Having completed my senior English thesis last Friday (to those of you still writing…you have my greatest sympathies), I wanted to take some time and reflect back on the (largely daunting, often enjoyable, yet inherently hellacious) process.
While I can’t stop smiling and thinking, “Well, that bitch is done” five days after the fact, I’m also experiencing a mixture of sadness, anal retentiveness about its remaining imperfections, and general apathy towards all the undone work in my life. When I actually examine things though, I’ve concluded that I’m in the penultimate stage of THESIS, one of ten.
Stage ONE: General optimism and lack of know-how, bright-eyed eagerness for the long-haul to come (“eight months is so long!”), false sense of pressure (“I have to write two pages this week!”), feeling good about life and your worthwhile pursuit into academia.
The following is the perspective of one critically thinking Bowdoin student on the recently released report “What Bowdoin Teaches”. My belief is that the National Association of Scholars’ (NAS) study is a comment on ‘Cac culture at large, and that my analysis of it also functions, at times, as a defense of our way of life.
Pushing The Water Ahead
“‘Before they could graduate, they had to know how to swim,’ [Robert Sperry ’44] said. ‘Some of them were from Iowa and Nebraska, and Curtis Pool was the biggest puddle of water they’d ever seen.’
Sperry, a trained swimming instructor, was pressed into service and told he had to teach the men how to swim through water covered in burning oil, a skill the soldiers would need if their ship or plane were ever attacked. They poured oil into Curtis Pool and lit it on fire.
‘We were the guinea pigs,’ Sperry said. ‘We had several days to learn the technique. By doing a glorified breaststroke, we could swim through the oil quite well by pushing the water ahead of us, and that would open up a flame-free path through the water. It was scary, to put it mildly.’
‘We knew this might save their lives,’ he said. ‘But I was much more interested in teaching them to just stay afloat and not to panic than I was interested in jumping into flaming oil.’”
–‘Life Lessons’, Bowdoin Magazine, May 06, 2010
The NAS report “What Bowdoin Teaches” states that the Bowdoin curriculum’s “lack of attention to America and the West not only impairs critical thinking, it weakens sentimental and reasoned attachment to country.”
Last year, I sent an article about being a Division III athlete to In The ‘Cac. I wrote about how–regardless of the size of the crowds at our games, lack of scholarships or the overall perception of what it means to play DIII sports–we had the same pride, respect and love for our sports as anyone. It was a feel good article.
This is not a feel good article. This is a bragging, in your face, we’re better than you article. This is about winning, and without a single Charlie Sheen reference, besides the one. This article should now probably be checked for diseases.
this Amherst alum makes custom school belt buckles. they are excellent. buy some.
As we covered in Coal Divestment In The ‘Cac, the movement to remove colleges’ endowment investments from coal companies and the fossil fuel industry is surging across the conference. The campaign is directed by Middlebury’s Scholar in Residence Bill McKibben and 350.org, his international environmental protection organization.
Tufts Divest for Our Future has been one of the most active, successful, and–to some Jumbos–invasive campus divestment groups. Last week, a video showing Tufts Divest members interrupting a prospective students’ info session was leaked to Facebook and YouTube. (The video was meant to be shared internally amongst Tufts Divest members.) The below footage shows student activists pressing an admissions officer about specifics of the University’s $70 million investment in the fossil fuel industry (the questions begin about 1:40 in). When the speaker would not give a clear answer, the students pushed her further in an info session that was apparently already going to be cut short, drawing an aggressive response from those in attendance. One man, presumably the father of a pre-frosh, stands up near the end of the video and tells a Tufts Divest member he is going to “get security if you don’t shut the hell up.”
On Thursday Thought Catalog unleashed perhaps one of their longest listicles ever, an 87-point beast about what Chicago-based writer Jasmine Neosh learned in college. In the spirit of all the new NESCAC 2017’s we present a ‘Cac-centric commentary on this list for the incoming frosh. Enjoy, and get excited!
87 Things I Learned You Will Learn In College:
1. How to play flipcup / Oh shit us too! But ‘Ruit will always be king.
2. How to break into an abandoned building / Sneaking onto library roofs for make-out sessions is more our speed.
3. How to get down from a four-story building without a fire escape / Make sure you have friends in the Outing Club.
4. How to bluff my way into bars without an ID / Fairly essential.
5. How to get the bartender to totally forget I have a cash tab / Only attempt if female.
This week, Trinity announced the appointment of a new Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Thomas Mitzel.
In the past, we talked about how important this appointment would be for a school at a proverbial ‘crossroads’:
“There’s an elephant in the room, and it’s the size of 20 additional students in every intro-level course. It’s the attrition rate, the impersonal relationships between students and professors, the change in faculty incentives, and, yes, the social climate.”
On Tuesday, March 12th, Amherst students started noticing one or two people standing in front of Valentine Dining Hall out in the cold, pouring rain, holding up signs saying: “27 hours/27 million lives.” They were there at breakfast, then at lunch, then again at dinner. What were these students doing?
They were standing for freedom. Beginning yesterday (3/12) at 11am and going until today (3/13) at 2pm, the Amherst Christian Fellowship (ACF) is hosting a 27 hour event called “Stand For Freedom.” Students stand on the Valentine quad continuously (in shifts, or in one person’s case, all the way through) for 27 hours to show their solidarity with the estimated 27 million people still held as slaves today.
You won’t find tobacco for sale on the Tufts, Williams, Bowdoin, or Amherst campuses–presenting, perhaps, the slightest inconvenience in a bustling college town. Hamilton students must make a trek down the hill into their sleepy village when they want a puff. Yet, at Conn, you can buy cigarettes in the college’s bookstore. At Trinity, they sell them in a student-run coffee shop–at the jacked up price of $10 a pack.
The prevailing logic seems to be the same in all these cases–smokers are going to smoke. A prohibition on tobacco sales thus amounts to a symbolic gesture.
And yet, Nicole Updegrove ’14–a member of the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA)–is asking whether that symbolic gesture just might be worth-it. She compares ending tobacco sales on college property with fossil fuel divestment, or Wesleyan’s ban on bottled water–another way to make sure that the school is walking the walk when it comes to student health. If adopted, the only location affected would be an independent business which leases their building from the college.
Some students question whether this symbolic gesture is worth the ( speculated) loss in revenue for this small local business, or whether it comprises an overreach by the college into the legal lifestyle of its students. The debate has taken root in a 51-comment thread (that this blogger declined to read) beneath sophomore Charlie Smith’ s counterpoint to Updegrove’s proposal.
Smith writes, “To some students the stress relief and social benefits of smoking may be far more important than living until they’re 90, and so they decide to continue smoking. If you believe in diversity, then that’s a choice you should be willing to accept.”
Wesleying also sought the opinion of Wes social media anon @weird_vibes who Tweeted back that “‘saving the earth’ seems like a less annoying cause than ‘saving ppl’s lungs’”.
So far the most convincing statistic in Updegrove’s hypothetical trove of smoking statistics is this one: “ five percent of Wesleyan freshmen start smoking after the first six weeks [on campus]“–approximately 35 students.
One would be hard pressed to find a tobacco addict at Wes with resounding enthusiasm toward their addiction, and yet when presented with a microcosm of ‘live free and die early’, a significant portion of the student population says “don’t mind if I do.”
“The Redskins and Seahawks also used zone-read plays and Pistol sets to make the playoffs this season. Atlanta was able to defeat Seattle — though not contain its offense — because the Falcons had a bye and an extra week to prepare for college tactics, and knew they would get the Washington-Seattle winner. At Atlanta, Seattle’s offense came within 8 seconds of victory and making it two college wins out of four divisional games. Meanwhile New England was using its very-quick-snap offense, inspired by the Blur Offense at Oregon and the quick-snap pace employed at the University of Houston or, for that matter, in the New England Small College Athletic Conference around the corner from Bill Belichick’s office.”
From ESPN courtesy of @showmeurbobbys