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11.12.09 vol. xli, no. 11 The Indy kicks off its 40th anniversary celebration. Co-Presidents Patricia Florescu ‘11 Susan Zhu ‘11
Cover art by SONIA COMAN
FORUM 3 Bu Yao Disneyland Shanghai ARTS 4 Speaking Out on ACT UP 5 A Conversation with Aseem Shukla '11 SPECIAL 6-7 The 40th Anniversary Kick-Off 10 Years Ago 20 Years Ago 8 40 Years Ago 9 The First Page SPORTS 10 Riding the Cowboys Bandwagon 11 The Art of Running Uphill Also Included: UC ELECTION PULLOUT 2 Hayward-Zhang 3 Bowman-Hysen 4 Long-Johnson
For exclusive online content, visit www.harvardindependent.com 2
Editor-in-Chief Faith Zhang ‘11 News and Forum Editor Riva Riley ‘12 Arts Editor Pelin Kivrak ‘11 Sports Editor Daniel Alfino ‘11 Graphics Editor Sonia Coman ‘11 Associate News and Forum Editor Judy Zhang ‘13 Staff Writers Peter Bacon ‘11 John Beatty '11 Rachael Becker '11 Ezgi Bereketli ‘12 Andrew Coffman ‘12 Truc Doan ‘10 Levi Dudte '11 Ray Duer ‘11 Sam Jack ‘11 Marion Liu '11 Hao Meng ‘11 Nick Nehamas ‘11 Jim Shirey ‘11 Diana Suen ‘11 Steven Rizoli ‘11 Weike Wang ‘11 Graphics, Photography, and Design Staff Chaima Bouhlel '11 Eva Liou ‘11 Caitlin Marquis ‘10 Lidiya Petrova ‘11 Kristina Yee ‘10 As Harvard College's weekly undergraduate newsmagazine, the Harvard Independent provides in-depth, critical coverage of issues and events of interest to the Harvard College community. The Independent has no political affiliation, instead offering diverse commentary on news, arts, sports, and student life. For publication information and general inquiries, contact Presidents Patricia Florescu and Susan Zhu (president@harvardindependent. com). Letters to the Editor and comments regarding the content of the publication should be addressed to Editor-in-Chief Faith Zhang (editor@ harvardindependent.com). Yearly mail subscriptions are available for $30, and semester-long subscriptions are available for $15. To purchase a subscription, email email@example.com. The Harvard Independent is published weekly during the academic year, except during vacations, by The Harvard Independent, Inc., P.O. Box 382204, Cambridge, MA 02238-2204. Copyright © 2009 by The Harvard Independent. All rights reserved. 11.12.09 • The Harvard Independent
Mickey Mouse at the Gates “Disneyfication” is not globalization. By MARION LIU
have always been confused about
the word globalization. As far as I can tell, it has something to do with the world getting smaller, closing the technology gap, and being able to enjoy a Starbucks soy latte in Mozambique; now, it apparently also has something to do with Disney World in China. Experts in development and modernization theory will tell you that globalization is good for two things: 1) foreign direct investment (FDI) and 2) liberalization. FDI brings in money for development, and the target country gets a technology boost and a transfer of industrial know-how. Liberalization, on the other hand, helps increase democracy and decrease corruption. Combined, these two things make a compelling argument for why globalization is beneficial for developing countries. Disney recently got approval to build a theme park in Shanghai, a foreign investment of over $3.5 billion dollars — one of the largest that China has ever seen. This approval came after almost two decades of courtship between China and Disney; apparently, China is finally willing to let its anti-Western guard down long enough to open its doors to Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. It looks like Disney, riding on the waves of globalization, is bringing joy and modernization to the world, one developing country at a time. Or so you might think. The truth is that China does not lack in FDI. The Wall Street Journal reports that China has seen a 19% increase in FDI. From January to September of this year, prior to Disney’s announcement, China totaled $63.8 billion dollars in FDI, compared to $10.5 billion in its more populous, democratic twin India. For China, technology and knowledge transfers from FDI are almost irrelevant; just look at how quickly China was able to reproduce the iPhone after its initial release. And if Disney thinks it is going to liberalize China by bringing over lifesized Mickey Mouses, then it should think again. China has given no signal that it will make any concessions in how it runs its government after this deal. On the contrary, it has reaffirmed its limit on foreign media by removing from The Harvard Independent • 11.12.09
the package the potential for Disney TV channels in China. Quite frankly, Disney knows that it is not making big splashes in China’s political landscape; it’s not as if China was censoring Disney films in the first place. If Disney were looking for any type of liberalization, it would probably be through the consumer’s pocketbooks, as if the masses of Disney paraphernalia — ranging from plush dolls to pencil cases — sold across China aren’t enough. The end goal of this deal between China and Disney does not have development or modernization in mind, but profit, undoubtedly for both sides. My objection here is similar to those people who find Starbucks next to the forbidden palace distasteful. Disney
World has its place in the Western world; but to see it in Dubai or Hong Kong is to confuse homogenization for globalization. Globalization has its perks, but its purpose is not to make it possible for me to get a nonfat triple latte and a Big Mac while posing with Princess Jasmine in Disney World Shanghai. On the other hand, homogenization does seek to blend cultural uniqueness with internationally recognized products for a profit-driven goal. If companies do have development in mind for these countries, then it should aim for the former, not the latter. “Disneyfication” comes at a cost. Chinese people are now going to save for a vacation at Disneyworld instead of exploring the cultural richness of
their own country, like the bingmayong or the Great Wall. At the same time, foreign companies who cannot possibly understand their target country’s culture with the same depth as natives will attempt to sell and market culture in conjunction with their products — for example, Disney rides that try to incorporate Chinese history. This cheapens culture, the antithesis of globalization’s goal. I am not denying Chinese children their share of Minnie, Pluto or Goofy; rather, I advocate discretion before we commit to building a Disneyworld in every corner of the world. Marion Liu '11 (mliu@fas) does like her nonfat triple lattes.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Speaking the Truth to Authority In the Carpenter Center as in the real world, ignorance is not bliss. By PELIN KIVRAK and SONIA COMAN
October 15th, the Carpenter Center has played host to a highly controversial exhibition about one of the most pivotal social movements in recent US history. ACT UP New York: Activism, Art, and the AIDS Crisis, 1987-1993 features graphics created by various artists as well as posters, stickers, and a suite of over a hundred video interviews with surviving members of ACT UP New York. The exhibit as a whole surveys New York’s AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP)’s accomplishments. It also offers an opportunity to revisit the debates about gay rights movement, 20th-century public art, national healthcare, and the continuing HIV/AIDS epidemic. ACT UP is an acronym for the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. New York ACT UP was formed in March 1987 when the US AIDS-related deaths had exceeded 5000. Little was known about the disease, and the first therapeutic drug to fight against it took six years to be approved after the first cases of AIDS were reported. Moreover, the perception that HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) was primarily associated with gay men and people of color lasted for years after it had already extended beyond that population. Against this backdrop, ACT UP emerged as a radical democratic organization formed out of the contribution of members from different professional and cultural backgrounds—artists and thinkers who were committed to direct action to end this crisis. Curated by Helen Molesworth, Harvard Art Museum’s Maisie K. and James R. Houghton Curator of Contemporary Art, and Claire Grace, the exhibition is on display in two locations in the Carpenter Center: the lobby and the Sert Gallery on the 3rd floor. This picture of the Carpenter Center lobby presents the ACT UP Oral History Project. The project consists of over one hundred interviews with surviving members of New York ACT UP. These interviews are exhibited in an array of fourteen video displays which run simultaneously. Each television features five to seven videos continuously. If you go up to the third floor, you can see posters and stickers about specific protests as well as art installations and historical information about ACT UP. Run by member artists of ACT UP, the Silence = Death Project was organized as an art collective which contributed significantly to the movement through posters, placards, T-shirts, and other means of advertising. The public art campaign of “Silence = Death” is present in the lobby of the Carpenter Center with the fluorescent sign of the association, also
featured as a poster on an offset lithograph which is on display. “Silence = Death” together with its graphic design became one of the most recognizable slogans of ACT UP. As co-curator Claire Grace explains on page 4 of the exhibition catalogue, “even when trauma suspends our capacity for language, speech remains an essential means of resistance.” An independent group connected to ACT UP, “fierce pussy” brings together two installations in the women’s restrooms: one on the first floor of the Carpenter Center and the other in the basement of the Sackler Museum, adjacent to the lecture hall. According to the explanatory label on the project, “fierce pussy” acted within the gay rights movement for the nomenclature of “queer,” emphasizing on visibility. The walls of the restrooms are entirely covered in black-and-white text-
only posters; postering has been one of the main forms of the group’s engagement with the public sphere. The public program connected to the exhibition runs through December 3rd and includes gallery talks, workshops, and lectures. Curator Helen Molesworth will deliver a presentation of the exhibition in the Carpenter Center on Thursday, November 12th, at 1 pm. At 8pm on the same day, the Main Gallery of the Carpenter Center will host a student performance entitled Who Wants to Live Forever? directed by Trevor Martin ’10. In the spring term, under the aegis of the Harvard College Art Society, student artists inspired by ACT UP will organize an exhibition under the title Students ACT UP in the Adams House Art Space. The Society will accept submissions for the exhibition until December 3rd.
11.12.09 • The Harvard Independent
Artist Spotlight Aseem Shukla ’11, after his stunning performance as Zeus in The Flies, receives his crown as this week’s Indy Artist. By PELIN KIVRAK Can you tell us a little bit about your artistic persona at Harvard—what type of activities are you involved in? I act and sing, but I haven’t taken any classes in Dramatic Arts. I felt like I could get that somewhere else. I preferred to make use of other academic options at Harvard. As for my artistic persona, I like hamming it up. I like to be goofy and funny on stage. I very much enjoy singing. I sang in Din & Tonics. During my freshman year, I was in two plays: Bodas de Sangre, a play by Federico García Lorca, and Shahrazad. I’ve been in two other plays in my sophomore year, and I was in The Flies this fall. I’m also a correspondent for On Harvard Time. I’ve done a broad range of things but I enjoy myself most when I get a chance to be funny. I’m over the top wacky. Is it important for you to mix and match big roles with small ones? I don’t like playing lead roles—they’re boring. I much prefer to play supporting characters. It is also because I’m not convinced of my ability to be a lead actor. Do you have insight into the spirit of the character you play? It depends. I’m not the type of actor who says that he wants to change something in the script. I do what I can with what is given to me. If it is adopting a particular accent, I’ll do it. What inspired you as a youth to want to think outside the box and become an actor? I always enjoyed getting people’s attention. I started acting in seventh grade and haven’t stopped since then. What was your first play? Oklahoma. I played Curly. What are you doing next? I’m auditioning for Hasty Pudding Theatricals and thinking about directing a play next semester. How is your academic life at Harvard? What are you studying? I study linguistics and I’m also interested in international politics. Singing and acting are my hobbies, but I cannot rule out the possibility of going into entertainment. My dream job is probably to be some kind of a funny man, but I’m not hedging my bets on that. I might try to go to the law school after here. The Harvard Independent • 11.12.09
If you were to make a choice: singing or acting? Acting. I feel like there is a greater range of expression in acting. I would call myself an actor who sings rather than a singer who acts. Do you have any advice for the new actors and singers on campus? Definitely join the Dins. If you are even remotely interested in something, don’t give it up. Do as many as you think convenient. Plays are short--term things. They last a month or so. Don’t hesitate to try anything that you want to do. Don’t get sidetracked either. Don’t get obsessed with prestige of what you are doing. If you are choosing a smaller role over a main stage one, do that. There is no stigma doing something that you like. What do you do in your free time besides acting and singing? Lots of Wikipedia surfing. I read The New York Times and The Economist. I play piano when I get time. I do that a lot when I’m home. I love reading the books of P.G. Wodehouse. I don’t really go out that much. I prefer staying in, talking with my blockmates.
Note: Shortly after this interview was conducted, Aseem Shukla was offered a place this year’s Hasty Pudding Show. Congratulations! Pelin Kivrak ’11 (pkivrak@fas) has come one step closer to divinity.
in brief: Full Name: Aseem Shukla Class Year: 2011 House: Currier Concentration: Linguistics Favorite song: “Let’s Get Lost” by Chet Baker Favorite book: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov Favorite TV show: Arrested Development
Where do you see yourself in ten years? Realistically or ideally? Both? Realistically, maybe a PhD student at some decent university, wondering whether I'm gonna get a job. Ideally, a professor or working on some fabulous sitcom or something like that. Every actor feels different on stage. Can you describe how you feel before going up there? I don’t get frightened unless I haven’t prepared properly. Especially not in plays because they are rehearsed so well. I get butterflies, but they don’t paralyze me. If there is a solo in Dins I’m much more nervous. In a production, it’s more structured. Everything has to go well and it goes well. On stage, one half of my brain is acting and doing what I have to do and he other piece is thinking whether what I’m doing is right or wrong. Do you become good friends with your coactors in a production? The smaller the group, the closer you get. You get a chance to blend in and get to know different people. Your interactions become more individual.
10 years ago...
The Indy marks its
n October of 1969, four Harvard men founded
If God were a woman By CATHERINE BUCHANAN Dogma Starring: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon ’95, Linda Fiorentino, Alan Rickman It’s been an ordinary day. You’re a divorced, Catholic, thirty-something abortion clinic worker, awakened in the middle of the night by a burst of flame in your bedroom. You confront the Voice of God (Alan Rickman), are instantaneously translocated to a Spanish taverna down the street, and informed over tequila shots of your destiny to save mankind. Sounds unbelievable? That’s where faith comes in, and faith is what the movie Dogma is all about. Unfortunately, Bethany – the unlucky woman in question, played by Linda Fiorentino – has almost lost hers and feels no desire to prevent two fallen angels, Loki and Bartleby (Matt Damon and Ben Affleck), from reentering heaven through a dogmatic loophole, thus undermining God’s word and negating all existence. As Bethany strives to save mankind, aided by the thirteenth apostle
Rufus (Chris Rock), stoned prophets and a stripper muse (Salma Hayek), the film explores notions of faith and popular culture in our society, drawing heavy ironic parllels between the two. Dogma, a View Askew feature written and directed by Kevin Smith, offers a cleverly familiar yet warped vision of the world. Its cast, a plethora of angels, prophets, and demons, whirls around on screen as the action cuts between the camps of the exalted and the corrupted, located everywhere from airport lounges in Wisconsin to secluded New Jersey suburbs. The plot is complex enough to mirror that of a conventional Hollywood action movie, and cinematic references, from Judd Nelson of The Breakfast Club fame to the mute woman from The Piano, abound. The right touch of darkness is added to the movie’s comic overtones through lines like the Angel of Death’s declaration that “mass genocide is the most exhausting activity after soccer.” The body count rises exponentially as the erasure of mankind draws closer but Dogma
repeatedly undermines its own brutality through lines such as “movies are such fuckin’ bullshit.” Any movie postulating “Catholic Wow!” campaigns to enliven the Church, a female God and a black Jesus (whom we never see), is also clearly seeking to undermine religious and cultural preconceptions. However, Dogma avoids appearing pompousor even, God forbid, uncool – by repeatedly preempting our cynicism about the movie through its own self-deprecating remarks. But due to the strength of many performances and the script, the movie’s philosophical overtones do not in any way detract from the comic attraction of its characters. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck go to town with roles of Loki and Bartleby – the Angel of Death and his increasingly maniacal cohort – whose self-righteous frustration offsets the urbane, evil swagger of the demon Azrael (Jason Lee). Linda Fiorentino offers a rather lackluster performance while Bethany provides a good deadpan backdrop for the effervescent
Anything but good By COUPER SAMUELSON Anywhere But Here Starring: Susan Sarandon, Natalie Portman ’03
There’s nothing wrong with minimalist storytelling, unless it’s as errant and contrived as this story. In the Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman ’03 weeper, Anywhere But Here, a chronically eye-rolling daughter and a predictably irresponsible single mother try to “make a new life for themselves.” Directed by Wayne Wang (who also directed Amy Tan’s mother-daughter epic, The Joy Luck Club, which is much subtler than Mona Simpson’s source literature for this one), the film showcases a tell-the-audience-rather-thanshow-the-audience style that turns a potentially sweet, pure story into a preachy, claustrophobic, boring dud.
Instead of allowing the visual aspects of the movie drive the plot, the wince-inducing allegory tells you what you’re supposed to be “getting” from it. Sarandon’s Adele has a single solution for every problem: “Let’s get some ice cream.” And so the two drive off into the Beverly Hills sunset as the gooey Sarah McLachlan love ballad “Ice Cream” drowns out the car motor. You ain’t seen trite ‘til you’ve seen this. What is so frustrating about Anywhere But Here is that its simple story (i.e. a story where nothing really happens) might have succeeded. Outside Providence (whose star, Shawn Halosy, martyrs himself to an audience-manipulating cinematic stunt in his brief Anywhere role) was successful because it didn’t try to be a complicated coming-of-age tale; instead, it wallowed in the
The Harvard Independent. The first issue is a testament to history, both in terms of articles (including one about Harvard faculty’s vote on the Vietnam War, included in this issue) and layout. When the Indy got started, there were no computers, no email, and certainly no Adobe InDesign. The editors pieced all the letters together themselves, cutting paper strips with knives and sticking them on boards with hot wax. In the years between then and now, much has changed about The Independent, Harvard,
feeling of growing up. Also, Anywhere completely squanders the evident chemistry between Portman and Sarandon and the very real passive-aggressive family dynamic that they seem to realize on screen. Anyone with an adolescent sister knows what I’m talking about. While your mind wanders from the film’s lack of plot, you begin to construct a sort of six college degrees of separation. In the film, Ann secretly applies to Brown, though Peter, the token love interest, thinks she should go to Berkeley. It’s the same dilemma that Jennifer Love Hewitt’s character on Party of Five faced back when the show was still decent. In Outside Providence, the main character’s girlfriend (Amy Smart) chose Brown. Predictably, her character’s boyfriend (James Van Der Beek) in Varsity Blues also gets
wit of Rock, who perfectly delivers devastating lines with deceptive friendliness. Dogma has a script that burns with sarcasm and pathos, and its actors convey this movie’s darkly comic flavor on screen. Dogma is a movie as much about irreverence as it is about faith. The movie isn’t even about what you believe. Faith should be, as Rufus remarks to Bethany on a leg of their mission to save mankind, more about ideas than beliefs, and Dogma raises ideas by the dozen. It avoids chewing over mankind’s greatest theological conundrums – at one point Bethany asks God to her face why mankind was created, and God answers by playfully poking her on the nose – in order to launch a challenge against cultural and religious complacency. Dogma intrigues rather than enthralls, is hilarious in parts and retains an irony, like its violence, that is uncompromisingly vicious. And isn’t it ironic who gets to play God, don’t you think?
his free ride to Brown. Just as Van Der Beek drawled, “I don’t want your life,” to his Papa, so does Portman screech to Sarandon, “I don’t want to end up like you!” Anywhere But Here is so derivative of more entertaining movies that it even cribs a line from Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead: Have you ever seen the grunyons [sic] mating on the beach?” The females die giving birth to their children!” Even with these hooks, Anywhere just doesn’t engage the audience. In the end, Adele has, of course, resigned herself to the inevitability of losing her daughter, but this ending is just as drippy as the scene when mother and daughter drive off into the sunset to get some ice cream. After an eternity of lachrymose cheesiness, the viewer can only wish to be anywhere but in that theater. 11.12.09 • The Harvard Independent
20 years ago...
s 40th anniversary. and the world. In celebration of the Indy’s 40th anniversary, we welcome you to join us as we take a look back through 40 years of history through articles, graphics, and advertisements. Every issue over the next year will include articles through the years, thanks to archives collected by our alumni. The celebration will culminate in a special issue — 40 pages for 40 years — to be released during next year’s Game. We hope you’ll join us, and enjoy the ride. Patricia Florescu and Susan Zhu, Presidents Faith Zhang, Editor-in-Chief
The Flip Side By MARK PARISI
he great white expanse on the back of the survey forms inspired many students to elaborate on their responses. Some of the comments were serious… Would fraternities and sororities improve Harvard’s social life? “As someone who has just transferred to Harvard from an institution with a Greek system, I would hate to see fraternities and sororities come here. They’ll bleed the campus dry of social events, stratify the campus, and make it elitist and incredibly pretentious. Stay away from it!” Are you comfortable discussing sex with your parents? “I can talk about sexual acts, birds and bees, etc. But lately I cannot talk about my personal sexuality and sex life because my family then begins pressuring me and making me feel guilty for my actions” … and some tended toward the lighter side. Have you been sexually active in the past month? “In the past five hours! You can publish this.”
The Harvard Independent • 11.12.09
How many serious relationships have you had at Harvard? “Not a question I feel like dealing with, having just escaped from a bad one.” “None, and based on my experiences here so far, I doubt I ever will.” Are you confident in UHS? “UHS can be a great place if you get a ‘private’ doctor –otherwise it’s sort of like hell” Is a Harvard education worth the money? “I think a Harvard diploma is worth the money. The education behind it is a farce.” “My parents’ money, yes. My own money, no.” Have you tried Cheesy Garden Casserole? “Yes, I tried the Cheesy Garden shit and lived to tell the tale, because I stopped eating after one taste.” “Yes, and loved it!” Has Expos improved your writing? “I don’t know how much it improved my writing, but it certainly taught me to write more quickly.” “Expos was the most banal experience of my existance [sic].”
40 years ago... Faculty blasts V.N. war By JOEL EISENBURG
eeting in special session on Tuesday, the Faculty
of Arts and Sciences voted in favor of a resolution calling for an end to the Vietnam conflict and urging the prompt, rapid, and complete removal of American forces. The vote climaxed an afternoon of heated debate on the issue of University involvement in public policy. While a clear cut majority, 255 in favor, 81 opposed, with 150 abstentions, favored the resolution, faculty sentiment on the involvement issue, as well as on the war, could not clearly be determined. The shifting balances of opinion, apparent during each important vote, made all but the final outcome difficult to fathom. There were two resolutions on the agenda for the special meeting. The first was a proposal by Professor Everett Mendelsohn requesting faculty approval for the October 15 Moratorium agains [sic] the war and authorizing those members who desired to suspend classes to do so. The second resolution, moved by Professor J. T. Edsall on behalf of the Department of Biochemistry, called upon the Faculty to urge an end to the war and American troop commitments. Before the meeting many faculty members had voiced their concern that these resolutions, particularly the second, would set a dangerous precedent for the involvement of The University in partisan political issues. This concern, rather than disagreement on the war itself, proved to be the context of the debate. Professors Robert Dorfman and Seymour Lipset, together with other faculty members with similar sentiments, called for a convocation.
Most faculty members felt that the Mendelsohn resolution, not so explicit a statement of policy as that of Professor Edsall, would be quickly dealt with. Before the meeting Professor Mendelsohn felt confident of a quick and favorable faculty response to the resolution. The real debate, he thought, would be held on the second proposal. His feelings were shared by the supporters of the convocation alternative, and their plan of action was based on that assumption. The political nature of Mendelsohn’s opening remarks set the debate off ahead of schedule, however, and all the carefully prepared arguments were delivered before the Edsall resolution even reached the floor. Debate focused on an amendment to the Moratorium resolution proposed by Professor Doeringer. The intent of the amendment was to allow faculty members to participate in the Moratorium if they chose to do so but to withhold any corporate approval for the protest itself. The vote on the amendment, 268 in favor, 210 opposed, seemed to indicate a majority believed that it was not the place of the Faculty to deal with a political issue formally, even an issue considered by many to be as important to the University as the Vietnam War. After overwhelmingly approving the revised Mendelsohn resolution the faculty heard Professor Edsall introduce his proposal. After two brief speeches Professor Lipset called upon the Faculty to recess for fifteen minutes, with the implied intent of dealing with the resolution in unofficial convocation. The vote was taken and by a 215 to 214 margin the convocation resolution was defeated. Attempts to call for a recount of the vote went unnoticed by the chairman, President Pusey, and in confusion, the faculty
proceeded to vote on the Edsall resolution. It passed with remarkable ease. Many questions remained unanswered in the aftermath of the vote. The central paradox is the contrast between the early vote on the amendment by Professor Doeringer and the results of the balloting on Lipset’s proposal. The early vote would indicate support for the convocation yet somewhere along the way some fifty votes were lost only to reappear on the final tally in the column of those favoring a political stand. The opinions on exactly whose votes changed and why are varied. Several faculty members maintained that in the confusion numerous people failed to grasp the significance of the Lipset motion and certainly with a vote this close, that may have been an important factor. Professor Hoffman expressed the opinion that a number of borderline moderates, unclear on their positions, together with a number of conservatives opposed to the convocation in principle abstained on the Lipset vote. Professor Lawrence Wylie agreed with this analysis and stated further, that these same moderates chose to vote for the Edsall resolution once the convocation option had been closed. Professor Lipset later indicated the feeling that certain conservatives who favor the war, voted against the recess resolution under the incorrect assumption that the Edsall resolution would lose. Still other faculty members maintained that many people, having recorded their opposition to faculty involvement in political issues with their votes on the Doeringer amendment, felt free to vote with their conscience on the second resolution.
Before Gen Ed, there was the Core. Before the Core, there was Gen Ed. - The Editor
General Education in a Confused Society By BRUCE CHALMERS, Master, Winthrop House
ome view with alarm, and some with hope, the growing
conviction among the college generation that it is much more important to shape the future than to perpetrate the past. The traditional image of the educated man is that his frame of reference is the cultural heritage; we should examine the aims and the processs of higher educaiton to see how they might respond to the priorities and passions tha thave captured many of our brightests and compassionate young men and women. The basis of higher educatoin is, and always must bek, the study of a subject in sufficient depth to la the foundation for a productive life, in terms of the discipline of learning, if not of the material learned. But the student is not only going ot b ea scholar, doctor, business man, physicist or economist; he will also be a parent, a consumer, a voter and a leader or a follower in the changes or the stagnation of social, moral and political attitudes. The student may be dimly aware of this, but he is probably searchin gfor understanding of the structure and problems of the socieyt he lives in, and is evolving and defining the attitudes, standards and tastes that will determine the sort of person he is and what he will do with his life. This leads to the proposition that the quality of life in the future, both individually and collectively, depends much more on the extent to which the rising generation understands the problems of society and recognize their own potentialities, obligations and limitations, than on their knowledge of the great books, the history of western civilization and the history of science. If this view is accepted, it follows that Harvard’s present general education
requirements are archaic, and that there are three areas to which the student should be encouraged to devote serious attention. These are first, a study of the social, political and economic aspects of contemporary society, perhaps as a series of case studies of crucial problems. The second area is a study of alternative approaches to moral and ethical problems. These approaches could well include the religious as well as the secular, and the psychological as well as the philosophical. A third area of personal development to which many students are receptive is the asthetic [sic]; it can be argued that active participation in one or another of the arts, combined with a more scholarly study, provides an intellectual and emotional resource that helps one to retain one’s perspective in a confusing world. It is suggested that these three fields might provide a more valuable program, in terms of ultimate educational objective,s htan our current General Educationrequirements; but just to substitute requirements would not suffice, because these three areas are intensely individual. How a student should approach them depends on what he sees as problems, and on his aspirations and ambitions. For this reason, and to avoid putting a premium on conformity, it is urged that the student’s progress in these areas not be measured by the conventional award of grades, and that effort not be measured in half courses. Finally, to avoid being accused of wanting to paint all students (or any students) “establishment color”, let it be clear that in all these areas the whole point is for the student ot find his own answers to problems to which there are no “right” answers.
In which it is proven that some things never change, that some dreams stay the same, and that inflation has been busily working away for the last forty years — these days, buying a book from a homeless person in Harvard Square costs more than $1.25. 11.12.09 • The Harvard Independent
The front page of the Indy's very first issue, dated Thursday, October 9, 1969, and looking just a bit tattered around the edges. The inside featured both such items as exotic as an ad for a hi-fi system and as familiar as an article on a drop in the endowment. The Harvard Independent â€˘ 11.12.09
Great Expectations Dreaming the impossible dream. By ALFREDO MONTELONGO
I was six, my dad brought me, my brother, and my sister together and told us that my mom was going to be gone for the night. This meant that we all could stay up past our bedtimes to watch a very, very important game. We all were thrilled to be breaking the rules without really caring about the reason for it. I remember sitting with the lights off, eyes glued to the television screen, watching one team dressed in blue and silver playing another in black and gold, not really knowing what was going on. What I did know, however, was that the players in blue and silver were the good guys. As my dad told us, they were “America’s team,” and so we cheered for them, taking our cues from Dad. I remember my mom coming in later, smiling at us, saying “Ah, I knew it!” while wagging her finger at us. We giggled, knowing now that this game really was important if Mom was joining us to watch it instead of putting us to bed. I don’t really remember much else,
but as I later found out, “America’s team” had won. For those of you who don’t know what I am referencing, that first football game that I watched was Super Bowl XXX, when the Dallas Cowboys beat the Pittsburgh Steelers for their fifth Super Bowl title. Ever since then, I have been a loyal fan of “Los ‘Boys,” as my grandma would say (and any Hispanic in Texas would fondly recognize), growing up watching the trifecta of Michael Irving, Emmitt Smith, and Troy Aikman. Unfortunately for Cowboys fans, they haven’t been winning much since. And you know what? It kills me to watch them. They have won only one playoff game since, in the year immediately after their Super Bowl win, and have gone several seasons without even making the playoffs. With the advent of Tony Romo as the new quarterback (after years and years of quarterback turmoil. Do y’all remember Bledsoe? Let’s just move on), it seemed like everything was going to
change during the 2006 season. Everyone was hailing him as the new savior, complimenting his throwing technique, and making comparisons to Brett Favre, and it seemed like everything was clicking into place when the ‘Boys somehow sneaked into the postseason against the Seahawks. Though the game went back and forth, it appeared with little over a minute left, that the Cowboys were going to win it. Down by one, the field goal team trotted on and every watching Cowboys fan knew, that finally, the Cowboys were going to win a playoff game after a decade-long drought. Unfortunately, our dreams didn’t go as planned. Tony Romo, the savior of the Dallas Cowboys, botched the snap and allowed the Seahawks to escape with the win. Despite the flurry of unprintable words that followed, I still maintained some level of composure. I knew that next year was going to be different. Romo would be starting the season, and surely he would be more mature,
and he definitely wasn’t going to be the holder for field goals (it’s such a stupid coincidence that the backup quarterback performs this task). Expectations were high, and many analysts picked the Cowboys to go all the way to the Super Bowl. The regular season went well as the Cowboys held the top seed in the NFC, and they appeared to be fulfilling those expectations. Then, they faced the Giants in the Divisional playoffs...and won the game at the last second. All right, that last part is extreme denial, but I’d appreciate it if y’all didn’t tell me the truth. Instead, let’s collectively forget that Tony Romo threw an interception on the last play of the game and that the Giants continued on to win the Super Bowl, when it most absolutely should have been the Cowboys. It’ll be better for everyone, I promise. Well, at least they made the playoffs that year. This past season, the Cowboys were given chance after chance to do so—and they failed to capitalize every single time. Instead, they let the Eagles trounce them 44-6 in the last game of the year, one that would have kept their season alive. So, that finally brings us to this season. After a fairly shaky start (who needs overtime to beat the Chiefs?), they have posted three impressive wins over the Falcons, Seahawks, and the Eagles, giving them a solid 6-2 record. However, previous experience tells me that as soon as I get my hopes up too high, the Cowboys will disappoint, just as they have every year. It seems like a formula for them: get their fans’ hopes up, then lose as spectacularly as possible. And yet, this year, something feels different. This is a team with much less hype, no grand expectations, and a cast that is definitely less dramatic (thank goodness we let go T.O.; sorry, Buffalo). I find myself hoping this year that they will continue this good play, that they will not disappoint come playoff time (if they make it), and that Tony Romo will not let his girlfriends distract him (I swear, Romo, if you date another blonde…). So, even though the Cowboys have disappointed for so many years and do not merit any hope whatsoever, I do believe that this year, they will finally win a playoff game. Alfredo Montelongo ’11 (amontel@fas) is living proof that hope never dies.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
11.12.09 • The Harvard Independent
A Clouded Peak Running for the summit. By ARTHUR BARTOLOZZI
inding ever on and ever upward,
moving through trees and bramble and over all sorts of rocks, passing through one microecosystem after another, listening intently to the body’s intuition for changing conditions — trail runners search for one seemingly elusive goal. It’s there and they know the summit can be reached — but what can be said for the trip? A new challenge lies in how far hikers are able to push themselves with the environment. Last month, Phillip Kreycik ’06 and his MIT-based team set a new standard for outdoor competition in New Hampshire’s 19-mile Presidential Range relay race — by individually running the course in its entirety and by outrunning the next closest team by thirty minutes. Trail running is not necessarily about time, but it exposes the importance of focused awareness on many levels. In addition to the incredible physical determination and conditioning necessary, variable environmental challenges are present in a way uncharacteristic of many other sports. Over the course of tens of miles through the wilderness (though the Whites are arguably tame) and several thousand feet of elevation gain, much is uncertain. There is a sense that outdoor gurus are able to fashion anything out of materials at hand — up to and including a stretcher — and an essential preparedness should not be overlooked as a skill critical to survival. So what things merit a spot in your weight-conscious pack? Photos for their sentimental value? Cotton garments for their American ties? The DVD player with that last season of The Office (I wish Andy would get with Erin already)? Of course, hikers readily identify all of these things as lacking practical utility. But, when speed and comfort become functions of what you carry, suddenly the line between critical survival items and extraneous luxuries is not so clear-cut. “Survival items” also carries a distorting connotation, for what a person can use to survive is not something that can be definitively outlined — unless of course that outline is of a jigsaw piece. The point is not to subject oneself to situations where survival is the goal, but to preempt The Harvard Independent • 11.12.09
these possibilities and maintain a certain consciousness that bridges the gaps between textbook medical knowledge, the dynamic environment, and one’s own physical well being. Running trails demands this self-check to be instantaneous, accurate, and ongoing. The emergence of trail running by no means diminishes the exploratory experience of the woods. Both physical and mental activity are veritably heightened, but the process of discovery that has inspired some of history’s finest commands a presence arguably above all else. With fleeting moments of exposure, each scene passes with a newfound intensity: a fern, a birch, a bird, a bear? — no, a rock, a board, a vista, a shoe sunk in the mud — wait. Still, the ostensible goal of reaching the summit provides a focal point for the lens through which the runner sees these things. In essence, the trees, the rocks, and the bears all push the runner onwards and in retrospect are collectively part of the reason his pursuit was successful. What would be the value of running trails if the surrounding environment did not impact the experience? Graupel is something that can do just that. Enjoying a brisk November afternoon just east of the Prezies in the White Mountains, fellow hikers bushwhacked closer to the summit. The trees thinned, the trail steepened and the wind began to pick up on the mountain face--the peak was at hand. Feasible, though increasingly illusory, the summit attracted a storm cloud that covered the upper ledges of the trail. Climbing onward into a newly mystified space, the hikers marveled at the wonderful unpredictability of nature. The peak came to meet the hikers with an equal feeling of satisfaction and saturated storm cloud unleashed graupel. Graupel is the German word for soft hail — a type of precipitation that can be chemically explained with theories by supercooling and crystallization, but essentially was equivalent to a rain storm of dippin’ dots. The graupel softened the already peaceful scene, adding a layer of warmth to the accomplishment of the summit. All unanticipated, the moment on the summit captured pure serenity, if only for a fleeting instant. Turning back down into the wilderness, the
trail runners shifted their target to the trailhead, while keeping that momentary glimpse of wonder in the forefront of their minds. The inexplicable bond with nature drives trail runners onward. If you were to ask someone why she runs through mountains, her first response would be an instinctive smile. Part of the drive
comes from the elusive, mystical shroud of mountain summits — but a larger share rests with the prospect of discovering that summit in a new way, perhaps even covered with something as simple as graupel. Arthur Bartolozzi ’12 (abartol@fas) can be found speeding up and down mountains.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
captured & shot