of anthropology and director of the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center, the Arctic Studies program is an informal concentration in the earth and oceanographic studies, anthropology and sociology departments that began in 1985.

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Talk of the Quad

Leaving an (awkward) mark

Relationships between the administration and student body are an integral part of a high functioning college or university. Humanizing our institutional superiors provides us a sense of companionship and support rather than discomfort and condescension as we persist in our academic, extracurricular and social endeavors.

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Professor Wheelwright’s “the Naturalist’s Notebook” takes flight

On October 17 Professor Nathaniel Wheelwright published “the Naturalist’s Notebook,” with co-author Bernd Heinrich, an esteemed natural history writer. This Wednesday evening, Wheelwright spoke about the book at Curtis Memorial Library. He explained his inspiration to write the 200-page book, which is part nature guide, part five-year calendar journal for use by the reader.

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Honk for peace: local group advocates for unity

At the corner of Pleasant and Maine streets, a group of elderly Brunswick locals stand on Friday afternoons with signs condemning all acts of war—cars drive by and honk showing support for the group’s message. This passionate, albeit small, congregation represents part of a larger organization known as PeaceWorks, a national organization whose mission is to educate its members and the community about all issues important to citizens of a democracy and encourage non-violent solutions to conflict.

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Talk of the Quad

Social media, me and #metoo

Recently, many of my friends and peers have posted the hashtag “MeToo” on their Facebook pages. This hashtag makes a pretty compelling statement: sexual harassment and assault are still a long, long way from being preventable on Bowdoin’s campus or any place in general.

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Talk of the Quad

The alum who stole Hitler’s books

In May of 1945, Joseph H. Johnson Jr. ’44 found himself shimmying down a rope into Adolf Hitler’s library. Once ornate with handmade bookshelves of wood and glass, the library had been moved from the second floor to underground, thereby protected by the body of the mountain when British troops bombed Hitler’s Berghof home five days before his death.

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Language Learning

Chair of the Russian Department Alyssa Gillespie spends much of her time in the basement of Sills Hall. Thin rays of natural light peek through the bottoms of windows, illuminating her office and its many Russian knick-knacks.

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Student group manages Bowdoin’s social media presence

From sunsets on the Quad to scenic nature adventures and students abroad, Bowdoin’s official Instagram account has become an important element of the college’s communication strategy. Aware of the more than 10,000 students, parents, prospective students and alumni following the account, the Student Digital Media Team (SDMT)—a group of eight students comprised of sophomores, juniors and seniors employed by the Digital and Social Media team—works to make this portrait as genuine and encompassing as possible.

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Seniors design delivery app PolarEats

Recognizing a lack of late night food options for students, seniors Sawyer Billings and Joe Gentile developed PolarEats, an app that creates a digital marketplace for local restaurants to make late-night deliveries accessible to anyone in the Brunswick-Topsham area.

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Talk of the Quad

“My dear, noble, but mistaken brother”

When Arthur McArthur Jr. graduated from Bowdoin in 1850, there was no Office of Career Planning to point him to jobs at Deloitte and L.L. Bean. His first decade after college was a whirlwind comedy of errors: he sailed off to the Gold Rush in California but almost starved in Panama, he joined a filibustering expedition to conquer Central America but washed up on a coral reef in the Caribbean, and he served as a major in the Civil War but was shot dead by a sniper in an orchard outside of Richmond, VA.

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Talk of the Quad

Behind the caption in Glasgow

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that the photos captioned #bowdoinabroad on Instagram don’t tell the full story. Instagram never does; there’s no way that a filtered square can capture an entire semester. And yet I spent this past spring posting photo after photo, scrolling through cleverly captioned snapshots and trying to define and tell my own story without the context of everything I knew.

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Community welcomes women STEM professors

Three new female STEM professors, Assistant Professor of Computer Science Sarah Harmon, Assistant Professor of Biology Patricia Jones and Assistant Professor of Mathematics Naomi Tanabe, have joined Bowdoin faculty this year and are eager to engage with the liberal arts community.

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Rudalevige popularizes political science in WaPo blog

Thomas Brackett Reed Professor of Government Andrew Rudalevige is determined to use his expertise in American government to better civic engagement both at and outside of Bowdoin. Rudalevige is an expert on the American presidency for “The Monkey Cage,” a blog founded in November of 2003 by John Sides.

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Kent Island isolates and inspires

Each summer, Bowdoin offers several fellowships in biology and the humanities that enable students to conduct research or practice various arts on Kent Island. Located off the coast of Maine in New Brunswick, Canada, the 200-acre island has been home to the Bowdoin Scientific Station (BSS), since 1935.

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Taking up space while queer and disabled

I am a queer person and a disabled person, and every day I am trying to figure out what that means. I decided to write this piece to reflect on those identities—what it means to navigate them and how these identities operate in the world both at Bowdoin and beyond.

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Polar Eyes

Taking the heat

As students write papers in the wee hours of the morning, snooze their alarm for an 8 a.m. class, labor over crossword puzzles at lunch, go for an afternoon run, or dance the night away in a dimly lit basement, the Bowdoin Heating Plant’s six engineers work tirelessly to keep the College running.

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Talk of the Quad

From city to sea

New Yorkers like to brag about how good our drinking water is, straight from the tap. And, okay, New Yorkers like to brag about a lot of things—but the drinking water really is excellent. When I left the city for Maine, though, I went straight to the salt water.

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