The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Month: March 2018 (Page 1 of 8)

Ted Burns ’19 Shares His Creative Process

This week, I interviewed Bates students Peter Nadel ’19 and Ted Burns ’19 about their participation in Burns’ musical group Short Shorts. He’s self-produced and released several albums and mixtapes on Soundcloud and Bandcamp. He recently played in the Little Room with Moon Daddy and Coldfish. Curious about that experience and his development as an aspiring campus musician, I headed over to Burns’s dorm room to talk.

The Bates Student (BS): This past performance in the Little Room; was this your first live show? How did you feel about it?

Ted Burns (TB): This was my second. The first was in the basement of Hayes my sophomore year. There were two big differences, so previously, it was just me on the guitar. This time, I played an original song; usually it’s just covers. And it was the first time I was backed by a live bass, played by Peter.

Peter Nadel (PN): That’s me.

TB: Peter played bass, then in the background –

PN: Hey, world.

TB: – there was a drum track I made on GarageBand to play alongside me. So it was a big upgrade.

BS: When did you decide to start making music?

TB: In the summer of 2016, I first listened to what are now my two favorite musical artists of all time: Car Seat Headrest and Japanese Breakfast. Why I love them — and this is what inspired me to make music — is that they both had a history of putting out music that was like a minute long and sounded very simple. And my impression of a song was always that it had to have all these parts, but it made me realize: no, you can start by making a really low bar for yourself, as long as you’re making anything at all. So that summer, I made two “albums” that no one will ever hear, but they have titles, cover art and stuff. Those are my first songs. It progressed from there as I got more confident with my abilities.

BS: Tell me a little bit about your influences. What are some artists that you think about when you make music?

TB: I’d say Car Seat Headrest, Japanese Breakfast, Bo Burnham, Fun., and recently Frank Ocean. When I make a song, it’s because I’ve heard a song that does something that, I’m like, “I want to do that.” Usually a song will start there.

BS: What genre do you consider your music to be?

TB: I can read you the tags I have myself under in Bandcamp. Alternative, bedroom pop, indie rock, lo-fi. I’d say indie rock or pop, I have a strong, blatant pop leaning.

BS: What is your lyric writing process like?

TB: I think a lot of what I write about are the things that have happened to me, but, more often than not, I draw on a specific feeling that I’ve had, and I’ll try and turn that into a story. It’s like thought experimenting on a feeling is what I’d say. Lyrics are something I’ve been focused on recently. I want them to be really good.

BS: Is there an eventual sound you’re working towards?

TB: In my perfect world, I’m in like a professional studio with a full band, but that’s like the “dream” in terms of sound. I’m lo-fi right now, ‘cause it’s just true.

BS: Any upcoming projects?

TB: I [recently] put out a B-sides thing that was just a bunch of rough drafts, so I’m mentally preparing to do something big, like a lot of effort. It probably won’t be until like the summer, I want-

TB: So I’m ready to do something big

BS: That sounds ominous.

TB: I want my instrumentation to be more complex…and I want more lyrical complexity.

BS: Last question, why Short Shorts?

TB: So my version is that in the summer, when I was trying to think about a name for myself, I did Short Shorts, ‘cause I did cross country and track, so I just wore those a lot, and then I kind of like how short shorts are exposing. Basically, it’s a catchy name, and it has meaning that I can derive from it.

Short Shorts is Ted Burns ‘19. Find him on Soundcloud and Bandcamp.

“Dear Mom,” Portrays a Hidden Side of Bates

 

 

It was an honor for me to get to talk to Chaesong Kim ’18 about her senior thesis performance, 엄마, (“Dear Mom,”). I could already tell that her show would be surprising, and I could not wait to peek behind the curtains of Gannett Theater last Thursday, March 22. I got the chance to talk with Kim a few hours before the performance premiered, and both she and I were thrilled. I have always admired Kim’s ability to patiently explain the most complex ideas and concepts in the simplest ways; in talking about 엄마, (“Dear Mom,”) with me, Kim went above and beyond. The show, which is a letter to Kim’s mother, explored Kim’s personal story and trajectory at Bates with a particular emphasis on her identity politics and South Korean identity. Kim, who wrote and directed the show, crafted a method and process to communicate with her mother and gain agency over her personal story.

The performance was complex. Stories about Bates, identity, violence, Kim’s mother, and social activism, all mixed together in a dazzling combo of narratives. I was particularly interested in Kim’s representation of the daily micro-aggressions that international students suffer every day at Bates, from misconceptions to exoticization. While Kim represented her own experiences, the violence of the performance was very close to home for me as a Brazilian student who had just had the displeasure of hearing that “Latin America is a weird, cool place.” In the performance, Kim asks “What is that supposed to mean?” and I asked the same question countless times over and over again. While Kim’s performance is deeply her own, the personal quickly becomes political. Kim told me in interview that she took her performance as a research process to delve into questions such as “Who gets to be canon? And who gets to own what rhetoric?” Kim tackled stories that need to be heard, from a representation of a mother-daughter relationship to the history of late 1980s social activism in South Korea. Even though Kim’s performance portrays fragments of her personal experience as a South Korean woman studying at a liberal arts college, there was a collective dimension to it for me.

The performance was selectively bilingual; sometimes Kim would speak in English and sometimes in Korean. Subtitles appeared on and off and gave a poetic atmosphere to what seemed to be a very literal script. The videos, animations, lighting, and sound also added another dimension to the otherwise raw stories. I felt like both an insider and an outsider simultaneously in an interesting way; the performance was both too close and too far away from home for me. A few things were hard for me to grasp, such as what the relationship between Kim and her mother is, the details of the June Democracy Movement in South Korea, and the symbolism of 당산나무 (Dang-san Tree). Other times, the performance was relatable and shocking to me.

Kim is aware that her senior thesis is a one-of-a-kind, and there haven’t been many other works like that at Bates before, if any at all. “It is amazing the amount of support that I got . . . but it was definitely something new that some people had trepidation about,” Kim told me in explaining how the multimedia and multidisciplinary piece came together through empathy and good hearts. Innovation comes with challenges. Kim told me that there were times in which she questioned herself in creating this: “Would people be interested in this? . . . People are not interested in this. They want to hear Shakespeare. Who would want to hear a woman of color, super young, doesn’t speak all that fluently, not hugely talented technician in any field?”

Kim is particularly brave in undertaking the heavy performance as a letter to her mother. In the interview, Kim told me that at her last dress rehearsal, her mother was present virtually via Skype. “It was a surreal experience. . . She was bawling her eyes out; I was bawling my eyes out,” Kim described, after telling me that the performance was a surprise to her mother.

Kim combined many complicated issues in this piece. Discussing empathy, violence, and personal relationships is no easy task. Arranging that in two languages, different artistic mediums, and academic vocabulary is more than challenging. Transforming that into a collaborative endeavor and into a letter seems unimaginable. I look forward to seeing this piece go forward – as Kim tells me, “this is not an end-point.”

 

 

 

Bates Students Criticize New Administrative Approach

A series of interviews, including student government members as well as Bates administrative staff, have shed new light on an apparent gulf between the desired social experience of students and the social climate that Bates administration wishes to cultivate.

Interviews conducted in January and February with several members of Bates student government, indicate an administrative effort to reassert control over the Bates social scene by pushing weekend life back on campus—those interviewed argue that this effort is at the expense of Bates students.

“The off-campus scene has been completely destroyed by the city of Lewiston and Bates administration,” opined Tom, one student government member. Tom attributed this effort to end off-campus activity to an administrative fear of poor image and press.

To back up his claims, Tom pointed to what he believes was the administration’s failure to represent students over the summer, when the Lewiston City Council enacted several new ordinances aimed at cracking down on the off-campus scene. These new regulations include: a new overnight parking ban on the side streets surrounding campus, a series of ordinances (such as the Lewiston “Nuisance Party Ordinance”) that allow more immediate police responses to parties, and an enaction of fines for each underage person present at such an event.

Tom’s views were echoed by Derrick, another student government member, who asserted that an administrative disconnect from student interests was to blame for a “regressing” social scene. In regard to the new policies implemented over the summer, he stated that “the policies are a poor reflection on Clayton Spencer’s ability to assert her authority as a leader within the Lewiston/Auburn community. It should be unacceptable to have police on campus,” he continued, referring to the marked police presence near campus during the first couple weekends of the fall semester. Derrick argued that the off-campus life was a significant aspect of the Bates experience, something that the administration has pushed to the curb in its efforts to improve the school’s image.

An interview on February 5 with Associate Dean Carl Steidel provided insight into the administration’s viewpoint. Steidel shot down claims that Bates administrative personnel had aided the crack-down on off-campus life. Instead, he claimed that an indignant community had pushed the City Council into enacting ordinances, without input from administration.

“We’re limited in terms of what we can do. They weren’t asking for our approval,” Steidel explained. He also denied that the changing social climate was an effort to clean up the school’s image.

“The image of Bates is not what I’m primarily concerned about, it’s the day-to-day lives of students,” he continued. However, he also acknowledged that a concern for the school’s reputation in the eyes of Lewiston factored into the school’s interactions with the City Council over the summer, when the new policies were enacted. “We interact with them as an institution. We have to think about the intermediate and long-term interests of the college. It’s not a good look for us to tell them what to do.”

Sailing Team Preps to Make Waves in Spring

Many people are surprised to learn that Bates College is represented on the sea with our very own sailing team. The Bates sailing team is a student-run club that competes around New England. The team practices 15 minutes away at Taylor Pond in Auburn, Maine. They store their boats at a storing barn that is located on campus.

The team is coached by Peter Garcia and composed of an impressive 42 members of different experience levels, including first-years, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. In the fall of 2017, the team competed in ten regattas. There are no tryouts, so anybody can have the opportunity to sail if they are willing to learn.

The captains of this year’s team are Dylan Whitcraft ’19 and Claire Deplank ’20. Eleven first-years also joined this year’s squad: Ella Cameron, Genevieve Dickinson, Lily Edelman-Gold, Emily Entner, Caitlyn Fitzgerald, Joyce Gong, Sarah Herde, David Ingraham, Katrina Johnson, Hannah Lucas, and Monica Luna.

The team sends between eight and twenty sailors to regattas in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island on the weekends when they are in season during the fall and spring. Although the team got off to a tough start after losing the Maine Maritime regatta at the Penobscot Bay Open on September 9, on October 28, at the NEISA Dinghy Tournament in Providence, Rhode Island, the Bobcats came back strong and placed third out of nine teams. On the first day of the competition, Bates sailed a grand total of eight races and rewarded themselves with a well-deserved pizza party at Pepe’s Pizza. The next day, they secured their third-place finish with Whitcraft, Deplank, Kat Schell ’19, and Ian McNally ’20’s final races. The Middlebury College Panthers took second place, and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy Buccaneers sailed into first place.

Hannah Lucas ’21, a first-year Batesie from New York City, joined the sailing team when she arrived to Bates. I asked her to take me through a typical day as a Bates sailor.

“Practices are Monday through Thursday from 4:00 p.m. until sunset. We meet up at the boat barn on Frye Street every day and drive over to Taylor Pond, 15 minutes away, in student cars,” Lucas says. “Our coach’s name is Peter, and he comes to practice every day on a completely volunteer basis. We run drills Monday through Wednesday, and then on Thursday, we run a bunch of races and keep score throughout the season.” Lucas also notes that after every practice, the team drives back to Bates and eats together at commons.

The sailing team has been practicing since the fall. Their first regatta of the spring will be held April 24 at Boston University.

Lucas credited her teammates for making the sailing team a highlight of her Bates career so far.

“I have loved meeting some really great upperclassmen on the team. They were so welcoming and willing to help the freshmen with life at Bates as well as on the sailing team,” Lucas says. “However, it is so relaxed, because you can go to practices as often as you like, and the practices are more fun than intense!”

She enjoys spending time on the weekends with the team, as they frequently get together outside of practices and races.

“Sailing isn’t for everyone, but you will never know unless you try!” she says.

Congressional Candidates Vie for Voter Support

Four candidates running to be the official Democratic Party nominee for Maine’s Second District, which includes Lewiston, spent time at a Q&A panel in Carnegie Hall on Thursday, March 22. While each of the four candidates – Jonathan Fulford, Jared Golden ’11, Craig Olsen, and Lucas St. Clair – agreed on many of the issues discussed in the Q&A, each tried to highlight what set them apart from their peers.

The panel utilized pre-scripted questions that were asked by members of the community. Each candidate was given a chance to give their answer to a question, and signs were used to indicate to candidates how much time they had left to give their answers. Topics ranged from hot-button issues like gun control to a discussion of the differing responsibilities of state and federal governments.

One area where the four candidates held differing opinions was whether federal government should raise the minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour. While three of the four supported such a measure, St. Clair felt that there were more effective ways to reduce income inequality, calling fifteen dollars an hour an “arbitrary number that doesn’t make sense in a lot of places.”

“I think that a requirement for corporations to have the highest bidder and lowest bidder to have a smaller margin makes sense. I think regionalizing our country and then focusing on the GDP of each one of those regions and requiring a minimum wage in each [makes sense],” said St. Clair.

One issue that Golden in particular, as a veteran who served time in both Iraq and Afghanistan, felt strongly about was a need for a president to seek congressional approval before declaring war, an idea that is enshrined in the constitution, but hasn’t actually happened since World War II.

“Anytime we’re going to be putting troops in combat, I want to see congress taking a vote…they owe it to everyone that fights in those wars. I wish that they had done it for me,” said Golden.

Each candidate used their closing remarks to emphasize respect for  their Democratic opponents, as well as their previous experiences that would make each of them an ideal nominee.

Olson went first and declared that whoever won the primary, he would work to support them. Golden followed and discussed his previous experience as the Democratic Assistant Majority Leader in the Maine House of Representatives. Fulford discussed the “sense of unease about the future” he saw campaigning that could be harnessed to create a movement for change.

“We can create a movement that will have more potential for change than we’ve seen since FDR’s first five years. That is what we actually have to do to right: fix the direction we’ve gone as a society,” said Fulford.

St. Clair gave the final closing remarks of the night and discussed his experience working “to rally thousands and thousands of people” to make the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument a reality.

Maine’s Second Congressional District covers the vast majority of the state, including all of the state’s land north of Augusta. The Lewiston/Auburn metropolitan area is the largest city in the district.

The Democratic Primary Election will take place on June 12, with the General Election on November 6. Whichever of the candidates receives the Democratic nomination in June will face the Second District’s current congressman, Republican Bruce Poliquin, in the general election.   

What is the Bates Film Festival?

Telluride. South by Southwest. Tribeca. Toronto. Sundance. If you were to picture the programming boards for these, or any of the countless film festivals that take place around the world, it is unlikely that you would imagine a room of 14 college students in Lewiston, Maine. But such was the reality for the first-ever Bates Film Festival, which took place this past week. Since the beginning of Winter Semester, those 14 students, led by the recently tenured Professor Jon Cavallero, worked tirelessly planning events, contacting filmmakers and distributors, viewing and discussing films, designing logos, posters, and a website, and learning about the world of film festival programming. While this was all part of a class, the end goal was to put on an actual film festival for the Bates and greater Lewiston/Auburn community, and, in doing so, offer that community an inclusive, intellectual, socially conscious event that offered entertainment, relevant messages, and endless opportunities for discussion and education, all fueled by film.

The first step in planning the Bates Film Festival (BFF for short) was designing the event’s mission. Since the festival is so closely tied to the college, the programming board looked to Bates’ mission for inspiration. From this, the programmers drew a number of ideas that would come to inform the films chosen and events planned for the five day festival: diversity, advocacy, inclusivity, awareness of and work against structural inequality, and the fostering of honest, intelligent conversation. For the students interested in film, the festival also was dedicated to connecting professionals in the movie industry with aspiring filmmakers.

With BFF’s mission established, the programming board set out to curate a festival’s worth of features, documentaries, shorts, and guest speakers to fulfill the standards set by that mission. The students set out on the daunting task of contacting filmmakers and distribution companies for films from some of the world’s biggest festivals. They spent weeks utilizing every contact and connection they could think of and ended up with a truly impressive array of films. In the end, the board selected 26 films that came out of 6 different continents (no films from Antarctica, unfortunately). There were films that premiered at Sundance, award winners from a variety of festivals, and even a few Oscar nominees. The programmers were also able to have a number of filmmakers, producers, and other professionals from the entertainment industry attend the festival, sitting on panels, talking at screenings of their films, and enriching the festival experience.

Because of the festival’s focus on contemporary social issues, there ended up being several popular themes that came through in the selected films, which then became a way to structure the different days. Thursday, the second day of the festival, was Climate Change Day, featuring the beautifully shot documentary Anote’s Ark and a follow-up panel discussing international perspectives on the issue. Friday focused on public safety and policing, with documentaries about the NYPD 12 and Frank Serpico and a discussion about the relationship between Bates Security and Bates students. Saturday was all about women in media and films revolving around female characters. It began with a remarkable panel of women from different parts of the film industry talking about their experiences and giving advice about entering the world of entertainment as a female. The final day of the festival celebrated the creative process, with live filmmaker commentary over a short film, and then a master class led by Trey Callaway: accomplished screenwriter, teacher, and Bates parent.

At the beginning of the semester, it was unclear to everyone what the BFF would turn into, but the final product was something everyone can be proud of. The students, helped by the guidance of Professor Cavallero, managed to bring in an entire schedule of critically acclaimed, thought-provoking, and discussion-inducing films and programmed a variety of panels and events to complement them. The Bates faculty and staff dedicated a great deal of time and resources to support the festival, truly making the event a production of the entire Bates community. Everyone involved worked hard and operated thoughtfully to create the BFF, and what they came up with will hopefully provide the framework for a lasting tradition of celebrating the artistic and social power of film at Bates.

 

Discerning Coloniality from Holistic Education

For a while, I have been meditating on the necessity for academic colonial ‘classics’ to be centered within social science curricula. I am an anthropology major, and so I have debated with my professors over this particular issue numerous times. Institutionally, the discipline of anthropology has prioritized and financed white cisgender (cis) male scholarship, whereas it has structurally excluded people of color, non-men, and LGBTQIA+ people. This is a real problem, of course. Institutions in ‘post-colonial’ countries tend to be oppressive due to the hierarchies that are built into their very structures.

However, while my anthropology professors tend to acknowledge this and put effort into interrogating the institutional history of the discipline, I still feel that they, and professors who teach in other departments, need to address this problem more impactfully. My argument is that professors should stop merely acknowledging the ‘oppressive roots’ of social science disciplines, while continuing to teach what the discipline has unspokenly accepted as its classics. Instead, they need to critique the continued reverence of classics as classics, and decolonize their curricula.

Since this discussion might make the most sense to those who are immediately invested in it, I will provide an example for those who aren’t. Clifford Geertz is an American anthropologist and a white cis man. His most widely read article is called “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight.” It describes, as you might expect, a cockfight that he observed while he was doing fieldwork in Bali. Now, Geertz wasn’t the type of guy to think that there is a code to understanding culture, and that you must crack it to uncover the deeper secrets to humanity–that was Claude Levi-Strauss. Geertz was the type of guy to think that one can use symbols to analyze culture, and that culture is the way that everyone imposes meaning and order onto their lives. He was interested more in meaning and interpretation than in rules and codes.

While this is well and good, Geertz was also someone who almost entirely excluded an analysis of structural power in his works. In his article on the Balinese cockfight, he also built his analysis of the fight on white (and settler colonial) cisgender male conceptions of power. With many other problems in addition to these, Geertz is an example of a scholar who is frequently regarded in the discipline of anthropology as foundational. Interpretive, or symbolic, anthropology is a school of thought commonly traced back to him as its influencer, and one that is also considered fundamental to the study of culture. While it may seem advantageous to include interpretive anthropology and Clifford Geertz in the anthropology curriculum, it also replicates a tendency for the discipline to favor convention and knowledge hierarchies as opposed to marginalized voices.

One of the most convincing counter-arguments that I’ve received to my argument about radically transforming social science curricula is that students need to know the scholarly classics of a field in order for them to be aptly prepared for a possible academic future in said field. So, since I might go to graduate school to get a PhD in anthropology, and there’s a chance I’ll need to know about Geertz for that, my undergraduate professors should be teaching me about his approach to culture. One professor has argued that it is possible to critique these classics while still teaching them, because doing so is most beneficial to the student (who might go on to graduate school).

My perspective, though, is first that most of us are definitely not going to get a PhD in anthropology for which we might need to know these colonial and neo-colonial classics. Second, it’s traumatizing for students who experience the negative consequences of colonization to reinforce that colonial and neo-colonial scholars remain the most intellectually gifted. Third, merely critiquing these scholars does not help to decolonize curricula. Decolonizing curricula would involve imagining the discipline’s future beyond its institutionally problematic history. Anthropology, for example, did not only occur through formal institutional scholarship by white, cis men. Trans people of color and indigenous people around the world “have always done political and theoretical work that centers on dynamics of imperialism, colonialism, and the multiple histories of racialization,” as the Transgender Studies Quarterly issue entitled “Decolonizing the Transgender Imaginary” argues more specifically about trans people.

The creation of social science curricula beyond convention is possible, but it requires nothing short of radical transformation.

 

Men’s Lax Goes Viral

This week proved to be rather eventful for the men’s lacrosse team.

Coming in hot off a NESCAC win last Saturday, the Bobcats took to the field on Tuesday, March 20, in a non-conference matchup against Keene State.

The ‘Cats established a lead early on, ending the first quarter up 4-1. Curtis Knapton ‘20 got Bates up on the board first, followed by one from Clarke Jones ‘18, and then two later in the quarter from Max Breschi ‘18 and Jack Scribner ‘18.

The second quarter started off with a bang, when Matt Chlastawa ‘20 scored three times in the first five minutes. He rounded off the game with seven goals and three assists, but the action really got started in the third quarter. Brendan Mullally ‘20 showed up with a hat trick in the third, but it was one goal in particular that garnered attention. With a nice behind-the-back feed from Chlastawa, Mullally pulled off an amazing behind-the-back goal. So amazing in fact, that the play made the SportsCenter top ten of the week, topping up the list at number one.

“I saw the #sctop10 on the Bates Instagram, but I wasn’t expecting to make it, much less number one. It’s just a testament to Aaron Morse and all the hard work he has done for the marketing of Bates Athletics,” says Chlastawa. “I didn’t believe it at first, and it was cool to see a Bates highlight along with two other lacrosse highlights. I think it’s great for Bates as well as the lacrosse community as a whole.”

Bates finished off the game with five goals scored in the last quarter, including the final 21st by Devin Russell ’21, the first of his career. “It was great to see the team really come together and start to play towards our potential. The atmosphere was electric,” Russell says.

That electric atmosphere continued on Saturday, March 24, when the ‘Cats met the Williams College Ephs at home to an energetic crowd. However, a filled home stadium wasn’t enough to push the team to a win, with the Eph’s coming out on top 17-8. The Ephs set the precedent early on in the first, but the Bobcats fought hard and, after essentially matching Williams point for point, managed to tie it up by the end of the second quarter. Even though Bates put up 44 shots, Williams matched exactly that and took off in the second half of the game. The Ephs put two on the board in the first two minutes of play in the third, and never trailed after that. Bates put up two more goals, one in each of the last two quarters, scored by Clarke Jones ‘18 and Curtis Knapton ‘20 respectively. The Ephs sealed the deal in the fourth, scoring five goals in response to Knapton. Despite the loss, senior captain Clarke Jones put up four goals, and goalie Rob Strain ‘20 put up an impressive wall to a barrage of tough shots from the Ephs.

“Tuesday was a great team win. We had 14 members of the team tally points, so it was really nice to see representation from a large portion of the squad,” says Will Haskell ‘21. “It was an unfortunate loss on Saturday, but it does show us that we do have a lot to learn, and that the NESCAC is a hard conference and not always to expect a win, but it was amazing to see the turnout. It always adds more energy to the game.”

 

Baseball Defeats UMass-Dartmouth 4-3

The Bates baseball team has not been off to a great start in their 2017-2018 season. With six losses and two wins so far, they are trying to get back onto the ball by winning their game against UMass-Darthmouth in Boston on Sunday, March 25.

Having lost the first handful of games of the season, Coach Jon mentioned that it was a definite wake up call.

We haven’t dealt with the hardest moment yet. It’ll come later in the season,” Coach Jon says. “I’d say our first few games were a wake-up call for us. We realized we needed to put the work in and prepare as a team. It’s come along well since then.”

With this shift in perspective from the team, they have been working hard during practices to win more games. Having a unique team dynamic has made that process a lot easier.

“The team dynamic is unique. We have such a diverse group…. different personalities, different cultures/backgrounds. We aren’t scared to have some fun either,” says Coach Jon.

One setback is definitely the weather. There have been constant snowfalls and cold winds, which have made their season very difficult. Due to the weather, they have been practicing in the gray cage, and both of their games against MIT have been either cancelled or postponed.

The season has been difficult dealing with weather, but it’s the same for everyone on the East Coast. We just need to play our schedule. We have a good team, and they’ve done a great job staying focused during practices. We are ready for the heart of the season coming up,” says Coach Jon.

However, the weather does not scare this team; not only do the Bobcats enjoy playing in the cold, but they also have signed up for training and competing in this crazy Maine weather.

When asked the question, “What is the mentality and attitude the team should have going into Sunday’s game?” Coach Jon responded with “Win one inning at a time. Execute.” That is exactly what the men’s baseball team did, as they won an exciting 4-3 victory against UMass-Dartmouth on Sunday.

In the seventh inning, UMass-Dartmouth’s Kenny Michael doubled down the left field line, and Nate Tellier scored. In the same inning, UMass-Dartmouth’s Mitch Baker stole second base, and Michael stole home. At this point, the score was 2-0 for UMass-Dartmouth. In the eighth inning, UMass-Dartmouth’s Josh O’Neil doubled down the left field line and Zach Courier scored.

During the ninth inning, the Bobcats made a major comeback and won the game 4-3. The first highlight involved Dan Trulli ’19 reaching on a fielder’s choice, Rob Matson ’21 advancing to second base, Jon Lindgren ’20 advancing to third base, and Connor DiVincenzo ’18 reaching home plate, making the score 3-1.

In the second play, Jack Arend ’20 was hit by pitch, Trulli advanced to second, Matson advanced to third, and Lindgren scored.

During the third play, Kyle Carter ’20 reached on a fielder’s choice, Arend got out at second, Trulli advanced to third, and Matson scored.

In the final play during the ninth inning, Pat Beaton ’20 singled to right field, Carter advanced to second, and Trulli scored. This secured the Bobcats’ victory, and they won the game 4-3.

The Bobcats will play UMass-Dartmouth again on March 27 at Endicott. With the same work ethic, attitude, and mindset they’ve had for the last three games, they are hoping to not only beat this team again, but add another win to their overall record for the season. And with this goal, the team is hoping to play in the NESCAC playoffs again, like they did last season.

Marjorie Prime: The Public Theater Brings Dystopian Artificial Intelligence to Lewiston

I almost missed this show, and I wish I had seen it earlier to tell other folks to go watch it. But no such luck! Getting my tickets a couple of hours before and going to watch on the closing weekend, I showed up at The Public Theater in Lewiston again. This time, I went to watch Marjorie Prime. Right before Gala, out of all nights I could have gone. Am I a mess? I guess that is irrelevant. Warning, this review contains plot spoilers!

I wanted to start this review by saying the show was executed professionally as everything I have seen at The Public so far, raised some really intriguing questions, and had a distinctly Black Mirror vibe. That is the same as to say that you missed out. But do not panic! Doing some research about the show, I found out there is this super indie Sundance film about it that came out in 2017. The screenplay is adapted from the original Pulitzer finalist theater script by Jordan Harrison. Harrison (fun-fact time) writes for Orange is the New Black and is one of those cool dudes that gets a bunch of art fellowships. Versatility in navigating different media when writing is a thing, my friend.

Pleasantries aside, the play takes us on a journey to the age of artificial intelligence to 2062. Marjorie, comically played by Broadway actress Diana Findlay, talks to a holographic version of her deceased husband Walter (Jackson Thompson), who is programmed to satisfy Marjorie’s companionship needs. This, though kind of Black Mirror-y and cool on a screen, is pretty creepy to watch on a stage. The story unwinds to present Marjorie’s daughter Tess (Mhari Sandoval) and her husband Jon (Russell Berrigan). Tess hates having her mom talk to a holographic version of her dad, but funnily enough, once her mother passes away, she does the same. As Tess talks to the holographic version of her mom, she grows frustrated. On a trip to Madagascar with her husband, Tess also passes away, and now Jon gets a Tess Prime. By the end of the play, we have all the Primes (Walter, Marjorie and Tess) talking to each other and reminiscing about the lives of the memories of the real Walter, Marjorie, and Tess. Three, technically, man-made, human-looking creatures talk to each other about the lives they haven’t lived, but the lives of those whom they “represent.” Thank you, Mr. Harrison!

How do I go about this? Quite frankly, I thank Christopher Schario’s directorial choices for making it less of a creepy piece and turning the play into a comically pleasing experience. From beginning to end, as you learn the Primes to be futuristic non-human elements who need to be filled up with information to serve their owners, laughter comes about. The sharp acting of the Primes conveys the non-human idea through un-natural speech and awkward stares into the audience. Heavy on blue, white, green, and pink lighting design, the futuristic feeling is properly accomplished, while keeping it grounded enough in our time. Set and costume design did not fall short. Simplistically balanced to articulate the connection between our time and what we could expect from 2062, the house where the whole piece is run sells well, and the costumes worn by the characters look very grounded in our time, as to connect future and present.

Dystopian writing and entertainment are on the rise — cool and scary. You might have missed the theatrical fun this production entailed, but the film is out there. Check it out!

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