The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Swim & Dive Pounces on Panthers

The Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving teams came out strong in their first meet since the start of winter break, each team solidly beating Middlebury last Sunday, Jan. 13, in the Panther’s home pool. This marks Bates’s fifth victory over a NESCAC opponent this season, each team having only lost to Div. I Dartmouth earlier this season. The Bobcats will be back in action this weekend, swimming two dual meets against Bowdoin on Friday, Jan. 18 at home in Tarbell Pool at 7 p.m. and at Colby in Waterville, Maine on the 19.

Men

The Men’s Swim and Dive team won a decisive victory against Middlebury 192-102, taking first in nine of the 14 individual events and both relays. Additionally, Bates dominated the 200-yard freestyle, going 1-2-3 in this event to earn 16 points, almost doubling their point total in one fell swoop at the conclusion of the third event.

First-year Andrew Hall ‘22 placed first in the 100-yard butterfly (53.76) and 400-yard individual medley (IM) (4:15.30) and second in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:00.69), earning the most individual points by any one swimmer for Bates at 22.

However, this meet was won by many spectacular performances by various athletes. Alex Bedard ‘19 earned two first place finishes in the 200-yard freestyle (1:47.51) and 200-yard breaststroke (2:11.30). Jack Johnson ‘22 similarly found success in this meet, placing first in the 200-yard butterfly (2:00.94) and second in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:13.29) and 400-yard IM (4:16.62).

Rory Collins ‘19 sprinted to a first place finish in the 50-yard freestyle in a mark of 22.16 and received a second place finish in the 100-yard freestyle (48.77). Pieter Cory ‘22 similarly won first in the 100-yard breaststroke and earned a second place finish in the 500-yard freestyle.

Rounding out these numerous individual performances were Tanner Fuller ‘20 with his win in the 100-yard freestyle (48.39), Daniel Waterland ‘22 in the 100-yard backstroke (53.33) and second place finishes by Alexander Ignator ‘20 in the 1650-yard freestyle (16:56.31), Kyle Jorgensen ‘22 in the 200-yard freestyle (1:47.60) and Matt Puckace ‘19 in the 100-yard butterfly (54.37).

The two wins in each of the relays were similarly critical to the team’s success. In the 200-yard medley relay, composed of Waterland, Bedard, Hall and Fuller, Bates won with a final time of 1:36.89; the 200-yard freestyle relay of Cory, Collins, Waterland, and Fuller beat three competing Middlebury teams in 1:27.56, ending the meet with a final victory.

This year, the men’s swim and dive team welcomed two divers into their midst. In both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events, Ossie Heard and Sam Poulos picked up points, placing second (208.35/210.53) and third (152.40/151.28) in each, respectively.

“We are right in the middle of our toughest stretch of meets with rivals Bowdoin and Colby coming up this week, so we will have to be at our very best to secure two wins for the men,” Collins said. “Bowdoin is our biggest rival and the meets are always extremely close between us…Bowdoin is a very talented team so I am hoping we can get a big home crowd to show up for our senior night and we can deliver a win. Once again our divers will be crucial in this meet and I am confident that they will come ready to give it their all.”

Women

The Women’s Swim and Dive team similarly overcame the Middlebury Panthers, but by a smaller margin of 163.5-130.5. Many of these points were hard fought, and the second, third, fourth, and fifth place finishes were much more critical to the success of the women’s team.

Leading the team in individual scoring was Erin Bucki ‘21 who won both the 200-yard freestyle (1:58.62) in an outside lane and the 200-yard backstroke (2:10.22) and Emmy Daigle ‘20 who won the 100-yard breaststroke (1:07.71) and the 200-yard breastroke (2:29.72). Each of these swimmers earned 18 individual points for Bates.

Also playing a key role in Bates’ victory was Hannah Johnson ‘20, winning the 100-yard backstroke (1:00.30) and placing second in the 200-yard backstroke (2:10.29), first-year Saskia Wong-Smith earning a first place finish in the 200-yard butterfly (2:15.19) and a second place mark in the 100-yard butterfly (1:00.34), and first-year Caroline Sweeney who similarly took first in the 100-yard freestyle (54.70) and second in the 200-yard freestyle (1:58.80), outpacing a Middlebury swimmer in the last few seconds of the race.

Caroline Apathy ‘21 placed first in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 59.04. Maya Reynoso Williams ‘22 earned second in the 1550-yard freestyle (18:25.74) and in the 500-yard freestyle (5:19.62). Amy Duren ‘20 placed second in the 200-yard butterfly (2:15.29).

While Bates may have lost the first relay of the meet, the 200-yard medley, to Middlebury by less than 0.30 seconds, they finished the meet off with an exciting performance in the 200-yard freestyle relay composed of Suzy Ryckman ‘19, Janika Ho ‘21, Sweeney, and Apathy. These swimmers won the relay with a time of 1:39.52, a brisk 0.14 seconds in front of Middlebury.

“The season has been going really well for us,” team captain Madeline Moburg ‘19 commented. “We are a very young group this year, with ten first years and seven sophomores on a 28 person team. This has made things super fun as there is a lot of energy on the team, and we have a lot of depth which certainly helps us to win meets. We had a blast in Florida on our annual training trip and put in a lot of hard work, and are ready for the next couple of dual meets this weekend before we start focusing on our big end-of-season meets.”

Unfortunately, the women’s swim and dive team does not currently include any diving members, so the two diving events were forfeited to Middlebury, giving them 32 points without contest.

“Bowdoin will be the toughest meet of the semester for both the women’s and men’s teams,” captain Catherine Mullen ‘19 said. “Without divers we are going to swim our best and secure as many top finishes as we can. As it is our last home meet of the season and the senior meet, it is sure to be exciting at Tarbell this Friday at 7pm.”

MIT MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Meet for Indoor Track

Last Saturday, the women’s Track and Field team traveled down to Cambridge, Mass. to compete against MIT and Colby for their first meet of the indoor season. This meet served as an ideal opportunity for the Bobcats to show their abilities after several weeks of preseason training.

The meet ultimately resulted in Bates finishing with 117 points, beating Colby’s 60 but coming in second to MIT’s 155. In addition to this strong team showing, many individual athletes put forward impressive performances in various events, with seven of the events being won by Bates.

“I think you have to go into the first meet with an understanding that it’s just a starting point and there is so little pressure on you,” commented senior captain Katie Hughes ’19. “For some, it was their first college meet; for others, it was their first indoor track meet. This is to say that my wildest expectations were surpassed by all of the performances on Saturday.”

The sprinters had multiple successful races. With a time of 27.58 seconds, first-year Rebecca Willis ’22 won the 200-meter dash handily. Sophie Matt ’22, another first-year, ran 1:02.61 to win the 400-meter dash, a great start to her indoor track career at Bates. The 60-meter hurdles was also dominated by Bates, as sophomore Amanda Kaufman ’21 crossed the finish line in first place at 9.33 seconds, followed by Willis in second place at 9.54 seconds.

Distance and middle-distance runners had a good showing as well. In the 1000-meter run, senior captain Ayden Eickhoff ’19 won with a time of 2:57.19, breaking her own Bates record from last year (2:57.24) in the process. This continued improvement bodes well for the rest of the season.

Additionally, the 600-meter run saw terrific opening races from Bates; although the first place spot went to MIT, first-years Elise Lambert ’22 and Mary Corcoran ’22 gained second and third with times of 1:40.52 and 1:41.39 respectively.

There were also notable performances in the field events. Senior captain Katie Hughes ’19 took first place in the shot put by throwing 11.16 meters. Hughes also won the weight throw with a distance of 14.42 meters. Sophomore Genesis Paulino ’21 gained third place in both events as well, throwing 9.90 meters in the shot put and 13.28 meters in the weight throw. In jumps, Kaufman took second for the long jump with 5.01 meters, and Lambert overcame 1.53 meters in the high jump for second place.

The Bates team for the 4×400-meter relay was victorious with an overall time of 4:12.8. Senior captains Sarah Shoulta ’19 and Andrea Russo ’19 along with sophomores Kaufman and Imani Boggan ’21 put forth the speed, effort, and teamwork necessary to beat out MIT in the end by just under two seconds. This exciting meet revealed a determination and growth on the team that will hopefully carry on for many meets to come.

In just their first meet, four first-year athletes qualified for the New England Division III Championship. Willis’ performance in the 60-m hurdles, Lambert and Corcoran’s efforts in the 600-meter run and Lauren Berube’s ’22 mark of 3.10 meters in the pole vault each earned them the opportunity to compete against many other talented athletes in New England.

Even though it may be easy to get caught up with the times and placements and scores in a meet like this, Hughes took a more holistic approach to the overall success of the team. “While there were definitely some strong individual performances on Saturday, I feel as though the most crucial piece of our success as a whole is that everyone showed up to MIT and did what they needed to do,” she said. “Whether they showed up ready to compete, or showed up ready to help film and to be supportive, everyone did what they needed to contribute to the success of the team.”

In regards to the overall potential of the team this year, Head Coach Jay Hartshorn is optimistic. “I am excited to see where the season goes,” she said. “We have an extra week before [the New England Division III Championships], so [there’s] lots of time to get back some of our injured people and then really see what we can do. It’s a young team which is always really exciting.”

There’s Still Hope for Men’s Basketball

Starting the year 4-12 isn’t the way they drew it up, but there are still plenty of reasons to watch the Men’s Basketball team this season. This past weekend, the team welcomed the Middlebury Panthers and the Williams Ephs for two home conference games. For those who don’t know, Middlebury and Williams are consistently two of the top teams in the NESCAC and this year is no exception. Middlebury was 11-4 coming into the game and Williams sat at 13-0 while holding a No. 3 national ranking. Despite coming out of the weekend with two losses, there are several positives and definite building points for the guys moving forward.

 SARAH DUPONT/THE BATES STUDENT
Jeff Spellman ‘20 looks for a pass.

After starting the season on a bad note, Head Coach Jon Furbush recently decided to implement a 1-3-1 zone to try and throw a different look at teams that weren’t used to facing this defense. The goal of this zone is to apply constant pressure to the ball while hopefully forcing a trap and getting a steal. Because it often involves a double-team, one man on the opponent’s team is left open and a sequence of good passes can result in an open 3-pointer. What Middlebury did right was remain calm under pressure and not let Bates bait them into making too many bad passes. It also felt like they hit every single shot that they took, and the stats show that this feeling wasn’t totally unfair. On the way to putting up 100 points, the Panthers made 17 of 33 total 3-point shots, resulting in an impressively high 51.5% rate from beyond the arc. The game was close most of the way and never got totally out of hand, but Middlebury hit just enough shots to sneak away with a win.

The Williams game was a completely different story. Bates jumped ahead early and even got the lead up to 14 points midway through the first half. The Ephs are an incredibly talented team who shoot the ball very well generally, but they struggled mightily against the 1-3-1 zone. They visibly looked uncomfortable at times and turned the ball over quite often on silly mistakes. Although the Bobcats led much of the way, outcome was much like the night before.

Williams battled to stay in the game and they eventually were able to pull away at the very end because of their immense talent and size.

Most of the time an 0-2 weekend isn’t worth focusing on, much less writing about, but this wasn’t your typical 0-2 weekend. Single-digit losses against one of the top teams in the conference and one of the top teams in the nation isn’t a terrible showing from a squad that has really struggled at times this season.

The next test on the schedule comes this Saturday at 3pm when the Tufts Jumbos come to town in what will be a very winnable game for the Bobcats. Tufts is a good team that has played well this season, but they don’t quite have the same talent that we see on rosters like Middlebury and Williams. Hopefully the Bates faithful will pack the gym and make it a fun one to be at for another huge NESCAC matchup this weekend.

Men’s Track & Field Comes Down to Wire with MIT

The men’s track and field team set a high standard in their first meet of the season against MIT and Colby, placing second to MIT with a tight score of 149-140. This disparity of nine points marks what is likely the best performance Bates has shown at this annual meet against MIT.

 PHYLLIS GRABER JENSEN/BATES COLLEGE
Miles Nabritt ‘21 (left) won the 400 m dash in a time of 52.08 seconds. Mark Fusco ‘19 (right) took second in the 600 m and anchored the winning 4×800 m team

This meet was highly suspenseful; both teams traded off the lead for much of the meet, making every point earned on the track and in the field vital to the tight finish.

The highest total point scorer of the team was junior captain Brendan Donahue ‘20 with a total of 16 points earned on both the track, placing first in the 60 m hurdles (9.06), and in the field with a second place finish in the long jump (6.42 m) and a fourth place finish in the high jump (1.82 m).

Ryan Nealis ‘21 ran one of the most stunning races of the meet in the mile, placing first with a time of 4:21.72. Taking the lead in one of the final few laps, he pressed the pace and earned himself a two-second lead by the finish. Additionally, Nealis ran the 800 m placing second (2:00.84) followed closely by Jackson Elkins ‘22 in third (2:00.96).

“Ryan Nealis [ran an] excellent mile, [got a] huge PR [and] beat a very talented All-American runner from MIT,” Head Coach Al Fereshetian commented. “Great double coming back and [he] nearly pulled off the double win considering his competitors in the 800 m were all fresh.”

In the short sprints, Ryan Corley ‘19 played a key role in earning Bates 13 points, placing first in the 60 m dash (7.23) and second in the 200m dash (23.30). In the 400m, Miles Nabritt ‘21 won a convincing race in 52.08 seconds, 1.42 seconds faster than second place. Mark Fusco ‘19 earned second place in the 600 m, running a time of 1.26.76.

In the throws, John Rex ‘21 led the way for the Bobcats with a second place finish in the weight throw (16.77 m) and a third place finish in the shot put (14.44 m). Both of these events had some of the largest fields of contestants in the meet, with 12 and 13 throwers respectively. Quin Trent ‘22 scored Bates points in the triple jump with a second place mark of 10.81.

In the 1000 m, John Mieszczanski ‘22 ran a time of 2:36.19 to place second in the event. Closely following this race was the 3000 m race, the only distance event of the meet. In this race, Bart Rust ‘22 and James Jones ‘20 crossed the finish line together in third (8:57.33) and fourth (8:58.21) places respectively.

Bates finished off a strong meet with an exciting set of relay races. The Bobcats fell to MIT in the 4×400 m, finishing in 3:37.18 composed of Nabritt, Frank Fusco ‘19, Liam Evans ‘22, and Elijah Coyne ‘21. In the last relay of the meet, the 4×800 m team of Christopher Barker ‘21, Elkins, Mieszczanski and Mark Fusco, the cheering from Bates was deafening. Bates and MIT were neck and neck going into the last leg of the relay, run by Fusco, as Bates erupted with excitement. With Fusco confidently taking the lead, MIT hung on for a time and then dropped off perceptively as Bates went on to win the race in 8:17.10 to MIT’s 8:25.11.

Overall, Bates preformed spectacularly in this meet; this success is even more apparent in comparison to last year’s meet, where Bates was unable to earn a single point in the 60 m and 200 m dashes and the high jump.

“It’s good to see so much young talent developing on the team,” team captain Mark Fusco said. “I think it helped us at MIT and it’s likely going to be our team’s greatest strength later in the season.”

In meets involving only three participating teams, points can only be earned by the top two runners from each school, differing from other types of scoring which focuses more heavily on placement regardless of team affiliation.

“This was a very good start for us,” Coach Fresh said. “Generally MIT doubles our score in this meet…This scoring system does have the effect of keeping the meet close; however, MIT does not currently have the depth they have had in previous years, so it may have played to their advantage a bit.”

Ski Teams Impress at St. Lawrence Carnival

Most Bobcats finished their travel plans as they transitioned back into another semester at Bates. The Nordic and Alpine Ski teams, however, could not get too comfortable in Maine. Both teams drove six hours to Lake Placid, New York, for their first Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association Carnival race of the year, the St. Lawrence Carnival. The carnival spanned two days, Jan. 12-13, with Bates’s Nordic and Alpine Ski teams combining to score 331 carnival points, finishing 9th out of 17 participating teams. Nordic competed at Mt. Van Hoevenburg, while Alpine raced on Whiteface Mountain.

DENNIS CURRAN/COURTESY PHOTO
Kayelyn Woods ‘20 led thewomen’s Nordic Ski team to their 7th place finish, earning 16th place in the 5K and 14th in the 10K races


For the Nordic team, on Jan. 12, Kaelyn Woods ’20 placed 16th out of 98 competitors in the women’s 5K freestyle. She completed the grueling course in a brisk 16:35.1. Maya Seckinger ’21 placed 39th, Olivia Skillings ’22 debuted in 44th, and Zoe McKinney placed 49th. These Bobcats finished with times of 17:32.5, 17:39.8, and 17:58.5 respectively, rounding out the carnival’s top 50 times. On the men’s team, Brad Ravenelle ’21 led the Bobcats in 58th place out of 102 individuals in the 10K freestyle race and completed the course in 30:44.2. Henry Raff ’22, captain Carter Ros ’21, and Tucker Barber ’21 were not too far behind, finishing 60th, 63rd, and 66th respectively.

On the Alpine Ski team’s mountain on opening day, Griffin Mueller ’20, who qualified and competed at the NCAA Championships last year, placed 16th in the women’s slalom. Mueller had runs of 49.19 and 51.00 seconds for a combined time of 1:40.19. Tess Coutu ’22 started her alpine ski career with a combined time of 1:44.47, which put her in 27th place. For the men’s team, Arie Van Vuuren ’22 finished 16th in the slalom while Joe Gillis ’21 placed 27th in 1:39.69. After this first day of competition, the Nordic and Alpine Ski teams stood in ninth place out of 17 teams, with 239 carnival points.

“Last year we had a great season and saw the team have some of its best results for years,” Muller said. “We would love to see a little more consistency this year and want to make sure we are getting faster throughout the season…This year’s squad stands out because we are still such a young team and are grounded by just a few upper-classmen with the bulk of the team members and the energy especially coming from the freshman and sophomores on the team,” she continued. “Also, the team has so much passion and energy driving them it is going to lead to great results.”

“Although ski is a very individual sport, since you’re the only one racing down the mountain, it’s also about the team that supports one another,” West added. “So, a goal for this season is to get as many athletes to NCAAs as we can by cheering each other on and pushing everybody in training.”

The final day of the carnival saw Nordic’s Woods finish 14th out 98 competitors in the women’s 10K classical technique race. She covered the course in 35:52.7. Seckinger ‘21 and Skillings ’22 finished second and third for the Bobcats, completing the course in 30th and 36th with times of 37:20.8 and 38:23.0. On the men’s side, Raff led the Bobcats, finishing the 10K course in 31:22.8, Ros placed 57th in 32:02.2 and Barber rounded off the scorers in 58th.

For Alpine, Gillis completed the men’s giant slalom races with a career best 19th place finish. Max Schneider ’21 tied for 32nd place out of 64 competitors with a time of 2:17.4. Calvin Wilson ’22 placed 42nd in 2:19.01. On the women’s side, Hannah West lead the way in 25th out of 73 competitors. Coutu finished her debut in 33rd place with a time of 2:28.25.

Overall, the carnival was successful for both teams, with Bates scoring 331 points and securing 9th out of 17 teams. The Nordic and Alpine teams hope to continue their success at the UNH Carnival at the Jackson Ski Touring Center in Jackson, New Hampshire this weekend, Jan. 18-19.

“I hope this team can stand in the top five at some of our carnivals,” Mueller said. “The most immediate goal I have for is to improve upon every weekend and be around to push each other.”

“Although ski is a very individual sport, since you’re the only one racing down the mountain, it’s also about the team that supports one another,” West added. “So, a goal for this season is to get as many athletes to NCAAs as we can by cheering each other on and pushing everybody in training.”

The final day of the carnival saw Nordic’s Woods finish 14th out 98 competitors in the women’s 10K classical technique race. She covered the course in 35:52.7. Seckinger ‘21 and Skillings ’22 finished second and third for the Bobcats, completing the course in 30th and 36th with times of 37:20.8 and 38:23.0. On the men’s side, Raff led the Bobcats, finishing the 10K course in 31:22.8, Ros placed 57th in 32:02.2 and Barber rounded off the scorers in 58th.

For Alpine, Gillis completed the men’s giant slalom races with a career best 19th place finish. Max Schneider ’21 tied for 32nd place out of 64 competitors with a time of 2:17.4. Calvin Wilson ’22 placed 42nd in 2:19.01. On the women’s side, Hannah West lead the way in 25th out of 73 competitors. Coutu finished her debut in 33rd place with a time of 2:28.25.

Overall, the carnival was successful for both teams, with Bates scoring 331 points and securing 9th out of 17 teams. The Nordic and Alpine teams hope to continue their success at the UNH Carnival at the Jackson Ski Touring Center in Jackson, New Hampshire this weekend, Jan. 18-19.

“I hope this team can stand in the top five at some of our carnivals,” Mueller said. “The most immediate goal I have for is to improve upon every weekend and be around to push each other.”

On Getting Through Your Final Semester…

Primarily and above all else: keep calm. Don’t get caught up in how many days you have left to get a job, find an apartment, and emotionally process the enormous change you’re about to experience. Unless having a countdown app on your phone will motivate you in a strictly positive and rewarding way, don’t grant yourself that sort of information on a constant basis.

If (and when) time feels like it’s slipping through your fingers by the second and you convince yourself that you’ve already failed, remember nothing bad, disastrous, unfixable has actually happened. You haven’t wasted time or missed any deadlines yet. And I use “yet” to signal the reality that life is both unpredictable and ever-changing. Of course you’ll hit bumps in the road, you’ll be forced to re-route, you’ll make sharp left turns and be brought to places and situations you would’ve never considered before– you might exclusively utilize driving metaphors when discussing the future. And amidst all the spontaneity, you’ll adapt. You’ll accrue experiences that will equip you to to become comfortable with, and maybe even expect, a moderate amount of change. You’ll see new challenges as opportunities to grow and your personal evolution will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

That being the case, become comfortable with the unknown. Securing your first post-grad position is tough! I should know, I’m currently trying to do so. Unless you’re already a successful expert in the industry in which you’re applying, you’ll have to learn to trust the process. Sure, it would be easier if we all received a magical letter offering us a full-time position and housing immediately upon graduation. But the beauty in maturing and entering this new stage of our lives is that we, for the first time, don’t know what comes next. Don’t expect the worst and don’t expect it to all be perfect. Expect that you’ll learn, change, and grow, allowing you to flourish into a tougher, more worldly version of yourself.

For some of us, the knowledge that our future plans are so certainly uncertain is both a deterrent for motivation and a catalyst for hopelessness; a fast-track to “why even apply to this fellowship if they probably won’t even look at my resume?” Questions like that will drop you headfirst into a vat of darkness and unproductivity. So, keep busy. Job boards and LinkedIn searches will provide you with a vast amount of potential applications and you might feel overwhelmed. That’s par for the course! Make a list of the positions that interest you, and then create a schedule to help plan when you’ll apply for them.

Become an active participant in your own job search; strategize. Do the extra work for applications that will feel like an accomplishment in and of themselves, throw your resume in the hat for the internship that you think you have a shot at getting. Don’t wait on the sidelines of your own life because you don’t know how things will turn out. Find a balance, and get to work.

But… don’t lose your sanity. Don’t spend every waking minute looking for jobs, checking your email, and feeling discouraged. Know when it’s time to shut your computer or talk to a friend about how mind-boggling this whole process can be. Productivity comes in multiplicitous forms: doing work for classes in which you’re currently enrolled is productive, giving your all to extracurriculars and enjoying yourself is productive, and making lasting friendships and relationships is productive. Relate to each other; time won’t speed up or slow down once we’ve graduated. Be here, now.

Appreciate the life you’ve shaped for yourself. Bask in the glory of knowing that a few years ago, you had no idea how you’d make it through 8 semesters, countless essays and tests, finals weeks, and a least one thesis all while navigating the trials and tribulations of making friends and finding your people. You’ve done it all once. You’ll be able to find your place again.

Meditating on and writing about transitioning into post-grad life assuages the fears and anxieties that reside in the nooks and crannies of my psyche. Check in on your friends, ask professors for guidance, and don’t lose faith that everything will turn out just fine. Treat this semester as a victory lap, not as a disastrous and frazzled ending.

Motivation with Maru

Hullo hullo my feisty friends! How goes it? I hope this fresh installment of MWM finds you well and warm whenever and wherever you’re reading this, and that the new semester is being good to you thus far! In this shpeel I’m going to dish out some tips for starting the new year on a high note here at Bates:

Want to start going to the gym Monday, Wednesday, and Friday but haven’t worked it into your schedule yet? Want to get a jumpstart on your fieldwork for your Education class but haven’t gotten in touch with your host teacher yet? THE TIME IS NOW. Stop dreaming and start DOING!

  • “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain… a fan-freaking-tabulous quote to help motivate you! If you have a looming deadline or responsibility, jump in head first to get it under your belt ASAP!
  • Have a fitness/nutrition/wellness New Year’s resolution that you haven’t started tackling yet? The time IS now! Think of this goal or resolution as if it were a mountain: you have to start the climb sometime soon in order to reach the top!
  • Think BIG in order to hype yourself up! When you sit down to grind out some textbook reading or to cross-train instead of practicing with your team, think of mood-boosting quotes that are on the sillier side of things, such as “LET’S GET THIS BREAD” or “FULL SEND, BOIIIII” to make the situation more positive and fun! The “grind” is as difficult and/or negative as you make it. If you put out groovy and glowing energy thou shall receive the same in return!

Wishing y’all the best of luck with the new semester, take care of yourself and GO FOR IT! It’s 2019, the world is our oyster!

            All my love,

                Maru

A Skin Care Routine To Find Balance

Have you ever had a flare up of hand, foot, and mouth disease? Have you ever gotten a fever that manifests in a full body rash? Have you ever gotten impetigo on your left butt cheek? Have you ever gotten a rash on your inner thighs from drastic temperature changes, or gotten sunburn so severe that your stomach turned purple? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then we should totally be friends. Because let me tell you, I can relate…to all of it.

My skin is a total anomaly. While I am someone who is severely prone to rashes of all sorts and quite allergic to the sun, I have also been blessed with incredibly clear skin. Pimples on my face are few and far between, and I am not someone who has had to expend much energy on skincare maintenance. I am one of those crazy people who fall asleep with makeup on my face. Ridiculous, I know.

For the longest time my skin care routine consisted of using drug store face wash in the shower followed by drug store moisturizer. It was plain, easy, and efficient. Since I have always had pretty good skin, I never saw a reason to change the simplicity of my routine. However, at the beginning of this year when school work started to pile up and my thesis felt like it was drowning me, I decided I needed to find another type of self care, in addition to exercise, that I could do on my own which would provide me with the type of TLC I needed. Skin care was a type of self-care I had never really explored. I was curious to see the how the benefits a solid skincare routine would affect not only my skin, but also the way I felt about myself. Lets get to it, shall we?

The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is use a Neutrogena makeup remover toilette to wipe off any remaining mascara that I may have missed — or just neglected to take off — the night before. I use the ones specifically made for sensitive skin because they cause the least amount of irritation after each use.

After, I have recently started using Thayer’s Natural Remedies Witch Hazel Toner. I have really grown to like it. I simply pour some of the toner onto a cotton pad and then gently rub it all over my face to remove any excess dirt. I have found that the toner makes my skin insanely soft and leaves me feeling super refreshed and awake.

After the toner, I use Olehenriksen Truth Serum, which came highly recommended to me by one of my closest friends. The serum uses vitamin C to brighten and hydrate your skin; if I’m being honest, it just feels so good when you put it on. As a next step, I use either the Olehenriksen Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturizer or Ponds Dry Skin Cream to make sure my skin is as hydrated as possible, because, as you can imagine, living in the tundra that is Maine can make anyone’s skin brutally dry. I finish it all up by putting Aquaphor on my lips and continue to do so about every hour of the day. Some might even say I’m obsessed.

Overall, I have found that when I really make time to take care of my skin, I feel a lot cleaner, healthier, and just more put together in general. I highly recommend finding a self-care routine that is affordable and works for you because, in my experience, I have found that self-care is a critical component for feeling both good and ready to take on all of life’s challenges.

Trump and the Squandering of US Soft Power

Superpowers come and go. They conceive their political hegemony through violence, assert their dominance with military braggadocio, and fight for survival until their last breath. But the United States, I have always thought, is a different kind of superpower –– gentle, persuasive, and more likely to endure the tide of history that unforgivingly washed away the Roman, British, and Soviet empires. Even with the rise of China and repeated muscle-flexing by Russia, the United States remains the world’s foremost economic and military actor. American nominal GDP of $19.39 trillion is greater than that of the bottom eight of the world’s ten largest economies combined. Constituting less than five percent of the global population, Americans generate and earn over 20 percent of the world’s total income. With an unrivaled annual defense budget of $716 billion, over 6000 nuclear warheads, and an extensive network of allies and strategic partners, the American military is consistently ranked as the most powerful and logistically prepared in the world. Though quantitative indicators are certainly worthy of consideration, we should also acknowledge that they are incomplete. American influence operates in much more subtle and sophisticated ways: captivating minds of people around the world in a way that cannot be quantified or fully documented on paper. Even in the most socially conservative of countries, teenagers are voracious consumers of Hollywood productions and pop music. Chinese and Russian elites tirelessly decry Uncle Sam’s actions but send their children to American schools and universities; for one, Xi Jinping’s only daughter is a Harvard graduate. Every time there is a major political or humanitarian crisis, the world eagerly awaits what American politicians and experts have to say. The US standing on the global arena is thus as reliant on values, culture, and the ingenuity of the American people as it is on our fiscal-military prowess. Unfortunately, President Trump has repeatedly made clear that he is willing to practice the latter but not the former component of American global leadership. He has repeatedly suggested that the US should leverage its economic and political dominance to craft more beneficial trade deals, cajole Mexico’s government into paying for the wall, and get our NATO allies to meet their spending commitments. In light of this Trumpian diplomacy, I cannot help but ask: why not use some of the most persuasive tools in our arsenal –– America’s historic commitment to human rights, freedom of the press, and representative democracy –– to encourage nations of the world to embrace better versions of themselves?

Yemen in Crisis

The conflict in Yemen is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, and it is being funded by the United States. In March 2015, an international coalition of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened against the Houthi rebels in accordance with the Yemeni President. In the years since the coalition began, air strikes, blockades, and funneled weapons from global superpowers has led to 22.2 million out of 29 million Yemenis in need of medical assistance. This crisis is not only leaving millions of civilians vulnerable to violence, but it is violating international humanitarian law. Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East, and now it is a battleground for competing countries to exact military and global dominance. Naval operations blockades have been set up on all ports in the Houthi-controlled northern area, which is where 80% of Yemen’s imports are delivered. The Saudi-coalition’s defense for this blockade is that they are attempting to block the funneling of arms from Iran to the rebels and that this depreciation in resources will cause the rebels to retreat and order to be restored. The reality is much more complicated. From May to August of last year, commercial imports fell 30%, leading to depreciation in national currency and putting millions out of a job. Most Yemenis people have not worked for full pay in two years. Every 99 minutes, an air strike occurs, and every 10 minutes a child dies from war-related causes. These airstrikes have hit residential areas, marketplaces, civilian boats, as well as medical, educational, cultural, and religious sites. The dismembering of the country has left 2 million people internally displaced, 2 million children without education, and 16 million with a lack of access to basic health care. With so many fallouts of the blockades, one must question the legality of this blockade and how it is tolerated by the world powers. Until recently, many world powers supported the Saudi-coalition in Yemen. The rebels are members of a Shiite Muslim tribe, and with the support of Iran, they are creating political distress in the Middle East. With the presence of terrorist groups in Yemen, as well as the Houthi rebels, superpowers like the US and UK have sided with the perceived antagonists of the free world: Saudi Arabia. However, on December 18th, 2018 the US symbolically withdrew from the coalition in response to the killing of the dissident columnist, Jamal Khashoggi, in a Senate vote of 56 to 41. Their plan is to formally address the possibility of sanctions and the cutting off of arms sales in the new year. When international laws are violated, civilians suffer. In such a poor and geographically compromised area, Yemen’s civilians have faced their biggest enemy: starvation. With the naval blockades and the government of Yemen’s disregard for civilian life, millions are left to rely on international relief organizations. An estimated 8.4 million people are severely food insecure with 12-13 million at risk of starvation. According to the UN, “over 150 relief organizations, including eight UN agencies, are working around the clock to provide food, shelter, nutritional assistance, protection services and much more to millions of Yemenis whose lives have been uprooted by the conflict.” However, these organizations are faced with dozens of impediments, including collapsing health facilities, access to water, and sanitation services. They are even being prohibited from shipping medicine to the country by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The countries of the world cannot tolerate this violence any longer. To do so would not only break international humanitarian laws but would enable such egregious crimes to take place in the future. The Senate needs to make a formal decision about our nation’s relationship with Saudi Arabia. The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi sparked something in the US government, and the spark must lead to a flame of change if there is any hope of ending the crisis in Yemen.

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