The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Day: March 21, 2018 (Page 1 of 2)

Men’s Lacrosse Nabs First NESCAC Win of 2018 Season

After narrow losses in the first two NESCAC matchups this season, Bates men’s lacrosse headed into Saturday afternoon’s game against Trinity eager to pull out a win. Although sub-zero conditions deterred a large crowd, the team exploded onto the field ready to fight.

The Trinity College Bantams were the first on the board, but the ’Cats quickly responded and took the lead with three goals in the first quarter; two of which were scored by Matt Chlastawa ’20, who finished the game with a season high five goals. The points in this game also brought Chlastawa up to the top of the NESCAC standings in points, tying for first at 30.

The only goal of the second quarter came from an assist from Chlastawa, who ferried a ground ball to fellow sophomore Curtis Knapton ’20, who put one more on the board from eight yards out. The second quarter came to a close with the ’Cats up four to one against the Bantams. Bates came into the third even stronger, bringing it to 5-1 within the first thirteen seconds with a goal scored by Jack O’Brien ’18.

Rob Strain ’20 recorded 11 saves throughout the game, but let two slip in in the last few minutes of the quarter. However, with another four goals in hand, scored by Chlastawa , Dahnique Brown-Jones ’19, Clarke Jones ’18, and Breschi ’18, Bates finished out the third at 8-3. The Bantams fought hard, putting another four goals on the board. Despite the Bantams’ aggressive offense, the Bobcats scored another six goals in the fourth, three of which came in the first minute of play. At the end of the game, Jones netted a hat trick, and star of the game Chlastawa popped in two more to bring his tally up to five.

“This year has been so much fun. We have so many new guys contributing, that every practice and game has tremendous energy,” said Chlastawa when asked about this year’s squad. “I love my team and the coaching staff. We are extremely excited for the four-game home stretch we have for the next couple of weeks. It’s always nice seeing and hearing family and friends in the stands.”

That young talent has proved to be key for Bates, with first-year Will Haskell ’21 quickly making his mark as a defensive force, racking up two ground balls and a game high three turnovers.

“The whole team has been putting in a lot of work this whole year, and it feels good when it shows in a game like today’s against Trinity,” says Haskell.

Although there is plenty of young talent on this year’s squad, there certainly isn’t a lack of talent or leadership from the upperclassmen. Senior captains Burke Smith ’18 and Jones  are consistent scorers, fierce leaders, and hold their team to a high standard on and off the field.

“The leaders on this team have emphasized from day one that this group works for each other and is a family,” says Peyton Weatherbie ’21. “From the start, every 6:00 a.m. conditioning class, every practice, every game we have played together and for each other. That is what drives us to succeed, and it shows in games like [Saturday’s].”

The men’s lacrosse team will take on Keene State at home on Tuesday, March 20.

Pau Faus Brings Humanity to Spanish Political Figures in Film “Alcaldessa”

I am a 1997 kid and I grew up in a Spain of economic decadence, a straight-up (note the irony) down-hill Spain. The new millennium approached and within less than a decade, apartments went from somewhat affordable prices to price tags that nobody could handle. Banks gave out a lot of money and messed up a lot of people, particularly hard-working, middle-class folks. I still remember the year my sister moved to Madrid and she paid 1,000 Euros in rent for a 30 square meters (322 ft.) apartment. Having a teacher salary of 1,600 euros/month for a tiny apartment and using more than half of it to pay rent had become the norm in the big city. This was 2004.

Discomfort grew and we transitioned from a right-wing government to a left-wing government when I was six. I still remember the moment when socialists won the election in 2004, and my dad increased his involvement in the party. I also remember the day when he had to close his small construction company, which he had worked his way up to owning after years of being a construction worker himself. There were too many buildings, and no one to live in them. Hundreds of construction companies around the country shut down, hundreds of people were out of luck. This was 2008.

Ada Colau, Faus’ film star, had a lot more schooling than my father. Nevertheless, the two of them have something in common and that had to do with money. They were both affected by a collapsing burbuja inmobiliaria (real estate bubble in English). Whatever side of the bubble they had been in, both companies and customers alike weren’t happy. Fast-forward, mass evictions became a norm and Ada Colau, current mayor of Barcelona, became one of the leaders for the social movement emerging from such evictions– the PAH (Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca, or People Affected by Mortgages).

Pau tells the story of another working-class member, Ada Colau, who went from calling a representative of the Spanish Banking Association “a criminal” at a parliamentary hearing to the first female mayor of Barcelona under the merger left-wing party of En Comú Podem. As Pau would put it in his Q&A session, he “was interested in documenting how someone moves from activism to institutional politics.”

Through Catalonian independence debates mostly unmentioned in his work, Fau brings a human perspective to the life of the politician. How many times have I heard people insulting politicians? I don’t even know. As my mum used to say, “blame all these politicians now, but the one getting crazy mortgages without holding a clue of whether you’d be able to pay back were you.” Political figures come from all different socioeconomic backgrounds, and they get credited and discredited often. Fau succeeds in creating a documentary film that forgives the position of the politician and humanizes the gaze of their viewer.

Presented in a countdown narrative that unfolds in both Catalán and Spanish, Fau documents a whole year of En Comú Podem’s political campaign through the eyes of his camera and its gazes at Barcelona’s mayor.

We see Colau in campaign planning meetings, in rallies, in debates with other electoral candidates, and in her humble apartment in Barcelona. We also see her a lot in the back-room of the party’s untidy headquarters. There, Fau pulls out some black background and films Colau in some sort of video-diaries that express her concerns.

Interestingly enough, when Fau was questioned about what he asked her in those interviews, he stated that his go-to strategy was to ask, “How are you feeling today?” These video-diaries, extremely powerful because of the intimacy created, let us learn about her strengths but also about her fears. Believe it or not, she is human and is afraid of becoming a leader as she analyzes her journey and realizes that a couple of years ago, it was she who cursed institutional political powers.

Politics is a tough and over-complicated beast.

I am aware that back home people would hate on me for looking at our politicians from a forgiving point of view. “Whether they are right-wing or left-wing, they are all thieves” is the current motto in many households. That being said, I found enjoyment (as one of the only Spaniards in the room) in watching Fau’s documentary succeed in finding an empathizing eye in a profession that can bring its “professionals” as many supporters as haters.


Discussing Willful Ignorance in an Era of Mass Media

Though the internet only came into being fairly recently, it is an invention with implications similar to, if not more profound, than the wheel. Humans have only just begun adapting to the anthropological effects of the internet. Many of the consequences remain to be seen.

On a personal level, the access to unfathomable amounts of information can be just as disorienting as empowering. The unassuming dimensions of a “smart” phone has led to the now familiar eye contact-less circles of craned necks. This is a cultural norm that anthropologists fifteen years ago would find unimaginable, save works of science fiction.

Yet, as new as these technological forces may be, there remains a tendency in discourse to erase traditions and movements that have existed for long periods of time. For example, though the social movement #BlackLivesMatter is certainly new, the black American diaspora community has been protesting extrajudicial violence within popular discourse since at least slave catchers became the American police force. #BlackLivesMatter is certainly revolutionary in many important respects, but there can be a dangerous erasure of histories of political resistance that gets lost in the purported complete newness of modern movements. Complacency is easy when current social change is seen as uniquely revolutionary, without any reference for progression. At the same time, denying new characteristics in contemporary social movements usually leads to a type of misinformed and apathetic cynicism. Yet, knowing what characteristics actually defines a contemporary moments can be incredibly difficult living within that period, especially with the rapid expansion of information technologies.

Even though this expanse of knowledge is real, there is a manufactured paralysis of an individual’s own types of social privilege. Though social privilege is not a fixed object, there is a tendency to accept clean theories of progress along the ways a person can be privileged. This is a broad tendency that I would like to examine in a context in which I have more knowledge.

In recent years, “visibility” has become a paradigmatic word to describe themes of transgender and gender-queer representation in media and public space. This word, as a concept to describe a current moment, has a fairly flexible application. Still, from many perspectives, when understood as “increasing,” “visibility” is usually understood to be a positive sign of change. “Visibility” often becomes a rhetorical repository for all action on behalf of people who are transgender among Bates discussions with cis- students on justice for trans people. It is relatively common to hear the main part of the solution to discrimination against trans and genderqueer individuals to be answered with vague “visibility.” Frankly, I do not know what is meant by this, nor do I think it has any efficacy. Simply being allowed to exist visibly in public spaces, does not necessarily deconstruct white centric cis-hetero patriarchal societal structures. Combatting discrimination against trans-people is far more multifaceted than being visible in public spaces. This is especially the case when being visibly of queer gender presentation can become met with reactionary violence. Further, “visibility” operates under the presumption that the issue is incumbent on trans and genderqueer to solve, it obfuscates the ability for cis people to advocate on behalf of trans people in employment discrimination, reactionary violence, gender marked bathrooms, or any number of well publicized issues. This does not even touch on the basic demands to be inclusive in language, activism, and application of emotional labor. Furthermore, the discourse “visibility” decouples contemporary American trans activism from any type of historical impetus. Transgender equality cannot be extricated from European colonialism for a plethora of reasons, particularly as inculcating gender binaries were a large part of white European colonial projects. This fact becomes manifest in moments of political resistance like the heading of the Stonewall riots by black and brown drag queens.

Though this idea of “visibility” is certainly more complicated than I have space or the knowledge to exhaust, I think it demonstrates a particularly important reality that seems to have become heightened in the age of the internet. It is relatively easy to be flummoxed by massive amounts of information and impetuously accept culturally reproduced ideas about groups outside one’s own knowledge base.


Five Time All-American Triple Jumper, Sally Ceesay ’18, Opens Up About NCAA Experience

While March drags on for most students in the cold of Maine, Sally Ceesay ’18 has had a very different experience; she traveled to Birmingham, AL to compete in the 2018 NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships earlier in the month. She says, “Generally for nationals, the meets are pretty far away. My first one was in North Carolina, so it was really nice to get back down south to warmer weather. I love going away for nationals, because it’s right in the middle of March, and everyone hates this month. I always see it as my vacation and quick break away. It was great.” She continues, talking about being in a new place: “It was my first time in Alabama. I got to see a lot of civil rights landmarks and stuff like that, so that was really cool.”

The bulk of her time, obviously, was spent preparing for the competition. Ceesay competed in the triple jump, placing second and breaking her own record by a half inch with her jump of 40 feet, 4 inches. On preparation for the meet, she says, “In the last two years, I finally figured out what works for me in terms of my mental preparedness. I do the same thing that I’ve done all season, and I think that helps me best, because it keeps my nerves down. I know that if I’m doing the same routine I’ve been doing, and I’ve been doing well at any normal meet, then everything should fall in place if I’m doing everything exactly the same.”

With this preparation heading into her attempts, she then focuses on one thing: “My freshman year I had this coach. . . . He told me before every jump I have to tell myself that I am the sh*t and believe it and take every jump like it was my last one. I still do that to this day. I run through it in my mind.” After this, she gets on the runway and clears her head. She says, “I try to clear my mind so I’m not thinking about anything.”

Clearly this method of preparation has paid off, as Ceesay as earned All-American honors five times, the fifth coming at this NCAAs. As a first-year, she competed in the triple jump at the NCAA Indoor Championships, finishing 16th with a jump of 35 feet, 3.25 inches. A year later, during the 2015-16 indoor season, she earned her first All-American honors with a Bates record-breaking jump of 38 feet, 1.25 inches. With this jump, she became Bates’s first All-American triple jumper since 1985. She went on to earn four more All-American honors in the event and has broken her record multiple times.

Of this accomplishment, she says, “It’s really exciting. It’s not something that I expected before I got to Bates, but ever since I’ve been here and realized what I’m capable of achieving, I’ve always been working towards it. It’s an honor, and I’m thankful every time I think about it.” As this is her senior year, her last indoor season has come to a close.

Reflecting on all four years of competition, she says, “It’s sad thinking about it coming to an end.” However, despite the emotion, she is proud of her accomplishments and does not wish for anything to have gone differently. She says, “I’ve achieved everything I want to achieve. I’ll walk away knowing I had a great track career, put everything out there, and have no regrets.”

Of this accomplishment, she says, “It’s really exciting. It’s not something that I expected before I got to Bates, but ever since I’ve been here and realized what I’m capable of achieving, I’ve always been working towards it. It’s an honor, and I’m thankful every time I think about it.” As this is her senior year, her last indoor season has come to a close.

Reflecting on all four years of competition, she says, “It’s sad thinking about it coming to an end.” However, despite the emotion, she is proud of her accomplishments and does not wish for anything to have gone differently. She says, “I’ve achieved everything I want to achieve. I’ll walk away knowing I had a great track career, put everything out there, and have no regrets.”

MGMT is Back with Little Dark Age

MGMT is pretty weird. The band’s particular brand of alternative/indie with hint of psychedelia became popular after their first album Oracular Spectacular, followed by two less popular albums Congratulations and MGMT. On February 9, the group released a fourth album called Little Dark Age. It follows the band’s own groovy synthesized feeling – a Pink Floyd that decided to be pop – but without the visionary energy. The band took inspiration in American politics to compose the new album and a few tunes reflect that. Most songs are quite flat and almost too relaxing, but the song “Little Dark Age” is a decent crowd pleaser. Like other similar bands, Alt-J and Of Montreal, MGMT produces one good album every few average ones. Little Dark Age had promise,but fell in the “alright” category. Worth a listen but not worth the hype.

The American band was formed by Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser, who met during their first year at Wesleyan University. Oracular Spectacular was the band’s big hit and targeted at the young indie fandom around 2007. They were the good weird then, but since that time alternative synth music has leaned towards pop and dance; MGMT seemed left behind. Although Little Dark Age is a bit closer to pop, there is still some emptiness, tension, contrast, energy, and wicked melodies missing and most of the songs feel like an endless spiral. “The album was unimpressive… the songs are not very distinct and kind of blur together but there are a couple of interesting songs,” Joshua Andino ’20 told me.

The ninth song of the album, “When You’re Small,” is a little more interesting. It has a clear Pink Floyd feel for me: a moody repetition of sad melody and slow lyrics that are perfect for a gloomy day. The inspiration for the album was the American political situation (and you-know-who) so perhaps this would be a great song for November 8, 2016. “When You’re Small” captures the classic liberal arts college artsy frustration. What makes this song possibly the best of the album is the auditory simplicity but complex arrangement and odd lyrics.

“Days That Got Away,” the seventh song of the album, has some interesting effects and feels to me like walking dizzily around a big city. It’s busy and confusing but still homogeneous somehow. The lyrics are “days that got away” on loop and even the dreamy voices feel isolated. If it is a trip, it is not quite a good one. There’s nothing to hold onto.

Andino added a different opinion: “for me ‘Little Dark Age’ and ‘When You Die’ are two of the nicer ones in the album.” I agree that “When You Die” is the closest MGMT got to their earlier vibes. “When You Die” has suicidal lyrics and explicit language in a distorted and psychedelic vehicle so listen with caution.

Oracular Spectacular is still my favorite album of the band and Little Dark Age doesn’t really come close. The band’s first album opens with the simple riff of “Time to Pretend,” dreamy, soft, and vibrant like a drugged smoothie in Palm Beach. Little Dark Age lost the simplicity but that’s okay; times are complicated and America is busy. Little Dark Age is not “dancey,” but maybe MGMT delivered on the album that the country needs now.


Clement Blows Whistle on Climate Policy

On Wednesday, March 14, Joel Clement, the Former Top Climate Official at the Department of Interior came back to his home state of Maine to deliver a speech on the Trump Administration’s War on Climate Policy. In recent news, Clement has become somewhat of a celebrity whistleblower after writing an explosive op-ed in The Washington Post titled “I’m a scientist. I’m blowing the whistle on the Trump administration” this past July. More recently, The Washington Post has also published his fiery resignation letter to Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke, criticizing him for failing to address the threat of climate change.

When Clement first came to the podium, he commemorated Stephen Hawking who died the morning of his speech, adding “how clever [it was] of him to die on Pi Day and also Albert Einstein’s birthday.” He continued, “So in his honor, I’m going to state a scientific consensus on climate change. Rapid climate change is real, it’s dangerous, and we’re causing it.”

His speech centered on Maine State’s motto: dirigo, meaning “I lead” in Latin. “I always thought it was just referring to Mainers, you know. We lead, we’re leaders. There’s a farmer and a sailor on the emblem and they’re leaders. It totally escaped me that the north star was at the top of the emblem. Polaris, the symbol of guidance and direction is sitting there.”

In his work, Clement advocates for Alaska Natives who are facing the threat of being erased from the face of the earth due to extreme weather and ice-cap melting. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, “The warm temperature anomalies…I don’t know at what point anomaly stops becoming anomaly, because this year we far exceeded those warm temperatures. In fact, I think the closest recording station to the Arctic is in Northern Greenland. And in February they detected temperatures over 40 degrees.” Unfortunately, Maine is next on the list after Arctic people for facing devastating consequences of global warming.

“I’m going to talk a little bit about my experience as whistle blower to give you a sense of what we’re up against both in Maine and Alaska with these climate impacts and can give you a little bit of a taste of what they’re up to in this administration,” said Clement.

He first began by describing the responsibilities involved for his job at the Department of the Interior in Washington D.C., “Every aspect of every mission is affected by climate impacts, whether it’s managing our legendary national parks, protecting biodiversity, providing world class science that the US. Geological Survey provides… And so I was very public about this. I spoke very publicly and very frequently about the importance of addressing these impacts. I wasn’t talking about CO2 and methane. I was talking about how do we handle the impacts that we know are already coming.”

According to Clement, their goal was to eliminate all programs from the previous administration, “Anything with an Obama stamp on it had to go, good or bad, effective or ineffective. Marginalize all the scientists and experts, get them out of the way, and shrink and hobble government to allow industry fuller access.”

One of the punches from the administration was aimed at the Senior Executive Service at the Department of the Interior where Clement worked at the time. As an expert in climate change, Clement belonged to the SCS, which is the executive core of career professionals who were meant to be deployed wherever an agency needs high level but nonpolitical talent. “No agency in any administration has ever come in and move dozens in one night, as this group did…and to accomplish that they moved people into positions that were completely unrelated to their backgrounds or expertise. They moved them across the country, there was no prior consolation, they were given no choice in the matter.”

Clement then admitted, “At any rate, I guess it was obvious that I was on their list, I believe, because of my work on behalf of Alaska natives facing these climate change effects. They seemed particularly eager for me to quit and I stayed at it because I was the climate change guy. They moved me to the office that collects and disperses royalty incomes from the oil and gas companies.”

Clements was then promptly moved to an auditing office. Although he enjoyed the people working there, he felt that it was “a huge waste of my expertise and background and my salary.” To him, it was very poor governance, but more importantly, it ended his work supporting the Alaska Natives. In fact, to this day, there is no one in D.C. coordinating federal response to this disaster in Alaska.

For the second half of his speech, he focused on how can we can put science back in the forefront of public policy, and “make it the north star of public policy.” He proposed that we should have five goals: Democracy, transparency, fair budgeting, rule of law, and science advocacy.

Baseball Team Looks to Reclaim Their Season After Tough Start in California

Despite a six-game losing streak during their week-long 2018 debut in California, Bates’ baseball team looks to persevere and regain a victorious momentum throughout the remainder of their season. The Bobcats were in California from Sunday, February 18-Saturday, February 24 and recorded six losses against Pomona-Pitzer, Occidental, Whittier, Cal Lutheran, Claremont-M-S, and Puget Sound. When reflecting on these losses, the team agrees that they need to bounce back by regaining their focus and playing with more energy and confidence.

“We got off to a tough start in California and I think we just were not prepared all the way around,” says Zachary Avila ‘20. “There were undoubtedly some good teams but we just lost some of those games due to lack of preparation.”

“We did not do nearly as we had planned, but we’ve now had almost a month to work on the weaknesses we identified and feel ready to compete come NESCAC time,” adds senior captain Jacob Shapiro ‘18.

This is the Bobcats’ second season with head coach Jon Martin and the team understands that his expectation for them is to work on “executing” every pitch and situation, whether it be in games or practice. After a month of intensive practice and teambuilding, the Bobcats have already begun to turn their 2018 record around. On Saturday, March 10, less than a month from their California season opener, the Bobcats traveled to Northboro, Mass. and swept Worcester State at the conclusion of an exciting double-header.

“Last weekend, against Worcester State was all around great baseball in both games,” says Patrick Beaton ‘20. “Our pitchers did really well. Offensively, we had timely hits when we needed, with men in scoring positions to start innings. We also capitalized on all their defensive mistakes.”

Game One ended with the Bobcats finishing with a tight victory of 3-2. The competition lasted for twelve grueling, hard-fought innings. During the final inning, Avila hit an RBI single to send Pat Beaton ‘20 home for the winning run. Beaton had hit a triple before Avila was at bat. On the mound, the Bobcats only allowed two runs and six hits. Senior captain Connor Russell ‘18 lasted five innings and only gave up three runs before Shapiro took over during the sixth to earn the win. Russell struck out three batters, while Shapiro allowed no runs and struck out five batters.

Later that same day, the Bobcats defeated Worcester State 4-3 after another close game. The Bobcats won the game in the bottom of the seventh inning when Dan Trulli ‘19 hit a walkoff single. Relief pitcher Justin Foley ‘19 earned the win, allowing no runs and recording three strikeouts.

“Ever since California, we have proclaimed ourselves to be in the land of execution,” says Avila. “We know we don’t have a big team, so we have been preparing a lot for the small ball aspect of the game, such as bunting and hit and runs.”

“I think one thing that sparked us after California and made us play with more energy, as crazy as it sounds, is a picture of one of our teammates smiling at the camera during batting practice and giving a thumbs up,” Kyle Carter ‘20 remembers. “Coach Martin got hold of the picture and now the awkward-smile-thumbs-up has become our thing, and it gives us so much energy for some reason.”

The Bobcats will continue to build upon their team chemistry and use mementos such as the “awkward-smile-thumbs-up” photo to earn more NESCAC wins. The overarching goal for the team is to get to the NESCAC tournament, and that requires a cohesive team unit.

“We have a young lineup this year, but with great senior leadership and a great pitching staff, we know we have what it takes to not only get to the NESCAC Tournament, but win it,” says Avila. “Since California, our entire outlook has changed, and there is a new sense of energy and focus in the locker room.”

The Bobcats’ games against MIT that were supposed to be scheduled for Sunday, March 18 were postponed but they will look to keep their winning streak Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25 with back-to-back doubleheaders against Salem State and Endicott.

Amy Bass Discusses Her New Book and Lewiston Soccer’s Dream Season

During the fall, members of the Bates community were able to watch Lewiston High School’s boy’s soccer team play their home games on Garcelon Field on the road to a state title. On Wednesday, students got to hear from an alumni and author who wrote a book about the team’s first title run, in 2015, and its importance to the town.

Amy Bass ’92, a sports writer and professor at New Rochelle College in New York State, returned to her alma mater to talk about her newest book. Entitled One Goal: A Coach, A Team, and the Game that Brought a Divided Town Together, the book looks at Lewiston High School’s 2015 state title run in boy’s soccer. In particular, One Goal tells the story of how Lewiston’s coaches were able to bring together white and Somali players behind a common goal.

Bass began the talk by introducing Lewiston High School Soccer Head Coach Mike McGraw, a major presence throughout the book, who was in the audience. McGraw and received applause from the crowd when Bass introduced him. Bass called McGraw, “such a good friend and such an important part of this story.” From there, Bass discussed the process of writing and researching the book and “embedding” herself in the Lewiston community.

“In so many ways this book is a first for me. It’s not an academic book, it’s my first attempt writing nonfiction and to tell story in a way I hadn’t told a story before,” said Bass.

Bass continued by reading a excerpt from her book and discussing the McGraw and team’s frequent use of the word “together,” which she claimed was the single word she heard McGraw say the most during her time with the team. Lewiston’s coaches encouraged white and Somali players to not only spend time together during practice, but also off the field, something that McGraw did see as much of as would have liked initially.

“If you’re going to the store, if your going to class you need to do it together. High fives in the hallway. You need to hang out together…You need to stick up for each other,” read Bass from One Goal, quoting McGraw.

Bass also discussed the process through which the first members of the Somali community to arrive in Lewiston came, as well the tension that it caused. Bass felt that Lewiston’s soccer team has set an example for the rest of the town, and the nation, on a path moving forward as a unified whole. In response to an audience question, Bass said that she saw soccer as a sport was particularly well suited for bringing people from a variety of backgrounds together because of its global popularity. Many of the student members of the audience were Bates’ soccer teams.

After graduating from Bates, Bass received Masters and Doctoral degrees from Stony Brook University. She has One Goal is Bass’s fourth book. Her others have ranged in subject matter from legacy of NAACP founder W.E.B Du Bois to the 1968 Olympics. Bass has won an Emmy Award for work for NBC at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Bates Women’s Tennis Takes on Case Western Reserve, Swarthmore, and Washington and Lee

The women’s team had an exciting weekend playing in the Blue-Grey Invitational with matches on Friday, March 16, Saturday, March 17, and Sunday, March 18. On Friday, No. 17 nationally ranked Case Western Reserve won 7-2, stopping the Bobcat’s five-match win streak. On Saturday, the Bobcats played No. 40 nationally ranked Swarthmore, earning a 5-4 victory. Finally, on Sunday, they unfortunately fell 7-2 to No. 14 nationally ranked Washington and Lee. All matches were held at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

All the girls were excited about the Virginia matches. We had a long weekend, and everyone felt prepared, minus a couple of lingering injuries affecting some members in the starting lineup,” says Maisie Silverman ’18. “Our main goal throughout all our matches was to fight for each other and compete for each other, no matter what team we were playing.”

On Friday, Case Western Reserve swept through the doubles matches with no wins for the Bobcats. In the singles matches, Silverman and first-year Hannah Sweeney ’21 won their matches, earning Bates their only two points for the day. With the Bobcats not off to a good start to the weekend, Silverman knew that the team needed a little inspiration.

“Although we had positive energy during our Friday match, we wanted to improve the energy level and the idea of having “heart from the start” for our Saturday match against Swarthmore,” says Silverman. “Mostly, we wanted our mental game to be engaged from the start of doubles to the very last point in singles. After visualizing with the team and having a goal of how we wanted to be on the court, the doubles team all set out determined to compete from the start of the match—we swept doubles 3-0.”

On Saturday, Bates seized control by winning all three doubles matches. Partners Silverman and Bella Stone ’19 won 8-7 in the No. 1 position. Partners Sweeney and Lauren Hernandez ’20 defeated Swarthmore’s Shirline Wee and Julia Gokhberg 8-5. Finally, partners Suzanne Elfman ’20 and Haley Washington ’21 won 8-6 in the third position.

In the singles play, the Bobcats were able to get the two points they needed with Silverman defeating Wee 6-4 and 6-3 in the No. 1 position and Sweeney winning in the No. 2 position. However, Suzanne Elfman ’20 fell short to Swarthmore’s Scheibmeir 6-3, 2-6, and 6-1, and Hannah Londoner ’19 lost to Ashley Gao 6-1 and 7-5. Sweeney won both her doubles and singles match against Swarthmore.

I felt as though this weekend was a positive experience for the entire team. We fought hard throughout the three days of matches and played well collectively,” says Sweeney. “I think as a team, we successfully persevered through any adversity or obstacles we may have come across.”

On Sunday, Bates gave Washington and Lee a good fight. Bates’ top doubles team of  Silverman and Stone easily defeated Michelle Fleenor and Lauren Hassell 8-6, which raised their record for the season to 5-2. Unfortunately, Washington and Lee took the second and third doubles victories.

Bates held up for three of the six singles matches which included Sweeney’s win against Emily Kochard 6-4 and 7-5, Washington’s tight loss of 6-4, 6-4, and Hernandez’s fall in a tiebreaker with a final score of 6-2, 1-6, and 10-8.

For Sweeney, her win against Washington and Lee’s Emily Kochard marks her eighth straight win for singles match, which also raises her record to 9-1.

“We never gave up, even until the last point on the third day of matches. Going into our next matches, I think we are going to take what we learned this weekend and use it to become mentally stronger and tougher opponents,” says Sweeney. “We have a lot we did well this weekend, and we are going to take that confidence into our next match and use it to play to the best of our ability.”

Overall, the Bobcats had great competition during the weekend and will bring the same energy, attitude, team dynamic, and mental state for their next match against their rival, Tufts, on March 30.

“We played some really great competition and had some very close matches,” says Elfman. “It was a great weekend, and the ’Cats showed a lot of heart out there.”

Have We Become Immune?

Since Trump took office, it feels like every week another high-ranking official gets sacked for menial offenses such as disagreeing with the president or not showing enough loyalty. After the first 100 days, I deleted the news apps on my phone seeking solace from the unstable reality. But silencing the craziness does not change what is occurring, it allows for it to continue and threatens the democratic values of our nation.

As the new slogan of the Washington Post reads “democracy dies in darkness,” thus my own silencing and the sense that many of us have become immune to rash changes poses a problem larger than we all realize.

While members of a president’s cabinet should be generally on the same page regarding policy issues and things of that nature, it feels the agreement and loyalty Trump seeks is unwavering and total admiration. Trump has brought his signature move from The Apprentice to the White House, dismissing four officials including most recently Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and forcing Deputy F.B.I. Director Andrew McCabe to resign just four days before he was set to retire. During his tenure thus far he has also forced resignations from over ten high-ranking officials including Sean Spicer, The Mooch, and Reince Priebus.

Most of these force-outs did not come as a huge surprise to the individual fired, nor many citizens of the nation due to Trump’s constant scrutiny and overt bullying of his colleagues before officially removing them from a position that challenges his authority. After Director McCabe was asked to leave, Trump tweeted “Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hardworking men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy.”

While Trump justifies his actions in the name of democracy and the everyday, hard-working American, he acts in accordance to what serves him the best in each moment without thinking about or understanding consequences of his actions. Are Trump’s actions truly serving the values of democracy or has he increasingly barricaded himself in order to protect and ensure a presidential power trip that focuses on the personality cult he has carefully constructed?

Trump has built his brand as a businessman and now a politician on being a straight shooter who is unafraid to speak his mind no matter how vile his world views have become. As a candidate, he built a base on white fragility and the deconstructing of political correctness, two things he has worked to maintain while in office through executive orders and brash rhetoric.

The thing Trump has failed to recognize is that while he attempts to keep his campaign promises and continue his image, he is in fact doing things he heavily criticized Obama for doing and is not weighing all the effects of his decisions such as the way he is handling the “trade war.” Trump’s constant scrutiny of the press and his obsession with fake news as a central role in his personality cult works to undermine the rights of the free press and works in opposition to the protection of democracy by building uncertainty in the population and positioning himself as the sole bearer of truth.

As we progress through this term especially heading into the midterm elections in November, it is important to be educated and engaged citizens. Standing by the wayside is no longer an option, attempting to ignore hard realities has no place in American society anymore.


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