The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Month: April 2017 (Page 1 of 2)

Rowing teams travels to Charles River to compete against Harvard

The no. 2 nationally ranked women’s rowing team did not disappoint in their meet this past weekend. After being delayed on Saturday due snow, the men’s and women’s teams traveled down to Boston to compete against the Division I Harvard teams and Division III Simmons teams.

In the first race on the Charles River, the women’s varsity eight finished just eight seconds behind Harvard, and a whopping 48 seconds ahead of Simmons.

Next, the second women’s varsity eight finished about eight seconds behind Harvard’s team, and 45 seconds ahead of Simmons.

Last but certainly not least, the third varsity eight defeated Harvard by just over 8 seconds. Bates’ third varsity eight’s time of 7:53.3 would have been good enough to beat Simmons’ first varsity eight time.

The mens team raced on the Charles over the weekend as well.

The first varsity eight only raced against Harvard’s second varsity team. The Bobcats finished six seconds behind the rowing powerhouse.

The Second varsity team raced against Harvard’s third and fourth teams, as well as Boston College’s first team. They finished in 3rd place.

Last, The third varsity team competed against raced against Harvard’s sixth varsity team and Boston College’s fourth team. They earned a 3rd place finish, 21 seconds behind Harvard, and 12 seconds behind Boston College.

Both Bates rowing teams will race at the WPI Invitational next on April 9.

 

Remo Drive’s Greatest Hits delivers a momentous debut

After the Hotelier’s soft transformation from straight emo to a mellower indie rock sound, alternative rock has been in need of a significant emo record. Remo Drive, an emo/pop-punk trio out of Minneapolis, MN, headed by guitarist and lead singer Erik Paulson, succeeds in bringing a revitalizing record, full of the spirit, charm, and vigor.

Lasting only forty minutes, the album is short, but complete, full of variety and energy. At first listen, Remo Drive might resemble The Promise Ring’s accessible pop-emo sound, as well as early 2000’s, Guilt Show era, The Get Up Kids. Jeff Rosenstock also comes to mind and, though Paulson’s vocals are significantly sweeter and perhaps more palatable, they share the same affinity for tight, smart lyricism. Greatest Hits also shows very little adherence to genre, foregoing the twinkly, math rocky complication of strict emo, instead affecting a sound oriented at times towards pop punk, sometimes lighter indie rock, sometimes post-hardcore.

The album opens with “Art School” a fantastic, dynamic track, flipping between bouts of stormy guitar riffs and Paulson’s reaching, aching cries on the chorus. It is lamenting and sentimental, but yet bumping and quirky. Towards the tail of this track, the vocals are dropped and the song devolves into a soft, pattering instrumental transition for “Hunting For Sport,” a heavier, thrashier song. It’s a fine song, but a tad too long, its coda stagnates and dampens rather than ornaments. “Strawberita,” is the best named song of the album, and another standout track, opening with a desperately catchy guitar pattern and channeling into a love song of bitter self-awareness, split by a playful interlude.

“Yer Killing Me” was released as the lead single of the record and for good reason. Of the album, this track holds the most personality, the most moments of sing along anthems, the most memorable lyrics. It’s a prototypical emo song, Paulson sings of heartbreak and disgust, failed attraction and self-destruction, emoting through an especially sardonic, silly chorus, the climax of the album, the moment of magic. While these songs certainly stand on their own, the entire album impresses, holding the whole forty minutes without a significant divot in quality or investment, there is no red-handed weak link in this record.

Not since Jeff Rosenstock’s worry has there been such a shining example of punk without pretension. This album is a great addition to the pop punk canon, an exciting debut and perhaps the best punk album of the year so far. This record is anthemic and proud, its lyrics full of melodrama and misanthropy, its instrumentation thriving and kicking. Sometimes Remo Drive is a little self-indulgent: the tracks saunter on for a few seconds too long, the track titles are ridiculous and the album title, Greatest Hits, is, depending on your outlook, rather smug. But Remo Drive is charming and sappy, young like you and I, its three members just a year either side of twenty.

Despite their youth and relative inexperience (recall, this is their debut) Paulson and friends do an incredible job of breathing life into emo, honoring its shouty sappiness, snarkiness and gruff. Most of all Remo Drive succeeds in making an album that is genuine, emotional, and pleasing. This record is the product of rejection and frustration controlled and cooled, twisted, like blown glass, into something beautiful, fragile, and real.

 

Gods and Angels: Choose to connect

Books and written words often convey a depth of feeling and perception that spoken words lack. Between the pages of a book, a reader can slip inside the narrator’s head and find out what he or she truly thinks, rather than what the public is normally allowed to see. In his collection of short stories, Gods & Angels, David Park explores the intricacies of human-to-human interactions, giving his reader a front row seat to his ideas and concerns.

Collections of short stories always remind me of my childhood read-aloud hours – not because short stories are childish (far from it), but because readers can take their time as they explore a book written in this style. Twenty year old me, much like six year old me, loves to listen and to read stories but does not always have the attention span to sit though a Ulysses length tome. The best part of a collection such as this is that each story – with its beginning, climax, and conclusion – is contained to no more than forty-five pages. This gives audience members the satisfaction of reading a story, but also the flexibility to do it in thirty minutes. It also offers the promise of exploring thirteen distinct worlds all in side one set of hard covers.

Starting his book without a preface, Park throws his reader directly into the worlds he created. However, he does give the audience two quotes to ponder before starting the compendium of tales; the first from the Bible, Genesis in particular, and the second from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Both of which grapple with the dichotomy of man, his beauty and capacity for divinity opposed with how he epitomizes utter uselessness. It is up to the individual to decide which sort of man (or woman) he (or she) will choose to be.

Park selected a topic to which every reader can relate: how we as humans interact with each other. His volume is filled with stories about children estranged from their parents, girls on prom night, partners going through separations – the famed Ferryman, who ushers souls across the River Styx, even makes an appearance. No matter the type of interaction, all of Park’s characters are trying to find a way to express themselves in a manner that will be understood by the world and people around them.

In his story, “The Strong Silent Type,” the author tells of a lonely high school girl who takes a manikin as her date to prom. The manikin, not the girl, leads the reader through this story. Park makes this inanimate object come to life to tell the tale so you can look at the lonesome girl through a different lens, the emotion rising off the pages as if they are palpable.

Our doll narrator states, “I want to apply words to her hurt like a salve as all the things I need to say course uncontrollably through my being…but no matter how hard I try, none can breach the sewn seam of my mouth.”

The manikin is just like us– wanting to say things that we cannot articulate. The author uses this metaphor to remind us that not knowing how to express yourself can, at times, feel like being physically barred from saying how you feel.

The overarching tone and question of the book are summed up quite simply: “There are so many things I should say but I don’t know how…” Quality person-to-person interaction is quickly becoming a pervasive problem, one rooted so deep in the human psyche that people have no idea how to talk to each other in meaningful ways.

But, maybe, people are finding ways to fix the problem. Park notes that sometimes ranting on a blog is used as a gateway to having a real conversation. However, in other instances the time spent between real conversations becomes a chasm too wide to cross – conversations come too late and cannot make up for all the time lost.

Through his work, Park wants to remind his readers that they have the power to communicate. Or, lest they forgot, he gives them a gentle reminder.

 

Lady Liberty Besieged

“This is not respectful discourse or a debate about free speech. These are not ideas that can be fairly debated, it is not ‘representative’ of the other side to give a platform to such dangerous ideologies. There is not a potential for an equal exchange of ideas.”

So rang the despotic chant at Middlebury College, where another volley penetrated to the anguished cries of our Lady. “Betrayed,” she thinks. “Betrayed again.” Goaded as always by the taunts of a heretic, and the potential of an unwelcome thought. In a mass they descended, with their placards and their smartphones and their values, craven glances, unwilling to look their victim in the eye. “Betrayed,” she thinks again, this time more forcefully, “commanded by students too stupid or masochistic to distinguish a heretic from their savior.” Will the attacks ever cease? Our Lady has begun to doubt so. Yet the names of the traitors echo in her head, never forgotten, “Yale, Berkeley, Missouri…”

Little doubt was left as to the culprit, a cult which goes by several names: The Alt-Left. The Intersectional Movement. Black Lives Matter. Whatever the name, it is responsible for the negation of speech and of freedom wherever its influence is felt. Its members are bred in the spawning grounds of college campuses across the country, incubated by the likes of Arianna Huffington, Buzzfeed, Linda Sarsour, and Shaun King. Its racial theories, societal ambitions, and ruthless pogroms entail the subjugation of our Lady and that of all non-combatants. And on the victims’ behalf, we loyalists are rallied to defend.

But there is an easy way out of the war, out of becoming a target. And for those unattuned to the siren’s call, it is a tempting offer in the face of total social exclusion. “Abandon your Lady,” they beckon. “All answers will be provided. All contradictions will be corrected. Check your privilege. Censor your speech. Hate yourself.” An easy enough prospect for some, yet implicit in the pact, a most grave corollary: fail to do so, and become our enemy.

The statues of Jefferson, of Roosevelt, of Rousseau—once lions of the Left—are vandalized, punishment for their respective transgressions in life. Meanwhile, the true enemies of freedom are given aegis. A clutch of hysterical cultists screams at a pile of magazines while their sisters abroad stultify in burlap sacks. Reporters are shoved, professors manhandled, and intellectuals expelled as men in suits read our mail and tap our phones. Liberal arts institutions, once shining bastions, lie in abjection, unable to protect anyone from the onslaught.

Elsewhere, on the White Throne sits the oaf of many faces. False prophet for the wretches, who in their haste to fatten up from the fruits of trade, did not realize the cost of such gluttony. Fat cow for the sycophants, savage creatures who rake their claws into the coffers of America’s children. For the chauvinists, Dear Leader, who speaks the not-so-uncomfortable truth about barbarians within the gates and to whom all praise is due.

The oaf is all this and more, yet given a rod and a mob, he swings indiscriminately, becoming most of all a battering ram. To the left and to the right he bashes and bellows. The oaf dooms himself by the enemies he makes. But with each passing of the rod, he pummels through our Lady sitting solemnly in the center, accepting her torment.

This is how we loyalists find the state of our freedom: beset on all sides by aberrations, opportunists, and those with claims on absolute truth. And while our Lady recoils in pain, a bear waits hungrily outside the walls.

Be sure to locate Khalid’s American Teen

One part of feeling old seems to be recognizing that many popular, talented individuals are younger than you. From twenty-year-old Olympic gold-medalist Simone Biles to nineteen-year-old University of California, Los Angeles basketball phenomenon Lonzo Ball, talent bends to no particular age. This is the case with Khalid Robinson (who records and performs under the stage name Khalid), a nineteen-year-old R&B singer-songwriter based out of El Paso, Texas. His debut album, American Teen, was released on March 3, 2017 through RCA and Right Hand Records.

The third track, “Location,” is likely the most well-known song from the album, released in August 2016 as the albums only single. In “Location,” Khalid sings smoothly to a catchy beat layered with claps and snare hits. He flows “send me your location” as the song’s hook, and one reason my friends here dig this song is because we too say this line (or something similar) when waiting for each other in the Fireplace Lounge before dinner or looking to meet up on a Saturday evening. “Location” has nearly ninety million Spotify hits as of April 2, 2017, and has been remixed by Lil Wayne and Kehlani.

It can be easy for artists to diminish the quality of their work by trying to cover themes they have not experienced. Yet, one of the strongest qualities of American Teen is that Khalid sticks to what he knows –the trials and tribulations of being a teenager. His descriptions of his experiences are witty, catchy, and ultimately relatable.

Look to the chorus of the seventh track, “8teen,” where he sings “because I’m eighteen / and I still live with my parents/yeah they’re not like yours / yours are more understanding.” I understood these lyrics from my own experience as a teenager; among my friends some of our parents were a little cooler and less strict than others. The second track, “Young Dumb & Broke,” highlights his feelings of youth as well, where he sings “yeah, we’re just young, dumb and broke / but we still got love to give” and later ends the chorus with “[While we’re] Young dumb broke high school kids.”

His lyrics convey the innocence of free-spirited high school students beautifully: the youths who do not have much money and do not make the best decisions but are passionate individuals with strong emotions who make meaningful experiences with their friends and lovers. It is difficult to listen to these words without reminiscing on those four formative years and their distinct memories. Khalid’s nostalgia-coated lyrics make high school, an experience that is only about three years old for me, seem like something much more distant.

While it may have been tempting for Khalid to solely sing simple songs about being young and free, he strives to show a lyrical maturity throughout the album. This is best demonstrated on album’s fifth track, “Saved,” where he lets the listener know why he has kept his ex-lover’s phone number.

He initially puts the obligation to reach out on his lover, writing “I’ll keep your number saved / ‘Cause I hope one day you’ll get the sense to call me / I’m hoping that you’ll say / You’re missing me the way I’m missing you.” However, he puts this same obligation on himself as well, singing “So I’ll keep your number saved / ‘Cause I hope one day I’ll get the pride to call you / To tell you that I’m finally over you.” While he ultimately asserts that he has gotten over his ex, he feels the urge to call them to let them know, suggesting that strong feelings remain.

By acknowledging his real feelings, albeit subtly, he signals that his carefree days as an American teenager are winding down because he is aging, growing to something bigger, older.

 

An alphabetical journey into the English Premier League: W

West Bromwich Albion F.C. (The Baggies)

Overview: West Brom was founded in 1878 as the West Bromwich Strollers in West Bromwich in the West Midlands. They were one of the founding members of the Football League in 1888 and have spent most of their time in the top tier division. They won the league in 1920 and were runners up twice. They have won the FA Cup five times (the most recent in 1968). West Brom enjoyed initial success until the 1960’s to 1990’s when they struggled with relegations and poor management. In 2002 they were promoted to the Premier League, were relegated the next year, and then promoted again. This pattern has been repeated over the early 2000’s. Their major rivals are Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Stadium: The Hawthorns (26,852)

Notable players:

Jesse Pennington, D (1903-1922)

Will Richardson, F (1929-1945)

Tony Brown, F (1963-1980)

Bryan Robson, M (1972-1981)

Fun Facts:

– They are the only team to win the FA cup and win promotion into the top league in the same year

– One of the earliest teams to have black players (in the 70’s!)

– First Premier League team to avoid relegation after being dead last at Christmas

Their fans are notable for their intelligence, scoring highly on a national intelligence test

West Ham United (The Hammers)

Overview: West Ham was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks before reforming in 1900 as West Ham United. The team is based in Stratford, East London, England. They competed in the Southern and Western League before joining the Football League in 1919. They have spent 59 of their 91 league seasons in the top flight of football. West Ham has won the FA Cup three times (1964, 1975, and 1980) and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965. The 1960’s are considered to be the team’s glory years. They placed 7th in the Premier League in 2016 and signed their most expensive player, Andre Ayew ($20.5 million) for the current season.

Stadium: London Stadium (60,000)

Notable players:

Billy Bonds, M (1967-1988)

Geoff Hurst, F (1959-1972)

Trevor Booking, M (1966-1984)

Bobby Moore, D (1958-1974)

Fun Facts:

– Finalists in the first ever FA Cup held at Wembley Stadium

– One of eight teams to never fall below the 2nd tier of English Football

– Sold Frank Lampard to Chelsea for $1 million in 2001

– Signed Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano illegally in 2006

– Their fans sing about blowing bubbles

 

5 Ways We Can (Realistically) Deconstruct the Liberal Arts Echo Chamber

As I sit down to write my final article this semester, I can’t help but consider the echo chamber. If you’ve read an opinion column sometime in the past year, you’re probably familiar with the term– particularly in the context of universities and liberal arts institutions. As a student of the latter, I have spent a great deal of the past year grappling with my position in it all.

 

In honesty, I don’t agree with much of the emergent repertoire which comes along with echo chambers; I disagree that liberal arts students want to be “coddled;” I don’t buy the rhetoric of conservative “oppression” on college campuses. But I do think that the “echo chamber,” in some ways, comes with an important lesson. I think that we, liberals and conservatives alike, could use a more vibrant conversation. So, I’ve devised ten ways by which we can begin to deconstruct the liberal arts echo chamber. (Keyword: begin.)

 

  • Follow people online with whom you disagree.

 

With the ability to monitor what you see on the web with the “follow” or “friend” button, it’s easy to end up in the digital echo chamber. Last year, Nicholas Kristof released a list of ten conservative social media profiles you can follow on Twitter. Here are a few for Bates, which include both conservative and liberal voices; after all, the echo chamber at once impacts liberal and conservative communities. Considering the political stance of Bates, the former might be a bit more important for most Bates students– but it’s up to you to decide which voice you’re missing.

 

Conservative Voices: Frank Bruni, Peggy Noonan, Paul Gigot, Reihan Salam, and David Brooks.

Liberal Voices: Nicholas Kristof, Matthew Yglesias, James Fallows, Gerald Seib, and Ezra Klein.

 

2)         Attend a club which widens your perspective.

 

I struggle with this one; but it’s crucial. At Bates, we have over 90 clubs and organizations for students. The obvious choice here is for me to say, if you’re a member of Bates Republicans, try attending a meeting of Bates Democrats, and vice versa. But the echo chamber manifests itself in issues beyond politics; to deconstruct it, our approach must be equally-wide in scope. Understand the issues of the Bates Feminist Collective. Attend a meeting with Bates Arts Society. Walking into a room with a group of people whose ideas differ from or challenge your own is no easy task. It helps to bring a buddy.

 

3)         Take a class outside of your comfort zone.

 

Lest we forget the reason we are at Bates in the first place. At Bates, we have a total of 44 different types of courses of instruction. Try to take a class which challenges your perspective, in any way possible. The way in which your perspective might require expansion will differ among people and identities. If you’re straight, maybe try taking Queer Studies. If you’re white, consider taking an African American studies course. I understand this one might be challenging for those who have many requirements for their major, and have little space to fit these classes into their schedule; Short Term is a great time to try it out.

 

4)         Understand the city in which you live.

 

We may have taken down the barbed wire fence which separated campus from the Lewiston community; but still, boundaries persist. So, let’s start breaking down these boundaries. Find a community engaged learning program through the Harward center. Go into Lewiston for the day and talk to the people you meet. Get to know the people who own businesses in the L/A area. Listen to them speak. Deconstructing the liberal arts echo chamber is a challenging task; Lewiston is a geographically-convenient place to begin it.

 

5)         Talk to each other. (And listen, too.)

 

Recent events across liberal arts institutions, in my opinion, have corroborated the importance of this comprehensive principle. I still disagree with the narrative of liberal arts students wanting to be “coddled;” but I think our conversations on campus, perhaps more unilateral than intended, can often be misinterpreted as such. At Bates, I think we can redefine intellectual plurality on campus– in theory and in practice. And for liberal arts schools at large, we might just set the standard for a new kind of campus conversation.

Venturing into entrepreneurship

This past Saturday April, 1st, was the annual competition known on campus as Bobcat Ventures. Bobcat Ventures is an entrepreneurial student competition that gives Bates students the chance to pitch their entrepreneurial ideas in a competitive setting.

Winners of the competition are granted up to $9,000 to invest in pursuing their entrepreneurial or innovative idea. In addition to the monetary value of placing in the top three of the competition, students also gain valuable experience in working with Bates Alumni who have found success in entrepreneurial roles or industries.

According to Ali Rabideau ‘17, who was granted this year’s competition winner on Saturday, “the Bobcat Ventures program is supposed to spark innovation and entrepreneurship among Bates students, while also providing students with mentorship opportunities from successful alumni.”

Rabideau expressed that the Bobcat Ventures program also provides feedback for students during the months leading up to the process. This gives students a chance to work with peers, professionals in fields of innovation and entrepreneurship, and notable alumni in order to understand the processes of pursuing an innovative and entrepreneurial idea.

Rabideau also found that the the Bobcat Ventures competition was a way to engage more closely with the local community. The idea she pitched was for a product called “Herban Works”, a variety of teas and body-care products all made from locally sourced herbs and medicinal flowers in Lewiston. Rabideau worked worked with the Center for Wisdom’s Women, an all-women support center located in Lewiston.

In addition to working collaboratively with organizations in our local community, Bobcat Ventures is also a way for students to gain entrepreneurial experience. Since Bates does not offer a business or entrepreneurial program, or even classes, this competition is a great way for students to understand how entrepreneurial ventures operate, and some of the resources that students may be able to use in achieving their goals of creating innovative products and ventures.

Rabideau, who before the competition did not consider herself an entrepreneurial person, said, “if you are passionate about your idea you can go really far with it, and I think that adding a social value to my enterprise allowed me the chance to explore entrepreneurial possibilities.”

Students who are interested in pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities at Bates may certainly explore the possibility of partaking in next year’s Bobcat Ventures program. Rabideau expressed that the program is a great way to sharpen presentational skills, while also understanding what it takes to take on an entrepreneurial project. In addition, it is a great way to meet notable and successfully alumni. For more information about the Bobcat Ventures program, please visit: http://bobcatventures.me.

Art thesis recap

Doing a studio art thesis is quite a controversy on campus. The only written component of the studio art thesis is a W2 second semester senior year, and the insanely complex (no sarcasm) artist statement. It seems like everyone believes you’re not actually doing hard work. Everyone looks down on you because you’re not doing anything “really challenging” like science or math or neuroscience, or whatever. However, creative theses are extremely emotionally consuming and require long hours in the studio– sometimes until the early hours of the morning. Creative theses produce independent and original work, and the same can’t always be said for non-creative ones. A creative thesis also has no clear conclusion, and yet it’s a year-long commitment. Artists just have to work until they feel their work is resolved enough to present. Every student at Bates has to complete the intimidating endeavor of a thesis or equivalent coursework and we shouldn’t degrade those students pursuing a more abstract project.

One painting could take anywhere from 8 hours to years to finish and that doesn’t guarantee it being good enough to end up in the final show. Students must undergo critiques with the whole thesis class, in which everyone must make opinionated comments on your work while you silently listen. In an analytic thesis you might experience writer’s block, which you must work through by reading and researching more. As an artist, getting into a creative rut is terrifying. You must create work on a schedule but you can’t force yourself to be inspired or produce more emotion– art doesn’t work that way. Even if you hate what you’re making, you have to keep making it until you construct something promising. Making and presenting terrible art when you know you have the capacity to create something better is practically torture. It’s like editing a paper and every time you edit it, it gets worse. And then you have to keep reading it to seventeen other people each week, including professors, who have already heard it multiple times and are really getting sick of you.

Despite this, we stick with it because it’s a labor of love. Nothing makes your inner kindergartener prouder than holding up a painting and saying, “I made this!” A creative thesis necessarily results in some emotional and personal development over the course of the year. Producing artistic work forces you to be self-conscious and self-reflective. It’s impossible not to learn more about yourself and grow newfound appreciations (or hatreds) of your thought processes.

So come view the birth of our work after eight months of labor. A lot of blood, sweat, tears, and other bodily fluids went into this. It’ll be like the Mt. David Summit with minimal reading required on your part. No wine will be served, but we promise the art is intoxicating enough.

 

Women’s lacrosse fall to Hamilton away, 13-5

The women’s lacrosse team have their sights set on getting what they received last year: a bid to the NCAA tournament. With five regular season conference matchups remaining, their window of attaining that goal is slowly closing.

The women’s lacrosse team moved to 6-4 overall and 1-4 in the NESCAC last weekend, as they fell 13-5 in their game away verse Hamilton. Allison Dewey ‘18 and Camille Belletete ‘18 each scored a pair of goals for the Bobcats in the loss. Their trying contest against the second place Continentals (6-3, 4-1), came after a string of three consecutive victories. The Bobcats handled Saint Joseph’s 17-4 on March 20, an overtime victory — their third overtime contest of the season — against Williams 8-7 on March 25, and thumped Southern Maine 16-6 on March 28.

The Saint Joseph’s victory was highlighted by a trio of Bobcats, Melanie Mait ‘18 Sydney Cowles ‘17, and Avery MacMullen ‘20, each netting a hat trick. Dewey was the hero against the Ephs last weekend, scoring the game-winner in overtime to notch the Bobcat’s first conference victory of the season. The resounding victory over Southern Maine last week featured another three players recording hat tricks: Katie Allard ‘19, Belletete, and Dewey. Belletete leads the team in scoring thus far, having recorded 23 goals in 10 contests. The team has done a great job of creating opportunities — 89 through five conference games — but have struggled to convert them into goals, shooting at just a 29.7% clip in conference matchups.

The women host Bowdoin on Wednesday in what proves to be a tough NESCAC matchup; Bowdoin is undefeated out of conference and currently sits tied for fourth in conference with a 3-2 record. The game will take place on Garcelon field at 7:00pm.

 

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