09. 15. 11
WE’ RE BACK! I ns i de: Omnomnom, Obama’ spac kage, andPot t er mor e.
09.15.11 vol. xlii, no. 25 The Indy is hitting the books. Cover Design by
MIRANDA SHUGARS and SAYANTAN DEB
President Vice President Editor-in-Chief Business Manager Production Manager Executive Editor Associate Business Manager News and Forum Editor Arts Editor Sports Editor Design Editor Columnists
FORUM 3 Point/Counterpoint: Is It Big Enough? SPECIAL 4-5 Eating Out 6-7 Summer Lovin' ARTS 8 Autumn Arts 9 William Tell All 10 Can I See Your Wand? SPORTS 11 All-Ivy Envy 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 President Weike Wang (email@example.com). Letters to the Editor and comments regarding the content of the publication should be addressed to Editor-in-Chief Yuying Luo (firstname.lastname@example.org). Yearly mail subscriptions are available for $30, and semester-long subscriptions are available for $15. To purchase a subscription, email subscriptions@harvardindependent. com. 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 © 2010 by The Harvard Independent. All rights reserved.
Weike Wang ‘11 Whitney Lee ‘14 Yuying Luo ‘12 Amanda Hernandez ‘14 Miranda Shugars ‘14 Riva Riley ‘12 Eric Wei ‘14 Meghan Brooks ‘14 Zena Mengesha ‘14 Brett Giblin ‘11 Alexandria Rhodes ‘14 Luis Martinez ‘12
Staff Writers Michael Altman '14 Arthur Bratolozzi ‘12 Sayantan Deb ‘14 Gary Gerbrandt ‘14 Cindy Hsu '14 Brad Rose '14 Kalyn Saulsberry '14 Marc Shi ‘14 Angela Song '14 Christine Wolfe ‘14 Sanyee Yuan ‘12 Graphics, Photography, and Design Staff Maria Barragan-Santana '14 Schuyler Polk ‘14
Letter from the Editors Dear readers, We're back! The Indy is excited to bring you our first issue of the new school year. We hope you got through Irene, shopping period, and summer relatively unharmed. As we are getting back into the swing of things, we want to wish you all success in your first few weeks of classes and continued success throughout the semester. Here's hoping that you stay awake in section, professors forget to assign readings and that exams get rescheduled. It's Harvard's 375th, so let's make this year an extra special one. The Indy has some thrilling changes coming up and we hope you stick around to see them. Here's to another year of Harvard beating Yale, (naturally) of running (or wishing we'd run) Primal Scream, and vigorous "studying" in Lamont. Whatever this semester brings you, we hope that you have fun and your stress levels stay low. Hang in there.
09.15.11 • The Harvard Independent
Obama's American Jobs Act: Yay or Nay?
Making It Up As We Go Along
By MEGHAN BROOKS
N 1933, AS THE UNITED States sunk deeper into the mire of the Great Depression, newly inaugurated President Franklin D. Roosevelt said of his untested and radical efforts to pull the economy back to its feet, “One thing is sure. We have to do something. We have to do the best we know how at the moment. If it doesn’t turn out right, we can modify it as we go along.” Of course, today’s economic situation is not nearly as bad as it was in 1933. However, with unemployment levels threatening to rise again and the GDP continuing to stagnate, it is clear to rational people that a concerted federal stimulus package is necessary not only to promote economic growth, but also to stave off further recession — even Speaker Boehner, whose life’s mission seems to be to make effective lawmaking as difficult as possible, conceded that Obama’s proposed stimulus package merits careful consideration. To quote FDR, everyone seems to realize that “we have to do something…the best we know how at the moment,” and at this moment, the best we can do is the American Jobs Act as it stands. The plan, which calls for $447 billion in infrastructure improvements as well as payroll tax exemptions for businesses hiring new employees, paid for in part by increasing the tax burden on the wealthy, represents the third in a line of stimulus adjustment packages since Bush’s modest $158 billion in tax cuts in 2008. With each subsequent package — the $787 billion stimulus in early 2009 and its adjustment in 2010 — the nation’s economy has been stabilized, supported, and given a platform from which to launch its next attempt at growth. Have these stimulus packages
The Harvard Independent • 09.15.11
worked? Some say no, pointing to continuing market instabilities and unemployment levels hovering above nine percent. Yet who is to say what would have happened had they not been enacted at all? There is no way of knowing and something tells me that we don’t want to know what might happen if this stimulus is not passed soon. Although there is not much disagreement merited as to its basic necessity, many argue that this new package isn’t big enough, or that it doesn’t put money where it would be most effective. All I can say to this is that only time will tell. When the President and his economic advisors put together a stimulus package, they are not operating in the parameters of an exact science. They are operating rather on estimates, on speculation, on analysis of past recessions and the needs of the nation. A quick analysis of America today shows that we need jobs, so the Jobs Act allows hiring incentives; it shows that the infrastructure is crumbling, so the Jobs Act allocates money for that as well. However, because the deficit is huge, the less the government has to spend to jumpstart recovery the better. Hiring incentives can help more people per dollar spent in the short term than anything else, and considering that the President can introduce modifications to the stimulus, allocating money elsewhere as needed after this Jobs Act (hopefully) takes effect, $447 billion starts to feel like a good amount: big enough to create positive change in the economy, but small enough not to be felt as a catastrophic waste if it fails to produce the desired results. Meghan Brooks ’14 (meghanbrooks@college) says good enough is good for now.
A Modest Effort, At Best
By GARY GERBRANDT
Y PHONE, IPOD TOUCH, and email account are all optimized to channel news directly into my brain whenever it occurs. I’m usually the first to know when the NTC in Libya takes a new Qaddafi stronghold, and there are always copious notifications from every possible news source whenever a headline breaks. This week, when I learned the details of President Obama’s highly touted jobs speech, they streamed rapidly on all of my channels; I was hopeful, and then disappointed. Almost $450 billion was proposed — a big deal, and surely one that will have some economic impact. I’m afraid, however, that the operating word there is “some”. In the New York Times’ story on Obama’s speech – which seemed more focused on the insane, crippling inability to function that Congress has been refining so nicely (and which has been seen most recently in the President’s squabbling with Speaker Boehner over the timing of the speech) – economists’ reactions were summarized as such: “the measures would not solve the economy’s problems...though they would likely spur some growth.” Of course, that alreadylukewarm statement was qualified with the point that America would see that exciting “some growth” if all his proposa1ls are passed, something they suggest will be “extremely unlikely.” Sheesh. I thoroughly support the ideas of Keynesian economics. Governments should invest in their countries as necessary to maintain the economy, as the (Republican) Eisenhower Administration did in the fifties, laying a network of Interstates that today sustain American commerce and transportation. President Obama has been too afraid to come forward with proposals that won’t pass. He has
been afraid to respond concretely to the economic disaster. In 2009, the stimulus package he finally passed was full of concessions to the nogovernment Republicans; nearly half of the $787 billion was tax cuts, which amounted to around $1,000 per family, and it didn’t work. This piddling extra money was not only unnoticed by Joe and Jane Q. Public, but it also didn’t restart the American consumer dynamo that led to American success in the late Clinton and early Bush years. The most effective parts of the stimulus were those spent on infrastructure improvement projects, and one particularly cogent component devoted to a new, steel Interstate: a high-speed rail. As an armchair analyst, my main problem is that Obama makes pre-concessions, even though most of his proposals are laughed at and defaced by the Republicans in Congress. Screw what they think, Mr. President. Don’t roll over in advance, come out swinging. Run with the investments America needs, and abandon the ridiculous focus on deficit cutting, especially when it’s the last thing on an economically desperate country’s mind. Tell your tax-cutting buddies to take a hike. This stimulus is better than nothing. $140 billion is devoted to infrastructure, particularly schools and roads. But $450 billion devoted to a modern high-speed rail network, improvements to government facilities, investments in education and healthcare, and infrastructural redevelopment would be money far better spent. P.S.: The point’s moot, anyway. The proposals won’t pass. Washington is an infinite plane of political quicksand these days, and that’s not changing anytime soon. Gary Gerbrandt ’14 (garygerbrandt@college) craves a little more stimulation…(if you know what we mean). email@example.com
When the Indy eats out in the Square. By YUYING LUO, CHRISTINE WOLFE and CELIA ZHANG
$ Felipe’s (83 Mt. Auburn St., in the Garage: 617354-9944) Felipe’s is the best taqueria in Cambridge (and one of my favorite restaurants)! At four to five dollars for a burrito, they have much better prices than their chain competitors (Qdoba, Chipotle, Boloco, etc), and their products are of significantly higher quality. Your salivary glands will perspire in anticipation of the fresh, steaming meat and/or vegetables packed into the burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and tostadas they roll right into your eager hands. The service is quick, the staff is friendly, and it’s open late for all of the midnight steak-snackers out there. The location itself is of reasonable size— I’ve always been able to get a seat —and if you can’t sit inside the restaurant, you can always go out into the Garage. One last tip: complement your meal with the traditional Mexican soda, Jarritos, and don’t forget to take a long gaze at that last bite. It won’t surivive for long. –CW Flat Patties (33 Brattle St., next to Crema Café: 617-871-6871) If you aren’t crazy about this place, then you’re delusional. It’s not exactly the healthiest eating choice on the Square, but if you’re that worried about your arteries you can go a few blocks up to Clover and eat some chickpeas. These burgers are heavenly, filled with flavor and, if you prefer, topped with such delicious accessories as caramelized onions, avocado, or cilantro aioli. The prices are great in comparison to other (also fantastic) burger joints like Bartley’s: a single-patty burger is about four dollars down at Flat Patties. Not only are their burgers and fries to die for, but their milkshakes bring all the boys from the Yard (I couldn’t help it). It’s an All-American experience in a cool contemporary space. The seating is limited to some odd tables around the kitchen and an upstairs balcony, but waiting for a seat is worth the sweet, juicy taste of a flat patty. – CW Pinocchio’s Pizza, A.K.A. Noch’s (74 Winthrop Street, across from Staples: 617-876-4897) This gem’s obscure location in a quaint little alley recalls its Italian roots, but some would claim its greasy, doughy specialty belongs in Chicago rather than the Mediterranean. Pizza connoisseurs may balk at Noch’s pride and joy, the Sicilian, as it packs a heavier punch than some of the gourmet fare to be found at Upper Crust and Otto’s. However, those ravenous Harvard students desiring the sweet, savory flavor of a thick-crusted slice, adorned with chunks of juicy sausage and refreshing flecks of basil, need look no further (Those looking for Italian food other than pizza, fear not! —they do have a full menu). The location itself may be small, but its constant crowd of twentysomethings reflects Noch’s honest dedication
to providing a satisfying pizza experience. Just don’t expect to find a seat. -CW Yenching (1326 Mass Ave, right across from Boylston Gate: 617-547-1130) Though (perhaps unfairly) overshadowed by the Kong, Yenching has wonderful service and pretty good Chinese food. The staff is incredibly friendly, which makes the slightly above average food seem even better. The crab rangoon is a personal favorite, though how could something deep-fried stuffed with cream cheese not be hallucination-inducing? The lo mein is also excellent, as is the fried rice. The atmosphere is relaxed and relatively quiet, and the wait is never long. Yenching is a convenient place for a comfort meal, with a staff so friendly you’ll almost feel as though you’re at home. -CW
$$ Russell House Tavern (14 JFK St., Next to Uno’s: 617-500-3055) Russell House Tavern is a relative newcomer to the Harvard Square restaurant scene, but it has quickly become a crowd favorite with students and Boston professionals alike. Catering to a diverse crowd translates to an expansive, but carefully selected menu. While seafood is their specialty, Russell House offers everything from pizzas to gourmet lamb dishes to seasonal specialties at reasonable prices. A tip: if you’re not that hungry, order off their small plates section. And for the 21+ crowd, Russell House’s drinks menu is one of the most creative offerings in Harvard Square. With a small outdoor patio section and a bustling bar and dining area downstairs, the atmosphere is always lively. Whether you want to celebrate a birthday or just need a night out, Russell House is as casual and as formal as you want it to be. I find myself at Russell House at least once a month for a wide variety of occasions — there’s a reason I keep coming back, and I’m sure you will find a reason too. (Just a note: there are not many vegetarian options available beside the side dishes and the dessert menu.) -YL Shabu-Ya (57 JFK Street, By Staples: 617-8646868) Shabu-Ya used to be my favorite restaurant in Harvard Square, but that was in the middle ages, before I knew better. The food is very ordinary (and good for the waistline), yet it’s super expensive, and the portions are tiny. We ordered the Pork hotpot set with Chinese spicy broth, and a Makimono combo, which ran to about $40 with tip. Fresh vegetables? Yes. Good quality, thinly sliced meat? Yes. Delicious broth? Somewhat, but not enough MSG for my sodium loving tongue. The flavor simply wasn’t powerful enough. The fish, at least, was quite fresh, and the California Maki was...ehh a mark above
edible. As in life, however, there is always a “”ut”. Although I wouldn’t recommend Shabu-Ya for a good night out, do go for the lunch buffet: $8.50 for all you can eat Bugolgi, California maki, gyoza, salad, vermicelli, vegetable tempura, kimchee, and miso soup, among other nicely prepared favorites. -CZ Finale (30 Dunster St., between the Garage and the Holyoke Center: 617-441-9797) Somehow, between organization events, recruiting chats, special get-togethers, friendship reunions, celebratory meals, and any other occasion I can think of—I always find my way into Finale. My most recent visit was an intimate recruiting chat with dinner and dessert. I went with the Arugula Walnut Salad: spinach, toasted walnuts, diced apples, crumbled goat cheese, honey lime vinaigrette. Though simple, the salad was surprisingly good, and even though the waitress accidentally tossed in the dressing instead of serving it on the side as I asked, the salad was so light that I didn’t mind. Crunchy walnuts, soft, creamy goat cheese, fresh spinach and arugula...a simple dish elevated to new heights. I think I’ve tried most of the desser ts there. A few highlights: 1) The molten chocolate cake with c o f f e e g e l a t o i s h e a v e n l y. G e t i t . 2) Strawberry Bavarian cake is my favorite: beautiful, plump strawberries in a cold, smooth, Bavarian cream that simply melts in your mouth 3) The chocolate symphony is my go-to cake because it’s always for sale at the counter. But after a few times, it just wears off on you, as the richness is too readily detectable. 4) The Boston Cream Cake is too rich and dense. Sugar overload 5) The cheesecake is.... c h e e s e c a k e . N o t h i n g m o r e t o s a y. 6) The Razzmatazz is so heavy on the sugar that you will be either dizz y or screaming with an sugar attack afterwards. 7) The cookies and cupcakes are not worth your time and money: the dining hall is almost as good. 8) The Dark Chocolate Decadence is overload to the infinite power. Most of my friends can’t stand it. 9) Do get the Fruit Festival. Do get the t a s t i n g p l a t e. N o t e ve r y d e s s e r t i s going to be good, but at least you get a nice variety and beautiful presentation. 10) Finally, do get the mini-treats. They are a bite each, and satisfy any sugar cravings, whether for a special occasion or to cure a rough exam. –CZ Uno’s Chicago Grill (22 JFK Street, Across from Urban Outfitters: 617-497-1530) I always end up here for birthdays and gatherings, and I don’t even like this place that
much. It’s just a central location in Harvard Square with semi-classy food that poor college students like me can afford. Last time I went, we decided to share two pizzas: Numero Uno, which is a “works” pizza with sausage, pepperoni, onions, peppers, mushrooms and unique chunky tomato sauce topped with mozzarella and grated romano cheese, and a Create-Your-Own-Pizza with pepperoni, sausage, and chicken (weird combination, but it worked). I’m actually not a big fan of deep-dish pizza. Mostly, I also don’t really like the crispy, greasy pan crust, soaked in oil. The bread-stick part of the pizza — usually my favorite part — was simply dough and oil. Not the soft, chewy, filled with active yeast bubbles kind of ideal crust. Worse, the cheese tasted commercialized and nothing, not even the tomato sauce, tasted fresh. I could buy DiGornio’s frozen pizza for a fraction of the price and have almost as good of an experience. Other than that, our Power Plus Salad was mediocre, though three soups and a chicken sandwich got good reviews from somewhat picky Chinese tongues. Despite the middling food, the service at Uno’s was amazing, with friendly, engaged servers who were genuinely interested in our table. Unfortunately, bad food carries more weight than good service. Sorry Uno’s. I’m going to come back here because friends will drag me here, but you’re not the best. –CZ
$$$ Harvest (44 Brattle St., Walkway between CitySports and Anthropologie: 617-868-2255) Tucked away in Brattle Square, Harvest is the hidden gem of Harvard Square. The food, service, and atmosphere can only be described by one word: impeccable. The outdoor dining terrace in the spring and summer offers an atmosphere like no other. The staff is notably attentive and friendly, and the food is simply remarkable and beautifully presented. The only deterrent is its price — with most entrées starting in the $30+ range, it is not exactly budget-friendly for a student. So if you have a chance, take advantage of the prix fixe menu (which I can attest to as also being excellent) during Boston’s biannual restaurant week. Harvest is truly a dining experience in every sense of the word. -YL Henrietta’s Table (1 Bennett St., The Charles Hotel: 617-661-5005) Oh, how I love Henrietta’s Table! It’s farm-totable cuisine made with care, precision, and so much heart. I was first introduced to Henrietta’s Table for a coffee chat, when I ordered the cranberry pie with house-made vanilla bean ice cream. Dessert was delectable: the rich, buttery crust; the tart cranberry filling; the crumbled sugar artistically sprinkled on top; 09.15.11 • The Harvard Independent
Special and of course, the dense, perfectly vanilla-bean infused fresh ice-cream. Later, I went back several times for breakfast, ordering the Poached Eggs and Baked Harrington Ham on Anadama Bread with Hollandaise Sauce and Fresh Asparagus. It was two plump, perfectly poached eggs on a gorgeous piece of meaty (though slightly too salty) ham, freshly baked New England Anadama bread toasted to a perfect crispiness, and steamed, but unseasoned asparagus fresher than I had ever tasted. Besides, dipping it in hollandaise sauce elevated the simple vegetable to another status. Henrietta’s Table just has that kind of power. Another time, I ordered the fully loaded egg-white omelet. Most of the vegetables were
perfectly seasoned and sauteed beforehand to form the best omelets I have had to this day. The mashed potatoes were also worthy of compliment. As one of my friends put it, “This is like the best, most buttery mashed potatoes ever. I love it.” The atmosphere of the restaurant is quite rustic, designed to resemble a farm. Yet, because it is located within one of the most expensive hotels in Boston, the place is designed so that both intimate business conversations and casual family meals can happen simultaneously. Immediately, the decor and atmosphere of the restaurant makes you feel at home and comfortable with the perfect combination of gorgeous presentation, wonderful service, delicious food, and a simple,
welcoming atmosphere. –CZ Rialto (1 Bennett St., The Charles Hotel: 617661-5050) Rialto is in a class of its own. Helmed by celebrity chef (and Top Chef alum) Jody Adams, it lives up to its hype as one of the best restaurants in Boston. The elegant atmosphere paired with refreshing takes on classic dishes make for an unforgettable dining experience. A definitely dress to impress environment adds to the classy atmosphere. Unfortunately, the unparalleled dining experience comes with a price to match. But, unlike some other highpriced restaurants, Rialto is worth the splurge. And its convenient location in the Charles Hotel is something to take advantage of. –YL
Upstairs on the Square (91 Winthrop St. Next to Peet’s Coffee: 617-864-1933) When you walk into Upstairs on the Square, you know that your experience is going to be a unique one. The eclectic décor is a feast for the eyes. Not to be outdone, the food is also excellent. In particular, their vegetarian and vegan options are some of the best in Harvard Square. The dishes are priced at all ends of the spectrum (entrées are priced from $15 to $32), making it the go-to place for those looking for an unconventional setting. Upstairs on the Square also offers afternoon tea on the weekends for those craving the English tradition. –YL
photos by MARIA BARRAGAN
The Harvard Independent • 09.15.11
The Indy Summers GARY GERBRANDT '14 Where: The hip-happening cosmopolitan city of Toronto, Ontario, on the 38th floor of the Bay-Adelaide Centre. My office, at the professional service firm KPMG, overlooked the entertainment district, the Beach, and Lake Ontario (as one might extrapolate from the name “the Beach”). What: I was working as an intern – well, not really an intern, but a full-time entry-level employee – in the marketing department, which meant I did a lot of proofreading and random tasks. (But I made bank. Paid my tuition for the first semester.) How: Nepotism, sort of. I had originally lined up a position at this cool community gardening charity, but it turned out that the guy in charge was inspired to start his “movement” after watching a 9/11 conspiracy DVD. He gave it to me, shook my hand, and said, “It’s not a cult, I swear!” So, yeah, I got a job at the company my dad worked for. Lesson Learned: 1) Marketing doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be on Madison Avenue. 2) I am never going to need to know calculus ever in my life. 3) When buying Doritos, don’t stray too far from the norm. There can be only so many varieties that still taste good. Entertain Us: I rode the commuter train to the office with my dad, and often I slept. The seats on the train were in pods of four – two facing two – and so you’d be uncomfortably close to the person beside you. Once, I fell asleep on the person beside me, and drooled all over them. So, yeah, that happened.
SANYEE YUAN '12 Where: From the beginning of June to the end of August, I spent my time in New York City, subletting a fivefloor walk-up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan (for under $650 a month!) and interning at CBS News. I worked in the department, Channel One News, an educational news network that broadcasts directly to high schools and middle schools across the country, reaching an audience of more than six million students. They’re also branching out now, with Channel One Junior, and expanding their audience to encompass third, fourth, and fifth-graders! What: Fun fact—Anderson Cooper, Lisa Ling, and Maria Menounos all started out as anchors for Channel One News at the initial points of their careers. Channel One was a really good stepping stone for them in the news business and it also gave me, as an intern, an enriching opportunity to learn about the different facets of working in a news room. At first, I mainly researched stories that the producers were putting together—and I “worked 6
What we did and how we did it.
the phones” and sent many emails out to experts and potential interview subjects for a variety of pieces. Then, I got to pitch my own ideas for stories and shadow reporters and producers on their shoots in the field. I went all over New York and even made it up to New Jersey and Connecticut! My supervisors soon allowed me to shoot footage and the producers trained me on setting up all of the equipment—from the lights to the camera to the microphones. Afterwards, they let me go one step further—and I was able to report on segments for them, too! I wrote scripts, reported on-camera, and edited my stories together. The summer experience was extremely fulfilling and gave me the chance to engage in hands-on production and step into the shoes of a real news reporter.
on a shoot to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Connecticut to do a stand-up and an interview right above a tank full of sand-tiger sharks. Once it was done, the chairman of CBS even took a look at the story!
How: I was thankful for the Office of Career Services, because they definitely did help me acquire funds to survive the towering expenses of life in the Big Apple. As for the internship itself, a tutor from Lowell House who had graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School had told me about how one of his classmates had worked at Channel One News—and I was really interested in working there for the summer. So, I Facebook-messaged everyone on the Channel One News crew web site and found out that I could apply through CBS.
How: The Kibale Chimpanzee Project is run through the Human Evolutionary Biology department here at Harvard, and one of the concentration advisors for HEB, Zarin Machanda, is the director of undergraduate studies for the lab. We were discussing my interest in behavioral ecology, and she offered me a data extraction position within the lab. It was a great first research experience. (Unfortunately, Harvard did not subsidize the coffee or the HBO subscription.)
Lessons Learned: I learned that being the first person there at work in the morning and the last to go out the door at night really does leave an invaluable impression on your supervisors. Also, if you love what you’re doing, you can’t stop talking about your work! (Thankfully, this was the case—as I began infusing all of my dinner conversations with stories that I was helping out on for Channel One.) Entertain Us: I reported on a news story on Shark Fin Soup: A Deadly Delicacy, which involved conducting interviews throughout restaurants in New York Chinatown, visiting the New York director of the Humane Society, and going
CHRISTINE WOLFE '14 Where: San Francisco, California What: Extracting data on chimpanzee copulation for the Kibale Chimpanzee Project (Harvard), discovering the latté, watching True Blood.
Lesson Learned: One has to look into summer opportunities early—many fantastic summer programs need their applicants to have their interests and positions lined up early in the calendar year. I was lucky to secure a research position so late. Entertain Us: While studying the chimpanzee data, I noticed significant changes in behavior over just a few weeks. Their cognition was rapidly improving—by the six-month mark they were exhibiting eerily human-like behaviors, such as the formation of political alliances and the acquisition of speech. They then broke out of the observation facility, escaping over the Golden Gate Bridge into the Redwood forests north of San Francisco. Oh. Wait. That might have been the plot line of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I definitely read about chimpanzee behavior, though.
photo by SANYEE YUAN
09.15.11 • The Harvard Independent
Special MEGHAN BROOKS '14 Where: Menton, Côte d’Azur, France. (The town borders Italy and the villa where we stayed was two minutes from the beach, ten minutes by train to Monaco, and forty to Nice. Be jealous.) What: A Harvard Summer School Study Abroad Program! I spent my days at the beach, my nights clubbing in Monaco, and my weekends exploring the French and Italian Rivieras…Oh and I took an English-language seminar on post-colonial theory, a French literature class, and an ungraded Arabic tutorial. How: A ton of students, especially Freshmen and Sophomores, end up applying to summer study abroad programs through Harvard, and if you apply for the David Rockefeller International Experience Grant (as I did) you could end up spending eight or more weeks in some farflung, fantastic land with full or partial funding. Lessons Learned: Summer school still counts as school, and even though the sparkling Mediterranean Sea is a mere football field away from your bedroom window, you still have to do your homework. This is much harder than it seems. Entertain Us: One night in Paris started in a Carribean-style shack on a tiny pub alley in the Latin Quarter, and ended at an underground club just off the Champs-Elysées where thirteen of us had a velvet-upholstered private booth reserved by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s personal assistant. Let’s just say I found it all rather entertaining...
“Ciao!” I found myself playing calico and fishing for calamari at midnight with the local high school students of Giudecca, riding a train next to 67-yearold man who was walking from Munich to Venice, and exploring the city of Ravenna with football player (referring to soccer) and two time European Cup winner John McGovern and his lovely wife. Also do not be afraid to pick a city, get on a train or plane, and just go there! Entertain Us: Somehow I always managed to meet at least one new person on every trip. One day I had the brilliant idea of going to the Republic of San Marino. I thought that I needed to get off at the train stop “San Marino” (it would make sense that it would take you to the city). I was surprised when I got off the train and rather than finding myself in the Republic of San Marino finding that I was in a tiny Italian town completely surrounded by mountains, which shared the name San Marino. Not only did I have no idea where I was, but I also realized that my phone had locked me out and I had no way of contacting anyone. Luckily, a daughter and her mother (who were from Brazil) also made the same mistake and they let me tag along on their trip to Padova.
WHITNEY LEE Where: Lyon & Paris, France! What: So like many freshly-released former freshman, I rushed to embrace the idea of a full, productive summer that would give me loads of insight on what I
would eventually do once out of college. I couldn’t have been more wrong. After an interesting stint as a teacher, I found myself lost and confused mid-June without the slightest idea about what I was going to do. As life sometimes does, it at once provided me with a bunch of opportunities which seemingly fell into my lap, including the chance to travel to France -- without spending any money of my own – getting to see both the lovely countryside as well as the city of Paris. Naturally, I jumped on this chance to travel to Europe and shirk away the problems (and responsibilities) of everyday life. Aside from being wedged next to a family with two children, traveling to France went as I expected, thanks to the wonderful service provided by Air France (shameless promotion). How: Dark magic. Lessons Learned: Though there are several things that I wish I had known before I left the country. First, most people in France speak English, second, after more than ten years in French, you can safely assume that you’re at least passably fluent. Third, Europe is expensive, but paying in Euros makes you feel much less guilty about spending money (Isn’t it strange how that works out?) Entertain Us: I won’t give any specific details, but all-in-all, and without delving into the sometimes sordid details of food, beautiful landscapes and summer loving (wink wink), I had a fantastic time – and though I did not unlock the mystery of my postgraduate plans, I definitely got a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of Harvard life… and sometimes that’s all you need.
MARIA BARRAGAN '14 Where: I had the opportunity to live in la Serenessima Venezia, Italia for two wonderful months. What: I studied abroad with the Ca’Foscari Har vard Summer School, an awesome opportunity that I would definitely recommend! I took a class on International Oil Politics and one on Multiculturalism and Immigration in Italy. I also had the chance to practice my Italian, which was especially useful when I became a regular at a gelateria in Campo Stefano and would get the equivalent of four scoops of gelato when I only asked for two! How: I am very grateful to have received the David Rockefeller International Experience Grant. Lessons Learned: Step out of your comfort zone and completely immerse yourself in the culture. It can be something as simple as smiling and saying The Harvard Independent • 09.15.11
photo by MARIA BARRAGAN
Out on the Town A preview of the arts scene this month in Boston and Cambridge.
BY ZENA MENGESHA
s Harvard turns 375 this year, the Indy welcomes you to another year amongst the red bricks and ivy! The greater Boston area and Cambridge can be an endless romp for those seeking enjoyment in theater, music, visual arts, or interesting lectures by actors and intellectuals. We would like to kick off the year highlighting a few choice happenings in your neighborhood (or at least no more than a few T-stops away).
At Harvard Film Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area screens at the Carpenter Center (24 Quincy Street) on 9/26/11 at 7:00 PM This compilation of nine short films draws inspiration from the punk era of the 1970s and 1980s including Your World Dies Screaming, Deaf/Punk, Third Reich and Roll, and Louder, Faster, Shorter. (Total running time: 85 min) Music The Boston Conservatory Orchestra at Sanders Theatre on 9/25/11 at 4:00 PM Bruce Hangen conducts the Boston 8
Conservatory Orchestra with a preconcert lecture taking place at 3:00pm. Tickets are $15 for students, seniors and alumni. WGBH members pay $10. Lecture Trash Talk at the Peabody Museum on 9/22/11 at 5:30 PM Susan Strasser, Richards Professor of American History, at the University of Delaware will deliver a lecture on garbage entitled “Rags, Bones, and Plastic Bags: Trash in Industrial America.” Tickets are $9 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, $6 for children aged 3–18 and free for Harvard ID holders or those with a museum membership (this includes admission to the Harvard Natural History Museum). Theater Laura Linney at the New College Theater on 10/06/11 at 3:00 PM As part of the “Learning From Performers” series, actor Laura Linney will do a Q&A about her work and career on stage, in film and on television. Admission is free. Visual Art Clay All Night at 219 Western Ave, Allston 9/16/11 at 9 PM Described as “a free studio party,”
participants can “create with clay and enjoy free food, refreshments and music.” Those who wish to glaze and fire their creations have the option of paying a $20 fee or helping with clean-up from 1 – 3 am. This fee or clean-up labor covers 1-3 instructional sessions, materials, and firing. A free minivan service to the ceramics studio is also offered from the Holyoke center in Harvard Square. Leaving from Holyoke Center, the Mt. Auburn Street side: at 9:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 10:00 pm, 10:30 pm, 11:00 pm, 11:30 pm and 12:00 am. Leaving from the studio to Holyoke Center: 9:15 pm, 9:45 pm, 10:15 pm, 10:45pm, 11:15 pm, 11:45 pm, 12:15 am, 1:00 am
For those of you looking to have a night out, these evens are free (except for the T-fare…). Jazzed About Art! at the Emerson Umbrella (40 Stow St Concord, MA 01742) on 9/17/11 at 4 PM Live jazz and wine tasting at BIG ART 2, the outdoor sculpture exhibit. Featuring Anne Alexander, Benjamin Cabot, Scott Cunningham, Peter Haines, Tom Holmes, Hilary Hutchison, Michio Ihara, Andy Moerlin, Louise Peterson, Antoinette
Schultze, Greg Spitzer, Margaret Swan, John Weidman and Joseph Wheelwright. Brookline Poetry Series at the Brookline Public Library (Main Branch, Washington Street) on 9/18/11 at 2 p.m. Featuring David Ferry, distinguished poet and translator, with Geraldine Zetzel. Featured poets read at 2, followed by an open mike session. All Around the Common att 250 Main Street Yarmouth Port, MA 02675 on 9/18/11 at 1PM Tour Captain Bangs Hallet House, Yarmouth New Church, Winslow Crocker House, and the Edward Gorey House for free at this annual event. Includes an organ concert at the New Church, and special activities at the Edward Gorey House, plus refreshments at several stops along the way. See more at http://www.artsboston. org/categories/index/12/0 Zena Mengesha ’14 (mengesha@ college.harvard.edu) hopes to see you at some of these events!
09.15.11 • The Harvard Independent
William Tell All An introduction to Indy's new columnist.
By WILL SIMMONS
t is well known that I am prone to constant and annoying proselytizing from a pseudointellectual soap box, a phenomena that draws a collective groan from whoever is unlucky enough to be around me when someone accidentally lets slip, “Graffiti isn’t real art!” or “Andy Warhol is overrated.” Suddenly, I stand taller, take on my brimstoneand-hellfire voice and begin to rant about everything from the lack of prominent role models for young women to the importance of poststructuralism in the discourse of contemporary art. Very satisfied with myself as my sermon draws to a close, I feel as though I have done my service to the gods of academia by enlightening my philistine comrades. Unfortunately, everyone is aware of my Achilles heel, the dark secret from my pre-Harvard past that haunts me wherever I go in this sacred institution.
The Harvard Independent • 09.15.11
“Shut up, Will. You’re just a country bumpkin!” Yes, I was raised on a farm in rural Northern California. I did wake up every morning before dawn to milk goats and feed sheep. Though I will not confirm this in print, I may have aided in the birthing of countless animals (it’s not really that hard — you just need two hands and more lubricant than you could ever imagine). Furthermore, I did not even know the difference between Rembrandt and Vermeer or even, this pains me to say, Cindy Sherman and Laurie Simmons. Such an upbringing has been both a blessing and a curse. If, for example, someone has to do a report on ringworm for class, I am poised to swoop in and save the day. Oddly, this has yet to happen; as an aside, if you ever notice any circular rashes on your friends, let me know. Even though it is
clear that my country bumpkin-ness can be incredibly useful, one arena that it has proven itself a roadblock is in my chosen concentration, the History of Art and Architecture. I came upon the discipline entirely by chance, and after attending one modern art lecture on a whim, I swelled with the Harvard spirit of I-can-try-anything-but-really-youhave-to-do-econ-or-government-andgo-to-law-school-or-you-will-die-ina-gutter. This optimism, however, was immediately deflated, for there is no escaping the ramifications of concentrating (I still call it “majoring.” How gauche, right?) in HAA. A typical class: “Well, my mom was like, ‘Come on Muffy! Let’s fly to the Louvre today!’ Ever since then, I’ve been like, obsessed with art!”
“Why am I concentrating in art history? You see, I come from a family of art dealers. So, uh, ya.” Everyone in the room swoons, as if overcome by the sheer magic of being in the presence of someone with such unquenchable artistic passion This is not just a story of how I pulled myself up by my bootstraps, another myth of my youth that my friends find incredibly comical. Instead, I mean for it to serve as an introduction to my column. You will gain an appreciation for art in a way that I hope you will find novel and thought provoking. I feel the need to prove myself. Will Simmons ’14 (wsimmons@college) will be enlightening the Indy on all topics art on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, or really whenever he feels like it.
A conversation between two fans on the enduring appeal of Potter & Co., fanfiction, Pottermore. BY SAYANTAN DEB AND ANGELA SONG (Sayantan’s thoughts are unbolded; Angela’s are bolded)
started reading Harry Potter when I was in fourth grade. I remember having my doubts about the books because this was still a time in our young lives when reading was “uncool.” Despite my hesitancy, the first chapter sucked me in, and as they say, I’ve never looked back. One might say that in many ways, the Harry Potter series single-handedly brought reading back into fashion. Before long, J.K. Rowling had enchanted me along with the rest of the world. What is special about J.K. Rowling is she manages to subtly integrate pressing social issues into her stories. As an author of a popular young adult series, Rowling was, in a sense, playing with fire. Even after her books were banned because of their focus on magic and witchcraft, she continued to delve into real issues of racism, gender equality, and the idea that love comes in all shapes and forms. One example is the struggle for elf rights undertaken by Harry, Hermione and Dobby, which parallels the struggle for human rights in many parts of the world. The possible reasons for their fervor are varied. It could be that Harry’s passion stemmed from growing up as an orphan and Hermione’s passion came from being raised in a Muggle family, removed from magic, with no ingrained prejudices. J.K. Rowling also stresses the importance of accepting yourself and who you are. Though her characters are not perfect, they strive to be the best they can be and to be at peace with
themselves. Many authors tend to fall into the trap of creating onedimensional heroes or villains. But just observing Snape and Draco forces the reader to reconsider the nuances of who is “good” and who is “evil”. By the same token, it is rare to find a protagonist whose flaws are as evident as Harry’s are. His insecurity and need to prove himself often lead to dangerous consequences. Above all else, Rowling emphasizes the true value of loyalty. Most of my favorite characters don’t fill that much screen time. They are Harry’s friends, who sincerely believe in him and his convictions. Luna Lovegood and Tonks are both characters introduced only in the fifth book, yet they remain two of the most cherished characters in the series. What adds to their enduring appeal is that Rowling is never one to shy away from the quirky and the unconventional. She establishes that love has no boundaries in terms of age or background. Even outside the books, Rowling wanted to promote love’s boundlessness, a possible reason for why she felt it was necessary to share with her readers that Dumbledore was gay. Taking a look at the movies, Rowling’s decision to retain the rights to her masterpiece until she had a guarantee that her stories would be reproduced faithfully for her fans is admirable. The movies mature the way the books do. I don’t think I’ve ever followed an actor’s trajectory as closely as I have of the Harry Potter cast. I knew I had my first crush when I saw Emma Watson gliding down the stairwell
to the Yule Ball in her purple dress. But let’s not forget the amazing supporting cast. As far as ensemble casting go, Harry Potter tops the list. Though I keep gushing about how bloody brilliant Harry Potter is, the truth is, the seventh book came out four years ago and when the credits rolled on the Deathly Hallows: Part II, it felt like it was the end of an era. No more dressing as Tonks for the midnight premieres. No more rereading thousands of pages before the release of a new book. Now what? Enter the Internet. My first introduction into the unbelievable online fan community was through Harry Potter. One way to get access to just one more glimpse of the Harry Potter world is through fanfiction. With 547,748 original works of fiction featuring the world Rowling so meticulously crafted, fanfiction is a great vehicle for fans to express their love and devotion to her work. This is a haven for writers and readers to converge and show their interest in a variety of genres with any characters, from the typical Dramione (Draco and Hermione) action-adventure to the absurd Filch-Peeves BDSM. But beyond just writing, fanart and fanvideos also populate the Internet and provide another creative outlet for fans. And unlike most other authors, J.K. Rowling has embraced and encouraged such endeavors. Though Harry’s story has ended, Rowling’s new pet project Pottermore has legitimized the involvement of her fans in further developing the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Let’s not forget the
actual Harry Potter world either in Orlando! Road trip anyone? With all the hype surrounding the mysterious Pottermore, from the personal video message from Rowling to the week-long quill challenge for the first million beta-testers, our favorite author has delivered. This coming from the proud owner of a 14.5-inch beech wand with a unicorn hair core, newly sorted into Slytherin House. I’ve been exploring Hogwarts and Diagon Alley and earning House points dueling and making potions. Rowling also reveals thousands of neverbefore-seen details to our favorite characters. Who doesn’t want to know the sordid details of McGonagall’s many love affairs? Truly, Harry Potter lives on through its fans. We are the “Harry Potter generation” and it is our responsibility to preserve its legacy. I’ve already given my brother the key to this amazing world. He may be just five but he already knows the sacred place on my bookshelf where my collection is kept. While we could keep lamenting the end of what truly has defined our childhoods, we should take solace in the fact that our shared joy can be passed on. From time to time, we can always curl up and return to Hogwarts and cherish those unforgettable moments with our eternally beloved characters. Sayantan Deb ’14 (sayantandeb@ college) wishes he had the time to reread all seven books again. Angela Song ’14 (angelasong@college) is really serious about that road trip.
09.15.11 • The Harvard Independent
Eye on the Prize
Harvard football team eyes All-Ivy title in 2011. By WHITNEY LEE
s college foot b all sea son begins, our focus shifts to the Harvard Football team, once a powerhouse of American football that has been forced though changes of time and tradition to set its eyes on The All-Ivy Title. The All-Ivy Title is an honor bestowed upon the football team within the Ivy League Conference that wins the most Ivy games. In listening to head coach Tim Murphy speak about the upcoming season, it is clear to see that he puts a lot of faith in the abilities of his team, both the returning players and the new recruits from the Class of 2015. The Harvard Independent • 09.15.11
The majority of this hope, however, resides with Murphy’s confidence in a strong, capable offensive line. Murphy credits this year’s senior quarterback, Collier Winters, as well as several running backs, for the improvement of the team’s overall offensive abilities. Last year, Harvard’s football team finished second in a bitter tie with Yale and Brown, all three of which fell to the University of Pennsylvania’s football team (The Quakers). Within our conference, the teams to really be wary of this year are, of course, Brown and UPenn considering the fact that we were steamrolled by both teams
last year. In speaking of Brown and UPenn, Coach Murphy remarked, “Brown slammed us and UPenn… well it’s UPenn,” alluding to the fact that UPenn’s reputation as a team that is strong on both offense and defense precedes them. Of course, another main goal of Harvard’s football team is to beat Yale at the 138th meeting of the two teams on November 19th. Despite what last year’s rankings show, Dartmouth, which hasn’t had a good run for the last few years, is definitely a contender for the title given it’s history as the team that has claimed the right to seventeen All-Ivy
Titles, more than any other team in the history of Ivy-League football. In terms of more official predictions for this year’s eventual results, the official preseason poll (available at the Ivy League Conference website) pegged UPenn for a three-peat this year, with Harvard as a close second — let’s hope for our sake that they have made an error in underestimating the abilities of our 2011 football team.
Whitney Lee ’14 (whitneylee@college) is excited for the first Ivy League game of the season. firstname.lastname@example.org
captured & shot By MARIA BARRAGAN-SANTANA