The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Month: January 2016 Page 2 of 4

Maddie McLean ’17: Bates’ in-house Adele

I’m not musically talented. It’s sad, I know. Aside from my three-year oboe stint in middle school, I banish my tone-deaf musicality to singing along to the radio in the car. But Maddie Mclean ’17 has enough musical talent for all of us. Fully embracing the liberal arts experience Bates offers, McLean is a Music and Biological Chemistry double major, also serving as the music director for The Crosstones and this semester’s production of Cabaret. She participates in the funk band and the school choir, too.

McLean comes from very musical stock. Her father, uncles and grandmother are all musical. McLean attributes her love of music, and one of her inspirations, to her grandmother. In an interview, McLean stated, “I thank [my grandmother] a lot for throwing me on the piano when I was three because that’s the only reason I like music now.”   

In high school, McLean came to realize that music was something she really wanted to pursue, but she also wanted to have a more practical side to her studies. For her, Bates was such a great choice because it let her “do both.”  She is able to pursue her love of music in conjunction with Biological Chemistry. While “balancing BioChem and Music is an adventure,” McLean is able to get exposure to two diverging subject areas.

For McLean, the Music Department afforded her many opportunities. In the junior class, there are only six majors, so this accounts for such small class sizes. Just last semester, McLean was in a two-person class with Abbey Bierman ’17 taught by postdoctoral fellow, Professor Janet Bourne. Though only here for two years, Professor Bourne is helping the Music Department revamp the music theory component to make it more accessible to people who do not have much background in the area.    

“I don’t know if I were at a bigger school if I would get the same attention I’m getting here, which is pretty remarkable and a cool thing that a lot of people don’t advantage of,” McLean states. One of the best parts of the Music Department at Bates is the individual attention each student receives.

It is not just the small classes that make the Music Department special. McLean also notes that “they make you do a wide variety of [classes] because they want you to be a well-rounded musician.” Classes such as theory, musical theory and jazz are just a sampling of the smorgasbord of what this department offers.

Outside of academia, McLean is able to explore the worlds of a capella and funk.  As musical director for The Crosstones, McLean arranges music and runs rehearsals.  Being part of a student-run group is very different from the department because “everyone has their voice and gets to be heard” in terms of decision-making. A capella is a collaborative experience of constant exploration and discovery.

When I asked this musician why she likes a capella, she simply told me, “you find your people and they are definitely my people.” Finding a group of people who support you, challenge you and inspire you is something that every student should try to achieve, and for McLean she found it with The Crosstones.

VCS is another great platform for musicians to showcase their talents. With a chuckle, McLean says, “Greg the sound man makes you sound like an angel, whether you’re an angel or not.” For performers, McLean emphasizes how much of a benefit VCS is to Bates. When the spotlight hits you, the crowd fades away and all that’s left is the singer and the music.

Out in the real world of the music industry, Adele is another one of McLean’s inspirations. She bluntly states, “Adele is queen for me. Adele is number one.” However, with McLean’s eclectic tastes, she loves so many types of music. She gathers inspiration from funk, jazz, and of course the strong female singer-songwriter type.  

But this is not to say that her only inspirations come from family and celebrities.  McLean thanks her high school teachers, Bates Professor John Corrie and the whole Bates music faculty for helping her on her musical journey.    

At the end of our interview, McLean tells me, “I wish I could be Adele, that’s the dream, the ultimate dream.” With the support of her teachers, peers and family, I think McLean is well on her way.

Bates feels the Bern

Bates loves Bernie. From the native Vermonters to the environmentally and socially conscious people on campus, people at Bates seem to gravitate towards the fire of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ campaign, close enough to feel the Bern.

This weekend, Bates for Bernie, a subgroup of the Bates Democrats, will head into New Hampshire going door to door to share Bernie’s message. Bates for Bernie works alongside multiple New Hampshire Bernie offices and his Portland, Maine, office. According to Bates Dems member and canvassing coordinator Will Bryer ’16, his campaign puts on these volunteer events every weekend. There is also a Bates for Hillary Clinton group, but “the [Bates Democrats] club doesn’t endorse either candidate” officially, Bryer said.

“We’ve chosen to wait to endorse a candidate until after primary season,” added Bates Democrats Co-President Carly Peruccio ’16. “There are members of the Bates Dems who support Hillary, Bernie, and O’Malley, and there are others who haven’t decided yet.”

Peruccio hopes volunteer efforts like this one will help involve more Bates students in the presidential election. “We serve the role of connecting politically engaged students with others who share the same aims,” she added.

Students are able to organize their own initiatives—this event was spearheaded at Bates by Bryer. “At the end of the day, we’re united by our shared commitment to electing progressive candidates at the presidential, congressional, and local levels,” Peruccio said.

With Bernie currently one point ahead of Hillary in Iowa and bounding ahead in New Hampshire, the Bates Dems believe that Sanders remains a viable candidate.

“Speaking from the Bates for Bernie group,” Bryer said, “we definitely think he has a chance! His message is clearly resonating with people, as shown by his massive increase in support in key primary states, and the historic, record-breaking number of small donors contributing to his campaign.”

Candidate Sanders has a particular appeal among college-aged voters. According to the Boston Globe, young voters prefer Sanders by a 2-to-1 ratio.  Junior Ben Pratt helps to articulate why Bernie has so much pull with college-aged voters.

“He appeals to our economic situation as millennials,” Pratt said. “With Hillary, there is nothing wrong with her thought process or policies. She just doesn’t take as clear of a stance on us that Bernie does. Currently [as Bates students], we may not be marginalized when we enter the job market, but we have seen people in the past ten years that have been. The only way to fix that is to divorce the economic system within politics completely, and Bernie seems to speak to that.”

Sanders’ website illustrates his plans to help college students—to establish free tuition for public colleges and universities, to drastically cut interest rates on student loans and to increase work study programs and need-based financial aid.

If you are interested in Bernie and wish to attend this weekend’s opportunity, please contact Will Bryer.

In their last home meet of the season Bates track does not dissapoint

Hosting their second and final meet of the season, Bates’ men’s and women’s track and field were able to take home wins in the Bates Invitational in Merrill Gym. The men competed against Colby, Southern Maine, and St. Joseph’s college. Bates got first place with a point total of 227; trailing them for second was Colby with 106. Southern Maine only participated in the heptathlon and scored 20 points, while St. Joseph’s college scored four points.

The men had a very solid day, sweeping multiple events. Bates took control of the first five spots in the 3,000 meters, led by junior Evan Ferguson-Hull in first with a time of 8:44.24, sophomore Ben Tonelli in second with a time of 8:47.42 and senior Gregg Heller in third with a time of 8:56.47. They also swept the top three spots in the 600 meters, with junior captain Patrick Griffin guiding the way with a mark of 1:23.65. Sophomore Rob Flynn came second, clocking in at 1:26.06 and senior Jake Nemeroff was third with 1:28.09. Bates swept all six scoring spots in the shot put; leading the charge was senior and captain Nick Margitza. His throw of 52 feet and 11 inches was enough to take first place. Some other notable performance came from sophomore Adedire Fakorede, who took first place in the weight throw with a mark of 53-3.75, sophomore Garrett Anderson, who won the pole vault in 13-5.25, first-year Edward James, who won the high jump at 5-8, and sophomore Kawai Marin, who won the 60-meter hurdles in 9.05 seconds. Junior Blake Downey spoke on his team’s performance this weekend: “This weekend’s meet was interesting because it was basically a dual meet with Colby so there were a lot less competitors in some of the events, which meant that we needed to push ourselves to compete and meet our marks. The second meet of the season is always one where we see a lot of improvements throughout the team because everyone has shaken out their first meet jitters. We’ve got a really young team so it was great to see confidence developing in all of our younger guys in their respective events. Across the board there were a lot of impressive performances and we plan to continue the momentum through this weekend, which we see as a qualifying weekend, and then into the state meet in a few weeks, which will be a big test for us.”

The women competed against Colby, Husson, and St. Joseph’s College. They took first place with a point total of 211, a comfortable lead over the runner-ups Colby with 105 points. Husson was third with 68 and St. Joseph’s fourth with 17.

There was a lot of movement again on the Bates’ all-time performance list with severa; very strong outings. Junior Allison Hill won the 60-meter hurdles in 9.12 seconds, posting a preliminary time of 9.09, which is 0.01 off her own team record. Hill also won the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.84 and placed second in the 60-meter dash in a career-best 8.23 seconds, moving her into fourth place on Bates’ all-time performance list in the event. Senior Elyse Rubchinuk won her first career pentathlon with 2,782 points, moving into sixth place on the team’s all-time performance list.Sophomore Srishti Sunil won the long jump with a mark of 16-6.5. She also placed fourth in the 60-meter hurdles in 9.78 seconds, going into fourth place on Bates’ all-time performance list. Sunil was also fourth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.31, which places her in a tie with Lizzy Carleton for fifth place on the team’s all-time performance list. First-year Katie Hughes placed third in the shot put with a mark of 35-11.25, which moves her into ninth place on the team’s all-time performance. Honorable mentions go to senior captain Elena Schroeder, who won the 400 meters in a time of 1:02.58, first-year Shelby Burns, who won the high jump after clearing 4-8.25, and sophomore Sally Ceesay, who won the triple jump with a distance of 34-11.25.

Bates will split their team up and compete in the BU Terrier Classic and USM Invitational this weekend.

Sankofa performance illuminates the struggles and growth of the Afro-Woman

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An emotional opening to Sankofa. PHYLLIS GRABER JENSEN/BATES COLLEGE

Martin Luther King Jr. Day has always been one of the most significant holidays on campus. While most other institutions treat this day as a break from classes, Bates facilitates numerous discussions, conversations and events throughout the weekend in order to celebrate King’s legacy. For the Bates community, his efforts were not halted when he was assassinated. They are continuously supported and carried out every day. On this momentous day, several students performed the annual Sankofa production on the Schaeffer stage. This year’s performance illustrates the struggles black women face in different demographics and environments.

Directed by Raegine Clouden Mallett ’18 and Kenyata Venson ’18, this performance depicts the individual stories of a group of friends, all black women from different parts of the world. There were characters from Egypt, Brazil, the United States and the Middle East. The performers also represented members of the LGBTQ community, in addition to people suffering from depression, suicidal thoughts and abuse. This variance in characters was able to encompass many struggles that black women face. The stories were depicted in a play-like setting, dance performance, powerful spoken word and song, and each one was introduced by the group of friends as they sat together in a casual living room setting to discuss the ongoing struggles they face.

Clouden Mallett performed in last year’s production of Sankofa, and then she was asked to consider directing this year’s performance. “It was an extremely hard and stressful process, but extremely worth it in the end,” she said. “There is no greater feeling than creating something out of nothing and putting all your energy into a production, and having an audience of people from all walks of life vibe with you and return all that energy in the form of love and appreciation.” The relationships she’s built and the lessons she’s learned will be carried with her throughout her time at Bates.

Venson had a similar experience when she was asked to direct the production.  Despite having no past experience in the realm of theater production, she was ready to take on the challenge and portray something many members of our community are passionate about. “The whole process has been successful because, even though it took time to put together the different pieces, we were able to get across to the audience the different struggles of the Afro-Woman,” Venson commented.

Clouden Mallett stated that the biggest obstacle was finding a strong cast and motivating them to work with herself and Venson as they developed the performance as first-tine directors. The fact that none of them “have ever done something like this meant that [they] did a lot of figuring out of what works and what doesn’t work throughout the entire process.” Nevertheless, she believes Sankofa had a profound impact on the Bates community. She said, “I think that because the production was short and powerful, people were able to really digest the information. I believe that because the production touched upon many different subjects, the audience had a variety of issues that they can choose to connect to emotionally.”

The production had such an effect on campus that Professor Charles Nero of the Rhetoric Department created a presentation about the performance as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day series of events. Venson expressed her excitement for this “because even the people who didn’t attend the production were able to get an understanding of the information presented which then leads to conversations. Conversations are an important part in appreciating the Afro-Woman.”

Creating personal relationships with the main characters and being able to inspire young women to be who they are even though they face hardships were just a couple of big takeaways for Venson. Empowering black women and having their stories told were the goals of the entire performance, and she certainly saw the results. “Struggle creates growth and growth creates a strong beautiful woman.”

Letter to the Editor: Response to Charlotte Cramer’s 1/20 letter

Charlotte Cramer’s open letter to the campus in last week’s Bates Student raised important issues worthy of our community’s full attention and deliberation. Her call for expanded programming, dialogue, and support for victims of sexual assault is also well timed.

We are making progress both in preventing and responding to incidents of sexual misconduct. Last academic year, the college hired a full-time Title IX officer, we enacted clearer policies, resources, and procedures relating to sexual misconduct, and we unified this information under a single comprehensive website. Last spring, the college began implementing the Green Dot program, an evidence-based bystander intervention program that empowers students to be the agents of culture change. To date, about 775 students and 150 faculty and staff have participated in a Green Dot overview program, including all first-year students as part of our new student orientation program. About 100 students have participated in the Green Dot booster program, and 164 students have participated in the Green Dot five-hour certification program.

In addition, we continue to invest in efforts to prevent and respond to incidents of sexual misconduct. Currently, three college initiatives are underway that focus on further strengthening our program and service efforts.

The first is the Campus Culture Working Group, which is finalizing a set of actionable recommendations that address a range of issues, including sexual misconduct, healthy relationships, and substance abuse at Bates. Comprised of eight students, as well as representatives of the administration, staff, faculty, and athletics, the Working Group’s recommendations build upon recent efforts to improve a number of programs and services, while staying true to our shared values and culture of inclusion, trust, responsibility, and respect. The Working Group, established in the fall of 2015, is presenting and discussing its draft findings and recommendations to student leaders this month. To engage the full student body, an online survey will present the draft findings and draft recommendations to all students on Thursday, Jan. 28. Further, there will be open forums for seniors and juniors on Feb. 1, and on Feb. 3 for sophomores and first-years, which will provide students the opportunity to discuss the draft recommendations with members of the Working Group.

The second initiative underway relates to an anonymous survey that all students will be asked to take later this semester. The survey will help us assess the campus climate in relation to sexual violence and sexual harassment. It will also provide students an opportunity to give feedback on campus culture as well as our support services. It is our hope that the survey will assist us in understanding the full scope of the issue of sexual violence on our campus. The survey results will also help us better understand the effectiveness of our current efforts, as well as inform and guide the design and implementation of new programs and support services.

Finally, the college recently received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to create a comprehensive prevention and education curriculum that will engage students during their four years at Bates. This program will provide students with the knowledge and tools necessary to prevent sexual assaults and relationship violence. In particular, the curriculum will not only provide foundational education regarding sexual violence, but it will also provide increasingly sophisticated programming that encourages bystander intervention, broad advocacy, and student leadership in the prevention of sexual violence.

While we are hopeful that these ongoing efforts will gain traction with the campus community, we recognize that there is always more work to be done. We look forward to engaging with students, staff, and the entire Bates community in our ongoing efforts to address the important issue of sexual assault.

Sincerely,

Josh McIntosh
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Gwen Lexow
Title IX Officer

Confronting hate at Donald Trump rallies: An interview with Kiernan Majerus-Collins ’18

Kiernan Majerus-Collins ’18 really likes attending Donald Trump rallies. Since last June, Majerus-Collins has attended not one, but three events starring the billionaire businessman running for president. Majerus-Collins doesn’t, however, make attendance a habit because he likes what the candidate has to say. An avowed progressive and a former Democratic campaign manager, he attends these events to protest Trump’s words and publicize what he views as the real danger of Trump’s campaign: the vitriol and racism of his supporters. Videos of him confronting Trump supporters have gained him social media fame and notoriety. The Student sat down with Kiernan to ask him about his experiences at these rallies.

The Bates Student: I’ve read that you’ve been to three Trump rallies. Are you a glutton for punishment?

Kiernan Majerus-Collins:

Since Trump’s campaign began in June, I’ve been to three events. The first was in June in New Hampshire, his first campaign rally ever. And two this past January, in Lowell, Massachusetts, and Concord, New Hampshire.

BS: What was the first rally like?

KMC: At the first rally in June there were 300 people, it was kind of cartoonish, you know, it’s like there’s this billionaire blowhard, not that many people, the room’s not even full, it’s like a college gym. I stood there with my sign [criticizing Trump’s remarks about Mexican immigrants] and got lots of comments from people. Some were kind, some were not, but there was no real problem as to thuggish behavior. That clearly changed at some point during his campaign. By the time I went to the second event in Lowell holding a sign that said “America is already great,” it was cause for me to be harassed, have my sign torn up and be kicked out of the rally. The video of that ended up going viral.

Majerus-Collins refers to one of two videos of his clashes with Trump supporters that have emerged on both social media and traditional news outlets, including the Lewiston Sun Journal. In the first video from the rally in Lowell, Majerus-Collins and a companion can be seen sitting in the crowd holding neon green cardboard signs with the slogans, “America’s Already Great” and “God Bless Obama,” scrawled in black sharpie. As Trump’s voice droned unabated in the background, annoyed Trump supporters grabbed the signs and tore them into pieces.

As the crowd became increasingly belligerent, burly men in green jackets—Trump’s personal security—escorted Majerus-Collins and his companion out of the rally while the Trump supporters shouted, “Get ‘em out of here” and “USA! USA!” A man off-camera leveled the accusation, “He looks like Hillary!” (Majerus-Collins, a towering and lanky man with flat black hair, large rectangular glasses, and the smooth voice of a choir singer, looks nothing like the former Secretary of State.)

A second video, taken by a bystander in the bitter cold outside of a January 19th rally in Concord, NH, is even more charged. Majerus-Collins, wearing only a t-shirt with the hastily-written words “I have a dream” on the back, attempted to debate a large bald man in a business suit over whether ISIS represents all Muslims. “There are bad people of all religions,” Majerus-Collins repeated over and over, his right arm gesturing forcefully but his voice low and controlled. “ISIS is not Islam,” he said.

Unconvinced, his opponent shouted at Majerus-Collins, “Islam is all one” and “if you are a Muslim, you follow Satan!” The confrontation lasted for over half an hour, with the Trump supporter lapsing into furious bouts of profanity. Another Trump supporter accused all Muslims of cannibalism. A crowd of bystanders ringed the arguers in morbid fascination, filming on smartphones and iPads.

BS: Tell us about the videos of your confrontations with Trump supporters. Were you surprised to have this sort of interaction?

KMC: It was kind of a shock to see that what had previously been almost a piece of performance art—the Donald Trump campaign previously was this surreal ridiculous thing—has become quite real and quite frightening since June. His supporters have become emboldened in ways that are really, really scary. I think that one of the main reasons why I’m doing this is because, despite how much Donald Trump dominates our news, most people don’t recognize the kind of base level bigotry and hatred his supporters are peddling and how fervently and violently they believe this. Partly because Donald Trump is such a cartoonish character that it is hard to see past the bad hair and bragging to the part of his campaign that has mobilized millions of American racists to go on the warpath.

BS: So, you think you’re partially doing a public service by showing what his supporters are actually like?

KMC: My hope is that these encounters with Trump supporters will help to get people to realize just what we’re dealing with in this campaign. They don’t think our country’s a great country, they don’t respect other candidates, they don’t respect people who disagree with them, and basically their response is to become violent and thuggish when confronted with anyone who isn’t already in lockstep with them.

BS: What was Donald Trump himself like? Did you get any sense of the charisma and energy that has captivated so many?

KMC: Every single event it was: Trump’s entering, the crowd surges to its feet, there’s this energetic roar! It was like there was a football team entering the stadium, but it was just Donald Trump. He walked out to “Eye of the Tiger.” It’s like you’re watching the New England Patriots round the tunnel or something. And he gets up on the podium and starts doing his thing… Trump is on from the moment he walks onto the stage to the end. Sometimes he’s funny and sometimes he’s angry, but there is no like…[motions up and down with his hands]…he’s always at top energy, top volume, all of the time. There’s no dynamic contrast, it’s just a big blaring bullhorn of political rhetoric. 

BS: How orange did Trump look?

KMC: Surprisingly orange. It was surprising how sort of…decrepit he looked. There’s clearly a lot of work that goes into making Donald Trump look even semi-reasonable on television. Because when you get up close to him, he is an old man with a bad tan and bad hair. He seemed drugged almost. At the Concord rally, he wasn’t smiling, wasn’t really chatting with anyone, just this massive crush of adoring fans trying to get him to sign stuff, and he was just standing there signing stuff.

BS: What sort of people were at Trump’s rallies?

KMC: They are overwhelmingly white, and lean older. The crowds were majority male, but not by much. It’s always surprising to me how me how many women, young and old, are at these rallies. There were also some college kids who had gone to the rallies to witness the spectacle of the thing. Like the guy who screamed at me about Muslims, many are angry and don’t care about facts. They said horrible things that normally people only say behind a keyboard.

BS: It seem like you’re suggesting that Donald Trump, a reality star himself, has brought a new internet-style campaign to American politics.

KMC: Absolutely. Donald Trump can retweet a racist person at 3:30 a.m. and the next day it becomes a news item. He gives the racist underbelly of America that normally remains online a soapbox.

BS: Do you think that confronting people at these rallies has changed anything?

KMC: I don’t harbor illusions about having changed anybody’s mind there. This is about the people who are seeing this online, showing them the difference between a Trump supporter and a mainline Democrat. I’m hoping people can see this, pick a side, and get involved.

[Editor’s Note: The Bates Student does not endorse any particular candidate. This interview is meant to highlight the experiences of one Bates student.]

Student VCS: Where student talent comes to play

Inside the Silo, there is hardly room to stand. As I crawl around for a spot to settle, I step on a girl crouched on some steps and knock into another perched on a windowsill. Surely it’s a fire hazard, but nobody seems to mind the bustle. We are, considering the tragic circumstances, happy to be alive and well. But here we are, ready to celebrate our fellow students, their passion and their talent. And just like the rest of us, crammed between the curved brick walls, sitting among us or cornered into the shadows, are the performers ready to start the show.

The lights dim and The Remedy settles affront of us in combination. They begin with John Mayer’s “Waiting” and bring more energy than the song ever deserved, leaving enough room and fervor for a solo break from the pianist. They follow with two equally boisterous versions of George Ezra’s “Blame It On Me” and “Roll Your Stone Away” by Mumford and Sons. All the while, there is never a moment of dull silence or absence, never a draft in the warmth of their sound. There is a violin, floating about and swooping along with the song. Between songs, jokes and greetings are exchanged and everybody is in smiles. Alas, their set ends and they go back into the masses.

After The Remedy’s leave, Maddy McKay ’18 takes center, dressed in red, followed by her accompanying guitarist, Ezra Oliff-Lieberman ’18. They don’t make much room for introduction and they begin right away, performing Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.” McKay sets that piece and their other two alight. She gives the impression of a real torch singer, smoky and passionate and tremendously voiced. Beside her, Oliff-Lieberman remains grounded and steady while she reaches loftier and brighter vocals. She and Oliff-Lieberman play two other songs, Ray Lamontagne’s “Jolene” and a grand rendition of Gregory Isakov’s “Stable Song.” Each song is sweeter than the last, and McKay and Oliff-Lieberman never fall out of step, never lose sight.

After they retire, Alisa Amador arrives to stage, carrying a great phantom of a guitar, a big white hollow-body. And in normal hands, the beast might buck unwieldy, but she leans on it like a brother and holds it with affection. She says her name with Latin flourish and tells us about her summer down in the Southern Cone and we are enchanted by her voice without even hearing her sing yet. She begins her set, which consists of songs entirely of her own invention, songs she says about anger, expectations, lost footing and fate. Mixed somewhere within the performance, she reminds us to celebrate living and being, and she exits with a duet shared with her friend Louisa.

The last duo, Ellie Miller ’16 and Jackson Moore ’16, perform as singer and guitarist, respectively. They cover Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey,” though their version longs and lingers more than the original. Towards the end of the song, Moore leans into the microphone and makes a duet. Miller keeps her hands flat on her hips and closes her eyes when she reaches and warbles; Moore remains in motion driving the song along with his busied hands. After, they share a few passing words and memories about James Jhun. They perform one of his personal favorites, “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse, and with that they close the show.

Arts editors’ guide to prime movie watching

New to Box Office

The Big Short

Steve Carrell, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt all star in this jaw dropping, behind the scenes revelation of events leading up to the 2008 Stock Market crash. These dynamic actors portray characters trying to outsmart the Market even though it meant severe financial risk.

Joy

The dynamic trio of Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro star in this true story about a single mother’s invention of the Miracle Mop that brought cleaning products to the world stage, irrevocably changing her life for the better. This film inspirationally shows one person’s drive for success and is a model for those seeking a better life.

Star War: The Force Awakens

J.J. Abrams outdid himself in this adrenaline-inducing, nail-biting, heart breaking continuation of the much loved Star Wars franchise. Daisy Ridley offers a fresh female face to the superhero persona while old favorites, such as Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill, come to together to make this an instant classic.

Old Favorites

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Everyone thinks their family is loud, but wait until you see the Portokalos family throw a dinner party. Overbearing fathers, loud aunts and a wedding you have to see to believe are just some of the essentials for a big fat movie marathon. Stay tuned for part two!

Mean Girls

Whether you want to admit it or not, Tina Fey nailed your high school nightmare. You know all the lines, you always wear pink on Wednesdays, and we have all been personally victimized by Regina George. Whether you’ve seen it once or a hundred times, it’s always a classic.

National Treasure

Seemingly impossible puzzles, historic landmarks and the loveable Riley Poole are what got this movie to our exclusive list.  The melodrama engraved in Cage’s acting is one for the ages, while Sean Bean’s bad boy charisma nearly derails the team’s hunt for a treasure long forgotten.

Men and women’s squash compete in Pioneer Valley Invitational

For both the men and women’s squash teams, it has been a season of opposites. While the men sit at 6-6 on the season, the top half of their roster has been consistently solid, while youth talent continues to improve. On the women’s side, injuries and youth have contributed to their 3-8 mark.

“The loss of Jackie Peychar has had a huge impact on the strength of the ladder and her withdrawal from Bates has certainly affected results against traditionally weaker NESCAC opponents,” noted head coach Patrick Cosquer. “But the group is together and fighting through adversity, and having a blast doing so.”

That toughness showed at The Pioneer Valley Invitational, which is the last tournament before NESCAC Championships. Although the women went 0-2 over the past weekend, their grit and resilience showed. First, against No. 10 George Washington, the team’s two-match winning streak was snapped. The ‘Cats top five seeds fell to Colonial opponents, and only junior Charlotte Cabot and sophomore Blair Weintraub picked up victories.

The next day, Weintraub again picked up the victory at the No. 9 spot, but first-year Kristyna Alexova, the Bobcat number one, was the only other lady to secure a victory. Despite the two losses at the Invitational, Cosquer remains optimistic.

“If the women remain positive and continue to work hard and those who have supported them in the past continue to care, the women’s squash team will post the results that have made them a successful team in recent years again soon,” he commented.

On the men’s side, the top four in the Bates rotation continued to be solid. Leading the way were the Egyptian natives senior Ahmed Adbel Khalek and junior Ahmed Hatata, who went 3-0 and 4-0 respectively against teams such as Western Ontario, George Washington, Navy, and Amherst.

As the team heads into their last few matches, health and mentality is a concern for Cosquer, and the next week of preparation before a bout against Franklin & Marshall will be pivotal in finishing the season on a high note.

“I think the men need to take time to get healthy while maintaining their fitness, but also work on aspects of their mental preparation and focus towards competition,” Cosquer said. “Our recent results are not as much squash-related as they are a function of each individual’s mindset prior to and during competition.”

Both teams will have a week prior to traveling down to Massachusetts again to take on Franklin & Marshall.

Big Bird likes big money

Sesame Street has been a staple for generations of children as the iconic show sets to begin its 46th season; however, something will be very different for the show this time: it won’t be on PBS.

After years of being distributed by the Public Broadcasting Network, PBS, Sesame Street  has been moved to HBO, the mega television network featuring hit shows like Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, and The Wire. So why exactly is the shift of a famous children’s television show from one network to another a problem? Because it marks the symbolic death of American public television and only furthers the divide between the kinds of resources children are exposed to based on their guardians’ financial situation. In other words, only those children whose parents are willing and can afford an HBO subscription will be able to keep up with the adventures of Big Bird and Elmo.

The situation, however, is not quite as bad as it seems to be though. HBO has essentially purchased distribution rights for the release of new episodes. What this means is that HBO will be the first to air the new episodes of Sesame Street while PBS will air those episodes after a nine month waiting period. To most television enthusiasts the idea of waiting nine months for the latest episode of a show after it’s already been released is unthinkable. But to the audience of Sesame Street, it honestly might not matter quite as much.

So even though PBS will still be airing new shows, albeit after several months, Sesame Street lives to see another day. But what this does point to are the lack of funds available for public education broadcasting.

This may be inevitable, however, as the advent of paid digital streaming services are quickly overtaking cable television. How then is a children’s show about colorful muppets supposed to remain stagnant in this exciting new era for television? While it may seem unavoidable that Sesame Street, along with numerous other shows for that matter, were susceptible to network changes, it is important to remember the intention behind creating Sesame Street and the platform on which it was deliberately chosen to be shown.

Children’s educational programs ought not be created and distributed solely for profit, but should ultimately aim at reaching households to utilize modernity to create a more enriching environment for children. Of course, educational programming should not replace other forms of learning, but rather, it does seem to be beneficial when supplemented with other forms of education.

The important thing to remember is that public broadcasting remains an option in this new wave of television. When it appears that nearly everyone is jumping onboard for a Netflix subscription and HBO GO, we must remain mindful of those children whose families may not be able to afford these enriching resources. This is not, of course, a call for every individual to be guaranteed the right to premium television; instead, it is merely a reminder that we enter dangerous territory when we try to privatize and commodify an American staple that benefitted generations of children, and may be one of the greatest uses of television since its conception.

While this shift from PBS to HBO may not have been the end of Sesame Street, it certainly points to the financial trouble the show found itself in, pointing to the fact that public television funding is increasingly diminishing and beloved shows aimed at enriching the social and educational lives of children may also be up in jeopardy unless we find a way to synthesize the dawn of a privatized digital transformation in television and the idea of ensuring accessibility of educational tools to every child.

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