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Being Gustave 3871* Courbet for 365 days unique visitors on our website in the first 2 weeks

*(some were faculty members)

an official Harvard College student publication

Is Expos worth it? ISSUE 3 may 8th, 2008

the voice



“He came behind her and wrapped a thin wire around ROADMAP TO her neck.” LIBRARIES

Where to study? Where to get coffee? Tips on all-nighters ALLISON ON PARIS LIBRARIES

“I miss Lamont!” PLUS Other study spots, and which energy drinks to use


Voice Writers Elizabeth Nicholas and Lingbo Li comment on the attack

Coming Out At Harvard Dr. Tim McCarthy ‘93 .. shares his personal story on sexuality

INSIDE Superheroes, GTA IV addicton, how to mix a Kir Royal



Editor’s Introduction


This, I think, is our best issue so far. We’ve had some pretty good content already, but for some reason this whole issue just feels right. Interesting. Different. I hope you feel the same way – and if you don’t, please send us feedback on how to improve. It’s reading period, so we’ve had a whole team of Voice writers examine Harvard’s libraries and pick out the best spots for you. Might be helpful as you crunch out all those papers. In another amazing Voicemail from Paris, Allison shares her experience with French libraries. Apparently, we have no idea how great Lamont is. Unless, of course, someone attacks you as you make way to the Yard (more on this dramatic incident in commentaries by Elizabeth and Lingbo). Charlotte did a great job with her feature on Expos, and we’ve got some neat stuff on two faculty members. Tim submitted quite a candid story of his experience as a homosexual studying at Harvard in early 90s, and Rachel did an incredibly interesting feature on her TF. Make sure to check them out, both are interesting articles. We’ve only got one issue left. It feels weird, I must say. On one hand, I’m really amazed that we actually managed to pull this off, and I want to continue going. On the other, I think we all need a break. I can sense the summer coming. Only 2-3 weeksof exams, and we’re free. But before you leave, make sure to pick up a copy of our special summer issue. We’ve got some nice surprises in store for you.

If you’re in a hurry 1. Utilize something with wheels. Not a unicycle. Wheels; plural. 2. Call ahead. Use buzz words like “unavoidably” and “detained.” 3. Avoid people. Especially friends. 4. Breathe. Breathing is the essence of life and, by proxy, hurrying. 5. If in an airport, do not yell at the desk attendant. Instead, coo their name softly. 6. Run, do not walk. 7. Take long strides. 8. Short strides make you look foolish, like a sandpiper. 9. Research sandpipers. They are always in a hurry. They will always get there before you because they have wings. 10. Get wings.

“Will you guys please give it a rest?!? I’ve already had four different people today ask me if I want a copy of The Voice!” said the slightly exasperated Ben Ruback ’08 walking into Quincy House at dinnertime last Thursday. I looked over my shoulder at Nico Papamichael, Voice Distribution Director, and my lips curled into a smile. “Good stuff,” I said. For the last two weeks, Voice staff stood outside the Science Center – music blaring and hearts pounding – with copies of The Voice in hand, delivering them into yours. Like many other aspects of pulling together and operating a new publication in largely uncharted territory, figuring out the most innovative, effective ways to distribute our weekly print edition has been a learning process. Every day, though, we as a team are learning more and improving how we work. But coupled with the progress of growth is the pain of growing up. How to strike a balance between organizational expansion while remaining personal, respecting people’s privacy while following a hot lead, and pursu-

ing ad revenues without sacrificing our editorial independence are among the list of many issues that a community-centered journalistic publication faces. Keeping a publication running isn’t easy, and taking flack for hard work is even less easy. In this light, I pay homage to those who have come before us – The Crimson, The Independent, The Advocate and the many others that have paved the way for what we are hoping to achieve. The examples of hard work and devotion that you set for us are admirable, and the bar in our community for published work is high due to your tremendous efforts. Together, I hope that the work that we publish and the discourse that we facilitate will benefit and enrich the lives of all members of our community, not just our own. OK, it’s time for me to get back to working on my philosophy paper for a Mansfield class that’s due tomorrow. I am, after all, a student (most of the time). Thanks for sticking with us, and stay tuned for our final issue of the school year next Thursday!


We’ve got a lot of ideas on ways to improve the site My involvement with the Voice began in early March when, after talking to Miran and Steven, I first became familiar with their idea of a new student publication. Cautiously I jumped aboard, only to soon realize what a great experience it would be. Pompously named “the web director of the Voice”, my first and foremost task has been to create and maintain the online environment for our writers to post content and our editors to edit and position it. There a couple of things we wanted the website to have: First it needed to interactive as the underlying point of the Voice is that a publication can best serve the interests of the community by nurturing and encouraging interac-

tion between its core team and the students. To this end, our website has features such as commenting, rating system, blogs for students and student groups. Second, we wanted multimedia. And lots of it! Besides the image gallery, you’ll notice that our feature articles have videos specially made for them. Moreover, in future we’ll take full advantage of Brightcove, the impressive video managing and publishing software that we employ on our website. Third, we wanted it to look original and different from other news reporting websites. I believe this originality is captured in the characteristic color scheme that indeed makes our website unique. Pressed by time, the Voice website could only be

made so complex and dynamic. But, do we have ideas in store! And, amazingly, all the tools are there. In fact, the website for the Voice stands on the shoulders of another great community – the community of open-source software developers. Drupal, the framework which manages the Voice website, is an excellent example of what can result when thousands of volunteers and enthusiasts from all over the world come together and write good code. It’s hard not to notice the similarity between the opensource community and the community the Voice is trying to nurture – the one where everything starts with individuals and their eagerness to raise issues that are of importance to all of us, and for the ben-


Student attacked while walking near Lamont



“I don’t feel safe now!”

Homage to those who came before us

Are we making progress?


Raise your voice. Start a blog. Post content. Rate content.




“Pressed by time, the Voice website could only be made so complex and dynamic.”



efit of the whole student body. Just as I believe in the need for a publication such as the Voice on campus I also believe in the creativity of Harvard students to take on such endeavor. The Voice is written by us, the students, and for us. The same philosophy applies to the website. Given the amount of incredible and free tools available, we owe it to ourselves to put them to use for our community. So, join the team! Seriously, it’s not much more than curiosity and eagerness to learn that got us this far. I promise a great learning experience and immense satisfaction in seeing this project, which belongs to all of us, grow. As Miran put it – it’s going to be a fun ride!


Voice writers Elizabeth Nicholas and Lingbo Li offer their commentary on the recent assault on an undergraduate woman walking back from Dewolfe to Canaday BY ELIZABETH W. NICHOLAS

Going to school on an urban campus certainly has its benefits—easy access to restaurants, cafes, shops and bars targeted at a population beyond the 18-22 year old demographic, an eclectic, integrated vibe on campus, and a more interesting walk to class than one might have on a closed-off campus. However, one of the principal drawbacks to an urban campus is the prospect of crime, and last Tuesday night, one undergraduate woman experienced this drawback in a scene cut


Walking home late again from Lamont? Think twice before you head back to recoup from a late night study session. On Tuesday around 1:40am according to message from HUPD, an unknown attacker wrapped a “thin wire” around female undergraduate’s throat. The undergraduate was able to escape, and in


Check out our website!

21,453 visits on our website since the launch


numbers of countries we got hits from


percent of visitors who return to the site

straight from a slasher film. On Tuesday, May 6th, the unidentified female was walking back from Dewolfe to Canady through Harvard Yard, and was grabbed from behind by a “taller man,” who tried to wrap a wire around her neck. The woman kicked her assailant in the groin and fled without significant injury. Within the hour, the story had been sent out by the woman’s roommate, who sent it out to her house and sorority lists and urged caution when considering how to get home at night. The email was forwarded widely, followed by an email from the Harvard University Police Department, which gave the

basics of the incident and recommended walking home with friends, using shuttle and van services in the evening, and not talking on the phone or listening to music if walking alone. Students were taken

turn, a friend of hers quickly warned the Eliot open list to “PLEASE BE CAREFUL.” The late night denziens of Lamont Cafe, sipping their lattes and leafing through textbooks, had mixed reactions. Antonio Iglesias, a sophomore, said he’d be more vigilant. But he also only has to make a short trip from Lamont’s bag check to Adams House. “I don’t have to worry as much as Dunster or Mather people,” he said, concluding, “If you use the right resources, you can be safe.”

One Dunster junior does to have to worry more, especially since the 3am trek is familiar ground. Sadia Ahsanuddin doesn’t feel as safe with the news and said she’d be calling a friend to walk her back now if she stayed up late. Ahsanuddin didn’t know how to call a HUPD escort. And Johanna Conteriom, a History graduate student, came up with several security problems, with security personnel being “not very visible” and shuttles that stopped running.

MEET THE TEAM ANITA GUITERREZ In all honesty, and at the risk of seeming utterly un-Harvardian, I must admit I’m not really into extracurriculars. At all. Not even the ones related to writing and editorial that should, as an English Concentrator, naturally appeal to me. When I first heard about The


“It’s scary to hear soemone threatening your life when you walk from the library...”

something that I do almost every day.” Junior Maggie Hines agreed, “when you decide to walk home alone somewhere at night, you consider a worst case scenario of being vaguely mistrustful of someone you don’t know walking closely behind you. You certainly don’t imagine someone coming up to you with a wire. I’ll certainly think twice before walking home alone any time soon, now.”


But after ruminating for awhile, she concluded, “I’m not going to change my behavior.” Unfortunately, a few hadn’t even heard of the incident. One female, busy on a cell phone call, overheard the conversation about the attacker. Her head snapped around and her eyes widened. “What?” she said. “I feel less safe!” As she left, she continued talking on her cell phone, declaring, “It’s so dangerous…” You can call HUPD for an escort at 617-495-1212.

On Tuesday, May 06, 2008, at approximately 1:40 AM an undergraduate student reported to the Harvard University Police Department that she was the victim of an assault and battery in Harvard Yard near Houghton Library by the stairs going down towards Pusey Library.

Voice, I found it rather difficult to imagine how exactly it would be different from the overabundance of student publications one comes across around campus every day. But regardless, I decided to lay my reluctance aside for a bit and check it out… and before I knew it, I found myself editing pieces for the Public Life Section, and loving it! In the past issue I had the pleasure to work with Elizabeth Nicholas on an article about the transfer student situation at Harvard; being a transfer stu-


Does your student group or event need publicity? Post.


What do you think about campus security ?

dent myself, it is an issue which is quite close to my heart, and I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to address it in such a thorough and open way. The Private Life section of The Voice, however, is really about fun. Fashion advice, cocktail recipes, lifestyle articles, opinion columns… lighthearted, yes… but also a rather necessary break from the usual and the same-old. So do give it a read, and visit the website… I daresay you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

I don’t really buy your review of the Roots, sorry. I think your listening of the album was somewhat superficial and that the descriptions are rushed.


aback by the senseless nature of the assault. Although it is unknown what the assailant might have done if his victim had not retaliated the way she did, the most commonly disseminated stories are those of attackers demanding property without initially conveying anything more than the threat of harm if the demand is not complied with. Junior Jessica Alvarez said of that the incident had made her think differently about the safety of Harvard’ campus. “Harvard tends to feel like a very safe place,” she said, “and it’s scary to hear about someone threatening your life when you are walking from the library to the dorm…

Thanks a lot for commenting. It’s good to know someone’s reading this and I appreciate the criticism.

Your comment here.




“I am Gustave Courbet, the artist. This is how I’m going to dress for the next 365 days.”



Eeach year, TF Tyler Rowland chooses one specific style, color, or theme to dress in. He stays completely true to his annual uniform, and claims to have never cheated once. My TF is one of the most fascinating people I’ve met at Harvard


“It was not his intention to be a performer.”

project Rowland started in his last year of graduate school, entitled “Artist’s Uniform.” Here’s how it works: each year Rowland chooses one specific style, color, or theme to dress in. He stays completely true to his annual uniform, and claims to have never cheated once.

Shocked, I assumed that he recorded his yearly feats with some type of written or visual documentation. When I asked him, he replied that, actually no, he never strove to amass evidence of his constant project. It was never in his intentions to be a “performer”. To him, this project is a life itself, and we don’t document every outfit we wear, do we? No, Tyler Rowland has made the past six years of his life into an irreplaceable art project. When I asked him where he first came up with the idea for the project he told me that when he first got to Vassar he was totally unprepared for the cold weather. Having only ever worn a uniform to school, the freshman Rowland found himself very lost. The funny thing to me is, that Tyler maintains his own calm and cool personality amid the immediate attention that he receives for his clothing. It’s not something he really talks about either; to him, this is his wardrobe. Even in a messy painting class, with puddles of purple and yellow paint on the ground, Tyler Rowland manages to always keep his 19th-century artist’s uniform

YEAR 1: The year I dyed all my clothes pink

Tyler removed all color from his entire wardrobe and consequently dyed all his clothing pink. If that weren’t enough, he removed all the labels from his clothing and replaced them with his own original labels. “This abrasive activity was not only a challenge to societal conventions about male identity, but also served as a way of engaging the public in a productive discourse about the effects that fashion and consumption have on an individual’s life.”

YEAR 2: The year I paid people to buy me clothes


an all-boys catholic school for thirteen years. He then went to Vassar, intending to study Literature. He ended up getting a degree in Sculpture and going on to receive a graduate degree from CalArts. His attention to his wardrobe is not merely a device to stand out, it’s actually part of a six-year (so far) art


Out of the question “What would be the opposite of wearing pink?”, this uniform was designed to defer the responsibility of forming a new post-pink identity. It began the day Rowland graduated CalArts: he chose seven members of the prestigious art faculty, handed them each $142.86, and asked them to buy him a wardrobe. They had

“ARTIST’S UNIFORM is a thirteen-year live artwork where I am challenging ideas of identity by conceiving and living 13 unique manifestations of how one could construct an identity based on an “idea.” Using my wardrobe as my platform, Artist’s Uniform not only engages the public in an interactive dialogue but also further promotes my ideological concerns in the real world. The projects are conceived around four guiding principles in my life: intensity, absurdity, serendipity, and sincerity. Due to its open structure, each installment tends to evolve and form its own personality and significance through the larger duration of the overall artwork. However, each is directly tied to my fundamental belief that art has social value and is a site for cultural critique.”



I remember meeting Tyler Rowland on the first day of my awesome painting class (VES 25). He seemed nice enough, and after chatting with him for a couple of minutes, I decided he was going to a kind and helpful TF—a type that doesn’t grow on trees at Harvard. One thing struck me however, was his bizarre choice of wardrobe. If my memory serves me well, I can conjure up an image of him on that first day: Zebra striped pants, a black and hot pink HARVARD sweatshirt, a zebra coat and a floppy (and slightly overgrown) Mohawk. I went to an artsy-fartsy high school, so seeing people dressed up like wild animals is usually the style I’m used to. But, I thought to myself, here? At Harvard? People like this enjoy the Ivy League? Still, I decided to keep my mouth shut and allow my superior to make a mysterious fashion statement. The situation came to a head when one Tuesday afternoon, Tyler walked into class wearing grey cotton pants, a starched white shirt (suspiciously similar to the ones orthodox Jews wear), suspenders, a beret, and a huge beard. To be honest, I had no idea what was going on. I figured, maybe he’s a religious Jew and just had a revelation? But it was too weird not to say anything. So I asked him why he was all dressed up, and without missing a beat he replied, “I’m Gustave Courbet, the artist. This is how I’m going to dress for the next year.” It was then that I discovered that my TF was one of the most fascinating people I’ve met at Harvard. Tyler Rowland grew up in Phoenix and attended


no restrictions and no rules one teacher actually bought him all women’s clothing!

YEAR 3: The year I wore my catholic school uniform from Kindergarten to Eighth Grade.

Since the artist’s uniform projects are partially rooted in Rowland’s thirteenyear-long experience with uniforms at Catholic school, he decided to use his first uniform as a “departure point.” It was composed of blue corduroy pants, and red, white or blue short-sleeved collared shirts. All jackets and sweaters had to be solid red, white or blue. Of course, since the color scheme was nothing short of patriotic, Rowland decided to start this


spotless—and that, believe me, is an impossible talent. When asked about the interview, Rowland responded: ““..pre-Harvard is more interesting than my activities at Harvard. Like, did you know I was arrested in 2 major cities by the age of 18 for stealing from the city governments of New York City and Phoenix? Long story! But it changed my life. Also, did you know that I was confirmed by the only bishop in the United States who was convicted of a felony, Thomas O’Brien? And he is still serving jail time. He killed a man in a hit-and-run. And my confirmation leader left her family because she was “in love” and ran away with a priest whom she was having an affair with...”





INTERVIEW Harvard’s Gustave Courbet sits down with The Voice

Students here are too eager to please

2. Which do you enjoy more, being a master’s aide or a TF? Why? What about either do you like or dislike? That’s a tough question. Each is very different from the other. One is about serving house Masters and the Leverett community and the other is about teaching art and supporting a department and a professor. However both are jobs and I guess within my jobs the most enjoyable aspect has always been the people I’ve met and worked with and the relationships that grow out of these experiences. For me life is about shared experience and creating collective memories so the moments I cherish most from Harvard are sharing a beer at Charlie’s Kitchen with my roommates and fellow master aides, Geoffrey and Laura, after working an open house at Leverett and reading my friends, Jason and Sara (the VES administrative assistants), their horoscopes every time I come into the art office.

3. Are there ever times when you don’t want to dress in your artist’s uniform? What is it like having a regimented wardrobe for an entire year? Nope, they are my clothes. And even though I have a history with nudity, I still prefer to wear clothes. Growing up, I was one of those little kids who hated diapers, underwear, and swimsuits! So I was naked a lot, because in Phoenix the weather is either super hot or super nice. Guess this is when the secrets start to come out. Most of my nude experiences have revolved around dares. For example, one night in college two friends and I streaked, running all around Vassar’s campus and through all the buildings. Originally, it was going to be a large group of 10-15 of us running through the quad but that was already a tradition during finals week, so then our ambitions grew to a campus-wide streak. In the end only three of us succumbed to the challenge. Boy, were we exhausted! Vassar is spread out over a thousand acres so we had to keep taking breaks in dark shadowed areas to catch our breath. The funny thing was no one could care. Even the security guards just laughed and waved saying, “Which building are you headed to next?” They were all talking about us on their radios. It was definitely a memorable experience and one I don’t regret. I have also been known

4. You said you were considering stopping this project after this year-why? And what do you hope or plan to do when you’re done? On May 16, 2008 (the 6th anniversary of the Artist’s Uniform project) my current installment, Artist’s Uniform #6: The Year I Lived As Gustave Courbet and Was Not Only A Man But Created “Living Art”, will come to an end. I have decided to abandon the current structure of Artist’s Uniform, where I retire all my clothing at the end of the “year” and then start over each time based on a new idea. This is in part because I am tired of propagating a model based on the “Catholic” principles of sacrifice, piousness, and discipline. Instead, I am renaming the artwork “Tyler Rowland”, and I will spend the remaining 7 years of the project building my identity based on what I have learned and what I want to be. It will be about the constant evolution of one’s identity and will incorporate a plethora of ideas and strategies, as opposed to the strict singular nature and relentless restarting of the first six years.

5. Do you enjoy shopping? If so, what kind ? (i.e. women’s clothes, men’s clothes, shoes etc...) Growing up middle-class in central Phoenix, most of my childhood memories where either in swimming pools or on sports fields, in churches or in movie theaters, and without a doubt in retail stores. My best friend’s parents owned a highend retail store so we spent way too much time in the Biltmore Fashion Square. Actually, when we were 14 our first real jobs were selling coffee out of a cart to the mall’s employees - this was pre-Starbucks mania! All that aside, I have always been a collector of something, when I was young it was Star Wars toys, then sports trading cards, then Pez dispensers, then movies and music. Right now, my biggest vice are books, and living in Harvard Square hasn’t helped me curb my addiction. I prefer to support local and independent bookstores than to buy books online. To date, I have only bought 3 books online because I enjoy the activity of discovery that is inherent in the physical activity of shopping. Your intention is to find A but then you end up finding X, Y, and Z and then you have to make an emotional choice based on all these abstract variables like: do I need this? Can I afford it? Is it a “good” deal? Will I read/use it? Am I buying it for myself or as a gift? Is my money spent better somewhere else? Will I come across this again or is this a once in a lifetime find? And then back to, do I need this?


One aspect that I feel Harvard students are lacking in is their challenging of authority and societal convention. They are too eager to please. The students need to feel empowered to question and critique the traditional ideals and structures of control that are inherent within institutions and academia. Students need to stand up and speak out more to their academic departments, houses, and university hall and demand that they have more of a voice and influence in running these aspects of the college. I know from talking with my students that most of you have very specific opinions about your life at Harvard and I invite you to take real action opposed to complaining and/or being complacent. It’s your school, your money/debt, and your education – demand more! And remember change never comes from the top!


to “porky pig”—a term I actually learned while in the act from a Harvard grad student while down by the Charles. It’s when you are naked from the waist down. Surprisingly, she was a sucker for dares too! However, my first public offense was actually in a bar in Cambridge. Again due to a dare! But I think I’ve finally outgrown that stage of my life where I am always having to challenge a dare, or at least I hope so.

TOUGH TIMES Reading period has started at our college. It’s time to hit the libraries and write those 15-page

research papers. Or at least sit in the library, surf the web, and make yourself believe you’re doing something useful. (While you’re at it, check out our website) Our team goes out to review Harvard libraries for you. RACHEL LIBESKIND

1. What are your feelings about Harvard? It’s students? Do you like us?


WHY A ZEBRA? “In addition to having an attraction to black and white animals, I also relate to the zebra’s inability to be domesticated by humans.”

SHOPPING “I realized I missed the activity of shopping. I wanted to re-adopt the popular agendas of mass consumptions, individual choice and brand allegiance”

project on Election Day 2004.

YEAR 4: The year I realized I wanted to be like everyone else or more accurately, the year I realized I missed the activity of shopping.

The inspiration for this uniform came out of a the experience of walking into a Filenes’s Basement in Boston and feeling utterly disconnected from American society. “Literally, I had become an alien among a capitalistic market and I wanted to re-adopt the popular agendas of mass consumptions, individual choice and brand allegiance.” All the clothes for this project were bought at thrift stores in South Boston.

YEAR 5: The Year I became a Zebra.

This uniform is rooted in the question, “If you were an animal, what would you be?” Rowland states: “In addition to having an attraction to black and white animals, I also relate to the zebra’s inability to be domesticated by humans… Plus I love their hairdos!”

YEAR 6: The Year I became Gustave Courbet.

Rowland informed me that Courbet was one of his alltime favorite painters—an obvious choice for an “artist’s uniform.” So far, Tyler looks like a very well-dressed gentleman.


Share your TF stories!


Widener Library is the classic study spot on Harvard’s campus, featuring the second largest collection of books in the United States and even a Gutenberg bible. The imposing building stands right in the middle of the yard, its long row of steps leading up to the brass entrances, as if to present a constant reminder to the freshman in the yard of the greatness of the university they have entered. As you walk through the doors, surveying the marble columns, the high arching ceilings, you remember that yes indeed, you go to Harvard and you can study in a place of fine stone and stained glass. You feel particularly special when the security guard at the front desk tells the group of Asian tourists next to you that they aren’t allowed to enter through the turnstile without a Harvard ID—and please, no pictures whatsoever, put that camera away. But you, oh Harvard student, can walk up those hallowed steps that slope down in the middle of each stone slab from the footsteps of the thousands of students who have walked here before you. The large reading room gives the aura of the inside of a cathedral, silent, cold and tranquil, the dark wood benches stretching out as if long lines of pews, dotted with students crouched over their books like monks at prayer. Any noise—the opening of a water bottle, an errant cough-- jolts the room out of its stillness, echoing through the space. The middle isle works as a runway, each new person that walks down an object of fascination, causing heads to briefly turn from the work at hand. For those who prefer a less conspicuous study area, Widener also offers the carrels


in the stacks. Walking through the maze of books, the lights sputtering on after each row is passed, one can spot a graduate student tucked away in a corner carrel, whose frazzled hair, unkempt clothes and unshowered demeanor warn of the dangers of an unmitigated plunge into academia. But at least it’s quiet here, so that you too can begin the plunge into the annals of Foucault or Hemmingway. A little-known fact is that Widener also features a café, tucked away in an inconspicuous corner of the brown stone basement, which is open in the morning, along with vending machines to satisfy your hankering for caffeine or Doritos, without stepping outside the library.

Did you know that Widener also features a cafe?


Lamont library is a different beast altogether. A modern behemoth amidst the classical architecture of the yard’s other buildings, Lamont library’s stolid red brick façade offers a no-frills advertisements of the pain of studying to be had inside. The building’s fluorescent lights shine an intoxicating neon glow onto the plaster walls and brown patterned carpeting; inside, it’s a time-


warp so you can’t tell if it’s 2pm or 2am. On a weekday night, there are always more people gathered here than anywhere else on campus; it’s obvious the Justice or Ec 10 exam is coming up from the books strewn open on the desks. Consequently, it’s always hard to find a place to sit—walk in at 9pm on a weeknight and you will find yourself aimlessly wandering the floors. Even if one carrel seems open, look a little closer and there are the telltale stack of books and empty coffee cup, signaling possession over the spot. But the benefits of Lamont are many. The top floor is perfect for holing up, whether mid-day or mid-night, to write that 20-page history paper. If you come to the library at the right time, you can always replace the uncomfortable wooden chair with a large stuffed one—provided the maintenance people don’t catch you. Lamont is also the only place to pull an all-nighter; the library never closes and there will always be a few poor souls, like yourself, rattling around the library, jittery from the caffeine or Adderall consumed to stay up until 4am. The café is another major plus; though the sushi maybe be overpriced, the tuna sandwiches suspiciously old, just the fact that you can conceivably consume a balanced dinner without leaving the library adds an extra something. Plus, the social nature of the space also adds to the overall effect; if you need a break, all you need to do is walk into the café and chat up the five-plus people you will invariably know there.


Need a place to escape the crowded popular study spots? Look no further than the Fine Arts Library, tucked behind



1. Barker Center Café: The most underappreciated space on campus, this rotundashaped gem is completely surrounded by windows, so you can bask in the sunshine while you work. There are scattered outlets around the room for laptops, and it’s never as crowded as Greenhouse. Best of all, Dotty, who runs the well-stocked café, is the kindest staffer at the college (not to mention she offers free coffee from 9-10am every morning, and when she closes at 4pm, she gives away any leftover pastries for free!).

2. Café Gato Rojo Another underutilized space, this café, which is underneath the Dudley dining hall in the yard, has a friendly, off-beat atmosphere and some of the best deals in the square on coffee, tea, and pastries. Completely student-run, the café offers rather limited but cozy space inside. If it’s crowded on a nice day, no worries: you can always eat outside at those cute little tables and chairs. Perhaps my favorite part: you can get your drink ‘for here’ instead of ‘to go’ and it will arrive in a ceramic mug; great for the environment, and it feels so homey!

3. The Fogg Courtyard Study here before you can’t! The Fogg is shutting down for renovations in June, so this is the last reading period for awhile that you can take advantage of this beautiful space. It’s in a museum, so it’s pretty quiet. It’s so picturesque, it feels like you’re in Europe. If you do need an outlet for your laptop, the Fine Arts Library (see main article for details) is right nearby.

DINING HALLS Other than the noise, your dining hall is a wonderful place to study: lots of outlets, great wifi, big tables, good lighting (unless you live in Adams), and free nourishment at all times (water, soda, coffee, tea, etc.). Furthermore, it’s close to your room, so if you forgot something or you need a nap, you don’t need to go very far. And dining halls are not just for evening studies. If you start studying there early in the day, you maximize your productive time by cutting out travel time for meals; plus most dining halls on campus are designed to let the sun pour in, making for a cheery, bustling daytime studyspot for those of you who like a little noise when you work. the Carpenter Center and the Fogg Art Museum. The long tables, soft lighting, and pleasantly huge windows make for a perfect refuge from reading period insanity. It doesn’t hurt that the room is filled with international art publications and volumes of work on some of the world’s most renowned artists. The Fine Arts Library rarely has more than a handful people working, so you’re practically guaranteed some breathing - and studying! room. And there’s no worry of seeing the same people looking for someone to distract and/or impress, as is often the case at Lamont. (Since when are libraries such an unproductive environment?!) As an added bonus, the Fine Arts Library is a stone’s throw away from Starbucks and Broadway Market. The one downside is that food and drink is technically not allowed...although it’s definitely possible to sneak it in. But you didn’t hear it from us.


Where do you like to study?








ibeskind L l e h c a R

It’s that time of the year, my friends - the time stimulants are most craved. While I could spend my time recommending good coffee, or promoting that terrible-tasting mojo juice Red Bull, I figured I would explore the world of alternative energy drinks...


FASHION Runway Inspiration Christian Lacroix



Look for cotton or linen materials! Fabrics like silk or nylon are not for outdoor daywear. Jersey dresses—those clingy, one-color dresses—are over. Go crazy with the prints!! Floral prints are huge this season. COLOR. It’s spring! Citrus colors, royal blue, bright yellow: after the dreariness of the past few months, the brighter the better (and happier). Dress length: Nothing too short, and do not wear a dress that’s mid-calf length (these tend to make legs look extremely stumpy). The right spring garden party dress should fall about knee-length. Shape: the standard garden party dress

can be strapless or have thick straps, with a tight bodice and flared skirt. For the most part I would recommend sticking to this shape. Some shift dresses can also be cute—for these, however, make sure the cut is appropriately fitted and structured, or otherwise it can produce a tent-like effect.

BEST PLACES IN BOSTON TO BUY A GARDEN PARTY DRESS Anthropologie 799 Boylston St, Boston Granny-chic for twenty-somethings, Anthro5 pologie specializes 4 $ et , in girly dresses and fun, r Targ o f i h a r Issac Miz funky prints.

2. French Pres. Sarkozy drunk

at a G8 press conference: ated

3. Misinformed Australian


Ankh necklace, $12. “I got it from a random vintage store in Houston. I like big chunky jewelry because it’s distinctive.”



Monster is by far the most popular pick from the selection above. It sort of smells like bubble gum mixed with a floral scent, and tastes like Wrigley’s did when you were a kid. It’s just as good as Red Bull, although a little harder to stomach.

Book Review


by Katy Miller

Grey cardigan by Rag & Bone, $70. “I like it because it’s oversized and kind of slouchy. It goes with most of the things in my closet and it’s really soft.”

1. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami


The first book (since The Babysitter’s Club when I was eight years old) that I literally could not put down. It’s pure art, crafted with precision and splendor.

Shorts by Ruehl, $60. “I’m from Texas, so I like shorts! It’s all I wear there.”

2. Eloise by Kay Thompson


Marc by Marc

SoBe No Fear

Even though this tastes like weak guava juice, No Fear definitely did the job. I actually think it’s better than Red Bull, and doesn’t taste bad at all.


Free People Prudential Center in Boston Bohemian little sister to Anthropologie with slightly lower price tags.

1. Cute Girl Singing


Red sunglasses by Robert Marc, $250. “I got them while I was studying abroad in Paris, and I like them because they are red.”

Yellow t-shirt from Target. “It’s a boy’s t-shirt. I buy them in bulk.”

BCBG 71 Newbury Street, Boston Flattering and sexy dresses, but somewhat overpriced. If you go in the next two days, however, you can get $100 off a $400 purchase.

Quinchy House 2008

Full Throttle

Full Throttle is a relatively new energy drink that is produced by the Coca Cola family. It has almost the same ingredients as Red Bull (taurine, ginseng, caffeine) and smells and tastes exactly like a margarita. That is, a virgin margarita. Unless you love the taste, it’s not worth it. I really felt nothing at all.

Love necklace, $5 from Jasmine Sola. “It was on clearance—one of my good friends here got the same one. It’s kind of cheesy.”

Mint Julep 6 Church Street, Cambridge Many choices with very nice owners to help you decide; beware, though, another girl may very well have bought the same dress!

Neesha Rao

Spotted while she was walking to class, Chelsea Grate ‘08, a senior from Houston, Texas, says she is a “bit of a minimalist” and that she shies away from things that are too trendy. “I stick to a pretty basic color palette, with lots of gray, black, tan, and neutrals,” she says. “ But I really like accessories, I always have a necklace, earrings, and rings on.”


SPRING IS FINALLY HERE! Although it seemed like the agonizing splinters of winter lingered on forever, the season for warm weather, burgeoning flirtations, and those wonderful outdoor afternoon events called “garden parties” is finally here. A garden party is the perfect place to come out of your post-winter fashion funk and start thinking about the bright possibility of warm weather wear. Not sure what’s appropriate, what’s in, for an upcoming garden party you’re invited to? Here are some pointers for staying in style at these trendy events:

An energy drink made by Lil’ Jon, a rapper and an herbologist. What a guy. His drink is a bizarre mixture of caffeine, inositol, horny Goat weed (still sounds weird to me), ginkgo, ginseng and some more dubious sounding ingredients. CRUNK!!!, despite its ruckus name, actually tastes a little bit like rancid Minute Maid. It gave me little to no buzz at all. NOT ballin’. NOT crunk.

Jacobs, $385

It’s a whimsical, delightful series for children with beautifully drawn illustrations. You’re never too old to enjoy Eloise’s humor and zest for life.

Sandals by Elie Tahari, $140. “I like them because they are not gladiator sandals. I don’t want anything too trendy.”

3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer


Explores the aftermath of 9/11 through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy whose father perished in the attacks. A beautiful tale with a gorgeous story line and unexpected moments of

Tan bag by Chloe, a birthday present. “It looks like I can carry it forever, it’s sturdy leather and goes with everything.


utierrez G a t i n A Folch

joy, insight and heartbreak. Incred-

kir royal This is a tasty, light and easy-to-make cocktail with champagne and creme de cassis, a semi-sweet blackcurrant liqueur. If you like your drinks dry, the bubbly and festive Kir Royal will be perfect for special occasions. If you’re out of champagne, you can always substitute with chilled sparkling wine, provided that it’s not too sweet.

Ingredients: One-fourth ounce crème de Cassis 5 oz Champagne or sparkling wine Lemon twist

Directions: In a flute or a martini glass pour in the Cassis and then the Champagne. Rub the lemon twist around the top of the glass and place it in the glass.








“I was straight when I was in college.” This is what I like to say whenever I speak to students about my experience as a Harvard undergraduate in the early 1990s. I’m a provocateur. I was the boy who got detention in elementary school for telling tall tales about my grandparents’ dolphin (they didn’t have one). I was the kid who almost got kicked out of Sunday school for asking tough questions about Mary’s virginity. I was the man who got “blacklisted” by Lynne Cheney for asking even tougher questions of the Bush Administration after 9/11. My nickname in graduate school was “OTT”: Overthe-Top Timmy. I suppose I’ve always been something of a diva. But I haven’t always

“I was straight when I was in college.”

been “out.” When I returned to Harvard to teach in the fall of 1998, I was in a serious relationship with a woman—so serious, in fact, that I’d begun to shop for an engagement ring. Back in college, I spent my time playing basketball, not planning BGLTSA

events; I was far more likely to march in anti-apartheid protests than in gay pride parades. Despite the fact that I had my first gay sexual experience when I was fourteen, I spent most of my teens and twenties terrified that someone would find out the truth about me. And so I told a lot of lies—to friends and loved ones, to complete strangers, and to myself. Today, whenever I tell students that I was “straight” in college, they laugh—some of them uncomfortably (I suspect my story hits a little too close to home). During my second “Harvard experience”—the now decade or so I’ve spent as a tutor, advisor, and lecturer—I’ve been mostly “out.” But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. After breaking up with my girlfriend, I


Who is Dr. Tim McCarthy? Timothy Patrick McCarthy ’93 is Lecturer on History and Literature and Adjunct Lecturer on Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is also Senior Resident Tutor at Quincy House and a member of the Tutorial Board in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. An honors graduate of Harvard College, he holds a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University. Dr. McCarthy is a specialist on American race relations, protest literature, and social movements. He has

published two books—The Radical Reader (New Press, 2003) and Prophets of Protest (New Press, 2006)—and is currently working on a new book on literary abolitionism and the struggle for equality in nineteenth-century America. An award-winning teacher and advisor, he teaches several popular courses at Harvard, including Lit and Arts A-86, “American Protest Literature from Tom Paine to Tupac.” Dr. McCarthy is also a devoted activist and public servant.

For the last ten years, he has taken groups of students down South to help rebuild black churches burned in arson attacks, and he is the Academic Director of the Bard College Clemente Course, a college humanities program offered free-of-charge to low-income adults in Dorchester, MA. He currently serves on the Board of the Harvard Gay and Lesbian Caucus (HGLC), and has served, since July, as a member of Barack Obama’s National LGBT Leadership Council.

slipped into a deep depression; I battled body image and the bottle, enduring dark thoughts through sleepless and sometimes reckless nights. Looking back, I don’t really know how I got through it, how I came out on the other side of things, but I suspect it had a lot to do with my Harvard students, who cared for me in crucial ways during those difficult times. I doubt they’ll ever know how much they helped to save my life. As I’ve grown more comfortable in my own skin over the years, I’ve become a more visible member of Harvard’s “queer” community: I’m on the WGS tutorial board; I’m a member of the LGBT Faculty and Staff Committee; I advise LGBT students and groups; I serve on the board of the Harvard Gay and Lesbian Caucus; and I teach LGBT texts in my courses on American history and literature. My students and colleagues are often amazed when I tell them I spent most of my life in the “closet.” I guess one does get a second chance to make a first impression. My relative comfort these days does not erase the deep discomfort my sexuality has caused me over the years. I grew up in a working-class, Irish- and Italian-Catholic family in upstate New York. I was an only child and grandchild, adopted at birth, who went on to become a standout student-athlete; my father was my high school basketball coach and, at times, my toughest critic. My identity was largely forged through sports, and my male friendships—strengthened by years of intense physical


Despite the fact that I had my first gay sexual experience when I was fourteen, I spent most of my teens and twenties terrified that someone would find out the truth about me. And so I told a lot of lies. Even to myself.

I lived in Quincy House (and yes, I still live in Quincy House!) Concentration and Class: History and Literature, Class of 1993. Music: I prefer Hip Hop, R&B, Motown, Gospel, and Jazz. And Kuumba, Harvard’s enduring treasure. Favorite Harvard speakers: Marian Wright Edelman, my Class Day speaker, and Nelson Mandela, my hero. competition, sexual rivalry, and locker-room ribbing—dominated my early socialization. Needless to say, this was hardly a culture conducive to a swift embrace of homosexuality. I’m not proud of the fact that I used the word “fag” more than once as a teenager—and not, I hasten to add, as a form of queenly repartee. I learned the hard way that self-hatred is the most vicious expression of fear and loathing. Often, when I talk of the discomfort so many Harvard students experience with their sexuality, my colleagues will ask me: “Why is it so hard for students to come out here? Harvard is such an open, accepting place.” True enough. Compared to a lot of other colleges, Harvard is a pretty gay-friendly place. Gay couples can get married in Massachusetts, and Cambridge has to be the only city in the United States that has had not one, but two gay mayors— both of them black! This is about as good as it gets for queer folks in America. As a result, many of Harvard’s LGBT students are out and proud and happy. I’m constantly amazed and inspired by their courage and confidence. That said, my colleagues’ question—“Why is it so hard for students to come out here?”—speaks to a very different kind of experience. As an expression of incredulity, it assumes that Harvard is the only context for one’s life, when, in fact, Harvard is just four years in a much longer life shaped by rituals and traditions, filled with encounters and relationships, and complicated by opportunities and obligations that aren’t necessarily compatible with being “out of the closet.” For many students, Harvard is the exception to the rule: a gay-friendly “bubble” impossible to sustain in the “real world.” I wish I had a dollar for every time a student has come to me over the years to talk about why he or she can’t “come out”— because of race or religion, sports or ROTC, professional aspirations or family expectations. Too often we are quick to criticize or condemn these students for being in “denial” or “living a lie,” when, in fact, it would be far more productive—and humane—for us to show them compassion and unconditional love. In our post-Stonewall, post-Goodridge, post-“Will and Grace” world, we tend to forget that being gay often means living in a dis-comfort zone. And so supporting these students— making sure they know they’re not alone—is one of my highest priorities as a teacher, advisor, and fellow traveler. As liberating as it can be to “come out”—in this sense, I have few regrets—I also understand that shutting the closet door beyond you means closing a chapter of your history, altering or ending longstanding relationships, even losing a part of yourself. For some of us, the future is more terrifying than the past. It needn’t be, but it certainly was for me. And I’m not alone.





Three in the morning and still typing away. Is that Expos paper really worth it? On paper, Expos seems relatively harmless. It’s a small class that meets for two hours a week. There are only three essays and no exams. But students tend to hate it.

When it’s three in the morning and you’re still typing away on your MacBook in Lamont Café, all you have to do is roll your eyes and say “Expos,” and you instantly have a troop of sympathetic comrades, looking at you with kind eyes, nodding, and cheering you on. Torturous Expos experiences are a special bond that we all share. Expos, being the only course at Harvard that literally everyone takes (save a few transfer students, but we don’t have them anymore anyway), is by far the most complained about class at this school. And it’s not immediately clear why. On paper, Expos seems relatively harmless. It’s a small class that only meets for two hours a week. There are only three essays the entire semester, and no exams. To complete the course, you are essentially responsible for a maximum of twenty-four pages of writing. Your preceptor helps you with your initial idea (through the ‘predraft’), and also fully edits and comments on your first draft. You then get to meet with your preceptor in person to discuss your paper before completing your final draft, which is the only portion of the process that is actually graded. I don’t know what sweet high school you went to, but I’ve never taken a class that has that much personal attention built right into it. And I’ll almost definitely never take a class like it again (I passed!). So why, then, do Harvard students hate Expos so much? Are there other ways to teach writing to freshmen? How is it done elsewhere? What does that safety school in New Haven do? The Expository Writing Program is certainly not without faults. A common concern expressed by other students was that they didn’t like the topic of their Expos class. And even if the topic is fine on day one, many students find that it quickly becomes monotonous and repetitive. “I just felt as if all my papers were on the exact same thing,” most of my friends noted. Still others complain that they felt like they get very little out of expos, that their writing didn’t really improve and that it felt like a waste of their time. Perhaps the most commonly voiced concern, especially among older students and faculty members, is that the skills one learns in Expos are not applicable to their other courses. Most students seem to think Expos is flawed. This perception begs the search for a better alternative. How do other schools teach writing? Prince-


years since Expos was introduced at Harvard


different Expos topics were offered this year

$6,000 value of faculty grants for instructors who want to focus on writing in their courses



COMMON NIGHTMARE Expos is by far the most complained-about class at this school



OPEN LETTER James Herron and Jane Rosenzweig, the directors of Expos in charge of maintaining the relationship with Harvard’s academic departments, recently published an open letter regarding the program’s isolation from the Univeristy. “Since September, we have collaborated with 17 academic departments across the disciplines to develop writing components for undergraduate courses.” ton’s system is almost identical to ours: small writing seminars taken freshman year. At University of Chicago, students’ writing instruction comes in the form of a handful of seminars over the course of two quarters associated with a humanities Core class (with the structure of the seminars being very similar to expos). At Stanford, the Program in Writing and Rhetoric has three parts: the first being a seminar taken during your freshman year focusing on writ-

“My TA at Yale is not even a native English speaker.”

ing skills (sound familiar?), the second being another seminar focusing more on oratory, and the third being a writing course within your chosen major. According to my friends at all three of these places, in general, each of these required writing courses is poorly regarded by the student body. “It’s not wellliked on campus,” Wyndam Makowsky, Stanford ’11, said of his school’s writing program. “I’d

go so far as to say it’s despised.” Yale’s writing requirement follows a different model. Students are required to take two courses with the “WR” designation. According to Yale’s website, there are more than 160 courses designated WR, and while some of these are introductory writing seminars, most are just normal departmental courses with a writing focus. My friends at Yale had a far less negative opinion of their writing requirements. One of the reasons this might be the case is that the threshold for being designated a WR course is quite low. In order to qualify as a WR course, Yale only requires a certain number of pages per semester, a student-teacher ratio within section guidelines, and the decidedly vague “time spent teaching writing.” “The bottom line is the requirements at Yale are generally not a big deal, especially the writing requirements,” wrote Andrew Saviano, Yale ’11, to me in an email. Another Yale freshman wrote to me, about a political science class he’s taking which is designated WR: “it’s kind of silly that it fulfills the WR requirement, because no emphasis is really placed on improving my writing at all. My TA is not even a native English speaker and when she corrects my drafts, it’s more about the philosophy and not the writing.” Dr. James Herron, Assistant Director of Harvard Writing Project contrasts Yale’s

method to Harvard’s (see below). Not surprisingly, Expos has some significant advantages over more departmentally driven writing programs. Nor is Expos the only face of writing instruction at Harvard. The Writing Project is also doing a number of things to help improve writing skills at Harvard. The HWP helps train TF’s in effective writing techniques, as well as publishes a number of writing guides to help students write for specific classes and specific disciplines. In addition, whenever a new course is approved under the General Education system, a group of people from the HWP work with the faculty in order to maintain some thread of continuity in the way writing is taught in each of the courses. Furthermore, this year the HWP has worked to appoint Departmental Writing Fellows, post-doctorates or other advanced graduates students within specific academic departments who are there specifically as resources to students whose questions about their work extends beyond the scope of the undergraduate students at the Writing Center. Expos isn’t perfect, but it may not deserve its bad rep. It’s possible to see a pattern emerging from the comparison of the writing requirements of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford. The more thoroughly the writing program is relegated to the departments, the more interesting the topics may be. But, as from the mouths of Dr. Herron and Yale students, this benefit comes at an associated cost. There could be a tradeoff between how much students enjoy their writing instruction and how narrowly focused the program is on writing itself. Unfortunate, maybe, but any

Other Schools PRINCETON Almost identical to ours: small writing seminars taken freshman year UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO Handful of seminars over the course of two quarters associated with a humanities Core class STANFORD Program in Writing and Rhetoric has three parts: a seminar taken during freshman year focusing on writing skills, another seminar focusing more on oratory, a writing course within your chosen major. YALE Students required to take two courses with the “WR” designation. More than 160 courses designated WR, and while some of these are introductory writing seminars, most are normal departmental courses with a writing focus. discussion of the Expos program at Harvard has to orient itself around this compromise.


What do you think about Expos?

JAMES HERRON Assistant Director of Harvard Writing Project speaks about the problems and benefits of Harvard’s system

The biggest problem with Expos is its isolation Dr. James Herron, a member of the Expos faculty and the Assistant Director of the Harvard Writing Project agreed that the biggest problem with Expos is its isolation from the rest of the University. He also cited the lack of interaction with faculty in the departments as a major weakness. If this is such

STRONG FACULTY Harvard has the ability to hire strong faculty. “The preceptors are not composition teachers; they are experts in their fields”

a problem, then, why doesn’t Harvard go the route of Yale, and other Universities who’s writing requirement takes the form of “writing intensive” courses, rather than courses directly focused on writing? Herron pointed out that at many universities with programs more similar to Yale’s, in order to get a “writing in-

tensive” designation, a course must merely meet a certain page requirement for graded writing. A lot of the time, these courses don’t get the job done. He pointed out other benefits of Harvard’s program. Because the courses are not specifically within the departments, they can focus exclusively on writing and writing skills. In

addition, he pointed out that as Harvard, we have the ability and resources to hire really strong faculty. “The preceptors we hire are not composition teachers; they are experts in their fields,” he said.



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FLOSS YOUR TEETH No, this might not be the most fun, but ADA studies have shown that indicates that only about 12 percent of Americans floss daily - and close to half of all Americans never floss. Benefits include healthy gums, better breath, and a reduced chance of heart disease. So hop to it!


CLEAN OUT YOUR FRIENDS What’s the point of having 234181796 “friends” on facebook if you’ve never meet 3/4 of them? Take some time to sweep through your friends list, and remove all people who you’ve never met, or can’t remember meeting. And why not friend that girl or guy from class you’ve been meaning to, while you’re at it? (Poking not allowed)

19 Killing People


Iron Man. Movie Gold.


SUPERHEROES BY MORGAN MALLORY A look at this summer’s flicks

$500 MILLION GTAIV became the most profitable multimedia release ever

A land of opportunity, and crime IRON MAN BY SAM ABBOTT

See article. The suit makes the man.


ZIPS RIGHT BY You’d never realize this movie is two hours long - every minute is enjoyable side’ is revealed to us, the more Downey, Jr. starts to make perfect sense as an actor with a notorious ‘irresponsible side’ himself. But everything changes Wait…who’s Iron when Stark is taken prisoner in Man? While I’m sure some of Afghanistan and must become you reading this are big fans Iron Man to escape. The ordeal of Iron Man, Marvel’s second- really changes Stark’s outlook best-selling comic-book char- on the world, and he decides acter after Spiderman, the rest to turn his life around by turnof you are probably scratching ing it completely upside-down. your heads. Outside of the So, what are Iron Man’s comic-book community, Iron superpowers, exactly? His Man is fairly obscure. He never brain. That’s it. Not that he reached the iconic pop culture lacks brawn – ladies, the man status of Spiderman, Super- looks good – but Tony Stark’s man, Batman, or The Incredible only superpower is his genius Hulk. So, who is Iron Man? And mind. All of his physical ‘powwhy on earth did they cast Rob- ers’ are contained within the ert Downey, Jr. to portray him? “iron” suit he constructs for I urge you all to go himself, a brilliant feat of techsee for yourselves, because nology and engineering. Iron Man is as every bit I mean, he’s kind of as good as the first IRON MAN the ultimate geek. Spiderman film or Stark seems like (2008) Batman Begins. the superhero deDIR. JON FAVREAU Robert Downey, Jr. signed for an Ivy is surprisingly perLeague audience. fect for his role as The message here GRADE: Tony Stark, a techis that you can nical genius who change the world graduates summafor the better using cum-laude from MIT and your mind; your mind is is handed his father’s major a superpower. Iron Man is also weapons manufacturer com- Ivy League-friendly because it pany, Stark Industries. When emphasizes that just because the movie opens, Stark is a you’ve been a capitalist most of womanizing, quip-firing bil- your life doesn’t mean you can’t lionaire who is clearly enjoy- become a hero. In fact, you’ll ing his indulgent life at the top. need lots and lots of money to The more his ‘irresponsible be a hero, so go make those bil-



Although they are (mostly) independent of the quality and artistry of the game itself, a host of controversies has emerged with the release of GTAIV, as with prior titles in the series (and with the medium at large). Charges of social irresponsibility, gratuitous violence, and misogyny (to name a few) have been leveled at the game’s developers, producers, and supporters. In addition to any further discussion of the game’s merits and importance, we’d love to hear your thoughts on these broader topics as well.

Walk down Mount Auburn Street and discover a beautiful sanctuary, complete with a vast array of horitculture and 19th century architecture. A National Historic Landmark, this was the first largescale designed landscape open to the public in the US.

lions first, save the world later! Well, maybe that’s not the message exactly; but there is a clear correlation between Tony’s ability to become a heroic figure and his billions of dollars – his brain is more important, but his money makes it all possible. And there is certainly something to be said for the different paths one may take to bring good to the world; Wall Street-bound Ec concentrators are going to love this guy. Then again, everyone will love this guy. Tony Stark is fabulously likable. From the opening scene, in which Tony’s character is brilliantly established in less than five minutes, you wish you were friends with him. Gwyneth Paltrow is also quite likeable as Stark’s personal assistant, Pepper Potts. If you are used to the love interest in superhero movies driving you up the wall, you’re in for a refreshing treat; Pepper is potentially the least whiny superhero love interest yet. You’d never realize this movie is two hours and twenty minutes long without somebody telling you, because it zips right by. Every minute is enjoyable. The movie is paced very well; it never drags, and the great writing keeps you laughing for a good 7/8ths of the time. This classifies as an action movie first, but as a comedy second. Furthermore,

while plenty of time is spent on the action and Iron Man’s CGIproduced suit, the focus is really on Tony Stark’s character. That’s why this movie joins Batman Begins and the first Spiderman film in the ranks of great superhero movies. You care about Stark, you want him to succeed. And he’s not perfect, not even close. He makes all sorts of bad decisions, all of which make him more human, more real, and more lovable. Much credit goes to Downey Jr. for his outstanding portrayal of Stark. You have to love when the title character steals the show. So while the movie isn’t a perfect film—the plot is a bit simplistic (spot the plotcontrivance reporter!), the product placement is annoying—it’s pretty close. Men and women alike will be charmed (plenty of eye-candy for both), and it’s well worth the $10 to see on the big screen. You even get an Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull trailer thrown in for free! Check it out this reading period.


Have you seen ‘Iron Man’ yet?

While not technically a comicbook hero, Speed Racer comes close enough as the 1960’s anime automobile racer. Wachowski brothers’ first project since The Matrix trilogy. Cross your fingers.


Marvel tries The Hulk on its own terms now, hoping for much more success than the 2001 Ang Lee directed film starring Eric Bana. This time around Edward Norton takes the helm, and Liv Tyler replaces Jennifer Connelly.


I have nothing to say.


Christian Bale stars again in the title role, with Maggie Gyllenhaal replacing Katie Holmes (thank the movie gods) as Rachel Dawes. But most of the attention is on Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker.

When I’m driving at night, my mind wanders. Stimulated by my surroundings, I tend to dream up thoughts, songs, arguments, and even full-blown conversations. I often pull a Christopher Walken and consider swerving right into the headlights of an oncoming car. Every once in a while, I follow through on that idea. I crash my sports car into a minivan at high

speed, throwing metal, glass, and people all over the highway in a pile-up that takes hours’ worth of police choppers, tow trucks, and cleanup crews to fix. I am playing Grand Theft Auto IV, the newest criminal saga from Edinburgh-based Rockstar North. The series has always been praised for its smart writing, high production values, and “open-ended” gameplay, which forsakes the linear levelprogression norm for a system in which the player actively chooses what he does with his surroundings and the “missions” offered.

As dozens of critics, hundreds of bloggers, and millions of ordinary fans can attest to, this game has surpassed previous GTA titles in nearly every respect. Whether it is the depth of the protagonist (tortured Bosnian War vet Niko Bellic), the improved driving and combat controls, or the realistic physics engine, this game is well worth the estimated $100 million it cost to produce. (As GTAIV is shaping up to be the most profitable multimedia release in history, publisher Take-Two would probably agree.) GTAIV has also accomplished

something that no game to date has ever tried: it has a vision. In its jaw-droppingly nuanced depiction of New York City (or “Liberty City”, as it is referred to in the game), the game presents a forward-looking experience that gives the player both the individual stories of its characters, and the living, breathing city itself. Taken in over a few hours, the game actively compels the player to create his own ongoing experience. This, coupled with the similarly forward-looking story of the American Dream and the immigrant experience, involves the

player in a way that separates video games from other media, and perpetuates the game experience in a way that such “persistent” online experiences like World of Warcraft and Second Life have never been able to achieve. And that is why I can’t stop playing: because the game needs me to continue. Niko Bellic is mine, the car crash is mine, and the city is mine.


Are you also a GTA addict?

VOICEMAIL FROM PARIS LIBRARY REVIEW When I heard an announcement over the loud speakers about pickpockets, I figured it was time to relocate

I miss Lamont... I hope I didn’t say it out loud. 12:15 PM Saturday May 3, 2008. I miss Lamont Library….? Wow. That is one thought I never believed would cross my mind. I hope I didn’t say it out loud... I am standing outside the library of Centre Pompidou in Paris. By standing outside, I mean standing in a line hundreds of people long, seemingly miles from the one small door to this massive library. My back is aching from holding my laptop, books, power chords, iPod, and day’s supply of food, water and gum (all marathon study session essentials) for the past two hours in this ridiculous line. I have already been harassed by several passing homeless people, one of whom was wearing a black trench coat, drinking a flask of whisky and blew smoke in my face after I refused to respond to his psychotic rantings. While I am finding this experience dangerously close to my conception of Purgatory, it is seemingly normal to the hundreds of students in line ahead of me and behind me, who casually read their books or talk on their cell phones while awaiting the elusive moment where we will be allowed entry to the library. After another 45 minutes, a fight with some

“I have already been harassed by several passing homeless people.”


people trying to cut in front of me, a metal detector, a bag inspection and a required flash of my government-issued identification card, I finally settle down on the fourth floor near a window with a breath-taking view of Paris. As soon as I dare think that this was worth the wait, I discover that there is no wireless internet, or not unless you’re willing to pay for it using a personal credit card. Oh yeah, and the only bathrooms are on the first floor, there are no vending machines, and it is definitely not okay to use the chair next to you for your food, water and gum supply. When I hear an announcement over the loud speaker that there are pickpockets circulating through the library and that I should keep a close watch over my personal belongings, I figure it is time to relocate. I was actually inside the library for about 40% of the amount of time I spent waiting in line. At this point, Lamont is beginning to look like the Ritz Carlton of libraries. I guess it’s true that you never know what you have until it’s gone. When I say I am studying abroad in France, a lot of people chuckle to themselves, pleased with the opportunity to demon-

strate their ironic wit, retorting with ‘that’s funny, because I heard nobody in France actually studies.’ Even at the orientation session for my exchange program, we were warned that French university students are shockingly disinterested in their classes. In stark contrast with $40,000+ annual cost of tuition of the our private system, the French university system is almost entirely public, allowing every student (as long as they pass the Baccalaureate exam administered at the end of high school) to attend any public French university at nearly no cost at all. Without the motivation of the opportunity cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on their education, it seems logical that French students might not feel as pressured to succeed. Consequently, I began the semester ready to face the extreme nonchalance of my new peers. I can’t quote the official definition of ‘extreme nonchalance’ or ‘ shocking disinterest’, but I would guess that neither include ‘willing to withstand hellish conditions while waiting line for 2+ hours to go to a library with no amenities’. I think I can safely say that the stereotype of

the careless French student is not always true. Sure, there are people that sleep through lectures, and others that don’t show up at all. But, much to my surprise/disgust/fascination, the majority of students in my lectures come prepared with some sort of special gridded note-taking paper and ten to twelve different colored highlighters. They then proceed to meticulously transcribe (literally) the lecture, simultaneously color-coding and furiously crossreferencing. As a relatively TypeA student from Harvard, I’ve never felt so under-prepared, so upstaged. I don’t even think they sell that kind of paper in America. Obviously, I am still struggling to understand the drastically opposing academic approaches of French students and how exactly they are related to the unique structure of the French system. Maybe it would be nice to trade the ever-increasing tuition bill for a nearly free college education, but after experiencing the other option, I have come to truly appreciate the luxuries that our tuition bills afford us… namely, Lamont Library.




SOFTBALL Softball is defeated by Princeton in Ivy League Championship




Women’s Heavyweight Crew wins the Beanpot



may 8th 2008

Sailing qualifies for Nationals after taking 3rd in the New England Team Race Championship

4TH THE NATION Men heavyweight crew to face Brown, Wisconsin next weekend

Men’s heavyweight crew ready for Eastern Sprints BY JEFF BENGEL

Last Saturday, Harvard Men’s Heavyweight Crew defeated Northeastern and claimed its eleventh consecutive Smith Cup. Sounds like business as usual for our own perennial national powerhouse? Not really. Although all three eights beat out their Northeastern counterpart, the 1V needed to close down a half boat deficit with

only 20 strokes to go in order to claim a 0.7 second victory. It was the closest race between the two schools in ten years. The small margin between us and Northeastern says something about this year’s field: it’s really deep. Going into next week’s Eastern Sprints, Harvard is ranked fourth in the country behind the University of Washington, Brown, and the University of Wisconsin by the US Rowing Collegiate Poll. And while our 2V, 3V, and Frosh eight are all

ranked number one in the East by the EARC, our 1V is ranked third behind Wisconsin and Brown, which handed Harvard its only loss of the season. Other Eastern crews sniffing the top of the rankings are Princeton—whose 1V nudged out ours early this season at San Diego— Columbia, and Northeastern. As one Crimson rower warned me, it would be possible to overstate the importance of these rankings. Right now, no one really knows whether Brown is faster than Wiscon-

sin or vice versa. What the rankings can illustrate, however, is that when Wisconsin, Brown, Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, and Northeastern show down next weekend at Eastern Sprints, the difference between first and sixth will likely be less than five seconds. It should make for an exceptionally exciting day of racing.


Start blogging about your team!



The Voice #3  

Issue #3 of the Voice, a student weekly at Harvard.