Paris as seen through my eyes

Anna Martin

Contributor

American tourists in Paris have a bad reputation, but during my time here in this beautiful city, I have realized that there are several advantages to being an outsider. I am half French and have family members who live in Paris. My uncle and cousins live here, and my grandparents on my father’s side used to as well. So I am very lucky to be a part of both cultures. Even though I had been coming to France almost every summer since I was born, I had never gotten to know Paris very well. Now I’m experiencing Paris from a perspective that even my relatives have never had — with an open mind and boundless energy and curiosity. When you’re an outsider here, you notice things that the residents take for granted, such as the way the fog rolls into the Tuileries Garden in the morning, or how delicious a Nutella crepe tastes in the neighborhood market, or how stunning the Notre-Dame Cathedral looks when it’s lit up at night. I have done things and visited places that my relatives have never thought of doing. For example, going to the Paris Chocolate Show (a yearly international fair for chocolate), or exploring a secret abandoned railway, or going to the Nuit Blanche (an annual all-night arts festival). My cousins who have grown up in this city rarely leave their district to wander aimlessly in unknown streets just to explore. Being in Paris for a semester, I think I have already seen and done a lot more than what my cousins have in their whole lives here. My father, who grew up in Paris, recently told me that he hadn’t even been to the Eiffel Tower until he was around 20. He likes to joke but that one might actually be true! Being an outsider has also given me amazing advantages not available to locals. The most incredible has been being given the opportunity to intern at two of the top museums in Paris and in the world — the Musée d’Orsay and the Centre Pompidou. It gives me a thrill just to be able to walk through their doors with a sense of purpose. I’ve been able to get a unique behind-the-scenes look at how museums work, and more specifically how photography exhibits are put together. This experience has also given me the freedom and courage to take risks, to try new things, and to become more independent and confident. Yet, at the same time, I am also adopting the best of French culture — the more leisurely way of life, the politeness in everyday life, an appreciation for food, and much more. I only have about a month and a half left in Paris, and there are still a lot of things I have yet to see. I hope to cross them off my list by the time I leave! My adventure in Paris continues, as I discover new things to love about this city every day. I will miss the late afternoon picnics and sunsets spent along the Seine, but I’m really grateful to have had this amazing experience.

Sarah T. Hughes Center welcomes politican in residence

Sarah Callander

Features Co-Editor

Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center is revamping Goucher’s politician-in-residence program and it is pleased to present Councilman Brandon Scott as this semester’s politician. Dr. Mileah Kromer explains that the politician-in-residence program formerly focused on bringing a large national speaker to campus. With the new residency, the politician can chart his/her own path of how they want to interact with the students. This year, Dr. Kromer was looking for candidates who exemplified the core values of Goucher and the Hughes Center. Councilman Brandon Scott, presiding from the second district of Baltimore City stood out as an exceptional candidate for the position. At age 27, Scott was the youngest city councilman to be elected in the city of Baltimore. He is a native Baltimorean and attended St. Mary’s College of Maryland so he understands the worth of a liberal arts education. In college, Scott was a part of St. Mary’s Multicultural Advisory and African Heritage Month committees, he received the Service and Social Change Excellence in Service award, and was the Black Student Union President. He graduated with a B.A. in political science and was identified as a natural leader on his campus. As a councilman, Scott has sponsored legislation that focuses on children and families and public safety in Baltimore’s neighborhoods. Sponsoring a curfew law for minors in Baltimore is one of Scott’s most recent projects and it has received a lot of local and statewide coverage. Scott has also worked on mentoring programs like Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Maryland. “There are a lot of people who are really great politicians, but it takes a special person to mentor others,” said Dr. Kromer about the councilman. He also likes to keep in constant contact with his constituents by posting videos to his YouTube channel, “On Second Thought with Brandon Scott.” He also updates his Twitter frequently and sometimes it features pictures of his small dog, Sir Charles. For his residency, Scott expressed interest in speaking to students and then showing students his district. Last Wednesday November 12th, there was a showing of Live Young Blood, a documentary that delves into the struggle to reduce violence in Baltimore and its effects especially on young people. Brandon Scott was joined by the film’s producer and co director, Bobby Marvin Holmes, and John Bullock, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Metropolitan Studies at Towson University, to form a panel for discussion after the viewing. Scott also led a tour of his district for about 12 students, which gave students a chance to know Scott on a more personal level. Dr. Kromer stated before the tour, “Students have the chance to see his district while discussing the issues it is facing.” On the tour, Scott discussed issues like vacant properties, youth programs, decriminalization of marijuana, gun violence, neighborhood rehabilitation, county vs. city, education, open spaces for play and organization, small businesses, and developers, and city council’s effect on the district. “The number one thing is simply spending time with the kids,” Scott replied in response to a question on the best ways to reduce interpersonal violence in communities. Later this year students may also have the chance to sit-in on one of his public safety committee meetings. This allowed students to see Scott in his district and then in a more professional setting where he is tackling the issues legislatively. Dr. Kromer envisions that “Going forward, we see the program evolving because every politician will be different. Also we want opportunity for active interaction with the politician in residence. They should be accomplished but also amenable to this type of interaction.”

Tilling It Like It Is: Kicking the Bottle

Todd Troester

Staff Writer

Goucher Energy Action Revolution (G.E.A.R.) has been the most active environmental activism group on Goucher College’s campus for the past few years. G.E.A.R. focuses on the relationship between Goucher students and the energy resources Goucher uses. They pay close attention to Maryland energy politics and law in an effort to find renewable energy sources for Goucher College. An example of this legislature is the movement to increase the Maryland Renewable Portfolio Standard, which means increasing the minimal amount of renewable energy provided in the state. G.E.A.R. is also focusing on a campus initiative to remove plastic bottles from Goucher’s various dining halls. Last year, Goucher recycled twelve tons of plastic bottles and aluminum cans. This equates to approximately 604,790 bottles and cans. Goucher’s great recycling program works hard to turn our waste into something society can use. Unfortunately, our recycling program doesn’t address the issue of consumption. Just being able to reuse plastic bottles doesn’t reduce the production of plastic bottles. Plastic bottles are made from oil with a variety of chemicals. To meet the bottled water demand for America, it is estimated to require around seventeen million barrels of oil annually. That’s enough to run over a million cars for a year. The energy used to make the bottles is enough to power almost 200,000 homes. It is estimated that Americans only recycle 23% of the plastic bottles they use. The mission of G.E.A.R.’s water bottle initiative is to eliminate the demand of bottles by eliminating them from being purchased. G.E.A.R. is working on getting Goucher College on the list of sixty-four college campuses who are currently a part of the Ban the Bottle movement. Colleges like Cornell and Vassar are just two examples of the higher education institutes that are a part of Ban the Bottle. G.E.A.R. also hopes to petition the Green Fund for enough reusable water bottles to give out to the class of 2019. In an interview, Max Coon-Williams ’17, leader of the bottle initiative, addressed the concern for accessibility of water on campus “Goucher has plenty of infrastructure to get drinks.” If you are interested in learning more about G.E.A.R. or the Ban the Bottle movement, you can contact G.E.A.R. at GearUpGoucher@gmail.com or attend a meeting on Mondays at 6:00pm in Pinkard. G.E.A.R. holds activities all semester that include camping trips, stream clean ups, and thrift store shopping. “Anyone is welcome to join G.E.A.R.!” invites Coon-Williams.

Abroad Profile: Education at Oxford

Jordan Javelet

Contributing Editor

In the next three days, I need to produce at least 2,000 words of writing—and not just any sort of writing that you might put in a reading response or a journal. No, the writing I must produce is nine parts critical analysis and one part scholarly research to support my point and to prove that I’ve done my research and I know what I’m talking about. The 2,000 words will be based on approximately 400 pages of reading I’ve done over the past week; most of it primary sources like Shakespeare’s “Venus and Adonis” and “The Rape of Lucrece” and some from the various scholars who spend their lives studying and writing about literature (and who also spend a great deal of time passive-aggressively arguing with each other and criticizing each other in their articles). Writing Oxford tutorial essays is a bit like stepping into Wonderland—there’s Stephen Greenblatt, the Mad Hatter of the Shakespeare “lit-crit” world; over in another part of the world is Stanley Wells, the White Rabbit who is constantly lurking about and pulling observant pupils into the crazy world of Shakespearian studies. Simon Palfrey is certainly the Cheshire Cat, playing with every aspect of Shakespeare’s plays and turning the world upside-down. Every essay that I write is a step further into this world, and I feel it changing me just as Wonderland changes Alice. Comparing my scholarly work to Wonderland might seem ridiculous, but the education I am receiving here is truly like entering a different world. The depth of knowledge that is expected from and imparted upon me is quite different from the liberal arts emphasis on breadth of knowledge and interdisciplinary study, and I feel a connection to the world of English literature as a much stronger force here than I ever have in America. I have come to see myself as something of a “method scholar”—like the method actor, the method scholar must actually take in every aspect of the work that he or she is studying. “Hamlet” is written into my skin; “King Lear” has become my skeleton. “Coriolanus” runs red in my blood, and “Titus Andronicus” is a shock across my every nerve. I feel as though I have dissolved into my copy of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s “Complete Works of William Shakespeare,” and it is an experience that I must transcribe into a 2,000 word essay every week. It is painful work, but I am somehow enthralled by the masochism of it. I knew upon my arrival at Oxford that the work here would be difficult, but I did not understand the exact form that this difficulty would take. I expected pages-long reading lists (which I receive every week) and exorbitant amounts of writing (which I produce every week), but I did not expect the transcendent intellectual experience in which I have found myself immersed. Although it is a challenging mental state to occupy, though, I am forging ahead into new territory, pushing the limits of my intellectual power and enjoying the rush that comes with every new connection that I make, every idea that reshapes my vision of the world, every paradox that forges new ideals. In the next three days, I need to produce 2,000 words of writing, and I look forward to writing every single one.

Model Senate attracts students to campus

Deidre Ball

Contributor

On a chilly Saturday in November, thirty-six high school students dressed in business attire visited our college. They came from schools as far as Pennsylvania and ranged in grade level from freshmen to seniors. Why were they here? To spend the day learning about the senate with Goucher’s Model Senate Program. Model Senate in general is a program where participants are assigned a senator and must take on the role of that senator. This includes supporting the issues their senator would support. It also includes following parliamentary processor on the senate floor and attending community meetings. Goucher’s Model Senate Program is going on its fourth year and attracts about 40 or so students from high schools all around Maryland and Pennsylvania. The students that attend this program aren’t necessarily the students most interested in American government; some teachers send students they think that are struggling with learning about government in the traditional classroom setting. Faculty adviser for the Model Senate Club and Political Science professor Nina Kasniunas says, “Model Senate seems to give participant students a much better understanding of how the Senate works — the good and the bad. They tend to walk away with a greater level of confidence in themselves as well as a desire to know more. I think this probably leads to higher levels of political efficacy and builds leadership skills.” PSC 243 American Political Systems, a class taught by Kasniunas, was very involved in making the Model Senate Program go smoothly. “Model Senate showcases how engaged our own students are, and this sometimes creates greater interest among participant students in considering Goucher when they apply to college.” says Kasniunas. The high school students aren’t the only ones that benefited. Ned Ryan ‘17 a sophomore in PSC 243 class says, “Working with the high school students re-enforced my own knowledge of the senate. It’s always good to get a refresher in the senate process.”

Reel Talk with Annie: “Whiplash”

Annie Schwartz

Staff Writer

Never did I think that a movie about a jazz musician could be more terrifying than any horror film in the books. Indeed, “Whiplash” will make your skin crawl quicker than any slasher flick on the big screen. A student at a Julliard equivalent, Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller) is an aspiring drummer, determined to become the next Buddy Rich, one of the greatest drummers of all time. Only one thing stands in his way: Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), conductor of the first-tier band. Fletcher, who might as well be referred to as He Who Shall Not Be Named, is far more than your typical hard-ass. He will chew you up and spit you out faster than Neyman can play his best-double time swing, and is not afraid to do so. Veins pulsing, Fletcher throws insults (and chairs) at a countless number of students for forgetting sheet music, being out of tune, and of course, “not quite,” on his, “tempo.” With an open seat available in the band, Neyman auditions and is unsurprisingly offered the spot. Unfortunately his luck stops there. Before long, Neyman is dealt his share of Fletcher’s harsh blows, landing him in a pool of his own sweat, tears, and blood. Yes, you heard correctly. Fletcher’s tactics are clearly extreme in producing the best musicians in the country. In this cutthroat world in which students are literally driven to insanity, director Damien Chazelle incorporates rhythm and tempo to convey the sense of anxiety that overtakes Neyman and the other students. Close-ups on wood-tipped sticks slapping the skin of the snare mirror your heart palpitations caused by Fletcher’s bloodcurdling screams. Blood, like splatter paint, decorates the symbols, the camera tilting up to reveal Neyman’s festering blisters. The combination of sharp cuts aligned with the beat of fast-tempo jazz makes “Whiplash” even more enthralling. While I love “Whiplash” because I am a drummer myself, music education is not necessary to become captivated by Chazelle’s depiction of the competitive world of music. With its stellar photography, strong script (included in the 2012 Black List), and powerhouse acting, it is no surprise that “Whiplash “ has received great acclaim. Nominated for the Queer Palm Award at the 67th Cannes Film Festival and winner of the Dramatic Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, “Whiplash” has received a total of five wins and three nominations. This film is worth an $11 movie ticket. It will not leave you disappointed. Receiving four stars on rogerebert.com, I have to say Whiplash is a must-see film of the season.

Goucher Eats: “Just Food”

Jessica Gude

Features Co-Editor

This semester has been a tough one. It’s been a semester with a lot of late nights and minor breakdowns. I feel like I have been running non-stop, which was difficult coming off of a similarly non-stop summer. It was a summer of 60-hour weeks, and at the end of August, my manager apologized, “I’m sorry, I think I may have worked you a little too hard.” It wasn’t her fault, as I had told her repeatedly that working six or seven days a week was fine. But near the end especially, the pace became a bit difficult to maintain. There was one instance, on my last night in fact, that I almost lost it. In a restaurant, there is never a single incident that causes disaster. It is usually a combination of things, which amass to form a giant ball of entropy, which inevitably explodes. On my last night, I was expediting; we had a decently full board of tickets hanging. I was talking to the kitchen asking about the lead ticket when they decided to give me that ticket and about half of every other ticket. I have a pretty small space to work in, and because I didn’t have all of any one table’s food, I couldn’t send any of it out. So I quickly ran out of space, but the kitchen kept trying to give me more food, and all of the servers then fired their entrees at that moment, so I had a huge strand of unread tickets printing off, but none of those servers wanted to run food. I was on the verge of break down. “Woah, guys don’t kill the expo.” Debbie, my manager, said as she appeared at my side. She looked over at me and saw my look of panic. “Calm down, baby. It’s just food.” I did calm down eventually and somehow we got the food out. I stabbed the tickets (and my finger, in my shakiness), called and hung the new ones, and everything fell back into its normal ebb and flow. But I kept thinking about what she said, “It’s just food.” And even though in a restaurant food is never “just food,” she’s right. In a restaurant, food is art, it is currency, it is given and received in a predictable and comforting pattern, but it is just food. It is easy to make food bigger than what it is physically. And in many ways, food is bigger than its physical self. It has cultural implications, it can evoke memories and feelings, it is something people go to school for, and it is what some people spend all of their time thinking about. Food is beautiful and wonderful and important, but ultimately it is food; it is just sustenance. It is something that our bodies need and this makes it incredibly complex and stupidly simple. We need food, yes, but beyond that there are some foods that we want and some foods that we think will make us feel better or healthier. There are foods that are important to us for a variety of reasons, foods that we feel comfortable with, and foods that make us uncomfortable. But at the end of the day, we just need food. No matter how we feel about that food, we need it. And this dependency makes the relationship very simple- you need it so eat it- and also very complicated- other than the fact that you need food, what should determine what and how you eat? It’s not an easy question, and there isn’t an easy answer. It can be confusing and sometimes even overwhelming, but maybe it would help if every once and a while we stepped off the line, took a deep breath, and reminded ourselves; it’s just food.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 691 other followers