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Talk of the Quad

Total Number of Articles: 52

First Article on this Page: March 4, 2017

Latest Article on this Page: May 3, 2019

Talk of the Quad

Broad City: in memoriam

On March 28, 2019 there was a significant passing in my world. The series “Broad City” aired its final episode after a wildly successful five season run. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Broad City is a raunchy buddy comedy starring two millennial women living and working in New York City.

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Talk of the Quad

Between sundown and sunrise

There should be a Schoolhouse Rock episode about how the Orient’s production night works. Without the help of a nifty jingle, I will not attempt to describe the full process, but rather set down here that it involves six rounds of edits, various photo and design checks and a weekly $50 snack budget.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Talk of the Quad

Haven’t we all encountered the softboy?

“The Fuckboy, in his current form, aims for the night, aims for the break, goals to ghost. The Softboy strings you along under loftier auspices. He is Nice yet Complicated; this isn’t just a hookup. It’s a series of such,” wrote Alan Hanson in his article “Have You Encountered the Softboy?” Lillian Eckstein ’18 read this piece aloud to me a couple of months ago with the premise, “HOW HAVE YOU NOT READ THIS?” I cannot help but assume she was implicitly commenting on my softboy past.

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Talk of the Quad

Art lessons

I have a cheap Richard Prince print on my dorm-room wall from his Untitled (Fashion) series. I downloaded the image from the internet and turned it into a poster. (I figured this would be within bounds based on Prince’s own relationship with appropriating others’ work.) I like the image because it’s simple and suggests our own complicity in consumer culture by appropriating what was originally a magazine ad.

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Talk of the Quad

Interview lessons

I have the voice recordings from every interview I have conducted as an Orient reporter. At last count, I had 105, an average of slightly more than two interviews per week. They occupy a non-negligible portion of my phone’s memory space.

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Talk of the Quad

Caught in a haze

Recently, my friends have stopped asking me if I’m going to drink this weekend. I can’t tell if I like it. On the one hand, I now no longer have to explain, “no, I still can’t drink—yeah I’m still feeling the symptoms of my concussion—yeah it has been about 10 months now.” On the other hand, the fact that they have stopped asking also suggests that they, like me, see no time in the near future when I might be fully recovered.

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Talk of the Quad

Growing up mixed

Every now and then someone will ask me where I am from and I’ll tell them that I’m from Baltimore. One of two reactions follow. Either my questioner will hesitantly accept the answer and walk away or they’ll try again.

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