The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Month: May 2018 (Page 2 of 2)

A Tough Loss for Women’s Lax Team Against Colby

What a game it was for the Bates women’s lacrosse team on April 25 against the No. 18 nationally ranked Colby. In their regular season finale, Colby took the win 8-7 during overtime. Colby’s victory enabled them to clinch a spot in the NESCAC playoffs. Colby’s win unfortunately ended the Bobcats’ chance to do the same.

“I thought the Colby game was our hardest-fought game of the season. We moved the ball fast on the attacking side with composure and our slides and communication on defense were great,” says Caroline Kerrigan ‘20.

Colby completely dominated the first half, with a 4-1 lead before intermission. Colby’s Sasha Fritts scored a pair of bounce shots within the first 62 seconds of the game. Continuing on that momentum, Colby’s Kendell Smith made it 3-0 in the first 5 minutes. Fortunately, our very own Bobcat Teal Otley ‘18 was able to get the first goal for Bates from an e position goal shot at an extreme angle on the left side. With 19:46 minutes left to go in the first half, the Mules were able to regain the three goal lead.

The Bobcats forcefully came back in charge by starting the second half with a pair of goals by Liv Sandford ‘20. At the 28:26 mark, Sanford was able to finish a beautiful pass down the left lane by Camille Belletete ‘18. Then again in the 26:13 mark, Sandford closed the gap to 4-3 when Katie Allard ‘19 found her open in front of Colby’s net. These goals showed the Bobcats’ great and unique team dynamic.

“The team dynamic this season was amazing. We are all very close on and off the field, and I definitely thought that was noticeable on the field this season. We all have so much fun playing with each other, and I think that contributed to how hard we worked this season,” says Kerrigan.

58 seconds after that goal, the Bobcats scored another to tie the game 4-4 with Otley batting in a nice inside feed from Sydney Howard ‘19. The Bobcats were soon able to take its only lead of the game at the 24:02 mark when Otley tallied her third score from a bang-bang play. Then with 18:56 left of the second half, the Mules came back to tie it 5-5 with the goal scored by Bridget Horwood.

Colby’s Fritz was able to put the Mules back into the lead when she scored from a tight angle off the right post. Of course, no surprise, the Bobcats came back again to tie the score with Summer Dias 21’s goal over the keeper’s shoulder. Colby aggressively responded with a go-ahead goal: first year Grace Langmuir drove from the left side to into the middle then turned and swung her stick behind her legs scoring a fantastic goal. With 42 seconds left on the clock, the Bobcats were able to score the tying goal, sending both teams to an exciting sudden-death overtime.

Belletete won the opening draw of overtime for Bates, but with 4:16 left, Colby’s Banks weaved in front of the Bates goal to end the game 8-7 for the win.

Although this is the end of the season for the Bates women’s lacrosse team, they will never forget this last game. The game showed the team’s heart and willpower. These qualities will help them improve for next season.

“There were ups and downs we fought through this season, the same as any other season. I think all of wish we could continue our season, but our grit and determination this season made us improve as individual players and as a team. We fought through every obstacle together, and that made us a better team overall,” says Kerrigan.

Other Schools Party, too: A Review of Bowdoin Ivies

Whilst many a Batesie was enjoying the splendor of Short Term’s first weekend, I ventured south to another small college’s spring party weekend. Bowdoin Ivies, best described as a three-day, all-campus party, vastly differed from what us Batesies experience with school security and party guidelines.

The whole experience started Thursday with a brief AJR concert in their student union. Like the Bates concerts, students were dancing around, bumping and grinding to the music. While technically guests were not allowed, security was relaxed and focused primarily on ensuring the safety of intoxicated students. Consequently, no one seemed to care that a non-Bowdoin student was infiltrating the mix, as long as I remained well-behaved. The concert itself was pretty good; the three-brother group of Alex, Jack, and Ryan Met delivered on their most-popular songs “Sober Up” and “I’m Ready.”

Friday, students in one set of campus apartments host an outdoor party, “Quad Day,” in a small grassy area surrounded by school-owned Brunswick Apartment buildings. They had set up beer pong tables out in the grass next to can-jam and corn hole, while a food truck handed out free poutine to the masses. Another student had set up large speakers and was DJing to a crowd of dancers. As I hung out with friends, I noticed male sports teams in themed tank tops grilling and girls in their Coachella finest, tinted glasses and all.

Meanwhile, Bowdoin Security was watching out for incoherent students, taking away glass bottles, and helping students access the water stations posted around the periphery of the lawn. When one student popped open his bottle of champagne, a security guard walked over and grabbed a red cup off a nearby pong table. He handed the cup to the student, watched as the student emptied the champagne into the cup, then took the glass bottle away.

The events concluded Saturday with more outdoor parties around campus in preparation for the late afternoon concert. As I walked around and tossed a frisbee with friends on their main academic quad, amused prospective families wandered about while students partied on lawns across the Bowdoin campus. One family even stopped us and asked what was going on; most of the time, colleges try to avoid showing prospective students the party life at the school.

Around 4pm, most parties ended and students congregated near the baseball field and athletic facilities. Dining services had prepared a cookout just outside the field house, and students could easily wander around the cookout and into the field house concert venue. Between eating and attending the concert, I threw a football around and caught some of the nearby baseball game. The relaxed atmosphere made it easy for students to calm down and hang out in the last few days of their school year.

Around 5:50pm, DRAM took the stage and headlined a much-anticipated performance. The German-born artist was chosen much like how the Bates CHPB selects performances for our fall concerts; the governing board selects a group of performers within their budget range and sends out a survey for students to complete a few months before the concert date. DRAM was one of the more popular choices and consequently was chosen to come to campus.

DRAM typically is classed in the genres of trap and hip-hop music, two styles I do not enjoy, however, the energy in the crowd made the concert more enjoyable. Students were jumping up and down and pumping their fists in time to the beat, and it was hard to stand still. He performed some of his best-known hits, such as “Broccoli,” and the crowd was ecstatic.

As I drove back to Bates, I wondered whether it was better to have one weekend of crazy parties or five weeks of relaxed fun. Short Term gives us the chance to spread out the shenanigans, and we don’t have many tests or finals. In contrast, Bowdoin students have one weekend of concentrated, much-anticipated partying two weeks before their final exams. While Ivies was definitely a great time, I much prefer the Bates model of moderation and relaxation over the entire five weeks of Short Term.

 

Baseball Heads to NESCAC Tournament

The Bates baseball team is tournament bound. After splitting a doubleheader with Tufts on Saturday, they end the NESCAC regular season in a tie for second place in the NESCAC East Division and enter the tournament for the second season in a row. On this success, Jon Lindgren ’20 says, “Just making it to the playoffs and proving that we’re contenders two years in a row is a great feeling. This team has shown that we’re capable of beating almost anybody when we play to our potential. With the double elimination format of the NESCAC Championship, I think we’re in a great spot to make a run.” Before that however, there are a few more games to play. Captain Jake Shapiro ’18 says, “With playoffs coming up in a few weeks, we’re looking to make sure we continue to play good baseball in the games leading up to the tournament so that we can be ready to perform in the NESCAC tournament.”

    When asked about individual performances this year, Lindgren mentions a slew of people, showcasing the talent that spans the whole roster: “Justin White is leading the team in batting average (.400) and has been tearing it up at the dish lately. Nolan Collins has been dominating on the mound against conference teams (he shoved in his performance against Tufts, striking out 8 against a team that does not strike out that often, boasting a 1.88 ERA in 24 conference innings). Zach Avila is mashing the balls this year batting .333 with 23 Hits and 13 RBIs. Connor Divincenzo has locked down the center field position and been a productive member of the lineup all season. Gee Torres has been hot of late at the dish and has had a smooth transition from playing second, to third.” He continues, “Connor Russell has also been one of our most consistent pitchers on the staff with a 3-2 record, a 4.5 ERA, and 31K. Jake Shapiro has been out lights out closer all year, with a 0.5 ERA, 12.5 Ks per 9, with 18 total innings of work. Jake has also set the career records for saves at Bates College. Not to mention, the consistent contributions of Kyle Carter, Asher Macdonald, Justin Foley, Miles Michaud, Alex Simon, Will Sylvia, Dan Trulli, and Jack Arend. Jack has surprised me the most in his role as an on field leader the season. As only a sophomore he, as well as the seniors, have inspired confidence in many of the players that have been able to play to their full potentials this season.”

Along with this, Shapiro says, “We have had a bunch of guys step up this season in big spots. I think the most impressive part of this year’s team has been the readiness of every player on the roster to make it happen when their names are called.” It seems that the key to success this season has been the ability of everyone to perform. Shapiro mentions players stepping up, while Lindgren provides a variety of examples of impressive performances from throughout the season.

     Clearly, everyone on the team has contributed in various ways this season for the ‘Cats and it has made a huge difference. For two years in a row now, the team will compete in the NESCAC tournament and look to make a deep run. Although they look forward to this, there are still a few games before the tournament begins. This Tuesday they will play at Saint Joseph’s (ME), and then two games against Southern Maine on Wednesday and Saturday. The Saturday game will be at home at noon.

All Walks of Life Are More Important than What Meets the Eye

The Guardian reports that President Trump stated ” I believe in clean air. I believe in crystal- clear, beautiful… I believe in just having good cleanliness in all. Now, with that being said, if somebody said go back into the Paris accord, it would have to be a completely different deal because we had a horrible deal.”

Even though he claims that he stands for clean air, he constantly takes away money from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the organization that brings awareness to environmental issues in the United States. The President of the United States, like many others, has neglected the importance of the environment and how to efficiently take care of it. It seems as though people do not care if the environment, the main source for humans’ water, food, shelter, and other essential resources, is maintained. People rather focus on their individualistic issues, such as race and gender, which is very important, however, due to this one-track mind, people have forgotten about universal issues, such as the hazardous waste that goes into the environment.

This problem becomes very apparent when Trump, doesn’t acknowledge the rapid visibility of climate change and the negative impact it has on the environment and people in general. Trump, consequently, is merely a reflection of the country he serves. Americans, altogether, have developed a very anthropogenic mindset due to the lack of conversation about the environment and how to properly maintain it. Conversely, people have gained this mentality that the environment is there to serve them when, in fact, humans and other living organisms are supposed to work in conjunction with each other. This mentality is specific to Americans.

According to the article, “Use It and Lose: The Outside Effect of U.S. Consumption on the Environment,” America accounts for “thirty percent of the world’s waste, but only five percent of the world’s population.” Additionally, according to “Americans Produce A Shocking Amount of Garbage: Find out Where Your State Ranks- What You Can Do About It” by Reynard Loki, the average American produces about “4.4. pounds of trash every single day, significantly more than the global average of 2.6 pounds.”

These statistics illustrate how the U.S. is only concerned about the people that reside in the U.S., and not people from other countries or the environment itself. This level of selfishness has caused Americans to be blinded to how waste causes landfills that replace the homes of living organisms. This could eventually lead to the extinction of these creatures, as well as an increase in greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. The relevance of this is that the extinction of multiple animal species means less food to eat, and a rapid increase in greenhouse gases can lead to a rise in sea levels causing adverse changes in weather patterns.

In order to prevent these unnatural changes, the U.S. must become more biocentric, and acknowledge how their enormous amount of waste can hurt the world. One way to do this is by reducing, reusing, and recycling, which can decrease the amount of waste produced and help manage a healthier society. The U.S. can start this process early, in elementary school classrooms.

In most public schools, especially in urban areas, there aren’t any recycling bins, so students who have recyclable waste are left with no choice but to throw their items in the trash. I, personally, became desensitized to being wasteful because my school didn’t receive adequate funding for a recycling program, so teachers did not teach students about it and there weren’t any recycling bins provided. It was so bad that one teacher made their own recycle bin that people actually used.

The purpose of a recycling program should be to teach and give students the opportunity to recycle because students are more likely to do so if it is offered. However, if more recycling bins were placed in public schools and teachers were able to focus their curriculum on recycling, students could be more inclined to do it.

By teaching the younger generation about the importance of recycling, the U.S. will be building a foundation for society toward success because it encourages people to fix the mistakes their ancestors have made, as well as to not repeat the same mistakes.

 

4 Hands +1 Piano

The first academic week of short term ended with an amazing performance put on by James Parakilas and Duncan Cummings ’93 in the Olin Arts Concert Hall on Friday night. The audience was treated to phenomenal piano music from composers such as Mozart, von Weber, Poulenc, Schubert, and so many more. What was most striking about the evening was not the music itself that was played, which was incredible, but the fact that Parakilas and Cummings were performing together on a singular piano!

All those who attended the concert looked to be in awe of how both pianists worked together to put on an experience so unique compared to a normal piano performance. The two worked simultaneously and seemingly effortlessly together as they played works from famous musicians, provoking a strong applause from the audience at the end of the night. As a student attending the concert, I was not only blown away by the level of skill that these two performers had, but also that they were past students and faculty. I actually consider this fact the best part of the performance, as it gave me a strong sense of pride for Bates and for the education that all Bates students are given. The performance also allowed Bates students to witness a product of the education that they are currently being given; something that is quite inspiring.

The combination of a past Bates professor with an alumnus allowed for a more personal musical experience for all Bates students, because it allowed us to see how enriching the Bates learning experience can be. Parakilas is a professor emeritus here and taught courses on music history and culture, as well as music theory and performance. He currently coaches student chamber groups in his spare time. He holds a doctorate from Cornell University and is the James L. Moody, Jr. Family Professor Emeritus of Performing Arts at Bates. He has many works published such as the book Ballads Without Words: Chopin and the Tradition of the Instrumental Ballade and the textbook The Story of Opera (forthcoming from W. W. Norton). Cummings, his counterpart of the evening, is a music professor from Albany, New York and a 1993 Bates graduate. To watch Cummings, a product of the Bates music department, work alongside a past professor from Bates demonstrated to the audience just how strong of a bond can be formed between members of the Bates community. It also allowed current Bates students to see how talented Bates’s music department is, and how it provides a lasting impact on Bates students for many years after graduation. Seeing two people whose lives have both been touched by Bates perform together, hand in hand, shows an amazing bond that Bates instills in students through education.

In conclusion, being able to watch the two pianists provide an amazing musical performance to all who attended gave me a strong sense of pride for being a part of the Bates community. The experience was especially heartwarming knowing that these performers were not just some random musicians coming to perform on campus, but rather two people who have been a part of the Bates community and still continue to come back in order to enrich the lives of current Bates Students. Thank you, Professor Parakilas and Mr. Cummings for performing, and please do again soon!

 

Fake News, Real Consequences

 

In an impassioned address to a joint meeting of Congress last week, French President Emmanuel Macron railed against “the ever-growing virus of fake news, which exposes our people to irrational fear and imaginary risks.” That tabloid journalism stirs public passions and tills the soil for erratic, knee-jerk political behavior is nothing new. Look no further than the explosion of the USS Maine, an American naval ship, in the port of Havana in 1898. Even as the sinking remained a mystery – if anything, the evidence suggested a technical malfunction – the 19th century yellow press hastened to spill an ink of blame on Spain, using unverified facts and scandalous headlines to catapult Washington into the Spanish-American War.

At its core, fake news of today is no different from the older iteration; unmoored from reality, fake news sows seeds of disinformation and begets chaos. What has changed is the scope of impact. With the advent of internet and social media, fake news – as well as hostile groups and states perpetrating it – have gained a new platform, making the need to fight against the virus of “irrational fear and imaginary risks” ever more acute on our end. Yet, the West is not prepared to wage a winning battle against fake news… At least not now, when the only question we find ourselves, our leaders, and fellow consumers of media asking is how to stop the flow of fake news. By obsessing over the ‘how’, we all too often fail to ponder why fake news is able to find so much resonance in the first place.

Do not get me wrong, going after the means and ways fake news uses to penetrate our social fabric is important. This means clamping down on illicit foreign funding that makes dissemination of falsehood possible; holding Western-based social media and telecommunication corporations to the loftiest security standard to ensure that cases of identity impersonation and bots are outliers rather than the new normal; and identifying government-backed propaganda bullhorns, such as Russia Today and Sputnik News, accordingly.

The ultimate solution, however, lies in recognizing that although news might be fake, issues and problems that lead people to believe them are very real. These issues include an education system that does not prepare citizens to be skeptical towards media and double-check sources. The world where people are so tired of uncertainty, that is is simply easier for them to buy into the black or white narrative of fake news where blame is most often levelled against one person. The best way to stemming the flow of fake news is through addressing these issues at home.

 

Reviewing 211 Days and a Lifetime in Art

On Friday, April 6, the 2018 Senior Thesis Exhibition opened to the public. Every year, the show is one of the most well-attended events at the Bates College Museum of Art, and for good reason. The show is the product of a full year of preparation for 14 splendid graduating seniors. It has been 211 days since the first day of this academic year and the beginning of their projects, but the show unveils much more than that — it unveils deep passion and sense of place. The works speak more than my words ever could.

There is an array of media in this exhibition: drawing, painting, sculptures, hand-drawn animations, photography, and ceramics — and behind every medium a couple of familiar names. For me, part of the punch of this show comes from seeing that the artists are my friends, classmates, and acquaintances. They are the person who held the door for me last Tuesday, or that course mate who was always sketching during class. The Senior Thesis Exhibition reminds me of how incredibly talented and fortunate Bates is. This show is inevitably permeated by a sense of place and community, which were visible in the curiosity of the visitors who flooded the museum on April 6.

Leading to the show, the 14 exhibiting artists worked closely with Robert Feintuch, Senior Lecturer in Art and Visual Culture. Feintuch, who is leaving Bates this year, has been organizing and installing the Senior Thesis Exhibition shows ever since he joined Bates in 1976. In an email interview, he told me the first show he organized took place in Chase Hall, prior to the opening of the Olin Arts Center in 1986! “He has done it many times before, and so, I felt that I was working with a professional who knows how to make his voice known, while also balancing the voices and options of all the artists. He is a true mentor,” Sophie Olmstead ’18, one of the exhibiting artists, revealed.

“I think, for me, the best part of it has been seeing what happens when smart students make working the center of their lives,” Feintuch revealed. In a number of exchanges we had, Feintuch always seemed passionate about working with seniors, often mentioning the intimacy that comes with teaching art. Feintuch helped to select, organize, and place the over 150 artworks at the museum. “I enjoy the challenge of working out an installation that makes individual students’ work look strong and that, at its best, also makes interesting juxtapositions and connections,” he added.

In the relationship between Feintuch and the 14 seniors, I found one example of the close relationships that make Bates the place it is. Community seems visibly important in the 2018 Senior Thesis Exhibition, even if not always intentionally. If there is one thing that this show reminded me of, it is that an art piece is not a self-contained end goal, and it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Art has an impact in the world. No wonder the show seem like the product of much more than 211 days of work — the pieces are the product of a lifetime of learning and sharing.

Max Breschi ’18, an exhibiting potter, found a concrete example of what I feel in regards to this show. The artist created an installation of utilitarian pottery as a way to give back to the L/A community for his years at Bates College. The installation asks that the viewer choose a pot that speaks to them. Every day, a person can leave with a piece from his installation. Since seeing the 2018 Senior Thesis Exhibition, I feel like I have been walking around with my hands full of “metaphorical pottery” that I carry around.

More than a celebration of talent, the show makes me thankful for the friendship and collaboration I’ve learned to cultivate at Bates since arriving here. If there is a connecting thread that runs through an exhibition as diverse as this one, it would be that art is exchange.

The show is free and open until May 26, 2018. All are welcome.

Berger ’19 and French ’18 Make Seussical Their Own

Each year, during the fourth week of short term, yellow school buses arrive on campus to transport Lewiston preschoolers, kindergartners, and elementary school kids to see the Short Term musical. The Robinson Players, Bates’s student-run theatre group, puts on the show as a community engagement project, connecting the Bates and Lewiston communities through theatre.

Performing the Short Term musical is a unique highlight of the Bates experience for many. The energy of the schoolkids as an audience is always so full of wonder and enthusiasm. Singing, dancing, and creating a magical world for young audiences through the show is rewarding and fun.

This year, the magical world being created for the Lewiston schoolchildren is “Seussical,” a musical that is comprised of the works and stories of Dr. Seuss. The show follows Jojo, a young child, who thinks up an entire Seussian world, and then navigates it with the help of The Cat in the Hat. Along the way, Jojo encounters Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Mayzie La Bird, The Sour Kangaroo, many other fascinating creatures.

The rehearsal process for the Short Term musical is like no other. Auditions are held before finals week in April, and the show is cast before April break. Students rehearse daily for three weeks and perform five weekday shows during the fourth week of Short Term.

In choosing to put on Seussical, co-directors Rebecca Berger ’19 and Hope French ’18 picked the show for the wonderful messages it sends young audiences. Berger explained that the show exemplifies that, “You don’t need to change yourself to be liked by other people.” “My life, and the lives of the women around me, have been affected by what society has told us that we need to change, in order to be liked or respected or noticed.” Seussical tells audiences, “You are who you are, and people will like you for who you are.”

French echoed that the show urges kids to accept themselves and tells them that, “Being yourself is the best way of being,” and that, “People matter, no matter who they are or what they are.” “I want the kids to come and have a learning experience,” and “take in the spectacle” of the Seussical, French explains. She hopes young audiences realize that learning about Seussical’s important messages “really can be done in a fun and exciting way.”

In creating a unique and vital learning experience for the young Lewiston audiences, Berger and French utilized some of the show’s messages when making casting decisions. “These magical characters can be genderless,” says Berger. “Gender/sexuality don’t need to really exist in the Seussian world.”

In Berger and French’s “Seussical,” characters traditionally played by females will be played by males, and vice versa. And, Justin Demers ’18 and Zach Collester ’19 were cast as the adorable Mr. Mayor and Mr. Mayor, instead of the show’s traditionally heterosexual mayoral couple. “What you see on the page or on the screen doesn’t have to necessarily be the way it is,” explains Berger.

Casting decisions such as these are incredibly important, especially when they are being imparted on such young minds. When watching the show, Berger hopes the kids see that “every person should be seen, heard, and respected: no matter their size, gender, sexuality, race; anything.” “They still exist and should be respected and have the same rights as everyone else.”

The Robinson Players’ production of “Seussical” will run from May 14 to 18. Though the performances are mainly for the Lewiston school children, there will be one Monday night performance for the Bates community.

Berger looks forward telling the kids to be whatever they want through the show. “This is a crazy world!” And French hopes audiences, young and old alike, “have fun.” “Seussical is so exciting.”

 

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