Just a quick correction, the Spike Lee event was hosted by the PCB (Pugh Community Board) not the SPB (Student Programming Board). I apologize to the PCB for the mistake and thank them for putting on such a wonderful event! Please don’t kill me, or if you do make it quick.
Archives by Month: February 2012
Alright, so I’m finally focusing on a more campus centered topic. And.. what better way to do it besides talk about SGA and SPB? For those of you who don’t know, SGA is the Student Government Association on campus and SPB is the Student Programming Board. SGA does more administrative stuff while SPB focuses on social activities and bringing entertainment to campus. SGA is completely student run, and controls room draw, rooming situations, clubs, and even when classes are held. Want less 8 AM’s? SGA can take care of that for you.. and all the decisions they make are completely student-sovereign. Usually the class representatives, who win through an election, are extremely outgoing and take almost any suggestion you have. SGA also works very close with SPB, and to be honest I don’t know whether some of the events below are SPB or SGA exactly.
Some of the largest SPB events on campus are the dances here at Colby. We always have a dance and a concert every Loudness weekend, but many more dances take place periodically. (For those of you who don’t know, our “Loudness’s” are the first and last weekend of every semester- a designated “party” weekend, but always filled with many, many different SPB events) Generally, we have at least one or two more dances during the semester as well, such as the Halloween dance, Fall Formal, and Spring Formal. Dances besides the formals always have a theme, such as the recent Mardi Gras dance, the James Bond dance earlier this year, or a similar type of theme. We usually have them in either Paige commons or in Foss, and they’re always different and always a blast! Sometimes we have a student DJ, sometimes SPB pays for one, and sometimes we have some other type of option like having student made music play.
Now that we’re speaking about music, that leads me to the second big routine SPB event on campus- concerts! Usually we have a couple big concerts each year- last year we had Dropkick Murphys, White Panda, and Wiz Khalifa. So far this year we’ve had Timeflies, Theophilus London, and the concert rumored for this spring Loudness is either Ludicrous or J. Cole. For a pretty small liberal arts school, that list is definitely pretty impressive. I’m proud to say I haven’t missed a concert so far, and in my opinion the smaller lesser known concerts are best. White Panda, in my opinion, was absolutely amazing. Generally we have a ton of other small concerts such as ones by student bands as well.
This is getting pretty long so I think I’m just going to list just a few of the SPB/SGA events that I can remember off the top of my head. People always ask me what it is like going to school in Waterville, Maine, where there’s no way to get off campus. Besides me telling them that in fact Waterville has pretty much everything and is awesome, I’d tell them that Colby has a very deep and vested interest in keeping its students on the hill happy and spends a great deal of money on social related activities. If you ever have any ideas, let SPB or SGA know and I’m sure they would be more than happy to try and make it an option! Anyways here are a very small amount of activities that I can think of:
-Buses to Sugarloaf
-Colby ski day
-Tons of comedians, (Bob Marley is AMAZING) Hypnotists, Psychics
-Free movie tickets and buses
-Tons of free food (coffee, Dunkin Donuts during finals, hot chocolate.. I could go on for years)
-Hat making, tee-shirt making
-Themed hockey and football games
-Ice skating on Johnson pond with music, free food, coffee, and hot chocolate
-So many t-shirts..
-Bingo, with iPads, iPods and other great things as prizes (hint: not many people go to these so if you ever want a free iPad.. you know where to go!)
-Octoberfest, Winter Carnival
-Free beer, free wine, and free kegs paid for by Colby (if you’re of age, of course!)
-Laser tag (this is actually the most amazing thing ever.. a gigantic laser tag course inside the field house set up.. just awesome)
-And many more!
Maybe it’s not his fault entirely, but today I was sitting in my philosophy of religion class feeling as if God was smiting me.
I’m better now so I guess the jury’s still out on that.
Today was the final day to submit applications to be a COOT leader. I had a great time on my COOT, and I feel obligated to show incoming freshmen a similarly good time. I had never been camping before, and coming to a new school away from that big bright city a couple hours south ya’ll may have heard of, I was hit with some big time Maine. Which, luckily, is incredibly beautiful. Close one, right? And yes I pillaged (rather, my textbook over-packing parents pillaged) the L.L Bean in Freeport to get all my sweet camping gear. I’ll tell you what I actually used: my sleeping bag and a Tupperware container. The biodegradable toilet paper I probably could have done without, but I guess better safe than sorry; Vacationland has outhouses along the hiking trails.
Besides wanted to flex my leadership qualities, the big reason I want to be a COOT leader is to come to camp Colby; that is, Colby without class. At the end of the summer. With a bunch of your friends. Salivating? It’s every northeast liberal arts college student’s dream – school without the class in a gorgeous state with gratuitous amounts of free time. Someone told me you even get wilderness first aid training and I’m just like CAN THIS GET ANY BETTER. But actually, I’m trying to water ski or something. Pray you’re on my COOT and I’ll pray that I’ll lead a COOT. That should cover all bases.
Last Wednesday, Homi K. Bhabha, Professor of English at Harvard, visited Colby as an advocate for the college’s new initiative to develop a humanities center. The proposed center has support from the prestigious Mellon Foundation and, if approved, will launch next year. Bhabha, a postcolonial literary and cultural theorist, participated in a roundtable discussion with students and faculty moderators in the afternoon, and delivered a lecture on the fate of the humanities in the evening.
I have learned from discussions with my professors both within and outside of the classroom that Colby’s interest in starting a humanities center is part of a larger college-wide conversation on the role of humanities disciplines at Colby and beyond. Earlier in the year, for example, Colby hosted Amherst Professor Arthur Zajonc, who is actually a physicist, to present one opinion on the role of the humanities in higher education; his theory supported compassion and sensibility in humanities programs, and hoped that this type of education could lead to civic action. Bhabha’s argument was different and, I’d say, more compelling in its insistence that individuals recognize the centrality of the humanities in college education. On Wednesday, he stated the harsh fact that funding allocated for research in the sciences constitutes 46 times the amount that is allocated to research in the humanities. Bhabha rightfully argued that this discrepancy constitutes a major crisis in the humanities, and that such a crisis is, in fact, representative of a global crisis in civility. That is, because language allows us to both create the content of culture and critique that culture, societies that devalue the humanities risk barbarism.
Bhabha’s lecture, then, stressed the importance of developing a campus community that both nurtures the humanities and, in classic postcolonial fashion, also considers the widespread benefits that can be wrought if we recognize the position of the humanities as central to our learning, and refuse to let it continue to exist on the periphery. I have not been more excited about any Colby initiative in my multiple semesters here. I look forward to doing all that I can to help make the humanities center and its related programming a success at Colby, and I am confident that Bhabha was correct in his assertion that Colby is the perfect place from which to develop and cultivate such a center and, more generally, humanities programming.
Last night, Spike Lee came to Colby as a keynote speaker for S.H.O.U.T weekend. He spoke to about 400+ students, faculty, and townspeople in Lorimer chapel. The terrible image above was taken by me, right before he started speaking.
First off, this event was not easy to get access to.
SPB (The Student Programming Board) PCB (Pugh Community Board) had 450 tickets for students and distributed them out on two days, from 8AM to 6PM. Each day’s batch of tickets was sold out before 9AM. Nevertheless, live feeds were shown throughout the campus so anyone who wanted to could watch. When he spoke, it felt like the entire Colby student population was watching.
Mr. Spike Lee was a very inspiring speaker. He talked about his life story, how he got into filmmaking today, the whitewashing of Hollywood, and much more. He encouraged all budding young artists to stick with their craft, and to go “just do it”. He inspired people to go make a change and bring people together, through the power of art.
After his lecture, many young artists at Colby talked about how they felt motivated to continue on with their crafts. A Colby student asked Spike Lee about the influence of sports and sports’ culture on his films. While I am speaking for myself, I hope that everyone in Colby can agree when I say this: thank you Mr. Spike Lee for visiting and inspiring our school to get out there and bring about change.
Marie Colvin, who died this past week in a conflict in Syria, once said of journalists, ”Our mission is to speak the truth to power.”
I have the highest respect for her, and all journalists alongside her, who seek to convey the truth. They dedicate their lives to telling stories that deserve to be told; sharing the tragedies and triumphs of the people in those stories.
One such story teller, Andrea Bruce, recently visited Colby. Bruce, a photojournalist for the Washington Post, covers areas of the world that are experiencing the violence of war and rebellion.
I was captivated for an hour as Bruce shared some of her photographs during a presentation this past week. She spoke of soldiers, revolutionaries, mothers, children, war, death, culture, marriage, and joy as the breathtaking images she captured were projected behind her.
Bruce feels a responsibility, a kind of pull to cover the experiences of people living through a rebellion or surviving the aftermath of a war. Bruce was in Bahrain during the beginning of the violent revolution in the spring of 2011. During her presentation, she lamented that she is not there now reporting on the story. She said that she feels like their stories have been lost, and mentioned that protesters in Bahrain have emailed her, requesting that she come back to report on the ongoing events.
There’s something about a news article or photograph that can, in a way, validate the struggles of others. The story of a riot in print, the photo of a funeral published online shows that their efforts are not forgotten. They do not fight in anonymity or carry on alone – the world is watching.
To all those who tell the stories of others – thank you. A special thanks to Marie Colvin, Remi Ochlik, Andrew Shadid, and Gilles Jacquier who lost their lives to give voice to others.
Colvin and Ochlik were killed in a shelling this past week, Jacquier was the victim of an explosion on Janruary 11th. Shadid died of an apparent asthma attack on the 16th.
Trust is the basis of any positive relationship. Whether it is with your family, friends, teachers, bosses, or really anyone you meet, trust provides the foundation for how you will interact with that person. Without trust we are disoriented, stumbling around blindly and grabbing at thin air.
A lot of the time we take trust for granted. For instance, we all trust our professors to grade you fairly and give their honest opinion on your work, and I trust that when I go home my parents have not turned my bedroom into a storage room (even if my dad “jokes” about it). All of us have things we unconditionally trust in. These things keep us socially grounded and moving forward day after day. Here at Colby, I trust that if my roommates are both in the room they will be playing Fifa, the dryers in East will not be working well, and the curly fries at the Spa will be delicious.
These things are everyday, reliable events and therefore don’t take much effort to trust. The times when it is difficult to trust is when things aren’t going great. Trusting that the C from first semester won’t ruin your college career, or that an individual can make meaningful social change, is tough to do. Trusting that friends have your best intentions at heart, even when they do seemingly stupid or insensitive things is difficult. But without a belief that there’s always people to rely on and that things will ultimately work out, especially at the difficult nearly hopeless points in life, being happy and successful in whatever you are pursuing is going to be a hell of a lot harder.
Trust and faith are often synonymous. Trust can be reinforced but never a certainty and a lot of times it will seem to be hopelessly lost; but sometimes we have to take a leap of faith and trust that someone or something will break our fall. Just trust me on this.
Mom, don’t panic…
Let me do that because, goodness knows, I was in full panic mode last Wednesday night! It had been a long and busy day–Social Psychology lecture and my Weather, Climate, and Society class, followed by the official first day of the Spring Crew practice, and ending with a broomball game–before I returned, exhausted, to my room after 9 pm. I was ready to flop on my bed and open my computer, check my e-mail and Facebook before hitting the books when my heart dropped: I opened my backpack and realized that my computer wasn’t there. My initial panicked barrage of questions were fired off at my roommate, Olivia (roommates become the second best option to parents for thoughts and questions only you can answer but that still need to be processed out loud…!) and after mentally retracing the many steps of my day, I realized that I had left my laptop charging in the lobby of Diamond before my 11am class that morning. To say that I was worried, disappointed in myself, and downright distraught at the thought that I might have to replace the computer and everything on it (after, ahem, having just had to replace it last summer) is almost an understatement. I raced to Diamond, slipping and sliding on the ice, flew around the entrance and saw it: my beautiful little laptop, sitting exactly where I had left it, fully charged, and waiting for me! Walking back to my room, I reflected on two things– that I had to be more careful and responsible with this precious little piece of machinery, but also how amazing it is that no one had moved it, much less taken it, in the over 9 hours it was sitting there.
We frequently leave our books and computers occupying tables in Miller or drop full backpacks as we go into the dining halls, and I have left my dorm room unlocked many times. I am fully aware, though, that even on an isolated, close-knit campus things can go missing, and definitely am still careful about what I leave where. But my experience on Wednesday reaffirmed my sense of community and security on this campus. Thank you to all of you who walked by the deserted laptop in Diamond last Wednesday and thought only “someone’s probably panicking right now!” Will I be leaving my computer out in Diamond again? Nope, learned my lesson last week! But I have a strong faith in the integrity of the Colby students and staff that got even stronger last week. I trust my peers here, and believe that everyone has a good balance of staying safe and keeping track of their personal belongings, and a confidence that they belong to a community that will support them, not steal from them. So mom, while I seriously debated telling you about this slip up, I hope it reaffirms your faith, and the faith of all the readers out there, in what a great community we have going on the Hill!
I wish I could call myself a nerd, but the truth is I’m not smart enough to have earned that distinction. I’m getting there though, and taking five classes is certainly helping.
The thing about college is that you’re at an institution where you get to tailor your class schedule to your own interests. The thing about going to a liberal arts college is that you start out your freshman year as an econ major with a minor in environmental studies and you find yourself at the end of your junior year with the words “English Major” under your name tag wondering how you ever thought game theory would be worth stumbling through those menial econ theory classes. I guess it’s subjective, that stuff just isn’t my jam. I guess I’ll read a book about it or something.
At 20 years old being smart has finally become cool again, if not for the intrinsic value of the “did you know’s” then for the opportunities that being smart will be present in the forthcoming and terrifying real life. Colby has a comprehensive tuition, which means I can take as many classes as I damn well please because I don’t pay by any stupid class credit and I am for sure going to squeeze my moneys worth out of this place. The only problem with that is that I am a mere mortal who likes the humanities, which means I have to read a heinous amount of material every week. Heinous, as in shockingly evil.
I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t swamped, but I’ve come to terms with it; I think I just like being busy. Also I couldn’t even drop a class if I wanted to. Two classes I’m taking are for my English major which I want to finish early so I’m not forced to take a class senior year to fulfill a requirement, so those are out. I’m taking foundations of studio art, which requires a lot of out-of-class work but is a pre-req for all the sweet upper level courses (I’m looking at you, printmaking.) Also, there’s charcoal pencils in my art kit that have yet to be used, so I can’t leave just yet – something beautiful is about to happen. Next is a business class, which I need as a pre-req for an advertising class next year so that’s out too. My last elective is Philosophy of Religion, which I wouldn’t dream of dropping despite a torturous reading requirement. I want to take metaphysics, the coolest subject of all, in the fall, so I need the other philosophy course as, you guessed it, a pre-req.
So pretty much all I can do is complain, but the fact of the matter is, the liberal arts just get me jazzed up about learning.
Okay, so I know I’ve focused a lot recently about off campus topics. I’ll be getting back to more campus specific things soon, I promise! Anyways, so my last two posts were about hanging out in Waterville and taking some ski trips, and I thought I’d fill you guys in about other things you can do in Maine. Since I’m from Maine, I obviously could think of a thousand different things you could do, but I thought I’d focus more on the things me and other Colby students have done off campus in the past since I’ve been here.
Not going to lie, besides my aforementioned ski trips, there isn’t a whole lot to do north of Colby besides hunt some deer, tap some maple syrup and enjoy a laid back rustic lifestyle. South of Colby and on the coast however, there is a plethora of things to do. Trips to either Portland or Freeport on the weekends are extremely popular among Colby students, as Freeport is about 45 minutes away and Portland’s a bit over an hour. I have taken trips to both with friends from Colby more times than I can count. There are tons of buses to Portland if you can’t find a ride, and Freeport isn’t all that hard to get to either being just off I-95. Being the largest city in Maine, Portland obviously has a huge amount going on. It’s an awesome place to just go walk around and hang out, having an amazing location being situation right on the water. It has tons of quaint but amazing restaurants and every watersport during the warmer months you could imagine. It also happens to house Maine’s only Chipotle. I know, Chipotle, no big deal.
Portland head light:
Freeport is home to the one and only world famous L.L. Bean and is a large city with a small town feel at the same time:
Besides cities in the south, Maine also has a huge amount to do on the coast. During the fall or spring, it is pretty common for Colby students to go to Old Orchard Beach or other beaches in Freeport. Acadia National Park, however, is probably the largest attraction. Home to the only fjord in the United States and easily the most beautiful place I’ve been to in my life, me and a bunch of friends piled in two cars late last spring at Colby and spent a week camping on the island. Not only did we have an amazing time visiting the beaches and mountains, but we checked out Bar Harbor and all its restaurants and shops pre tourist season.
Some pics from our trip in the spring:
One other trip that is popular to Colby students is to go visit Montreal or Quebec on the weekends. Both are roughly five and a half hours away from campus, and you can easily go and spend a weekend there. Customs and Immigrations at the border is pretty lax, and it isn’t too big of a deal to just decide to go to Canada spur of the moment. Quebec City is amazing, especially during winter carnival, and although I haven’t been to Montreal, I’ve heard from other students who have journeyed there that it has amazing skiing and awesome night life. Obviously, these are just some of the things you can do in Maine, and I love hearing about creative trips that other friends at Colby have came up with. I have personally also taken trips from Colby on weekends to NYC, New Jersey, and Boston!
Photos courtesy of Morgan Rublee ’14 as well as me