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Go green, cut milk

Carletonian - Sat, 01/23/2021 - 12:23pm

Milk has been a part of many cultures for as long as milk-producing animals have been around; there is even a National Milk Day, January 11, in the United States. Some milk products, such as cheese, have even developed a sort of personality cult. However, the environmentally conscious person knows that cows are a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions – globally, cows account for around 10 percent of all greenhouse gases (mostly methane). So how do we, as a society, balance the cultural importance of milk and an effort to reduce our carbon footprint?

For starters, there are milk-producing animals other than cows who leave a much lower environmental impact. For example, goat’s milk and its derivatives (such as goat’s milk cheese and goat’s milk yogurt) are becoming more widespread in supermarkets. Not only do goats produce a much lower carbon footprint than their bovine counterparts; they also eat mostly brush and weeds rather than grass, as cows do, helping restore pasture quality.

Are goat’s milk products simply not making the cut? Are you craving the flavor of the dairy you grew up with? If so, there are ways to consume cow’s milk more ethically. The milk and milk products that the majority of Americans consume are from factory farms. Factory farms are large-scale production centers where meat, dairy and eggs are produced. While they are necessary to feed the ever-growing population, unfortunately a major side effect is the animals on these farms living under horrendous conditions, and also producing less healthy meat and other products. The 2008 documentary “Food, Inc.” exposes these factory farms and similar businesses. If it is sustainable for you to do so, try to buy your milk and milk products, as well as other animal products, from local farmers – not only are you supporting small businesses by doing so, but you are also buying healthier products produced under more ethical conditions.

Should you cut dairy out of your diet entirely? That is a surefire way to reduce your carbon footprint and a choice that some people make. If this is a path you’re thinking of pursuing, ask yourself how important dairy is to you. While reducing your carbon footprint is certainly important, don’t deprive yourself of things that make you happy. You can take a mix-and-match approach: for example, if you really love cheese, you may choose to continue eating cheese while switching to plant-based milk if you drink milk or use it in your coffee.

On the topic of plant-based milk, not all plant-based milks are created equal. For example, almond milk requires more water to make than other plant-based milk alternatives, since almonds take large amounts of water to grow. Making the problem worse, over 80 percent of the world’s almonds are grown in California, which is already the site of many droughts. The most sustainable milk alternative is oat milk, followed by soy milk.

In short, given how much people love dairy, I do not think it is fair to ask an entire population to stop consuming it. However, there are steps individuals can take to make their dairy consumption more sustainable and ethical.

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Categories: Colleges

Perfectionism

Carletonian - Sat, 01/23/2021 - 12:22pm

A few years ago, I went to go see a therapist because I had become depressed to the point of dysfunction. One of the critiques she gave me was that I “had perfectionism,” and this was something I desperately needed to overcome in order to live a fulfilling life and learn to love myself. To this end, she advised that I do “perfectionism exposures” in which she imagined that I would actively counteract my sinful tendencies to perfect by means of purposefully turning in assignments with errors to professors and by using botched recipes to make baked goods, among others. I decided against the former, but, since my therapist was so adamant with regard to the latter, I made her office sugarless brownies. Yum!

I understand the rationale for often equating perfectionism to something negative and maladaptive. Indeed, multiple studies have found that perfectionism can be a risk factor for depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, perhaps because many perfectionists find it intolerable to underperform, err, or achieve less than their perceived full potential. It makes sense why possessing a trait that makes you dislike yourself when you don’t do things “just right” would be counterproductive and lead to a less happy person. There is inherent value in learning, doing, and living, regardless of achievement or the attainment of specific goals.

But I wonder now, is there not a positive way to exist as a perfectionist? And are we not all perfectionists, in a sense? We think of the term “perfection” as meaning literally error-free and completely flawless to a neurotic extent, with the epitome of perfectionists represented by the obsessive student in the library, taking notes on highlighted notes, the student who has it all. However, I think that “perfection” may actually mean “as good as possible given the constraints of being human and while accepting one’s flaws.” Perfectionism, in my opinion, is not synonymous with an obsessive, anxious need to excel or the collapse of one’s conception of self sans high achievement. Rather, perfectionism signals the individual’s desire to seek out moments of high quality, of precision, of sublimity, while still maintaining one’s sense of self-worth if such moments are few and far between. 

I make errors often, I don’t have completely untarnished grades or blemish-free skin, and I have never been some kind of child prodigy on the instruments that I play. I am, by nature, imperfect. Human. But for my part, perfection exists in the moments—both small and large—of high quality. It exists in a sentence I speak in Mandarin with completely correct tones on any given day, in the sunny days spent by Lake Michigan in my hometown with my best friend, in the laughs I’ve shared and the chocolate I’ve eaten. It lives in the times I wrote an essay or story I was proud of, and in the moments I connected on a deep level with another person. It permeates my memories of my lessons with my erhu professor. Yes, it’s true some of these examples pertain to school, but they don’t inherently have to do with achievement. They have to do with finding joy in going about one’s life and in learning, and I think many other people actively seek out such moments of “perfection,” as I’ve defined it, and consider themselves perfectionists too. 

To know perfection, you must necessarily know imperfection. Yet, for the moments of excellence in your life, you hardly know anything else and you wish simply for this “perfection” to continue forever.

It is this desire that signals true perfectionism, and perhaps all of us are perfectionists at our core—a good thing, not a bad thing.

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Categories: Colleges

Revising history is not wrong

Carletonian - Sat, 01/23/2021 - 12:21pm

Last week, a Dominican artist unveiled a public piece where she had covered a statue of Christopher Columbus in a sheet painted with native traditional medicinal plants. On social media, it proved to be divisive.  Many argued that the act was disrespectful, as the statue meant a lot for the Dominican identity. Others argued that the statue should be taken down, not only because it features Columbus as a great man, but because it places Anacaona, an icon of the native resistance (even more so of the female resistance) bowing down to him. An acquaintance of mine stated that Columbus receives too much critique, and led me to the question: Should we judge past historical figures with the ethic and moral code we abide by today?

My answer is a resounding yes. One of the great parts about writing history is that it’s written with the benefit of hindsight. We know how what is today came to be, so we can choose to express or highlight the historical narratives most relevant to our present. More importantly, however, history continues beyond when it is written. While we can deliberately pick out the events in the past that are more important to the exposition of the present, we can’t pick out the ones that will be paramount to the state of the future. In other words, we can’t know how to write history for the future, because we’re not fortune tellers. 

In our Columbus case, in the present-day, many have realized that we ought to value the preservation of human life, dignity and culture over any scientific advancement that the encounter of 1492 could provide. As such, we reevaluate the ‘great explorer’ to be such, when he himself taints said exploration with genocide. It’s also important to point out that while our moral codes change over time, these apply retroactively to the entirety of history. We can’t say that genocide of other cultures was A-OK until a certain point in time. Similarly, we can (and regularly do) redeem figures that were torn down or persecuted by a pre-evolved ethical code. Examples include Marsha P. Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali, Galileo Galilei and many others. 

Not all revisions of history are created equal however. Refocusing history to fit the context of the present is nowhere near the same as presenting fiction as history. A notable example of this is the now-defunct 1776 Commission. Although it attempts to ‘reframe’ history, it does so by undermining the struggles of minority groups and the working class. In fact, the Commission itself started partly because Donald Trump believed that a “twisted web of lies” was being taught regarding systemic racism. This purpose is explicitly where the report fails. If the revision of history is not an attempt to give better context to the present, then it is of no use at all. As such, any historical document that attempts to undermine awareness of America’s systemic racism and its effects gives no factual frame of reference to the American present-day. Unless you wanted to argue that systemic racism does not exist, and if that is the case, I would love to hear your opinion on class-race disparities. Then again, I hold low expectations for a document with exactly zero sources. 

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Categories: Colleges

Senior athlete spotlight: Matt Wilkinson

Carletonian - Sat, 01/23/2021 - 12:19pm

Matt Wilkinson’s bounding gait has been a staple of MIAC distance running since he started competing for the Carls in 2017. Wilkinson amassed impressive records along with memorable stories during his time in the Maize and Blue: a 2nd place finish at cross country nationals, a one-shoed All-American performance, a 4:08 in the mile, a few hospital visits and the formation of an Aussie punk band, to name a few. The records and tales Wilkinson leaves in his wake will mark the program for years, but his story is far from over. 

“I only started running in 8th grade because all my friends were doing it… Well, also the girl I was interested in was on the team,” began Wilkinson. Wilkinson grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, just west of Minneapolis. In 2015, he was your average 13-year-old, anxious about the transition to high school. “My mom was mad at me for playing too many video games, and she said I wouldn’t have any friends if that’s all I did. She told me I either had to stay in the marching band or try out for the cross country team… I really sucked at alto sax so I went with running.” 

In retrospect, choosing running turned out to be the right choice; it wasn’t long before Wilkinson discovered his aptitude and excelled in the Minnesota Lakes, one of the most competitive high school conferences in the country. By his senior year, Wilkinson set an impressive 15:31 5k personal record (amounting to roughly three 5-minute miles),  yet it wasn’t enough to make him a standout. “A lot of guys run times like that and go to big D1 schools, and nothing really becomes of them. They end up at the back of the pack, the coach doesn’t really care about them, and they get burned out,” Wilkinson said.

When his college decision rolled around, Wilkinson was split between the University of Minnesota and Carleton. But when it came down to it, academics, individual attention and a quick end to the stressful decision process won out: “Carleton is a good school, and I just wanted to know where I was going to end up, so I applied Early Decision,” Wilkninson said. 

Head Track and Field Coach Dave Ricks also played a big role: “When Dave talks to you, he cares a lot about you,” said Wilkinson. “He’s like a goofy grandpa. It’s so unpredictable what he’ll care about, a lot of times it has nothing to with running, more just your life. From the first day, he was a huge fan of me and that means a lot, sometimes that’s all you need.” 

Wilkinson has had a myriad of impressive races, but his self-proclaimed breakout race came in Boston at the 2019 Division III Indoor Championships. 

Wilkinson seeded near the bottom of the field in the biggest race of his life: “I was as nervous as I’ve ever been before a race. I was so nervous, and there were so many people that I was tweaking out. I actually thought about dropping out before it started. I was a wreck.” He, of course, didn’t drop out, and proceeded to run a searing race. With only one shoe. 

“About 600 meters in, I remember my shoe starting to bother me. In the middle of the race, it was all I could think about. Near the end, when I was about to kick [sprint towards the finish line] it annoyed me so much I just dropped it off. I completely destroyed my foot, but I was still able to cook.” Wilkinson closed the final 200 meters of the 5,000 meter race in 27 seconds (a 3:36 mile pace), the fastest of his heap and enough for 6th place and a spot on the All-American team. 

Wilkinson has now had two indoor track championships canceled (in 2020, he was named the D3 indoor track athlete of the year without a championship race). Yet despite the frustration, Wilkinson is still able to find a silver lining in the pandemic, which has opened up a few extra seasons of eligibility. 

Since the pandemic began, Wilkinson has applied to a handful of grad schools to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Health and to compete at the Division I level: University of Washington, Minnesota, North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Michigan are all on the list. 

Wilkinson’s ultimate running goal lies in Eugene, Oregon at the hallowed Hayward Field, where the United States Olympic Trials are hosted. “My main goal is to run steeplechase at the Olympic Trials one day,” he said. Wilkinson’s current steeplechase record is about 25 seconds off the qualifying standard, but improvements since he last hit that benchmark place the goal well within reach. “A lot of guys have the potential to do it, but the commitment isn’t there. For me, running is a really important part of my life. It’s really my only healthy habit. 

Although I don’t ever want to stop running, the Olympic Trials would be the dream cap on my competitive career.”

Wilkinson pictured off the track in his role as front man for Aussie Punk/Chats cover band The Megs. Photo courtesy of Matt Wilkinson

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Categories: Colleges

MIAC moves forward with winter athletics; Carleton not to participate

Carletonian - Sat, 01/23/2021 - 12:14pm

Inter-school athletic competition will return to Division III campuses across the state of Minnesota this February, notwithstanding Carleton’s decision to opt out of winter sports months in advance. 

Last Wednesday, the MIAC Presidents’ Council approved a plan for a return to competitive athletics. “Winter sports of basketball, hockey, indoor track and field, and swimming and diving will be permitted to participate in regular-season competition,” read the conference’s website. The decision, however, comes with a caveat; there will be no spectators and the conference will not host playoff tournaments or postseason championship meets. 

The news does not immediately affect athletes from Carleton, Saint Olaf, Macalester or Saint Catherine’s: the four MIAC member institutions who decided against having their athletic teams compete this winter. Carleton led the pack, deciding as early as October 23 to cancel winter sports.

“It breaks my heart once again having to inform our student-athletes and coaches that their season has been cancelled,” said Athletic Director Gerald Young earlier this fall. “We know how much competition means to our student-athletes. However, the health and safety of the entire campus community is the most important thing, and [cancelling winter sports] continues to be the right decision.”

Although Carleton athletes have known for months not to expect a winter season, the MIAC’s decision to move forward with winter sports offers hope that if the endeavor is successful and COVID-19 cases are kept in check, Carleton administrators may consider competition on campus this spring. 

In an effort to mitigate exposure to and prevent transmission of the coronavirus, the Presidents’ Council approved an 18-page COVID-19 Competition Plan with extensive health guidelines. Among the most notable requirements is that with the exception of athletes playing or warming up, all athletic personnel will be required to wear face coverings. Similar to guidelines rolled out by the NBA earlier in the month, the rule extends to bench players, coaches, medical staff and officials (when possible).  

Daily COVID-related health screenings and temperature checks will be required to remain  eligible for competition, and symptom checks will be mandatory prior to departure for off-campus games and meets. For high-risk sports such as basketball and hockey, athletes will be administered COVID-19 tests three times per week throughout the season, while a quarter of tier 1 track and field athletes will require weekly testing. Swimmers and divers, deemed low risk, will be tested in accordance with institution specific guidelines.

Other guidelines place caps on the amount of travel personnel a team may carry to road matchups and encourage visiting teams to arrive dressed and ready to play to keep locker room crowding to a minimum. Post-game handshakes, a staple of sportsmanship in traditional times, will be eliminated. Instead, the conference suggests that at the conclusion of each event, athletes demonstrate “an appropriate sign of respect” towards their opponent, prompting players and coaches to get creative. 

The MIAC maintains that the physical and mental health of its athletes is the conference’s “top priority” and justifies the decision to proceed with a winter season due to the fact that all member institutions “are located within the borders of Minnesota, where there is stable healthcare and broadly available testing.”

The teams scheduled to compete this winter include: Augsburg, Bethel, Concordia-Moorehead, Gustavus Adolphus, Hamline, Saint Benedict’s, Saint John’s, Saint Mary’s and Saint Thomas. For men’s and women’s basketball and hockey, each team will play a 7-game round robin schedule. Pending completion of at least 4 out of 7 in-conference games, the team with the best winning percentage at the season’s conclusion will be awarded the annual conference title and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Track and field and swim and dive meets will be scheduled at the discretion of each school in the coming weeks.

Competition will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 6, when the first bout of hockey and basketball round-robin action will be completed inside gymnasiums and ice rinks on campuses throughout the conference. In the meantime, Carleton athletic programs are permitted to continue practicing over the course of the winter season in accordance with campus policy.

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Categories: Colleges

Carleton Environmental Advisory Committee enters Phase II of the Climate Action Plan review process

Carletonian - Sat, 01/23/2021 - 12:09pm

This Winter Term, Carleton’s Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) is hosting a series of conversations to recommend updates to the Climate Action Plan (CAP), which outlines a path for Carleton to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Created in May 2011, the CAP is nearly 10 years old and, according to members of the Sustainability Office, needs reviewing and updating. Martha Larson, the co-chair of the EAC and Manager of Campus Energy and Sustainability, said updating the CAP is important because “a lot of the political, economic and social context has changed a lot. There’s increased urgency and determination from the world at large to address the climate crisis.” 

Phase I of the process occurred last fall when the EAC met to review and summarize the past 10 years of climate action at Carleton. Phase II will address specific topics such as environmental justice, resilience, carbon offsets and fossil fuel use. The CAP will not directly be updated through these conversations though. Rather, the goal of these meetings is to “write a memo of recommendations on how the [CAP] should be updated,” Larson explained.

The first phase of the CAP review process indicated where Carleton is succeeding in climate action—waste management and energy, for instance—and places where action needs to be reevaluated. During summer 2020, Sustainability Assistants (STAs),Simran Kadam ’23 and Jacyn Schmidt ’21 compiled research about the CAP, focusing on “finding out where there were holes, where there were gaps, what was missing, and creating a series of workshops based on the information that we gained,” Kadam said. 

For Kadam, the “absence of climate justice in the original plan was almost shocking,” although both Larson and Kadam agreed that understandings of sustainability and the vernacular have changed over the past ten years. 

“It was kind of profound to see not only how much Carleton’s has changed, but how much sustainability has shifted from being just focused on this technical, carbon neutrality aspect to now including a more holistic view that cares about people equally as much as the environment,” Kadam stated. 

Environmental Studies major and EAC member Karen Chen ’21 hopes to shift the “narrative and structure of action towards being rethought in a way that centers racial justice, class justice, and goes beyond the sort of conventional focus on operations.” 

Schmidt agreed that addressing the climate crisis is important for Carleton because, “as an institution, it’s in our values, it’s in our mission statement to prepare students for challenges in the world and to be able to address things that we’ll be faced with when we graduate, and the climate crisis is one of the biggest issues of our time.” 

For Martha Larson, dealing with climate change is an “overwhelming task” because sustainability and climate action “not only apply to operations and managing carbon emissions, but they also apply to the philosophies that we embed in our curriculum, the research that we do, student life and soft education about living in a more sustainable world.” 

Kadam and Chen agreed that incorporating a sustainability or a social justice requirement into Carleton’s curriculum would be a step forward in students being “more aware of the issues facing the world in regard to sustainability.”

Beyond the educational component, the EAC and Sustainability Office hope to include more students in the Phase II process. Kadam believes that it is “incredibly important for students to be involved in this process. I feel like students have the right idea when it comes to sustainability because, being the younger generation, we are the ones that are going to be affected by the impacts made today, further down the line. So, if we want to secure a  safe future for us and our children, we have to be involved right now.”

Schmidt looks forward to seeing more students at the meeting because she thinks there’s a lot of hope in “imagining the future we want for Carleton and the world.” The first Phase II meeting, focused on environmental justice, took place on Wednesday, January 20 via Zoom. For upcoming meeting links, students can email amiller3@carleton.edu. More information about the CAP review process, meetings and workshops can be found on the Sustainability Office’s website.

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Categories: Colleges

State sues Northfield bar owner for operating without license

Northfield News - Sat, 01/23/2021 - 11:57am
State sues Lakeville bar for operating without license
Categories: Local News

Dining hall recovery to resume next week

Carletonian - Sat, 01/23/2021 - 10:53am

On hold since the start of Winter Term, dining hall recovery can now resume with the help of faculty and staff who will take over delivering rescued food to community partners. The adjustment allows Food Recovery Network (FRN) to continue as COVID -19 measures restrict off-campus volunteering. 

“We already have a really nice, robust list of faculty and staff who volunteer with Food Recovery Network,” said Erica Zweifel, Assistant Director of Community Engagement at the Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE). 

In addition to recovering from campus dining halls, Carleton FRN typically recovers twice a week from retail partners like Cub Foods and Target. Over winter and spring break faculty and staff volunteers step in to handle this recovery and ensure a “seamless impact to our community partner.” 

When students left abruptly last spring, Zweifel sent out a call to faculty and staff, which doubled her volunteer list. She hopes to turn to her list this term to recruit volunteers for dining hall food recovery. 

The remaining component of the Carleton FRN chapter’s work—helping to distribute food at community partners—occurred outdoors in the fall but will remain on hold for this term. 

Carleton FRN’s ability to continue recovery makes it among the minority of FRN chapters. “At the national scale only about 25 percent  of our chapters are still able to recover food,” said Cassie Olovsson, Manager of Stakeholder Engagement at FRN. “At the same time, food insecurity rates are skyrocketing as a result of the pandemic,” she added. 

“One thing unique about Carleton’s situation is we have a really strong relationship with the Community Action Center,” said Jaren Yambing ’22, one of FRN’s nine program directors. The Community Action Center of Northfield is a nonprofit serving local residents in need, including through operating a food shelf. This year, they have seen an extraordinary increase in need, with over 700 households accessing food in September. 

The unusual circumstances of this year have caused FRN to reflect and “explore reciprocal relationships and what that means during the pandemic,” said program director Christof Zweifel ’21, “We get a lot of benefit through community engagement as students.”

While remote, FRN program directors worked on grant proposals to support community partners. “I had the privilege of helping with our request for a new food shelf in Faribault,” said program director Adam Ross ’22. Last year, grants to establish a satellite Food Shelf in Northfield and purchase additional fridges were both secured with the help of FRN. 

FRN is currently drafting a proposal to start a free farmers market this summer at the Greenfield Food Shelf in Northfield. Program directors are researching pricing models and gauging which types of produce to supply. 

“We want to ask the farmers to grow things that the families who are using the Food Shelf really want,” said Erica Zweifel. “This all has to happen in the next four weeks because the farmers are deciding what to grow.”

With dining hall recovery now approved, FRN program directors are coordinating with Bon Appetit, volunteers and community partners to determine how much food to recover and how to package it. They hope to relaunch the program this week. “We’re in the process of figuring out dates and stuff. The magic happens when you get all of these things to line up, dining hall volunteers and delivery,” said Yambing. 

The approval is contingent on caseloads remaining low. “Thank you [to] the students and the Carleton community for taking COVID seriously. That is what allows us to do the dining hall recovery,” said Erica Zweifel.

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Categories: Colleges

New offerings at Sayles: snack packs and the GET app

Carletonian - Sat, 01/23/2021 - 10:50am

This term, Sayles Café has introduced two new components: snack packs that can be bought with dining dollars or Schillers, and the GET app, which can be used to order food online for pickup at Sayles. The app can also be used to access all OneCard information, such as meal swipes and dining dollar balances.

Katie McKenna, Dining Services manager, said the snack packs were created to supplement the meals of students on campus over winter break, as well as those in quarantine or isolation. The packs are also intended to limit the need for students to travel off campus to the grocery store.

If in quarantine, students can still buy a snack pack and it will be delivered to them with their first meal. 

To McKenna’s knowledge, the college has never offered anything like the snack packs before.  Thus far, the offering has seen little success.  McKenna admitted that they “really haven’t sold any yet.”

According to the Bon Appétit website, there are three options for the snack packs, with varying ingredients and foods so as to be sensitive to dietary restrictions. There is a vegan option, an allergy-sensitive option and an option for people with no dietary restrictions.

The vegan option is the most limited, but includes fresh fruit, sun butter and bagels. The other two options include more variety. The allergy-sensitive option adds in veggie straws and a cereal bowl. The option for people with no dietary restrictions builds on the aforementioned foods, and adds string cheese and microwave popcorn. 

The GET app is an app that enables students to place an order online and then pick it up at Sayles, removing the need to stand in line. Currently, only grill and fryer items are available through the app – like turkey burgers and curly fries. By the end of the term, Bon Appétit staff are hoping to add cold items, like salads, according to Ella Hein ’23, a Bon Appétit Student Sustainability Ambassador.

Hein said that getting the app running has been an ongoing project for three or four years, but they haven’t had enough momentum to launch it until now. McKenna echoed this, saying, “we planned on implementing it, [but] COVID prompted us to make it available in a shorter amount of time.”

McKenna emphasized that the biggest benefit so far has been “no longer having to wait in line to order and then wait for your food,” which has helped greatly with physical distancing in Sayles, especially during rush times like lunch.

Orders from the app have not changed much about how Sayles is run, according to McKenna. She said the only difference is that when picking up an order, the number will not appear on the number board; students are expected to walk to the pick-up table and show the staff their order confirmation and name in order to receive their food.

Felix Lion ’23 recently used the app and said of his experience, “It was pretty easy, [but] I wish I could use my meal plan.” He noted that the major benefits of using it were skipping the line and that the food was ready within the 15 minutes promised by the app.

However, Lion is not sure if he will use it again. He said, “planning 15 minutes into the future is an awkward amount of time” and that “it’s easier to tell a human what I want”. 

As most students are on either the 15 or 20 meals per week plan at the dining halls, being able to use a meal swipe through the app would be appreciated. Instead of having to use their dining dollars, money assigned only for use at Sayles, students would be substituting a meal from Sayles for one from the dining hall. 

With COVID-19, the rules about how many meal swipes per week students can use at Sayles have become a little more flexible. Rather than just one or two a week, students are allowed to use up to five.

Further down the line, using a meal swipe through the app might become possible. McKenna said, “We are starting out with what we feel we can be successful at right away and will add in other options as we move forward.” 

Hein agreed, saying that the app is still in its preliminary stages and the food options are pretty limited, but she thinks “it’ll be good to see how it works out.”

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Categories: Colleges

New Year’s Eve video a reminder of racism at Carleton

Carletonian - Sat, 01/23/2021 - 10:48am

Content warning: themes of racism

On New Year’s Eve, a video of Carleton student Jay Haws ’23 was posted to the Instagram Story of a former classmate who attended Stillwater High School in Minnesota with Haws.  In the video, Haws is seen at a party, in the middle of the midnight countdown, pumping his fist and yelling “f*ck Black Lives Matter.”

Within a few days, the video and subsequent responses had been shared to a Class of 2024 Instagram account, to the Facebook group Overheard at Carleton and circulated around the campus community.  In the weeks since, many student organizations have released statements condemning this racist act – including the Black Student Alliance (BSA), the Ujamaa Collective, the Black Student-Athletes of Carleton (BSAC) and the Carleton Student Association (CSA).  

Students who were close to him felt horrified and betrayed.  Jancyn Appel ’23, co-founder and president of the Black Student-Athletes of Carleton (BSAC), said that she had heard rumors that Haws was in trouble with the athletic department earlier in the day and had texted him to ask what had happened.  A few hours later, when Appel saw the video, she said “my heart fell to my stomach.”

She continued, “This was a friend of mine, who I absolutely adored, screaming ‘f*ck Black Lives Matter,’ a cause not only had he demonstrated passion for in front of me, but also supported my advocacy work, supported me, hung out with me, etc., being utterly racist.  There isn’t ‘missing context’ needed. It was just pure, unadulterated hate, and I was mortified.”  

Talia Williams ’22, President of Carleton’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), said her initial reaction to the video was shock.  “Jay was someone I wasn’t necessarily close friends with, but our friend groups overlap a bit, and I would never have expected to see him saying those things,” she said.  “His Black teammates [on the football team] I think have been the most deeply affected, seeing someone they trusted and loved so blatantly disregard them.”

Making this video particularly hurtful was Haws’ purported allyship only a few months prior, when he participated in a campus-wide march against racial injustice organized by BSAC.  Haws was quoted in a Fall Term edition of the Carletonian saying, “I participated in the march not just out of support for their cause, which is obviously something I wanted to do, but more importantly to display my support, and the support of the athletic community as a whole, for our Black student-athletes.”

This performative allyship heightens the betrayal that many students are experiencing.  Jessica Brooks ’09, the current chair of the Multicultural Alumni Network (MCAN), said “I personally was extremely disappointed, especially after having seen that this specific student was also highlighted as an advocate for BLM on campus.”  

The Wednesday following the video’s posting, some of Haws’ classmates in Introduction to Astronomy did not feel comfortable with his presence on the Zoom call, they said. Professor Valerie Fox brought up the incident at the beginning of class “to highlight that her class is a safe space for everyone,” according to Alicia Telle ’23. A tense discussion ensued, students reported.

Telle said, “I and one other Black student spoke about our thoughts on the issue.  This student also voiced their discomfort with having Jay Haws in the class, and said how they think it is best for him to take the class asynchronously for the rest of the term.”  Another student, who preferred to stay anonymous, said these requests have been ignored and Haws continues to attend synchronously. 

Lack of a formal statement and publicized consequences  

The video has been recorded as a Bias Incident and is now in the hands of the Dean of Students Office.  President Steven Poskanzer informed the Carletonian that the college president does not have any role in student disciplinary matters.  Thus far, the college has published two very brief statements to its website, neither of which was publicized by the administration—one by Dean Livingston on the Dean of Students page and one on the Bias Incident reporting page.  An email from the CSA drew students’ attention to these statements.

The students the Carletonian spoke to felt that the lack of a more formal statement by the college is unacceptable. Williams said that aside from Dean Livingston’s two-paragraph statement on Carleton’s website, the college’s failure to release a more public statement “is an inappropriate response to a very public event.” 

She added, “The video was posted by an individual who doesn’t even go to Carleton, and this has spread to many more people outside of the Carleton community.  This paints a picture in the minds of those who were not able to see Dean Livingston’s statement that Carleton may be sweeping things under the rug.”

Since Haws is a sophomore defensive back on the football team, Head Coach Tom Journell said that he met with college administration so they could endorse the disciplinary action decided on by the Carleton football team.  The college cannot release further details of disciplinary decisions due to school policies and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the privacy of a student’s education record, including their disciplinary record. 

Andrew Farias ’21, President of the CSA, noted that because these FERPA restrictions were not explained to students, many have been calling for the administration to release this disciplinary information. 

CSA has also reached out to the Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (CEDI) to ask for their group to reevaluate the recommendations for procedures on reporting to the campus about bias incidents.  Dean Livingston explained to Farias that the decision to not send out a campus-wide email regarding the display of racism came as a recommendation from these procedures. 

Farias noted that the procedures from CEDI were created in response to an October 2017 incident wherein the college felt the need to publicly address the drawing of a swastika on a classroom blackboard, only to later find out that the symbol was used in a class discussion of ancient symbols.  To avoid similar problems of misinformation, CEDI recommended that incidents of bias should, instead, only appear on the CEDI website as they occur and in an annual report sent out to campus. 

Farias wrote, “while we understand why CEDI made this decision previously, we believe that there was enough context and campus concern to validate a campus-wide email about the most recent incident.”

Appel agreed that communication about disciplinary procedures has to improve.  “While we, as the student body, can’t know the ins and outs due to FERPA protections and a litany of other legal concerns, letting the student body know what’s going on rather than waiting to say anything until students email you I think is an easy change to be made.”

Representing the Multicultural Alumni Network (MCAN), Brooks added, “Silence is just acceptance of the behavior.  If we can’t actually condemn the behavior, and specifically state that the college does not condone the behavior [or] has enacted some sort of punishment for the student, then all we’re saying is that other students can feel comfortable exhibiting this level of ignorance.”

This video was a reminder of the power of social media to publicly shame and hold members of the community accountable, but also that the work of the college extends far beyond addressing this incident.  Appel said, “I’d be naïve to believe Jay is the only one or that racism or racist opinions begin and end with Jay.  He’s just the product of a larger cultural problem.” 

Williams said, “I think Carleton student athletes should take this as a sign to be really diligent in holding their peers accountable, especially their closest friends.  I would also encourage our student athletes to use their anger, frustration and any other emotions they may be feeling about this incident as fuel and motivation in their own activism.”

She added, “This can be a learning experience and a conversation starter within teams on how we can prevent something like this from happening again.”  

Haws did not respond to requests for comment.

Correction: Jan 24, 2021 – An earlier print version of this article did not include information about Astronomy 110.

The post New Year’s Eve video a reminder of racism at Carleton appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Navigating spacetimebodymind with Postdoctoral Fellow Lizbett Benge

Carletonian - Sat, 01/23/2021 - 10:46am

To be clear, Lizbett Benge was not a theater kid. The stilted nature of a scripted theatrical production never interested her. It wasn’t until she started her doctorate work that she realized she could “just make things with the people and things that you have, and that’s art.” Then it started to click.

Benge is in her first term at Carleton as the Robert A. Oden Jr. Postdoctoral Fellow for Innovation in the Humanities in the Theater and Dance Department. Her two classes this term, called “Art and (Un)Freedom” and “Space, Time, Body, Minds,” center radical feminism and prison abolition in a new approach to learning in an academic setting. 

The combination of Benge’s bright pink hair, her array of colorful tattoos and her work that is, as Department Chair Judith Howard put it, “honest, authentic, bold and really fierce,” would make her stand out in any crowd, but especially a crowd of Carleton professors. Her classes, in Howard’s view, “provide that brave space of creativity and social change that’s rare in academia.” 

That difference is not lost on Benge. After graduating from Arizona State University with a PhD in Gender Studies, she said she often questions her place in academia and her decision to pursue a PhD in the first place. At the time, she said, she was searching for a new path. As a child of the foster care system and a first-generation college student, she felt as though “sometimes [a PhD] is the only way people will listen to you.”

Though her degree affords her some level of automatic respect in the world, Benge rejects the idea that when she assembles a class of college students to talk about states of freedom, she is the expert in the room. She invited her students to co-create the syllabi. Just because she’s the professor, she said, “I don’t think that means me telling people what to learn. No, it’s people telling me what they want to learn. Hopefully there can be some joy and pleasure in that so we can all survive to the best of our abilities.”

For Avery Reyes Beattie ’24, this sort of mutual learning in a decentralized classroom environment was what attracted her to Benge’s classes in the first place. She said, “the experience that I’ve had with professors is very rigid, like, ‘this is how we’re going to do it.’ Lizbett came in on the first day and said, ‘I don’t have a syllabus, so we’re going to make it together.’ I was like, ‘Oh my god! Are you kidding me?’”

Howard believes that Benge’s introduction to the department will “expand the definition of performance and theater because her approach crosses many different realms.” One of these expansions is that Benge “likes working in communities,” which is very difficult during the pandemic. An interactive course by Benge is currently undergoing development and might roll out with the Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE) when the pandemic is under control. When that happens, Howard said, “she will be front and center in that work.”

Howard also discussed Benge’s unique approach to sociopolitical issues. She praised how Benge “confronts injustice with a really straightforward radicalism” with the thoughtful use of her body expressions. One of Benge’s central philosophies is to “acknowledge and unsettle relations” like racism, sexism and transphobia. She hopes her students will go on and create art that “reflects diverse constituencies in an authentic and socially just manner.”

A typical day in Benge’s virtual classroom involves a lot of moving. She describes herself as “squirrelly” and so, “with any kind of transition, I’m probably going to ask you to get up,” she said. Motion activities could be anything from choreographing a dance based on how overwhelmed students are feeling that day to just standing up for a water break.

Benge said she has had to get creative with the online format, since the hybrid version of “Art and (Un)Freedom” was originally supposed to be offered during Fall Term, but was cancelled due to low enrollment. She leads her students beyond the text-based discussion that might be expected in a Carleton humanities class. One of Benge’s favorite examples is when she asked students to “type a letter in the chat if you’ve heard of what decolonization is before. Then you get this alphabet soup, and from there I try to just abstract it out. We might take all the letters that have shown up in the chat and make a collective poem out of it about decolonization, about what we know, where each letter is going to represent the first letter of the first word of each stanza.”

Benge’s philosophy can be boiled down to one conglomerate word: spacetimebodymind. The term was born, she said, after she realized the inadequacy of each word—space, time, body and mind—on its own. 

“The body is not isolated. I’m also thinking and living and experiencing things. Yes, that might be filtered through the experiences that I have in this fleshly shell, but that’s not devoid of my mind and where my body is situated,” Benge said. In order to move toward the “fullness” she craves, we all need a more complete understanding of experience.

Reyes Beattie added, “Lizbett’s approach is that we need to be in our bodies in order to be in our brains. Especially because we’re at Zoom University, being in our bodies is hard when we’re just sitting at a screen. In order for us to engage in the conversations, she understands that people have to move.” 

So far, Reyes Beattie said, the move away from the traditional structure of an academic classroom, where homework assignments are reframed as “accountability exercises” and the ultimate priority is everyone’s joyful learning, has paid off. 

“Because Lizbett framed it as though we’re going to build this class together, everyone has a stake in it. Everyone is there to show up and there to be actually engaging with one another.”
Though Benge still has one more year to teach at Carleton, she says her possibilities are wide open after that. She is teaching this term from her home in Arizona, where she will stay as long as Carleton leadership allows her during this period of remote classes. When the time comes to move on from Carleton, she said, “I want to organize, and I want to provide political education to people, particularly system-involved youth.” All she ever wants to do, she said, is to “make art and f*ck it up.”

The post Navigating spacetimebodymind with Postdoctoral Fellow Lizbett Benge appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Bryn Battani ‘23 showcases musical chops in her debut EP

Carletonian - Sat, 01/23/2021 - 10:36am

Confidence, competition, performance and identity. These are the things sophomore Bryn Battani explores in her debut EP, All I Have to Offer You is Anything You Want, recently released on January 15. Battani’s four song EP follows the release of her first single, “Neutral, Baby,” late last year. 

Battani’s music career actually began in musical theater classes in middle school. She loved songs by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova from the musical Once. “I think the female protagonist in Once is one of the main reasons I started playing more music,” Battani said. “I realized how much I loved playing and singing together.” 

After coming to this realization, Battani began to learn more songs that she liked. She started to read less sheet music, and more charts and lead sheets. Similarly, she began to focus on “lyrics, chords, structure and arrangement.” These things would facilitate her original songwriting that she would gradually become more comfortable with, and begin to share in high school. 

When it came down to actually creating her debut EP, it was no easy task nor a one-man job. Battani had the idea for All I Have to Offer You is Anything You Want this past summer and immediately went to work reaching out to her friends and mentors Curtis McMurtry and Diana Burgess. McMurty is a songwriter, and Burgess a cello player. Both are respected musicians in Bryn’s hometown of Austin, Texas. 

“They are chock-full of musical wisdom and know their way around Austin’s music scene,” Battani said. “They helped me make a plan, sift through many demos, pick the strongest set of songs to record and connect with an engineer and musicians.” 

Among the people whose instrumental expertise made the EP possible are studio musicians and high school friends. Battani spent a collective 15 hours in the studio recording for her EP. It took her and her co-producers “a few weeks to make notes on the rough mixes, a few more weeks to get the mixes back and make revisions, a few more to get the masters and a few to get the EP ready for release through a distributor,” Battani explained. In total, it took four to five months to complete the EP.

“The main influences I always cite are Fiona Apple, Tori Amos and Regina Spektor,” Battani said. In general, as well as on her EP in particular, “these three fiery female singer-songwriters rock my world, as do many others,” explained Battani. Although her EP conveys a distinct sound unique to Battani, it’s impossible to ignore that her songs are filled with similarities to Fiona Apple in particular. “I specifically used Fiona Apple’s When The Pawn… as a production reference for my EP,” Battani explained. She drew inspiration from Apple’s “sparse, melodic guitar lines,” in order to place significance on lyrics and highlight her vocals. 

All four tracks are important to Battani, although she notes that “they each showcase a different range—musically, vocally and emotionally.” The EP opens with “Field Game,” which “[presents] the title with sultry assurance,” and suggests that “she has something to prove.” “Neutral, Baby,” previously released as a single, follows that up by “[remaining] unabashedly herself and refusing to change,” even while “her confidence [may seem to] falter.” 

The last two songs on the EP are “The College Visit” and “The Entourage.” The former “[features] a haunting piano accompaniment augmented with lush layers of cello harmony,” which differentiates it from the other tracks. Lastly, “The Entourage” contains “rhymes and wordplay similar to Regina Spektor.” Battani is “backed by a buoyant bass line and bright, snappy drums played with brushes.” Something that links the songs together, however, is “a powerful piano and a lively rhythm section,” that back her powerful vocals. Intensity is heard in and defines all four tracks.

On January 15, the fruits of Battani’s labor were realized: she released her EP onto musical platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music. Battani has enjoyed lots of positive feedback, and is planning on a virtual performance in a few weeks. She hopes that everyone will continue streaming as she continues to create original lyric-driven piano rock music.

The post Bryn Battani ‘23 showcases musical chops in her debut EP appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Interview with Prof. Melanie Freeze: What happened in Washington on January 6th, and what lessons did we learn?

Carletonian - Sat, 01/23/2021 - 10:33am

Last week, I spoke with Professor Melanie Freeze of the Political Science department over Zoom to get her perspective on the violence in Washington. Prof. Freeze teaches American Politics and studies political parties, motivated reasoning and polarization. I hoped she would give me a deeper understanding about what is now happening in Congress and answer the more difficult questions about the legacy of pro-Trump terrrorism on public trust of institutions and the threat of White Supremacy in America. 

Personally, I have felt both numb and overwhelmed since the pro-Trump terrorists stormed Congress. The efforts to impeach Trump by Democrats offer little consolation to anyone, and many are left with more questions that require reading beyond the headlines. I also feel a need to derive some type of lesson from the trauma in Washington. Freeze took on my questions eagerly, but she encourages critical engagement with her responses and, importantly, says that she hopes readers will “take what I say with a grain of salt.” 

Naomi Lopez: Biden’s inauguration is on January 20, less than a week away. There’s been a swift movement to impeach Trump, however, following the political violence in the Capitol. What is the message the Democratic party and opponents of Trump are trying to send with voting to impeach? 

Melanie Freeze: I think the message is responding to the use of conspiracy theories and misinformation in President Trump’s rhetoric. This misinformation is targeting core institutions of the democratic process, and there’s a long-term danger of underming functioning democratic institutions. Trump’s rhetoric could come back and hurt both parties and all democratic processes. That is one of the tipping points. 

Trump’s misinformation led to violence, which should be condemned, but it’s violence in a certain context. It’s violence that is trying to interfere with legal processes designed to manage conflicts peacefully. 

Q: What is the precedent the Democractic Party is attempting to set regarding what presidential behavior merits impeachment? 

A: The impeachment process does not have much legal precedent, so it is definitely a political process. It should, as a result, be filtered within the lens of political agendas and rational motivations of individual actors. Perhaps, demagoguery that indirectly incites violence by appeals to misinformation is being condemned.

 Also, it’s a statement against falsely undermining legitimate institutions. You can’t say anything you want, and it has to be grounded in reality and evidence. On the one hand, impeachment sends a message about violence, misinformation and the activation of white supremacy. It says that these activities are not acceptable. 

On the other hand, the impeachment is also a process shaping future political processes and the 2024 election. The impeachment draws on the 14th amendment, establishing that those engaged in insurrection are banned from office. If successfully convicted, Trump will not be able to run for office again.  

Q: How will this impeachment affect public trust in the political institutions? Will it lead to Trump supporters being suspicious of democratic systems?

A: I think that’s an interesting question: will this process increase the legitimacy of political institutions? Or, through using the impeachment process and preventing Trump from participating in the 2024 presidential election, will that lead to further degradation of institutions? Some people may feel like their choice has been taken away and claim it’s a bypass of the electoral process. I don’t have a clear answer, and it can be spun many ways. This is one plausible outcome.

Also, public trust will be filtered by partisan predispositions and worldviews. For those who agree with the more Democratic side, this will bolster their trust. Those who disagree and align themselves with Trump’s side will probably mistrust institutions more. However, I would put a big modifier on that and say this is not a purely partisan process at this point. It’s bipartisan, which is entirely different from the last impeachment process. 

Q: During the impeachment vote, 10 Republicans joined Democrats and rallied against Trump. Why is this important and why did they vote against the president?

A: There were 10 Republicans to vote against Trump, and this is massive in a polarized environment. There might not be enough bipartisanship to actually impeach Trump, but there is enough bipartisan effort to turn this into a stronger message beyond the partisan lens. Interestingly, the 10 representatives were not all moderates but also far-right leaning. This is an interesting case of intra-party conflict: there’s the mainstream and the outside faction at war. I don’t think Republicans actually want to convict Trump, maybe some, but I think they want to elevate different factional interests. It is the establishment party versus the outsiders, which are individualists and a Trump-centric party. The Republicans who voted to impeach want to balance the line of expressing disapproval for this Trump party and move back to an ideological and principle-centered party.

The timing of this event also helps. It’s post-election, so there’s less incentive to rally around the party for election time. Interestingly, Trump’s ability to punish people through Twitter has been taken away, so his powers are fewer. Trump has fewer resources because he lost the election, and lawmakers may be avoiding association with this loss. 

Q: Who were the rioters and what are their motives and political objectives? 

A: It is not a monolithic group of individuals and there’s lots of different agendas. The rhetoric can activate individuals who feel frustrated because their party lost, but it might also activate people who have a deep suspicion of all elite institutions. Also, it definitely activated white supremacists. It is important to recognize the riots and insurrections were an amalgamation of different goals and factions. Intraparty factions are at play here, for example. There’s a toss up of who gets to shape this big tent party and who will get to determine its focus.

Q: What tools does Biden have to cope with the fallout of the riots, especially potential loss of public trust moving forward? Do you think these tools will be satisfactory for helping the public move on from this trauma? 

A: One of the biggest tools of the president is that they’re a unitary actor. The president has the ability to go public and has a bully pulpit to connect with the nation as a whole. An interesting side effect is that Trump has maintained front-and-center dominance of the media and overshadowed Biden’s agenda. This is an important period for Biden, and the agenda-setting space and attention has been taken away. It feels like there is not a transition, but once we move past this, he should be a more salient actor. However, Biden is not as charismatic as Trump or Obama, so his tools could be more limited. But, maybe the public wants “boring sleepy Joe” and a calm and bipartisan figure. It’ll depend on his powers of persuasion.

The post Interview with Prof. Melanie Freeze: What happened in Washington on January 6th, and what lessons did we learn? appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Arb trail cameras capture abundant wildlife

Carletonian - Sat, 01/23/2021 - 10:29am

Remotely-activated game trail cameras provide the opportunity to witness animals one would rarely ever see in person. Popular among hunters, conservationists and wildlife managers, data from these cameras shed light on the abundance of mammal species in an area. In the Arb, a remote camera project undertaken by Matthew Zappa ’22 for the Arb Office has captured a wide variety of species. Examples of sightings are featured below. While some species, such as deer and raccoons, are often seen, other species like the red fox are common yet rarely observed due to their largely nocturnal habits. In order to have a good chance of seeing mammals in the Arb, it is best to go on an early morning hike, since many species are crepuscular (most active at dawn and dusk). It is easier to find tracks and signs of animals than the animals themselves; the best time to look for fresh mammal tracks is after a recent snowfall. Some signs, like otter slide marks and mink tracks, can readily be spotted on the ice along the Cannon River.

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Categories: Colleges

Why did Trump skip Biden’s inauguration? Social distancing.

Carletonian - Sat, 01/23/2021 - 10:24am

Last Wednesday, millions of Americans watched as Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. defied the prophecies of QAnon himself on the national stage and became Current President Joseph R. Biden Jr. The last president was noticeably absent from the crowd, however, as Donald Trump followed the lead of Andrew Johnson by electing not to celebrate the winner of the election.

Of course, the American people have known of Trump’s plan to forgo the inauguration for several weeks. But the biased Mainstream Media has committed an unfortunate error in merely reporting this development. Here in the politics part of the Bald Spot, we go further than facts. We speculate at length on the issues that matter to you, the reader. That same rigorous speculation has led us to the conclusion that Trump skipped Biden’s inauguration for purposes of social distancing. 

Readers may find it unlikely that President Trump has chosen to socially distance. Yet Trump has always been adamant about CDC regulations one way or another. He has taken position after position on the matter. Is it really so inconceivable that one of those positions lands on positivity? Perhaps to the Mainstream Media, it would be—but we are not them. Visualize, if you will, how Trump might have made the announcement to his supporters. Hear his voice and you will understand.

“Now Sleepy Joe, he was thinking about having a big inauguration party. It’s absolutely ridiculous what they’re doing. He wants a big crowd, millions and millions—and frankly, I don’t think he could ever get that many people unless he’s playing games, but that’s okay—and he wants them all crowded together, crowded together in that tiny square. I look at that little square and it’s unbelievable how tiny it is. You can’t do that. You can’t. You have a tremendous—you’ll have germs like nobody’s ever seen. So I said ‘Are they wearing masks? Are they staying six feet apart, as recommended, by the way, by the very great people of the CDC?’ But they said ‘No, sir, no masks, no social distancing, no nothing.’ And I looked at them and I said ‘I want to go, I really do, but what the hell do they think they’re doing?’ We’ve got the worst virus there’s ever been. I don’t want COVID-19, they call it and I’m not giving it to our First Lady, okay?” 

Now there can be no doubt that the former President has turned over a new leaf. This is no 31/32 life crisis: The bombastic Donald Trump of yesteryear is no more. He has metamorphosed into a man who drinks daily from the goblet of altruism. Much like a certain other irregularly-hued pop culture figure, his heart has grown three sizes. Perhaps he will toss breadcrumbs to the herons behind Mar-a-Lago or reclaim his Twitter account as a minion meme page. While we cannot yet explain this sudden surge of character development, we at the Bald Spot look forward to observing the changed man from afar. Because while not everyone deserves a second term, everyone deserves a second chance.

The post Why did Trump skip Biden’s inauguration? Social distancing. appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Interview with the Anderson light fixture

Carletonian - Sat, 01/23/2021 - 10:21am

Light fixtures have long been the bastions of the vast indoors, however, unlike the Sun and Moon, the patrons of the outdoors, they have long gone unappreciated and unnoticed. 

While the Sun and Moon shine a light on the inconvenient, uncomfortable, and frankly unwanted wilderness beyond the luxuries of the indoors, the light fixture has been the silent soldier standing guard against the shadows of the indoors during the reign of the Sun and the primal darkness during the rule of the Moon.

In recognizing such an oversight, the Carletonian, in its ardent wish to honor all heroes, sought to acquire the exclusive of the century through an interview with one of these everyday and everynight—but unappreciated—heroes.

After a long and arduous search, a light fixture willing to break their oath of silence to finally get the appreciation it deserved was found within the Anderson Atrium. 

“Finally,” the light fixture, who introduced himself as C1043, exclaimed, when asked how it felt to finally be asked to speak. “You know how long we’ve been waiting for this?

“It feels like our voices are being heard for the first time,” he sobbed as he continued, “even vacuums get their due, and they’ll suck anything. The fact that it’s taken this long for people to realize that we deserve some love, too, makes me question which one of us is lacking a brain.”

C1043 visibly flickered in anger when questioned on the light-fixtures’ value to society. 

“Look around you,” he directed, “we’re everywhere! Without us, this place would be a cesspool of shadows during the day, and unnavigable during the night. Forget about being able to study in comfort without straining eyes, you probably wouldn’t be able to take a single step without tripping over your two extended bolts if we weren’t around.”

Calming down, C1043 noted that “with how much time humans spend indoors, you’d think you’d be more appreciative of what allows you the privilege.”

“Without us,” he continued, “where would you be? Maybe still indoors, but without us, you wouldn’t be able to get anything done indoors. Could you imagine how damaging that would be? Especially to students?”

“Students love the luxuries of the insides, especially the light we offer, so they can get their coursework done. Without us, they’d never get anything done. When would they? During the day? Everyone knows students don’t work during the day, and they certainly wouldn’t be able to at night! Our work schedule is proof of that, nearly 24/7 with no holidays or days off normally, but definitely 24/7 with no exceptions during the cold seasons, like now. I haven’t slept in nearly three months. If after all our hard work we still can’t get some appreciation, we might have to STRIKE!” C1043 finished.

With the time spent indoors by students increasing and the increasing burden placed on light fixtures, as well as their role in creating a comfortable and productive space, it becomes clear that we should properly thank the light fixtures in our lives, or we might have to learn to live without them and god-forbid complete our coursework during the day.

As temperatures continue to drop in Minnesota, students are spending more and more time indoors, which has led to the increased stress upon the world’s, specifically, the indoor world’s, unsung hero: the light fixture. 

Light fixtures have long been the bastions of the vast indoors, however, unlike the Sun and Moon, the patrons of the outdoors, they have long gone unappreciated and unnoticed. 

While the Sun and Moon shine a light on the inconvenient, uncomfortable, and frankly unwanted wilderness beyond the luxuries of the indoors, the light fixture has been the silent soldier standing guard against the shadows of the indoors during the reign of the Sun and the primal darkness during the rule of the Moon.

In recognizing such an oversight, the Carletonian, in its ardent wish to honor all heroes, sought to acquire the exclusive of the century through an interview with one of these everyday and everynight—but unappreciated—heroes.

After a long and arduous search, a light fixture willing to break their oath of silence to finally get the appreciation it deserved was found within the Anderson Atrium. 

“Finally,” the light fixture, who introduced himself as C1043, exclaimed, when asked how it felt to finally be asked to speak. “You know how long we’ve been waiting for this?

“It feels like our voices are being heard for the first time,” he sobbed as he continued, “even vacuums get their due, and they’ll suck anything. The fact that it’s taken this long for people to realize that we deserve some love, too, makes me question which one of us is lacking a brain.”

C1043 visibly flickered in anger when questioned on the light-fixtures’ value to society. 

“Look around you,” he directed, “we’re everywhere! Without us, this place would be a cesspool of shadows during the day, and unnavigable during the night. Forget about being able to study in comfort without straining eyes, you probably wouldn’t be able to take a single step without tripping over your two extended bolts if we weren’t around.”

Calming down, C1043 noted that “with how much time humans spend indoors, you’d think you’d be more appreciative of what allows you the privilege.”

“Without us,” he continued, “where would you be? Maybe still indoors, but without us, you wouldn’t be able to get anything done indoors. Could you imagine how damaging that would be? Especially to students?”

“Students love the luxuries of the insides, especially the light we offer, so they can get their coursework done. Without us, they’d never get anything done. When would they? During the day? Everyone knows students don’t work during the day, and they certainly wouldn’t be able to at night! Our work schedule is proof of that, nearly 24/7 with no holidays or days off normally, but definitely 24/7 with no exceptions during the cold seasons, like now. I haven’t slept in nearly three months. If after all our hard work we still can’t get some appreciation, we might have to STRIKE!” C1043 finished.

With the time spent indoors by students increasing and the increasing burden placed on light fixtures, as well as their role in creating a comfortable and productive space, it becomes clear that we should properly thank the light fixtures in our lives, or we might have to learn to live without them and god-forbid complete our coursework during the day.

The post Interview with the Anderson light fixture appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Northfield grad says teaching career will help her give back

Northfield News - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 3:31pm
Ellie Ims knew she wanted to give back.
Categories: Local News

Northfield Police Chief discusses telemarketing scams; City Council endorses federal carbon fee

KYMN Radio - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 12:02pm
By Rich Larson, News Director The Northfield Police Department is reporting a hike in telemarketing scams affecting Northfielders, and seniors in particular. Northfield Police Chief Mark Elliott said his office has seen a rise in the number of complaints they are receiving about telemarketers with dubious intentions, and the technology they use has become more sophisticated

Back to 1918: When another pandemic ravaged the region

Northfield News - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 10:15am
With nearly a full year in the books since COVID-19 hit Minnesota, it’s abundantly clear that the pandemic has altered life in a way that few could have imagined.
Categories: Local News

Carrie Carroll and Jennifer Sawyer on ‘Northfield Shares an Evening of Entertainment’

KYMN Radio - Fri, 01/22/2021 - 9:24am
Carrie Carroll and Jennifer Sawyer talk about the Northfield Shares virtual event “Northfield Shares an Evening of Entertainment” scheduled for Saturday evening, January 23 at 7:00 p.m.  The event will be co-hosted by Jennifer Sawyer and KYMN’s own Rich Larson and will include entertainment by a variety of talented individuals.  For more information, click here.
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