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Medill freshman travels to 8 countries on gap year » PAGE 3

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OPINION Folmsbee An idiot’s guide to passing med school interviews » PAGE 4

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The Daily Northwestern DAILYNORTHWESTERN.COM

Monday, November 18, 2013

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Storms, tornadoes sweep across state

Evanston escaped the brunt of a Sunday afternoon storm that brought fatal tornadoes to other parts of Illinois. At one point, the National Weather Service put the Evanston area under several advisories: severe thunderstorm, tornado watch, flash flood and high wind warnings. The first two were called off before 2 p.m. A few storm drains were blocked in Evanston, city officials said. Despite caution that winds could gust to 60 mph, only small tree limbs were found. Street cleaning will start 2 a.m. Monday to remove leaves from major roadways. Although University spokesman Al Cubbage said he wasn’t aware of any storm damage on campus, a leak in Welsh-Ryan Arena affected Northwestern’s volleyball game against Indiana. Facility staff mopped the floor between points from the second set through the rest of the match. “You can’t control that stuff and you just have to play through it,” NU coach Keylor Chan said. Away from Evanston, several tornadoes were spotted in towns in Tazewell and Washington counties. Photos of a double rainbow in Evanston were shared on social media at about 2 p.m., before high winds hissed through the city again two hours later. David Lee contributed reporting.

In Focus

TEACHING TROUBLES NU’s ties to Teach for America tested as organization faces national criticism

— Manuel Rapada

By LAUREN CARUBA

daily senior staffer

Amy Whyte/Daily Senior Staffer

RAINY DAY Severe thunderstorms hit Evanston on Sunday.

NU checks IDs at Fitzerland tailgate

Beginning with Saturday’s game against Michigan, Northwestern has started checking identification to allow entrance to the University-sanctioned tailgating area Fitzerland. Students will need to provide identification and wear a wristband to consume alcohol at Fitzerland, Dean of Students Todd Adams announced Friday. Students entering Fitzerland must also present a valid college ID. Anna Kottenstette, Associated Student Government student life vice president, said the change was prompted when an intoxicated prospective student was transported to the hospital before the Oct. 19 football game against Minnesota. The Communication senior said the transported student drank too much off campus before arriving at Fitzerland. “We’re having to deal with those repercussions,” she said. “It was really unfortunate that it happened at all.” Wildside president Gram Bowsher said the policy change is “not the ideal situation.” He emphasized the most noticeable differences will be at the gate, where students will be asked for their school IDs and proof of age if they are carrying alcohol or planning to drink alcohol inside the tailgate. “We do want students to know it’s not making things different from what they were,” the SESP junior said. “The tailgate should look very similar.

After a frustrating class period trying to help her high school biology class take an exam on dysfunctional laptops — a new technological push by her school district — Emily Gao found herself yelling at one of her best students. “She wasn’t trying to do anything wrong or anything bad — she just needed my attention for a second,” Gao (Weinberg ‘12) said. “I just felt so shitty when I stepped back for second. Like, why are you yelling at this child?” Despite five

weeks of intensive training with Teach for America, which sends recent college graduates to teach in low-income communities, Gao confronted disparities between TFA’s training and her classroom. She was teaching a subject completely unrelated to her political science and human culture majors, in a different geographical location from her training city of Philadelphia, where she taught a small summer class in a high-performing charter school — very different from her Baltimore public school. Gao wanted to be a prepared teacher. She wanted to better her students’ lives, but she had no textbooks, no curriculum and very little experience. “I didn’t want to feel like I was making everything up as I went along,” she said. “Turns out I kind of felt that way anyways.” Now in her second year of TFA, Gao’s challenges highlight the pitfalls of a post-graduate experience many NU students have historically sought out. Although NU has enjoyed a strong relationship with TFA, in 2013 there was a rapid drop in the number of applications and participating graduates. The dip in NU’s participation with TFA coincides with growing national criticism of a » See IN FOCUS, page 6

Photo Illustration by Tanner Maxwell/Daily Senior Staffer

— Cat Zakrzewski

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INSIDE Around Town 2 | On Campus 3 | Opinion 4 | Classifieds & Puzzles 6 | Sports 8


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Around Town

They could fix these problems. We have to ask ‘Why haven’t they?’

— Shanna Smith, National Fair Housing Alliance CEO

Family holding marrow drive at NU By JEANNE KUANG

daily senior staffer @JeanneKuang

The parents of a 10-year-old Evanston boy will hold an event Monday at Ryan Field to help find a bone marrow match for him. Julian Sims, a fifth grader at Dewey Elementary School, was diagnosed with leukemia about a month ago, according to the family’s page on the website for Be The Match, an organization that operates the world’s largest bone marrow registry. Sims’ family is seeking a bone marrow transplant for the child after his first round of chemotherapy was unsuccessful. “Like the vast majority of families who need a life-saving bone marrow transplant, our marrow does not match Julian’s,” Sims’ family said on its page. The family plans to hold several live marrow

Man shot near Chicago-Evanston border Sunday

A 34-year-old man was shot early Sunday

registry drives to encourage people to add themselves to the bone marrow registry and find out if they are a match. The process involves taking mouth swabs to test potential donors. To offset the cost of adding people to the registry, the family is also asking for monetary donations on their Be The Match page. According to its page, the family has reached almost $4,800 of their $20,000 goal so far. Danielle Vickers, a marrow account manager who has been working with the Sims family, said potential donors can also donate blood at the live drive Monday. “Many patients who need a marrow donor also receive multiple blood transfusions throughout the course of their treatment,” Vickers said in an email to The Daily. The registry drive takes place 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday on the seventh floor of Ryan Field. jeannekuang2016@u.northwestern.edu morning near the Chicago-Evanston border, according to police. At about 1:30 a.m., the man was walking in the 7300 block of North Campbell Avenue when he heard shots and felt pain, said Jose Estrada, Chicago Police Department spokesman. The man went to St. Francis Hospital, where

Police Blotter Beauty story robbed of $500 in hair by 2 women

Two women stole more than $500 worth of hair Thursday evening from a beauty store near the Chicago-Evanston border, according to police. Evanston Police Cmdr. Jay Parrott said the women took four bundles of hair and ran out of the front door of Howard Beauty Supply, 1123 W. Howard St., shortly before 7:30 p.m. They had been shopping with another woman and two men.

Three of the bundles are valued at about $140 each and one at about $120, Parrott said. Police described the women as black, 17 to 18 years old, between 5 foot 5 inches and 5 foot 6 inches tall and having slim builds. One woman wore a pink North Face coat with blue jeans, and the other wore a purple jacket. Police are reviewing surveillance footage of the store, Parrott said. — Patrick Svitek

SCIENCE IN HUMAN CULTURE SPECIAL OFFERINGS IN WINTER 2014 SOCIOLOGY 319-0 SOCIOLOGY OF SCIENCE: Expert Knowledge and Social Life MARIANA CRACIUN Harris LO7 MoWe 12.30-1.50

HISTORY 300-0 co-listed as MENA 390-4: Islam, Science, and Modernity DANIEL STOLZ Annenberg 101 TuTh 12.30-1.50

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2013 Fair housing activists say Bank of America discriminates Page 5

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City desk Source: Rich Sims

BE THE MATCH The Sims family is holding a bone marrow drive at Ryan Field on Monday to find a match for 10-year-old Julian Sims (bottom left). The Dewey Elementary School student was diagnosed with leukemia about a month ago, the family said on its Be The Match fundraising page.

he was treated for a gunshot wound to the leg, Estrada said. The man was listed in good condition. The shooting happened less than a half mile south of the border. — Patrick Svitek

Setting the record straight In “Job center, community college to partner” in Friday’s print edition, Oakton spokesman Steve Repsys’ name was incorrectly spelled on a second reference. The Daily regrets the error.

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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2013

On Campus

As we grow here at Northwestern, we anticipate an even richer set of lenses with which to study Israel as a critical subject.

— religious studies Prof. Barry Wimpheimer

THE DAILY NORTHWESTERN | NEWS 3 Conference tackles Zionist influence on Israeli culture Page 5

Purple Profile

NU freshman takes gap year, travels world ‘on a whim’ By ZAHRA HAIDER

the daily northwestern

Zahra Haider/The Daily Northwestern

WELL-TRAVELED Instead of applying to colleges, Medill freshman Anika Jhalani took a gap year and traveled the world by herself. Jhalani said she decided “on a whim” to take the trip, which took her to eight countries.

When Medill freshman Anika Jhalani arrived on campus this fall, it was the final stop on her year-long world tour. Jhalani, who is from Saratoga, Calif., decided one morning that she would take a gap year before college. Putting off university applications, Jhalani left home alone to travel the world for a full year. Tired of the competitive atmosphere of high school, she was looking for a different experience. “High school can become a rat race,” she said. “The way I envisioned college was an extension of that mindset, and that wasn’t something I wanted to pursue.” Jhalani said she planned no itinerary and instead traveled “on a whim.” She went to Spain because she can speak Spanish, but after that her journey was spontaneous. During her trip, she went from

country to country learning the languages and dance styles as she went. Describing her travel philosophy, Jhalani said she strongly believes “not having anything to do can be almost as important as having something to do.” She said the skill that aided her most during her travels was her ability to learn new languages. She picked up many of the languages as she went without too much difficulty. She is now fluent in English, Hindi, Spanish and Turkish, and has a working knowledge of the languages of the nations she visited. Over a span of 11 months she visited eight countries: Spain, England, Argentina, Turkey, India, Sweden, the Netherlands and Italy. Her parents essentially handed her a blank check to the world, she said, giving her the freedom to decide when she wanted to go. However, Jhalani insisted it was not total freedom because she was financially dependent. She said of all the backpackers she met, she was the only one so heavily supported mentally and monetarily by

her parents. Her mother, Ruchika Jhalani, said they’ve always been a well-traveled family. “I’ve always felt kids need exposure to different cultures,” Ruchika Jhalani said. “It helps broaden the breadth of their experiences and understanding.” Though she did often worry, Ruckika Jhalani said that she trusts her daughter to make informed decisions and supported her decision to delay college. “Anika’s journey was an education in itself,” she said. “It’s not something you can learn in a classroom.” Anika Jhalani tends to joke about her experience because people see it as a “mystical journey,” but when they ask Jhalani what she did in that year, she has a simpler, more serious answer. “I finally lived,” she said. zahrahaider2017@u.northwestern.edu

Watchdog researcher discusses book on Rahm Emanuel By ANNIE MCDONOUGH

the daily northwestern @AnnieMcD_news

When Kari Lydersen (Medill ‘97) was approached about writing a book on Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, she said conquering that task wasn’t at the top of her to-do list. “Rahm Emanuel was interesting, but if I was going to take the time to write a book about someone, he wouldn’t be my first choice,” Lydersen said. But Lydersen did write the book, titled “Mayor 1%: Rahm Emanuel and the Rise of Chicago’s 99%,” and she spoke about it Friday afternoon in Fisk Hall. The talk with Lydersen, a Chicago-based reporter

who works as a research assistant at Medill Watchdog, drew a crowd of about 35 students. Medill Watchdog sponsored the event. Medill Watchdog director Rick Tulsky, who works closely with Lydersen, said her book on Emanuel (Communication ‘85) fits in well with Watchdog’s investigative aims. “We try to look at events going on in data and pay attention to city government and try to draw big picture ideas from that,” Tulsky said. Lydersen, who has covered issues ranging from the environment to immigration, talked about her reporting process and Chicago’s response to the first two years of Emanuel’s term. In her book, Lydersen reveals the crux of the conflict between Emanuel and the trade unions and other groups he clashed with from early on in his first

term. At the talk, she read an excerpt from “Mayor 1%,” in which the mayor left a celebration of Chicago’s 175th birthday early to avoid a woman protesting his closing of several mental health clinics. “Early on, he was seen as someone who was a new start for Chicago, in both good and bad ways,” Lydersen said of Emanuel. Lydersen said his widespread closings of public schools garnered the greatest backlash. “The way Chicago was responding became the most interesting part of the story,” Lydersen said. Lydersen finished her talk with a question-andanswer period, in which students and faculty members expressed interest in her reporting process and the future of Emanuel’s time as mayor. Lydersen said she had to constantly remind herself to treat Emanuel fairly. Though she was not able to

interview him in the process of writing “Mayor 1%,” Lydersen said it “didn’t really change the book.” Medill senior Alyssa Howard, who works with Lydersen at Medill Watchdog, said she was impressed with the book’s balance. “She looks at it from an interesting side, being in Chicago,” Howard said. “If you’re approaching it from a more national perspective, you don’t see that as much.” Lydersen ended the informal Q-and-A session by talking about what she would change if she had the chance to write the book over again. “For one, I would talk to hundreds of more people,” Lydersen said. “There’s always tons of things I would do differently.” annemcdonough2017@u.northwestern.edu

McCORMICK DEAN’S SEMINAR SERIES AND THE CENTER FOR LEADERSHIP PRESENT

Adam Bryant COLUMNIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES

What It Takes To Succeed and Other Lessons from the Corner Office INSIGHTS AND CAREER ADVICE DISTILLED FROM INTERVIEWS WITH MORE THAN 250 CEOS

4 p.m. Tuesday, November 19 ITW Classroom, Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center


OPINION

Join the online conversation at www.dailynorthwestern.com

Monday, November 18, 2013

PAGE 4

Med school interview advice for idiots SAI FOLMSBEE

DAILY COLUMNIST

This is my second year interviewing candidates for the Northwestern M.D./Ph.D. program, and I have noticed that many of the applicants are woefully underprepared. Now, back when I was applying, the interview was simple: they would wheel out an unconscious patient, remove their heart, and you would have to re-attach the organ, all while explaining which historical figure you would most like to have lunch with. If the surgery was a success, and you correctly stated that you would meet Hitler to poison his sandwich, you would be accepted. But alas, medical school interviews nowadays are simply “answering questionsâ€? to determine if the candidates are “qualifiedâ€? and not if they are capable of “murder.â€? Although it has decreased the number of interview relateddeaths, it has made preparation that much harder, so I am here to offer some helpful tips. First, try to relax. Most medical school applicants do not appear comfortable answering questions about themselves, no matter how loudly I yell at them. In many cases, they seem to have hired a struggling actor to interview in their place, performing their one-man play “Below-Average GPA 2: Still Re-Applyin’!â€? and forgetting their lines halfway through. Do not do this. You should be able to answer the questions without any rehearsal, though sometimes ‌ you know, it makes it hard to ‌ like, you’ll say one thing ‌ and come wrong words out. To help calm down, you should pretend your mother is asking the questions. Not only will this make your answers more concise and honest, it will help remind you that you are a big disappointment to the interviewer, as well! Also, I understand that you want to be a doctor because you want to “help people.â€? But here’s the truth: doctors do not help people. The Chinese restaurant on my block sells 10 crab rangoons for $4, which means I go there three times a week to contemplate how awesome my life is. This restaurant helps people. Patients who are pulled from the icy maw of death after 18-hour surgeries don’t describe their team of physicians as “pretty helpful.â€? If you can show that you understand that being a good doctor means more than getting good reviews on Yelp, it will make your interview responses that much more compelling. Or you can just bring some crab rangoon to your interview, because everyone loves crab rangoon. Here’s something else you should know: medical school is hard. My classmates were

always complaining about the massive amount of material to memorize, the punishing exam schedule and the relentless clinical assignments. Since I am a level-97 genius (the only person ever to beat Stephen Hawking in Chinese checkers), it was easy for me. I was able to instantly memorize all information upon first glance and integrate it effortlessly into complex clinical scenarios, all while building lifelong friendships with every patient I met. But it will be hard for you, because your feeble mind cannot even identify which member of One Direction is an android (hint: it’s the cute one!). So during the interview, you should make it clear you will be able to withstand medical school’s educational onslaught. We cannot accept anyone less, since we have seen such individuals driven mad and forced into low-tier specialties like family medicine, which unfortunately value patient care over sweet, sweet cash. “Why do you want to be a doctor?� You will be asked this. A lot. Over and over. So your answer better be good. In fact, it had better be so mind-bogglingly amazing, you should make the interviewer kick back their chair, call the dean of the medical school, and demand

you accept an honorary M.D. for simply giving them a chance to hear such a magnificent answer. But barring that, you should try to at least be coherent. You need to think about what motivations will be able to propel you through the struggles of medical school, residency, fellowship, and eventually to the obsessive and overwhelming way you will pour yourself into your work, leading to the inescapable black hole of wealth and power that will fill your empty heart. In the end, just be yourself in the medical school interview! If “yourself � is someone who can handle the grueling abyss of medical school and beyond, you will be rewarded with an offer. And if “yourself � is grossly underqualified for medical school, your implosion of incompetence and failure during the interview will serve as a helpful benchmark for the interviewer, making the evaluation of future, more qualified candidates much easier. Go get ‘em! Sai Folmsbee is a Feinberg graduate student. He can be reached at sai@fsm.northwestern.edu. If you would like to respond publicly to this column, send a letter to the editor to opinion@dailynorthwestern.com.

“

To help calm down, you should pretend that you are being asked these interview questions by your own mother. Not only will this make your answers more concise and honest, it will help remind you that you are a big disappointment to the interviewer as well!

DAILY COLUMNIST

We’ve heard it a million times before: students come from all over the world to get a Northwestern education. But an education goes far beyond a degree. College is meant to be about expanding our knowledge and experience beyond the small worlds most of us grew up in. NU students should value the educational opportunities afforded to them outside the classroom as much as they value those offered inside the classroom. The wide variety of flyers that cover the sidewalks across campus are a physical testament to the depth and breadth of events offered on campus. From theatrical performances to concerts to sporting events to lectures, this school has it all. But not all events at NU are as widely attended as they could be. NU has a highly regarded theater department that regularly puts on performances for the community. Hollywood Reporter ranked the university’s theater department among the top 25 in the entire world. The department puts on unique productions. A notable example is that each winter, NU students write, direct, act in and produce the largest student-produced musical in the nation, called the Dolphin Show. With this rare event within a square mile, why not take the time to go see it?

Dear Editor, A developer is applying for a three-year extension of a Special Use Permit that would enable them to construct a 385 foot tall residential structure at 708 Church Street, in the heart of downtown Evanston. The Tower would be the tallest building in Evanston, replacing a professional building that serves as the longtime offices of almost 125 social workers, therapists, nurse practitioners and physicians. We think the structure is nonconforming in height and design, will displace business, destroy jobs and will offer no net benefits to the community at large. If you would like to preserve Evanston and see representative democracy in action, come to the City Council meeting at the Morton Civic Center on Monday, November 25 at 7PM. Decide for yourself. It’s your city, for as long as you live here. Lawrence Weinberg, Evanston resident

What commenters are saying

In response to: Football: Northwestern falls to 0-6 in conference play after triple overtime loss, submitted 11/17/13 at 8:50 am Your argument against Benedict is simply an ad hominem argument. You also conveniently ignore the actions of Pope Francis... I’m sorry you could not see the Catholic Mass in the same way others do. I encourage you to come to a Mass at Sheil to hear some “medieval theological treatises�, you will find that dismissing the Catholic Church as antiquated is a false notion simply because it lacks guitars or bagels. Photo illustration by Kelsey Ott/Daily Senior Staffer

Students, step up event attendance MATT GATES

Stand up against proposed Evanston building

Regardless of the outcome, it was a great game. The whole point of watching college football is to be entertained. If you watched that contest and were not entertained, you should probably cease viewing football games. Oh, and btw, my prediction is NW will win it’s final two games and go win it’s bowl game. — John Doe

Unlocking the dream

Meanwhile, campus groups bring in experts to lecture on a wide variety of topics. Speakers can inspire students to get involved in areas they would never have thought to be of interest. NU students who don’t go to such events are missing out on a rare opportunity. Students should take advantage of these rare opportunities during their short four years here. For instance, the College Democrats brought former Congressman Barney Frank to campus as its fall speaker. Frank lectured about his political career and growing up gay and Jewish in less tolerant times. Meanwhile, former Senator Richard Lugar came to NU on November 13 to discuss the current state of United States foreign policy. Although the lecture was attended by just more than 125 students, NU boasts a student body of about 8,000 highly motivated and intellectually curious students. Where were the other 7,800? These four years at NU might be the last that students have such easy access to speakers of such great importance. Although some performances and speeches are well-attended, not all are. From talking to my friends at other schools, I can tell that this is not a problem unique to NU. However, it is understandable why this would occur at college, especially a college like NU. Students are extremely busy, especially on weeknights when many of these events occur. We rush to finish our chemistry lab within the allotted 24 hours instead of going to see a speaker. We cram for our never-ending string of midterms instead of going to see our friends’ show. We put the finishing touches on that essay instead of going

Letter to the Editor

to a concert. It is also easy to see that we have far too much to choose from. NU boasts the athletics of a Big Ten school, the academics of a highly selective university, and top programs in fields like theater to boot. We often attend sporting events on the weekends, A&O BlowNU students out attracted a large should value crowd and some large the educational fundraisers like Dance draw a masopportunities Marathon sive chunk of the stuafforded to dent body. However, them outside we could pay more attention to theatrical the classroom productions, concerts as much as they and speakers. Attending a diverse value those array of events will offered inside give students the best the classroom. education at Northwestern, inside and outside of the classroom. I know I do not always abide by this rule, but I think it is one that strengthens the college experience. An NU education should go beyond just a degree: students should take the opportunity to learn as much as possible from their peers during their time here.

“

Matt Gates is a Weinberg freshman. He can be reached at matthewgates2017@u.northwestern.edu. If you want to respond publicly to this column, send a Letter to the Editor to opinion@dailynorthwestern.com.

I’m happy you have found God in your life again, believe me, but I think that you are much too harsh on the Catholic Church. — Julian In response to: McLaughlin: Finding faith in college, submitted 11/17/13 at 3:18 pm

The Daily Northwestern Volume 134, Issue 41 Editor in Chief Michele Corriston

Opinion Editor Yoni Muller

Managing Editors Paulina Firozi Kimberly Railey

Assistant Opinion Editors Julian Caracotsios Caryn Lenhoff

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR may be sent to 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208, via fax at 847-491-9905, via e-mail to opinion@dailynorthwestern.com or by dropping a letter in the box outside THE DAILY office. Letters have the following requirements: t4IPVMECFUZQFEBOEEPVCMFTQBDFE t4IPVMEJODMVEFUIFBVUIPSTOBNF TJHOBUVSF TDIPPM  class and phone number. t4IPVMECFGFXFSUIBOXPSET They will be checked for authenticity and may be edited for length, clarity, style and grammar. Letters, columns and cartoons contain the opinion of the authors, not Students Publishing Co. Inc. Submissions signed by more than three people must include at least one and no more than three names designated to represent the group. Editorials reflect the majority opinion of THE DAILYTTUVEFOU editorial board and not the opinions of either Northwestern University or Students Publishing Co. Inc.


THE DAILY NORTHWESTERN | NEWS 5

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2013

Conference considers Zionist influence on culture By LAN NGUYEN

the daily northwestern @LanNguyen_NU

Northwestern faculty, students and community members gathered Sunday in Lutkin Hall to hear an Israeli piano ensemble and celebrate the beginning of a three-day academic conference on how Zionism influences Israeli culture. The conference, “The Zionist Ideal in Israeli Culture: Dream and Reality,” runs through Tuesday and is presented by the Crown Family Center for Jewish and Israel Studies. The event focuses on how Zionist ideology is reflected in Israeli society and is organized into five sessions highlighting different aspects of culture: music and dance, theater, visual arts, literature, and cinema. “It would be impossible to expose the different facets of this phenomenon and allocate sufficient time to each topic over the course of just a one-time lecture,” said Jewish studies Prof. Elie Rekhess, event co-chair and head of Israel studies, when explaining why the event was held over the course of three days. “This was not a one-shot enterprise, but rather a comprehensive, all-encompassing venture.” Rekhess took the responsibility of planning the conference, which is the first hosted since NU began its Israel studies program this academic year, and compiling the program. He started researching and contacting people at the beginning of summer. However, he said the conference was a collaborative effort, with co-sponsors from the Judd.

Fair housing group amends federal lawsuit to include Evanston

Fair housing activists announced Thursday they have added Evanston to their federal lawsuit against Bank of America, claiming the bank does not look after foreclosed homes in black and Latino neighborhoods the same way it does in white ones. The National Fair Housing Alliance said Evanston is one of four new cities it has named

Ebony Calloway/The Daily Northwestern

CONFERENCE Religious studies Prof. Barry Wimpfheimer speaks at the kickoff event for “The Zionist Ideal in Israeli Culture: Dream and Reality,” a three-day conference that began Sunday. The event was part of Northwestern’s inaugural Israel Studies conference.

A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, the Israel Institute in Washington, D.C. and more. The conference commemorates NU’s first year enacting the Israel Studies program, nestled under the Hebrew Studies Department, which was made possible through a donation by Renée and Lester Crown (McCormick ‘46). The program focuses on the culture, politics and society of modern Israel. “As we grow here at Northwestern, we

anticipate an even richer set of lenses with which to study Israel as a critical subject,” said religious studies Prof. Barry Wimpfheimer, event co-chair and head of Jewish Studies. “This conference is just the beginning.” The opening session of the conference consisted of Wimpfheimer and Rekhess explaining the background of the program, as well as previewing the events to come. At the end of the session, guests were invited to dinner at the house of University President Morton Schapiro. The scheduled keynote speaker, Yael Zerubavel

in its federal complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Washington, D.C-based nonprofit organization last month amended a similar lawsuit against U.S. Bank to include Evanston. “Bank of America has known about these problems for more than four years, yet, sadly, they have chosen a path that continues to harm the health of people living in these communities,” Shanna Smith, president and CEO of the alliance, said in a news release. “They could fix these problems. We have to ask, ‘Why haven’t they?’” The alliance’s latest complaint alleges Bank

of America has run afoul of the federal Fair Housing Act by choosing how to maintain and market foreclosed homes along racial lines. In making its case, the group points to a property in an Evanston “community of color” that has no for-sale sign, evidence of other people illegally living in it and overgrown landscape, among several other signs of negligence. Bank of America spokeswoman Jumana Bauwens on Sunday evening denied the alliance’s accusations, pointing out that the group does not list any addresses for Evanston properties in the most recent version of its complaint.

from Rutgers University, was unable to attend the session due to the stormy weather. However, Prof. Yigal Schwartz from Ben-Gurion University stepped in and gave a keynote address about the conflict between Eastern European Ashkenazic Jews and Western European Ashkenazic Jews. “This is a conflict that has been suppressed in the field of Hebrew literature,” Wimpfheimer said. “This is a conflict that is profoundly important for understanding Hebrew literature and Israel today.” Schwartz’s address was followed by a musical performance from the MultiPiano Ensemble from Tel Aviv University in Israel. The performance featured three compositions designed for one and two pianos for four, six and eight hands. “The concert was my favorite part of the session,” Weinberg sophomore Jordan Wilimovsky said. “I really enjoyed it and thought it was interesting.” The Multi-Piano Ensemble will deliver a full performance Tuesday at Lutkin Hall. Other key events from the conference include speakers discussing music and dance, theater and visual arts on Monday, as well as a discussion about literature and film and a screening of the documentary “The Gatekeepers” followed by an interview with the directors on Tuesday. “I sincerely hope that this is just the beginning,” Rekhess said. “I hope that we can establish a sound basis for the development of the field at Northwestern.” lannguyen2017@u.northwestern.edu “Bank of America applies uniform practices to the management and marketing of vacant bank-owned properties across the US, regardless of their location,” Bauwens wrote in an email to The Daily. “Any suggestion to the contrary is simply untrue.” The three other cities added to the alliance’s lawsuit against Bank of America are Waukegan, Ill.; Toledo, Ohio; and Baltimore. The complaint now names 20 metropolitan areas where the activists claim the bank is responsible for housing discrimination. — Patrick Svitek

THIS WEEK IN MUSIC

@ pick-staiger 19 TUES

Northwestern University Jazz Orchestra: Artistry in Rhythm — The Music of Stan Kenton

21 THU

Sounds and Sweet Airs: Scenes from Shakespeare

Pick-Staiger, 7:30 p.m. $6/4

Timothy McAllister, conductor

Victor Goines and Christopher Madsen, conductors

the saxophone.

MultiPiano: A Keyboard Celebration

22 FRI

Northwestern University Saxophone Ensembles

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sounds of Stan Kenton, including The Peanut Vendor, Kentonova, Opus in Pastels, and .

NOV 18 - 22 Cahn, 7:30 p.m. $10/6

Michael M. Ehrman, director An evening of excerpts from operas and musicals based on the works of William Shakespeare, including Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Otello, West Side Story, The Boys from Syracuse, Kiss Me, Kate, and more.

Gail Williams, horn Nolan Pearson, piano Lutkin, 7:30 p.m. $8/5

Timothy McAllister, saxophone Lutkin, 7:30 p.m. $8/5

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Elizabeth Ames, piano; Steve Cohen, clarinet

Gail Williams

Bienen School of Music Northwestern University

Timothy McAllister

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In Focus

TFA by the numbers

From page 1

Current corps members

The ‘thing to do’ Doing TFA has become a trend at elite schools nationwide. In many ways, the profile of a TFA corps member matches the typical NU student — smart, driven and interested in social justice. NU has sustained strong ties with TFA for at least a decade. Brett Boettcher, associate director of University Career Services, said the University and TFA already had a good working relationship when he came to NU in 2000. Over the past 23 years, 603 NU alumni have participated in TFA. Recently, NU has been a leader in supplying TFA with graduates. NU was the top contributor for midsized schools in 2012 and 2010, sending 63 and 57 graduates into the program those years and 49 in 2011. Ten percent of the class of 2012 and 11 percent of the class of 2011 applied for TFA. Hillary Hafke, former president of Students for

First-year corps members Number of alumni

TFA began in 1989 as founder Wendy Kopp’s thesis statement at Princeton University, with the goal of addressing educational inequity by inserting young, motivated leaders into underserved communities. Since then, TFA has ballooned into an enormous organization, with more than 32,000 alumni and corps members embedded in 48 regions spanning 35 states. This year, TFA received nearly 60,000 applications and added 5,900 to it ranks. Following a rigorous, three-stage application process, TFA selects corps members — most of whom have no teaching experience — and puts them on a fast track to teaching in needy schools with a five-week summer training period known as “institute.” Corps members interview with schools before being hired for at least two years. Endorsing a “teaching as leadership” philosophy, TFA pulls high-achieving graduates from top universities who exhibit seven core tenets, including exceptional leadership and respect for diversity. “It’s the belief that if you have some of those inherent skills, those are innate qualities,” said Eliza McNabb (Weinberg ‘10), a TFA Chicago area recruiter. “I can’t really teach you to believe in the potential of every child. You either do believe that or you don’t.” TFA attracts a certain type of idealistic college student, said Timothy Dohrer, director of the Master of Science in Education program and former principal of New Trier High School in Winnetka. Many identify TFA’s recruitment strategy as its strongest aspect. “It’s a way to get very enthusiastic people who want to work with kids in front of kids right away,” Dohrer said. “There are places where there is such a need for teachers just to be in the room with kids so that school can happen.”

+

5,900

Teachers as leaders

5,200

Second-year corps members

=

11,100

Total corps members

40000 35000 30000 25000 20000 15000

‘09-’10

‘10-’11

‘12-’13

‘11-’12

‘13-’14

‘14-’15

A growing alumni base

Year

Post-TFA career fields 8%

63%

Education

14%

Full-time grad student

5% Law 4% Business 3% Government/Politics/Policy/Advocacy 3% Health/ Medicine

Source: TFA

controversial organization that has divided the education community.

Other Infographic by Lori Janjigian/The Daily Northwestern

Teach for America at NU, said TFA’s challenge and prestige appeal to NU’s “chronic overloaders.” “A lot of the Northwestern students are like, ‘This is the thing to do,’” the Medill senior said. “It’s a very rewarding experience. It looks really good.” Numerous alumni said the TFA culture at NU, the career-oriented nature of the student body and having friends who had done the program contributed to their decision to apply. TFA also has a strong recruiting presence on campus, regularly posting flyers with application deadlines and organizing events with University Career Services. However, NU’s participation in TFA significantly dropped in 2013. This year, NU sent only 33 alumni into TFA’s corps, dropping to 8th place for mid-sized universities. Only 7 percent of the class of 2013 applied. University President Morton Schapiro said he is proud NU students have historically done so well with TFA and views Kopp, who spoke on campus in April, as an “incredible visionary.” However, he said he does see credence in the argument that sending privileged college students into low-income areas is “the height of arrogance.” “I suppose I am proud of it,” Schapiro said. “Not that I think TFA is 100 percent the answer, because I know too much about it, and I know too many kids who have done it, and I know their stories.” A polarizing program Olivia Blanchard does not have many good stories

about TFA. Blanchard, a 2011 graduate of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, detailed her struggles with TFA in a September article in The Atlantic called “I Quit Teach for America.” Like many NU students, Blanchard was drawn to TFA’s social welfare goals but found five weeks of training inadequate preparation for teaching rebellious fifth-graders at an Atlanta, Ga., public school. “In many cases it promotes the problems that are causing the achievement gap,” Blanchard, who left TFA after her first year, told The Daily. “We’re taking teachers who have no experience, the least qualified teachers in our country, and we’re putting them with the kids who need the best teachers. On the face of it, that’s just illogical.” As TFA gains traction, Blanchard’s article is only one of numerous national criticisms to emerge. A recent Slate article urged professors not to write TFA recommendations, and most professional teaching organizations have said they do not support TFA’s model, Dohrer said. Despite TFA students’ strong performance on standardized tests, other research suggests good teaching comes with more classroom experience. Many are also critical of TFA’s transformation from a service group into a political and economic entity. TFA lobbies for funding in Washington, D.C., and places alumni in congressional offices and school board positions. It receives between $2,000 and $5,000 per corps member per year from school districts and is subsidized by major corporate donors like Visa and

The Coca-Cola Foundation. As the job market recovers, education experts like Ellen Esrick, an instructor for elementary teaching in the Master of Science in Education program, are skeptical about TFA’s assumption that a teacher shortage still exists. The situation is exacerbated when school districts cut costs by hiring inexperienced corps members over veteran, unionized teachers, she said. TFA is much debated in sociology Prof. Karrie Snyder’s School and Society course. Despite differing opinions, many still respect TFA’s overall goals and attempts to tackle difficult, systemic issues. “At some point during this whole conversation, someone will say, ‘But at least these people are doing something — the organization and the students themselves,’” Snyder said. “We complain about all these things, but at least some group is proactive.” A teaching crash course Like Gao, Nicole Collins (Weinberg ‘11) found the summer institute training program unreflective of her teaching environment. TFA placed Collins on the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s reservation in South Dakota, where she continued teaching after her two-year commitment ended. Although it has since been added to institute, at the time TFA had no Native American-specific training. “Some of the students were incredibly hostile,” said Collins, a former Daily cartoonist. “I was an outsider the first year. I wasn’t the best teacher.” During institute — what Collins calls a “boot camp for teaching” — corps members are supervised as they teach summer classes for one hour a day for five weeks. TFA provides daily feedback, but it still only amounts to about 20 hours teaching very small classes before entering schools. The rest of institute is spent in professional management training, learning how to create lesson plans, lead a classroom and “invest” in students. McNabb said TFA asks corps members to be “incredibly reflective” and learn about their personal identities during this period, adding that the organization constantly makes adjustments based on feedback. Some found the setting to be an inaccurate portrayal of teaching: Corps members are only teaching “four or five really well-behaved kids” instead of a class of 30 or more, Collins said. Because institute trains teachers for various grades and subject matters, it is inherently general, making it “kind of a joke,” Blanchard said. Having been students for so long, many believe they can replicate good teaching, but Dohrer said a few weeks of training cannot replace years of experience. “I’ve sat in 13 years — maybe more, if I’ve gone to college — so 17 years of classes, therefore, I must be able to do it,” Dohrer said. “What’s faulty about that premise is that I’ve been on a lot of airline flights, and I would never walk into the cockpit and say I could fly the plane.” Others think TFA prepared them better than traditionally trained new teachers. Mike Binkley (Weinberg ‘08), who taught high school physics in a San Francisco

THE DAILY NORTHWESTERN | NEWS 7

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2013 public school, said institute provided him with teaching fundamentals and management skills.

“If you leave an organization, I don’t think that you should fear the backlash from people,” she said.

Problems with placement

‘The most challenging thing I’ve ever done’

Janelle Henney (SESP ‘13) wasn’t sure she was fully prepared to teach fourth- and fifth-grade special education students in a Pittsburgh public school for TFA. Although she taught a special education summer class and attended tailored workshops during institute, Henney still wanted more individualized training. “It just seems like it’s one big whirlwind of information that they’re throwing at you that they hope will stick,” Henney said. “I was worried about being ready by the end of institute.” Placing inexperienced TFA corps members in special education situations is a major critique of TFA’s placement because children in special education programs especially require highly qualified, experienced teachers, experts say. “I know that at this moment I’m not an adequate teacher for my kids,” Henney said. TFA experiences vary widely based on geographical location, grade level and administrative resources. Some schools have TFA networks, but others do not. Many also take issue with TFA’s strong ties to charter schools, alternative schools that focus heavily on test scores and make up a third of all TFA placements. A SESP graduate who asked to remain anonymous had philosophical issues with her particular charter school, creating tensions between her and school administrators. At her charter school, the SESP graduate said she had very limited control of her classroom because “everything had to be run by someone else.” “There was a lack of creativity in teaching, and it was more of a drilling-information-into-the-students model,” she said. “It was inflexible.” When she approached her TFA manager with her concerns, the manager was more concerned with getting her to finish her first year than working to find an alternative second-year placement, the SESP graduate said. Given the choice of remaining at that school or dropping out of TFA, the SESP graduate chose the latter. Under different circumstances, she likely would have continued teaching, she said. McNabb said 92 percent of corps members return for their second year, a statistic the SESP graduate asserts does not accurately represent the actual dropout rate. A “huge stigma” surrounds those who leave TFA, Blanchard said, and people are tentative to talk about it.

Corps members enter America’s most disadvantaged communities, which can be physically, mentally and emotionally taxing. Collins’ biggest challenge her first year was dealing with mental health issues, something she said TFA should better address. TFA can be a major culture shock, she said. “You’re throwing a bunch of college grads into a stressful situation and you’re far away from home,” she said. “(There are) corps members who are depressed or downtrodden.” McNabb said TFA offers extra support during the first few months because “there is no substitute for being alone in a classroom with 32 first-graders for eight hours.” Trying to become a good teacher in two years requires around-the-clock effort, Binkley said. “It doesn’t teach you how to make a very sustainable day-to-day career,” he said. “Everybody works incredibly hard in the program, which is great, but I know a lot of people get burned out too.” More would stay in education if TFA promoted a healthy work-life balance, Binkley said. But TFA does not promise to produce life-long teachers. Rather, its goal is crafting leaders to carry the fight for educational equality into other industries. “We are looking to change things for the 16 million kids growing up in poverty, and that’s not something we seek to do just through the short term, which is putting teachers in classrooms for two years,” McNabb said. TFA is a highly variable experience. Many corps members have overall positive views of their time with the organization. Even those who struggle recognize the value of their time as teachers. “I would characterize it as something that has been the most challenging thing that I’ve ever done,” Gao said. “More challenging than I ever would have expected it to be. But also the experience in my life that I learned the most from.” Rethinking teaching As the debate surrounding TFA continues, those in education and academic circles worry about its impact on students. Some are concerned that students taught by corps members are being shortchanged. “If they’re just thrown into a classroom without that preparation, I’m not sure we’re doing a good service to

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Number of applicants from NU 11

10

percent

7

percent

2012

2011

Northwestern and Teach for America

percent

603

Number of Northwestern alumni who have done TFA

2013

1/3 of corps members teach in charter schools

2/3 of corps members teach in traditional schools

Number of NU TFA corps members over the years 63 57 49 42 22

rank: 14th

2008

rank: 4th 2009

2010

2011

rank: 8th

rank: 1st

rank: 6th

rank: 1st

33

2012

2013

Source: TFA

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2013

Number of students

6 NEWS | THE DAILY NORTHWESTERN

Infographic by Virginia Van Keuren/The Daily Northwestern

the students,” Esrick said. There are also questions about TFA’s broader implications for American education and teacher certification. This summer, NU ended its alternative teacher certification program NU-TEACH, and in 2015, Illinois will require all teachers to pass a state assessment akin to a Bar examination for education, an obstacle for TFA, Dohrer said. TFA isn’t going away anytime soon, but corps members say improvements are possible, like expanding the two-year commitment and developing lifelong teachers rather than leaders. Blanchard said TFA could better train corps members if it shrank, but the organization is focused on expansion. McNabb said TFA is set on helping corps members “figure out how their identity informs who they are as

leaders, how they interact with the community.” A co-mentoring or assistant teaching model would introduce corps members more gradually to teaching, Esrick and Dohrer said. In traditional education programs, aspiring teachers spend significant time observing and student-teaching before taking over a classroom. Despite differing approaches, traditional educators and TFA can still work together, Dohrer said. “We’re in a really wonderful period right now of revolution in teaching and learning,” he said. “It’d be great to have all of us at the table talking about how can we better improve teaching and learning in our schools. And TFA can be a great partner in that.” laurencaruba2015@u.northwestern.edu

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SPORTS

ON DECK

ON THE RECORD

Women’s Basketball 20 NU vs. Hofstra, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday

NOV.

If you told me we were 4-6 at this point in the year, I would’ve laughed at you. — Jeff Budzien, senior kicker

Monday, November 18, 2013

@Wildcat_Extra

Michigan stumbles to 3OT victory NU loses 6th straight after miracle field goal

Football

By ALEX PUTTERMAN

daily senior staffer @AlexPutt02

Two weeks ago, Northwestern led by 3 points with less than five seconds to go before being blindsided by an unbelievable play from its opponent. Against Michigan, the form was different, but the formula the same. The Wildcats (4-6, 0-6 Big Ten) lost their sixth straight game Saturday, falling to the Wolverines (7-3, 3-3) 27-19 in triple overtime at Ryan Field. NU appeared to have the game won when Michigan completed a pass to the middle of the field with 10 seconds to play in regulation: The Cats led 9-6. But Michigan kicker Brendon Gibbons hustled onto the field and, with barely any time to set his feet, nailed a 44-yard game-tying field goal. “We were talking in the locker room that somebody did something because we don’t have very good karma,” junior quarterback Trevor Siemian said. After both teams scored touchdowns in the first overtime period and field goals in the second, Michigan won in the third session with a touchdown followed by an interception. Both teams entered the game having struggled offensively in recent weeks, and the two collided to produce a puntheavy, action-light slog for almost all of regulation. The teams traded field goals to open the game, then punted on six of their next seven possessions before an NU field goal gave the Cats a 6-3 halftime lead. The second half opened with four more punts and very little indication of an offensive pulse from either team. Late in the third quarter, senior Jeff Budzien nailed his third kick of the evening, extending the Cats’ lead to 9-3. Michigan responded with another punt, but this one pinned NU at its own one-yard

DAILY SPORTS @Rohan_NU

Brian Lee/Daily Senior Staffer

FINAL SECOND FRENZY Michigan’s Brendan Gibbons kicks a game-tying field goal at the end of regulation. Northwestern fell 27-19 in triple overtime Saturday, its sixth-straight loss of the season.

line. Three plays later, the Cats punted from the three, and the result was disastrous. Kicking into the wind, punter Brandon Williams shanked a floater that bounced at the NU 15-yard line, then caromed backward to the 10. Despite the field position, Michigan came away with only a field goal, cutting the deficit to three. Two possessions later the Wolverines regained the ball with 2 minutes and 18 seconds to play. A sack pulled the Wolverines from field goal range, setting up the fateful 16-yard completion and ensuing miracle field goal. “It happened pretty fast,” Budzien said. “It was pretty impressive that they kicked it, and it was a great kick that they made. It was a huge play on their part.” After the teams tied in both of the first two overtime periods, Gardner rushed in the go-ahead touchdown in triple overtime, as well as the mandatory two-point conversion. The Cats lost

yardage on their response drive, and the game ended when Michigan picked off a Siemian Hail Mary in the end zone. “It’s tough,” Siemian said. “We just have to keep working, keep fighting. Worry about the things that are in your control.” Siemian played most of NU’s snaps at quarterback, completing 16 of 25 passes for 137 yards. Fellow quarterback Kain Colter led the team in rushing, gaining 78 yards on 19 carries. But the NU running backs were generally ineffective, and the passing game was limited to short gains. NU’s defense dropped several interceptions throughout the evening. However, the unit also deflected many Devin Gardner passes and limited the mobile quarterback on the ground. The Cats sacked Gardner four times and were credited with 14 tackles for loss. For the second game in a row, the defense’s inability to stop its opponents on fourth down late in the game sealed the Cats’

3OT Michigan

27

Northwestern

19

fate. “We just haven’t made any plays,” coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “That’s the bottom line.” NU needs to win its final two games just to gain bowl eligibility, after entering the season with expectations of a high profile bowl appearance. “It’s pretty unbelievable,” Budzien said. “It’s shocking. It’s depressing. If you told me we were 4-6 at this point in the year I would’ve laughed at you. It’s not over yet, but we’ve got to start making plays.” asputt@u.northwestern.edu

NU collapses, gives Illinois State 1st win the daily northwestern @bobbypillote

Northwestern was battled to its second defeat of the season Sunday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena. After falling to Stanford in a tough road game Thursday, the Wildcats (1-2) returned home and lost, 68-64, to the Illinois State Redbirds (1-2). As has been typical of the team this season, NU got off to a sloppy start, and throughout the first half the Cats looked

Fitzgerald continues to retreat ROHAN NADKARNI

Men’s Basketball

By BOBBY PILLOTE

Column

equally uninspired on offense and defense. Starting center Alex Olah picked up two personal fouls early and had to be subbed out, and the sophomore’s absence was immediately felt. Illinois State met little resistance when driving into the lane and also converted a dramatic alley-oop midway through the period. “A disappointing game for us,” coach Chris Collins said. “Give Illinois State credit for that. They were quicker to loose balls, and their big guys were having their way inside.” The Cats looked no better on offense and continued to shoot dismally. In

Brian Lee/Daily Senior Staffer

CONSTANT STRUGGLE Junior Guard Dave Sobolewski forces off a defender in Northwestern’s unexpected loss to Illinois State. The Wildcats doomed themselves to a game of catch-up, falling behind by as many as 19 points in the second half.

the opening half, NU attempted seven 3-pointers and failed to hit a single one. Junior point guard Dave Sobolewski committed two turnovers and had no assists, and Olah was called for his third foul, further straining a thin front court. Finishing the first period on a 16-5 run in the final 5 minutes, the Redbirds entered halftime with a commanding 40-22 lead. “They rebounded better,” Collins said, “they defended better, they executed better. They completely outplayed us in the first half. ... Everything they did was better than us.” Collins and his squad came back out onto the court with much greater intensity to start the second period, but it wasn’t enough to slow down an Illinois State team that already had momentum on its side. Baskets continued not to fall for the embattled Cats, and foul trouble for redshirt senior forward Nikola Cerina forced the lineup to run small, at times operating without Cerina or fellow big man Olah on the floor. “You can’t spot a team 20 points and give them that confidence,” Collins said. “It’s too insurmountable.” Redshirt junior guard JerShon Cobb continued to power the offense for NU, finishing the game with a team-high 19 points. However, the majority of his scoring came from the free throw line. Cobb was 11-for-14 from the charity stripe but just 4-for-12 from the floor. As a whole, the team had a lackluster 36.8 shooting percentage. The Cats’ top scoring threat also chipped in with another productive

Illinois State

68

Northwestern

64

night. Redshirt senior forward Drew Crawford contributed 13 points and 7 rebounds and led the team with 39 minutes played. “I just don’t think we had enough fight,” Crawford said.”That was the biggest thing, we weren’t fighting in that first half.” Collins continued his experimentation with the playing rotation. Sophomore forward Kale Abrahamson saw his first significant minutes of the year, playing 17 and scoring 8 points to go along with three rebounds. “Their big guys were quick,” Abrahamson said. “Coach saw that and he needed to make an adjustment.” NU made a game of it, pulling to within 2 points with 20 seconds to play. However, the Cats were forced to foul, and the Redbirds hit all of their shots down the stretch to secure the 68-64 victory. The loss was unexpected for an NU team facing a very inexperienced Redbirds roster. Illinois State was just 18-15 a year ago and lost all five of its starters. “At the end of the day,” Collins said, “you either win or lose, and I’m not a big moral victory guy.” robertpillote2017@u.northwestern.edu

It should have never come down to a miracle field goal. Northwestern’s sixth-straight loss Saturday can be put squarely on the shoulders of coach Pat Fitzgerald and his suspect play calling. Because when Fitzgerald plays conservatively and allows the fate of the game to be decided with the ball in the other team’s hands, he should not expect to win. On their second-to-last drive of the game, the Cats faced a fourth down near midfield. NU needed less than one yard for a conversion. Fitzgerald decided to punt — after the team’s last punt traveled seven yards and set Michigan up in a goal-to-go situation. The Cats’ 24-yard punt in that situation was rendered moot when Michigan completed a 24-yard pass on the very next play. Later in the drive, the Wolverines went for it on fourth down inside the five-yard line. Even though Michigan failed, coach Brady Hoke put the fate of the game in his team’s hands and showed faith and confidence in his struggling offense. Unsurprisingly, the Wolverines won the game in overtime. For another example, take Southern California, which fired Lane Kiffin earlier in the season. The Trojans’ interim coach Ed Orgeron went for it on fourth and two late in his team’s game against Stanford, and USC drove down the field for a winning field goal in a huge upset. Yet NU, owner of a deflated 0-6 record in conference play, refuses to play like it has nothing to lose. Instead, when the game gets tight, Fitzgerald clams up, and his identity spreads to a squad incapable of closing teams out in the fourth quarter. How many more weeks — or years — will we have to watch Fitzgerald make baffling decisions late in the game? He’s shown competence in the past, including a late fourth down attempt in Ann Arbor, Mich., last year, as well as a fourth down attempt early in Saturday’s game. But the Cats’ most recent loss perpetuates a disturbing trend — it seems this team is scared to win with the ball in its hands. And let’s not make this all about fourth downs. Whose idea was the Trevor Siemian-Mike Trumpy speed option on third down? And how about three straight, uninspiring run plays on NU’s last drive before halftime? In reality, the Cats are much better than their 0-6 conference record would suggest. Games against Iowa, Ohio State, Nebraska and Michigan all swung on just two or three plays in the fourth quarter. However, NU is very deserving of that record because on those two or three big plays, it almost always chooses to retreat instead of thinking big. As for pressure, Fitzgerald can snarl, “my job is on the line,” as he did after the Cats’ loss against Iowa. Remember that game? When Fitzgerald didn’t use his timeouts at the end of the fourth to give the ball back to his offense? Fitzgerald’s job isn’t on the line in any way, and it’s clear that he feels no pressure. Otherwise — maybe just once — the Cats would rise as the aggressor late in the game, instead of the victim of each weekend’s most ridiculous finish. Should Fitzgerald’s job be on the line? I don’t know. But maybe his team would win if he started coaching like it. rohannadkarni2015@u.northwestern.edu


The Daily Northwestern — Nov. 18, 2013