Arb notes: consequential chirps

Carletonian - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 10:18am

As the weather here in Northfield starts to take a more amicable turn, hopefully you all get a chance to spend some time outdoors and outside the hustle and bustle of Week 8. All around campus, colorful chirps are enriching our auditory landscape and giving us a break from the harsh caws of crows as our smaller avian neighbors prepare for the upcoming breeding season.

The Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) does not nest until late April to June, but defense for nesting territory already begins in early spring. In addition to the frequently heard foraging and alerting call “chickadee-dee-dee” (the more “dee”s, the more urgent the message), you can also hear the whistled song “fee-bee-ee” that is typical in pre-breeding and breeding seasons. Males perform two types of songs during mating season: the aggressive songs that imitate another male’s pitch, and the submissive songs that use a different pitch to evade the voice of more powerful competitors. Though chickadees are usually considered monogamous (the nestlings in a male’s nest are his own offspring), females would alter their reproductive strategy if they overhear their partner (especially if the male happens to be higher up on the dominance hierarchy of the flock) losing such a song competition. Mennill, the researcher who discovered this in 2002, replicated an aggressive song by playing back the frequencies of high-ranking males for the females to hear; later, when he tested for the biological father of their young, half of the nestlings weren’t theirs. Not your usual karaoke night.

The Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) starts nest-building in late February, while courtship display begins from January to February. Cardinals are monogamous throughout the breeding season, but new partners are sought for each season, thus the impressive vocal gymnastics (and oftentimes duets of both sexes). When taking a stroll, listen for short, metallic chirps from the trees and you might find a dazzling red ball of feathers staring back at you from the foliage. 

Keep an ear out for the chirps when your routine brings you into the open air, and perhaps you will get a glimpse of the life of those competitive vocalists.

The post Arb notes: consequential chirps appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Guide to buzzwords

Carletonian - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 10:17am

I have decided to take a break from the usual cold-hearted amoral content I usually disseminate. Instead I will be helping to unpack some common phrases, so that we can create a dialogue based on shared understanding of basic concepts. 

  • Gaslighting – I already explained this.
  • Fragility – Vague discomfort. 
  • Toxic – Awesome, allusion to the Britney Spears song (#abolishpsychologicalconservatorship).
  • Space – The thing above the sky. 
  • Dialogue – The part of a play or movie that involves talking. 
  • Structural 
  • Legitimate – See “Legitimize.”
  • Essential 
  • Content 
  • Libidinal Economy – The idea that certain signs can be exchanged for sexual excitement and thus attention.
  • Manipulation – This isn’t a thing, ignore it. 
  • Reach Out 
  • Circle Back – Absolutely horribly profane sex thing, cannot describe here. 
  • Institutional
  • Unpack 
  • Interrogate
  • Legitimize – See “Legitimate.”

The post Guide to buzzwords appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Five grocery stores in Trondheim

Carletonian - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 10:16am

Content warning: eating disorders. This piece was written for National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2021.

When I studied abroad in Trondheim, Norway the fall of my junior year, there were five grocery stores within a 15 minute walk from my student village. There was Kiwi, where they made all the employees wear green, and Rema 1000, the big one that was still small by American standards. Meny was the fancy one, and Bunnpris had the post office where I went to pay my rent. Then there was Coop Extra, just across the parking lot, a two-minute walk away.

I only ever went to Extra, and I mostly went to Extra in the dark.

Strictly speaking, that isn’t saying much. It was dark a lot of the time in Trondheim—by the end of the semester, the sun was setting just after 2 p.m. But what I mean to say is that I mostly went to Extra around 11 p.m. at night.

The whole area, with its five grocery stores, had a bit of a lonely, industrial look to it, especially when the sun was setting. You had to cross an overpass over the highway to get anywhere. I always thought it looked like the place hadn’t quite caught up to the fact that Norway is one of the wealthiest countries on earth. 

Like I said, it looked lonely. Or maybe that was just me. I was lonely in Trondheim, and I was hungry.

When I remember Norway, I remember the fjords and the mountains and the days spent wandering around the city on buses. But I also remember lying on my bed with an emptiness in my stomach, trying to ignore it, trying to sleep it off. I remember the waves of anxiety upon walking into the kitchen. And I remember the late-night trips to Extra, just before it closed, because I couldn’t bring myself to go earlier, because it was too much, even though it was only two minutes away, even though I hadn’t been in far too long, even though I had run out of whatever snacks I could manage to eat. My flatmates laughed at me for cooking dinner at midnight sometimes, but it wasn’t dinner, really. I numbered my meals. The good days were the ones where there was a Meal #2.

I went over there speaking Norwegian, but I didn’t know how to say eating disorder until that semester. For some reason it was easier to say in another language.

I should clarify that I am lucky. I don’t have bulimia, and I don’t think I have anorexia. Rather than an obsession with weight loss, what I feel towards food is at best a concerning level of apathy, and at worst a deep avoidance and anxiety. I often wish that I just didn’t have to eat at all. The simple act of getting a meal, once a mindless task I easily performed three times a day, now takes a significant amount of energy. The whole thing is some deeply enmeshed combination of anxiety, depression, and their physical manifestations. 

But I am lucky. Eating disorders are one of the most dangerous mental health conditions out there. I am lucky that mine is a less severe case. I am lucky that I am still moving forward in pursuit of my goals, even if it is harder than before. I am lucky that I have supportive loved ones, that my family can afford medical care, that my body type is such that people don’t question whether I’m “allowed” to have an eating disorder.

I started struggling with disordered eating my sophomore year at Carleton. I began to avoid the dining halls. Things just felt easier that way. I felt nauseated, lost my appetite. I would eat so slowly that my friends would finish their meals when I had barely begun. Going to class on an empty stomach, once totally out of the question for me, became regular practice. 

And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that it’s hard to get through Carleton on an empty stomach.

In some senses, though, nothing began in college. When I joined the swim team my freshman year of high school, the intensive exercise soon left me underweight. It scared me. The rest of high school felt like a constant stream of mixed messages. You need to fatten up. You should be eating healthy. Don’t snack too much. Make sure you eat enough before the meet. Go as hard as you can in practice. You’re too skinny. You’re getting out of shape. You’re packing too much food in your lunch. You’re not packing enough. Take that second helping. No, don’t take it. I was anxious and perfectionistic in a lot of areas of my life, and I guess food was no different. I was always eating three meals a day, but each choice filled me with anxiety. It felt like my world shrunk down to home, school, and the lunchbox I carried back and forth in between.

My world shrunk down in Trondheim as well. I had enrolled directly at the university, so I didn’t have the structure of a formal program or the company of fellow Carleton students. My flatmates joined spontaneous road trips and signed up for weekend excursions, but I mostly just stayed in Trondheim. Getting to Extra was hard enough.

This all brings me to COVID, the ultimate world-shrinker. Like many of you, this past spring and summer, I spent the vast majority of my time in my house. At Carleton this year, my pod has been limited to my housemates, and I rarely study outside our house. The isolation has caused my disordered eating to deteriorate, and I’m not alone. The national burden of eating disorders has worsened significantly during the pandemic, with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) seeing a 78 percent increase in calls to its helpline during March and April of last year.

This is all the more reason to recognize National Eating Disorder Awareness Week this year, which falls February 22-28 with the theme “Every Body has a Seat at the Table.” If your eating disorder has worsened during the past year, if your recovery journey has seen progress lost, if you have begun to experience disordered eating for the first time during the pandemic—you are not alone. Please do not be afraid to reach out for help at your own pace. It took me a long time to talk to loved ones about my eating issues, longer to seek counseling, and even longer to recognize that I needed care specific to eating disorders rather than generic therapy and check-ups. But I got there. I’m still getting there. Wherever you are in your journey, you can get there too.If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from an eating disorder, please consider seeking help by calling the confidential NEDA helpline at 1-800-931-2237, consulting the eating disorder resources provided on SHAC’s website, or visiting a provider knowledgeable about disordered eating issues.

The post Five grocery stores in Trondheim appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Opening the door: Lunar New Year memories

Carletonian - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 10:14am

Faye Merritt is a Visiting Instructor in Chinese at Carleton.

In the 1970s, I was a little girl living in the countryside of Zhejiang Province in China. Lunar New Year is the most important holiday in China, similar to Christmas here. Growing up in the little village, secluded from the outside world, I had lots of memories of the Lunar New Year traditions. One of them is “Opening the Door.”

Ever since I could remember, every year on New Year’s Eve, my parents would tell me and my little brother to get up as early as we could to open the door on New Year’s Day and whoever got up earlier to open the door would get five cents as a reward. I am not totally sure if it is five cents or two cents, but I am certain that it is one of them, as I remember that the total amount of money I could collect from all my relatives and my parents every year during New Year’s was between one dollar and two. 

Days before New Year’s Eve, my brother and I would prepare a very little purse using a piece of old cloth with a needle and thread, stitching the opening together and leaving the thread loose so we could pull it to tighten the opening after we put pennies and dimes in and loosen it when we received more pennies and dimes. It was the most exciting expectation when sewing our little sacks. 

The little sacks we made were as big as our little fists. From New Year’s Eve till maybe the 15th of the first month, the little sacks would be the most precious thing in the world for me and my brother, as they would contain all our gift money. On New Year’s Eve after the New Year’s Eve feast, which was the biggest feast of the year when we would have chicken, pork, eggs, fish and sometimes beef, my parents would give us the New Year’s red packets. Inside the red paper would be wrapped five cents or a dime. My brother and I were equally important to our parents and they would give no more pennies to me or to him. It was always fair. 

The money that parents give to their children on New Year’s Eve is called “ya sui qian,” meaning “pressing down the old year money.” We would put that special red packet under our pillow when we went to bed on New Year’s Eve to hold down the old year, so we could properly and peacefully grow one year older when the old year turned into the new year at midnight.  On that night, every Chinese turned one year older, no matter when it was your birthday. This is called the “virtual age system.” On New Year’s Day, my brother and I would start the new year one year older, with equal money in our little sacks. We would count our money every day to see who got more money. 

That is why two pennies or five pennies were so important to me and my brother, because that was the extra money that one of us could work to earn. Our parents told us that the reason the door needs to be opened as early as possible was to welcome the wealth spirit passing by to bring us luck and wealth for the new year. The house with the front door wide open in the early morning of New Year’s Day would be blessed with gold and silver. The door could be open as early as you could get up after midnight. However, for us, while believing that opening the door early on that day would bring us wealth that year, getting those extra two pennies was perhaps the bigger motivation. 

Content from the feast, and with expectation for the new year and excitement for the race to get up early and open the door, it was a very special night for us. However, at age 5 or 6, my brother and I both understood that the race of getting up early the next morning actually began with falling asleep that night. Being two-and-a-half years older than my brother, and being perhaps more motivated than he, l remembered to wake up early to open the door! It was still dark, and all was quiet. My parents and my brother were all sound asleep! (We only had two rooms at that time, one for sleeping and one for eating. We all slept in the same bed when we were tiny. ) 

How excited I was, lying in bed, but awake, knowing that I was going to get the extra two pennies! I could just spring out of the warm bed and run out of our bedroom to the door and open the door quick! But, no, I should be careful not to wake up my brother, otherwise I might lose the two pennies to him! Suppressing my wild excitement, I managed to stay calm and put on my clothes piece by piece, so slow and stealthy that I would not wake up anyone who was asleep in the same bed. 

Finally, I put on all my clothes, climbed down the bed, tiptoed through the room like a cat, and went out of the bedroom, reaching for the front door of our house. I must have been very cold, as during New Year’s, it was deep winter, and the houses were never insulated, not to mention heated. 

But the excitement of winning the two pennies could beat anything. I reached the door, and pulled the big latch with all my strength, still being as quiet as I could, to make sure that no one was woken up. There it was, the two leaves of the big front door were let loose. I open them both at once. My job was done. I won. The two pennies belonged to me now. 

With joy in my heart, I went back to the bedroom, lay down in my spot, and woke up my brother. Instantly he started to put on his clothes, thinking that he still had a chance, only to stop when I laughed and told him:  I already opened the door! With disappointment and a deep sigh, he fell back down and went back to sleep. Gloating that I beat him, I happily took off my clothes and went back to sleep till our parents woke us up. They would be so glad to discover that when they woke up, the door was already open, and that it would be a blessed new year for their house. They would reward me the two pennies that I really deserved and would tell my brother that next year he would still have a chance to win.

I would beat my brother again and again and year after year. For some reason, he was never able to wake up earlier than me. I would do the same trick each year, never failing to torture him after I opened the door. Every time I woke him up after I opened the door, he would always hurriedly try to put on his clothes, thinking that I had just woken up too. I always had a good laugh about that. Until one year, the tables turned. 

Like every year, I was so sure on New Year’s Eve that I would win the race to open the door the next day. I put my new clothes alongside my bed, so I could easily reach for them when I woke up in the morning without waking up my brother. I was about 15 in the Chinese virtual year system (I was about 13 years old). We were in the 80s now. We had moved to our new house a couple of years ago, which had two bedrooms. We didn’t need to share a bed anymore. My parents had one bed, I had one bed and my brother had one bed. My brother and I still shared one bedroom though. I went to sleep, feeling so certain that I would have a good time beating him tomorrow again, just like all the previous years. I was unbeatable. 

Someone woke me up from my deep sleep. I opened my eyes and saw the smiling face of my brother. He was beaming. He announced to my face in a very calm and victorious voice: I opened the door. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I didn’t wake up to open the door on New Year’s Day? My brother who lost to me all these years beat me? How could that be possible? What happened to me? Oh well, I guess I lost to him finally! 

It was amazing to realize that he never gave up after so many years of defeat. He simply never gave up! And finally he won! He won the impossible! Years later, when I looked back at this race to open the door, I came to understand and appreciate my brother’s most valuable characteristic: his persistence. This persistence and grit helped him to be successful in his school and in his career in the future: especially financially, he beats me really badly. 

I hadn’t seen any gold flying into our house after all these years of following the tradition of getting up really early to open the front door of the house, but we were never tired of getting up early to open the door on the new year’s day, until that year I finally lost my race to my brother. From that year on, I never was able to beat my brother. He kept winning the race and enjoyed his victory every year. 

We would use some of the money in our little sacks to buy balloons or whistles and had tons of fun blowing the balloons and some heartbreaking moments when some of our balloons got oversized and popped. Each balloon cost only a few pennies. 

We did return the majority of our money to our parents, as it was eventually their money, not ours, because they were the relatives to our cousins and they were the source for the gift money for our cousins. It was just logical for us to surrender our gift money to our parents after we safeguarded them for a couple of weeks and after we used some on the balloons. 

Lunar New Year comes again and again, and the memories associated with it are abundant. Each time the new year comes, it brings each of us new opportunities to win the two pennies. If you keep working at it, you will win the two pennies, just like my little brother did!

The post Opening the door: Lunar New Year memories appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

How Medicare for All prevents cancel culture

Carletonian - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 10:13am

What is wrong with cancel culture? Many things to some, but at its core, cancel culture is a manifestation of punitive justice. In other words, it discourages the amelioration of the damage caused by the offender. Usually a lacking attempt at ‘an eye for an eye.’ When a celebrity’s racist views are unearthed, the eye they injured has no equivalence to the eye they’ll lose. 

This, of course, is partly because we cannot quantify damage caused by bigotry and hate, but also because there is no major loss to the isolation via cancellation of a celebrity. However, as we have seen in the past few years, cancelling is not unique to celebrities.  Someone will post on Twitter a video of an employee, and not hours later will we read that the company has made the decision to fire said employee. Some expressions of this are not completely negative; after all, we would not want to see a medical doctor with transphobic views who operate on trans patients. Still, this concept brings about some major issues. 

In modern societies our jobs represent not simply our jobs, but rather our livelihoods. When a person loses their livelihood due to uneducated views or behavior, they realize it is much easier to blame the ‘mob,’ than it is to blame the capitalist who deliberated that the company’s public image is more valuable than their employee. The ire often expressed at those calling for a cancellation only fuels the flames of their call, leading to a back and forth of ultimately reactionary ways.

When we take the desire for survival out of the cancelled party’s thought process, we create an entirely different debate environment. How do we do that? Policies that institute social safety nets such as Medicare for All (more importantly including mental health assistance), free public higher education and eventually universal basic income. In fact, just with easily accessible quality education and mental health assistance, you’re erasing 90%* of the reasons cancel culture is invoked. 

I’ve yet to address the by-products of being cancelled. Often not only does the everyday person lose their jobs, but also they face backlash, isolation and are barred from inhabiting certain spaces. It becomes a problem when we decide to bar the uneducated from spaces specifically designed to educate. Although we must be careful when choosing who to include so as not to do it at the expense of the oppressed, we also can’t advocate for accessible education for all only to deprive it to some. As for backlash, it is my belief that when the stakes on the two sides of a cancellation debate are lowered through social well-being, these too will diminish to a point where actual education can take place. 

All this is to say that cancel culture, as we know it, is only so because of our conception of labor and the myth of education as a privilege. This is not a value judgment on capitalism, where I find my views to be constantly undecided, but rather an attempt to better the small-scale systems we inhabit through large-scale policies we know to work.

*Disclaimer: this number is not at all statistical and used solely to illustrate a point

The post How Medicare for All prevents cancel culture appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Close Encounter

Tom Swift - Untethered Dog - Sat, 02/27/2021 - 8:22am

It was just like that old Alfred Hitchcock silhouette. Except in this case it wasn’t an iconic storyteller but a large raccoon. Early a.m. You and the little buddy are on the couch. First you hear the patter on the roof. Initially sounds like ice cracking. Until it doesn’t. Because whatever it is it’s moving. […]

The post Close Encounter appeared first on Untethered Dog.

Categories: Citizens

Battered by COVID-19, IRIS continues serving families

Northfield News - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 4:19pm
Forced to cancel a pair of crucial spring fundraisers due to continued COVID-19 restrictions and concerns, Infants Remembered in Silence is relying on a determined group of core volunteers and donors to meet levels of demand for its assistance that…
Categories: Local News

DNR program for park permit access!

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 3:56pm

Minnesota Libraries can apply to be a part of this program, and need to apply and if participating, comply with reporting requirements:

There are two main requirements to participate:

Red Wing Public Library did check this out, and Red Wing Public Library’s “director looked into the program and found that we cannot participate because Goodhue County does not meet the required demographic criteria.”

Well, drat…

Categories: Citizens

City Council Meeting

City of Northfield Calendar - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 3:01pm
Event date: March 2, 2021
Event Time: 06:00 PM - 09:00 PM
801 Washington Street
Northfield, MN 55057
Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (312) 757-3121

Access Code: 840-139-917

Join from a video-conferencing room or system.
Dial in or type: or
Meeting ID: 840 139 917
Or dial directly: 840139917@ or

NH&C has new limited vaccine supply; Greenvale Township candidate forum set; Budget forecast due today

KYMN Radio - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 12:02pm
By Rich Larson, News Director After delivery of Covid-19 vaccine was hampered by the disastrous winter storm that swept through the southern United States last week, Northfield Hospital & Clinics announced yesterday that they have now received a limited amount of new vaccine and will resume contacting patients 72 and older for vaccination appointments.  The temporary

Voices of Equity on the Hill: The work at St. Olaf moving forward

St. Olaf College - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 10:49am
As part of the 'Voices of Equity on the Hill' series, Interim Vice President for Equity and Inclusion María Pabón sat down with Vice President for Student Life Hassel Morrison for a conversation about diversity, equity, and inclusion work at the college.
Categories: Colleges

Representative Todd Lippert on vaccines, family leave, surge in natural gas prices, state budget

KYMN Radio - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 8:57am
Representative Todd Lippert provides an update on the vaccine rollout and discusses a bill that he co-authored relating to paid family medical leave, as well as a bill to plant trees in response to loss of trees due to emerald ash borer and climate change.  He also discusses an upcoming hearing about the surge in

Tesfa Wondemagegnehu on art, activism, and Black History Month

St. Olaf College - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 8:37am
Tesfa Wondemagegnehu shares his thoughts on Black History Month, the role of art as activism, his experience with Black mentors and leaders, and what we can do to create a more just and equitable community.
Categories: Colleges

School Board agrees to sell land for proposed Northfield housing project

Northfield News - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 8:15am
The Northfield School Board on Feb. 22 green-lighted the sale of slightly less than a half acre of property near Greenvale Elementary School for the proposed development of approximately 150 apartment units and single-family homes.
Categories: Local News

Northfield Public Schools to return K-12 students to in-person learning March 31

Northfield News - Thu, 02/25/2021 - 8:15pm
Northfield Public Schools plans to return K-12 students to in-person learning March 31.
Categories: Local News

Horoscopes Feb. 25

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 02/25/2021 - 6:34pm


Aries:  I know you’re tempted to text your ex late this Friday night.  Don’t.  Instead get your workout in for the week at the gym.



Taurus:  I see you wearing shorts and no jacket outside in 20 degree weather.  Remember that you can still get frostbite!  Cool people still wear coats and pants.      





Gemini: You are destined to drop every plate, cup, and utensil in Stav and have everyone stare at you.  Given your luck this week, I would probably just stay inside if I were you.






Cancer:  This is a reminder not to sleep in past your 8am this Tuesday.  I know it sounds tempting, but your GPA will thank you for actually attending class.



Leo:  This week you’re feeling a little emotional.  The stars are telling me that you should stay away from STEM classes, listening to Drivers License by Olivia Rodrigo, or pretty much anything that is guaranteed to make you cry this week.   





Virgo: Ya know that thing that you’ve been thinking about telling your roommate??? Yeah you should tell them.  




Libra:  On Thursday at 3:17p.m. you are going to get life changing news.   Or maybe you won’t.  Either way it will be one of the two.  





Scorpio:  Take bold risks this week – ask your crush out on a caf date or send a St. Olaf Flirt to that cutie in your class.  Love is in the air and a lot of people are crushing on you!



Sagittarius:  I know that you have 17 unanswered texts and that your mom has called you five times since you’ve been back on campus and that you’ve ignored each one.  Don’t be rude, hit them back up.    





Capricorn:  DON’T EAT THE PUDDING THIS WEEK.  Every other zodiac sign is safe, but Capricorn’s for the love of God don’t eat the pudding.  I’m getting bad vibes.   




Aquarius:  I’m not saying that you might get pregnant this week, but I’m also not not saying that you might get pregnant this week.  Stay safe.  




Pisces:  Wow.  I mean seriously, WOW.  Pisces, you look really beautiful today.  Your fit, your hair, everything is just immaculate. Whatever it is that you’re doing, you’re absolutely killing it!  Keep it up!

Categories: Colleges

The Weekly List – The I Need A Vacation Show

KYMN Radio - Thu, 02/25/2021 - 6:00pm
This week, Rich and Dan are really tired and they are taking it easy. We all need a break. We all need a vacation. Tonight Rich and Dan celebrate the notion.

Here to stay: Telemedicine likely to persist after pandemic

Northfield News - Thu, 02/25/2021 - 5:06pm
While the COVID-19 pandemic has had a crushing impact on Minnesota’s healthcare system, one silver lining is perhaps the long overdue expansion of telemedicine.
Categories: Local News

Q&A: Sen. Zach Duckworth brings National Guard, school board, first responder experience to St. Paul

Northfield News - Thu, 02/25/2021 - 4:14pm
Freshman state Sen. Zach Duckworth, R-Lakeville, managed to take out a vulnerable DFL lawmaker last fall, in a race that saw hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign spending flow into the south metro district.
Categories: Local News

School district: retirement incentives, fee increases could combat funding shortage

Northfield News - Thu, 02/25/2021 - 4:11pm
A Northfield Public Schools leadership team is recommending the district offer early retirement incentives, increase admission fees and explore advertising revenue to combat a projected $1.9 million deficit for fiscal 2021-22.
Categories: Local News
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