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An interview with QSA Co-chair Marco Chan p. 20

Tips on building a chic, hip wardrobe that won't break the bank p. 13


the voice

an official harvard college student publication


Bromances p. 15

'Spring Awakening' star Ben Moss joins the Class of 2013 p. 16


Studying abroad and the 'Harvard problem' p. 11

MORE INSIDE: DIY D-Hall Dishes, Quad Life, Sex Ed 101...

2 OCTOBER the voice President, Editor In Chief, Alisha Ramos ‘12 Executive Editor Emeritus, Jacob Benson ‘12 Executive Editor, Liyun Jin ‘12 Features Director, Qichen Zhang ‘12 Voiceover Director, Sara Plana ‘12 Lifestyle Director, Henry Woodward-Fisher ‘12 The Dish Director, Charlotte Austin ‘11 Web Director, Ingrid Pierre ‘12 Director of Photography, Emily Xie ‘12 Director of Photography Emeritus, Sophia Wong Chesrow ‘12 Staff Writers Crystal Coser ‘12 Liyun Jin ‘12 John Paul Jones ‘12 Molly O’Donnell ‘12 Ingrid Pierre ‘12 New Initiatives Director, Simone Zhang ‘12 Creative Executives Director, Ken Li ‘12 Design Director, Melissa Wong ‘12 Social Director, Katie McNicol ‘12 Director of Business Operations, Brian Shen ‘11 Director of Business Management, Margarita Krivitski ‘11 Business Associates Marta Bralic ‘12 Joe Gaspard ‘12 Chloe Goodwin ‘12 Naveen Srivatsa ‘12


A New Voice, the Same Vision The Voice was begun in the spring of 2008 by students who saw a great void among campus publications–there existed no one publication at Harvard that focused exclusively on student life, no publication that would allow any student and member of the Harvard community to simply raise his or her voice on issues that mattered to them. Thus, The Voice was born. It is still this simple vision and mission that we hold onto so dearly: to focus not only on the things that make Harvard what it really is, but also to give a voice to those people, ideas, and issues that are frequently overlooked or taken for granted within our dynamic campus. Over the past year, The Voice has evolved dramatically. Starting with our new daily blog, Noice, to the launch of, along with a complete redesign and revamping of the entire organization, it may be difficult to recognize The Voice that once was with The Voice as it currently stands; in fact, there are only a handful of students on staff who were members of The Voice in years past. This however has proven not to be a great weakness but in fact a strength and window for new possibilities for the publication. The object which you hold in your hands is a product of dozens of students’ ideas, time, and passion. Without the collaborative effort of so many individuals, The Voice would not be where it is today, and I would like to thank all those never

Photo by Caroline Lowe ‘12

stopped believing that The Voice could survive and thrive, despite anything naysayers or critics had to say. As the new President and Editor-in-Chief of this fair publication, it is my pleasure to present to you the product of not weeks but months of preparation, planning, and believing. It is my hope, and the hope of everyone on the team, that you will dare to embrace The Voice this year, and perhaps take some time to raise your own. Alisha Ramos ‘12

Table of Contents Building a recession-friendly wardrobe, p. 13 ‘Quarks to Consciousness’, p. 26

FRONT MATTER Letter from the Editor, p. 2 Calendar of Events, p. 3 LIFESTYLE Sex Ed: For the Love of Lube, p. 6 Crystal’s DIY Food Piece, p. 4 Building A Recession-Friendly Wardrobe, p. 13 The Best Bags for Classes, p. 5 FEATURES New Leverett D-Hall Mural, p. 19 Studying Abroad at Harvard, p. 11 Introduction to the LGBT Community at Harvard, p. 20 Student Profile: Ben Moss, p .16


THE DISH Underappreciated Areas of Harvard, p.25 Meet The Voice: Henry Woodward-Fisher ‘12, p. 24 Class Profile: From Quarks to Consciousness, p. 26 Falafel Corner Review, p. 25 House Master Profile: Pfoho, p. 24 Famous Harvard Grads: Rashida Jones, p. 26 VOICEOVER Quad Life: Bad or Rad?, p.8 Bromances, p.15 Bitchgrams, p.10


the voice EVENTS CALENDAR THEATER Oct. 15-18 - “Proof” in the Loeb Experimental Theater Written by David Auburn Directed by Kriti Lodha Produced by Isabel Carey and Diana Michta Oct. 16-24 - “The Flies” on the Loeb Mainstage Written by Jean-Paul Sartre Directed by Geordie Broadwater ‘04 Produced by Ali Leskowitz and Liz Krane October 21-24 – “Richard II” – Horner Room, Agassiz Theater by William Shakespeare Directed by Meryl Federman Produced by Marykate Jasper October 22 – 25 – “Semele” in the New College Theater Music by John Eccles; Libretto by William Congreve, Directed by Victoria Crutchfield Produced by Zander MacQuitty Oct 29 - November 7 – “Marat/Sade” In the Loeb Experimental Theater by Peter Weiss Directed by James Leaf Produced by Devon Dunn, Steven DeMarco November 6-14 – Momentum on the Loeb Mainstage- Harvard Ballet Company Directed by Merritt Moore and Liz Walker Produced by Alexandra Ortega November 5-15 – The Sorcerer in the Agassiz Theater – Harvard Radcliffe Gilbert and Sullivan Players Music by W.S. Gilbert and Book by Sir Arthur Sullivan. Directed by Davida Fernandez-Barkan; Music Directed by Jesse Wong ‘12 Produced by Bess Rosen ‘11 and Bridget Haile ‘11

MUSIC October 16 “In Full Swing” Radcliffe Pitches and the Din & Tonics Concert- Sanders Theater, 8PM Bach Society Orchestra Concert – Paine Hall, 8PM Bach/Webern Ricercar from “Musical Offering” Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings in C Major, Op. 48 Beethoven Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68, “Pastorale” October 23 Harvard Glee Club – Harvard-Princeton Football Concert – Sanders Theater 8PM Octoberfest A Capella Jam at the Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub, hosted by the Harvard Callbacks October 24 Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra Concert – Sanders Theater, 8PM Roman Carnival Overture ~ Berlioz Nocturnes ~ Debussy, featuring members of the Holden Choruses Symphony No. 5 ~ Tchaikovsky October 31 Radcliffe Choral Society, Harvard Radcliffe Collegium Musicum – A Cappella Masterpieces Concert – Sanders Theater 8PM November 1 Opportunes and Veritones – Sanders Theater, 8PM November 6 Brattle Street Chamber Players Fall Concert, Paine Hall – 8PM November 7 LowKeys Tenth Anniversary – Sanders Theater, 8PM November 13 Fallen Angels, Harvard Krokodiloes, Harvard Callbacks – Sanders Theater 8PM

AROUND HARVARD SQUARE Saturday, October 17-18th – Head of the Charles Saturday, October 24th – Boston Book Festival, Copley Square, 10AM-6PM Workshops, Panels, Presentations, Signings, Readings, and free stuff! Sunday, October 25th – Margaret Atwood reads from her new book, The Year of the Flood, at the First Parish Church Meetinghouse at 7PM Thursday, October 29th—Isabel Kaplan ’12 signs copies of Hancock Park at the Harvard Coop Bookstore, 7-8PM Saturday, November 7th – Al Gore talks about his new book, Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Global Climate Crisis, at the First Parish Church Meetinghouse at 1PM Saturday, November 14 – Project East 2009 -Cutting-edge fashion show in an industrial- chic setting with a fab afterparty. Proceeds will go to building a school in rural China. North West Labs 7PM



the voice

DIY D-Hall Dining:

Emulsifying Your Way to Better Greens Crystal Coser '12 staff writer


ou’ve had a long morning – you learned more from Facebook statuses than you did from lecture, and that asshole in section never shut up - but your first block of classes is finally over, and it’s time for lunch. You’re ravenous, as Harvard classes entail quite the brain workout, but all there is to sate your rumbling tummy is golden nuggets and chilaquile casserole. I find this to be incredibly disheartening. I love my meals. I have three precious times a day to socialize with friends, to forget all my reading and p-sets, and to do what I love best: eat. However, my forty-five minutes of bliss is often ruined by the cafeteria slop in front of me. My freshman self had passively accepted the dining hall’s offerings, and watched as the freshmen fifteen made its way to my thighs and HUDS slowly murdered my appreciation for food. The older and oh-so-much wiser me has put my fork down and ended these atrocities. I’ve learned that it really is incredibly simple to just make your own healthy and delicious meals. Now that I’ve got this all figured out, I can share my D-Hall DIY tricks with you. To begin Cafeteria-Cooking 101, I’d like to extol the vir-


tues of the vinaigrette. And by vinaigrette, I don’t mean the gloppy, calorie-laden imitations they serve at the salad bar. I’m referring to the simple combination of oil and vinegar used to freshen up your salad. I like to think of the vinaigrette as a basic equation: Emulsifier + Vinegar + Oil = Vinaigrette Each component of the vinaigrette is variable, giving one a choice of ingredients for each component. Emusifiers combine the vinegar with the oil, and allow for a beautifully rich and thick dressing. Here we are limited to egg yolks, for classic Caesar dressings, aiolis, and mustard. Being that we can only use what is in the dining hall, we must stick with the whole grain mustard that can be found in the sandwich bar. Vinegars provide the acidity that brightens up any dish. HUDS supplies us with basic balsamic, red wine, and rice wine vinegars, but sherry wine, champagne, apple cider, or fruit-flavored white balsamic vinegars are also great alternatives that you can find in your home kitchen. Oil gives the vinaigrette body and gives the greens that sexy coating that elevates the salad from being a mere plate of crudités to a wholly satisfying dining experience. I typically stick with extra virgin olive oil; however, virgin olive oil or canola oil is preferred for lighter dressings. The final component of the vinaigrette—in fact all food—is seasoning. Season your food. Seriously. Dining hall food is bland and utterly unappetizing because it lacks the

fundamentals of any properly prepared dish, namely salt and pepper. So taste and season every plate of food before you dive in – your palate will thank me for it. So now we have our three simple ingredients. All we have to do is put a small teaspoon full of mustard into a frozen yogurt dish, fill it halfway with the vinegar of your choice, and blend with a fork. Then slowly drizzle in your olive oil while whisking with the fork until the mixture has thickened and attained that sexy sheen we were aiming for. Seasoning here can be as simple as adding in a dash of salt and pepper, but for a well-rounded vinaigrette, some sort of sweetener should be added to the mixture before the oil. This can be honey, sugar, or for a more autumnal flair, maple syrup. I can’t give exact measurements, since vinaigrette ratios are a matter of taste. Precision is of little importance. Play with the ratios and figure out what you like. The “official” ratio for oil to vinegar is 3:1, but I actually prefer something more like 1:2. So that’s it. You now have the methodology for what is a staple to all of my meals at Harvard. I generally stick with a balsamic or red wine vinegar and mustard combo, but rice wine vinegar can be used for some interesting Asian-inspired dressings. This can be slightly more complex, but I’m pretty sure I’ve lectured more about vinaigrettes than you ever though you needed to know...for now. Look out for DIY D-Hall Dressings Part Deux.


the voice

Bags a The Bundle: best bags for classes by Suzanna Bobadilla ‘13


ith an earlier start to Harvard’s school year, most students have been soaking up their last amounts of Vitamin D while they still have a chance. Walking across the Yard, we couldn’t help but noticing the vivid colors strewn across the grass. No, not the new lawn furniture, but the different bags that help books get from here to there. Here’s our review of some this season’s staples.

Jansport Backpacks -- $25.00-$45.00 Photo courtesy of Kolby Kirk



Timbuk2 Messenger Bags--$55.00-$200.00 Photo courtesy of


Le Pliage from Longchamp -$180.00 Photo courtesy of The Better Bag Lady

Pro: One of the most popular bags on campus, it can make the oversized sweatshirt/ leggings look a bit more sophisticated. Its simple design allows it to transcend outfits with ease.

Con: Longchamps have a tendency to become infinite abysses. Nothing less sophisticated than trying to continue a conversation about French literature while simultaneously fishing your keys and ID out of a bottomless bag.


Highly rated, Timbuk2 Messenger Bags make it easy to get your hands on your reading without the unsightly effort of unzipping your backpack while it’s still hanging on your shoulder. The “Build Your Own” online option provides a great way to personalize your bag

While your inner Newsie might be thrilled that you’re one step closer to becoming Jack “Cowboy” Kelly, your spine won’t be as enthusiastic. Those Newsies may have had some great dance moves, but probably developed significant back problems.


Urban Outfitters—Deux Lux Twist Bag—$68.00 Photo courtesy of Urban Outfitters

Con: As it is an Urban product, the bag will inevitably break and with your luck, at the worst possible moment.

Although most of us are past our awkward middle school days, these bags still harbor their signature ninetydegree angle shape. It might work for Dora the Explorer, but something less rectangular can also do the trick.

Northface Backpacks -- $55.00-$150.00 Thrift Store Finds

For those who wish to be a little more discreet while lugging books across campus, Urban Outfitters offers great options that are both functional and trendy.

A throwback to the good old days of naptime, graham crackers, and apple juice, these backpacks still retain their reliable functionality. With new designs, however, Jansport is being given a new distinct edge.

Photo courtesy of photobucket inc.

Pro: Recession friendly as well as environmentally friendly! I may be partial due to my own $10 leather satchel, but there is nothing like the gratification of finding an awesome item at an awesome price. (See the article on building a recession-friendly wardrobe.)

Con: The reason why there is such a rush when you finally find a great bag at a thrift store is because you are relieved from the frustration of digging through the massive pile of miscellaneous items. If you are heading to Goodwill with a specific item in mind, good luck. Chances are you’re not going to find it.

Photo courtesy of Sun and Ski Sports



Northface backpacks are some of the highestranked and recommended bags by the 2009 Consumer Reports review. Some models also have a buckle that doubles as a “Safe-T” whistle, which is a nice feature while you’re heading back from Lamont late at night. It also can be used to remind that group of tourists that some people do need to get to class.

Always embarrassing when your bungee cord gets caught on random items (desks, chairs, and the Science Center’s revolving doors) Also, it’s indistinguishable from the other hundred Northface backpacks in your Life Science lecture.

So the next time you’re sitting in lecture, desperately attempting to stay awake, take a look around you and check out the bags stuffed between the seats. Keep a tally and see who among your friends can be the first to get to thirty Longchamps. And of course, a murse (man-purse) wins you 100 bonus points.



thevoice voice the


by Lena Chen and Christine Yu

e b u L f o e Introducing Sex Ed, a series co-authore r the Lov

Part 1: Fo


nyone who has ever taken basic physics, which is a graduation requirement at MIT, can tell you that friction is the archnemesis of motion. Friction opposes motion, and whenever bodies are in contact a la intercourse, there will be friction. Some friction is a good thing, but too much can lead to painful consequences. When that happens, the result isn’t pleasant for either partner. Usually there’s a chain reaction: if a partner goes dry, the other partner goes soft. Many a virgin has botched an attempt at losing it because of too much friction. Luckily, most women naturally lubricate during arousal. Even then, it can only go so far. For the more adventurous, natural lubrication doesn’t do anything to help anal sex. Attempting anal for the first time without the use of synthetic lube sounds as painful as natural childbirth. Lube isn’t just for anal sex, though, which prompted me to learn more about it. Among all the sexual health items out there, lube

d by Lena Chen, a Harvard senior, and Christine Yu, a MIT sophomore, who have joined forces to enlighten their respective student bodies on the best products with which to stock their nightstands. Christine, who discusses the sex lives of geeks in her column Nerdy & Flirty, will explain the science behind these love potions while Lena, writer of the infamous ‘Sex and the Ivy’ blog, dispenses wisdom based on her experience scaling the figurative Ivory Tower. From condoms to lubes to vibrators to novelty sex toys, they’ll test tried-and-true favorites, drugstore brands, and high-end labels to give you the inside scoop on what goes best between Ivy knees…

isn’t usually considered a necessity. If anything, it’s a luxury item. Condoms are usually lubricated, and some consider that enough. With all my previous random hookups, I can’t say that I’ve ever encountered a guy who kept a bottle of lube at hand. If I had, I would’ve thought it was just “lube at first site.” Or, I would’ve run away in terror. Thinking back on it, the first time I tried lube, I actually developed a rather nasty yeast infection, which was enough to keep me away for over a year. The drugstore brands of lubricants are almost always water-based, such as KY Jelly. This has its benefits in that it dries up afterwards. However, it can also mean that it doesn’t last as long. For this reason, it is a really bad idea to use them during anal sex. For those insi stent on a drugstore brand for anal usage, try Astroglide, but stay away from the warming version. Those brave enough to venture into an “adult” store (or use the Internet) will find that there are many


more options in the world of lubricants. Silicone based lubricants not only last longer, but are also not difficult to clean with a baby wipe or towel. And since they’re so easy to clean, silicone lubes are much better for anal usage. The wetness still feels natural, and the friction-protection lasts. However, some of these lubricants can smell of burning rubber, a surefire mood-killer. Then there’s the problem of sex toys: most sex toys are silicone, and silicone-based lubes with silicone toys leads to silicone bonding to itself. The result is your favorite toy ending up a gummy mess. For those hesitant about chemicals, there are also vegan and organic lubricants that usually fall somewhere in between. When judging lubes, one should consider the factors of dry-out, smell, and stickiness. No one wants to constantly reapply lube, just as no one wants to smell like burnt rubber. With all these options out there, what’s a college student to do? Here’s our take on a few of the products on the market. --Christine Yu


Aqua Waterbased, $16.99 for 3.4 oz Pjur Original Bodyglide $24.00 for 3.4 oz

Lena: Though I’m not one to encourage herd mentality, Pjur Original is the bestselling silicone-based lubricant in the world, and in this case, it makes sense to follow the masses. Unlike its competitors, Pjur doesn’t include aphrodisiacs or scents in its lubricants, but that’s fine by me, since I’m more interested in the actual lubrication than I am in froufrou additions. Pjur Original and Aqua, its water-based formula, are two of my favorite lubricants because they never dry out but don’t get sticky either. (Trust me, I tried rubbing some between my palms and the lube was entirely absorbed by my skin.) The German company (pronounced “pure” not “puh-jour”) has an extensive product line with specially formulated lubricants for an array of activities and participants (men, women, anal sex, etc.). As a plus, bottles come in a sleek, cylindrical designs so minimalist that they could be mistaken for shaving cream. If you’re easily embarrassed about the contents of your shopping basket, this is as discreet as it gets.

Grade: A Christine: I had never tried silicone-based lube until Pjur, and honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect. This brand has converted me into an avid silicone lube user. With silicone lubes, you can use less, as they’re more concentrated. A little bit lasts, even in the water-based version, and there’s also no scent. It’s not sticky, and it’s gentle. It makes the sex smooth, without adding any strange sensations. It came off easily afterwards, and I thought my skin even felt softer. Honestly, it is just lube, plain and simple: I would call it the most no bullshit lube out there.

Grade: A


the voice


Empowered Products

Pink Silicone Lubricant, $15.99 for 3.3 oz Gun Oil $12.95 for 4 oz

Lena: Empowered Products has two product lines, Pink for women and Gun Oil for men, which come in silicone- and water-based varieties. The men’s line claims to have been developed by a group of marines who based the formula on the military-issue gun oil they used to jerk off with “while hunkered down in the trenches of Kuwait” during Operation Desert Storm. Upon scent and touch, this just seems like your standard unscented, no-nonsense lubricant to me, but longer usage demonstrates that Gun Oil was made to last. A dollop of the stuff, which has a justthick-enough consistency, is enough to keeps thing slippery without the need for constant reapplication. Pink, which is slightly thinner, is even more economical. Just a few drops of it will do.

Grade: B Christine: I love the bottle design for Pink, and it’s recommend by many women’s magazines. However, I find that Pink requires me to use a little bit more than I would expect from a silicone-based product. While the bottle design is cute for Pink, it’s easy to get hardened residue clogging the nozzle. I thought these products were inconsistent in their textures across their lines. I liked Gun Oil the best: not sticky or thick. I wouldn’t mind having this as my go-to lube. However, some of the Pinks were thin, and others made up for this by being slightly gloopy.

Grade: A-

this was the only lube on the market, and I just gave up on lube afterwards. It was such a pain to have to constantly reapply it during sex, and then I would feel even more dried out than I was to begin with. Honestly, I’m not sure there’s anything nice I can say about this brand. On second thought, it doesn’t really smell of anything, but it doesn’t really do anything either.

Grade: D


Kama Sutra

Love Liquid Water Based, $11.99 for 3.4 fl. oz.

Lena: Try to ignore the cheesy name and focus on the fact that you can score a bottle of bliss for under $15. Though the bulk of Kama Sutra products are romance-related items like massage oil and body paint (to be reviewed in an upcoming installment), they’re also the makers of a stand-out lubricant. Love Liquid blows its over-the-counter counterparts away with an easily absorbable formula perfect for gliding and sliding without leaving behind gooey remainders. Indian magic at work? Probably not, but I’ll settle for what I can get.

Grade: B+


KY Jelly

Personal Lubricant $5.50 for 2.5 oz

Lena: Often considered the go-to drugstore brand, KY Jelly is unfortunately all hype and no substance. Like Trojan condoms (which we’ll be reviewing in the condom edition of this series), KY Jelly has done a remarkable job of pushing its products and, as a result, is the most successful lubricant brand on the market. But take it from someone who once braved the CVS checkout line at age 16 with a bottle of KY Warming Liquid in hand: STAY AWAY. I spent years defaulting to KY because I knew no other brands, and I can tell you that you might as well save your money and go for a tub of Vaseline. KY products don’t last long enough for anal but are way too much for vaginal sex. They have a tendency to dry out fast, feel extremely thick (perhaps because they were originally meant for surgical use -- take that as you will), and will become a sticky, gummy mess. I’m giving KY a C-, but I am after all a student at Harvard, the land of grade inflation and Gentleman’s Bs, so I think we all know what this grade really means.

Grade: CChristine: KY Jelly is the first lube I’ve ever tried. It was supposed to help make sex less painful, and instead, I got a nasty yeast infection. My naïve high school self believed

Christine: Love Liquid is a water-based lubricant that has a good consistency. It’s not too thick, and it’s not too sticky either. There’s also no strong scent. The bottle claims it’s lightly textured, but I didn’t notice any texture. I’m not sure that I would enjoy texture either, as that implies more friction. I’m not a fan of grooved or twisted condoms, but I realize that some people enjoy these products. If you’re looking for texture, I didn’t notice it here. However, for a reliable water-based lube, I would recommend this.

Grade: B+


Hathor Aphrodisia

Lubricant Pure, $22.00 for 4 oz.

Lena: I really wanted to like this one, and at first, I did. Unscented and vegan-friendly, Hathor Aphrodisia’s Lubricant Pure initially reminded me of Pjur because it obeys the cardinal rule of lube: slippery,

not sticky. Unfortunately, after giving Lubricant Pure a few goes, I was sold on its claims of being “soothing and gentle” and decided to apply it quite liberally during a sex session a few days after a painful gynecology appointment. I don’t know if it was my scarred cervix (poor thing) or the formula’s Horny Goat Weed, an aphrodisiac, but the burning sensation that resulted was

...continued on page 24


the voice

THE QUAD: Bad or Rad? Krysia Lenzo ‘12 weighs the pros and cons of being Quadded, one year later.


he majority of freshmen think of the Radcliffe Quadrangle as a far off place in the middle of nowhere in which people’s lives are controlled by a lowly shuttle and its I’M IN THE QUAD It doesn’t hurt anymore to call this home, sweet home. schedule. Or at least that was my impression Photo by Alex Savona ‘12 of the Quad when I first heard I was sentenced be about 20 to 25 minutes. The key is owning a bike, Razor Scooter, or there. Ironically enough, on housing night, my roommates and I felt sorry for our friend’s blocking group that had found skateboard. By bike, the Quad is only about three minutes from Harvard out early they were living in Pforzheimer House. Little did we know that Yard and five minutes from the river. Plus, living in the Quad provides you with a built-in exercise routine perfect for those hoping to drop the freshshortly after we would meet the same fate. When we were placed in PfoHo, nobody was thrilled. One of us, man fifteen gained by living in Canaday. who will remain nameless, had never even seen the Quad in person until Even though the Quad Houses are further from the yard than Adams or after housing day. But luckily, we made a concerted effort to look at the Eliot House, there are upsides to living in what could be considered the situation with a glass-half-full mentality. Quickly deciding to embrace our Cambridge ‘burbs. For one, the Quad rooms tend to be more spacious and new house, we all changed our status updates to “PFOHOOOO” or to the cleaner than the houses on the river. For the most part, students get n+1 YouTube video “I’m In the Quad,” a spoof on Andy Sandberg’s “I’m On A housing with singles, something you may never have if you live in a river Boat.” I think the so-called “undesirable” houses all have YouTube videos house. Regardless of distance, the to ease the pain. quad remains one of the most In some ways, the peaceful areas on campus. LoQuad does live up to its negacated in the residential part of tive reputation. So far, I would Cambridge, it serves as an escape categorize my relationship with from the Yard’s daily hectic comthe shuttle as abusive. On a motion. One could compare the night a few weekends ago when Quad to a relaxing resort. Howthe shuttle was filled to its maxever, that doesn’t mean that stuimum capacity, I was pushed so dents living there become quiet closely against the doors that hermits who have no social lives. they opened violently onto my The room parties may not be like arm, leaving me physically and the ones in DeWolfe, but parties mentally bruised. On that same in the “Bell Tower” in PfoHo or night, I also witnessed a guy the “Ten-Man” suite in Currier with a handle of vodka taped to House are more baller than you’d his hand try to outrun the shutimagine. And if you have five SBOY QUA BOY To Quadlings, texting Shuttle Boy tle. But I digress. is like second-nature. friends and there is no shuttle, it While keeping conPhoto by Alex Savona ‘12 only costs you $1 dollar each to stant tabs on the shuttle is inget back from the finals clubs by credibly annoying, it’s really the cab. only downside of living in the Quad. And it’s really not even that bad. The By no means is the Quad a convenient place to live, but its upsides 414-11 Shuttle Boy texting service has actually become sort of fun, with its own set of weird alien lingo. The process is this: to get to any stop, you balance out its downsides. Your Eliot House friends will never experience type “sboy” and then the first three letters of where you are and where you the power and relief you feel when you are actually able to stop the shuttle are going. For example, a text of “Sboy qua boy” gets you a schedule of a by simply raising an arm. Ultimately, The Quad’s sense of togetherness shuttle from the Quad to Boylston Gate, depending on one’s origin and rivals that of any other houses on campus. Shannon Purcell ’12 expressed destination. It makes sense, except to someone who steals your phone in it perfectly: “At first, I thought people were lying about the sense of community that exists in the Quad. But now, I do feel like a member of the Cambridge Commons. It’s a Quad thing, I guess. For slow walkers, the distance from the Quad to the Yard may Quad community.”


the voice


Q&A with Joel Derfner:

The Gayest Man Ever by Henry Woodward-Fisher ‘12 Joel Derfner ‘95 is not your conventional Harvard graduate. After fleeing the South as soon as he possibly could, he received a B.A. in Linguistics from Harvard. A year after he graduated, his thesis on the Abkhaz language was shown to be completely wrong, as the word he had been translating as “who” turned out to be not a noun but a verb. Realizing that linguistics was not his métier, he moved to New York to get an M.F.A. in musical theater writing from the Tisch School of the Arts. He subsequently became the author of the acclaimed book Gay Haiku and more recently, Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever and What Ended Up Happening Instead. Thus, it seems there still lies hope for those of us who seem super-glued to a career path. We thank Derfner for losing linguistics so he could write lines like these, from Gay Haiku: My seventh birthday; I weep at Barbie’s Dream House. How could you not know? Derfner’s opening words to an over-the-phone interview are not surprising. “I’m alright, I’m sitting here. I’m knitting a wallet,” he states matter-offactly. “It seems to be going fairly easily so far—it’s lavender.” Elton John offers a very witty foreword to Swish; this foreword is quite clearly a feature that stands out to any gay man--in fact, to anyone--regardless of sexuality. How did you actually manage to get a foreword by Elton John? The book came out and it wasn’t doing as well people hoped it would, and Random House was going to sell the paperback rights – y’know, it was just bad. Then I got an email that said: “Dear Joel, I’ve been asked by Sir Elton John to contact you, because he read your book and absolutely loved it and would love to talk with you! What’s your phone number?” and I was like – “Yeah right!” It was signed: “So and so, personal hairdresser to Elton John.” And I was like, can you be serious? Just ridiculous. So I couldn’t sleep in the middle of the night, and I thought--what if he really means it? So I sent in my number and the next day Elton John called me and gushed about my book, and said he’d be happy to help in anyway he could. The road to becoming the gayest man ever must be both advantages and disadvantages; how compatible would such a lifestyle be with the Harvard environment? Well, I think it’s essentially compatible with the Harvard lifestyle in that it’s a quest to be better than everybody else, to be more excellent than everyone else. That’s what Harvard students do right? The story in the book about me having lunch with my editor and him saying, “Oh, you could write a book about that,” is completely true. Most of the book is completely true; I mean, not the bit about how I committed hara-kiri – shockingly, the blades were very dull.

y‘95 is the ga Joel Derfner If it. t ou ab s FABULOUS d writes book an er ev ! is an t wha est m we don’t know that’s not fab,

How would the book have turned out if it was called Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Harvard Man Ever? Probably the same, because I’m really obnoxious and name drop Harvard like twenty times in the book. Which I really didn’t wanna do…okay, let me think about the question that you’re actually asking. I don’t think my personality was formed enough yet, not that my personality is formed now! You can ask my boyfriend and my therapist. I don’t think I was mature enough when I was at Harvard to be able to focus like that. The book basically looks at all these stereotypes of gay men, and it’s obvious there’s some truth in that, but it’s not like you wake up one morning and you’re like, “Oh I’m gay, I guess I have to develop an interest in aerobics.” However, when I was 18, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was interested in everything. Post-university life and life in college are two very different experiences. How do you feel this transition translates between being out as gay at Harvard and following graduation? It’s no different. For me, it’s no different. I live in New York, I live in a gay city, I work in gay fields, everyone I know is gay, everyone related to everyone I know is gay. [laughter] People actually have to come out to me as straight! Like the aerobics instructor, I asked him out and he was like, “Actually, I’m, erm, straight.” “What? Er, what are you doing here?” So for me there really was no difference between being gay at Harvard. Though if I remember correctly, I was one of two out students when we got there. What do you think is the most fabulous to come out to your friends and family? Oh my God! The most fabulous way? It would involve feathers, the Weather Girls’ ‘It’s Raining Men’, and lots and lots of fake diamonds. I mean…do people have to come out anymore? Some people do still actually have to come out. Oh they do? Well, I came out to my parents when I was fifteen. They may very well be the only people, they and a few other people, that I ever came out to. Otherwise it was just obvious. I mean, come on! For some people, though, it’s not all that obvious. The defined comingout experience is still a prevailing model. What are the best ways to deal with issues such as self-insecurities and coming-out related anxieties?

...continued on page 12


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BitchGrams…You bitch. I respond. Dear BitchGrams, As a result, I can My room this year has very thin walls. adjoining entryway say. hear everything my neighbors in the ause they talk about Sometimes it is extremely awkward bec would want anyone else personal issues that I don’t think they annoying when I am to hear. It can also be distracting and t about asking them trying to study or sleep... I have though m know that I can hear to not talk as loudly, or at least let the and I think I’ve missed everything they say, but I’m a coward tell them I’ve been listenmy window of opportunity. Now, if I the day we moved in, ing in on all their conversations since ing told them sooner. they’ll think I’m a creeper for not hav ’re so uncomfortable and I’ve tried wearing earplugs, but they year like this. I don’t want to have to live the whole

Sadly yours, Earplugs ial Creeper Who Desperately Hates



Dear Unintentional Creeper, LISten. Nobody wants to hear about a roommate’s awkward crush on her dreamy physics TF, or just how awesome heavyweight crew really is. But you need to be willing to get a little braver or you had better invest in some good headphones. If knocking on the wall is ineffective, here are some alternatives. 1. Leave Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” blasting on repeat for an afternoon (voted the 13th worst song ever by Blender and VH1). 2. Join in! Start making awkward comments through the wall. Neighbors: “Do you think eating meat is really ethical?” You: “OH MY GOD, THIS STEAK IS DELICIOUS.” 3. Or, if you really can’t stomach an awkward confrontation, get someone else to do the dirty work for you. Ask your proctor/tutor to remind everyone about quiet hours or to have a talking-to with your noisy neighbors. (Pansy.)

Mucho Love, BitchGrams Need to bitch? Please don’t do it on your phone in Lamont Café. Confidentially email


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A Small World? studying abroad and the Harvard problem

by Qichen Zhang ‘12


long with a liberated and riotous freshman year, the abrupt wake-up call to the academic demands of college, and learning how to deal with being sexiled by a roommate, studying abroad is often considered to be a key element of the college experience. In accordance with modern western cultural values of global awareness, many college graduates who study overseas during their undergraduate years deem their time abroad as necessary to achieve a fulfilling post-secondary education. At Harvard, however, a different culture exists. Only a small handful of students decide to leave the gated community in Cambridge each year, most preferring to spend time abroad during the summer, oftentimes not in language immersion programs. Some have been eager to point the finger at the university’s administration, citing the authoritative discouragement the student body feels. The Office of International Programs only lists five exchange programs that Harvard itself runs with partner schools, which include the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (better known as Sciences Po) in Paris and Uppsala University in Sweden. Contrarily, the university seems to push students toward Harvard Summer School programs, many of which include research-oriented weeks abroad interspersed with cultural excursions rather than language immersion courses. Harvard’s surprisingly small number of offerings could very well stem from lack of student interest. But it’s not completely unreasonable that people would choose not to take advantage of their international opportunities given that the Faculty of Arts and Sciences departments are notoriously stingy when it comes to accepting credit from foreign universities (or any university that’s not Harvard, for that matter). Greg Gilroy, a junior economics concentrator who chose to study in Florence, Italy through a program at the University of Minnesota, did not take a single economics class during his year in Europe. “I was not able to get any of my classes approved by the economics

department.” Instead, Gilroy completed courses in Italian language, culture, and European history. Others, however, have succeeded in petitioning for concentration credit. History and Literature concentrator Odelia Younge ’11 found her department extremely open to accepting her Spanish literature, film, and history courses from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid as part of her interdisciplinary academic track. “I am getting credit toward my concentration—despite being History and Literature in the American field,” Younge noted. Hansae Catlett ‘11, a junior studying biomedical engineering, also received a credit toward his concentration with a course in engineering design at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Catlett added that he “also got one core knocked off.” So why do so few students study abroad? Jessica Erickson ‘10, a Psychology concentrator who spent a year at Pontificia Universidad Católica in Santiago, Chile last year, sympathized with the common sentiment that most of her peers feel when considering a year away from the university: “I think most people feel that they are going to get behind some way or miss out on something, which is too bad since that's not the case at all.” Anna Raginskaya ‘11, a History of Art and Architecture concentrator, also noticed this widespread trend. “I think this is because spending a semester away from Harvard at an academic institution that is not very strong may indeed be perceived as a loss,” commented Raginskaya, who is currently studying art history and finance at Universita Bocconi in Milan, Italy. But many who forgo a semester or two to escape the cruel New England winter found themselves missing what they had initially wanted to get away from. While studying abroad, many students realize the plentiful resources Harvard offers, and the constant and notoriously Harvard-style complaining that obscures the reality of the university’s generosity in terms of funding, establishment, and general conveniences. “My perspective [of Harvard] hasn’t changed

“My perspective [of Harvard] hasn’t changed much. I still view it as an amazing place of learning and opportunity. Now, I’m just taking more advantage of those opportunities.” -- Hansae Catlett ‘11



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much,” Catlett said. “I still view it as an amazing place of learning and opportunity. Now, I’m just taking more advantage of those opportunities.” Undoubtedly, students who experience life at another university abroad draw their own conclusions after comparing the advantages with those of Harvard. “I took for granted the availability of textbooks, the Coop, the amazing libraries, and computer labs,” Erickson recollected about her time at Pontificia Universidad Católica. “In Chile, I would have to wait about an hour in line to photocopy all of my reading materials every week. I missed the organization and dependability that Harvard offers.” As far as social life goes, it’s a mixed bag. Gilroy, a member of the lacrosse team, mentioned that he missed “hanging out with teammates and Final Clubs.” Catlett had a different take, however: “I didn’t miss the redundant social scene or the long nights working on problem sets or essays.” Younge also cited the omnipresent stress of Harvard as something she was happy to remove herself from. “Studying abroad is a lot more relaxing, that’s for sure. The environment is more laid back. I do not miss the stress that sometimes goes along with being on campus and starting classes.” Kristin Ohanian ’11, who decided to go abroad in an untraditional route by applying to an external program, Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), was quick to mention a less frenetic pace of work and life as a favorable impression of her time at the University of Amsterdam. “The libraries here closed at eight, so no Lamont all-nighters, that’s for sure!” Perhaps the gaping hole in communication can explain why more students are not taking advantage of studying abroad. Harvard’s financial aid office offers assistance to those going abroad, sometimes more so than if they were staying on campus. According to Raginskaya’s experience with cooperating with the financial aid office, “[they will] write you a check for any extra money you will need as dictated by your budget.” Additionally, the faculty seems to welcome the idea of pursuing academics elsewhere, allowing those who explore outside of the brick-lined confines of the Yard to come back with perhaps greater worldly wisdom. “If a student states clearly that they want to go abroad, I feel like most departments would bend over backwards to make that happen,” said Younge. Harvard kids just have one problem to resolve. “It's important to not fall into a trap of thinking you are the best and brightest,” said Raginskaya. “Going abroad and meeting so many new people will easily show you how many things you do not know.”

“Gayest Man Ever ” Continued from page 9... Medication, and then eating and then exercise. But, really medication is all you need. Whatever anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication works for you. I think so much of that is caused by deeper anxieties, insecurities and self-loathing that really have nothing to do with what our bodies actually look like, if you can just take drugs until you stop hating yourself. It sounds like a resolved situation then. What about dating experiences at Harvard? There were truly none. I don’t know if it’s different now, but nobody really dated. We were all too driven. What do you think are the actual chances of finding your husband- or wife-to-be in this way? “Oh, we met in a bathroom stall in Lamont!” is not what you really want to tell your grandchildren. Unless, erm, maybe it is. I think online is terrific for sex. It’s sort of guaranteed, people aren’t flakes and maybe at Harvard they could be. In New York, they’re basically not. However, it is entirely possible: I met my boyfriend, now of seven years, online. There were about four seconds when there were gay social networking sites that weren’t about sex, and it was on one of those sites that I met Mike; if we were in Iowa we would be fiancées.

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A Guide to Building a Recession-Friendly Wardrobe

Stores to Check Out 1. Oona’s

1210 Massachusetts Ave. Mon-Sat: 11am – 7pm, Sun: 12pm – 6pm

by Stephanie O’Connell ‘13

Even though Harvard’s endowment is going down the tubes, your fashion sense doesn’t have to.


n case you have been living in a hole for the past twelve plus months, The Voice would like to remind you that we are living in a recession. Even though Bernanke tells us the worst has probably passed, he can’t deny that our wallets are considerably lighter heading into a new fashion season. While Harvard might be implementing some less than favorable budget cuts this semester, we want to make sure that your wardrobe is still looking fun and fabulous for fall. So here is a list of places to shop and tips to keep in mind while searching for the perfect outfit that will ensure that the cutie sitting next to you in your Chem lecture keeps his eyes on you— not Facebook. Because hell, as long as we are tightening our belts, let’s make sure we’re wearing a cute one.


great deals from closet-sized vintage stores and consignment shops (see ‘Stores to Check Out’ panel for examples of places all within walking distance because we know you’ve been saving your money for shopping, not transportation). These stores are great for timeless, high-quality pieces and the crazy-cool stand-outs that will make your outfits memorable. When browsing the racks, don’t be afraid to ask a sales associate for help— most of them have a lot of knowledge about secondhand clothing and are super stylish to boot! Harvard fashionista and frequent vintage shopper Colleen O’Brien ’11 suggests that newbie vintageshoppers should remember to “shop often” and keep an open mind. “If you

“If you go into a store looking for that red Marc Jacobs dress you saw in a magazine three years ago, you’re going to be disappointed. Don’t go in with expectations, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised!” -- Colleen O’Brien ‘11

The tag line of Oona’s, a Harvard Square staple, is “experienced clothing” which is exactly what they provide. While their men’s and women’s vintage clothing may not be as exciting or extensive as other stores, there are definitely hidden gems to be found—especially for those looking for accessories or jewelry. Their inventory is constantly changing, and it is a great place to browse with a friend. Not to mention, their selection of vintage items and accessories are great for dressing up, so don’t forget to check them out before choosing your Halloween costume this year!

2. Raspberry Beret

1704 Massachusetts Ave. Sun-Tue: 11am – 6pm, Wed-Fri: 11am – 8pm, Sat: 10am – 8pm

1. Rework your wardrobe us-

ing the summer dresses you bought last spring by adding a simple cardigan with a skinny belt combination for the fall. Add leggings and boots once the leaves have fallen. Showing off your legs is in this year, so don’t pack away your shorts just yet—instead buy a pair of printed tights, pair them with last year’s blazer and an old wool sweater, and you’re golden. An easy way to make an old outfit look new is with accessories. As Anastasia Walhovd ’13 points out, “What else spices up a basic get-up more than a good scarf, pair of earrings, or funky hat?” If you don’t like these ideas, most fashion magazines are running print and online features on how to turn your summery looks into the perfect fall outfit with the help of a few simple staples. Trust us, the four dollars you will spend at the Out of Town News Stand for the latest copy of InStyle is a much better deal than buying an entirely new outfit at the Tannery for Friday’s party.

2. Stop drooling over this season’s Diane von Furstenberg prints and buy vintage! Harvard Square is packed with

go Easily the most extensive vintage/ consignment store in the area, this Porter Square shop is a gem. On any given day, you’ll find anything from the perfect dress for your next formal for less than twenty dollars to the haute couture pair of flats every woman dreams of owning. With such an extensive selection, it may require more digging than you are used to in order to find something worthwhile, but once you do, you will certainly be a convert.

into a store looking for that red Marc Jacobs dress you saw in a magazine three years ago, you’re going to be disappointed. Don’t go in with photos by Grace Sun ‘13


14 LIFESTYLE More Stores

the voice expectations, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised!”

3. While shopping may be your favorite pastime, remem3. Second Time Around

8 Eliot St. (and other locations throughout the Boston area) Mon-Fri: 11am – 8 pm, Sat: 10am – 8pm, Sun: 12pm – 6pm

ber that buying isn’t everything. Borrow clothes from your roommate or blockmate who is the same size as you. (You can return the favor by lending them some fun items too.) When you go home for Thanksgiving take a look through your parents’ closets—you never know, you might find that your dad’s old briefcase would make a perfect bookbag or the jeweled ring in the back of your mom’s drawer would look brand new as a charm on a necklace. Sure, owning your own pair of pumps or buying the latest fad bag might seem more enticing, but the best part of these options is that everything is free!

4. Take holidays to completely organize your closet and

Perfect for all Harvard women who love labels but are noticing their wallets feeling a little lighter this semester, Second Time Around has a great location and great selection of women’s secondhand clothing. The sales staff is friendly and stylish, and it is easy to find what you are looking for in the super-organized racks. From the wall full of designer jeans a quarter of their original price, to gently worn cashmere sweaters and designer jackets, this shop is great for buying and also a perfect place if you want to try out a little consignment of your own.

pick out items that you could sell on eBay or to a local consignment shop (see ‘Stores to Check Out’ panel for some ideas). It might be hard parting with your favorite pair of jeans from your senior year in high school, but let’s be real—the freshman fifteen was a little more like the freshman twenty, and if you haven’t managed to be able to get the zipper up in two years, they probably aren’t worth holding onto any longer. Rachael Bankay from Raspberry Beret, a consignment shop in Porter Square, highly suggests that students stop by her shop if they have clothes they are looking to part from. “We are always looking for gently used, current season, women’s clothing from most popular brands such as BCBG, Abercrombie, and J. Crew… It’s an easy way to purge some items and make a few dollars to spend on new clothes.”

4.Vintage Revenge 1105 Massachusetts Ave. Mon-Sun: 12pm – 7pm

5. Urban Outfitters Bargain Basement 11 J.F.K. Street Mon-Fri: 10am – 10pm, Sat: 10am – 11pm, Sun: 12pm – 8pm

This new vintage shop just down the road from the Yard has only been open for two months, but the owner, Denise, has been in the business for eleven years. Her store is filled with all the items for both men and women you can imagine, and more: real cowboy boots perfect for a square dance; 80’s Ferragamo pumps that make you want to listen to “Thriller”; costume jewelry rings the size of a golf ball; and 70’s prints perfect for the next showing of Love Story. Everything in the store is in great condition, already dry-cleaned, washed and repaired. While the price tags might be a little higher than other stores in the area, the items are worth it. Denise suggests coming back frequently as she is “constantly bringing in new things” to the already packed store.


Everything found in the Bargain Basement of the popular retail store is fifty percent off— and not just half off of the original price, half of the lowest ticketed price. So that skirt from the window display you fell in love with three weeks ago but didn’t have the fifty dollars to splurge on is now not just thirty percent off, it is another fifty percent off of that. Yes. Yes, you go to Harvard and can do the math in your head. That skirt is now a mere $17.50!

5. Finally, don’t be afraid to splurge on a staple item every

once in a while. It’s okay to drop 500 dollars on the perfect pair of Frye boots that you have been coveting for the past two winters—you know that you will wear them enough to be worth every dollar. According to Denise, owner of Vintage Revenge, a new vintage shop in Cambridge, “A statement piece that you love and will make you stand out in a crowd is always worth dipping into your savings for.” Just make sure that you don’t use this logic to buy leather boots, J Brand jeans, a new designer bag, etc., etc. If Harvard can sacrifice hot breakfast in upperclassman houses but still shell out the money for the dozens of cute new lawn chairs covering the Yard, those boots can be yours as long as you remember to pinch your pennies elsewhere.


the voice


Photo by Nikki Anderson ‘10

by John Paul Jones ‘12 Call me a hopeless romantic, but I am a fan of the bromance. Shakespeare’s Veronese Valentine and Proteus, in their loving pursuits of Silvia and Julia, are one of my favorite examples of a bromance. They’re both heterosexual. They’re both deeply in love—not with each other—and they pass countless hours talking about their beloveds and making life plans. But they’re really just friends, so what’s the big deal? This kind of close, nonsexual friendship between two men has existed, I’m sure, throughout human history. Only recently, however, has it been christened with a hint of homoeroticism. The obvious combination of “brother” and “romance” sometimes provokes a quick denial of homosexuality: “Yeah, we’re bros—no homo.” It’s fine for bros to be really close (or even to have pet names), but don’t expect them to hang out with self-proclaimed “Gay Pimp” Jonny McGovern. In a broader context, the bromance also elicits more than $100 million worldwide at the theater. The stoner flick Pineapple Express, in which Seth Rogen and James Franco play Mary Jane’s bromancing lovers, is one of the recent signs that bromances have become acceptable in mainstream media—and therefore, in the youth culture that both creates and emulates those media. Depicting the bromance is a rather daring move, especially given the homophobic attitudes that pervade much of our culture. It’s even

more daring to live it. in the modern bromance, then, is an acknowledgForget actors whose al- ment of homosexuality. This acknowledgement is legedly gay orientations the reason for phrases like “no homo.” ) o constantly serve as gos- Maybe I’m giving undue credit, but I see (no hom sip rag fodder: millions a certain value in this acknowledgement of hoof college-age men are involved in bromances. At mosexuality. At its core, the bromance has some Harvard, the phenomenon is similar. One pair homoerotic elements. Does this combination of might play hockey together; maybe another met acknowledgement and homoeroticism constiin Justice section. Regardless of how they came tute acceptance? No, but especially for people who together, they’re close friends, they’re emotionally strive to be politically correct, it is socially expedisupportive—or sometimes needy—and they’re ent to show tolerance of queer orientations. not planning to break up anytime soon. Translation: “We’re not gay, but we’re Perhaps what keeps these pairs together not going to change our behavior for fear of being is a long, twisted precedent of defined male sexu- called gay.” ality. Especially in American society, many men I’m not saying that Dale Denton and Saul strive to live up to gender roles, no matter how Silver are on the front lines of queer rights activcontrived they are—a phenomenon paralleled in ism. (On the other hand, out and proud actor Neil fiction. In Hollywood, male leads almost invari- Patrick Harris is notorious for his bromancing ably play heterosexual characters with clearly de- characters.) But this cute cultural phenomenon fined sexual values. James Bond, for example, that validates sincere affection between two men the classic embodiment of masis one example of how culinity, never fails to save the queerness is starting to world and land the prettiest gain visibility. Two unwoman around; Superman, related men can now a more demure character, publicly express afpoetically and silently falls fection, and plenty in love with Lois Lane. So of people won’t far, no bros on the side. think twice about EnterBrokeback it. This tendency Mountain, a tale of two toward acceptance closeted lovers who both of male-male affecembrace gender norms tion is a sign that, out of necessity and to some extent, gay violate them out of love. relationships are beThe blockbuster success coming normalized. of this film helped bring Of course, that says homosexual relationships little for America’s into public attention, and often stagnant disI LOVE YOU, MAN In that broseph-y way. Mostly. the film certainly did not regard for transgenPhoto by Nikki Anderson ‘10 follow the precedent set by der rights, same-sex queer cinema. Brokeback adoption, and a host Mountain earned a mainstream audience—not a of other queer rights issues. It also doesn’t remedy uniformly queer one. the fact that the queer “community” still fights a What does that have to do with the bro- troubling misconception that its members are mance? In our society, the idea of two men being all rich, white, gay men. Still, the definition of an close enough friends to seem like lovers is, well, a abnormal relationship might be narrowing just a bit progressive. Our hockey players and Justice little bit thanks to the bromance. enrollees are not looking to be identified as gay; So thank you, bromancers, for your frankly, most probably aren’t gay. Nor are Dale pseudo-homosexual expressions. I’d love to see Denton (Rogen) and Saul Silver (Franco). By carry- you more actively involved in advocacy for queer ing on their bromance, however, real bromancers rights, but I realize that it can be difficult for an acopen themselves up to the possibility that outsid- cidental pioneer. ers will misunderstand their relationship. Implicit In any case, I love you, men—no homo. ISSUE 17, OCTOBER 2009


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Harvard's Own Taste of


an interview with Ben Moss by Sara Plana ‘12

Photos by Emily Xie ‘12 ISSUE 17, OCTOBER 2009


the voice

In May, Ben Moss ‘13 spent a good four weeks belting his lungs out on the stage of Boston’s own Colonial Theatre. Four months later, Moss has progressed from theater junkie to professional actor to Harvard undergraduate.


his past year, Moss played Ernst in the touring company of Spring Awakening, a Tony Award-winning musical following the coming-of-age of adolescents in 1890’s Germany as they discover and explore love and sexuality. Moss found himself working with such notables as director Michael Mayer, choreographer Bill T. Jones, and composer Duncan Sheik, on this controversial and critically acclaimed production. And yet he remains the shy sweetheart who stood in Starbucks fidgeting with his phone until—after a gratuitous amount of time sipping my latte debating whether he was who I was looking for—I finally approached him in embarrassment. Along with his tender smile, Moss’s brilliant blue eyes capture the innocence necessary to successfully portray Spring Awakening’s Ernst, a character seduced by a sexually outgoing Hanschen. Luckily, the Westchester, New York native and Music concentrator has much more to offer than just charm. Look out for him this year around Hollis South and most stages around campus. He’ll steal the show every time. Courses that landed a spot on your study card? Music Theory 51, Expos 20: Contemporary Theatre, Classical Chinese Ethical and Political Theory, and Leonard Bernstein and His World, a Freshman Seminar.

How did you get involved in theater and music? I started piano when I was like five and, you know how they have those elementary school plays? As a first grader, I auditioned for one and landed the lead role. I really enjoyed it so I continued doing little impromptu shows with friends and my sister’s friends in backyards and the like. When I was older, I got involved in my community’s theater and my director referenced me to an agent in New York. That’s when I started the professional stuff—I did some commercials and had a small role in the movie Far From Heaven. What’s the story behind getting casted on Spring Awakening? One of my friends, Remy Zaken, a sophomore at Columbia University, played Thea in the original company of Spring Awakening, so I had some connection to the musical already. I auditioned a few times, and went through the 4-5-step process from singing in front of the casting director to singing in the Eugene O’Neill Theatre in New York where the original musical was housed. I ended up being cast as Ernst. What was your experience touring like?


18 FEATURES day off. We didn’t really rehearse after the first three weeks, so whenever we weren’t performing, we were basically set free in whatever city we happened to be visiting. The friends I made over the past year have probably been the best friends I’ve ever had. When you spend so much time together, it’s hard not to develop such a special connection. We’d spend every waking moment together: I’d wake up in the morning, call up my cast mate, have lunch together, discover the city with everyone, have dinner together, and then rely on each other to deliver a successful performance. Eating out was a big deal, seeing as we were in hotel rooms without kitchens. We also went to a lot of theme parks. And by a lot, I mean like, two. We stopped by Busch Gardens in Tampa on New Year’s Eve, but we had had a performance earlier that night, so we didn’t get to the park until 10:30. By then, they had shut off most of the roller coasters except one, the SheiKra. That was badass. Sorry, I’m a rollercoaster guy. I wouldn’t have traded [the whole experience] for anything. What was the one thing you got out of your experience that you’ll never forget? Aside from all the friends and them becoming a part of my life and family, the overall sense of belonging, I got a sense of what it’s like to be a professional. I developed a better understanding of what it means to be an actor in the real world, the stamina it takes to

the voice perform at your best eight times a week, to let it all go on stage. I loved the job, but it wasn’t always easy. Good performers make everything look seamless on stage, but in reality there’s so much going on, so much presence and energy that goes into making it come off as seamless. It’s incredible. Also, the patience it takes to perform—and watch—the same scene, dialogue, and blocking every day... Spring Awakening is special in that it has onstage seating worked into the blocking for my character and others, which was interesting but annoying at first. Having to watch something 400 times over and over again can get to you. Still, eventually I got into a routine, and doing it all with your friends—there is such tremendous support all around you. What are your favorite parts/songs of the musical? “Bitch of Living” is the first one that comes to mind— mostly because it was just so much fun! You got to let out any pent-up energy you had by stomping around the stage with your cool microphone in hand. In the same vein, “My Junk” is upbeat, rockish, and you also get to jump around in happiness. “Touch Me” is very different; it’s passionate, but personal and the orchestrations and gestures—the singing on stage with 14 other amazing singers pouring their hearts out—is exhilarating. “Totally Fucked” everyone dreads because it requires big, quick gestures at dangerous edges of the stage. This song was particularly difficult for me because it led straight into my scene, the

“Word of Your Body (Reprise).” It took me a while to get used to not having any breath at the beginning of the dialogue. What do you think of Spring Awakening as a play and musical? I assume you were fond of it… It’s a beautiful, heartbreaking, powerful piece of art and I was incredibly lucky to do such an amazing show. Being an actor is tough because you can easily get stuck with a show you don’t really like, so this was very special for me. Do people recognize you as “that Spring Awakening” guy? A few people recognized me in my first days [at Harvard], and when I introduce myself, I’d get the occasional, “Oh, I heard about you.” I don’t feel like I’m a celebrity, though. I mean, after shows, we’d sign autographs and there would be devoted fans who knew me, but it’s rare that people would stop me on the street. Except when I was with Andy Mientus, who played the role of Hanschen. He was easy to recognize: you know, all that bleached blonde hair. Actually, when we were in the Smithsonian in D.C., I swear 3 different groups of people stopped us because of Andy. What is your impression of Harvard so far?

...continued on page 27

“Being an actor is tough because you can easily get stuck with a show you don’t really like, so this was very special for me.”



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Student Paints Successor to Notorious Leverett Mural

Julia Rozier ‘10 creates a mural everyone can finally appreciate by Dustin Poore ‘12

The painting soon became immortalized in hen entering Leverett’s house t-shirt designs and dining hall after an exhausting continues to be a constant day of class, even the hungri- source of scandal. Some stuest student will notice the gar- dents even claim they find ishly colorful mural hanging at the head of the the mural so unappetizing hall above the fireplace, a notorious work of art that they only sit with their back facing it while eating. known among all Leverites. In 1990, Leverett House Masters John Each year, Leverett’s Master and Judith Dowling commissioned painter offers students the opportunity to one-up the Jerald Webster to compose the mural, entitled painting, but no one has attempted to improve “Coltrane.” The modern piece—composed of ab- the dining hall’s atmosphere until recently. Justract shapes and lines of vibrant and divergent lia Rozier ‘10, a Biological Anthropology concolors—acts as a wild and unfortunate contrast centrator, approached House Masters Howard to the beautiful Georgian-style dining hall. The and Ann Georgi (better known as “Chief” and painting supposedly depicts a bird’s-eye view of “Coach” respectively), proposing a “serene” reHarvard Yard, and pays homage to the influences placement that “reflected the house.” Chief explains that this was not the first of famous jazz musician John Coltrane, whose music Webster listened to while he painted the time a student had approached him with an piece. Webster originally painted three separate idea, but he was “surprised” that someone actually carried through with the murals to allow house resiplan. dents to choose their favor In a project that ite, but over the years, the spanned approximately six selected mural quickly fell weeks, Rozier worked from out of favor among Leverthe ground up, creating a new ett’s denizens. mural called “John W. Weeks Perpetuated as a Bridge in July” that would betpart of Leverett House lore, ter reflect the house and its res“The Turning of Coltrane” idents. Proclaiming Leverett as remains a legend passed “the best house on campus,” down from old to new resiRozier was motivated by her dents each year.The infalove of the house, its staff, and mous mural was so hated in its residents. “I wanted to give fact, that in 1998, a group back to a community that has of mischievous tutors and given so much to me,” she said. HoCo members snuck into OUT WITH THE OLD Coltrane’s painting interesting addition. As a small token of gratitude, the dining hall under the Rozier added a small rabbit— cover of night and turned the painting upside down, documenting their Leverett House’s mascot—to the corner of her work through photos. No one noticed the prank mural, paying homage to the house she’s called until Leverett’s previous Master, who also hap- home for the majority of her time at Harvard. With the help of Leverett House superpened to be an art critic, visited. Perpetuated as a part of Leverett House lore, “The Turning of intendent Paul Hegarty and a crew of co-workColtrane” remains a legend passed down from ers, the first step in the new mural’s installation was making and sealing a canvas large enough old to new residents each year.


A NEW PERSPECTIVE Rozier’s masterpiece took six weeks to complete, and depicts the Weeks Bridge

to suit the space. “We had to actually stretch the canvas because they don’t sell canvases at that size, which took about two weeks,” Rozier said. “I wanted people to remember that there is a wide world out there, beyond our safety.” Not only that, but feedback for Rozier’s work came in real-time, as Julia painted her mural in the dining hall and was able to receive direct comments from her peers. Inevitably, her original plan was influenced by viewers’ continuous opinions. Her product depicts the Charles River with Weeks Bridge as its focal point; the sun shines brightly and lush vegetation surrounds the scene, reminding library-bound and thesis-laden students of the beauty and natural wonder that is easy to forget. Rozier hopes to communicate a sense of “serenity and tranquility,” adding calm and peace to a hectic dining hall atmosphere. Even though mass opinion still orbits around distaste for the previous mural, Rozier has no explicit standpoint against Webster’s work, saying that she was grateful to Webster for giving Leverett “something of interest” during its time as a part of the house. As Rozier sees her plans become something concrete, she emphasizes what she hopes to achieve through a project that will affect the daily grind of her peers. After all, there is a good reason why she chose to paint Weeks Bridge with Boston in the horizon instead of another typical Harvard scene found in most house common rooms. “I wanted people to remember that there is a wide world out there, beyond our safety.” Photos courtesy of Julia Rozier ‘10 ISSUE 17, OCTOBER 2009


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LGBT Life at Harvard:

place and does appear to be utilized. At an academic level, LGBT issues are being tackled with more force than ever before. The Women, Gender and Sexuality department, a comparatively young concentration at Harvard, has seen an explosion of popularity amongst undergraduates. The fall semester of 2008 saw the arrival of visiting professor Susan Stryker who taught a seminal class entitled “Transgender History”; the Kennedy School hosted its first annual LGBT political forum this spring. Marco Chan ’11 is surely the Harvard College LGBT community go-to-man. As well as being co-chair of the Harvard QSA, he constantly pushes new boundaries within the Harvard queer community. Whether it is promoting and organizing parties, informal events, LGBT recruiting events with firms like Barclays, or defending Harvard’s stance on ROTC on national television, Chan always comes through. On this day, Chan sits in the sunny courtyard of Quincy House. He looks a little sleepy, though he says he actually feels pretty refreshed after a twenty-minute powernap. He explains a bit about his role on campus and his experiences working for the QSA. “I got involved in the campus queer community pretty quick; pretty much right from the start. The summer before I even got in as a freshman I was actually contacted by one of the board members of what was then the BGLTSA about the opening position of a social chair and I thought, what better way to get plugged in on a campus right away?” He pauses at this point as if to search for some higher inspiration, before finally declaring, “And I ran! So I was social chair all throughout freshman year and I’ve been involved with the BGLTSA, what is now the QSA, ever since.” Chan is waking up a bit now. Nursing a steaming mug of tea between his hands, he squints in the sunlight. When asked what exactly makes Harvard have such a positivist, supportive and how the QSA continues to support such an environment, Chan says, “I think what’s peculiar about Harvard is that it’s a place where, although not everything may be perfect, there is no shortage of people that want to make it better. I think that’s what makes it stand out for me. Through the years the QSA and many, many other people and organizations on campus have been working on things like gender-

Through the Eyes of Marco Chan

by Henry Woodward-Fisher ‘12


arvard is not a place that puts issues of sexuality and queer identity to one side. From the dramatic abbreviation of the “BGLTSA” to the “Harvard College QSA”, to the discussions of the past spring semester surrounding gender-neutral housing and bathrooms and the abstract implementation thereof, to issues of same-sex marriage across the US, to the recent inaugural Harvard Humanist Chaplaincy’s Award for Service to Humanity given to Lieutenant Choi, a distinguished West Point graduate, Iraq veteran and Arabic linguist who was discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community at Harvard seems to rank high in prominence. However, the LGBT community at Harvard is one with many different faces; to put your finger on LGBT life at Harvard is not an easy task. The Voice sets out to answer this simple question: what exactly is the current state of LGBT life at Harvard? The Transgender Task Force is the premier group at the university aimed at confronting issues surrounding gender non-conforming individuals, creating an educational environment for all members of Harvard, and fostering a safe and welcoming atmosphere for transgender and intersex people at the university. Transgender people at Harvard, although a disappointingly indiscernible community within the College, are supported by a network of active organizations that work to further the trans and


Photo by Sasha Mironov ‘13

queer movement. Events are regularly held across campus to raise awareness of trans-issues and to promote equality and understanding at all levels of the university. Examples of these events are “Trans 101s”, training seminars that are held at Harvard and are available upon request. These seminars aim to make campus life and university policies more inclusive. Other groups at Harvard that represent the diversity of the LGBT community include Girlspot, for lesbian, bisexual and bicurious women; Black Out, aimed at queer black students; and QAF,

Marco Chan ’11 is surely the Harvard College LGBT community go-to-man. As well as being co-chair of the Harvard QSA, he constantly pushes new boundaries within the Harvard queer community. a group aimed at LGBT Asians. However, by far the most visible assembly on campus--acting mostly as the umbrella for other groups--is the QSA, or Queer Students and Allies. Whether you want to kick back and relax for that final episode of “The ‘L’ Word” in the Harvard Women’s Center, reminisce about the good old days of “Queer As Folk” at a freshman BGLT study break, discuss relevant LGBT issues in a political forum, or rent a DVD or book from the Queer Resource Center in the basement of Weld, the infrastructure is most certainly in


the voice neutral housing and non-discrimination policies, so I feel like we really need to recognize what’s here today and the environment that we enjoy now hasn’t always been so. It’s been the culmination of a lot of long work, and it’s really exciting for me to be here on this campus and to keep looking at what’s good, what is going to get better, and work with everyone else to make all of those things happen.” It’s clear that Chan understands the trajectory of the Harvard LGBT community. Of the atmosphere, Chan says that he has made many great friends here, that he has never felt unsafe or threatened. “Certainly there’s always on-going questions of inclusion and diversity, but the fact that we have these conversations and we’re having more and more of them is, I think, a good sign,” Chan says. The LGBT student body is a visible and active contributor to Harvard’s already

explore LGBT issues in the classroom as well as in formal and informal social events. There lies a strong sense that great progress has been and continues to be made. Read on for our Q&A session with Marco Chan on LGBT life at Harvard.

these numbers and to make a connection with so many different groups and so many different people. However, in terms of our social events and even in other things, like apart from parties, even things like movie screenings and some of our discussion panels and meetings – we do actually have significant attendance from other schools. Traditionally we see a bunch of people from Tufts, MIT, BU, Wellesley, Wentworth…a lot STUDY BREAK Students enjoy a QSA of different colleges.

What area of LGBT student life at Harvard do you think requires most sponsored study break and watch ‘Glee’ attention and what are those Are there any upchallenges? coming events that LGBT students at HarI think there is always the ongoing challenge vard should come and check out? that, unlike other communities, the queer commu- In terms of events that are coming up, this is nity is very difficult to pin- actually perfect: the QSA is organizing a Queer point to one thing. There’s Town Hall. It’s actually something I’m really innot one kind of monolithic credibly excited about, because it’s going to be experience that everyone a fantastic opportunity for the entire commucan attest to. There’s not nity and all our friends to come together and one way of relating to queer sit down and say: ‘Before the QSA even starts life and queer identity, so I planning anything for the coming year, before think the biggest challenge we even set out any sort of schedule or listby far is making sure that ing, what do you guys want? What is lacking? there’s space for everyone What’s great? What are you guys looking for? in the community, regard- And how can the QSA and the community be less of their interest, regard- organized and function in a way that is incluless of their comfort, to feel sive to you and encourages your active particiincluded and to voice them- pation? What can we do, what are you looking selves, because we have peo- for?’ So I’m really excited about the chance to sit ple coming from so many everyone down and have a frank, candid discusdifferent backgrounds. sion about what needs to happen.

Boston’s a city full of universities. What kind of interaction is there between Harvard and other local universities on an LGBT level? So that’s something that we vibrant student life community. Fortunately, are continually working on, and it’s always been we live in a time and a place where the sight of kind of on our agenda to keep working with same-sex couples holding hands on campus is other universities, because I believe there are not uncommon, where students can be open over forty universities and colleges right around about their true identity along with who and Greater Boston. It’s really a city made for stuwhat they love, and where students are free to dents. The challenge of that is to work with all

What do you think of the dating scene at Harvard--gay or straight? Haha. Erm…the funny thing is--I mean this is probably just my perspective on it--I prefer to date on campus versus other colleges, even though there are lots of fantastic guys and other people out there in town, just because of the time issue and I think a lot of other Harvard students feel like this too. Just the fact that you have hours and hours of class in the day, and then you have you meetings and then you everything that you want to go to like visiting ...continued on page 27



the voice

“For the Love of Lube” Continued from page 7...

alarming enough (not painful, but alarming) that I commented on it mid-intercourse. My boyfriend described my insides as “rather warm” but given my overly sensitive nether regions, I decided to permanently ban Hathor from my bathroom cabinet for fear of vaginal posttraumatic stress disorder. If you’re a fan of heating lubes, however, I’d recommend this over the KY variety any day. Whether or not the ingredients contain purported aphrodisiac properties, Jujube Zizyphus and Siberian Ginseng sound a lot less suspicious than some of the things I’ve seen on ingredient labels.

Grade: B+ Christine: Whenever a lube claims to be flavored, my curiosity always gets the best of me. I’m not sure who came up with concept of flavored lube, but I still haven’t encountered anything that doesn’t taste synthetic. Besides an unscented, unflavored form, Hathor Aphrodisia also comes in chocolate-strawberry. Who doesn’t love the taste of chocolate mixed with strawberries? I thought this would solve the conundrum of hand job with lube versus blowjob by allowing me the best of both worlds. Instead, I was drowning my disappointments with water. While it’s vegan friendly, such ethicalness doesn’t excuse the fact it looks like brown goop. It also didn’t smell of chocolate or strawberries. My partner and I were both immediately reaching for the baby wipes. The brown coloring I mentioned earlier made it look like I was spotting, which was a major mood killer. In the unscented version, we had better luck. First of all, it wasn’t brown. Nor did it stink. However, while it was smooth, it still dried out quickly. But it still lasted longer than some waterbased lubes.


Grade: C


Astroglide Liquid, $5 for 2.5 oz. Lena: The first syllable of this lubricant’s moniker is an indication of where it is best applied. I purchased my first bottle when an extensive debate on the QSA (then BGLTSA) mailing list concluded that Astroglide was the best lubricant for anal sex. Four years later, my experiences with anal are still rather limited, but I credit Astroglide for being the only thing that kept me from huddling in the corner after the deed was done. (It hasn’t disappointed in vaginal intercourse, either). Yes, the purple bottle is slightly gaudy, and no, the company doesn’t have a huge product line, but thanks to its non-greasy, slick, and long-lasting properties, Astroglide is the cheapest reliable option whether you’re knocking on the backdoor, getting it on missionary-style, flying solo, or prepping a Slip ‘N Slide.

Grade: AChristine: I first heard of Astroglide when it came to anal sex. Actually, I think it was from Tucker Max’s infamous anal sex story, where he discusses squeezing half a bottle of it in a girl’s ass. As he learns in that story, a four ounce bottle usually lasts six months of frequent sex. Two ounces of it is just asking for a slippery mess. A little bit of this liquid goes a long way. It’s not sticky, and for the price, it’s a great value. While I still prefer my silicone lubes (which just last longer), I don’t mind using Astroglide. It actually evokes nostalgia, as it’s the lube that made me realize how much of a difference lube can actually make. There have been times during an extra long sex session that I will stop and reapply this, but for most sexual encounters, I’ve never had any issues. It’s also the easiest to obtain, as it’s available at most drug stores.

Grade: B+ All prices are approximations based on prices given by manufacturers’ websites or their authorized retailers’ websites.


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24 THE DISH An Interview with Pforzheimer House Masters

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Bonnie Cao '12 contributing writer

Do you remember that scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding when John Corbett rolls up to the tiki torch-lit Portokalos house with his parents, and they’re all introduced by Toula’s father – mid-roasting a pig on a spit – to everyone and everyone’s second cousin, followed by a half-tackle, half-bear hug of pure, welcoming, exuberant Greek love? Stepping into the Christakis household is not far off – and not just because spanakopita was involved. Those of us living in Pfoho have already seen our fabulous House Masters in action, from baklava in their backyard, to ownage of Currier in IM soccer. We know how lucky we are, and now it’s time to make you all embrace the jealousy you secretly feel inside. Nicholas and Erika Christakis took on their roles as House Masters for PFEELING THE LOVE Nicholas and Erika Christakis: Pfoho House Masters Pforzheimer House this past fall, moving in with their three children, SePhoto by Alex Savona ‘12 bastian, Lysander, and Eleni, who have all become a fixture of Pfoho life, became interested in what was known as the “Widower Effect,” which delineates frequenting both the dining hall and Grille alike. Rounding out the family are the phenomenon that when one person dies, the risk of the spouse dying goes up in two adorable, rambunctious, furry puppies—Rudy and Elsa. The residential housing system is nothing new to Erika, who spent her under- what he terms a “non-biological spread of disease.” He now does research on health graduate years here at Harvard College studying Anthropology. She went on to earn and social networks – how they form, how they operate, and what they ultimately a Masters in Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, and continued on mean. Nicholas reassures that there were and would not be any sort of Big Brotherto pursue a career in public health, first at Johns Hopkins University, followed by a period of work in international health. She then became the director of a progres- esque social experiments conducted within Pfoho. However, his work has affected sive preschool, where her experiences showed her the “certain parallels between him in his new role as House Master in different ways. He says that he become college students and preschool students.” Before she can be met with protest, “more mindful of the effect of our behaviors and feelings, and how they spread Christakis points out that the seductively appealing lightbox towers seated along a through networks…and impact each other.” The Christakises’ decision to become House Masters stems from a simple idea: lit countertop in the main hallway of the Master’s residence – which had been drawing undergrads to their side all night like moths to a flame –were actually children’s’ “It really fits our lifestyle.” Their passion for people and life is evidenced through the constant bustle of their household and the constant excitement with which they toys. Touché Mrs. Erika Christakis, touché. Christakis goes on to highlight the fact that both preschool and college mark treat each and every Pfoho resident. Their key goal as House Masters is to “signal developmental milestones for both students and parents alike as the students are es- to the whole community that we’re interested in them, [wanting] every student to sentially launched into the real world of playgrounds and dorm living. Glancing over feel connected and interested at every level.” So if you walk over to the Pfoho House Masters’ home down Linnaean Drive, at his wife as she elaborates on this analogy, Nicholas states plainly, “She’s one of the you will not see tiki torches. Nor will you see pigs on a spit. You will, however, see most broadly educated people I know.” Before his inclusion in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People this year, lightboxes. You will see two small balls of fur hurtling towards you. And you will Nicholas Christakis trained as a physician and a social scientist, working originally see the pflove. as a hospice doctor. As he researched how to improve the care of the dying, he soon

Henry Woodward-Fisher Name: Henry Woodward-Fisher Year: 2012 Concentration: East Asian Studies House: Eliot House I was born in London, UK in the summer of 1990. Since then, I’ve shared my time between odd all-male boarding schools in Oxfordshire and home in London; nevertheless I’m a city boy at heart. Drawn to Harvard for university by a love of North American cuisine and the attraction of living in a truly free nation, in my first year I battled through Mandarin classes, seminars in Global Pop Music and lectures on decipherment of ancient scripts. I’m a guitarist and a language lover, but also a hopeless romantic and always willing to walk off campus, preferably out of Boston altogether. That said Cambridge is a place that seems to have the best of everything in this world: in terms of people, atmosphere, restaurants and culture, et cetera. In the future, I hope to put my East Asian Studies knowledge to practical use and head out to the Orient. Reclaim Hong Kong or something. But, in all seriousness, China is where my heart is at right now. However, I like to keep an open mind as to where I’ll end up, for now I’m content with living in Eliot House, editing for The Voice and stalking my secret crush: Alisha Ramos. Photo by Emily Xie ‘12


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Falafel Corner Ricardo A. R. Garcia-Rojas contributing writer

It’s 1:34am after very long Saturday night. After a night of those rampant Harvard parties, you are hungry. The grand old tradition that is Noch’s has, as usual, a line that slithers through the restaurant, out the door, down the steps, and onto the sidewalk. Felipe’s, too, is packed with ravenous students. Where to go? Well, squashed between Second Time Around and Charlie’s Beer Garden, at 8 ½ Eliot Street, is the small, humble, “open until 3am,” Falafel Corner. Stepping in, one is greeted by Middle Eastern music and the aromas of enchanting spices. Downstairs is the small dining area, a simple, white room filled with Egyptian art. Walking up the steps towards the counter, one sees giant slabs of chicken and lamb shawarma slowly rotating on a standing grill, perspiring beads of flavor. Behind the counter, in the kitchen, is a friendly chef waiting for an order. Falafel Corner’s food is Halal—that is, prepared under Islamic guidelines. Their specialty is the falafel roll-up; however, the menu consists of forty-six well priced (from about $4.00 to $10.00) plates including vegetarian roll-ups such as the tabouli and baba Ganouj roll-ups, shawarma and kabob roll-ups, and both meat and vegetarian plates. Soups, salads, and appetizers of a Mediterranean twist are offered as well. On my first visit, I wanted a taste of everything, so I ordered the “Super Combo Plate” – a mountain of goodness comprised of a hefty bed of salad topped with baba ganoush, tabouli, hoummus, two falafel balls and the pièce de résistance – a heap of lamb shawarma. A side of warm pita accompanied the feast. For desert, I ordered a house tea and a baklava—a pastry of buttery, flaky phillo, stuffed with nuts and drizzled with honey. After a fairly long wait, my meal was ready. And after a fairly short time, my food had disappeared. I was extremely satisfied. The salad was fresh and the baba ganoush kept giving me pleasant pomegranate surprises. The tabouli was exceptional—my favorite part of the meal, and the surplus of olive oil in the hoummus made it uniquely wonderful. The namesake food—the falafel—was crispy, and the lamb shawarma was very good, although I could have done without the occasional pieces of fat. The baklava and tea were a blissful capstone to the meal, blending the cool sweetness of the pastry with tea’s strong, warm herbs. Falafel Corner is cash only – a hassle, but the staff will gladly direct you to an ATM around the corner—and there is no bathroom for customers. And while the food is long in the preparation, it is ultimately worth the wait. Falafel Corner offers a unique late night (or anytime of day, for that matter) food alternative. Its convenient location and student-friendly prices should keep both sober meal-goers and lubricated drunkie-seekers coming back for more.

Underappreciated Areas of Harvard: Dudley Garden Monica Zhou contributing writer

Tucked away from the frenetic rush of bodies dashing to class everyday, sleeps Dudley Garden behind black iron gates. With its cascades of glistening ivy drenched over red brick, and its profusion of trees, this quiet sanctuary inevitably instills calm in any wandering visitor. Yet perhaps because of its covert location, few have entered this shy harbor. For the adventurous, however, a quick stroll to the crevice between the edge of Wigglesworth and Lamont will yield a fairy tale esplanade of cool, grayblue steps flanked by windblown, arching trees. Before dusk, the gates will be open. As one walks forth and emerges from the vaulted entrance path, there stands the heart of the garden: a stony sundial, motley gray and streaked by the whippings of rain and time—a monument to the memory of Thomas Dudley, governor of the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay. Underfoot, tufts of rebellious grass swell between the crevasses of the tiled floor, and overhead bounds the unbroken sky. The steady hum of street bustle flutters in from Massachusetts Avenue, and on cool autumn afternoons, a meditative serenity pervades. Behind the central dais lies a rich floor of green—another eruption of overgrowth—and a romantic marble bench for two. Facing the stony loveseat is a concrete amphitheater, on which is engraved these solemn, evocative words of security and support: “One of they founders him New England know who staid thy feeble side when thou wast low.” A fitting sentiment for this idyllic ground, perfect for those seeking adventure, repose, romance, or escape.

Photo by Sasha Mironov ‘13



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Famous Harvard Grad You may not recognize Rashida Jones ‘97 by name alone, but when you see her, you definitely recognize. This lady is hot. And on top of that, she’s a Harvard grad. At Harvard, Jones lived in Eliot House and participated in many activities that suited her interest in performance and theater. She co-composed the score for the 149th annual Hasty Pudding Theatricals show, was musical director of the Opportunes, and acted in many plays. Not only is Jones hot, talented, and smart, but she’s also hot in that exotic way—her father is African-American and her mother is Jewish. Jones graduated from Harvard in 1997 with a degree in Religion and Philosophy. Jones currently stars in the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation alongside Amy Poehler of SNL. She also recently starred as Zooey in the movie I Love You, Man (highly recommended by The Voice) and is also known for her role as Karen from the popular NBC series, The Office.

photo courtesy of Dreamworks

Cool Classes: Quarks To Consciousness Philip Gingerich contributing writer

Without getting too lofty here, let’s propose a simple question. What is life? Okay, so maybe it’s not such an easy question, but lucky for us, a new course offering this semester may provide the answer: Science of the Physical Universe 20: “What is Life? From Quarks to Consciousness.” The course, which fulfills either science requirement for both Gen Ed and the Core, is taught by three professors, each from a different scientific discipline. With this interdisciplinary offer, we are left wondering, what is “What is Life?” exactly? Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics Melissa Franklin birthed the idea for the course after being inspired by a call from a former student who now works for NPR. The former student wanted to know how many atoms remain constant in our body from birth. Professor Franklin was stumped, and turned to Professor Logan McCarty for help in finding the answer. Franklin decided that there should be a class designed to address this kind of question. She pitched the idea to Jay Harris, the Dean of Undergraduate Education, who approved the course. Franklin then handpicked two popular lecturers in the sciences to teach the class with her. Rounding out this professorial dream-team are Andrew Berry, the eloquent British evolutionary biologist with a penchant for self-deprecation, and the aforementioned Logan McCarty, the chemist with a tendency to pour liquid nitrogen on, well, everything. The subject material touches on facets from physics, evolutionary biology, and chemistry. The course begins with discussion of the smallest minutiae, the building blocks of life (atoms, DNA, etc.) and slowly enlarges the perspective to consider evolution and the physical world at large. The

...continued on page 27


IS THIS SAFE? Professor Logan McCarty doing a demonstration on pressure.

photo by Philip Gingerich ‘13


the voice “Harvard’s Own Taste of Broadway” Continued from page 18... It’s kind of weird coming back from a gap year—with ridiculous amounts of free time—and actually being expected to study, study, study, but I’ve definitely enjoyed it so far. When I’m here, I feel like Harvard is like any other school—except for the massive amount of tourism. Point is, it doesn’t try to be anything it’s not. Everyone is so enthusiastic and open to sharing their stories. What extracurricular activities are you considering? I auditioned for two productions through Common Casting—which was a different process than I expected, to be honest. I thought the whole “Common Casting” thing meant it was one thing…turns out it’s one website, but not one location. Way to deceive. I also auditioned for Glee Club and am hoping to get involved in some type of community service. I’ve increasingly felt the need to [do so]. I regret not having volunteered as much in high school. My experience on the road touring all these major U.S. cities with Spring Awakening made me realize the sizable homeless population in this country. I’m hoping to get involved in something along these lines. Describe yourself in five words. [Laughs] Really? Um, passionate, caring, genuine, funny. But not overtly, it just sort of happens. And…blue eyes. People tell me I have really crazy blue eyes. Oops, that’s six, isn’t it? Are you a Twitter person? Oh, yes! Put that on there.

I started it on tour with not much to say, really. I was so surprised when fans started following me. It’s weird knowing that 1000+ people out there care what I say. Coffee or tea? Starbucks and Dunkin, duh. Most embarrassing moment on stage? During a scene, I was directed to pull my partner in the scene towards me. When I did, I misjudged the distance and it made our noses hit. We’re really close, though, so we eventually laughed it off, but it was a bit awkward at the time. Most amazing moment on stage? There are two, really: [Spring Awakening’s] opening night in San Francisco in September and closing night in Chicago in August—it was the beginning and end of something amazing. Favorite music? John Mayer, Ben Folds, and Jason Reeves, who writes most of Colbie Caillat’s music, but is a talented musician in his own right. They’re all mellow and so chill, which is what I love about them. Favorite book? I’m currently reading Geek Love [by Katherine Dunn] about a family in a freak show who travel around the country. It’s really fucked up, but I love it. Also, The Bell Jar, strangely enough. Favorite movie? Inglourious Basterds was fucking crazy, but so cool! As for other ones, Milk, Bobby, and I actually really liked Revolutionary Road. The music and Kate Winslet were amazing.

“Quarks to Consciousness”

“LGBT Life”

Continued from page 26...

Continued from page 23...

aim is to shed some light on the mystery that is life. The course’s student body, probably replete with fans of physicist Erwin Schrödinger (whose work, in some sense, serves as the foundation for the course) and those who appreciate jokes involving Brownian motion, has had the privilege of learning much from the tag-team teaching style, including the beauty of slug mating. Professors Berry, McCarty, and Franklin certainly entertain, continually bouncing jokes off each other, while Professor Logan dispels the myth that science and magic are mutually exclusive by launching a trashcan to the ceiling of the Science Center auditorium with little more than a coke bottle. The professors, who have had little or no experience with Gen Ed before, claim to enjoy the unpredictability and spontaneity that comes with interdisciplinary teaching. The methods are new, and the professors enjoy developing the course as they go. So, what is life, anyway? I don’t know if I’m allowed to spoil it before the course ends, but the professors offered a pretty science-y answer including terms like “metabolism,” “information,” and “replication.” They did concede, however, that anyone’s guess is as good as another’s.

speakers, House-life…it’s really hard to peel yourself away. So I guess I’ve never been in another dating situation where honestly like fifty percent of our time isn’t spent reading together or studying together in my room. At least it’s a worthwhile way to spend time. At least it’s worthwhile! But you know what? As with anything else at Harvard, there’s a lot of room for kind of a more intellectual connection and that’s something I really appreciate here. As a Canadian, do you find there is a difference between being gay here and being gay back home?

Favorite place in the square? Crema Café. Such cool ambiance. Favorite place in the world? I went to Paris a long time ago and I really loved it. I wouldn’t mind going back there. Why did you choose the Big H? I applied mostly to urban Ivy Leagues and some schools in New York City. I’m a city guy. Eventually, it came down to Columbia or Harvard; I had a feeling, though, that I’d eventually return to the city, so I chose to get a different, new experience in Boston instead. And, of course, when Harvard offers, you just can’t refuse. What do you want to get out of your experience at Harvard? A full education. I want to become a better thinker, a better speaker, and a better person. What are your plans after your four years here? I’d love to write music for films and concert halls. Conducting has always been one of my dreams. But at the same time, I don’t want to lose the performing side of me. I have four years to figure out how to fuse these goals. Well, once you’re famous and all that, what will you title your memoir? Hmm, I don’t know about this one. I guess we’ll just say, check the bookshelves in 20 years and see what I’ve come up with. Will I have written an autobiography in 20 years? When I’m 40ish? [Barack] Obama did it. Well, if he can, then I can.

I live in Quincy, so I literally hop across the street and hop back home afterwards at 2am. Fantastic! Thursday nights are pretty much the established… Gaydalus? At Gaydalus…drinks are good, reasonably priced, and there’s a huge contingent from all the Harvard schools, not just the College. Apart from that, Guerrilla Queer Bar is always fun and the good thing about that is that you never know who is going to drop by, people from all over Greater Boston and sometimes even further afield. It’s in new places that generally aren’t usually queer-friendly social spaces that, for the night, are.

There is a little bit of difference in the way that the level of political engagement and the way that people engage politically with their queer identity is a little different, because I think the frontlines of the battle for queer rights are more explicitly laid out in the States than they are in Canada. Another way is that obviously, there’s a diverse range of experiences, but I generally don’t hear nearly as, I guess, extreme circumstances as I do here. For those 21+ students among us, tell us about the LGBT nightlife hotspots of Boston, Massachusetts or the surrounding locale. So my favorite by far--maybe it’s just because I’m lazy--is Daedalus right across the street from Quincy House on Mt. Auburn.

“Achoo, I named my crabs. FML”



the voice


Preparing for HEAD OF THE CHARLES The 45th Head of the Charles Regatta is this weekend (Oct. 17-18) at the Charles River. Don’t miss the chance to relax in the beautiful autumn weather by the river while cheering on the men and women of Harvard crew!


It is the world’s largest two-day rowing event It was first held on October 16, 1965 More than 7,500 athletes from around the world compete in 55 different race events It now attracts up to 300,000 spectators

Photos by Grace Sun ‘12


Issue 17 - October 2009  

The Voice kicks off a new era with this first issue of the year.

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