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03.28.13 VOL. XLIV, NO. 19

The Indy is deliberating. Cover Design by ANNA PAPP

CONTENTS FORUM 3 My Life is Average 4 To Break or Not to Break NEWS 5 Samsung Sings Apple's Swan Song ARTS 6 A Rising in the Sun 7 Love or Labels? 8 Stoking the Fire

President Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Director of Production

Angela Song '14 Christine Wolfe '14 Sayantan Deb '14 Miranda Shugars '14

News and Forum Editor Arts Editor Sports Editor Design Editor Associate News Editor Associate Forum Editor Associate Arts Editor Associate Design Editor

Whitney Gao '16 Curtis Lahaie '15 Sean Frazzette '16 Alex Chen '16 Milly Wang '16 Kalyn Saulsberry '14 Sarah Rosenthal '15 Travis Hallett '14

Illustrator Anna Papp '16 Cartoonist John McCallum '16 Photographers Maria Barragan-Santana '14 Tarik Moon '15 Business Manager Senior Staff Writers

Staff Writers

SPORTS 9-10 Mad Winning 11-12 Skiing to Success Destination of the week... The Bahamas

Albert Murzakhanov '16 Michael Altman '14 Meghan Brooks '14 Whitney Lee '14 Claire Atwood '16 Xanni Brown '14 Terilyn Chen '16 Clare Duncan '14 Gary Gerbrandt '14 Travis Hallett '14 Yuqi Hou '15 Cindy Hsu '14 Chloe Li '16 Orlea Miller '16 Albert Murzhakanov '16 Carlos Schmidt '15 Frank Tamberino '16

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 afďŹ liation, instead offering diverse commentary on news, arts, sports, and student life. For publication information and general inquiries, contact President Angela Song (president@harvardindependent. com) or Managing Editor Sayantan Deb (managingeditor@ Letters to the Editor and comments regarding the content of the publication should be addressed to Editor-in-Chief Christine Wolfe (editorinchief@harvardindependent. com). For email subscriptions please email president@ The Harvard Independent is published weekly during the academic year, except during vacations, by The Harvard Independent, Inc., Student Organization Center at Hilles, Box 201, 59 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. Copyright Š 2013 by The Harvard Independent. All rights reserved.



Defining Average Why being average has become being far below the curve. By WHITNEY GAO


eing average can be a far-fetched concept at Harvard. It is doubtful that anyone meets a Harvard student and imagines that they feel anything less than accomplished and satisfied with their achievements. But in truth, the measure of “average” is relative. And at Harvard, the scales are tipped in favor of the phenomenal. We have an uncommon number of the brightest minds, the biggest names, and the best athletes. In truth, it’s probably easier to feel small and insignificant here than at any other place in the world. In a world where everyone struggles to identify and to stand out from the general masses, it can be easy to feel like nothing special. And at Harvard, that struggle is compounded thousand-fold. But Harvard aside, the world has created a society that has changed the definition of what it means to be “average.” Being average now carries a negative connotation; you have to be special in order to be looked favorably upon. In today’s world, the standard of “average” in the past few generations has shifted down the scale towards “uncommonly poor.” Grades that were accepted as average in the past (around Cs or so) now signal a child that is doing poorly academically. The “middle-class” carries a hint of sadness and struggle whenever mentioned or the term is used to classify. Individuals of average physical appearance are derogatorily labeled as “ugly” or “homely.” Why is this? In my opinion, this refusal to accept the average is due to globalization. In times when people were less connected with the world, when they didn’t have an entire Internet’s worth of information at the tips of their fingers, tales of the high and mighty were limited. They only experienced the large personas of the people in their area or by word of mouth. Today, the anecdotes of the special are endless. Celebrities in all fields and disciplines have much greater presence. In psychology, the availability heuristic describes a person’s tendency to give more weight to individual stories rather than taking a realistic look at the whole. Globalization has given each individual many more individual statistics to consider and made it much easier to forget about the immensity of ordinary cases. So here I sit, steeped in averageness. At Harvard, I’m pretty sure that I am representative of the middle fifty percent, though it often feels like I belong in the bottom ten. I’m not in Math 55, Physics 16, or Econ 1011, and my GPA is no four-oh. My body isn’t perfectly sculpted — actually, I haven’t even

The Harvard Independent • 03.28.13

Photo by Whitney Gao

set foot in a gym since arriving on campus, and it’s an unfortunate streak that is more than likely to continue until the end of this semester. I have no significant claims to fame, and I don’t foresee any appearing anytime soon. But while these can be applied to many a student on campus, why does it feel like I am singularly unaccomplished? I feel insecure every day because I’m faced with peers who are out there, achieving more than I am every single day in every single area. I feel worried constantly that I’m falling behind everyone else. I feel sad that I’ve lost that discerning characteristic that brought me here in the first place. I feel scared that I’m melting into mediocrity — or worse, obscurity. I don’t feel satisfactory on any front. That’s not to say that I’m constantly unhappy or in a bad place mentally and/or emotionally, but it is easy to get dragged down by the negativity when you’re faced with spectacular exceptionality every day. In a place where superiority in some area is expected of you, how can you ever stay above the curve? For those who find themselves in similar situations as myself, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Remember why you’re here — to be the best version of you that you can be. It’s important to remember that at the end of the day, you have to face only one person: yourself. There are no peers, no professors, no parents, no celebrities. Only yourself. And if you can be happy with who

you are, that’s a gold star for you and no one else. The philosophy of self-betterment for the sake of self alone reduces the need to compare and contrast with everyone around you. It is a hard motto to adopt, and some would say it is a phony mantra failures use to comfort themselves. There may be some truth to their doubt that this is a fluffy way of consoling and rationalizing life events. But when taken with motivation and dedication and not used a tool for complacency or laziness, I think there’s great power in the ability to be accountable to yourself first and foremost. I don’t mean to make this a piece about celebrating my normalcy — I’m not promoting doing such. But dealing with the pressure of being a remarkable human being in all respects is a daunting issue that can have crippling emotional effects. It’s something that I have often struggled with in my time at Harvard, and I want to make the point that being average in the eyes of the public is not nearly as bad as it would seem. Everyone wants to be #1, but not everyone can. That’s just a fact of life. I’m okay with being average. As long as I can sit down at the end of the day and know that I’ve improved myself somehow — whether it’s making the choice to eat healthy that day, learning something new in class, or curing cancer — I can smile and be happy. Whitney Gao ’16 (whitneygao@college) is available for coffee — your treat, of course — if you ever want to hear her twenty reasons on why being average has its perks.




easonal Affective Disorder (appropriately acronymed to SAD) was not something I believed it. It was the stuff of myths, of legends. But this Spring Break, whether you think SAD is a real thing or not, I am convinced that it’s 100% valid. I lived in Arkansas for the decade before college, where heat and sun are essential pieces in the definition of the state. Then, I came to Cambridge — a place where rain and wind and dark skies are inescapable. So for Spring Break, I was more than excited to journey to the Bahamas, where sunshine permeates even the thickest of

I stayed on campus for spring break my first two years at Harvard, so pretty much anything would have been an improvement over staring at the concrete walls of Lev tower and wishing I knew more about tax code for the FAFSA. But an opportunity presented itself to a) get out of dodge, b) spend some time with friends, and c) appear cool and talented when one of my friends invited me to her ski condo in Breckenridge, Colorado. As a Coloradan myself, I know the town better by its moniker—pronounced in a low-pitched, marijuana-induced slur— Breck. Breck turned out to be the epitome of cute-little-ski-town-without-a-realtown, with four blocks of t-shirt shops and dives for Gear whores (the accurate if not politically correct term for outdoorsy folk who can’t help but salivate at the sight of Patagonia or North Face un-necessities). There were some cute local shops and nice restaurants, however, so even the nonskiers and riders can find ways to spend their time off the mountain. As someone who never passes up the opportunity to remind others that I was raised beneath the big, blue, oxygendeprived skies of the Rockies, I planned to spend my time ripping up the runs (this is not something you should say to locals; I use it in the interest of pleasant phonetics, not self-respect). It was exhilarating to snowboard again—it’s the only fast and 4

curtains the rainiest of clouds. Though I ended up paying the price with searing sunburn and hints of an awkward sunglasses tan, it was worth it. I never felt happier. Whether it’s because I had no work (by choice, not in reality) to deal with or because I actually got to see the sun more often than once in a blue moon, it’s hard to say. However, the warmth of the rays on my face as the smallest grains of sand trickle between my toes has been a feeling long-missed, and I can pretty safely say that it wouldn’t be the same if I had idled my time away in my ridiculously small and dark Weld single. We went snorkeling, parasailing,

dangerous thing I do, and those breaths of open mountain air gave me much needed rejuvenation after months spent cooped up in Harvard’s libraries and dining halls. That said, I also got a taste of what life would be like without a meal plan. Our dinner selection consisted of Kraft Mac & Cheese, Kraft American Singles, frozen vegetables, and a somewhat horrifying and gustatorily disappointing frozen Ihop breakfast food lump. HUDS, I have never loved you more. § My spring break was perfect! While I do love to travel and take time off, last week I did not lay eyes on a plane, train, or bus. Instead, I tackled my behemoth to-do list spanning weeks’ worth of put-off necessities. I did my taxes, sent emails, got caught up on some work in my lab, and started to study for the MCAT — not to even mention the readings and other miscellaneous work for school. Those don’t seem like ideal vacation activities, but for someone who is obsessed with lists and vigorously moving through them, my spring break will translate into a couple of weeks of classes, but no school work. Imagine, coming home from class at 3pm and not having anything to do until the next day! That’s the vacation I’m looking forward to, though, and it’s off to a great

and jetskiing (all of which I recommend, especially if you’ve already spent the first few days sleeping past noon and then sleeping more while sunbathing on the beach). Though I had multiple new, adrenaline-pumping experiences that I will remember and talk about for a long time to come, the thing I most appreciated during my time in the Caribbean will be the sun for a really long time. So long story short, next March, I hope you’ll be on your way away from the Cambridge gloom to some tropical happiness.

start — that behemoth to-do list? 100% completed. That bestows some sort of sick feeling of satisfaction for which listmakers strive but only rarely reach. It’s smooth sailing now until May; I’ll take a month over nine days every time. The weather is nicer in June, anyway. § I spent this break convalescing. Before I left Harvard to go to my house thirty minutes away, I made a conscious decision to spend break doing nothing. I packed a few course books, in case I got bored, but knew I wasn't going to use them. Instead, I spent five glorious days lying on my couch, hanging out with my dog and brothers and watching TV. I watched all of Sherlock, caught up on Archer, and enjoyed a daylong marathon of NCIS, all interspersed with network TV's ever-present HIMYIM and 30 Rock reruns. I slept until noon every day and ate foods high in fat and sugar. I went to T.J. Maxx every day, bought nothing, and met a friend once for sushi. I didn't even touch my homework until Sunday night. It sounds kind of depressing now, but I cut myself off from responsibility and reality. I chilled the hell out. My spring break was an actual, legitimate break, and by far the best spring break I've had.

03.28.13 • The Harvard Independent



Et Tu, Samsung? Samsung fights Apple for dominance of the Holy Smartphone Empire.



ith the unveiling of the alpha male of Android smartphones last week — the Samsung Galaxy S4 — pundits have simultaneously hailed the dawn of a new era and decried the end of another, perhaps prematurely so. Sensationalized headlines aside, for the first time, a substantial case can be made that not only is Samsung rapidly gaining clout in the pecking order of the smartphone industry, but also that it sits atop that list with Apple and other competitors trailing behind. This notion would have come across as blasphemous two years ago when the iPhone stood eons ahead of its Android and Windows competitors in terms of functionality, interface, and, of course, design. However, two years marks an eternity when discussing the breakneck pace with which smartphone technology — and, subsequently, consumer expectation — evolves. In a manner eerily reminiscent to the way in which Apple almost singlehandedly thrust RIM’s prized Blackberry smartphones from the forefront of cutting-edge, sleek technology to stodgy, undesirable pieces of plastic emblematic of corporate misdirection and complacency, some critics argue Samsung is turning Apple on its head. As ironic or perverse — depending on how you view the situation — as The Harvard Independent • 03.28.13

it may seem, Thorsten Heins, the CEO of BlackBerry, called the iPhone “outdated” last week. Though perhaps not completely correct, they’re also not completely wrong. Let it be clear that the iPhone is still a wonderful piece of machinery and will continue to be relevant in the years to come. For many, it still remains the phone to beat and is the benchmark in terms of overall experience. Apple’s App Store, despite endless complaints over its closed source development, boasts more polished applications than its Google rival. The phone’s touch screen and motion sensors still stand a notch above the occasionally jerky controls of Android telephones. And in terms of overall form factor, for many, there is not a more robust, elegant, and intuitive design for a phone. Although its more recent iterations lack the wow-factor of the original 2007 design, the iPhone (still) looks and feels damn good from the time you remove it from its meticulously packaged box to the time you upgrade. That said, one cannot ignore the changing landscape of the smartphone world and delude ourselves into thinking that Apple’s future is simply golden. Samsung’s enormous strides both in terms of product quality and brand perception in the past two years has seen its market share rise

dramatically in the US market (to nearly 21%). Although Apple remains comfortably ahead in the US market for now, Samsung’s sudden surge comes at their expense. To put it bluntly, the early Android smartphones just couldn’t match up with the iPhone — a fight between the reigning heavyweight and an emerging lightweight is never a fair fight. Although they showed potential, the glitchy and buggy first and second-generation Android smartphones were largely perceived as geek toys (see: original Motorola Droid) for those who wanted to spend hours in front of a screen tinkering with their phones and drooling over processor speeds. Samsung’s first Galaxy smartphone sought to change that image, and they succeeded — at least partially. Although the first Galaxy smartphone was superior to its Android competitors, it felt raw and unpolished compared to Apple’s iPhone for the very reason that it felt like an imitation (look no further than the companies’ very public lawsuit). However, Samsung realized they were on to a winning formula and persisted in fine-tuning their showpiece phone with each iteration to the point that some now believe they have surpassed Apple. Samsung’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S4, in addition to being benchmarked as the world’s

fastest phone, boasts eye-sensitive smart-pause/smart-control features as well as dual-recording capabilities, among others. How useful these features will ultimately prove is up for debate, but the point remains that the company is pushing the envelope. Apple, by contrast, has failed to generate excitement by improving screen resolution, increasing memory capacity, or incorporating its most recent, significant, genuinely new feature: Siri. It should then come as no surprise that Samsung’s brand perception has benefitted tremendously with each cutting edge phone it releases while Apple’s has regressed. That said, all is not lost for Apple. The iconic American company that was the brainchild of one of Silicon Valley’s most audacious innovators could do well to look back at its roots, or at the very least it could take cues from their Korean competitors. The iPhone was largely responsible for seeing Apple’s stock price rise from $80 around its release to $700 five years later — such success of a single product has been unprecedented. But who says lighting can’t strike twice? Manik Bhatia ’16 (mbhatia@college) thinks there is nothing better than that new iPhone smell.


Girl Rising Harvard screens the limited-showing documentary about female empowerment. By ALBERT MURZAKHANOV

“Educate a girl, change the world.”


n March 8th, International Women’s Day, The Harvard Graduate School of Education presented a screening of the documentary Girl Rising. The film delineated the story of nine brave girls from nine different countries who were – against all odds – fighting to make an impact. The social-issue film talked about the barriers to education girls in particular have to face. According to Education First, there are 33 million fewer girls than boys receiving a primary school education. Even more

troubling is that in a single year, an estimated 150 million girls are the victims of sexual violence, and 50% of all sexual assault victims are girls under the age of 15. If watching a documentary simply feels like consuming medicine, its influence may be limited in the scope of people it can genuinely reach. Therefore, director Richard Robbins thought of a brilliant and creative idea for a “spoon full of sugar” type film. He had nine writers from each of the nine countries represented in the documentary – along with nine

Courtesy of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education


celebrities – tell this powerful story with passion and conviction. All nine girls are young heroes who sacrificed and fought with might and courage for things we as viewers take for granted and some we cannot even imagine. One of the girls mentioned in the documentary, Malala Yousafzai, is a young woman whose heroic actions did not go unnoticed and, unfortunately, unpunished. Malala was 11 years old when she started blogging entries from her diary for BBC. She would talk about her unceasing urge to get an education in the midst of intolerable Taliban rule. Pakistan has the lowest youth literacy rate in the world, and Malala wanted that to change. She committed no inhumane crimes and hurt no one, but was shot for insisting on girls’ right to education. She suffered for others’ ignorance. She left — and continues to leave — an influence that can’t be eradicated and a path that can only lead forward, steering her nation and the rest of the world away from the dangers of such ignorance. Her shooting sparked worldwide anger and the refusal to silence the voices of thousands of other girls. The film demonstrates that providing a girl with even a few years of schooling can have a momentous effect, reverberating throughout the community and breaking a seemingly continuous cycle of poverty. According to The World Bank, a girl with an extra year of education can earn 20% more as an adult. Farhana Nabi ’16 conveyed the significance of screening this film along with its impact on the Harvard community: “This film was presented to raise

awareness, not just of the injustice that women and young girls face all over the world, but of their strength and courage during these times, of their desire for an education regardless of their situation. And most importantly, it speaks of our roles and responsibilities to these girls and women. As students of Harvard University, we are given a privilege to make a difference in the world and especially in the lives of girls like Suma, Yasmin, and Azmera. This screening was an awakening into the real world that highlighted the importance of education. It was a call for action, for hope, for education. For empowerment. As Harvard students, we are very lucky. We are able to attain the greatest education in the world, and it is important for this community to remember that some people are not so lucky. Any education at all is a gift, and a gift should always be shared. Because when we share this gift, it grows, diversifies, and makes more of an impact than one could ever imagine.” Through films like Girl Rising, we can come to imagine and sympathize with others who have lived through times and events that are difficult for us to even comprehend. It allows us to spread the struggle of these brave young girls and encapsulate their heroic deeds and urgent call for action. As students who are receiving educations that millions of girls can’t even dream of, we are responsible for speaking for those whose voices are being silenced. Albert Murzakhanov ’16 (amurzakhanov@ college) is thankful for his education. 03.28.13 • The Harvard Independent


his week the Supreme Court will hear the oral arguments related to samesex marriage, and decide on the two cases later in the week. For those of you living under a rock, let me catch you up. The first case, which was heard on Tuesday, March 27th, considered Proposition 8, California’s ban on gay marriage. The other case is about the Defense of Marriage Act. Together, these two cases will determine the course of same sex marriage laws for the coming decade – clearly there is a lot at stake. Therefore it is no surprise that this momentous week has triggered a flurry of media attention. A photo of an “equal to” sign by the Human Rights Campaign went viral on Facebook, triggering a prompt tsunami of profile picture changes and generating further “shares”. It also led to the creation of the “greater than” sign, which in turn highlighted the ongoing struggles of the queer community at large, that extends beyond marriage equality. Concurrent with these discussions is a debate on the definition of marriage and why the fight for equality matters. Coincidentally, while this debate about marriage was continuing in the media, and social media, I stumbled upon Bravo’s reality TV show – It’s a Brad, Brad World. A disclaimer here: I do not want to trivialize the issue of same sex marriage, or questions regarding the concept of marriage; rather, I think the show is relevant, roots a discussion in both the cultural and pop-cultural veins, and appropriate to draw insight from. The show is about Brad Goreski, the break out star from The Rachel Zoe Project. Brad, stepping away from the shadow of his mentor, is trying to start his own styling firm. At the same time, he is negotiating work with his personal life. He lives with his long-term boyfriend, screenwriter Gary Janetti. Throughout the first season, not only do we get to see Brad make a name for himself in the styling industry, but also how the relationship he has with Gary embodies one of the most fleshed out, “real” portrayals of a gay couple on TV. Gary and Brad share their house, dogs, love for each other’s parents, and have a deep respect for each other. They struggle to juggle their professional and personal lives, and finally, deal with loss of loved ones. In other words, they are just like any other couple in a relationship. Here, the stress on relationship versus any other is important, because the point of this article isn’t to comment on another gay couple on TV. Especially in the last few years, the fad has been to include a gay character, if not a couple into the storyline, to attract a certain demographic – frankly, a line of reasoning that is problematic for a slew of reasons. The stress rather is on the fact that Brad and Gary are not married. However, the life they lead shows that they do not care for each other, or express their love, in any way different than would a married couple. Yet, the fact The Harvard Independent • 03.28.13

It’s a Gay, Gay World

How Bravo’s It’s A Brad Brad World challenges the paradigm of marriage. By SAYANTAN DEB is that Gary and Brad are boyfriends – not husbands, or fiancés. And this distinction becomes crucial from the societal point of view, because society has placed a decidedly different connotation to the word “marriage”, and by extension, husbands, that somehow delegitimizes relationships that are not marriages. It’s a Brad Brad World shows that a relationship, one that is founded on values of love, companionship, loyalty and respect does not need to be a marriage to mean anything less than any connotation that society might afford the institution of marriage. Brad and Gary’s relationship isn’t any less meaningful because they have refused to conform to a societal institution, and Gary’s impromptu flash mob on their 10th anniversary party for Brad sure isn’t any less cute (and still made at least one viewer cry). However, the fact is that we are all social beings – we are part of the fabric of this society without any agency. Unless we retreat to a place where societal expectations, definitions, and norms are moot (and one would be hard pressed to find such a place), marriage, and the right to get married will matter. My personal take on the word “marriage” approaches the word from two different contexts. But even before I get into that, one thing should be made clear – “marriage” in the religious context of the word does not, and cannot hold any fodder for discussion when federal law is concerned – the US’s constitution is based fundamentally on the separation of church and state. That leaves two other vistas of approaching at a definition, or at least characteristics that together embody marriage. The first, and the most relevant,

is the legal meaning. A “marriage” affords couples certain privileges and rights that are not given to other couples, even partners in a civil union. From hospital visitation rights and spousal privilege, to immigration and adoption, the word “marriage” and the status of being married extends well beyond a label. From the social purview, marriage also holds certain connotations. In the shallowest sense, the word “marriage” bestows on the couple a sense of legitimacy that is not afforded to any other relationship status – characterized by a sense of permanence and fidelity. Consciously staying away from questions of morality here, the social connotations of being married clearly places marriage on a higher podium – and therefore, negates any arguments that might submit that these other forms of union are separate, but equal. While I cannot wait to live in a world where the word “marriage” loses its societal and legal connotations, and love is parameter enough to define a meaningful relationship, I am also acutely aware of the facts –marriage matters, and only because society and law deems it so, but still – bitterly, and adamantly it does, and so does the right to get married. That is why this week matters – because it will decide the path this country takes towards ensuring equality for its entire people. That they all have the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness might be self-evident, but it is far from evident in its laws. It’s time that changed, and one hopes that this week’s verdicts will be a step in the right direction. Sayantan Deb ’14 (sayantandeb@college) is keeping his fingers crossed.


A Dark Vision

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The Indy reviews Stoker.

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’ll admit it: I have a perverse love for dark and twisted movies. So that you understand my perspective, I’ll say that my favorite films are American Psycho and The Shining. My childhood fears ran a little late in life, so once I overcame them, I embraced the other side by developing an obsession with horror. Stoker is not, however, a horror film. But it does serve to horrify. First I’ll say that this film, which is directed by Chan-wook Park (Oldboy, Thirst), did a fantastic job with its advertising. One of the rampant problems in Hollywood today is the movie trailer that gives the whole plot away. In my opinion, trailers should reveal the director, the main cast, the tone of the film, and at the most two plot points. That’s it. And that’s exactly what the trailer for Stoker accomplished. Also, at the risk of letting a few of you down, the title is not any kind of allusion to Bram Stoker, as there is nothing about vampirism in the film. The most striking thing about Stoker is undoubtedly its cinematography. I was constantly excited to see what would be accomplished in the next scene. It was as if the camera itself were impatient, pulling from shot to shot and refusing to fall into the monotony of repetition or painfully derivative techniques. The first few sequences were actually abrasive, as the film shuffled through esoteric shots hyperactively. The result was beautiful, but very unsettling. I don’t know if this is a

complaint, but if it is, it’s one I’ve never had before. And, honestly, I could be infinitely entertained by movies finding new and original ways to make me uncomfortable, so it isn’t worthy of criticism on that account. I chose to discuss the cinematography before the plot because that’s how the movie arranges these two forces. The plot is an important component, but Stoker seems to be more concerned with how the story is told, and in films such as this one where the protagonist is less than sympathetic, the how takes precedence. Stoker launches us into one of the most dysfunctional families ever depicted: Evelyn (Nicole Kidman), India (Mia Wasikowska), and Charlie Stoker (Matthew Goode), a widow, her daughter, and the brother of her recently deceased husband. At the beginning, India is struggling to adjust to her father’s absence. She is an eccentric girl, born with heightened senses that cause her to view and interact with the world in a way that makes others (including the audience) uncomfortable and intrigued. After a few flashbacks and reminiscent dialogue, we find that India’s father was the only one who ever understood her. He took her on hunting exploits to shoot and stuff beautiful birds, a form of recreation that sets India’s character immediately apart from the stereotypical misunderstood teenager. Charlie enters as India’s uncle who will be staying with her and her mother and whom neither of them has ever met. He is a

mysterious character who acts as an incubus throughout the film, directing the emotions of India and her mother like a masterful artist of seduction. The seamlessness of Charlie’s façade suggests a dark and potentially dangerous core. Mia Wasikowska proves to be adept at portraying the conflicting emotions of a growing youth. No wonder she’s been cast as a teenager over and over despite being twenty-three years old. What this film ultimately communicates is not only the difficulty of adolescence, but also the process of growth that persists as a universally human condition. In Stoker, India is faced with the challenge of separating the many voices of external influence and understanding how to maintain her individuality while honoring her heritage. Films like Stoker offer an essential release of pressure built up by easily satisfied audiences that would rather laugh or cry than have their subconscious seduced by bizarrely creepy overtones and dark, unexplored themes. As I discussed before, Stoker’s advertising campaign seems so deliberately concealing that I’m skittish about surrendering certain aspects of the plot. I do, however, think that anyone who enjoys masterful cinematography or psychological thrillers will marvel at what Stoker has accomplished. Frank Tamberino ’16 (franktamberino@college) appreciates a good Nicole-Kidman-as-a-crazy-mother 03.28.13 • The Harvard Independent



The Start of Something New Harvard’s Tournament victory is just the beginning of a bright future. By SEAN FRAZZETTE


hey say that good things come in pairs. Whoever said that has never watched Harvard basketball, where pairs come in highs, lows, and in betweens. The basketball season started on a foul note — with a pair of suspensions. After captains Brandyn Curry and Kyle Casey were dismissed from the team due to the infamous cheating scandal, Harvard looked to struggle all season long, with the underclassmen needing to take the reigns earlier than expected. Coach Amaker remarked that during this crisis, “What we talked about was opportunity.” He did not ignore the adversity, but encouraged his players: “These are the moments special things happen.” What they ended up doing was unpredictable to outsiders, but exactly what Amaker called his team to acknowledge, telling reporters, “We may not have had what we had, but we had enough.” Harvard had lost a pair of games in a row against Princeton and Penn, and seemingly fell out of the standing for their third straight Ivy League Championship and second straight NCAA tournament appearance. The Crimson were 9-3 in league, facing below average Columbia and Cornell teams at home to finish the season. Princeton was 9-2, facing average Yale and Brown teams and a bad Penn team to finish the year. Then, a pair of pairs helped them along. One was their back-to-back home victories to finish off the season, ending with an 11-3 record. Going into these games, the team knew that it needed Princeton to lose at least one game to force a playoff, as long as they won out. Princeton lost two. The pair of Crimson wins and the pair of Tiger losses propelled Harvard from a forgetful second place season to the Ivy League Champions and a 14 seed in the West Regional of the playoffs. The matchup was not a favorable one. The three seed was New Mexico, a 29-6 physical squad that beat up on their oppoThe Harvard Independent • 03.28.13

nents with tough defense and massive size advantages. To put things in perspective: our star guard Tony Snell stands at six foot seven, while Harvard’s center Kenyatta Smith is only six foot eight. New Mexico center Alex Kirk, meanwhile, dons number fifty-three, and stands at a massive seven feet tall, weighing 250 pounds. Next to him, standing strong, is the six foot nine, 250 power forward Cameron Bairstow. To add to the terrible matchup in size, the Crimson were eleven point underdogs, and New Mexico — a team that played the number two strength of schedule and was ranked second in RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) — was many experts’ Final Four sleeper pick. It was as if the selection committee wanted to see a blowout. An Ivy League school that barely won the league versus the Mountain West Champions and arguably the second best team in the nation. Harvard saw it differently, and that was apparent from the beginning of the game. The Crimson scored the first points of the match — a Siyani Chambers layup — and never looked back in the first half. The size was statistically an advantage for the Lobos, with Kirk already piling up seven rebounds and Bairstow snagging five more, and New Mexico dominated the offensive boards. But behind the five combined three pointers of Laurent Rivard and Christian Webster in the first half, the Crimson saw a 31-27 lead entering the locker rooms at half. The beginning of the second half would be the signal to whether Harvard could stay with the heavy favorite. If the Crimson continued to play above the level of New Mexico — or even on par with the team — then they would be able to pull of the most shocking upset in school history. If they slipped to typical Harvard playing level, New Mexico would surely overtake their less talented opponents. But after three quick baskets, rebounding, and de-

fensive dominance — and a sudden New Mexico lead — Harvard looked as though it might slip into defeat. The team, however, refused to quit. “We really honed in on our performance,” remarked Amaker in a media session after the game. A Webster three put them back on top, and a Rivard three extended the lead. And from then on out, the fourguard offense of Wesley, Rivard, Webster, and Chambers lead the way. New Mexico’s Kirk kept the team on his back, dominating the block, grabbing boards, and getting to the line. The big man down low scored twelve second-half points and grabbed five more rebounds, en route to a twenty-two and twelve performance. Behind his effort, New Mexico regained the lead with 7:55 remaining in the game, after Jamal Fenton knocked down a three, making the game 49-47. Yet, after a TV timeout, in those final minutes Harvard climbed back in the lead and never looked back. Behind the efforts of the guards, now supplemented by forwards Smith and Steve Moundou-Missi (who had spent most of the game in foul trouble, due to the difficulty in defending the Lobos’ frontcourt), Harvard played strong defense, knocked down big threes, and made their free throws — the key to keeping a lead. Saunders finished the game with eighteen points, but the biggest contribution was going eight of nine from the line, as well as being the court leader of the team — a rare quality from a sophomore who saw little playing time in last year’s tourney loss to Vanderbilt. Rivard ended the game with five threes, Webster with three, and the two gunners held the keys to momentum the whole time. Freshman point guard Siyani Chambers only scored five points, but his seven assists and strong defense kept him a factor a key component for all forty minutes of the game. He, along with Rivard, never once left the game — a testament to their abilities and stamina.


Sports cont. from pg. 9, The Start of Something And finally, while forwards Moundou-Missi and Smith were in foul trouble most of the game (and Jonah Travis saw limited action — yet performed with heart and hustle for his eight minutes), the two did their best to equalize the size disadvantage, ending the game with a combined fifteen points and twelve rebounds. The game ended 68-62, concluding the first ever NCAA tournament victory for Harvard — undeniably the most significant win in school history. The ragtag squad of young underclassman (only Webster was a senior — all others will be returning for next year’s team) performed better than any export, analysis, or statistician could have expected. Optimism ran high through the streets of Cambridge as talks of knocking off six-seed Arizona for a pair of upsets seemed all too imaginable. Inside the locker room, Coach Amaker spoke of ecstatic celebrations, phones buzzing, and even noted, “I got a call from the President.” The euphoria was high through Friday. ESPN asked the questions of how the Lobos lost, how Harvard won, and just how good this Ivy League team was. Pundits did not see the upset coming, but the Crimson coach insisted, “We believed in ourself throughout the process.” Amaker credited everything to the players, saying last year’s loss was key motivation: “We had talked a lot about how we were the year before at the tournament and weren’t able to play as well as we wanted.” No one else remembered last year; the present was here, now, and exciting. Talks of Cornell’s magical run to the Sweet Sixteen in 2010 echoed in the air as the Harvard community prepared itself for the upcoming game against Arizona. But all was for naught. The game against Arizona started at 9:10 PM (in Cambridge) and ended, for all intents and purposes, at about 9:11 PM. Senior point guard Mark Lyons and the rest of the Wildcats did not take the Crimson as easily as the Lobos did. They opened the game on a 30-9 run, knocking down threes, driving to the hoop, and shutting down any offense Harvard attempted to start. Before long, the half was over, and Harvard entered the locker room down 40-22. Unlike the New Mexico game, where the way in which Harvard handled a second half lead would appear to be the key to the game, this game offered a different view; Harvard’s attempt at a comeback would be anchored by whether their three point specialists, especially Rivard, began to knock down shots. They didn’t. Although the four second-half threes were more than the one (hit by Chambers) in the first half, the shooting simply was not there for a Crimson comeback. The Wildcats never allowed Harvard to come within 15 points as they trotted to victory, 74-51, punching their ticket to the Sweet Sixteen in Los Angeles. Rivard, the sharpshooter who made 80 three pointers (and only 87 total field goals) all sea10

son, was held to just one three. Chambers was locked down for the game with only six points and three assists, and even had his tooth chipped in half by defender Kevin Parrom late in the game. Meanwhile, Saunders — the team leader in points, averaging just over 16 for the season, was held to eight points on one of eleven shooting. On the other side of the court, the Wildcats’s Lyons netted 27 points, leading the way for the ten point favorites to victory. Harvard’s season is over. Although no one truly expected a magical run, the disappointment after such a joyous win was difficult to swallow for the Crimson faithful, not to mention the team. But, then again, what would Harvard basketball be without odd pairs? Harvard’s season is over, but the true beginning has just arrived. Next season, both suspended co-captains Curry and Casey could possibly return to school, and they would be received with “open arms,” according to Amaker. In this situation, the team would be adding two extra players to the Round of 32 team, which will bring back four of the starting five members, and thirteen of the fourteen total team members. Also coming to the school are high quality recruits Zeno Edosomwan and Hunter Myers — two frontcourt players that will add

depth to the weakness of this year’s team. In addition to the extra players, Amaker reinforced the idea that the returners will continue to grow, explaining, “We can learn and grow from moments when we weren’t as good, weren’t as ready.” And so, in the end, a loss is a loss, as always. The cliché is that you can learn more from a loss than a win, and perhaps in many ways that is true. But the loss is not what will or should be talked about. Harvard’s first round win has shown just what Coach Tommy Amaker has in plan for Harvard. The Crimson are just a few pieces away from competing with some of the big boys of college basketball. Coach Amaker noted after returning back to Cambridge, “We have literally seen at this place that anything is possible. That includes basketball.” No, the team will never be a powerhouse, like Duke or Kentucky or UCLA. No, the team will probably not even be a perennial above-average team, like Georgetown or Notre Dame. But they will be the Crimson. And Coach Amaker has made that something to be proud of. Sean Frazzette ’16 (sfrazzette@college) predicts at least a Sweet Sixteen run for next season.

03.28.13 • The Harvard Independent



Downhill Dominion Continued from pg. 12

one skier and it’s a lot of extra work to get to the ski hill, he’ll drive out and set up a training course for us. He’ll get us what we need. There’s arguably a bit more academic responsibility here than some of the teams we compete against, but Harvard has a lot of respect for its athletes, and being on the team here has been my favorite part of Harvard. AS: What’s your typical weekly training schedule like, depending on whether you’re in season or not, and how do you balance a rigorous varsity athlete practice schedule with your coursework and other extracurricular activities? BN: In the fall, we lift three days a week, and about an hour of practice in the afternoons every day: two days of stadium workouts and either plyometric or agility workouts. Then in November over Thanksgiving we go to Colorado for a training camp. In the fall it’s pretty manageable, a couple hours a day — you can’t study all day anyway, so it’s a good study break. January is a godsend because we can go to New England and train everyday, so it’s a huge bonus to get that much time. Second semester is definitely more challenging with races on Friday and Saturday every weekend, and often a bonus race on Sunday. Mondays are off, and Tuesday to Thursday mornings our coaches have training available and we go as much as we can. Some days we drive out about an hour and a half to New Hampshire at 6:15 a.m., get about an hour of training in, and drive back to make it back for 11 a.m. class. The other days we train about half an hour away. Thursday after class we leave for wherever our race is that weekend. The weeks really fly by, and it’s tough to stay on top of things, but you do whatever needs to get done. It’s important to communicate with your professors, and they’re really understanding and accommodating. AS: There’s been a lot of focus on student wellness on campus recently. As a stressrelief and a break in your day, how have your sport and your teammates helped you? BN: Skiing and working out have always been a huge stress-reliever for me. I think at Harvard the need to succeed and the constant pressure and competition among your classmates can be stressful. I want to do well in my classes and I like learning, but sometimes I feel like not everyone agrees with that in the academic world. So to go to a place with my teammates and lift something or get up a stadium as fast as you can, it’s a simple task. It may not be The Harvard Independent • 03.28.13

easy, but there’s something so therapeutic in putting everything you have into a task and knowing you’re going to do it, and at the end of the hour you’re done and you’ve accomplished something. You’ve pushed yourself and at the end of the hour you’re a little bit stronger. Throughout the whole workout you have your teammates cheering you on and you know they’re there for you. It’s there in the academic world, but it’s not as obvious — in an exam, people aren’t like “Oh, Becca!” *fistpump*. AS: We’ve talked about your physical training, but is there anything that you do mentally to prepare for your races? BN: The mental side of skiing is arguably more important. It’s a sport where you put in hours and months of training, and it all comes down to one minute. It doesn’t matter if you ski thirty turns perfectly if you mess up one, the judge is the clock, so there is no sympathy. It’s important to not worry about the million things outside of your control, but to focus on the things you’ve done to prepare and you can control. I do think it’s something I can always get better at, but I feel good that I’m pretty mentally strong. I do get nervous, but I love that feeling, the feeling of being at the start and getting the nervous butterflies. It’s fun for me because getting those butterflies means I’m doing something I care about, and it’s important to me. I like to channel that nervous energy, get excited to race, and remind myself of the work I’ve put in and that I’m capable of getting down the hill that fast. The most important thing is having confidence in your abilities and knowing you’re capable but also knowing you’re not invincible and there’s things you can’t control. I always have a smile on my face at the start, because I’m happy, and because when I’m not stressed and skiing for enjoyment I always do better. AS: Are there any specific things you do as an athlete in terms of your sleep schedule and nutrition? BN: Nutrition-wise, I’m not trying to make weight like in crew. Especially for someone smaller like myself, I don’t need to worry that much. In a sport that involves a lot of gravity, having a few extra pounds helps! So I don’t skimp on desserts or anything. I like to make sure I’m eating well and getting protein in after a workout. I do feel better in the classroom or while skiing if I’m giving my body good food, but I’m not a stickler. Sleep-wise, I think it is very important and I can’t stress it enough, regardless of whether or not you’re an athlete or if you’re in or off-season, it’s important to get those

“I always pound my chest really hard (insert gorilla-pound here) because my coaches told me to do it as a child and it stuck with me, and I feel like it strengthens me.” hours in. In season, you would ideally get those hours of sleep in every night, but realistically that doesn’t happen as a student here. AS: Are there any pre-race rituals or things you do to focus mentally? BN: I do a lot of visualization. Before we race, we do an inspection run to look at the turns and tricky parts to look out for. I memorize the course and go through it in my head. I like to visualize before the start, and then at the start, my mind goes blank and I’m ready to go. I do have some rituals in the start that are funny, I guess. I always pound my chest really hard (insert gorilla-pound here) because my coaches told me to do it as a child and it stuck with me, and I feel like it strengthens me. I put my tongue at the roof of my mouth and swallow because it centers me. And I smile because I think it makes me stronger and happy, which makes me stronger. Then a few deep breaths and I’m off. AS: Any nicknames? BN: Well my last name is Nadler, which naturally shortens to Nads, so when people cheer it’s “Go-Nads!” A lot of people call me Nailer, or X, or Becca, but there’s a lot of Nads. AS: To end on a fun note — people like to make jokes about your size. How tall are you, and what’s your favorite short joke or pun? Or, you know, a Canadian joke will suffice. BN: I’m five two and a half. I do have the half, and I’ve worked really hard to get that half! I do get a hard time for my height — “Do you want me to get that for you?” when it’s right in front of me. I feel like people aren’t that original about making fun of me for being Canadian. I have so many puns, but I’m not prepared! I tell a lot of jokes on the circuit to coaches and other athletes. I try to have a pun of the day to brighten everyone’s day, but we do have a lot of races, so I feel like the quality decreases, but I do feel that the worse the pun the better. My favorite joke is about fish, which isn’t really relevant: Two fish are in a tank and one fish turns to the other and says, “Oh shit, do you know how to drive this thing?”




Fly like a GS. By ANGELA SONG


he first thing people tend to notice about Becca Nadler ‘14 is her height — or lack thereof. But she’s also known for her quick wit and good humor, and she is always ready with a cheesy joke or pun. It’s also pretty clear that she’s passionate about her successful career as a student-athlete — Nadler was the 2012 NCAA champion in women’s giant slalom, Harvard’s first. She emphasizes that you have to love your sport to succeed, and when you lose sight of why you enjoy it, you might need to step away and take a break. She’s an inspirational figure and friend for many of her fellow student-athletes, and she talked with the Indy about some of her experiences at Harvard. Though an unfortunate concussion sidelined her from training the week before she was to defend her monumental national NCAA title this year, Becca Nadler, Captain of Harvard’s Alpine Ski Team, pressed on with her trademark smile at the start gate.  AS: Tell me a little bit about your background in skiing and growing up in Canada. BN: Well, my parents skied when they were young, so I don’t even remember


learning, they just threw me out there and I started racing young. When you’re fifteen, that’s when you start in the FIS (International Ski Federation) circuit. I skied out of Mont Tremblant in Quebec, so when I was younger I would train every weekend. When I was thirteen, I missed school on Fridays to get an extra day of skiing in. The next year, I trained Thursdays and Fridays, so I was going to less and less school and doing more and more skiing. After freshman year of high school, I transferred to a different high school with a sports program, not just a ski academy — there was everything from hockey to volleyball — so it was school in the morning and practice in the afternoon for all of us. All throughout high school, I missed a lot of school during the season, which was challenging, but also good practice for being a student-athlete in college. I started improving a lot and really enjoying the sport. Then after high school, I took two years off. My first year, I qualified for the Quebec team, which I was really excited about — they took eight girls that year, which was a big accomplishment for me. I really enjoyed skiing and my team, but I put a lot of pressure on myself and kind of forgot why I enjoyed skiing so much. It was a vicious cycle of putting too much pressure on myself: it was a tough year and I didn’t get the results that I wanted. Then, for my second year off, I joined the team at a ski academy

in Maine. That coach was really helpful in getting my confidence up with some of the first positive feedback I’d gotten in a while and reminding me that I knew how to ski and was capable of winning. In ski racing there are so many things out of your control, and he helped me work on the things I could control to get my confidence up. If I ski the way I know I can, I can get up there, so I had a really good season. AS: I feel that all of us always get asked the same question — why Harvard? But this is particularly interesting for you as a student-athlete. What’s unique about Harvard’s Ski Team? BN: I never thought of Harvard as a real place — I saw it in Legally Blonde, but that was pretty much it. As a Canadian, I didn’t need the SATs, but I took them to keep my options open. A friend of mine who was also Canadian but looking at American schools suggested I email the Harvard coach, which I was skeptical about. I thought he was going to laugh in my face, but he didn’t. Harvard is definitely a challenge as a ski racer living in Boston — it’s tough to get training and we do quite a bit of traveling. What’s unique is that we’re a smaller team than most. We have a really supportive team and our coach is extremely passionate and dedicated. Even if it’s just / cont. on pg. 11, Downhill Dominion 03.28.13 • The Harvard Independent

In Their Court  

From the unbelievable Crimson NCAA success to thoughts on this week's Supreme Court cases, the Indy likes to see how things play out. We con...

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