Blogosphere

Sheriff's deputy sued over 'racist' tweets

Northfield News - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 12:59pm
The Star Tribune is reporting that Diamond Reynolds, who livestreamed the aftermath of the July 2016 officer-involved shooting death of her boyfriend, is suing a Rice County deputy for defamation.
Categories: Local News

City Council Meeting

City of Northfield Calendar - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 12:22pm
Event date: November 19, 2019
Event Time: 06:00 PM - 09:00 PM
Location:
801 Washington Street
Northfield, MN 55057

Project Overview: South Suburban OMS

Northfield Construction Company - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 11:49am
1521 Clinton Lane: The OMS project is a new oral surgical facility built from October 2018 to July 2019. The South Suburban OMS building is complete and ready for business! This space is a beautiful 2,256 SQ ft building with three surgical rooms, one sterile room, three recovery rooms, offices, storage, staff lounge, and waiting....
Categories: Businesses

Predatory offender turns himself in to Nfld PD Investigator; Three counties involved in Corrections Officer charges; Dundas update on new City Hall and more

KYMN Radio - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 11:38am

By Teri Knight, News Director A man convicted in Washington County of sexually assaulting his 7 year old daughter in 2002 was picked up by a Northfield police investigator on Tuesday on an outstanding warrant. 46 year old Brian Lee Marlowe must register as a predatory offender, providing law enforcement with his location and place

The post Predatory offender turns himself in to Nfld PD Investigator; Three counties involved in Corrections Officer charges; Dundas update on new City Hall and more appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Our solar on a cloudy day

Carol Overland - Legalectric - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 11:25am

Is this cool or what?!?!?!

We can’t figure out what those big short spikes are, toaster was only used once. Furnace blower is the flat spikes every 20-30 minutes or so. What is it???

Later in the day, the sun came out, although this time of year, we’re below the bluff so it’s not direct:

That little spike mid-day was my little space heater here in the office, which I turned on for a minute or two to see what it looked like. I don’t know what that later spike was. And now the sun is way below the bluff, headed down. This looks pretty good considering that this is not an ideal location for solar.

Categories: Citizens

The power of the pen: My unfinished love letter to Minnesota and all Northfield has taught me

Manitou Messenger - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 9:48am

Frank Sinatra believed if you could make it in New York, you could make it anywhere. Sinatra clearly never lived in Northfield, Minnesota.

My experience living in the rural midwest as a bonafide city girl has hit plenty of bumps and hurdles. However, no matter what, the one constant I keep coming back to is pen and paper. When the world feels scary and lonely and I cannot quite sort out why it feels so hard to get up in the morning, I write. When I start new relationships and am met with an overload of insecurities, I write. When I feel soul-crushingly homesick, I write. Sorting out my unintelligible emotions on paper has helped me grow and better understand myself. Needless to say, I am a strong advocate for giving writing therapy a shot and I am not the only one.

The chair of the psychology department at University of Texas, Austin, Dr. James W. Pennebaker, believes expressive writing can impact people in many positive ways. According to Pennebaker, organizing thoughts and giving meaning to trauma can potentially encourage people reach out for necessary help as well as assist in breaking negative cycles of rumination. Health psychology researcher Susan Lutgendorf, stresses the importance of using writing as a tool to grow from and overcome trauma. Journaling is not just about writing, it is about deriving meaning from your experiences. In her words, “An individual needs to find meaning in a traumatic memory as well as to feel the related emotions to reap positive benefits [of writing exercises].” Although I was no stranger to journaling, I never realized how much her words would ring true as I used writing for self-discovery in college.

On August 31, 2018, I exited Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport by myself with three suitcases and $60 cash. Although I had arrived a day before first-year move-in, had no place to stay the night and knew absolutely no one in Minnesota, I was excited to explore Middle America for the first time. Having spent my whole life in a bustling neighborhood a couple blocks south of Midtown Manhattan, all I could think about was how thrilled I was to leave my metropolitan childhood behind for the quaint college town of Northfield. It was going to take some getting used to – that much I was sure of – but nothing could have prepared me for the ebb and flow of rural campus life.

My first semester was rough. There were some obvious local differences I was prepared to adapt to – scarce public transportation, limited food options and harsh winters. I very quickly realized, however, that the differences between New York City and Northfield ran deeper than just those minor adjustments. Certain accepted cultural behaviors were so foreign to me that my lack of familiarity to them made me stick out like a sore thumb.
So, I wrote about it. In my entries I described Minnesotans as masters of small talk and active listening. Ultimate frisbee was considered a sport and choir was taken extremely seriously. I could tell they were generally non-confrontational and overall surface-level friendly (not to mention the funny way they say “bag”). After drafting these caricatures of Minnesotans on paper, I was prepared to figure out where my place was in all of this. How was I going to mirror their behaviors enough to fit in, while also finding room for a little bit of home?

At the time, I had only allowed myself to marinate in my writing comfort zone. I described my cultural confusion without reaching the reflective, emotional side of writing therapy. Which is to say, I had not dug deep enough to benefit. So, every time I thought I had begun to figure out Minnesota enough to feel comfortable letting loose my obnoxiously sarcastic and direct east coast mannerisms, I would feel the rug be pulled from underneath me. My humor would not land or my word choice came off as too harsh. The reputation I was creating for myself was not kind and – unlike back home – I could not hide behind a crowd in anonymity. In my small college town, my new reputation would stick. So, in that moment, I realized I had lost control of my narrative.

Having been exhausted of any urge to write, I sifted through old entries and felt myself sink into a deep pit of loneliness. I had completely lost the urge to journal. However, as much as my hands protested, I forced myself to pick up a pen, this time embracing my melancholy. Through it, I was able to discover my subconscious wants and needs in a way that helped me better understand myself. After letting my emotions pour onto the page, for the first time in Minnesota, I felt liberated.

Although the success of expressive writing will vary from person-to-person, there is no evidence supporting any negative long term effects. Simply, a willingness to explore emotions through journaling could be incredibly advantageous for self-reflection and improvement. The British Journal of General Practice released data supporting a reduction in certain people’s anxiety, behavioral issues, blood pressure and depressive symptoms simply through writing exercises. Reasons not to try are few and far between.

Having written extensively on my experience in Minnesota, my journal bleeds with entries of me navigating around toxic friendships, suburban boys and “Minnesota nice.” I take each word I write as an opportunity to learn something new about myself. Admittedly, I often feel as though this state intentionally puts me in unpleasant situations – almost as though it is out to get me. All I can say to that is bring it on Minnesota; my pen has got a lot more ink left in it.

nizhny1@stolaf.edu
Alexia Nizhny ’22 is from New York, N.Y. Her major is English.

Categories: Colleges

Frozen Chimes

Manitou Messenger - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 9:48am
Categories: Colleges

Women in Ag Network workshop – How to get $4 corn 

KYMN Radio - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 8:19am

Willmar, Minn. (11/7/2019) — Were you impressed with the early summer rally in corn prices? Corn producers had a chance to sell cash corn for $4 per bushel. Price charts indicate this was producers first chance at $4 corn in five years. But was it really?  How to get $4 corn is a simulation game

The post Women in Ag Network workshop – How to get $4 corn  appeared first on KYMN Radio · Northfield, MN · AM 1080 & FM 95.1.

Editorial from David Ludescher

KYMN Radio - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 8:14am

Dear Editor, In a recent editorial [Northfield News] on raising taxes, Mayor Pownell claims that “the politically easy strategy” would be to keep taxes within the 0-2% range for 2020.  Assuming that the Mayor is right that 10% tax increases are necessary, how did we get the point of double-digit increases? During my tenure, the

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ArtZany: Fine Craft Collective with Colleen Riley and Noah Sanders

KYMN Radio - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 1:16am

Today in the ArtZany Radio studio Paula Granquist welcomes artists Colleen Riley and Noah Sanders from the Fine Craft Collective. finecraftcollective.com FINE CRAFT COLLECTIVE NOV 4 – DEC 24, 2019 Main Gallery, Northfield Arts Guild 304 Division St. S. Northfield, MN Gallery Hours: Mon – Sat 10-6  Sun  12-4 Colleen Riley: eurekapots.com  Colleen Riley creates primarily functional high-fire

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Overwintering in the Arb

Carletonian - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 12:23am

Snow on the ground in the past week sends a clear and cold signal to the residents of Northfield: winter is fast approaching. Boots are retrieved from closet corners, shovels extricated from the garage, thin socks switched out for the woolen thick as we feel the sting of air temperature dipping dangerously close to the single digits. And, of course, the Arboretum is feeling it too.

A familiar question for Student Naturalists this time of year is the oft-asked “How does (blank) survive the winter?” The dark part of the year in Minnesota may seem impossibly inhospitable without an HVAC system, and it is endlessly fascinating to wonder how the little ones stay warm, or even alive, through the cold.

The answers vary. Beavers spend the fall building lodges out of sticks and mud where they will spend the winter insulated from predators and temperature, gnawing on strategically frozen wood as their only food source. White-footed mice find abandoned goldfinch nests which they “dome over” with plant fibers and fuzz to make warm winter homes.

For mammals like us, winter may only be a tribulation to endure. For some species, however, a midwestern winter is crucial to their life cycle. Most prairie plant seeds require several months of “cold stratification” in order to germinate. In other words, without the many weeks of freezing and thawing and freezing again, the prairie will not sprout come spring.

Overwintering in Northfield looks different for us all. For some, it is hunkering indoors with fireplaces and warm drinks, like beavers in their lodges or mice in their stolen nests. For others, it is actively braving the cold with snowshoes or skis, like seeds embracing the snow under open sky. For others still, it is studying abroad in the southern hemisphere, like bluebirds migrating to warmer climes for the season. But no matter how you get through the winter here, remember you are not alone: the Arb is patiently getting through it too.

The post Overwintering in the Arb appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Carleton introduces ROTC program

Carletonian - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 12:22am

Carleton College has just announced that it is starting an experimental ROTC program in partnership with the Department of Defense. This was surprising to many, considering Carleton’s lack of focus on being strong, avoidance of taking orders, and disclination to organized physical pursuits.

What makes the program experimental is that it includes courses that specifically appeal to future soldiers. Here are some proposed courses for the world’s first Liberal Arts War College:

  • PSYC 386: How to deal with PTSD without any help whatsoever
  • BIO 863: It’s still your kid even if it was born 2 years after you deployed
  • ENGL 007: War Authors, from Chris Kyle to Mitchell Zuckoff
  • CAMS 429: Zero Dark Thirty and other not propaganda films
  • CAMS 428: How to put a Go-Pro on your helmet
  • GEOL 983: Strategic advantages in oil-rich terrain
  • SOAN 834: How the US army doesn’t target at-risk youth
  • PHIL 576: Do people in the Middle East even have human rights to violate?
  • CS 608: Drone piloting
  • CS 765: Losing the encryption race to China (with grace)
  • PSYC 457: Enhanced interrogation techniques
  • HIST 789: Bombing runs in Cambodia, Chilean Intervention, and other things that didn’t happen
  • ENTS 909: The untold benefits of Bikini Atoll
  • WGST 511: Being anything other than male in the military.
  • CLAS 276: Semper Fi and other lessons from the Roman Army
  • PE 444: Carrying the weight of the atrocities you may commit
  • POSC 778: The easiest democracies to topple
  • ECON 343: U$ HegeMONEY
  • IDSC 823: How to think critically about critical thinking: the beauty of following orders
  • PHIL 101: How to not get radicalized by Neo-Nazis online

The post Carleton introduces ROTC program appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Side effects of liberal arts majors

Carletonian - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 12:19am

Numerous treatments have been proposed in response to the ongoing epidemic of EAT, or Excessive Awareness of Triviality, a condition associated with unwanted recognition of life’s meaninglessness and inability to function without the prospect of reward. The most effective treatment is not new but has been used by some subsets of the population for hundreds of years: a liberal arts education. Beyond treating EAT, liberal arts boasts many other benefits, including reduced likelihood of error in apostrophe use, increased ability to sleep in nontraditional environments, and significantly reduced sensitivity to both short- and long-term sleep deprivation through exposure therapy.

Despite its benefits, however, liberal arts treatment is not a perfect solution. Among its most common side effects is a decreasing ability to differentiate among topics and disciplines. In mild cases, a patient will struggle to distinguish a key concept in one field from the same concept in a different field. In more extreme cases, patients have become unable to differentiate between two of their assignments on entirely different topics. A sociology paper becomes an art history paper when its author proceeds logically from the last paragraph he wrote – which was all about the influence of past artists on their society – and then takes a philosophical turn. The paper, moreover, is submitted neither to the professors who assigned the papers. The risk of such mishaps increases when patients undergo concurrent exposure therapy for sleep deprivation sensitivity.

Most patients of liberal arts treatment also experience reduced ability to prioritize. Since they take so many classes and participate in so many activities, they can become overcommitted if they invest themselves fully in too many of these pursuits. And it is often unclear which of a student’s pursuits warrant their commitment.

The most effective treatment for liberal arts side effects is for each patient to select one field of study to focus on. This encourages factions to emerge among students as the “majors” in each department form groups, enabling clearer distinction between similar fields. A major also provides each student with a logical subset of high-priority classes, and the resulting opportunity for conscious disengagement from other classes; this ability to prioritize is associated with reduced anxiety and even with decreased stress.

However, this course of treatment can have major side effects. Some are predictable: art majors begin to see specks of paint on everything, even when there are none; chemistry majors worry their friends by referring to sliced apples as “rusting” when exposed to air for too long; Classics majors develop obsessions with correct Greek and Latin plurals in words that are supposed to have become part of English.

But some major side effects are more unfortunate. For example, we know that patients who major in STEM or even social science become wealthier than those who major in arts or humanities. We would expect that majors in these impractical subjects, discovering later in life that they can be happy with little money, would gain the necessary insight not to overvalue money. In fact it is the opposite: the belief that money can buy happiness is itself a long-term side effect of an impractical major.

A very recent study surveyed two groups of people with different income ranges, asking each subject the same question: “All else being equal, do you believe that more money tends to make people happier?” Members of the higher-income group were 53% more likely to understand that more money does not increase happiness.(Interestingly, 100% of both groups rated the following statement as “true”: “The more money my children make, the better their lives will be.”) Psychologists speculate that the possession of wealth helps to demystify its effects and to combat the misconception that it can solve personal and psychological problems.

In the end, EAT patients must make peace with some unwanted side effects from their majors. A widespread treatment for these side effects is the choice of a secondary academic focus, which can help to balance out the effects of the first; however, such a secondary focus will invariably have minor side effects of its own.

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Categories: Colleges

Shlept at Carleton Instagram mistakenly posts photo of dead student

Carletonian - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 12:14am

As finals approach, Carleton students are working tirelessly to prepare for exams and finish their lengthy essays. Many on campus are running on little to no sleep, relying on obscene quantities of coffee to keep themselves awake. Despite what students think, however, they cannot burn the candle on both ends forever. Carls must eventually cave into their humanity and take a power nap.

This is prime harvest time for the Shlept at Carleton Instagram page. For those who have been living under a rock, Shlept at Carleton is an instagram dedicated to photographing students who fall asleep in places other than their room. Candid photos of students curled up on sofas in Sayles or drooling on their laptops in the library are published weekly on the page. Some view it as a rite of passage to be featured, an honor bestowed only to those worthy and sleepy enough. Who wouldn’t want their non-consensual picture taken while they’re unconscious?

Unfortunately, on 9th Monday, the group posted a photo of a student who was taking an eternal study break. The photographer, whose name has not been disclosed for privacy reasons, posted an apology statement on Instagram.

“I am so sorry to everyone. I had no idea that the student had passed away, they just looked so peaceful. In my defense, everyone looks a little dead during finals. My only regret is that I didn’t notice the student hadn’t moved for three days”

Coroner reports reveal that exhaustion was the cause of death, which surprised exactly zero people on campus. The school is now forcing students to take a mandatory nap during Common Time in response to the incident. The Great Hall will be fully stocked with sleeping bags, pillows, melatonin, eye masks, and ear plugs for the campus-wide siesta. Posters with information about healthy sleep habits are being placed in strategic locations as another attempt to curtail the epidemic.

The post Shlept at Carleton Instagram mistakenly posts photo of dead student appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Convocation Review: Carly Bad Heart Bull on Dakota identity and resiliency

Carletonian - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 12:12am

When we think about Minnesota, the history of a people is often omitted. Long before colonialism made its way to this land, it was home to the Dakota people among other Native nations. The Dakota today continue to reaffirm their history and ties to this place that they originally called Mni Sota Makoce. In her convocation “A Lasting Legacy: Acknowledging Dakota Resiliency in Mni Sota,” Carly Bad Heart Bull spoke on honoring Dakota history in a society where many Dakota have been separated from their identity.

Bad Heart Bull Dakota is Muscogee Creek and a member of the Flandreau Santee Sioux tribe in South Dakota. She grew up living away from Minnesota before moving back to her native homeland with her sister Kate Beane in an attempt to discover her identity as Dakota. Bad Heart Bull began by introducing herself in her native Dakota language, a theme that would be emphasized throughout the talk. Much of the convocation centered around Bad Heart Bull and her sister’s efforts in Minneapolis to restore the lake formerly known as Lake Calhoun to its original indigenous name, Bde Maka Ska (White Earth Lake). In an effort to make the area feel more welcome to traditionally underrepresented communities and to give a sense of place to the area, they worked to change the name from one that honored John C. Calhoun, a proponent of slavery and stealing Native lands to one that honors Dakota history. Bad Heart Bull stressed that growing up she felt that her identity as Dakota was erased. Throughout the country, indigenous peoples have been framed as a part of the past rather than as a people that continue to live intimately connected to the land.

The Dakota people were exiled from Minnesota after the United States-Dakota War of 1812 led to the execution of 38 Dakota men, the largest in our country’s history. Still today, most Dakota do not live in Minnesota. To a people who experienced mass upheaval and separation from home, a Dakota identity has been hard to affirm, “I never quite understood growing up… what did it really mean to be Dakota?” Bad Heart Bull said. “We felt invisible,” she continued, stressing the erasure of Dakota history in the United States. Bad Heart Bull has a particular connection to this place; indeed, her family once resided in a village here before her people were forced from their homeland. Bad Heart Bull stressed the importance of a sense of place and history to the formation of identity, highlighting the power of stories and names in establishing a sense of place.

Bad Heart Bull highlighted that some local residents see the name change of the lake as a contested issue. A small group of predominantly white upper-class citizens living around the lake has fought against the name restoration. Bad Heart Bull offered some explanation of their mindset: “They’re fearful that we’re going to do to them what John C. Calhoun and what some of their ancestors did to us. They’re afraid that we’re going to disconnect them from this place; and what they don’t realize is we’re not like that… We’re providing a gift of a richer perspective, of a broader understanding of history, of connection not only to place but to one another.”

As someone who has lived in Minneapolis my whole life, I am not unfamiliar with this debate over name restoration. Bad Heart Bull’s story gave a more holistic perspective to a beautiful area that I regularly see in my everyday life. Overall, her talk was effective in that it framed her own personal story well within a larger context of Dakota history and the pursuit of identity. Bad Heart Bull conveyed a clear picture of some of the work the Dakota community in Minneapolis is doing to establish sovereignty and practice self-determination. Before closing in her Dakota language, Bad Heart Bull asserted, “Just remember that names matter and stories matter. My story matters, your story matters, and the stories and names that we collectively honor and remember through having these conversations are what’s going to change or shift this dominant narrative, in order to ensure that the stories of all people of this land including the Dakota people, other indigenous people are heard, respected, and celebrated.”

The post Convocation Review: Carly Bad Heart Bull on Dakota identity and resiliency appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Diversity classes: available, but not mandatory

Carletonian - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 12:08am

My gut response is no. As a black man who has attend¬ed a primarily white high school who is now attending a primarily white college, I can scream to the hills for ages about the merits of diversity. Colleges shouldn’t be anything but diverse. The very foundation of a college is the exchange of ideas and having your thoughts and views challenged. Diversity facilitates this exchange with exposure to different cultures, geography, music, food, and more. However, speaking from experience, I do not believe that shoving diversity down people’s throats is the answer to creating a more diverse, conscious, and aware campus.

During high school, I was a mentor of the freshman class for the “Peer Leadership” program and a discussion facilitator for a program called “Everyday Democracy.” Freshmen were required to attend “Peer Leadership” and students in general were re-quired to attend “Everyday Democracy” sessions. Diversity was a topic that was often discussed, and I must tell you, I am not confident that these mandatory programs made much of a difference. First, I believe there is a certain stigma around the word mandatory. It is a forceful word, and students are often turned off when being forced to do anything. Secondly, diversity, racial awareness, and prejudice mitigation are all serious topics and should require the attention of serious people.

Given that it is 2019, I would like to believe that more and more students are aware of why we need diversity, but there are always those who are indifferent to the cause and those who genuinely participate in making campus a place of multiplicity. Again, speaking from experience, those who are indifferent to the matter or generally do not like to be forced to take extra classes will only bring down the moral of the diversity classes with a lack of participation or needlessly provocative or ignorant comments. I believe the solution is to continue to diversify campus by admitting more students of various racial, ethnic, religious, and geographic backgrounds. Diversity classes should be available, not mandatory, and one can rest assured that those who are serious proponents of diversity at an institution like Carleton will show up to diversity classes of their own volition.

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Categories: Colleges

Carleton must expand diversity requirements

Carletonian - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 12:07am

Carleton, like any self-respecting Liberal Arts college, pays lip service to diversity. That is true inside the classroom as well as outside it.

I remember that when I was applying to colleges, Carleton, again like peer institutions, made a big deal of describing its distribution requirements for graduation. They guarantee, admissions representatives said, a breadth of knowledge that you wouldn’t find otherwise, if you were forced to only follow the requirements of your major. Or so they said.

In practice, I have found Carleton’s distribution requirements more than lacking. They serve as a formality to hedge the school’s liberal arts curriculum bets rather than to make students actually engage with material they would not seek out on their own.

I know a handful of people who have struggled to check all the boxes for graduation. A handful. And of the ones who do, usually the offending class is some¬thing like PE or lab science. Hardly diversity-related material. This wouldn’t be a problem if students were taking courses related to diversity, but often the reality falls far short of the school’s label.

Even worse, only two requirements directly engage with anything that could reasonably be called “diversity”—a loaded word that carries its own baggage of tokenization and drastic oversimplification. “International studies” and “intercultural domestic studies” are the college’s two less-than-valiant attempts to make privileged students engage with issues of identity that they perhaps would not otherwise. Social inquiry, like¬wise, is such a nebulous term that it can apply to economics or political science courses and the like that have nothing to do with issues of identity.

We can, and should, quibble with the framing of these requirements. “Intercultural domestic studies” sounds like a stuffy euphemism for studying people of color and other minority groups in the United States, but even that would be too generous a description.

Many of the classes that count toward this description devote only a fraction of their reading list and class time to so-called “intercultural” issues. That they are “intercultural” means that they engage multiple perspectives within the United States, which one would expect any reasonable class to do.

In other words, this requirement is tokenizing, misapplied, and almost meaningless. If you take a class on the United States, you’ll probably fulfill it without trying. Much better would be a more specifically tailored requirement (or several!) devoted specifically to Ethnic Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and other identity-focused disciplines.

Likewise, “international studies” could mean basically anything that references a country outside of the United States, and that includes European studies, which is unfortunately one of the largest and most robust of the various area studies programs.

Europe is literally international, but studying Europe lies outside the spirit of the requirement. We study Europe in every class already. Most humanities methods classes are already based on a canon of European theorists. Most readings we do come from Europeans or other white people. Why should the College give students a free pass to study what they already would? It’s irresponsible.

Moreover, it doesn’t help that our area studies offerings are not departments of their own, but interdisciplinary programs with no funding or academic structure beyond what other departments and the occasional designated professor or course can bring. And we have disproportionately more professors devoted to the white, cishet, male, upper-class canon than to underrepresented groups in academia.

Students have to do extra digging to engage these issues. I find this ironic considering that (one would hope) the goal of a distribution requirement is to engage exactly these kinds of issues. To make sure students have a vocabulary to discuss racism, sexism, classism, and other forms of structural discrimination.

But Carleton in the end would rather have students fulfill their requirements with some¬thing they want to take than with something they should take if they want to be good citizens.

What we really need is a complete overhaul of these graduation requirements. Students shouldn’t get to graduate with¬out critically engaging all the is¬sues of our time. At such a white, wealthy school, it’s especially imperative that students have the vocabulary to discuss privilege and prejudice.

One and a half years ago, the Carls Talk Back movement made rethinking graduation requirements a central tenet of its campaign. Instead of, or in addition to, the current vague categories, students would need to take an ethnic studies class and a women’s and gender studies class before graduation. Carleton is a liberal arts college, and should prioritize as such: these topics are critical toward engaging humanistic issues not only here, but in the world at large.

This is a basic step, and in my opinion it does not go far enough toward correcting the biases in our classrooms and our world. But it is a step, and it would set us on a more responsible path. Other, smaller steps can go along with it, too.

Departmental review committees should know students want these kinds of classes. Give feedback wherever you can. And, of course, take classes in these areas. This is our school, our education, and we should get as much out of it as we can. As Carls Talk Back has noted, if extensive demand for certain classes exists, the College will have no choice but to oblige.

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Categories: Colleges

From Lahore Music Meet to Exit 69: spotlight on internationally known musician Abdullah Siddiqui ’23

Carletonian - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 12:02am

Among the various reasons Carleton’s website offers about why to choose the school, the college is not marketed as the perfect place to get a safety degree in case a career in Pakistan’s pop music scene doesn’t pan out — but that’s exactly the line of thought that drew Abdullah Siddiqui ’23 to come.

Siddiqui’s music production hobby took on a life of its own after the then-sixteen-year-old submitted “Forcefield,” a single he’d put together in his own bedroom, to the selection committee for Pakastani music festival Lahore Music Meet. Two weeks before the festival, Siddiqui remembers, “they emailed me back and said, ‘You can come on in and perform.’”

The start of his performance was memorable, if not promising: “I got up on stage,” he admits, “and fell flat on my face. I was so mortified I didn’t talk, I just got up to the mic and started singing.” But his last song, in which he used an iPad to map out and play the electronic accompaniment, “got people’s attention” in a big way; by the end of that night, he’d signed with an electronic label.

Since that moment three years ago, Siddiqui’s popularity has steadily increased; his YouTube channel boasts almost 7,500,000 subscribers, a clip from his guest appearance on reality-TV show “Nescafé Basement” has racked up well over three million views, and BBC Asian network called him the “electro-pop version of Ed Sheeran.” Now, people recognize him on the street at least “a few times a month,” and his resulting celebrity has led to a few fairly unique experiences.

After featuring on popular reality TV show “Nescafé Basement,” Siddiqui says he’s decided to make music his “Plan A.” The only problem: “there’s no real precedent for successful musicians in the Pakistani industry… it’s all very risky.” So Siddiqui decided to get a “safety net” for his future in the form of a liberal arts degree that would still allow him to continue his music on the side.

Here at Carleton, this pursuit of music has predominantly taken the form of participation in the Exit 69 a capella group.

Working with the group, he says, has been “entirely different” from his previous experience with music: “it’s always been just me alone with a laptop in a bedroom. So that collaborative process, that’s something I’ve never experienced before, and it’s so refreshing.”

Witnessing the group’s song arranging process has also offered Siddiqui “a new outlook on how harmonies are constructed”—something he says will definitely impact his own songwriting. Siddiqui also says he’s hoping to take this collaborative process into a new dimension by arranging one of his original songs for the group.

Overall, Siddiqui says his celebrity doesn’t have much impact on his daily life at Carleton, though it’s a bit more present online and at home.

In these spaces, it’s resulted in some fairly surreal experiences. Once, he was pulled over on the side of the road after narrowly avoiding a car crash, when a stranger “knocked on my window…took a selfie with me, and told me I’m a terrible driver.”

Another time, Siddiqui was surprised to read in the comments of one of his videos that the commenter didn’t like him because he supported controversial political figure Nawaz Sharif. “I’ve never said anything remotely related to Nawaz Sharif’s administration, in any context,” he laughs, “but this guy decided to imagine that I’m a Nawaz Sharif supporter and then to hate me for his imagination.”

Still, Siddiqui says he’s able to keep this celebrity musician persona “compartmentalized” for the most part. “I’ve felt like, the person who has my identity on the internet space, that isn’t really me.” He likes to think of his songs as relatively separate from the person who created them: “I don’t do Instagram live, I don’t like to be a public persona. I don’t have that muscle. And it serves to really let the music speak for itself.”

The post From Lahore Music Meet to Exit 69: spotlight on internationally known musician Abdullah Siddiqui ’23 appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges

Going underground: What’s become of Carleton’s tunnels

Carletonian - Fri, 11/15/2019 - 12:01am

For most Carleton students, mentions of the infamous tunnels conjures up stories from alums and years past. Although they were closed in 1988, the lore surrounding their existence and closure is still abound on campus, as students trudge across the Bald Spot on snowy November days, cursing the lack of underground passages.

So what happened? Why are we walking through snow instead of using the many tunnels that run below campus, between buildings? After storing my bike in the Watson-Evans tunnel one summer, and finally seeing one of these tunnels in the flesh, I had the same questions on my mind. And I decided to do some digging.

“The first tunnels were constructed in 1910 when the original steam plant was being constructed and are mostly serving the west side of campus,” said Steven Spehn, Director of Facilities. “These original tunnels are smaller and were not designed or ever used as pedestrian tunnels. Their purpose was for the placement of steam lines that branched out from the central steam plant to the various buildings. Additional tunnels were added over time and the campus expanded and buildings added.”

According to a Carletonian article from 1990, the tunnels were originally closed in October 1988 after one Northfield teenager broke into the tunnels and knifed a swimmer in Cowling. What seemed like a temporary closure of the tunnels was met with student outcry, which only worsened when the closures became indefinite, as the administration cited further safety and security concerns. The tunnels also grew increasingly hazardous as the college expanded central cooling and used the tunnels as pipeways.

A Carletonian article published shortly after the closing of the tunnels expressed regret at the College’s decision to do so. “The tunnels are an integral part of the Carleton campus and as such merit more consideration than has seemingly been afforded to them,” the columnist wrote.

A campus organization by the name of “Initiative” formed in the fall of 1989 in an effort to pressure the administration to re-open the tunnels. Initiative went on to sponsor “Tunnel Awareness Days” to publicize their campaign to re-open the tunnels through creating buttons and a “mock tunnel.” The organization was mostly sponsored by upperclassmen who had experienced the tunnels during their underclassmen years at Carleton, and who hoped to garner support from underclassmen, who arrived at Carleton after the tunnels had been shut off.

A Carletonian columnist who went by the name of “Tunnel Tina” and snuck into the tunnels in 1999 and documented her experience. To supplement her own writings, Tina interviewed a number of alums from the 80s who lamented the loss of the tunnels as a loss of important communal and social spaces as well as a loss of beloved tradition with historical continuity.

Steve Young, an alum from the mid 80s stated, “It was a way in which we could read what someone had painted there, had scrawled there, in 1965… of being in touch with the past. You really had the feeling of belonging to something.”

The tunnels seem to be particularly notable for their graffiti and for their role as a space for Carleton subculture to exist literally below ground. In speaking with alums about the tunnels, they often share and reminisce on irreverent and famed elements of tunnel “art,” particularly in the pedestrian passageways on the East side of campus. There’s the twister board painted onto the ground, the Yellow Brick Road, and a tunnel painted to look like a train terminal. But alongside these famed works of art, there are also political statements, notes to friends, poems, and odes to various floors (3rd Musser, 4th Watson), and groups on campus.

Today, although the graffiti and art still exist on the walls, the tunnels are used “mostly for utility routes for heating, cooling, electricity, phone, and data networking,” said Spehn, and are also not likely to reopen any time soon.

“At this point it is highly unlikely it would be these same tunnels. If there was interest [in reinstating the tunnels], it would likely have to be new tunnels,” Spehn added. A number of Carletonian articles over the years have examined the costs it would take to reopen or rebuild new tunnels, and despite their compelling arguments on the importance of the tunnels, construction is expensive and unlikely to commence any time soon.

Based on my brief foray into the tunnels, I too, like many alumni and students, emerged from the underground wanting more. Like “Tunnel Tina” said in 1999, “I left the tunnel feeling more a part of Carleton, more in tune with what it is to be a student here.”

The post Going underground: What’s become of Carleton’s tunnels appeared first on The Carletonian.

Categories: Colleges
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