The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Day: October 4, 2017 (Page 1 of 2)

Sarah McCarthy ‘18: Bates Star Goalkeeper and Avid Film Student

Whether she is on the field saving goals for her soccer team or analyzing films for her senior thesis, Sarah McCarthy ‘18 always puts forth her best effort and is eager to better her academic and athletic abilities.
McCarthy, a Rhetoric major with a concentration in Screen Studies, was recruited for the women’s soccer team her senior year of high school. Even after having played soccer since the seventh grade, coming in as a first-year from Rockville-Centre, New York, McCarthy admits that she was definitely a little timid and had trouble adjusting from her high school and club programs to Bates’ team. Nonetheless, McCarthy, was unexpectedly thrown into a starting role as a first-year, forcing her to immediately break free from her shell. Since her first season as a starting player, McCarthy has flourished as both an athlete and a student.
“McCarthy has become an incredibly vocal leader amongst her teammates,” says head coach Kelsey Ross. “She understands the x’s and o’s of the game and has become a coach on the field which is invaluable in the game of soccer. She isn’t afraid to challenge her teammates – which can be uncomfortable – and that’s a testament to her leadership maturity over the years.”
“Throughout high school I had always loved making a great save. Now, just getting to know my teammates better and having more time to work with Coach Ross, I feel like I have a great relationship with Bates’ team,” McCarthy says. “A big goal for my fellow seniors and I is to just keeping building a solid team dynamic because it is helpful when everybody really wants to work hard for each other. That is what I really appreciated and thrived on as a first-year.”
During her first season on the team, McCarthy started in nine games and made 46 saves. By her sophomore year, she started in goal during all sixteen matches and placed first in the NESCAC in saves with an impressive grand total of 98. Those 98 saves included three shutouts and six wins. Last year, she also started all fifteen games in goal and placed fourth in the NESCAC in saves with a total of 75.
Now a senior captain for the 2017 season, for the first time in her goalkeeping career at Bates, McCarthy has already been named “Bobcat of the Week” and “NESCAC Player of the Week”. These titles were well earned after her tremendous job in goal during the games against Wesleyan University and Williams College on Saturday Sep. 23 and Sunday Sep. 24. During the game against Wesleyan she made a career high of 17 saves and against Williams she did not let in a single goal, marking her third shutout of the season and eighth of her career.
“[McCarthy] has created a standard of intensity in our training and games that separates on versus off-field relationships with her teammates,” Coach Ross says. “On the field she’s the first teammate to get on someone. Off the field she is far more likely to be joking. She’s worked to have quality relationships with her teammates off the field so that is well received by people.”
“I definitely think there is always a little bit of jitter about not want to let the team down,” McCarthy admits. “As goalkeeper for this team my main focus is that I want the opportunity to let all of my teammates shine. To accomplish this, my job is to keep us in the game.”
Off the field, McCarthy can be found watching and writing about films for her senior thesis. After taking a course on race and mid-century media her first year at Bates, she decided that film and television were areas of study that she was passionate about and wanted to pursue further by majoring in Rhetoric with a focus on Screen Studies. McCarthy continued on to take Professor Jon Cavallero’s “Film Theory” and “Constructions of Italian-American Masculinities” courses. She is now working with Professor Cavallero for her senior thesis, studying how 9/11 has shaped representations of Arab-American and Middle Eastern characters in film. She will be focusing on two films: The Siege (1998) and Day of the Falcon (2011).
“Before coming to Bates, I had never really considered the impact that film had on people and how different representations can actually shape people’s ideas,” she says. “Taking these courses I realized how impactful the media is for everyday citizens and I really want to study that further.”
McCarthy translates her leadership abilities and strong work-ethic as a senior-captain and starting soccer goal to her thesis work with Professor Cavallero.
“Jon is really supportive of me as a student and an athlete,” McCarthy says. “During one of our early thesis meetings, the whole department was there and one of the professors came in and was like ‘Hey Bobcat of the Week!’ Then, Jon came in and was like ‘No, it is actually NESCAC Player of the Week, too.’ It was really great.”
“Sarah is such a dedicated and hard-working student,” Cavallaro says. “She has already submitted a couple of chapters for her thesis and I am looking forward to seeing how her thinking evolves throughout the course of the semester.”
After graduation, McCarthy hopes to get a job as a Production Assistant or some sort of Writer’s Assistant. The Director’s Guild Training Program is also on her radar as a potential possibility. Regardless of where she ends up in the film and television industry, she will also be playing soccer recreationally or maybe even coaching part-time.
McCarthy’s next game is Saturday Oct. 7 at Connecticut College. Even if you are unable to make this game, be sure to follow this talented goalkeeper’s season because she is clearly a student-athlete not to be missed. _DSC7561

New Senate Bill Aims to Lower the Price of College Textbooks

Twelve hundred and fifty dollars. That is the average number college students pay for their textbooks each year. With that money, you could also buy five hundred and ten venti Starbucks coffees, feed a family of four for two months, or buy a plane ticket to Fiji.

Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), and Angus King (I-ME) are putting forth a bill called the “Affordable College Textbook Act.” Representatives Kyrsten Sinema and Jared Polis are also presenting a parallel bill in the House. According to SPARC.org this act “seeks to reduce the cost of textbooks at U.S. colleges and universities by expanding the use of open textbooks (and other Open Educational Resources) that everyone can use, adapt and share freely.” In other words, the act wants to promote the use of Open Source textbooks, which are free to students, over the usage of traditional and costly textbooks.

Though this bill seems like a small fix to the problem of unreasonable college tuition, it does have immediate implications for students. On a group call with the senators in question, among other people working on the bill, Senator Franken recounts that “I’ve had students tell me, and it is not that unusual, that they sell their blood to pay the rent. And sometimes they make the choice between buying a textbook and not buying a textbook because of their rent.” Students sometimes go to drastic lengths to get the education they need.

Senator Durbin noted that “textbook costs are one of the most overlooked barriers to college affordability and access and one of the main drivers of debt.” Many scholarships do not take into account the cost of books and focus on room and board. While the latter is quite important, it is those sometimes forgotten costs that can bar students from successfully attending college. The senator also stated that over the past decade, from 2006-2016, the U.S. Bureau Labor of Statistics price index showed that consumer prices for college textbooks increased by almost ninety percent. Textbook prices are rising eight times faster than that of inflation according to US PIRG (Public Interest Research Group). This is an astronomical increase that is almost unprecedented in other fields.

An Open Source textbook is essentially the same as a traditionally printed one. However, instead of the price being curated by publishers and revised editions coming out every twelve months, the open sourced textbooks are free to use for classes. Senator King states that “we are in a world now where there is so much open source information. It is the packaging part, the collating of the truthing of these various sources [that needs to happen]. That is what I think is cool about this bill. It will allow a kind of creativity around the country in how we get the info into a format that students can use that will be cheaper.”

Successfully using Open Source Textbooks is seen in practice at the University of Minnesota. There, the university uses some of their grant money to pay professors and some more money to entice the professors to write a book in this format. Senator Franken reminds us that “there’s all this pressure on people in academia to be published, well this is a way to be published.” We all know the phrase “publish or perish” and with universities encouraging their faculty to use this new method, there is more incentive to have Open Source books on the market.

There are other pieces of legislation in motion that will help combat the high price of college. Senator Elizabeth Warren is reintroducing a statute that would allow students to refinance their loans (student loans are among the only loans that at this time cannot be refinanced). Senator Franken has also has a bi-partisan bill that would require colleges to put the total cost of their experience on the front page of their website.

There are some interesting new ideas out there to make colleges a lot more affordable to students, but there is still a long way to go.

CHEWS OP-ED: Bates Dining Makes Local Eating an Easy Choice

Picture this: On a brisk Wednesday night, you walk into Commons with friends in tow, ready to devour a plate of hearty veggies, grains, and meats. Upon doing your first lap to check out the food, you notice some unusual notations on the food labels. “Locally sourced,” they say, denoting that the food available to you comes from nearby. You scoop yourself some steamed potatoes from Lewiston, a few burgundy beef tips from Greene, a bit of kale salad from Lewiston and Turner, and some pollock primavera from Portland.  Then, you proceed to enjoy a plate of some delicious Commons food.

If you attended last week’s “Local Night,” which was part of Commons’ Adventures in Dining, you might’ve experienced the lovely local food overload described above. The event highlighted the strides Bates Dining makes to bring fresh food to hungry Bates students.

It’s easy to eat locally in Commons. Take a minute to consider the fact that about twenty-five percent of Commons’ food comes from inside Maine. Twenty-five percent!  That means that about a quarter of the time you eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner at Bates, you’re eating fresh, locally sourced food.

And it gets even better. Thirty-five percent of Commons’ meat comes from Maine, and seventy percent of the dairy available is local. One hundred percent of the milk and of the half and half that you pour into your coffee, tea, and cereal is locally sourced. And one hundred percent of the ground beef served is local as well. That’s impressive.

Commons has a long history of making the conscious choice to serve locally sourced food.  According to Cheryl Lacey, Director of Dining, “Bates has been purchasing locally for over 25 years, not because it was the latest trend but because it was the right thing to do. It’s the most sensible and conscientious way to support the health not only of students, but also of the environment and the local economy.”

Eating locally has both individual and community benefits. Local food is often fresher, more flavorful, and safer to eat. It’s also more environmentally-friendly, as fuel consumption decreases drastically when food doesn’t need to be shipped from across the country or the world to end up on your plate.

Plus, eating locally is a way to support local farmers. At Bates, eating locally means investing in the Lewiston and greater Maine economy, and enjoying high-quality food while you do so.

In the next few weeks, keep your eye out for some special opportunities to eat locally. This week, you can check out the map in Commons’ napkin dispensers to learn about Bates Dining’s Maine sourcing. At dinner on October 9, munch on fresh apples while chatting with representatives from Greenwood Orchards in Commons. And, at the end of this month, compete in a pumpkin carving contest for the chance to win an exclusive local food basket or a gift card to a local restaurant.

And, next time you’re in Commons, don’t sleep on the cider from Turner, the breakfast sausage from Lewiston, the ice cream from Skowhegan, or the granola from Hiram. Pay attention to the pizza dough from Auburn, the breads from Waldoboro, and the beef from Portland. And simply enjoy the lucky opportunities that Bates students are given to eat local food.

Trump and the NFL

On September 23, President Donald Trump spoke out in opposition of NFL players kneeling for the national anthem. He tweeted that players should “find something else to do” if they don’t want to stand, and later suggested they be “fired or suspended.” Not only did he speak out against one of the most powerful corporations in the United States, but also against the hundreds of millions of fans that support it, tweeting “sports fans should never condone players that do not stand.”

It is important to know that before Trump’s tweets, quarterback Colin Kaepernick was ostracized and basically blacklisted by NFL owners because of his silent protest of the flag. However, the following Sunday after the tweets, NFL teams responded to the verbal attack on their freedom. Every team either collectively locked arms or knelt during the anthem before the opening kickoff, and two teams even chose to stay in their locker room. Further, owners of franchises issued statements that were effectively the same, all essentially saying that their players work hard and have no less right to freedom of expression than any other citizen. The sports world blew up as athletes tweeted in disagreement and fans followed their lead. The feeling towards kneeling for the national anthem had, strangely enough, changed — people took Kaepernick’s side.

Fans became sympathetic towards players who had the courage to express their rights as United States citizens, all because the leader of the United States told them they couldn’t. The collective feeling towards such a touchy subject changed because the president tried to contradict the very ideas he was elected to protect. But what is different in this response from what he has said in the past? Why is there such a different reaction? And why is it so important?

Like many Americans, I’ve been angered and saddened by many of the president’s public statements. It’s hard to fathom much of what he has said on the topics of immigration, race, gender, and sexuality.

This is a fight that Donald Trump cannot possibly win. The NFL represents a demographic that spans far beyond the minority groups he is used to oppressing or instigating.

Why do we watch sports? Do we watch it to cheer on our favorite player or our favorite team? Do we watch it because it takes us away from the stresses of daily life? Even if you’re one of those fans who watch because your family or friends make you, we can all appreciate sports for one reason: because, I think, it’s free of hate. Hate does not belong in sports — it does not belong anywhere, for that matter.

Stand, sit, kneel, or lock arms — it’s your choice; it’s the player’s choice. It’s been happening for years. To name a few who have used sports as a political podium — Jesse Owens, Muhammad Ali, LeBron James, Colin Kaepernick. And not just individuals, but also teams have unified in protest too. My point is: I think that sports are hate free but not politics free.

Isn’t it interesting how sports are not just games, but ways of life? Sports in general are a little subculture in our corrupt, hectic, hate-filled, and disjointed society. Differences occur on the field: players fight, talk trash, and get physical. But after the game or match is done, they shake hands or switch jerseys. I feel that they sort out their differences in an act of sportsmanship. Let us apply that to our own lives. Let us speak our minds and stand up for our rights but do not let that divide us. We must allow the honesty in these protests to bring our world together. Donald Trump’s comments about the NFL are combative, hurtful, and signal hate, and they are so significant because they directly contradict the values we try to protect for ourselves in the United States of America.

VCS: GoldenOak – 17/24 Karats (But It’s More Nuanced Than That)

On Thursday, GoldenOak, a band formed locally in Maine, visited the Benjamin E. Mays Center for a concert which was certainly worth the hour or so that I could have been spending on homework. I didn’t even think about how far behind I am on essays once while listening to their ethereal yet modern folk tunes, but I did think about a few other issues.
I’ve attended every concert in the Village Club Series since I arrived at Bates last year, and so I was pleasantly surprised to hear that GoldenOak would be returning to Bates for the second time this fall. I had fond memories of their song “Montana” (probably because I’m from Montana) and their awkward-cute jokes and easy-going nature. I also distinctly remembered the unique sound of their combination of trumpet and cello instrumentals. Most of these good qualities were maintained by the group in their performance this year.
Of course, upon their arrival on Thursday, some significant changes in the band were immediately evident: two new members with a drum set and keyboard as well as a good chunk more confidence on the part of the lead duo, Zak and Lena Kendall.
I was hesitant. The first few songs, which I had heard the previous year, seemed less well polished and more ineffectual than they had before. The new instruments didn’t quite mesh with the original members’ sound, and the pianist especially seemed enthused but not productive. In fact, the piano parts never stood out as significant or actually contributing to the band’s sound, and the drummer fared only marginally better. In addition, this inconsistency in instrumental accompaniment seemed to negatively affect the vocalist’s performances. Harmonies in songs like “Bricks in Our Pockets” and “Montana” were either ineffective or simply out of key. Some lyrics, like the opening “I think we’re afraid of the ocean, ‘cuz it shows us how big we think we are,” presented a weak attempt at depth (a flaw consistent with the indie and folk genres, I suppose), especially when the singer was less than confident in the notes they sang.
A further issue presented itself in the makeup of the band. The Village Club Series has come under some criticism recently for its implicit catering to white student audiences–VCS consistently hosts folk and indie artists, almost all of whom are white. The genre and racial makeup of GoldenOak did nothing to combat these accusations (though later performances this semester may reflect efforts at change).
But while my complaints stuck in my head throughout the first third of the band’s performance, things changed as the performance wore on–at least in regard to the quality of the group’s musical performance.
Part way through the evenning, GoldenOak began to play the songs from their brand-new EP, Foxgloves, starting with its title track. The mood in the audience suddenly changed; applause almost tripled, the energy of the band increased by tenfold, and the inconsistencies, missed harmonies, and instrumental disconnects the band had struggled with on its older works disappeared. Foxgloves wowed. Each track on the EP, especially crowd favorites “The Things We Steal,” “Brother,” and concert finisher “Separated by the Sea,” had a different twist on the somewhat exhausted folk genre. Even the pianist had time to shine, riffing on a couple of unexpected solos. Most impressive was GoldenOak’s cellist, Seth Wegner, who provided much of the somewhat ethereal background for the group’s most impressive and genre-bending songs.
Concerns on campus about VCS programming were certainly not quelled by Thursday’s performance, but the visiting group can’t be faulted for that. GoldenOak can, however, be faulted for a lackluster and inconsistent start to their concert, but credit must be given where credit is due: the latter two-thirds of their performance more than made up any doubts about their musical capabilities.

 

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Seth Wegner plays the cello at VCS. JAMES MACDONALD/THE BATES STUDENT

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GoldenOak performs at the Benjamin E. Mays Center. JAMES MACDONALD/THE BATES STUDENT

Ladd Celebrates Banned Books Week in Style

As a part of National Banned Books Week, Ladd Library organized a series of mid-day talks by Bates professors about censorship across history and the world. The library is also placing a selection of books about censorship by the front entrance for easy accessibility.

The speaker series was one of many events across the country for National Banned Books Week. Organized by the American Library Association (ALA), Banned Book Week is meant to remind readers of “the importance of intellectual freedom.” ALA literature available at each talk listed out some of the most often censored and challenged books from the last years and celebrated protesters from around the world who helped keep the books available in their towns and schools. In addition to local libraries, the ALA partnered with organizations like the American Booksellers Association and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. The week has been celebrated since 1982.

At Bates, each lecture focused on censorship in a different part of the world or era of history. The series kicked off with a talk by professor Stephanie Pridgeon about book burning and confiscation during a period of dictatorship in Argentina. Other topics included censorship in Nazi Germany, Post-World War II Japan, and 1980s Iran.

While the lecture series had focused primarily on censorship issues in the United States in previous years, librarian Laura Juraska decided to give this year’s proceedings a more international flair after some staff outreach.

“Last year we did a U.S. based [speaker series], but one of the professors in the German department sent an email because he wanted to talk about his specialty,” said Juraska.

The library staff also put out a selection of recommended books about censorship near the front of the building. Like the lectures they accompany, the books cover censorship issues from both around the world and in America.

Book censorship still occurs regularly throughout the country, usually in schools and local libraries. The ALA keeps track of “challenges” to a book made throughout the country. Books challenged in the last year included classic works by authors like Maya Angelou, Ian McEwan, Toni Morrison, and Mark Twain. Complaints ranged from thematic concerns and explicit issues to problems with a book’s “poor grammar and sentence structure.”

For English Professor Tiffany Salter, who spoke about book banning in both Iran and the United States, keeping challenged books available to the public is important because they can foster conversations and help people find out about themselves.

“Having these kinds of books from a young age, books that address topics that some might find problematic. It’s addressing life,” said Salter.

The idea of banned books being important for young people trying to find their identity was an important part of Salter’s lecture, which partially focused on challenges to the young adult graphic novel This One Summer by Marika and Jillian Tamaki. The book, a coming of age story about two preteen girls, was banned in school libraries Minnesota and Florida.

Juraska echoed Salter’s and also emphasized how pervasive book censorship can be.

“There are these things [book banning] that happen in a lot of towns. It’s a part of our conflicted society,” said Juraska.

As befitting a Bates event, hot chai, cider, and cookies were available at each Banned Books Week lecture. The selection of books about censorship are still on display.

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Controversial books are paramount to a diverse education.

Men’s Cross Country Places Second at Saratoga Springs Invitational

Last Saturday, Sept. 30, the men’s cross country team ran a strong race at the Saratoga Springs Invitational, hosted by Rensselaer Institute of Technology (RPI) in Saratoga Springs, New York. Bates placed second out of 16 teams, losing only to the No. 7 nationally ranked RPI, 54 to 37.
It was a cool, rainy, fall morning when the men’s cross country team stepped up to the line. After a short blow of the whistle, a quick shuffling and a long moment of silence, the gun went off and the Bobcats, along with over 200 other participants, took off in a burst of speed and began the 8k (4.97mi) race.
RPI runners Grant O’Connor (24:56)and Sean O’Connor (25:30) came in first and second respectively, giving RPI a solid foundation for their win.
Zach Magin ‘18 finished first for Bates, running the course in 25:40 and placing sixth overall. Following him were Ben Tonelli ‘18 in eighth (25:50), Ryan Betz ‘19 in 12th (25:58), Matthew Morris ‘18 in 13th (26:00), Justin Levine ‘20 in 14th (26:02) and Henry Colt ‘19 in 19th (26:11).
Each of the runners listed above placed in the top 20, earning themselves and the rest of the team fresh pies to share on the long ride back to Lewiston.
Overall, the top five runners for Bates finished close together, sporting a total spread of 22.5 seconds, in comparison to RPI’s 1:11.1, exemplifying Bates’ team spirit and strong use of pack running.
“Our plan was to pack it in the first two miles,” Magin said. “We each had our own separate groups to run with and I felt excited to be running with them. As the race went on, we started to separate, but I still felt like I was running with my teammates. There’s that connection that even if you’re not running with them at the moment, there’s a feeling that you’re running for something greater than yourself. It was great to [turn around and] see everyone come in so close [at the finish].”
“We knew coming in that [RPI] would have the advantage, since it’s their home course,” said the men’s head cross country coach Al Fereshetian. “We should have had more patience [in the beginning] and played off of them instead of them off of us, but I was pleased with the attitude and determination that the team showed at the meet.” He continued to note that 14 of the 18 men running at the invitational ran personal records.
“Normally there’s some intra-teamcompetition, which can be healthy in small amounts, but this group of guys is very supportive,” Magin said. “There’s a lot of energy in workouts and everyone wants each other to do well; there’s a lot of excitement for each other’s accomplishments.”
Throughout this season, the men’s team has been running strong, posting a win over Colby in their first race and a win over Tufts in their second. At the midpoint of the season, Bates is currently ranked fourth in the NESCAC and 21 nationally.
The Bobcats will be running some of the toughest workouts of the season in these next couple weeks as they prepare to compete against Bowdoin for the Maine state title. The race will be held at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine on Oct. 14.

The Manhattan Short Film Festival: 10 Powerful Shorts

This week of September 28 – October 8 marks the twentieth anniversary of the Manhattan Short Film Festival. Every year the festival selects ten short films that are screened all over the world. This year, the festival took place in 250 different cities across six different continents, which includes Lewiston! The Public Theater in Lewiston hosted the festival for three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The audience watched ten short films with an incredible variety of genres, styles, and languages and then cast a vote for Best Actor and Best Film. I expected quite a bit from the films since over 100,000 people watch the festival every year.
As a sophomore, I was quite surprised to realize that I had never been to The Public Theater, which is as close as a 25-minute walk from the Bates campus. The unusually warm night and vibrant moon made for a pleasant slow-paced stroll to the theater. Only upon arriving there, I realized how well known the festival is – the organizers received over 1,600 entries. Indeed, the ten finalists were amazing. The short films were from New Zealand, Spain, USA, United Kingdom, Latvia, Syria, Italy, the Netherlands and Georgia. It is hard to give a sense of the diversity of themes in these movies, who presented very different and unique works of art dealing with politics, identity, violence, illusionism, love, ghosts, and so on. They were all incredibly well done – it was sometimes hard to let go of one short film and start the following one immediately.
One interesting fact about the Manhattan Film Festival is that every short film among the ten finalists is qualified to run for the Oscars. On 2015, two films from the festival were actually nominated! After watching the screenings, I could understand how the festival has some much traction. The quality of the films is indeed incredible, with a combination of strong direction and skilled acting. A few of the plots managed to render me speechless. Short films have a magic way of working out color, composition, repetition, silence, and other components of filmmaking. There is a sense that every single shot in a short film is very carefully planned to bring the audience into an entire world in less than 20 minutes. Bringing emotion, climax, and character development in such a short amount of time is fantastic and every film was quite stunning in their own ways.
The genres in the festival included comedy, action, horror, visual essays, dramas, and historical dramas. In a Nutshell directed by Fabio Friedli, a stunning stop motion film about humanity itself, was completely different from Hope Dies Last directed by Ben Price in which a simple haircut summarized the fears of a true story based on the Holocaust.
While I appreciated the thematic diversity of the festival, it would unethical of me to ignore that of the 250 film venues, only three of them are placed in Asia, Africa and South America. Though the festival received submissions from many countries, it is problematic to prevent accessible viewing spaces for all populations. Moreover, the lack of people of color in film festivals is not particularly new or surprising, but must be noted in this article.
For more information and in order to take your own conclusions about the festival, venues, or short films, I invite you to check out the Manhattan Short website as well as their trailers for the 2017 festival, available on YouTube.

Mindfulness and Relationships at Bates

Heiku Jaime McLeod came to Commons on Friday, September 29 to give a talk titled “Mindfulness & Relationships.” McLeod is a priest in the Soto Zen tradition and is the Buddhist Chaplain at Bates. The talk was the first Mindfulness Lunch of the year. These lunches are a collaboration between the Multifaith Chaplaincy and the Bates Wellness Program. McLeod has been practicing meditation and mindfulness for 15 years and became an officially sanctioned teacher over a year ago.

For anyone in the community interested in practicing mindfulness or meditation, the Bates Dharma Society holds daily 20 minute sits. For those interested in the Soto Zen tradition, McLeod holds Zen services every Tuesday night at 7 PM.

“I am married, I’m queer I should say”, she told the crowd. “I have a wife, Melissa. We’ve been together for sixteen years. We’ve been legally married since 2014, which was shortly after gay marriage became legal in Maine. We have a young son, Silas, who’s fifteen months old and we’ve got a second baby on the way in April! My wife would be very surprised to find out that I’m talking about relationships,” McLeod laughed, “because I think that a lot of the time, people idealize spiritual teachers and think that they must have it all figured out. But the truth is, I piss my wife off daily.” At this, the audience chuckled.

Typically, Buddhism isn’t the first thing that comes up when thinking about relationships. As McLeod stated, the archetypal Buddhist we think of is somebody who is either living in a monastic community or off as a hermit in a mountainous area.

Buddhism does not exactly have a good track record with relationships. The Buddha (also known as Siddhartha Gautama) famously left his wife and newborn child in pursuit of enlightenment.

“A practice like that was very much normalized at the time,” said McLeod. She elaborated that is was considered a noble thing to do since it was seen as a higher calling. McLeod added that she thinks “it’s only been within the last fifty years or so that anyone has really looked at that and thought … ‘How can this tradition reconcile with followers who do want families, who want to try to mix being a householder with practicing mindfulness in a very earnest way?’”

Another reason people do not associate relationships with Buddhism is the word ‘Detachment.’

To McLeod, “detachment was something that really held me back from wanting to become a Buddhist when I first started studying it. I had this idea from high school and college religion courses that Buddhism is about becoming detached from your emotions, detached from all your desires and living in this sort of robotic cloud. I didn’t want anything to do with that.”

This belief was quickly dispelled when McLeod met her first Soto Zen teacher while living in Pittsburgh, PA. For McLeod, “she was an incredibly warm person and very candid about the fact that she loved things and had preferences.”

“What we do ask, or what we point to, is the possibility of ‘non-clinging’”, said McLeod, “which is very different from non-attachment. Instead of saying, ‘I don’t care about this, I’m not emotional about this, I’m cutting myself off from having human desires’, what non-clinging means is that we are free to love the things that we love as they are, and not in a selfish way.”

McLeod continued by adding that “if we can realize that desires exist, have compassion for ourselves for having those desires, but then allow ourselves to set free the object of our desires, then that’s what I think can be a truer form of love. That is love that is about the beloved, and not about my own needs, my own desires, my own affections.”

McLeod concluded her talk on mindfulness and relationships with the advice that “thinking everything the world has to fall in line with our wants needs and desires is what causes all the suffering in the world.”

 

Men’s Soccer Ties Trinity in Scoreless Game

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day, Sep. 30 marked another exhilarating game for Bates’ men’s soccer team. As the Bobcats laced up their cleats and took the field, the scene was filled with excitement. A terrific crowd is usual for a game on Saturday — especially when it is sunny and 60 degrees.
The Bobcats were coming off of a tied game at Williams the week before, facing Trinity and hungry for another win.
“The season so far, has been really fun. The guys are great and they have been really helpful getting me introduced to the program,” Josiah Krul ‘21, from Camden, Maine, remarks before the start of the game. “In terms of wins and losses, we are not exactly where we want to be, but we are very optimistic going forward,” he says.
After a hard fight on Saturday, the Bobcats ultimately drew a 0-0 tie against the Trinity Bantams. The Bobcats could not solidify a win yet again.
Spectator and first-year, Roy Mathews from Columbia, South Carolina recognized and admired the passion this team has for their sport.
“I was there the second half. The game was pretty good. They played their hearts out,” Matthews says. “They out hustled the other team and I could tell they just wanted it more.”
And it wasn’t just Mathews who believed they were more passionate and motivated. Krul adds: “We really feel we should have won the game. We kept the ball in their half the majority of the time and we had more shots at the net.”
It was recorded that Bates had 17 shots attempted on Trinity’s net.
Krul continues, “We introduced a high press defense that kept the opposition on their heels for the majority of the game.”
Junior goalkeeper and stand-out player Robbie Montenegro ‘19 made eight saves on the net during the game. This is Bates’ fourth in-conference game.
With another 0-0 tie, Krul said the team is very determined going forward to finish games with a win. “We obviously want to be undefeated and have a long season ahead of us,” Krul says.
Regardless of the disappointing tie, the energy seemed to favor the Bobcats. Spectators agreed that the field and bench were equally enthusiastic. The Bobcats on the sidelines were eager to send positivity to their teammates on the field.
When asked about his team, Krul said that “they were like a family.” In addition, he mentioned that the day before their game against Trinity, they listened to a motivational speech from former England youth national team player and mental coach, Luke Staton.
“Luke had a lot of powerful advice. I honestly didn’t hear one bad thing; everyone loved him” Krul remembers. “He told us stories and we did a few team building games. He also gave us these six words that he lives by: THIS COULD BE YOU ONE DAY. I think that stuck with a lot of the guys, including me. Overall, the presentation was about passion and pursuing goals with a purpose.”
As for the rest of the season, Krul says: “My goal is to adjust to the NESCAC pace and speed of play so going forward I can make a bigger impact.”
The men’s soccer team hopes to channel Coach Staton’s advice and are eager for a well-earned win against Connecticut College on Saturday Oct. 3.

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