The Wizard

Manitou Messenger - 1 hour 49 min ago

There is a wizard in my biology class. I’m sure of it. I hate to use the word wizard, really, because of its strong association with a certain ensemble of fictional teenage heroes, but I don’t know what else to call somebody with magical powers such as his. My roommates do not believe me, of course, despite the mounting evidence in favor of my hypothesis, and they refuse to take seriously my research on the topic, but I am certain that science will eventually prove me right. I tell them to trust me. Most often, they just laugh.

When I began my third year as a biology and Spanish student here at this fine undergraduate institution, I had no reason to suspect that I would uncover a case as highly unusual as this one—and only four seats away from me every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for fifty-five minutes! After all, I had completed numerous science classes with no grade worse than a B+ and no incident more notable than one near-fainting episode during a lecture on the circulatory system. But when I marched into the classroom this fall, on the first day of Biology 221, something was different. At first, I assumed that a summer away from school had sharpened my sensitivity to the scent of formaldehyde that settled over the science building every morning. But as Professor Gutierrez called out all of our names that first day, and my eyes rested on the face belonging to the last name on the alphabetically organized roster—Lars Tomson—I nearly gasped. It was not formaldehyde in the air that September day. It was Lars.

Though I had suspected Lars had some sort of supernatural power since that very first day of our biology class, my theory was not confirmed until the second of November, when he first spoke to me in the hallway outside of the campus coffee shop. “How’s it going?” he said, in a very ordinary manner. Naturally, I opened my mouth to respond with my standard answer to that question—Great! And how are you doing?—but the words didn’t come out. Nothing did. Dumbfounded, I cleared my throat and tried again, managing a wimpy “hi” in reply before continuing my walk to the library. Initially, I assumed this incident must have been an anomaly. After all, I consistently test as 100% extraverted on the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory, and my roommates frequently remind me that when I talk too much, people are prone to tuning me out. I never have trouble speaking; indeed, I have the opposite problem. But it happened again in class the next Monday when Lars asked me a question about ribosomal RNA, and yet again a few days later when he inquired about my plans for Thanksgiving break. I mysteriously lost my ability to converse normally whenever in his presence. I felt enveloped in a sort of chloroformic fog until we parted ways, and then all my faculties came rushing back. Naturally, as soon as I observed that these occurrences had become a pattern, I decided to investigate.

After a few Google searches and a bit of other relevant reading, I began to suspect that Lars possessed some sort of supernatural ability to impede the normal function and cognition of those near him. I started to realize that he might be a wizard. I knew I needed to experiment further, because I, of course, am not a witch, and therefore could not be suspected to know how these kinds of things work.

This brings me to a second subject that has me baffled. Who came up with this distinction between wizards and witches? It’s horrible, really. A wizard is a smiling bearded man with adorable half-moon spectacles who casts an occasional spell—someone like Merlin, or maybe Dumbledore, but witches are these horribly mean-spirited and frumpy old ladies who always lose—always—and they’re always ugly. I could use the word sorceress instead, I guess, but that seems pretty awful too, like a woman who hunches over some sort of foggy glass ball with a crooked wooden staff in one hand and a wild, black raven resting on the other. I really would like to ask Lars about this distinction, of course, and maybe inquire if there exists some sort of universal word for all magic-doers. I imagine he would know the answer. But I can’t do that, of course, because of his wizardlike ability to turn me mute whenever I might have the opportunity to question him. So I decided to hypothesize, observe, and record my interactions with Lars over the course of several weeks, in hopes of eventually finding answers to both of these questions.

After a month of careful experimentation and strict adherence to the scientific method, I can say with near certainty that Lars Tomson is a wizard. Hypothesis: Lars from Biology 221 is the possessor of some sort of supernatural skillset. Experiment: Observe and record my own mental and physical responses to the subject’s presence. Observations: When subject is in sight, reactions typically include, but are not limited to, loss of ability to form intelligent and coherent sentences, heightened anxiety, loss of appetite, and increased likelihood to smile or laugh in the absence of logical reason to do so. Reactions are consistently stronger when engaged in conversation with the subject. Conclusions: The subject consistently causes irrational behavior to emerge from those in his immediate presence. Though there is not yet enough evidence to say so with complete certainty, the subject is likely a wizard of some kind.

You can expect to see a published report on my findings in the near future. This discovery will likely change the course of modern science as we know it. Trust me.

Categories: Colleges

Men’s soccer team falls short: Nationally ranked Loras College defeats St. Olaf 3-2

Manitou Messenger - 1 hour 51 min ago

The St. Olaf men’s soccer team squared off against the No. 2 ranked Loras College on Sept. 13 on Rolf Mellby Field. It was a closely contested matchup in which both teams had multiple opportunities to take control of the game.

Spurred on by a vocal and hostile crowd of over 300 people, the Oles began the game on the offensive, forcing the Duhawks to play on their heels for the first ten minutes of the game. This aggressive play paid off in the 12th minute, when a free kick by Matt Kessler ’15 slipped through the opposing goalkeeper’s hands, giving the Oles a 1-0 lead.

Despite the early goal, both teams struggled to create opportunities, and gameplay was limited to sparring and uncontrolled possession. The game continued this way until Loras began to pressure the Oles on the wings, with the Duhawks crossing the ball 17 times in comparison to St. Olaf’s 0. Loras equalized in the 25th minute off a header from Jorge Simon’16, drawing the game back level.

At this point, St. Olaf was forced on its heels as the Duhawks continued to press forward from all areas of the pitch, with shots frequently testing Ole goalkeeper Randall Rude ’18.

The second half continued in the same fashion as the first, with the Ole defense struggling to keep Loras away from its goal. With crosses coming in one after another it was no surprise that Loras scored once again in the 56th minute, when Alex Bradley ’16 lofted a ball up for Tom Fluegel ’18 to easily head into the goal, making the game 2-1.

The Loras strike seemed to be the catalyst for the St. Olaf players who soon began to push back against the Loras attack with their own attacking forays. The Oles had multiple chances throughout the middle of the second half, including several well hit shots, only to be saved by an impressive Loras goalkeeper. The game soon began to turn physical, with both sides picking up yellow cards and struggling to maintain possession. Another Ole free kick sailed inches wide of the goal post, adding to the list of missed opportunities. The outlook for the Oles seemed hopeless when Loras capitalized on a controversial penalty in the 81st minute by Simon. Despite this setback, the Oles kept themselves in the game by catching the Loras defense sleeping and scoring off a cross from Jens Undlin ’16 to Aaron Stets ’16 in the 82nd minute. The last remaining minutes were full of valiant efforts by the St. Olaf forwards, but the whistle blew, ending the game at 3-2. Despite the loss, the Oles competed with one of the top soccer teams in the entire nation. With that being said, the Oles can move on to their next games with the confidence and mentality that they can compete with any other team are pitted against.


Categories: Colleges

Music on Trial: September 19, 2014

Manitou Messenger - 1 hour 55 min ago

You’ve probably heard by now that Hoodie Allen is the fall concert here at St. Olaf. The choice to host the rapper has been subject to a lot of criticism among students. However, there may be a few things about Hoodie, other than his music, that you haven’t heard. For instance, Hoodie Allen worked at Google before quitting to pursue his rap career. Come check him out in the Pause on Saturday, Sept. 20. The show starts at 8:00 p.m. with the campus band Megatherium Club.

Hardly the only indicator of this campus’ burgeoning music scene, Megatherium Club was one of four bands to play in the first music event of the year. At the annual Block Party, a modest gathering of students took to the quad to hear some campus-music-scene mainstays. Student Government Association (SGA) respectfully held off blasting Top 40 for a couple hours and gave way to Christian Wheeler feat. John Kronlokken, Maria & the Coins, Air is Air and Megatherium Club.

Each of these artists can be found on First Feast, DNNR PRTY’s Spring 2014 release available online at As some of you may remember, DNNR PRTY released this album to feature the original works of 14 campus musicians. From the recording session to the production of a physical CD, this student group has worked wonders in professionalizing and promoting the campus music scene. Last year I participated as a member of Air is Air and Megatherium Club. This year, I’m proud to be the Marketing and Events Coordinator of DNNR PRTY.

I feel it is important to acknowledge the past year of music at Olaf. We heard performances from Caroline Smith, Andy Grammer, Cloud Cult and Local Natives. We waited with bated breath as campus bands Air is Air, Merino Wool and Megatherium Club released albums independently (find them on bandcamp). Look forward to new releases from Fringe Pipes, Air is Air and Megatherium Club this year.

I will be contribuiting to this column for the remainder of the year. With much editorial help, I am confident in my ability to put forward a fabulous music column. After all, $\geq \frac{1}{2}$ of my WRIs came from math classes. I play drums in Fringe Pipes, Megatherium Club and Jazz 1. I work as a Peer Advisor in the Piper Center and am a founding member of the creativity initiative bloom’s core group. I enjoy pizza bagels so much that the topping combination of sausage and green peppers has been termed by my friends as the “Open Face Jay.”

Let’s talk music! Shoot me an email, Facebook me or find me at pretty much any St. Olaf music event. Finally, if you find yourself in the audience of a campus band this year, whether in the Pause or at a house, please take a minute to appreciate that they put massive amounts of time into basically sounding like Dave Matthews Band. So listen up. Ya dig?

Categories: Colleges

On-campus bands tune up for promising performance

Manitou Messenger - 1 hour 56 min ago

Northfield has traditionally been known as a hotspot for producing a wide range of innovative musicians. Some of these musicians hailing from St. Olaf have been playing together for over 3 years in student bands. Campus Bands such as Air is Air, Maria and the Coins, Megatherium Club, Annie and the Screw ups and Merino Wool work to create, record and produce original music all on their own.

Coming from a diverse set of musical backgrounds, the sounds and aesthetics vary from group to group, but the message of creating original and authentic new music is the same. All of the bands work toward a common goal to create music they love and want to bring to the campus. The bands often work together and support each other on different projects, such as the DNNR PRTY album produced last year.

“It’s kind of a running joke that no person is in just one band; it always seems like this person drums for this band, but they’re the vocalist for this band, so there is a lot of cross-over.” Maria Coyne ’15, songwriter and vocalist for Maria and the Coins said. “In that way there is just a lot of support between the campus bands and I feel really lucky to be apart of that.”

Though their line-up has changed a little throughout the years, Coyne (vocalist), Nick Baker ’15 (bass), Harrison Hintzsche ’16 (guitar), Zaq Baker ’15 (keyboard) and John Krohlokken ’16 (drums) have officially been playing together as Maria and the Coins since last year’s DNNR PRTY album.

In contrast to Maria and the Coins’ singer-songwriter ambience, Air is Air is a heavy rock, planetary-punk group. With a contrast of hard rock and ethereal sounds, Air is Air brings an entirely different atmosphere to the band scene at St. Olaf. Members Zach Harris ’16 (vocals), Ben Ronning ’16 (guitar), Aleks Seeman ’16 (bass), Adrian Calderan ’16 (keyboard) and Colin Loynachan ’16 (drums) started the band as something fun to do outside of the music programs at St. Olaf during their freshman year.

Other students such as Christian Wheeler ’16 have developed endeavors as singer-songwriters. Wheeler performs and writes a wide variety of solo music, and also drums for Merino Wool. Influenced by artists such as The Beatles and Billie Holiday, Wheeler values both the melodies and the lyrics of his songs. Wheeler has also been working with recording, producing and collaborating with other bands.

“With my own music it’s great, and I can pretty much take it any place that I want to,” Wheeler said. “I can go as shamelessly in the 60’s direction as I want, I’ll do a song thats like 20’s vaudeville jazz if I want, I can just play out all my musical fantasies without anyone telling me no.”

In another collaboration effort, Wheeler worked with Annie Weinheimer ’16 in The Loose Cannons. Weinheimer, the head song writer, along with Loynachan (bass) and Kronnlochen (drums), is working toward writing new and original songs and sounds this year with R&B and soul influences in mind.

“What I’m really excited about this year is we all have a cohesive idea that we want our music to have a purpose and a message,” Weinheimer said. “We want our feel of the music, our emotion and what’s going on in our lives to be conveyed in our songs, and have the audience to connect to that.”

Weinheimer also finds the interconnectedness between the bands at St. Olaf a good way to foster challenging each other and the support of music. Many members of St. Olaf bands play in more than one band. Wheeler is also involved in Merino Wool as a drummer with members Nick Baker (vocals, guitar), Zach Westermeyer ’15 (vocals, keyboard), and Ryan Heltemes ’15 (bass).

As an Indie-rock band, the members of Merino Wool have been playing music for their entire lives, and all come from different musical backgrounds. All of the songs the group performs are original, with their head song writers being Nick Baker and Westermeyer. When writing songs, Nick Baker usually comes up with melodies first, and then adds lyrics. After that, the writers bring their songs to the rest of the band.“My favorite thing is when I finish a song, and I think I know what it’s going to sound like, and then I take it to the guys and it ends up being something totally different,” Nick Baker said. “Its awesome, because all three of them are really great musicians and really fun to work with.”

Opening acts for Fall and Spring concerts are a popular venue for bands to gain visibility. This fall, Megatherium Club will be the opener for Hoodie Allen. Megatherium Club Members Ben Marolf  ’15 (vocals), Elliot Tadanier ’15 (guitar), Shane Allen ’14 (keyboard), Sam Benson ’15 (bass), Ben Lipson ’15 (woodwinds) and Jay Carlson ’15 (drums) have been playing together and adding new members since their freshman year.

Megatherium Club isn’t genre oriented and the members play whatever feels artistically appropriate to them. They believe it’s very important to reach the people their music is really going to resonate with, rather than reaching an extremely broad audience. For Tadanier it is about having their music be respected by the people they respect.

“I really don’t want people to feel ambivalent about our music,” Tadanier said. “You can love it, you can hate it – I just don’t want you to be bored with it.”

Megatherium Club members plan to continue with the band after they graduate this year. They feel that being in a band is what they always have wanted to do, and that their band allows them to create their own standard for success.

“We’ve worked really hard on it these last four years and it’s immensely satisfying when it’s finished,” Tadanier said. “It’s one of those things that when it’s done there’s no one else you can blame it on but yourself and that is one of the most rewarding things.”

Categories: Colleges

Militarized local police sows tension, distrust

Manitou Messenger - 2 hours 16 sec ago

It has been 150 years since the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified by Congress and five decades since the march on Washington where Martin Luther King delivered his monumental “I Have A Dream” speech.

Nevertheless, even now, when common sense and equality for all reign as dominant ideologies in the Western world, we see cases like the shootings of Trayvon Martin – just two years ago – and Michael Brown on Aug. 9, which led to massive protests and accusations of racial profiling and discrimination by law enforcement.

Yet, beyond the questions of skin color and hierarchy during the past few weeks, a larger concern emerged. The people whose duty is to protect the public have transformed into an iron-fisted regime, arresting and persecuting those who show signs of being subversive or oppositional to government policies.

Militarization of the police department did not highly concern  the general public until the problems in Ferguson, when Americans witnessed police forces using body armor, water cannons, tear gas and armored vehicles against innocent civilians. However, this is not something that simply started out of the blue.

Due to the worsening drug crisis of the 1990s, Section 1208 in the National Defense Authorization Act of 1990 had authorized for excess military hardware to be transferred to law enforcement agencies. Since then, it has also been extended to distribution to foreign military sales, humanitarian agency and emergency management in the U.S. According to the Defense Logistics Agency, $5.1 billion worth of equipment and property has been transferred since the regulation was adopted, with $4.5 billion of it transferred to the law enforcement agencies.

So, it shouldn’t be much of a shock to see Humvees in our suburban communities at night or for a police officer standing guard in a mall with an M16 in his hand. Of course, compared to mass shooters who escaped background checks in various gun stores, or the hardliners of the NRA who believe that the Second Amendment applies to every single American citizen to protect themselves from domestic “enemies” in the form of immigrants and asylum seekers, it would be better indeed to have the guns in the hands of those who have been assigned to protect our homes and loved ones.

Still, the question remains as to whether measures taken to ensure the people’s safety are really worth the guns, bullets, and armories in police possession. Wouldn’t it be better if police action were concentrated on building a “healthier” community that is economically living under a secure roof and has a decent source of income? Wouldn’t it be better to demonstrate the civility that the Western civilization claims to have over other ways of life?

Or should we simply continue to supply our police departments with heavy artillery and plant the seeds of distrust in our neighborhoods? Ongoing militarization of the law enforcement agency has shown that we would rather choose security in distrust than harmony in common sense.

Only time will tell if all of those bullets are worth the pennies spent and the blood spilt.

Samuel Pattinasarane ’18 ( is from Jakarta, Indonesia. He majors in political science.

Categories: Colleges

Campus welcomes new pastor: Pastor Katie Fick joins ministry

Manitou Messenger - 2 hours 2 min ago

The St. Olaf community welcomed a new member into its fold this summer. Pastor Katie Fick, recognizable around campus by her vibrant red hair and her kind smile, was recently installed as St. Olaf’s new associate pastor.

“From worship to pastoral conversations, learning opportunities to service projects, the associate college pastor is involved in every ministry of the St. Olaf student congregation,” College Pastor Matthew Marohl said. “Pastor Fick brings joy and grace and depth to all aspects of her pastoral ministry. I am thrilled to have her join our college ministry team.”

Fick grew up in Wells, Minn. She was involved with the Lutheran church throughout her life but wasn’t sure how to continue her interest in religious studies. She graduated from Augustana College in South Dakota with a degree in vocal performance and no certain plans about her future.

It wasn not until she worked an office job at a church that she realized her calling.

“I saw everybody’s roles in the church, and when I watched the pastors and the relationships they got to have, I realized that’s what I wanted to do. I really loved being able to have those real relationships, being a part of people’s lives,” Fick said.

Fick looks forward to nurturing those relationships with St. Olaf students. Her favorite aspect of the college is the engagement and enthusiasm of the student body.

“When I hand out communion, people are all smiling; they can’t wait,” she said. “The students are happy to be here, they’re engaged, they want to talk about their lives and their enthusiasm for this place.”

Fick is also enthusiastic about the college and how it complements her gifts and goals as a pastor. At St. Olaf, she is able to focus on two of her favorite pastoral duties – worship and in-depth relationships – without worrying about other duties like stewardship or fundraising.

“I got really excited when I heard about the opening at St. Olaf,” Fick said. “It’s such a vibrant worship life; there’s so many worship opportunities. And you get to be with students all the time. I immediately was drawn to it.”

Coming from a four-year position at a parish with a congregation of about 100 people, St. Olaf’s population of more than 3,000 students is a welcome contrast for the extroverted pastor.

While Boe Chapel identifies with the Lutheran tradition, Fick stressed that any student with any religious background is welcome to attend worship and come to her for advice and counseling.

When asked about which student organizations she sees herself getting involved with, she mentions the Secular Student Alliance with just as much enthusiasm as the multitude of Christian groups.

“What we really want our ministry to be is a hub of religious life on campus and a resource for all students,” Fick said. “We clearly provide Christian worship, but we want anybody to be able to come to us with questions about any kind of worship, and we can work to address those.”

She emphasized a spirit of openness.

“Anyone is welcome,” Fick said. “We’re part of the community – we’ll be at events, we care about students and we care about your lives here.”

This sense of community will serve Pastor Fick well in her ministry here at St. Olaf.

Student Congregation Council (SCC) Senior Representative Hannah D. Olson ’15 said that SCC is thrilled that Pastor Fick has been installed.

“We are excited to work with her. She and Pastor Matt already seem to make a great team,” Olson said. “She is enthusiastic and fun, and we are all happy to have her join the community.”

For those interested in reaching out to Pastor Fick, conversations with her are completely confidential. Her office is located directly underneath Boe Chapel. Her office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Categories: Colleges

Knights Drop OT Heartbreaker to No. 19 Luther, 2-1

Carleton Sports - 2 hours 42 min ago

Jordy Cammarota came up big with his third goal in the last two matches, but a victory wasn’t in the cards as the Carleton College men’s soccer team dropped a hotly contested match at home to the national No. 19 Luther College, 2-1 in overtime.

Categories: Colleges

Men's Cross Country takes 5th at St Olaf Invite, Horner 3rd overall.

Carleton Sports - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 9:17pm

Men's Cross Country takes 5th at the St Olaf Invitational behind Hart Horner's third place finish.

Categories: Colleges

Women's CC races to 2nd at St Olaf Invitational

Carleton Sports - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 8:43pm

The #15 nationally ranked Women's Cross Country team raced to a 2nd place finish at the St Olaf Invitational on Saturday.

Categories: Colleges

Wells, Holden Lead Knights to College City Challenge First Round Lead

Carleton Sports - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 8:32pm

Taylor Wells and Shannon Holden fired six-over par 79s and find themselves tied for first place after the College City Challenge's first round. The Knights posted a 322 team score and lead St. Thomas (328) and Gustavus Adolphus (330). Geraldine Tellbuescher is tied for third, one shot back of first place.

Categories: Colleges

Quick start fades as Knights drop MIAC opener to Augsburg

Carleton Sports - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 5:16pm

The Carleton College football team scored on its first play from scrimmage but found it tough going the rest of the afternoon as the Knights dropped a 42-14 result to Augsburg College in the MIAC opener for both squads.

Categories: Colleges

Knights Strike Early and Often, Earn 4-2 Win Over Saint Mary's

Carleton Sports - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 4:52pm

Behind a dominant offensive attack, the Carleton College women's soccer team scored three times in the first half and added a fourth goal early in the second half to cruise to 4-2 victory over Saint Mary’s University Saturday afternoon at Bell Field.

Categories: Colleges

Jordy Cammarota, McGarrity Lift Knights Over Saint Mary’s, 3-0

Carleton Sports - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 4:15pm

Jordy Cammarota and Branden McGarrity featured heavily, with Cammarota scoring two goals and McGarrity notching a goal and two assists as the Carleton College men’s soccer team defeated Saint Mary’s University, 3-0.

Categories: Colleges

Oles take final match at SCU Invite

St. Olaf Athletics News - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 1:00am
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Devon Flohrs' 12 kills sparked a four-set victory over Grinnell College for the St. Olaf volleyball team in the team's final match at the St. Catherine University Invitational on Saturday afternoon.
Categories: Colleges

St. Olaf women lose 3-0 to Saint Ben's

St. Olaf Athletics News - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 1:00am
NORTHFIELD, Minn. - Alyssa Hoffman had a goal and two assists as the College of Saint Benedict defeated St. Olaf 3-0 in a MIAC women's soccer game on Saturday afternoon at Rolf Mellby Field.
Categories: Colleges

St. Olaf men hold off Saint John's 2-1

St. Olaf Athletics News - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 1:00am
NORTHFIELD, Minn. - Kevin Skrip and Amadou Gueye each scored to lead the St. Olaf men's soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Saint John's University with a goal on Saturday afternoon at Rolf Mellby Field.
Categories: Colleges

Football falls at No. 15 Bethel

St. Olaf Athletics News - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 1:00am
ARDEN HILLS, Minn. - No. 15 Bethel University defeated visiting St. Olaf 40-0 in a MIAC football game on Saturday afternoon.
Categories: Colleges

St. Olaf women finish 3rd at St. Olaf Invite

St. Olaf Athletics News - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 1:00am
NORTHFIELD, Minn - The St. Olaf women's cross country team was 3rd in a 16-team field at the St. Olaf Invitational on Saturday, led by eighth and ninth place runs from Jordan Johnson and Jamie Hoornaert.
Categories: Colleges

St. Olaf men place 3rd at St. Olaf Invite.

St. Olaf Athletics News - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 1:00am
NORTHFIELD, Minn. - The St. Olaf men's cross country team placed third in its home invitational led by individual champion Grant Wintheiser.
Categories: Colleges

St. Olaf lose 3-0 against UW Stout in second game of St.Kate's Invite

St. Olaf Athletics News - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 1:00am
St. Paul, Minn.- After a victory against Loras College, St.Olaf lost 3-0 against UW Stout in their second game of the St. Kate's Invite.
Categories: Colleges

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