The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Day: March 14, 2018 (Page 1 of 2)

Considering Divergences Among Different Radicalisms

Though there is an increasing awareness to the way identity intersects to inform experience, there remains a lack of attention to divergences in belief sets. Discourse surrounding “the left” would purport a homogeneity that simply does not exist. It is not just that politically left folks have different beliefs on any given topic; many often voice and practice contradictory and conflictual theories of change. To address this concern, people often problematize the left/right binary with a competing model of spectrum politics. However, this, again, fails, because it does not grapple with the individuality of a person’s politics on a particular issue. Interactions between TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) and other groups often explicate this type of dynamic.

Today there are many cis-women and men who importantly advocate for resources increased access to contraceptive resources for AFABs (Assigned Females at Birth). This type of advocacy is incredibly necessary for goals of reproductive justice. However, reproductive justice does not just encompass choosing to not have children. Reproductive justice also encompasses the ability to be actively supported in moments of reproduction. This has particular importance for Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities in America whose populations have been controlled through means such as, but not limited to, taking of children, sterilization, and threats of extrajudicial violence. And that only describes relatively recent state-enforced structures; it does not even contend with older histories such as slavery. Reproductive justice as a principle, unlike “pro-choice,” accompasses a wider panoply of experiences, particularly for people of color, whose challenges often get erased in the pro-choice versus pro-life dialectic.

Individuals are willing to accommodate different types of shifts in their ideas based on what they find important. Similar to the earlier explanation, it is important in discussions of reproduction to say “people with uteruses” rather than “women.” Doing otherwise often enforces “womanhood” as essentially cis and also ignores the experiences of many queer AFAB. Yet, two people described as “leftist” or “progressive” might be willing to consider and change different aspects of their perspective. Some people might be willing to start operating with a politics of reproductive justice while still entrenching a purported essential womanhood, some will do the inverse, some neither, and some will allow for both. Though I describe these as categories, none of these perspectives are binaries or static aspects of belief. Acting and thinking in any one of these ways is not simply an off and on switch, but requires continuous and serious introspection.

The concept of intersectionality can help think through how this type of dynamic unfolds. Intersectionality considers how various levels of identity experience coalesce and are not simply additive. The term specifically entered academic discourse from an article titled “Demarginalizing The Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Anti Racist Politics” by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, though it had been informed by centuries of ideas from scholarly and un scholarly materials. Though the particular discussion focuses on the historic erasure of race in discourse surrounding gender equity in feminist materials by white women, the term has more broad applications. Addressing intersections of identities does not just apply to identities that are marginalized but also those that are privileged. Applying a lens of intersectional analysis makes certain layers of identity ostensibly more visible. One can consider how whiteness and womanhood influence experience. At the same time, they might ignore how ability and class also play a role. It is impossible to be exhaustive in this analysis. To return to the earlier discussion, people are willing to accommodate different changes in their vernacular and actions based upon how they mentally hierarchize the political importance of a particular identity.

A homogenous view of radicalism erases inner complexities for the supposed sake of political expediency. Yet, this ignores the type of critical thinking and emotional skills necessary to form any meaningful unity, allyship, or even solidarity across layers of identity. Even more importantly, it is difficult, if not impossible, to strive towards a world of justice and equity if certain sufferings get erased. In the face of finite time and limited intelligence, requires an attitude of diligence, perseverance, and humility. Frankly, if someone repeatedly finds giving space for trans experiences too difficult, cumbersome, or unnecessary in their activism, I question the value of that activism. Though I describe it in this one instance, it is a more broadly applicable principle.

 

Twin Fantasy Album Remake

Twin Fantasy by Car Seat Headrest is a fantastic album, and also an album that exists in a way that I have never experienced before. Twin Fantasy is a remake of an album of the same name that front-man Will Toledo put on Bandcamp in 2011 at the ripe age of 19. The album accrued a passionate following in the years after its release, but, for Toledo, it was never a “finished” album. Listening to it, one can understand why he would feel that way. Self-produced in GarageBand, the original album exists under a lo-fi smog. It was like if you heard a band playing some cool songs, but you were hearing them play through a baby monitor.

This effect is what many listeners, myself included, found endearing about the album. The amateurishly produced songs, as well the auteur approach, created a sense of intimacy as Toledo sang euphoric and devastating songs detailing the beginning and end of a relationship. Now we have Twin Fantasy in 2018, and so much more has been accomplished than a simple clean-up. Following the album’s reflective and dualistic form, Twin Fantasy (Face to Face) (as the 2018 version is called) and Twin Fantasy (Mirror to Mirror) (as the 2011 version has been retroactively titled) form an experience where the two albums are in conversation with each other thematically. Each version can certainly be enjoyed by itself, but when experienced together, they create an emotional arc informed by their 7-year gap.

Will Toledo has said that he feels differently about the personal events that vaguely informed the album’s dramatic love story, saying that he no longer sees his own story as a tragedy. Mirror to Mirror certainly feels like it was performed by a 19-year-old who believed he was living a tragedy. The lyrics are simultaneously personal and grand in scale, and Toledo’s untrained adolescent voice had the fervor of the hopelessly heartbroken. They are left mostly unchanged in Face to Face, besides a handful of poignant exceptions, which is just fine as they are as thoughtful, witty, and earnest as they were in 2011. Face to Face creates through its production the notion of the current-day Toledo looking back, taking stock of his experience, and making peace with it. This idea is also conveyed in the opposing titles of the albums: If you put a mirror to a mirror, an infinite reflection is created, a phenomenon not unlike the bottomless solipsism of a teenager experiencing unrequited love. But when put face to face with the object of your heartbreak, there is the possibility of emotional resolution.

Catharsis is achieved by the excellent band Toledo works with to bring his songs to sonic fruition. Drums that used to sound like they were being played on stiff mattresses are now sharp and explosive thanks to Andrew Katz; Ethan Ives lends a second guitar that fleshes out melodies in creative and interesting ways, and Seth Dalby is as reliable a bass player as you’d ever want. Though there are only 4 members in the band, the songs are massive and expressive. “Beach Life-In-Death” sounds like a dive into angst-hell as guitars upon guitars are layered on top of each other over the course of 13 minutes. “Bodys,” my favorite song on the album, begins with a synth and a drum machine that builds into a danceable, shout-along anthem that describes the drunk, hormonal glee of dancing with someone your body likes being around. “Twin Fantasy (Those Boys),” the final song on the album, features a grainy organ that makes the song sound like a 16mm film, and reinforces the cyclical feel of the album by being backed by the same drum beat found on the first song.

The last line of “Twin Fantasy (Those Boys)” captures the entire narrative created by Mirror to Mirror and Face to Face: “When I come back, you’ll still be here.” When I first heard this on Mirror to Mirror, I interpreted that as meaning the narrator saw the object of his affection as something he couldn’t escape. But when I heard Toledo sing those same words on Face to Face, a new meaning was somehow prescribed: time erased the pain, and only the love remains, safe in a place of his design. And when background vocals come in to respond with, “When you come back, I’ll still be here,” I felt the sentiment flowing both ways.

 

Club Spotlight: Badminton Club

Every few weeks The Bates Student covers one club out of the nearly one hundred clubs on campus. This week, we’re covering the Badminton Club which meets every Sunday at 4:30 p.m. in the Gray Cage. Though club meetings are casual and always welcome to new players, the club’s members are looking to test their competitive chops in the next year.   

Meetings generally start with setting up nets and to retrieving the equipment. Players warm up by rallying back and forth before playing games in pairs or one-on-one. According to Eric Feng ’20, one of the club’s presidents, the club meetings are very relaxed.

“I played badminton competitively when I was in high school, but we don’t have that kind of vibe here. It’s just a casual thing,” said Feng.

While Feng does have a competitive background in badminton, the overall club is made up mostly of players who discovered badminton far more recently. According to Feng, about 70 percent of new members have never played Badminton before in their life. The club takes the time to let more inexperienced players learn skills.

“We usually have two courts where people are playing games and one court where we’re teaching them [new players] how to play,” said Feng.    

Member Morgan Baxter ’20 echoed Feng’s sentiments about the welcoming nature of the Badminton Club. Baxter played badminton when he was in middle school in Japan, where the sport is more popular than in the United States. He stepped away from badminton for several years until joining the club, however. Baxter said that the club has been great to use as a “study break on a Sunday afternoon.”

“Whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been playing for years, there’s something for everyone,” said Baxter.

The club currently only has interteam competitions; however, it is looking to change that next year. Many of the other NESCAC scbools have badminton clubs as well, and the Bates club has allotted money in its budget to potentially invite them to Lewiston for a tournament.

“Starting next year we’re going to get some NESCAC connections, hopefully get enough interest for a tournament. Hopefully people are willing to make the trip up,” said Feng.

Playing badminton requires a specific kind of racquet as well as a shuttlecock, a plastic sphere with a cone of mesh coming out from behind it. Players hit the shuttlecock over a net and attempt to get their opponents on the other side of the net to miss, which results in a point. The first player to score twenty one points is the winner. The dimensions of a badminton court vary slightly depending on whether a singles or doubles game is being played.

According to the Olympic website for the sport, modern Badminton was developed in England in the late nineteenth century, but was heavily influenced by an Indian game called Poona. The sport is named after Badminton House, a property of the English Duke who is credited with first introducing Poona to England. Today, the sport is played worldwide and is especially popular in parts of Asia.

Captain Maisie Silverman ’18 Talks about Women’s Tennis Early Success

The Bates women’s tennis team has put together an impressive start to their season, with a 6-1 record so far. Their only loss was to Pomona-Pitzer, and since that match they have rattled off five straight wins. For their season opener, the Bobcats traveled to Chapman University in Orange, California and came back to Maine with a 7-2 victory to drive the rest of their season. Also in California, the women earned an impressive 8-1 win at Cal Lutheran. Back in New England to begin their March competitions, the Bobcats dominated the NEWMAC teams, defeating Mt. Holyoke and Wheaton by scores of 6-3 and sweeping Smith College 9-0.

On their early success, Captain Maisie Silverman ’18 says, “I did not anticipate that we would be 6-1 at the start of the season, mainly because we have had various injuries that have affected our lineup. However, I am not surprised at all. This group of girls are such fierce competitors who are competing not only for themselves in their single matches but for the team. By controlling the controllable, the girls on the team have been able to persevere and encourage each other through various adversities.”

Silverman also stated the main goals for the season. The first is “to go out to every match, regardless of who we are playing and compete and fight for every point.” The second: “Transform our team culture—we fight for each other and leave everything out on the courts for our teammates. If we have left everything on the court and haven’t focused on the outcome, we will improve and become better tennis players and teammates throughout the season.”

So far, these goals have paid off. In the most recent match, the women defeated Hamilton in their first NESCAC matchup 9-0. A standout performance in this match came from the doubles duo of Lauren Hernandez ’20 and Hannah Sweeney ’21, who notched a 8-1 victory. Silverman says of the two, “First-year Hannah Sweeney continues to stand out—her mental toughness, fight, and competitiveness have led her to multiple wins in both singles and doubles. Also, Lauren Hernandez has stepped up her fearlessness at the net and has helped create a dynamic duo doubles team with Hannah and Lauren.” Silverman also praised the impressive play of Suzanne Elfman ’20, while noting that in addition to these individuals “Everyone on the team has stepped up this season. There are several girls who have gone above and beyond especially with unexpected injures that have affected some of the players in the top of the lineup.”

Ultimately, the team has embraced “When we compete, we are difficult to beat” as their mantra, says Silverman. In her words, “I feel like this has shown in various ways throughout the season, and it is just the beginning!” With such an impressive start to the season, the team seems poised for big things as the season rolls on. In the coming weeks, the women will play some high-stakes NESCAC matchups, many at home, so be sure to check out a match as the team looks to continue their winning streak. First, however, they will be on the road this coming weekend, with matchups against Case Western Reserve, Swarthmore, and Washington & Lee on a trip to Fredericksburg, Virginia.

 

Sex Trivia Excites the Den

Free food filled the Den; wine and beer were sold at reduced price; condoms littered the tables. What event am I describing? None other than Sex Trivia hosted by Residential Life and the Feminist Collective.

This past week has been Bates College Sex Week, a week full of events and activities meant to spark conversation regarding consent, safe behaviors, and positivity. Already, the week involved a sex-positive a Cappella concert, an aphrodisiac cooking class, and several informative conversations.

Around 8:50pm Saturday night, the Den started to fill with eager trivia participants forming sex-themed groups. Team names were creative, such as “Dirty G,” “Academic Challenge,” and “The Nasty Women.” Giggles and light chatter filled the air as the Trivia coordinators Taryn Bedard ’18 and Anna Luiza Mendonca ’18 signed people up, distributed response cards, and talked with friends.

Part of Sex Week is getting students excited to talk about sexual health, behaviors, and preferences; Sex Trivia expertly covered all of these topics. Bedard and Mendonca led 6 rounds of 10 questions each with themes varying from “History” to “Fun Facts” to “Non-traditional Sex.” Questions addressed many aspects of sexual life, such as “What proportion of European babies were conceived on an Ikea bed?” (10%) and “What percent of the population has sex once a day?” (5%). The questions also addressed the orgasm gap among heterosexual couples by asking the percent orgasm rate for both male and female partners in such relationships (men orgasm 78% of the time, women orgasm around 26% of the time). Other questions asked “In which state do you need parental permission before getting a wax if you are under 18 years old?” (Missouri).

Between rounds, trivia participants took breaks to get drinks and free food, while volunteer table-runners counted points and tallied results. Dining Services provided mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, spanakopita, and pigs in a blanket; these snacks were quickly consumed by participants and observers alike.

While many participants may have been motivated by food, others may have been motivated by the prizes. Fleshlights, lubricants, a sexy card game, sensual wax, sex tape, vibrators, dildos, and vibrating rings were all in the running to be won by a team or individual. Bedard and Mendonca explained that they had so many toys that each member of the winning, second place, and third place teams could win an item! Batesies walked away with some prizes worth up to $49.99; all trivia participants could grab the free condoms on tables (provided by Planned Parenthood), so each person walked away with something useful in addition to the knowledge gained through trivia.

While I was observing the festivities, I noticed many people who were not playing all the rounds but had happened upon Sex Trivia on their visit to the Den and wanted to join in the fun. These groups had sat down at the high tables in the den, faced towards the TV where questions were displayed, and chatted amongst themselves trying to figure out the answers. Though they weren’t in the running to win any of the prizes, these Batesies still wanted to learn and discuss sex and health in a casual atmosphere.

As I walked away from the Den towards the rest of my evening, I contemplated the success of Sex Trivia; it is inclusive, fun, student-lead events like these that make me proud to be a Bobcat.

 

March Madness Bracket Palooza

Welcome to March, a time of dreary weather, academic struggles, and non-stop basketball. With the start of the NCAA Division I basketball tournament, commonly known as March Madness, on the horizon, many fans have begun to pore over season records and past championships to try and predict the outcomes of each of the 67 games played throughout the tournament.

The NCAA selection committee released the full list of the 68 eligible teams competing in March Madness last Sunday, March 11. Fans have a short window of opportunity, namely until the first game on Thursday, March 15, to create and submit their bracket predictions to any number of online pools, or in simple competition amongst friends.

Prediction methods vary hugely amongst fans and may include any combination of statistics, history and personal bias. Some have even been known to choose winners based on superficial characteristics, such as a team’s color or mascot. Others may simply choose to flip a coin or create elaborate and highly entertaining schemes involving their exotic pets. No method is foolproof, however, as no one person has yet to create a perfect bracket in the modern version of the tournament.

Ellie Strauss ‘21 says that she tends to take a pragmatic approach when creating her own bracket predictions. “I don’t have favorite teams, [although] I definitely have favorites between match-ups,” she explains. “If there’s a rivalry, like UNC and Duke, I have my favorite and I’m definitely more biased to pick them. But a lot of me goes into looking at what they did, especially in previous matchups. Duke has played UNC three or four times this season already, so you have to factor that in as well.”

The makeup of a team also factors highly into her decisions. Strauss will look at the seniority of a team’s players and how well they have worked together in the past. Additionally, team histories play a significant role in her selection process.

“I look at records as well as previous NCAA appearances,” she says. “For instance, if it’s a team first appearance at the NCAA tournament I’m less likely to choose them to win against a team that has been at the NCAA tournament a bunch of times…Then there’s a few teams that I know right off the bat who always win one or two rounds and then they’re done.”

Jaimin Keliihoomalu ‘21 tends to take a softer approach with his predictions; statistics may be useful in choosing the winners for the outer brackets, however the inner brackets are much more difficult, he says.

“It’s not about choosing who is going to win for the majority [of the games],” he says. “The higher seeds are going to win; now you just have to pick the upsets. You can guess every one of the first 32 games right, and you get all the points and all your teams move onto the next level. Then you can get all of the next ones wrong and you can lose. Every year, there are always upsets, there will always be upsets.”

When it comes down to these brackets, Keliihoomalu will look at who other people are choosing and go with his gut instinct.

“Sometimes you just know,” he says. “When you’ve been around sports long enough, you see how a team works, how it functions. It’s not something you can really point out…[but] you just know that this team is going to play really well against this team. In the end, it comes down to matchups.”

Justin Levine ‘20 is similarly enjoys choosing predicting brackets. His strategy? He first starts by picking his favorite team to win and then moves down from there. He tries to identify strong teams that are ranked higher than they should be as upset picks, focusing much of his time on the inner brackets.

Yet, Levine notes that his own personal preferences often drive his choices.

“[First], I usually pick my favorite team, which is Duke. Depending on the year, they are usually the team I pick to win…sometimes I pick teams based on whether I like the school or not.”

For most, March Madness is a time to get together with friends and family to enjoy one of their favorite sports.

“March Madness is a lot of fun,” Levine says. “My family has done a bracket every year since I was a little kid, so it’s just a really exciting time [for me]. I really love basketball.”

Justin Levine ’20 similarly enjoys predicting brackets. His strategy? He first starts by picking his favorite team to win and then moves down from there. He tries to identify strong teams that are ranked higher than they should be as upset picks, focusing much of his time on the inner brackets.

Yet, Levine notes that his own personal preferences often drive his choices.

“[First], I usually pick my favorite team, which is Duke. Depending on the year, they are usually the team I pick to win…sometimes I pick teams based on whether I like the school or not.”

For most, March Madness is a time to get together with friends and family to enjoy one of their favorite sports.

“March Madness is a lot of fun,” Levine says. “My family has done a bracket every year since I was a little kid, so it’s just a really exciting time [for me]. I really love basketball.”

 

The Virtues of Being Reflexive

So many of the same people who espouse liberal gender politics (i.e. mainstream, now branded “intersectional” feminism) respond with polite tolerance toward progressive gender politics (i.e. ideals for transnational gender revolution). The latter politics acknowledge the western constructed-ness of the male-female gender binary, whereas the former doesn’t normalize that knowledge into its everyday ideology. Instead, mainstream gender politics have tended to be “trans-inclusive,” doing things like inviting non-binary people into spaces which are intended for “women and non-binary people.” The sort of polite tolerance exercised by mainstream feminism is passive and complicit and implies the belief that, if we don’t have someone else’s struggle, then we should stay in our lanes and not get involved with it.

But, really, a much different approach to transnational organizing is possible. Instead of considering ourselves to be distinct from others, we can acknowledge our roles in the broader political systems which tie us together. That way, it is possible to discern the roles we need to fill in the present. This sort of exercise in locating oneself requires introspection.

It involves asking ourselves: How are our families in the financial space that they are in now? Did our parents inherit anything from their parents? What social roles did our ancestors have? Were they entrepreneurs, merchants, farmers or slaves? What were their privileges or oppressions? How did the way they looked impact the way others characterized them?

If we start to ask ourselves these questions, we can do what I think should be the most basic, introductory anthropologic practice: autoethnography–literally, studying yourself. Our cultural traditions are not without meaning. They are rich in historical and political significance, and learning about them can make us much more informed in our politics if we internally and externally acknowledge that context to our existences. The perspective of my argument for comprehending and communicating how we came to be where and who we are is rooted in the concept of reflexivity.

Reflexivity basically just means self-awareness and transparency. It was introduced into anthropology to shift the discipline from its more oppressive, colonial origins. But it’s also a valuable practice for everyday politics. One situation in which somebody might use reflexivity would be if they find themselves speaking over other people, who happen to have marginalized identities, in a public setting. If somebody does introspection around why they might have done this, they might find that their privileges granted them the entitlement to do so. If somebody were to reflect in this way, with acknowledgment of their historical and present political context, they might also be able to connect themselves with others who are marginalized.

And what’s important to acknowledge is that connecting doesn’t necessarily mean having to find points of similarity. In fact, I think this mentality is quite dangerous. In order to meaningfully connect, transnationally, we need to form bonds in the direction of responsibility.

For example, if we are aware that structural privileges brought us to our present comforts, we need to mobilize the resources and wealth that we have access to for people and collectives that do not share our privileges. If we are aware that we are settlers on colonized land, we can center Native people in our organizing rather than erasing them further. I am not perfect at exercising reflexivity and so I do not claim a position of authority on this topic, but I do argue that it is a virtue worth developing for all types of political engagement.

 

Who is Clayton Spencer?

Clayton Spencer is a name immediately familiar to anyone who knows Bates College. She is Bates’ eighth president as well as a great fundraiser, but we want to know more about the lady behind Bates and how she got here.

Growing up in the South, Spencer’s father was president of two different colleges. Living on these campuses exposed Spencer to new ideas and passions. She remarks, “growing up on a college campus in a small town was fabulous because every time a speaker or visitor came to campus they would come to our house for dinner, and I was very fascinated with the adult conversations…”

When it came time for college, Spencer knew she wanted to go to an institution that valued the liberal arts style of education. “I grew up with a model: you went to a liberal arts college for college, because you wanted the close relationship with faculty, and then in graduate or professional school, go to the best one you can find, right?” Spencer tells.

Williams College provided her  wtih a positive undergraduate education, one marked by close faculty relationships and the liberal arts style of education for which she was looking. Oxford University, which exposed her to a different type of learning style, was next on the educational docket.

After spending the first twenty-five years of her life on college or university campuses, Spencer believed she would pursue a career as an academic. Instead, she pivoted in her career path, opting for law school after Oxford University.

“I grew up thinking I’d be a straight academic, and then I became so interested in the world that it felt like law was a better choice for me. But even when I went to law school, I said that I wanted to work in education, and I imagined that I might want to be a university general counsel,” she notes. She worked her first year out of Yale law school as a clerk, then at a firm doing litigation, and finally as a federal prosecutor.

“Those were all good experiences that, in one sense, toughened me up as a professional, but I also knew deep in my heart that it wasn’t purposeful work for me. It wasn’t work that was aligned with who I am. So, I really came alive when I left being a prosecutor and went to Washington and was chief education counsel for Senator Kennedy—that was fabulous, because that was the intersection of law and education…” admits Spencer.

After working in Washington in the Senate at the junction of law and education, she and her family, moved back up to Boston where she was offered a consulting job by the Head of Government Relations and Communications at Harvard.

Her stint at Harvard lasted fifteen years and was “pure joy” with the trials and tribulations that any job has. Working there allowed her to use the skills learned on Capitol Hill, but also provided an avenue for her to be around higher education again, the flow of ideas. According to Spencer, most jobs have a shelf life, so when the fifteen-year mark at Harvard came around, she started looking for a new challenge.

But why Bates? Why go back to the small liberal arts world when you have already gotten acclimated to places like Oxford, Yale, and Harvard?

In her own words Spencer notes, “I have an irrational passion for Maine. I love Maine…For me, New England had always had a romance to it, and once you’re in New England, then you pick the most romantic state: it’s this big, naturally beautiful state with mountains and ocean and moose…I’m a cliché. I’m a summer person who thought Maine was all about those summer experiences, and of course, you realize the reality of Maine is much more complex. But as far as I’m concerned, it makes it much more interesting. I had a secret fascination, and compulsion to go to Maine, and everybody knew this about me.”

Spencer, the southerner turned Mainer, knew she wanted to make a life for herself in this corner of New England. When the position for President of Bates opened, she jumped at the chance.

“What is best about Bates long predated me,” she notes. “But my job is to bring strength to strength, to make the institution stronger by the time I leave than it was when I got here in a variety of ways, and hopefully to have joy and colleagueship while that’s going on.”

Women’s Lacrosse Falls to Wesleyan

The women’s lacrosse team was narrowly defeated by No.18 nationally ranked Wesleyan University on Saturday, March 10. With 11 minutes left on the clock, the Cardinals pulled away from a 6-6 tie to defeat the Bobcats 9-7.

Before the game against Wesleyan, the team had a great start to the season with 3 wins and 1 loss. Therefore, they won’t let this loss ruin their momentum.

The important thing to do to keep our momentum going is to stay strong mentally,” says senior captain Allison Dewey ’18. “If we go into a game with the mental state that we are going to win and play our best, then we will do just that. As our assistant coach always says, lacrosse is 80% mental and 20% physical.”

Annie Duke ’18 led Bates with 3 goals and attacker Katie Allard ’19 led the Bobcats with three caused turnovers.

At the 26:01 mark, Wesleyan scored the first goal from a shot at the left wing by Caitlin Wood. Bates quickly tied the game as Avery MacMullen ’20 drew a foul allowing a rare open net free position attempt to score a goal at the 24:13 mark.

Goalie Eliza Statile ’19 intercepted a Wesleyan pass and set up a goal for Duke who took a great opportunity of a 1-on-1 dodge with a shot from the left wing to give Bates a 2-1 lead.

Soon after, Camille Belletete ’18 was able to find Duke in an open spot in the middle of Wesleyan’s defense line where Duke dodged a defender and shot to give Bates a 3-1 lead.

In the final 40 seconds of the first half, Wesleyan responded with two quick goals to tie the game 3-3 with goals scored by Cardinals Manning and Horst. At the start of the second half, Bates was able to retake the lead when Liv Sandford ’20 dribbled over the line to score a goal.

Wesleyan’s Gretsky finished a strong wrap around move to tie the game 4-4 and quickly Horst won a free position shot from a foul giving Wesleyan the 5-4 lead.

Bates was able to fight back to tie the game 6-6 with back-to-back goals by Duke and Teal Oatley ’20. This was possible with the tremendous teamwork shown by the team.

“Our team has become very close over the past few months since the start of the school year in September,” says Dewey. “In our eyes, this is the closest our team has ever felt. We consider each and every one of our teammates our closest friends and I think that is definitely a contributor to our success on the field.”

In the final 11 minutes of the game, the Cardinals dominated, controlled, and seized all of their opportunities giving them the lead 9-7 to win the game.

With another game coming up against Saint Joseph’s on March 13, the team is hoping to come out with a win to add another win to their record and continue their great momentum. To do this Dewey explains, “We will have to play the game we know how to play and continue to work as a unit. We are optimistic that we will come out strong if we do exactly this.”

 

Elbadawi ’18 and Hopkins ’18 Showcase Diverse Approaches to Dance Theses

Everyone knows thesis: it’s the project that we work towards for three years; the culmination of our academic careers.

Sofi Elbadawi ’18 is one such senior who is currently working on choreographing her dance thesis this semester. She explains that she got her inspiration when she choreographed a duet for the fall Back to Bates Dance Concert with fellow dance major Riley Hopkins ’18, in which they danced to popular love songs.

She explains, “While I was doing preliminary research about love songs, I stumbled upon a TED Talk by Mary Len Catron called ‘What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Love.’ In this talk, Catron argues that the metaphors we use to talk about love equate the experience to violence, sickness, or mental illness. She specifically deconstructs certain phrases, like ‘to fall in love,’ ‘to burn with passion,’ ‘heartbreak,’ ‘being crazy in love,’ and ‘love-struck.’ When I listened to love songs again after hearing this TED Talk, I was fascinated by how often these metaphors appeared.”

Just like with theses in any other academic department, there is intense research that goes into a Dance thesis that helps students mold testing questions, which the project strives to answer. For Elbadawi, she decided to explore three main questions: “Can the subtle, underlying violence in common metaphors for love be exposed through physical exploration and embodiment of these metaphors? How do metaphors inform the way we understand the concept of love? How can movement be used to exaggerate and juxtapose the cheesiness, clichés and hyper-romanticism of the language of love songs?” To answer these questions, Elbadawi put together a cast of five students – Hopkins, Peter Cottingham ’18, Ellie Madwed ’20, Libby Wellington ’20, and Danielle Ward ’20 – who would all be part of the dance process. These members act as equal parts support and sounding board throughout the project.

A seasoned member of the Dance Department, Elbadawi is no stranger to choreographing and engaging in creative dance processes. Over her college career, she has participated and created many dance pieces. But, thesis presents different challenges.

She explains that, “This project is similar to previous pieces I have choreographed, as I used the same tools and methods to generate movement that I have used in the past…However, my thesis is much longer and much more intensively researched than anything I have created in the past. It also deals with a more musically-based sound score than I typically tend to use.” Working on a senior thesis is a unique experience in every Batesie’s academic career. Advisors push us harder and empower us to expect more out of ourselves.

Hopkins took a different route with his thesis, choosing to perform Trisha Brown’s piece “Foray Foret” solo. This thesis process is different from Elbadawi and others. He notes, “My thesis process has been a continuous navigation of the unknown, to be honest. My thesis research is focused on the performance of this piece that I learned, whereas every other dance thesis before me has been focused on original student choreography.”

Through self-reflection and outside research, Hopkins finds that, “I enjoy being watched as a dancer. I love being a spectacle. I perform because it excites me to see how I can leave an impression on the audience, no matter what that impression may be. There’s an interesting dichotomy between being an objectified body on stage – one that is purely looked at from the outside – and being a subjective agent that connects with the audience by somehow being relatable.” In more technical terms, he follows the thought process of “kinesthetic empathy,” a theory which explores that the audience can relate to movements they see because it seems attainable in their own bodies. He uses this theory to “cross the line from being an objectified body to a subjective agent on stage.”

Bates encourages diversity of thought and fosters new ways to approach topics. “I’m gaining a lot from this process so far,” states Hopkins. “No one really does research on performance here, just choreography and theory. I’m excited to pioneer this new opportunity for future dance majors and show people the benefits of scholarly performance.” Hopkins shows that the thesis project can be used as a way to explore new areas of dance.

Elbadawi and Hopkins, though taking different routes, are getting the most out of the senior thesis experience; they are both driving a project from inception to conclusion.

 

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