Colleges

Knights Drop Five-Set Thriller to No. 24 Augsburg

Carleton Sports - Fri, 09/26/2014 - 9:46pm

Lucy Stevens (Fy./Portland, Ore./Oregon Episcopal School) claimed a career-best 17 kills and hit .471, while Karen Halls (SR./Edina, Minn.) added a 23 kills and six blocks (one solo), but the Carleton College volleyball team fell in a thrilling five-set match (25-23, 23-25, 25-17, 23-25, 15-10) to No. 24 Augsburg College in front of a raucous crowd at West Gym Friday evening.

Categories: Colleges

Green Groups Hope New Initiative Will Cut Waste

Carletonian - Fri, 09/26/2014 - 11:37am

Among the groups on campus working to reduce waste and create a culture of sustainability are: the Waste Monitors, student custodians who monitor the degree of contamination in the waste bins, and the Food Recovery Network, students who transport uneaten dining hall food (which would otherwise go to the garbage) to people in need. This year, both groups are expanding their operations.

Categories: Colleges

Perlman Museum Takes the Plunge with New Arctic Exhibit

Carletonian - Fri, 09/26/2014 - 11:28am

There have been heated debates on whether global warming is hap- pening or not for the past few decades. Ken Tape’s “Then and Now: The Changing Arctic Landscape,” an exhibition displayed at the Kaemmer Family Gallery of the Perlman Teaching Museum at the Weitz Center from September 19th to November 19th, has an concre- teanswer.

Categories: Colleges

Missing Wares Plague Cups Initiative

Carletonian - Fri, 09/26/2014 - 11:22am

As a result of last spring’s CSA elections, Carls voted to replace the compostable take-out cups in the dining hall with reusable cups. But students have not been returning the cups, cast- ing doubt upon the new system.

Categories: Colleges

Hudlin Wagner announces retirement

Carletonian - Fri, 09/26/2014 - 10:58am

A longtime advocate for minority students, Hudlin Wagner has announced she will retire at the end of this school year, after 25 years as a Carleton administrator.

Categories: Colleges

Sandell's Expulsion Prompts Amnesty Debate

Carletonian - Fri, 09/26/2014 - 10:50am

The evening of Sunday, September 15th, sophomore Zosie Sandell and five other Carleton students—including her roommate, fellow sophomore Zach Leonard—entered the Arb to take LSD.

Categories: Colleges

St. Olaf Sentiments: September 19, 2014

Manitou Messenger - Fri, 09/26/2014 - 10:49am

“Minnesotans are nice.” If we exclude the universally accepted cultural stereotypes about Minnesotans – don’t you know, we all eat tapioca pudding and hot dish; we’d never miss a Vikings game; and we all just love that Prince, you know – our “niceness” is our defining characteristic.

We can’t quantify this quality, but you know it when you see it. Making room for you to merge into traffic; holding the door or elevator for you; saying please and thank you; if you’ve experienced any of these – and, if you live here, you have – then you have been Minnesota-niced.

They say that here in Minnesota we are kind, courteous and well mannered – and they’re right. A Prairie Home Companion (the universally accepted expert on Minnesotans) observes that we speak a different language here: “it’s basically just your ordinary English except that there are no confrontational verbs or statements of strong personal preference, you know.”

No one really knows how we ended up being this nice. Perhaps it’s a delusion we pull over our thoughts and minds – something to do with the same mentality Minnesotans get in mid-February, after going without the sun for six weeks, our eyelashes frozen by the time we get to class. It’s the mentality that insists: “I think it was colder last year.” Or, “I’m so worried about that drought in California, you know.”

We say these things in order to persuade ourselves that it’s really not that bad here; but sometimes it seems almost as if we worry we’d offend Father Winter by not getting frostbite. Here, in Minnesota, we genuinely live and die by our niceness. It’s who we are.

So it was a shock then, having grown up all my life here in the nicest place on earth, to be confronted by something even more nice than the rest of Minnesota: Our St. Olaf student body. We are our own subset of Minnesota Nice – like a highly advanced breed, sequestered away to achieve even greater levels of niceness. And we are succeeding; I think we’re verging on Canadian niceness.

I’ve been on campus for little more than a week, and I have to say: it’s kind of weird. We leave our backpacks unattended, piled in heaps around the cafeteria, and we never worry that our bag might be taken. Even if it were, we’re sure it would be returned (cleaned and polished) without delay.

But there’s more weirdness: if you forget something in another person’s dorm room, no problem! Just go inside and get it; the door will surely be unlocked. There’s a distinct lack of cameras on campus. With any other student body that would mean everything is ripe for the taking. All of those tasty bottled drinks outside of the Pause could be yours for free without consequence. But we’re not supposed to take those, you know. So, here, we don’t.

I can’t really say why we’re so nice here. Perhaps it has something to do with our ingrained Minnesota niceness. Perhaps it’s much more than that. But whatever the reason, I hope it never changes. Because our niceness is something that not only differentiates us, but also elevates us. It makes us different than Carleton. It makes us special and unique.

We don’t follow the beat of the rest of society’s drum, but the beat of our own hearts. And you know, I think the rest of the world has a lot to learn from us. Because, Oles, we’re nice.

fulco@stolaf.edu

Categories: Colleges

New academic year brings faculty changes

Manitou Messenger - Fri, 09/26/2014 - 10:47am

The beginning of the school year means a new pack of first-years and the return of the upperclassmen. The same is also true for faculty. According to the Dean’s office, nine faculty members have been promoted this year, in addition to the 41 brand new faculty appearing this semester.

Here is a sample of just some of the new faces – or old faces in new places – that students may see around the Hill this fall:

PROMOTED FACULTY

Doug Beussman

This professor of chemistry specializes in the analytical area of his field, including mass spectrometry, bio-analytical chemistry and forensic science. Students interested in television shows such as CSI or Bones will be interested to learn that that he has conducted research in FBI labs. Rumor has it that he enjoys shattering the fantasies of would-be David Carusos in favor of more legitimate scientific method, which he believes to be a much more fascinating, albeit slower, process.

Paul Roback

This year, Regents Hall of Mathematical Sciences crowned a new king: Professor Paul Roback, Director of the Statistics Program. Roback teaches to students of many levels, whether they be new students in Principles of Statistics, or more advanced learners in the Statistical Theory course. When not working, he can often be found engaging in various athletic activities around campus, such as basketball, tennis or soccer. Roback also combines his loves of sports and statistics in pursuit of Fantasy Football victories.

David Castro

From the deserts of Arizona came Associate Professor of Music David Castro; he specializes in music theory pedagogy and post-tonal analysis. Castro reports that he is still coming to terms with his promotion, but students in his Theory and Aural Skills class are sure that he is up to the task.

NEW FACULTY

Matt Wiebold

New to the physics department this year comes Assistant Professor Matt Wiebold. Wiebold has already managed to engage his pupils with his unbridled enthusiasm for the subjects he teaches.

“He’s fun and energetic,” said physics student Haakon Pederson ’18. “In his class, even intro work is fun and involved.” Wiebold’s research includes “developing a helicon plasma source for novel, gridless electrostatic propulsion systems” and “building a high-voltage pulsed DC argon plasma pencil for biomedical applications.”

Linda Mokdad

Gracing the halls of Rolvaag Library for the first time is Linda Mokdad, a new assistant professor who specializes in film studies. Her courses have proven popular and engaging. Will Ibele ’18, a student in her First Year Writing: Writing About Film class, said: “She’s cool, and she likes movies.” From Introduction to Film, Paige Dahlke ’18 reported that “having [Mokdad] as my film professor is great; I can easily tell that she’s passionate about what she teaches.”

Björn Nordfjörd

Sporting what is arguably the catchiest-sounding name on the Hill, Nordfjörd joins the St. Olaf faculty as a Visiting Assistant Professor of English. However, do not be fooled into thinking that means he only focuses on works in the English language.

Nordfjörd teaches about literature and film from many areas around the globe, including Russian and Nordic cinema. In the English-speaking world, he is primarily known for his research into the aforementioned Nordic cinema, whereas in Icelandic circles, he is known for his writings on American films. For European football fans, his favorite team is Aston Villa, an English club in the Premier League.

mayo1@stolaf.edu

Categories: Colleges

Fifth-year art apprenticeship welcomes five recent grads

Manitou Messenger - Fri, 09/26/2014 - 10:45am

St. Olaf is a pretty awesome place, right?  Who wouldn’t want to stay around for a fifth year?  If you are Madeline Berger ’14, Isaac Burton ’14, Juan Fernando Yanqui Rivera ’14, Madeleine Senko ’14 and Caroline Wood ’14, then you get to do just that. They are the 2014-2015 art apprentices participating in a program that allows them to spend a year after graduation focusing on their artwork before moving on to graduate school or a career.

“It’s difficult to come out of college with your own studio and get an exhibition,” Rivera said. “The program provides the validation of an institution.”

After completing a competitive application process and being accepted to the program, these five students live and work off campus but get to utilize the space and opportunities of Dittmann Center to continue making their art. In addition, they serve as mentors to underclassmen, receive a stipend of up to $1,000 a year and participate in exhibitions in January at St. Olaf and in April at the Northfield Arts Guild with art interns from Carleton.

“It’s a wonderful transition year between the rigors of college and the reality of life after college,” said Professor John Saurer, chair of the program.

The art apprenticeship program has been around for about 35 years. It was founded by Arch Leean, a member of the St. Olaf art department faculty. It used to be funded by the college, and only one or two students would be able to stay for a fifth year. The program appeared to be doomed when the college pulled its funding, but then alumnus of the art department and Minneapolis businessman Steve Carpenter ’82 stepped up and funded it for 30 years. Currently, the program is supported by an endowment fund put together by Wendell Arneson, senior member of the department.

So who is an ideal art apprentice?  According to Saurer, the ideal art apprentice is “somebody who, by the time they hit spring of senior year and in senior studies, has a certain amount of clarity, excitement and momentum with their artwork conceptually, technically, and formally. There are cases where there is a student who didn’t struggle but didn’t have all the clarity, yet they continue making work and something happens in their final term. We see this great potential sort of blossom and we take the gamble that they need to continue in this vein of work with that momentum of creativity.”

The 2014-2015 art apprentices certainly meet these criteria, and they have big plans for the year. Wood’s main medium is photography, but she is also challenging herself with development of a film she shot over the summer, bookmaking, printmaking and integration of those into her photography.

“I’m really interested in history and the history of places – my senior project was about Russia and I spent the summer in rural Wisconsin.  I might consider pursuing that with art or the history of art.  I’m not sure where that’s going yet, but that’s what I like to do,” Wood said.

“The goal for me is to make art,” Senko said. “I’m hoping to produce a lot of art, more than I could possibly put in the two shows.  I hope to develop some of the skills I already have, like printmaking. I haven’t done this in two years, but I want to keep printing while I have facilities. A big part of [the program] is working with Jane [Becker-Nelson, director of Flaten Art Museum], because I have a strong interest in museums. I’m also making sure I stay fed, too. No concrete plans yet!”

Rivera is exploring synesthesia and museums with his art.

“Art can be real exclusive.  If you’re blind and want to see Picasso your experience is different because you don’t have the means to appreciate his work. When I create pieces they’re more accessible to people. You can experience an object through different experiences and aesthetics.” If you are a senior art major, this program could be perfect for you.

“You can paint and draw in a garage or at home, but to have some of these more technically intensive mediums, having access to a building as well-appointed as Dittmann is really important,” Saurer said. “The biggest gift is their invitation to stay around and use the facility and to remain active in the department.”

This year’s art apprentices have accomplished a lot thus far, but they still have huge hopes and dreams, ranging from graduate school to bread-making in Paraguay. The art apprenticeship program has helped many students actualize these dreams, and will certainly continue to do so.

walker1@stolaf.edu

Photo Credit: VALENTINA YANG/MANITOU MESSENGER

Categories: Colleges

Obama delays immigration reform vote, supports sustainable solution

Manitou Messenger - Fri, 09/26/2014 - 10:40am

Recently, President Barack Obama has been under fire for postponing action on immigration reform until after the November mid-terms. The criticism resounds from both sides of the immigration debate. Both pro-immigration reform activists and House Republicans are accusing the President of “playing politics” with a highly controversial issue.

The President decided to delay taking action in hopes of winning back the House for the Democrats. If he were to announce plans now, Republicans running in congressional races could use the announcement as a rallying point, bringing more voters out to the polls and decreasing the chance of a legislature controlled by Democrats.

Yes, he is playing politics, but only because he is running out of options. Any plan announced right now would have to be on the basis of unilateral executive action. Republicans are claiming that such an action would be an unconstitutional abuse of power. The President hopes that by waiting on the issue, he will be able to spend more time working with Congress to pass a sustainable solution to the problem, rather than executive action that could be easily overturned during the next presidency.

Pro-immigration reform activists are upset that the President is brushing aside a huge issue for political gain. Again, it’s not that he doesn’t plan on addressing the issue; it’s just not feasible to bring it up with the sitting Congress. They tried that last year when the Senate passed a bill that would create a path to legal status for some of the 11 million undocumented people living in the United States, along with the proposition of tighter border controls.

Though the Democrats were confident that the bill would pass if put to a vote in the House, the House Republicans refused to consider it. Obama would rather wait to propose legislation until after the congressional races, giving him another shot at working with Congress to pass something more long-lasting.

House Republicans are hounding him for the same thing, but also argue that any exclusively executive action would be unconstitutional. Speaker of the House John Boehner said that “there is never a right time for the President to take action by himself, but the decision to simply delay this deeply controversial and possibly unconstitutional unilateral action until after the election – instead of abandoning the idea altogether – smacks of raw politics.”

After putting all this together in my head, I have nothing but sympathy for President Obama. There are only so many things that the executive branch has been granted the power to do. I think it’s time to be pressuring Congress to think more seriously about compromise on the issue instead of rejecting every solution brought to the table.

Politics are part of governing, and if the only way to create a legitimate solution to the immigration problem is to wait until we have serious grownups in our legislature, then let’s wait. After six years with the least impressive, least productive Congress our country has seen in a long time, I would also be weighing the option of executive action.

Emma Whitford ’18 (whitfo1@stolaf.edu) is from Middleton, Wis. She majors in political science.

Graphic Credit: LOUISA CARROLL/MANITOU MESSENGER

Categories: Colleges

Controversy over pro-choice label counterproductive

Manitou Messenger - Fri, 09/26/2014 - 10:37am

Every political movement needs a title. Something short and snappy. A headline. A label. Without one, how would we refer to that movement? Would we use superfluous, long-winded paragraphs or essays to refer to them in newspaper articles, in presidential debates or in day-to-day conversation?

Although this is, of course, completely unreasonable, this is what a growing number of abortion-related activists want us to move toward – because they “don’t appreciate being labeled.”

In the hot-button topic of abortion, activists have deemed the label “pro-choice” offensive and ineffective because every case is different, and the decision should be left to be made in privacy by a woman and her doctor. Please note the redundancy.

A poll conducted by the Democratic Party in 2010 revealed that many pro-life supporters were also in support of the decision in Roe v. Wade, in which the Supreme Court affirmed women’s right to have an abortion under the 14th Amendment. It was later clarified that these women were referring to their own decision-making and not what they want to push on others. Again, note the redundancy. How can the freedom that comes with pro-choice legislation be pushing your values on someone else?

The call to move away from the “pro-choice” label, which became an increasingly urgent point of emphasis when Republicans took control of the House and some state legislatures in 2010, hasn’t won over everyone. The Pro-Choice Caucus in Congress, for example, is not worried about changing its name. Many parties view a name change as giving in to the pro-life movement.

Why should the pro-choice movement have to change its name? It seems like we want a new name simply because this is a change, and change is trendy – a revolution for revolution’s sake.

Forty years ago we made the switch from pro-abortion to pro-choice, which is understandable because pro-abortion sounds like people want to force abortion onto other people, in the same way that pro-life supporters want to force the prohibition of abortion onto others. But, this makes no sense. Pro-choice invokes freedom and, well, choice. And who doesn’t want the freedom to make her own choice, especially in this situation?

Despite all the commotion and talk of a new name, those against the label have yet to offer up an alternative.

The only major attempt at a new label has been put out by Planned Parenthood, whose replacement is the lack of a label altogether. In order to avoid and maybe even quell all the commotion, Planned Parenthood has stopped referring to the pro-choice movement and values in any one specific way with any one specific label.

Is there any more appropriate label for the pro-choice movement than “pro-choice?” Maybe, but seeing that the voters raising hell over this (non–)issue seem to be highly misinformed, it is very unlikely that they will muster one out.

With time we will see what comes up; maybe it’ll be something hip, trendy and redundant, with a sort of chai tea latte thing going on. Wait, I’ve got it: the pro-in support of – rooting for this – Freedom – Liberty – Reproductive Rights movement. Let the un-funniness and nonsensicality of this last joke stand as a metaphor for the significance of this “issue.”

Samir Zaman ’18 (zaman1@stolaf.edu) is from Aurora, Ill. He majors in biology and history.

Graphic Credit: ETHAN BOOTE/MANITOU MESSENGER

Categories: Colleges

ID at the Polls: Discrimination or Precaution?

The PoliticOle - Thu, 09/25/2014 - 10:13pm

By Griffin Edwards ’17

Anyone that attended Rev. Al Sharpton’s speech on St. Olaf’s campus this Wednesday will undoubtedly vouch for the fact that he made some really good points. I went in skeptical, expecting little. As it turned out, I was surprised at how much I agreed with him on many issues. He especially stressed the unreasonableness of police militarization and unnecessary force in recent times, holes in the education system that leave children behind and allocate resources poorly, and shortcomings of the judicial branch. My disagreement with Rev. Sharpton rests chiefly on his assertion that race causes these issues, instead of an over-bureaucratized government burdened with unnecessary and redundant programs.

One issue Rev. Sharpton brought up that has also been plaguing Americans lately is legislation recently introduced (according to Rev. Sharpton, by the right-wing Republicans in all their villainy) which would require anyone voting in the United States to show ID before they hit the polls. Acceptable forms of ID include gun licenses, driver’s licenses, and state-issued ID cards. These new laws are justified by purporting their importance in “avoiding fraud.”

Rev. Sharpton attacked these laws, saying that they were ridiculous and biased. He asserted that the elderly wouldn’t be able to vote as much because they often don’t carry IDs with them, that some can’t afford IDs because one must pay for them, and that the amount of fraud was so low in the US, any accusation of fraud was ridiculous. His seemingly bulletproof assessment triggered roars of applause from socially aware Oles.

But is it true? Is requiring ID to vote an infringement on personal liberties, specifically designed to marginalize certain groups?

According to the DMV, all state IDs are fairly inexpensive. Oregon is most expensive, at $33.50; by contrast, Delaware, South Carolina, and West Virginia offer them at $5. Furthermore, state DMVs often offer considerable discounts to seniors, knowing full well the practice of opting out of a driver’s license. $33.50 doesn’t seem terribly unreasonable for a state ID card, especially when one takes into account all the other things one can do with legal identification. This list includes renting a hotel room, useing the post office, getting a job, picking up prescription drugs, buying alcohol, and receiving social security. Not having a state ID would be like getting through a week without a St. Olaf ID card: extremely hindering.

What about fraud? Surely the nigh-uncorrupted American democratic system is above the rigged elections often seen in Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe, where candidates are reelected term after term. Despite Rev. Sharpton’s statistic, which stated that fraud occurs in only .00003% of elections nationwide, election fraud investigations have most recently taken place in Georgia and Hennepin County, Minnesota. Keep in mind also that elections in the past have been won by margins as close as 537 votes (in the 2000 presidential race- that’s one-one millionth of the population). Perhaps the presentation of ID would prevent such close races in the future, taking some of the ambiguity out of fraud investigations and ensure more fair elections.

Of course, one could argue that the state shouldn’t require ID at all, or that the Electoral College is a hindrance to democracy, or that the system itself is broken. But these are bigger questions with much larger repercussions.


St. Olaf Sentiments: September 19, 2014

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 09/25/2014 - 11:33am

“Minnesotans are nice.” If we exclude the universally accepted cultural stereotypes about Minnesotans – don’t you know, we all eat tapioca pudding and hot dish; we’d never miss a Vikings game; and we all just love that Prince, you know – our “niceness” is our defining characteristic.

We can’t quantify this quality, but you know it when you see it. Making room for you to merge into traffic; holding the door or elevator for you; saying please and thank you; if you’ve experienced any of these – and, if you live here, you have – then you have been Minnesota-niced.

They say that here in Minnesota we are kind, courteous and well mannered – and they’re right. A Prairie Home Companion (the universally accepted expert on Minnesotans) observes that we speak a different language here: “it’s basically just your ordinary English except that there are no confrontational verbs or statements of strong personal preference, you know.”

No one really knows how we ended up being this nice. Perhaps it’s a delusion we pull over our thoughts and minds – something to do with the same mentality Minnesotans get in mid-February, after going without the sun for six weeks, our eyelashes frozen by the time we get to class. It’s the mentality that insists: “I think it was colder last year.” Or, “I’m so worried about that drought in California, you know.”

We say these things in order to persuade ourselves that it’s really not that bad here; but sometimes it seems almost as if we worry we’d offend Father Winter by not getting frostbite. Here, in Minnesota, we genuinely live and die by our niceness. It’s who we are.

So it was a shock then, having grown up all my life here in the nicest place on earth, to be confronted by something even more nice than the rest of Minnesota: Our St. Olaf student body. We are our own subset of Minnesota Nice – like a highly advanced breed, sequestered away to achieve even greater levels of niceness. And we are succeeding; I think we’re verging on Canadian niceness.

I’ve been on campus for little more than a week, and I have to say: it’s kind of weird. We leave our backpacks unattended, piled in heaps around the cafeteria, and we never worry that our bag might be taken. Even if it were, we’re sure it would be returned (cleaned and polished) without delay.

But there’s more weirdness: if you forget something in another person’s dorm room, no problem! Just go inside and get it; the door will surely be unlocked. There’s a distinct lack of cameras on campus. With any other student body that would mean everything is ripe for the taking. All of those tasty bottled drinks outside of the Pause could be yours for free without consequence. But we’re not supposed to take those, you know. So, here, we don’t.

I can’t really say why we’re so nice here. Perhaps it has something to do with our ingrained Minnesota niceness. Perhaps it’s much more than that. But whatever the reason, I hope it never changes. Because our niceness is something that not only differentiates us, but also elevates us. It makes us different than Carleton. It makes us special and unique.

We don’t follow the beat of the rest of society’s drum, but the beat of our own hearts. And you know, I think the rest of the world has a lot to learn from us. Because, Oles, we’re nice.

fulco@stolaf.edu

Categories: Colleges

Blind Tiger

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 09/25/2014 - 11:32am

They brought you to me writhing,

A frantic, incredulous prisoner of bloody darkness.

Two orbs of blue flint,

bulging in the rage of violation that no one could remedy.

My arm, sunglasses, a cane—you despised them all,

groping for your dignity in the crumpled blue suit

pulled so clumsily over your nakedness,

concealing shame in harassed hair you forbid me to comb.

I kept a vigil over your curses,

your tears wept in the false solitude of darkness,

refused to wince or protest under the desperate clutch of your hand

terrified of pity, terrified of being useless;

until you finally captured the light,

handcuffed it firmly in your narrowed eyes,

focused blankly on my face,

and continued to search

for the lovely Florence Nightingale you knew I had to be.

Categories: Colleges

Happy Tempests

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 09/25/2014 - 11:31am

A wicked pane of glass

(or perhaps of neck and mind)

through which the only thing that’s seen

is the usual odyssey of muted gray and green

 

Birds chirp, as, you know, they do

While Mother’s clicking in the second room resumes

And I, meanwhile, still, lie

in a reflected chamber

and, still, vaguely wish to die

 

It’s a sentiment, nothing more

though I’ve entertained its better elders many times before

But poppies still force serene

and I gaze (though pained) (through panes)

at what (inside, out) I have forever seen

Categories: Colleges

Author offers glimpse into postwar Berlin

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 09/25/2014 - 11:29am

J. Elke Ertle, author of the memior Walled In: A West Berlin Girl’s Journey to Freedom, spoke to St. Olaf students and staff on Sept. 11 about what it was like to grow up in a post­war Berlin and witness the Berlin Wall being constructed.

“By the time I was born, 40 percent of the city had been destroyed,” Ertle said during the opening slides. “This is what my parents’ apartment looked like when I was born.”

It was a picture of nothing more than rubble and debris.

At the Potsdam Conference, there was an international agreement to reduce Germany’s power. The country was divided, its industry was contained, and its military was significantly reduced.

Almost all the men were either dead, missing, taken as war prisoners or simply had not yet returned from war. This left the women to rebuild the city from the rubble, and the term “Trümmerfrauen” emerged, literally translating to “rubble women.”

Ertle grew up in very rough conditions. She lived in a little house with eleven other relatives who all shared the same bathroom. Despite this and the conditions of the city at the time, Ertle remembers her childhood as surprisingly cheerful.

“I never felt that anything was wrong, because that’s all I knew growing up. To me, that was just the way life was supposed to be,” she said. To illustrate this point, she showed a picture of herself as a baby wearing a dress and pointed out that her mother had sewn it out of a fallen parachute.

The Allies originally tried to revert Germany to an agrarian society. Fortunately for the German people, the Allies realized that the economies of many European countries depended on German industrial production.

At some point, due to all the trade restrictions and complications, the economy reverted to a primitive barter system, where everything was handled on the black market. A currency reform was necessary. New money was printed in the U.S., and approximately 23,000 crates  full of cash were shipped to Germany. The crates needed to be labeled as something less valuable so people would not bother stealing it, but almost everything during this post­war period was scarce and therefore of value.

“What do you think they labeled it?” Ertle asked, her question met with silence and head scratching. “Door knobs, because that was one thing people certainly didn’t need.”

So the U.S.-printed dollars began circulating, which upset the Soviets. They started cutting off trade routes, halting Berlin’s supply of food and coal. Ertle recalls only having electricity for two hours a day during that time. The city’s resources were dwindling and it was starting to look as if everyone was going to starve. That was when the western Allies organized the Berlin Airlift in 1948.

Ertle remembered how, at some point, there was a plane landing every three minutes with food and supplies. The skies were full, and the city had to extend its airports and build new ones to accommodate the large size of the fleet sent to its aid.

There was a particular pilot who wanted to do something extra to raise the morale of children growing up during those difficult times. He promised to drop treats from his plane the next day. Due to the number of planes landing all the time, they asked how they would be able to identify his plane. He told them he would “wiggle his wings” as he flew so they’d know.

That is how Gail Halvorsen became known as “Uncle Wiggly Wings,” dropping his chocolate rations in little parachutes to the children. Soon other pilots followed, and they were affectionately named “The Candy Bombers.”

The presentation took a personal turn from then on as Ertle reflected on her own life during these events. She mentioned that her novel juxtaposed these historical events with her own personal adversities. She began reading a few pages about how it felt waking up one day and hearing on the radio that there were blockades and barbed wire across the city. The wall was going up, one brick at a time. There was also a wall going up between Ertle and her parents. She had always acquiesced to their demands, until one day her parents forbid her from continuing to see a boy she liked.

She rebelled and had a clandestine relationship with him. At first, she could not tell whether whether she liked him or simply continued the relationship as an act of rebellion. She then revealed that the boy was present in the room. It was her husband. It was a rather emotional moment that sparked a spontaneous round of applause from the audience.

The session ended with Ertle signing copies of her book to student and faculty members.

shehat1@stolaf.edu

Photo Credit: KALYN DORHEIM/MANITOU MESSENGER

Categories: Colleges

Top summer songs keep us warm this fall

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 09/25/2014 - 11:25am

In my unprofessional opinion, this wasn’t the most exciting summer for new music. Unless you are super into soundtracks from films starring Shailene Woodley, hearing about Ariana Grande’s “problems,” or looking as perfect as 5 Seconds of Summer (aka the 2014 version of One Direction). But a few gems did creep their way into our hearts during this summer’s commute to work and weekend getaways

Lana Del Rey, “West Coast,” Ultraviolence: While I find Del Rey to be a bit whiny during interviews, I am willing to admit that she has a nice voice and some catchy songs. “Summertime Sadness” seems to be the song that really put Del Rey on the map with the top hit crowd, but her song “West Coast” is what drove me to reevaluate my previous impression of her as an artist. This song isn’t the typical Billboard Top 100, probably due to its indie coffee house beat that makes it hard to dance to. I find that aspect charming because I believe it shows that Del Rey wasn’t trying to create a top radio tune.

Disclosure feat. Sam Smith, “Latch,” Settle: While the music video isn’t one of my favorites (spoiler alert: it is just a bunch of hipsters partying and hooking up) the song should be on every dance floor playlist of 2014. I also need to give a shout-out to any band of brothers that were “discovered” from posting videos on MySpace from their hometown of Surrey, England. I like reading the stories of bands that start off with nothing. Disclosure was literally giving its first EP away for free so people would give the band a listen. Now they are signed to a label under Interscope, so let’s cross our fingers that they don’t sell out and lose their original sound.

Broods, “Bridges” and “Mother and Father,” two singles from the upcoming album Evergreen (expected to drop Oct. 7): You probably haven’t heard of them because they just made their U.S. debut this summer, but, trust me, they are worth a listen. I heard the group play in New York and, while the performers’ stage presence lacks imagination, their sound is the real deal.

Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne, “Rather Be,” New Eye: Up until last week I was listening to this song on the radio and could have sworn the vocalist was Adele. So, if you haven’t heard the song, give it a listen and stop me in the hall to say whether or not singer Jess Gylenne sounds like Adele in a pop-techno phase. This song gives us a new band, Clean Bandit, to keep an eye out for.

EchoSmith, “Cool Kids,” Talking Dream: There is not a ton to say about “Cool Kids” because it is becoming a bit overplayed, but it is a solid song to dance to in the car as long as you keep both hands on the wheel. This really is a must for a Friday night dance party/ Saturday workout playlist.

Sia, “Chandelier,” 1000 Forms of Fear: Sia’s sound has really evolved since her mellow track “Breathe Me” broke the Billboard charts in 2004. At first I thought she had reinvented herself to appeal to a more commercial audience, but then my dad, who has the music taste of a 24-year-old British new wave punk, told me about the traumatic death of her long-time partner and battle with depression. With so much sadness in her life, it makes sense that her music would transform. I was so happy to read that Sia just got married. So who knows, maybe in a year we will see Sia sporting a whole new sound.

Sun Kil Moon, “Ben’s my Friend”, Benji: While this album came out in February 2014 I felt the need to claim it as a song of the summer because it was the number one song of my summer. This is a fantastic song to quote because it tells the story of a summer day that ends with Mark Kozelek, the band’s front-man, going to a Postal Service concert. The “Ben” referred to in the title  is Ben Gibbard, the front-man for both the Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie. With the song’s witty lyrics and stellar saxophone solo, I promise you will have this tune stuck in your head for days.

sarvady@stolaf.edu

Categories: Colleges

‘Ice bucket challenge’ proves insincere

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 09/25/2014 - 11:22am

As of late, many Internet users have taken to making videos of themselves being soaked in frigid water and posting them on various forms of social media. They perform this ritual for the sake of raising awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” As more and more of the nation’s “friends” drench themselves, it becomes necessary to look at the impact and scope of the fundraising cause.

Very likely, most of those scanning their newsfeeds began to see these recordings with little-to-no context. Initially the “challenge” was to nominate several of your friends, family, or colleagues to donate to ALS research or share in the icy sting of the challange. However, as is common with trends of this ilk, certain aspects get lost in translation.

Maybe with the camera running and the bucket poised, the nervous individual anticipating the freezing cascade would hesitate to mention the cause and rattle off those they challenged instead. Perhaps they would include the charitable site in the description, or perhaps not. Regardless of the intent, it is easy for the charitable nature of a cause to dilute in an open forum such as social media.

For the many who did learn about the cause of ALS from the challenge, the merit of partaking is somewhat dubious. The data speaks for itself, with ALS research raking in four times its standard amount of money per year, mostly as a result of the fundraising. This is a great windfall for the research, but issues arise with the method of spreading attention.

The term often used to describe public “attention-raising” displays as of late is “slacktivism.” Online, a persona of charitable support for a dire cause is just a click away. If someone is browsing her Facebook feed and sees a story about an African child army, natural disasters a world away or an oft-overlooked disease, she can share it without making a concerted effort to support the cause. When that act of sharing the information has no apparent impact for those affected or subjugated, what is the reason to continue? For many, it could be a somewhat misguided attempt to garner some attention for a situation, but for others it is likely a means to appear charitable to those around them.

Despite the best intentions, the spread of information on Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking site is ultimately an empty, fleeting gesture. A photo or story of a person suffering may elicit a visceral reaction that influences readers to share, but the vast majority finish this act by scrolling on, only a cat or baby picture away from forgetting. Such is the social media attention span.

Perhaps it is unjust to paint with such broad strokes, but this unchecked ease of “raising awareness” without helping lends itself to an online culture of unwarranted self-satisfaction. This is not to belittle or criticize those who have participated – godspeed to those spreading the word about ALS or other causes. The issue isn’t people, but the attitude toward charity that begins harmlessly but permeates like a virus. It is fine to spread the word, but when that simple task of pressing the share button sates your appetite to help others, it is vital to reevaluate. Fundamentally, it is important for people to help people and for a true impact; that means more than a Facebook share.

**ALS is a debilitating disease affecting roughly 30,000 Americans. If you would like to learn more about supporting ALS research, please visit alsa.org.

 

Conlan Campbell ’18 (campbe1@stolaf.edu) is from Burnsville, Minn. His major is undecided.

Graphic Credit: ERIN KNADLER/MANITOU MESSENGER

Categories: Colleges

Walker Publishes Article in Women's Writing

Carleton College News - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 9:33pm
Constance Walker, Class of 1944 Professor of English and the Liberal Arts, published an article, "Dorothea Primrose Campbell: A Newly Discovered Pseudonym, Poems, and Tales," in the November 2014 issue of Women’s Writing.
Categories: Colleges

Carpenter Named New Associate Editor of the Journal of Nineteenth-Century French Studies

Carleton College News - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 9:22pm
Scott Carpenter, Professor of French, has been named Associate Editor of the journal of Nineteenth-Century French Studies.
Categories: Colleges

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