Issuu on Google+

Art

Business

College

Life

Life in the

r e a l wo r l d P. 38

H e a lt h y Livi n g

On Campus P. 12

Ti p s F o r Ti m e

Ma na g e m e n t P. 46

5 2 P l ac e s t o g o

in 2014 P. 20

T r av e l

Issue 1 // Vol.1 // April 2014

Hap p e n i ng s


Ed i to r ’ s N ot e

Happenings / /

Co n t e n t s W h at ’s I n s i d e

Growing up as a child, no one e v e r k n e w h o w h a r d l i fe w o u l d b e ; what difficulties we would face as we grew into adulthood. High school n e v e r p r e p a r e s y o u fo r c o l l e g e e i t h e r. We ’ v e a l l g o t t e n t o t h a t p o i n t ; late nights in the library or studio or c o m p u t e r l a b p r e p a r i n g fo r w h a t w e o n e d ay h o p e t o b e o u r f u t u r e c a r e e r. We s o m e t i m e fo r g e t t h e t h i n g s that happen outside of the campus walls , or even after our college car e e r. We fo r g e t a b o u t t h e w o r l d a s w e bury our heads in our books to learn a b o u t t h e w o r l d w e s o m e d ay h o p e t o explore. T h i s w a s t h e i n s p i r a t i o n fo r Happenings- a magazine about what happens in college and how to prep a r e fo r l i fe a n d t h e w o r l d o u t s i d e o f these familiar walls . Happenings was created by combining the interests of students with hopes and hearts bigger than the small town they reside in. It’s made to help students get t h r o u g h c o l l e g e a n d p r e p a r e fo r t h e r e a l w o r l d t h a t fo l l o w s . I t w a s c r e ated to expand their minds and give them a taste of the adventure that lies in wait. It’s about the Happenings in the world that inspire us to be great people, and do amazing things.

4 8 16 30 34 50

HOW TO ELIMINATE CREDIT CARD DEBT YO U OW E I T T O YO U R S E L F

HOW TO PAY OFF STUDENT LOANS A H OW-T O G U I D E

WHERE TO GO AFTER COLLEGE... T R AV E L , WO R K , O R VO L U N T E E R ?

HOW TO GET A JOB AFTER COLLEGE 5 T I P S T O H E L P YO U P R E PA R E

TIPS TO STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS A STUDENTS GUIDE

AI WEIWEI EMBRACES THE POLITICAL A RT N E WS


Happenings

H ow to e l i m i n at e c r e d i t c a r d d e bt Yo u O w e I t To Yo u r s e l f

By Vera Gibbons Minimum payment due, reads the box on your credit-card statement. What an enticing idea: Pay a small amount and you’re off the hook for the whole bill—for a while, anyway. Alas, as the more than 45 percent of Americans who carry a balance every month know, that rotating charge usually comes back to bite you. For example, a cardholder who owes $15,956—the average amount of debt per household, according to Ben Woolsey, the director of marketing and consumer research for CreditCards.com, a credit-card–comparison site—will end up shelling out an additional $11,000 in total interest if she pays only the minimum each month. You may have had a very good reason for running up high-interest debt: Maybe you had to make some unexpected big-ticket purchases or lost a job or endured an 4

APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

illness. But regardless of the cause, ridding yourself of that balance should be your top financial priority. “You need an action plan to help you work at reducing and eventually eliminating what you owe,” says Gail Cunningham, a spokesperson for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a nonprofit organization. Here are several ways to create one for yourself. 5 Smart Strategies to Eliminate Your Debt 1. Target just one card first. If you’re carrying balances on multiple cards, it’s a long slog to wipe out those debts. So give yourself a boost of instant gratification right from the start, says Mary Ann Campbell, a certified financial planner in Little Rock, Arkansas. Ask yourself: What short-term financial goal will make me feel as though I’m making meaningful progress on debt reduction?

HAPPENINGS

5


how much this will cost you, go to smartbalancetransfers. If your answer is “Having one card totally paid off,” then com.) throw as much money as you can toward the card with 4. Use a peer-to-peer lender. In an ideal world, the lowest balance first, says Curtis Arnold, the founder you would pay off your credit card in full and be free and of CardRatings.com, a credit-card–comparison site. (Yes, clear. But if you can’t do that, consider borrowing money do this even if you need to pay only the minimum on your to pay off your card from a peer-to- peer lender, such as other cards in the meantime.) If your answer is “Boosting LendingClub.com or Prosper.com. These secure sites offer my credit score,” then tackle the card with the highest loans with fixed interest rates that can be 20 to 30 percent utilization rate (that’s your balance divided by the card’s lower than most credit cards, meaning you could save limit). “Since your score takes a hit if you use more than 20 hundreds of dollars in interest on your debt, says Lynnette percent of your available balance, bringing the utilization Khalfani-Cox, a cofounder of AskTheMoneyCoach.com, a rate down just 20 percent could significantly increase your personal-finance site. If you have a job and a good credit score,” says Arnold. And if your answer is “Paying less in score, you may qualify to make an online loan request for interest,” then the tried-and-true method is to pay off the up to about $25,000. card that has the highest interest rate first. 5. If you’re really strapped, make two minimum 2. Ask your creditors for lower interest rates. payments each month. Card issuers typically charge Often a simple phone call to the issuer is all it takes to get interest on a daily basis, “so the sooner you make a paya reduced rate—provided that you have good credit (a ment, the faster your average daily balance is score of 730 or higher) and you are a long-term reduced, which translates into fewer dolcustomer who makes payments on time. lars in interest that you ultimately pay,” You could get a percentage point or two says Gerri Detweiler, the director of shaved off, which can add up to hun“Your score consumer education for Credit.com, dreds of dollars saved annually. One takes a hit if you a personal-finance website. If you’re tip to try: “If you’ve been offered on a tight budget, go ahead and pay a lower rate by a competitor, tell use more than 20 perthe minimum due each month, then the customer-service rep,” says Bill Hardekopf, the CEO of LowCards. cent of your available try to make the same payment again two weeks later. Keep making a com, a credit-card–comparison site. payment of the initial minimum-due “There’s a chance they’ll match the balance” amount twice a month until your offer.” debt is paid off. (To keep track, put a 3. Transfer your balance (caureminder on your calendar.) Case in point: tiously). It’s tempting to move a balance Say you charged $2,000 on a card with a 17 perfrom a card with a high interest rate to a card cent interest rate. If you make only the minimum with a substantially lower one (find one at Bankmonthly payment (which is about 2 percent of the balrate.com). And potentially that’s a smart move; you can ance), it will take more than 21 years to pay off the balance. save hundreds of dollars a year. But be careful: You should But if you make an additional payment of the original transfer a balance only if you’re committed to paying off amount two weeks later, you will be debt-free in less than the debt within an introductory low-interest-rate window three (!) years. (which typically lasts 12 to 18 months after the first billing cycle closes) and to making monthly payments on time, says Arnold. Otherwise your rate could skyrocket, possibly ending up higher than the one you just got rid of. (Important: You should also avoid making any purchases with the new card, as sometimes the low interest rate won’t apply to them.) In addition, know that you’ll probably be charged a balance-transfer fee, which is usually about 3 to 4 percent of the total amount transferred. (To calculate 6

APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

HAPPENINGS

7


Happenings

H ow to pay o f f s t u d e n t loa n s a h ow-to g u i d e

By Megan Kelley: Whether you just graduated, are taking a break from school, or have already started repaying your student loans, these tips will help you keep your student loan debt under control. That means avoiding fees and extra interest costs, keeping your payments affordable, and protecting your credit rating. If you’re having trouble finding a job or keeping up with your payments, there’s important information here for you, too. 1. Know Your Loans: It’s important to keep track of the lender, balance, and repayment status for each of your student loans. These details determine your options for loan repayment and forgiveness. If you’re not sure, ask your lender or visit www.nslds.ed.gov. You can log in and see the loan amounts, lender(s), and repayment status for all of your federal loans. If some of your loans aren’t listed, 8

APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

they’re probably private (non-federal) loans. For those, try to find a recent billing statement and/or the original paperwork that you signed. Contact your school if you can’t locate any records. 2. Know Your Grace Period: Different loans have different grace periods. A grace period is how long you can wait after leaving school before you have to make your first payment. It’s six months for federal Stafford loans, but nine months for federal Perkins loans. For federal PLUS loans, it depends on when they were issued (see details). The grace periods for private student loans vary, so consult your paperwork or contact your lender to find out. Don’t miss your first payment! 3. Stay in Touch with Your Lender: Whenever you move or change your phone number or email address, tell your lender right away. If your lender needs to contact you HAPPENINGS 9


and your information isn’t current, it can end up costing you a bundle. Open and read every piece of mail - paper or electronic - that you receive about your student loans. If you’re getting unwanted calls from your lender or a collection agency, don’t stick your head in the sand - talk to your lender! Lenders are supposed to work with borrowers to resolve problems, and collection agencies have to follow certain rules. Ignoring bills or serious problems can lead to default, which has severe, long-term consequences (see tip 6 for more about default.) 4. Pick the Right Repayment Option: When your federal loans come due, your loan payments will automatically be based on a standard 10-year repayment plan. If the standard payment is going to be hard for you to cover, there are other options, and you can change plans down the line if you want or need to. Extending your repayment period beyond 10 years can lower your monthly payments, but you’ll end up paying more interest - often a lot more - over the life of the loan. Some important options for student loan borrowers are income-driven repayment plans such as Income-Based Repayment and Pay As You Earn which cap your monthly payments at a reasonable percentage of your income each year, and forgive any debt remaining after no more than 25 years (depending on the plan) of affordable payments. Forgiveness may be available after just 10 years of these payments for borrowers in the public and nonprofit sectors (see tip 10 below). To find out more about Income-Based Repayment and related programs and how they might work for you, visit IBRinfo.org. Private loans are not eligible for IBR or the other federal loan payment plans, deferments, forbearances, or forgiveness programs. However, the lender may offer some type of forbearance, typically for a fee, or you may be able to make interest-only payments for some period of time. Read your original private loan paperwork carefully and then talk to the lender about what repayment options you may have. 5. Don’t Panic: If you’re having trouble making payments because of unemployment, health problems, or other unexpected financial challenges, remember that you have options for managing your federal student loans.

There are legitimate ways to temporarily postpone your federal loan payments, such as deferments and forbearance. For example, an unemployment deferment might be the right choice for you if you’re having trouble finding work right now. But beware: interest accrues on all types of loans during forbearances, and on some types of loans during deferment, increasing your total debt, so ask your lender about making interest-only payments if you can afford it. If you expect your income to be lower than you’d hoped for more than a few months, check out Income-Based Repayment. Your required payment in IBR can be as little as $0 when your income is very low. See tip 4 for more about IBR and other repayment options. 6. Stay out of Trouble! Ignoring your student loans has serious consequences that can last a lifetime. Not paying can lead to delinquency and default. For federal loans, default kicks in after nine months of non-payment. When you default, your total loan balance becomes due, your credit score is ruined, the total amount you owe increases dramatically, and the government can garnish your wages and seize your tax refunds if you default on a federal loan. For private loans, default can happen much more quickly and can put anyone who co-signed for your loan at risk as well. Talk to your lender right away if you’re in danger of default. You can also find helpful information atstudentloanborrowerassistance.org. 7. Lower Your Principal If You Can: When you make a federal student loan payment, it covers any late fees first, then interest, and finally the principal. If you can afford to pay more than your required monthly payment - every time or now and then - you can lower your principal, which reduces the amount of interest you have to pay over the life of the loan. Include a written request to your lender to make sure that the extra amount is applied to your principal! Otherwise it will automatically be applied to future payments instead. Keep copies for your records and check back to be sure the overpayment was applied correctly. 8. Pay Off the Most Expensive Loans First: If you’re considering paying off one or more of your loans ahead of schedule, or trying to reduce the principal, start with the

one that has the highest interest rate. If you have private loans in addition to federal loans, start with your private loans, since they almost always have higher interest rates and lack the flexible repayment options and other protections of federal loans. 9. To Consolidate or Not to Consolidate: A consolidation loan combines multiple loans into one for a single monthly payment and one fixed interest rate. If this is appealing, here are some pros and cons to consider. You can consolidate your federal student loans through the Direct Loan program, and this calculator can help you figure out what your interest rate would be. For private consolidation loans, shop around carefully for a low or fixed interest rate if you can find one, and read all the fine print. Never consolidate federal loans into a private student loan, or you’ll

lose all the repayment options and borrower benefits - like unemployment deferments and loan forgiveness programs - that come with federal loans! 10. Loan Forgiveness: There are various programs that will forgive all or some of your federal student loans if you work in certain fields or for certain types of employers. Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a federal program that forgives any student debt remaining after 10 years of qualifying payments for people in government, nonprofit, and other public service jobs. Find out more at IBRinfo. org. There are other federal loan forgiveness options available for teachers, nurses, AmeriCorps and PeaceCorps volunteers, and other professions, as well as some state, school, and private programs.

your loan payments will automatically be based on a standard 10-year repayment plan

10 APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

HAPPENINGS 11


Happenings

H e a lt h y L i v i n g O n c a m p u s H o w-T o S tay F i t I n C o l l e g e

By Dr. Dee Morris and Dr. Pamela Johnson So…you’re packing your “stuff” into the family car, and heading off to live, play and hopefully study, on a campus with several hundred or perhaps thousand other collegians. You’re off to college, the first “big step” into independence, and a very significant step in this journey of life! It’s a great new testing and proving ground for your faith in action. For many, it is a time in life that has more freedom and opportunity for growth than anything experienced since birth! Unless you’re bound for one of the military academies or some other very unique institution, no one will tell you when to go to bed, when to get up, or what you need to eat for breakfast. No one even checks to see that you eat breakfast!! Mom will not be there to be sure you have clean clothes, fix meals for you, or remind you to do your 12

APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

homework….ah yes, all kinds of freedom and independence! It turns out that independence isn’t all it’s cracked-up to be. With independence and freedom comes responsibility. Most college-age men and women have a youthful vitality that causes them to take good health for granted. Faced with the freedom to structure their own lifestyles, sometimes college students slip into habits that, if allowed to continue, “chip away” at their basic good health. They become fatigued, stressed out, and less resistant to the respiratory viruses encountered in any environment where there are lots of people. Can a college student structure and live a health-promoting lifestyle? We think so, and here are some suggestions that may help make sure these new freedoms and challenges inherent in the college situation are HAPPENINGS

13


handled as they should be handled, resulting in your good and God’s glory! Establish a routine for your daily life. At first, you may really relish “freedom” from the daily patterns (meal time, bedtime, rising time, etc.) that your parents probably established and your home situation reinforced. That freedom isn’t as cool when you oversleep your first morning class and can’t find a clean shirt, much less the assignment due in your next class. God made us to function best with orderly “routines”: times for going to bed, getting up, eating meals, caring for personal needs like doing laundry, doing homework, etc. Patterns and cycles are inherent components built into all of creation. Establish patterns that make for an orderly day. Put things you need to use every day, like keys, ID-cards, notebooks, in a designated place. Keep materials for each course in its own folder or notebook or scanned in to a file in your computer. These are simple things, but they’ll bring a calming, “de-stressing” effect on your busy days. They also give you “space” in your days for surprises or extra opportunities that arise. Get enough sleep. God designed us to need sleep; it’s a phase of repair and renewal for the entire body. Deprived of sufficient sleep (7-8 hours for most) we don’t think or learn well, and we’re grouchy, both of which negatively affect relationships as well as academics! Going several days without enough sleep lowers resistance, and we’re “easy prey” for the next virus that finds us. There may be times when an “all-nighter” may be needed to finish a project or to sit up with a friend who is going through a crisis, but as a general rule, little productive effort occurs after midnight. Eat properly… that means breakfast, too! Three simple things that will improve the nutritional wellbeing of everyone, including college students are: (1) eat breakfast; (2) have at least five servings of vegetables and four servings of fruit daily (a serving is ½ cup); and (3) drink sweet, carbonated beverages (soda pop) in moderation, if at all; drink water when you’re thirsty. (To learn more about the valuable benefits of drinking water read Why Water?) First, breakfast: If you aren’t in the habit of having breakfast, get into it. If you’re getting enough sleep, you’ve not had any food for 8-10 hours; you may not think you’re hungry, but your body’s cells are! Breakfast should be built around protein; scrambled eggs with cheese, whole grain 14 APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

toast and juice make a good combination. A whole grain cereal with milk, some fruit and some yogurt is another good one; if you’re in a hurry, a whole grain bagel with cheese and some fruit will work. If you skip breakfast, you’ll be sluggish and not concentrating well by mid-morning. If breakfast was a sugary doughnut or toaster pastry, your blood glucose level will “bottom-out” mid-morning, and you’ll really feel tired! As to veggies and fruits: Mom was right!! They really are chock full of vitamins and minerals, and are really good for you! You don’t have to like all vegetables, but do try to expand your list beyond corn and potatoes (and corn chips and potato chips don’t count); have green ones, yellow ones and red ones; have them raw as well as cooked. Fresh fruits make great snacks, and keep well in dorm rooms too! Now for the soda-pop: nutritionists have likened it to “liquid candy”, because of its very high sugar content. The average 12-ounce soda contains about 18 teaspoons of sugar; that’s a lot of calories that bring with them no other nutritive value. There certainly is nothing harmful about enjoying an occasional soda; you’ll have problems though when you drink two or three a day! When you’re hot and thirsty, cold water really hits the spot, and is better for your body. Learn to avoid and/or manage the stressors of college life. College life, wonderful and exciting as it is, has numerous stress-inducing aspects. There are not only the expected academic hurdles to clear, but relationships, and the business of figuring out God’s plan for your life as well. In addition to those unavoidable stressors, we manage to create many of our own stressors, and those are the ones we need to work on avoiding. Those stressors inherent to the college experience, we need to learn to manage. Over time, stress that we don’t manage well produces fatigue, lowers resistance, and results in a host of signs and symptoms that signal an undermining of health and vitality. So….how can a college student avoid or manage stress? Here are some suggestions that we know work. Don’t procrastinate. Due dates for papers and projects that seem far in the future will be here before you know it! Time pressure is a major cause of stress; lessen it by starting early and completing major projects in a step-wise, organized fashion. HAPPENINGS

11


Don’t let small problems grow into big ones before doing anything about them. If you’re feeling “lost” in a class, see your professor before you’ve accumulated a series of failed quizzes. If you thought you wanted to be an engineer, but realize you’re better suited to communications, see your advisor and make a change. Problems ignored don’t go away; they grow, and produce stress. Don’t demand perfection of yourself. Students who’ve been high achievers in high school sometimes really become stressed over a lower-than-expected grade on a quiz or exam. Our Creator knows we’re not perfect; what He expects is our honest best effort. Even the best students rarely “ace” every exam; keep it in perspective, and use your energy in understanding those concepts on which you were foggy. Don’t over-commit your time and energy. There are a multitude of “extra-curricular” things on which to spend time in college. Ministry activities, social events, pre-professional organizations, intramural sports or varsity athletics, or just hanging out with friends can totally consume your time. You can’t do everything; if you try, you will be “frazzled”. If this is your first college experience, limit your extracurricular involvements to only one or two in your first term; see how much discretionary time your studies allow. Don’t misapply Philippians 4:13; we can’t do all things, but rather all things God would have us to do. Jesus himself did not heal everyone, feed everyone, nor disciple everyone. Don’t let the “busyness” of college life crowd personal devotions and prayer out of your daily routine. We need time to re-charge our spiritual batteries; to be quiet and open to what God wants to tell us from His word; and to give Him our thanks and worship, as well as turn over our burdens to Him. Satan would be really pleased to help this get squeezed out of our schedules, even by really good things. Be very jealous of your time with God; you’ll be glad you are. Learn to laugh. Look for the humor in life; even a lot of the stressful situations we get into have a funny side. Look for it, and let yourself laugh. Be ready to laugh at yourself and with others. Laughter relaxes tense muscles, causes deep breathing and lowers the stress response. Obviously, not all of life’s difficult situations have a “funny” side; if you must deal with one of those for several days, look for a humorous 12 APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

book or article. Build at least a half-hour of physical exercise into your daily routine. It doesn’t take a genius to look at our bodies and see that they are designed for movement. They’re not only designed to move, they’re designed to NEED to move. However, very little of what most of us have to do each day at college requires significant physical effort. The role computers play in the responsibilities of college life doesn’t help the situation, either. We can “go” to virtual libraries, labs, and many other places and never get out of our seat! And - that doesn’t even include our use of the computer for communication and recreation. Most schools have facilities and programming available to help with this essential component of good stewardship of the body. Plan how and when you will use them; then do it! Build variety into what you do if that’s what you enjoy; build repetition into what you do if that’s what you like. Either way, build consistency for your activity program. Intramural teams can be great opportunities for multi-tasking …socializing, exercising, and competing. Fitness areas on campus can provide opportunity for some much-needed alone time as you listen to music or memorize scripture while walking on the treadmill or working your way through the circuit. And it’s not a bad place to meet others, either, if that’s what you need to refresh and renew! Bottom line…”off to college” and “healthy lifestyle” are not mutually exclusive concepts. But it takes care, planning, and intentionality to stay fit and live healthy. The default setting for college life is not necessarily “healthy”. We would do well to remember Paul’s directives to the Christians in the church at Corinth regarding freedom. He wrote: “‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’—but not everything is constructive.” After this directive in 1 Corinthians 10:23, he continued to say “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Let the banner flying over your “off to college” experience be: For the glory of God!

HAPPENINGS HAPPENINGS 15 #


Happenings

W h e r e to G o A f t e r Co l l e g e … T r av e l , W o r k o r V o l u n t e e r ?

By Raeanne J Wright There is no time like now if you’re an explorer at heart! Where to go after college is one of the many difficult decisions you may face after graduation. The one thing you may take for granted is that now, for the first time in your life, you are completely free! Sure, you may have some major financial commitments and debt after college, but otherwise, you can do WHATEVER you want! You can travel, volunteer or work abroad after college – you can go WHEREVER you want! You can be WHATEVER you want! For some reason, people have the tendency to settle for a career, get married, have kids, and then that’s it. The carefree days of doing-as-you-please are pretty much 16 APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

over. Anyone in their thirties, forties, or fifties will attest to that. When I decided I was going to live abroad after college, every single adult that I spoke with told me the same thing – “Now is the time! I wish I had done it when I was your age!” Luckily, there are a host of opportunities for college grads looking to explore the world. All you need is a will, and you can go. Don’t make any excuses. I went to London despite having accrued tens of thousands of dollars in college debt and having no real job or plan figured out. And London is one of the most expensive cities in the world! If I, of all people, did that, then I firmly believe that anyone that wants to travel can do so. You have to have immeasurable determination and have to make some sacrifices, but if traveling is your top priority, there is nothing HAPPENINGS 17


Depending on where you want to go, most western counthat can stop you. Let your spirit be your guide to life after tries allow visitors to stay for up to three months without college! a visa. This is a complicated and ever-changing subject, so If you only want to travel, to explore, to see the be sure to look into specific details for the country(s) you world… wish to visit. If you’re short on money, you may have to go Begin by deciding where you want to go and how off-season for the cheapest flights. long you want to go. Be realistic. This is where the sacrific Find a place to crash. If you don’t have the budget es come in! At first thought, you may want to go to Zimbafor hotels or resorts (like most of us) you may have to be bwe for a year. But transportation costs and the ability to more creative with your travel accommodations. Your first stay for 365 days while unemployed and paying your bills resort should be friends or family. Is there anyone at all at home may make this goal impossible… for now. Put it on you could call that would let you crash? If you’re traveling your to-do list for your next big adventure, and for now, fooverseas, you may be surprised how generous friend-of-acus on something a little more feasible. Perhaps a Europefriend strangers are with welcoming travelers. Ask around. an bus tour is more within your budget? A good vacation If there’s no one to crash with, your next option could be idea would be Fiji, with its long white sandy beaches and to crash in hostels. Despite any recent horror films that turquoise water. You could finally relax after those 4 long may say otherwise, hostels are generally pretty safe and years of studies. Or maybe a Caribbean holiday? Or perfull of like-minded travelers. Avoid hostels in seedy areas haps your budget is nonexistent… perhaps a cross-country or that appear to be an all-day hangout for road trip with your back-seat as the hotel is unemployed locals… not to sound harsh, your only option? Maybe you’ll decide to but keep your wits about you. Only stay work abroad after college. Be flexible, be in hostels full of travelers like yourreasonable, and be adventurous. But B e f l e x ib l e , self, and make sure they provide a don’t be ridiculous! place to lockup your belongings. Your travel date of choice b e r e as o nab l e , While hostels are a good option for should also be carefully determined. city travel, they are nonexistent in Winter months tend to be cheaper an d rural areas. But if you’re out in the for travel in the Northern Hemicountryside, you have some even sphere. Take that into consideration b e a dv e n t u ro u s more exciting options for lodging if your budget is tiny and you’re – campgrounds! Whether you find planning on surviving on no income. yourself an RV park, a cheap cabin, or a If you literally don’t have a penny to patch of dirt to pitch your tent, these places spare on a trip, calculate a plan to earn are very reasonable and many provide ample the money and set the date accordingly. You’ll amenities. need at least a couple hundred for the cheapest Pack lightly… if this is a low-budget trip, chances trip imaginable. If that means cutting out your weekly are you may be moving around a bit and sacrificing some 12-pack-of-beer to put away ten bucks, then so be it. Factor of the usual comforts. Why make it tougher than it has in a nice booze budget for the trip to look forward to! to be? Only bring what you need so you aren’t breaking Book your transportation. The earlier you begin your back lugging your crap around. In Europe especially, planning, the better your odds of finding cheap tickets. If many cities are full of cobbled streets or stairs in subways your trip requires airfare, purchase it as early as possible. or streets that make even wheeled luggage a nightmare to Search Google for the best sites to find deals, and pricetransport. And don’t forget to guard your passport, wallet, gauge daily to find the best rates. If your trip requires buscamera, or any other essentials with your life! Keep these es, trains, or other modes of public transportation, be sure items close to your body and always use extra caution in to research the areas you’ll be visiting. Most metropolitan crowded public areas where pick-pockets work their magpublic transportation opportunities have special rates and ic… never keep ANYTHING of value in your pockets. deals if you buy combo or multiple tickets.

18

APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

Eat cheap. This one may be tough. Many people associate travel with fancy dinners at four-star restaurants. But with your budget, you probably can’t eat surf and turf every day. I’ve found that the best way to eat well and to eat cheap while traveling is to shop where the locals do… at the grocery store! Just stopping in the local supermarket in a place you’ve never been can be an experience in itself! Obviously, don’t buy large quantities that will spoil or need to be transported or refrigerated. But fresh fruits, yogurts, and sandwiches are easy and cheap meals. Oh… and don’t forget the local farmer’s markets. You can find all kinds of cheap, healthy goodies here, and your body will thank you. Street vendors are another cheap alternative, but I recommend moderation here. You wouldn’t want to spend most of your trip looking for toilets! If you can, make a point to go out to a sit-down meal at least once on your trip. Choose wisely and sample the authentic local cuisine. You shouldn’t go home without a real taste! Have the time of your life. Be safe but be adventurous. Explore, talk to locals, take tons of pictures, and keep a journal if it moves you. Keep an open mind, as well as open eyes and ears and you will have an unforgettable time. Even if you find yourself in an unpleasant situation –

say, unreliable transportation or doomed with bad weather – just remember that it’s all part of an experience that’ll change you forever. Working and Volunteering Abroad Again, there are more options today than ever before for graduates who want to begin their careers in a foreign country. If you really want to work abroad after college, there are scores of programs ready to help you obtain work visas, search job listings, or even match you with a job opening. Volunteer programs abound, and they are never without the need for more helping hands. Regardless of the path you take, it’s a fantastic way to broaden your worldview before settling down and finding a place to call home. And you never know – sometimes finding a job after college happens abroad! Everything depends on the country. Opportunities and programs vary greatly, as well as what you can expect from your experience while living there… this really goes without saying. So begin by doing some research and deciding where you want to go and what you want to do. The options are staggering, so if you begin blindly you may be overwhelmed with the choices.

HAPPENINGS

19


Happenings

invited to its renaissance.— SARAH KHAN 2. Christchurch, New Zealand The rebirth of a quake-ravaged city. Three years after two large earthquakes devastated central Christchurch, the city is experiencing a rebirth with creativity and wit — thanks to the ingenuity of its hardy residents — and is welcoming tourists back again. Though much of the central city has yet to be rebuilt, entrepreneurs and volunteers are finding surprising ways to make temporary use of empty lots and bring life back to the downtown. The Gap Filler program, begun a couple of months after the first quake in September 2010 and expanded after a more destructive second quake in February 2011, has created an open-air performance space made of blue pallets, a dance floor with coin-operated music and lights, and even a nine-hole mini-golf course in vacant lots across the city. The Greening the Rubble campaign has since the 2010 quake been planting temporary gardens on the sites of demolished buildings. To replace the badly damaged 19th-centuryChristChurch Cathedral, a magnificent transitional church by the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban opened in August with sturdy cardboard tubes for the roof. Businesses are also trickling back downtown. One bar, built inside shipping containers, has a name that encapsulates the spirit of the entire city: Revival.— JUSTIN BERGMAN

52 P l ac e s to g o i n 2 0 1 4 A W o r l d T r av e l G u i d e

1. Cape Town, South Africa A place to meditate on freedom, and the creative life that followed. When Nelson Mandela was incarcerated at Robben Island prison, he found inspiration in Cape Town. “We often looked across Table Bay at the magnificent silhouette of Table Mountain,” he said in a speech. “To us on Robben Island, Table Mountain was a beacon of hope. It represented the mainland to which we knew we would one day return.” Cape Town’s importance to Mandela, who made his first address there as a free man, will doubtless draw many visitors in the wake of his death. The country has transformed itself since Mandela’s imprisonment, but there’s still much to be done. Many in Cape Town have been grappling with that challenge, including its creative class, which has been examining whether inspired design can solve some of the 20

APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

issues stemming from years of inequality. The city formally takes up that issue this year during its turn asWorld Design Capital. Cape Town is celebrating design in all its forms, putting on fashion shows by students and established designers alike, hosting architecture open houses, welcoming the public into artists’ studios and folding the annual visual arts spectacular Design Indaba conference in February into the design capital program. Also part of the lineup are locals seeking to rejuvenate impoverished black-majority townships:The Maboneng Lalela Project turns township homes into galleries and performance spaces; Foodpods constructs sustainable farms, giving residents access to healthy produce; and the Langa Quarter project seeks to make the precinct a cultural tourism destination. Cape Town is again reinventing itself, and the world is

3. North Coast, California A glorious new preserve for the public. One hundred and thirty miles north of San Francisco, the moody bluffs of the Mendocino Coast have long been a spectacular place from which to observe marine life: passing humpback whales, sun-happy sea lions, foamy waves strewn with kelp. The incorporation of the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands — nearly 1,300 acres — gives hikers new access to a contiguous 12-mile stretch of coastline and fields of wildflowers, cypress forests and cliff areas (some overlooking dramatic blowholes, pinnacles and sea caves), much of it previously off-limits to the public. And Congressional proposals to include the north coast lands as part of theCalifornia Coastal National Monument have been introduced, which would mean better protection and more funds for maintenance; plans also exist to extend the California Coastal Trail through the new preserve.— BONNIE TSUI

4. Albanian Coast On a rugged shore, Europe at its best. What if you could combine the rugged beauty you’d find on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast with the ruins of an undiscovered Turkey or Greece, all wrapped in the easygoing nature characteristic of rural Italy — at a fraction of the cost? Turns out you can, on the coast of Albania. The roughly Maryland-size country, between Greece and Montenegro, sits about 45 miles east of Italy on the eastern shores of the Adriatic and has limestone-ringed beaches, ancient ruins like Butrint and waterfront inns where you can stay for less than $50 a night. Rampant development threatened to turn it all to concrete in the years after Communism, but a new government took office in September on promises of keeping the coast authentic. Head to villages like Qeparo, within sight of Corfu, where you can kayak past Cold War submarine tunnels, swim by abandoned forts and watch the tide rise during a dinner of fresh fish at an inn called the Riviera. This is Europe when it was fresh and cheap.— TIM NEVILLE 5. Downtown Los Angeles Downtown? Really? Yes, thanks to a thriving food scene. Gone is the musty, lifeless, only-open-for-Kings-hockeygames reputation of downtown Los Angeles. While the museums in this corner of the city are thriving (the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art is nearby), the growing dynamism of downtown is the food scene. Most notable is the Grand Central Market, an arcade of over 30 of the best food vendors in the city. Originally built in 1917, the market has been redone in the past year, attracting popular purveyors like G&B Coffee and, soon, Belcampo Meat Co. Just down the street is Alma, which was named the best new restaurant in the country by Bon Appétit magazine. And where there is good food there is good shopping. Stores will be adding cachet to the neighborhood soon; an outlet of the fashion label Acne Studios opened in December, with Aesop, a skin-care specialist, soon to follow. Diners and shoppers alike will soon have a hip place to stay: AnAce Hotel is scheduled to open nearby this month.— DANIELLE PERGAMENT 6. Namibia Africa’s latest conservation success story is a boon for travelers. HAPPENINGS

21


Namibia’s communal conservancy movement, which pairs sustainable tourism with rural community outreach, has been a much-heralded success: In 2013, the country’s 79 conservancies received the prestigious Gift to the Earth Award from the World Wildlife Fund, and the stunning Namib Sand Sea Desertjoined Unesco’s World Heritage list. Options abound for travelers who want to help the effort, including the Desert Rhino Camp, which Wilderness Safaris runs in partnership with the Save the Rhino Trust; the camp directly supports the conservancy, which has reversed dwindling rhino populations. In 2014, Wilderness Safaris also plans to open the Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, on the Hoanib River in the north. AndNamibia’s Tourism Board is introducing three self-drive routes in 2014 to point visitors toward less-visited parts of the country.— ADAM H. GRAHAM 7. Ecuador Epic biodiversity, and a newly renovated railway to get you there. Ecuador is famed as the home of the Galápagos, the beloved islands off the coast that feature mind-boggling wildlife — but the mainland is no slouch either. One of the most biodiverse countries in the world, Ecuador has over 1,600 species of birds, 4,000 kinds of orchids, one of the largest condor shelters on the planet — and one-fifth of the country (including the Galápagos) is protected. And there is a new way to see a good chunk of it: the recently refurbished Tren Crucero. The luxury vintage train starts in Quito (the first city ever to be declared a World Heritage site by Unesco) and travels through the Andes, over snowcapped mountains, past volcanoes, around a harrowing turn called the Devil’s Nose and through the countryside until arriving in the bustling city of Guayaquil. The fourday trip includes an excursion to Cotopaxi National Park — a place where you might see deer, wolves, bears or one of those condors.— DANIELLE PERGAMENT 8. Quang Binh, Vietnam Now open: One of the world’s largest caves. Son Doong Cave in the Quang Binh province of central Vietnam is one of the world’s largest caves and is now, for the first time, accessible to tourists, thanks to the tour operator Oxalis. Huge shafts of light penetrate its vast caverns, allowing forests of 100-foot-tall trees to thrive in spaces big enough to accommodate 40-story skyscrapers. 22

APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

Colossal 260-foot stalactites are also present. Monkeys, hornbills and flying foxes have all been spotted in this surreal habitat, first fully explored in 2009. While trips into Son Doong are limited in number (only 220 permits for the year) and to visitors with deep pockets (over $6,000 per trip), the nearby and more affordable Tu Lan Cave is also now open to adventurous travelers.— DAVID LLOYD 9. Perth, Australia For Australian panache, go west. Perth, the capital of western Australia, has long been feted for its beaches, laid-back vibe and Aboriginal heritage, but lately Australia’s fourth-largest city is exhibiting the signs of a trendy transformation. Regional wine lists? Check. Modish new restaurants in repurposed spaces like stables (the Stables Bar), cottages (the Old Crow) or a printing press building (the Print Hall)? Check. International celebrity chefs including Jamie Oliver, whose Italian spot Jamie’s Italian recently opened? Up-and-coming neighborhoods like Mount Lawley and Northbridge, chockablock with cafes and vintage shops? Check and check. Transformation is evident on a larger scale, too: The Riverside project is infusing the eastern side of the city with parks, shops and housing plazas, while expansion of the new Crown Perth complex includes hotels — Crown Metropol andCrown Promenade — and posh restaurants like Nobu and La Vie Champagne Lounge. And with first- and business-class lounges opening at Los Angeles International Airport this year, the national airline Qantas makes it easy to get Down Under in style.— BAZ DREISINGER 10. Rotterdam, the Netherlands First-class architecture in the Netherlands’ second city. Post-World War II reconstruction has changed the face of one of Europe’s largest ports, where striking, cubed architecture gives shape to the most modern skyline in the country. But it’s not done yet. This is a banner year for ribbon cuttings to celebrate both new and reconfigured space: An overhaul of Rotterdam Centraal train station (scheduled for completion in March) has already unveiled a new shop-lined pedestrian passageway and the city’s first Starbucks. The renovatedKunsthal museum reopens in February. François Geurds, chef of the two-Michelin-starred restaurant FG, opens another restaurant this month. Come October, the massive arch of the Markthal,

whose interior displays 3-D food photographs, becomes the country’s first indoor food hall. Need a launching pad? Check into a brand-new gem: the Rem Koolhaas-designednhow hotel.— ELISA MALA 11. Taiwan Urban and outdoor pursuits in one (reasonably) compact package. The traveler who wants to do it all should consider Taiwan. This island, roughly the size of the Netherlands, has an easy-to-navigate public transport network that links a cosmopolitan capital with a bounty of natural and manmade wonders. Taipei, whose robust art scene recently earned its selection as the World Design Capital for 2016, will soon have more places to lay your head: In the coming months the Mandarin Orientaland a boutique hotel from the homegrown bookstore chain Eslite will join the recent arrivals Le Meridien and W. All of these should be a convenient base from which to do some sightseeing on 17 bike trails along the shores of Taipei’s many rivers and inlets or to take a foray into the city’s vibrant street food scene with a nightcap at the reservations-only bespoke bar Alchemy, which opened in 2012 to much acclaim. Four hours south by high-speed rail and bus, 70-square-mile Kenting National Park is home to wetlands, white sands, fishing villages and, starting this year, a ferry point for the deep sea fishing and diving paradise of Orchid Island. Up north in Keelung, a newNational Museum of Marine Science and Technology opens this month, part of a revitalization project at Badouzi Harbor, which is linked to nearby headlands by color-coded walking routes. And it all becomes cheaper to get to later this year, with the launch of budget carriers from China Airlines and TransAsia Airways.— ROBYN ECKHARDT 12. Frankfurt, Germany An infusion of hip night life wakes up a humdrum city. Frankfurt, long considered strictly a financial capital and major travel hub, used to land on the culturati map once a year, during its annual book fair. A recent boom of restaurants and clubs, though, makes the case for permanent placement. Leading the city’s transformation is its fast-evolving red light district, where spots like Maxie Eisen, a deli-style cafe by day and a speakeasy-inspired bar by night, offer a sexiness that isn’t unseemly. In the

city center, a buzzy pan-Asian restaurant called Moriki was just opened by the Berlin-based chef Duc Ngo with a menu that includes envelope-pushing courses like sushi pizza; and the new sleek Lamoraga, a modern Spanish restaurant, is pulling in the shopping crowds for lunch. By the end of next year, the developer Ardi Goldman plans to reinvent and reopen the famed King Kamehameha Club, which had its original heyday in the 1990s and 2000s. And growth extends to the art world: The 32,000-square-foot underground extension at the Städel Museum earned accolades from around the globe when it opened last year.— GISELA WILLIAMS 13. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia An ambitious art scene heads toward the international stage. Building on a strong historical legacy (Addis boasts one of East Africa’s oldest art schools) are a host of events scheduled for 2014: a photography festival, two film festivals and a jazz and world music festival. Thanks to the city’s diverse art institutions and galleries, including the artist-in-residence village Zoma Contemporary Art Center and the Asni Gallery (really more an art collective than a gallery), there is an art opening at least once a week. Even the local Sheraton puts on “Art of Ethiopia,”an annual show of new talent. But it’s the National Museum that, in May and June, will host this year’s blockbuster exhibit, “Ras Tafari: The Majesty and the Movement,” devoted to Emperor Haile Selassie I and Rastafarianism.— GISELA WILLIAMS 14. Fernando de Noronha, Brazil A world-class World Cup getaway. The street parties, samba sessions and festive chaos surrounding the World Cup soccer tournament in Brazil this summer are bound to be exhausting for everyone. When the action’s over, escape to Fernando de Noronha, a 21-island archipelago about 330 miles off the coast of one of the host cities, Recife. Here you’ll find 250-foot-high black cliffs muscling against peach-sand beaches, Portuguese hilltop forts and blue coves where humpbacks and spinner dolphins linger. Only one of the islands, Noronha, is inhabited, and the entire chain is protected as a park with just 246 visitors allowed per day. Regulations have kept Noronha relaxed, with only small hotels and roads rough enough to make dune buggies the rental cars of choice. Hike along cliffs to gorgeous beaches like Sancho, dive HAPPENINGS

#


with sea turtles or climb Morro do Pico, a 1,059-foot-high volcanic pinnacle.— TIM NEVILLE 15. Nashville, Tenn. Leather jackets and skinny jeans join cowboy boots. Country music lovers have long made the pilgrimage to Nashville, but now the city has fast gained cachet among rock fans and foodies. The city’s vibrant scene is home to the Black Keys, Kings of Leon, Jeff the Brotherhood and Diarrhea Planet, who all play in town occasionally. And a youthquake is transforming scruffy neighborhoods like 12South and East Nashville into hipster hubs. New hangouts include Pinewood Social, a bar, restaurant, bowling alley and karaoke joint, and the 404, a restaurant and boutique hotel in a former auto garage. Add to that a thriving culinary scene, exemplified by theMusic City Eats Festival, back for a second year in September. And Nashville’s old standbys — like the honky-tonk Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and the venerable Ryman — are as fun as ever.— STEVEN KURUTZ 16. Scotland New reasons to play, and watch players, in Scotland’s yards. Riddled with lochs and crested by moody Highlands, Scotland adds to its already considerable outdoorsy appeal this year. In April, the John Muir Way, named for the conservationist originally from Scotland, will expand to 134 miles from 45 miles, newly spanning the farmland and forests of the country’s midsection. Organizers estimate it will take eight to 12 days on foot or four to six by bike to complete the coast-to-coast route running from Muir’s boyhood hometown Dunbar west to the Loch Lomond area. The attractions extend beyond amateur workouts. This summer, Glasgow will stage the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Olympic-style competitions for Britain and the former British colonies, and in September Gleneaglesresort in the Highlands will host the Ryder Cup golf competition. Sports and hospitality will meet at Cromlix House Hotel, a 15-room resort that the tennis champion and local hero Andy Murray plans to open in April in a Victorian mansion in Dunblane.— ELAINE GLUSAC 17. Calgary, Alberta An oil boom town gets its cultural legs. #

APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

Flush with oil money, Calgary has morphed from ho-hum city on the prairie into a cultural hub, with offerings far beyond theStampede, the annual rodeo and festival. Locals stroll over the tubular Peace Bridge, designed by Santiago Calatrava, opened in 2012. Public art is part of life; in 2013 Jaume Plensa completed Wonderland, a 39-foot-tall steel mesh head installed in front of the new skyline-transforming Norman Foster-designed Bow Tower. They join beloved cultural institutions like the One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theater,whose dancer and choreographer Denise Clarke was in December named to the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest honors.— ELISABETH EAVES 18. Ishigaki, Japan Sand and surf, now a (low-cost) hop from Osaka. The yen is the weakest it’s been against the dollar in years — down 25 percent from a year ago — putting Japan more within reach in 2014. For low prices coupled with laidback attitudes, look way south to the island of Ishigaki, 250 miles south of Okinawa Island and far from the bustle of Tokyo. The 85-square-mile island, largely undiscovered, is home to sunburned surfers, sandy beaches and beautiful coral reefs. And it’s never been easier to reach: A new airport opened here in March 2013, and Japan’s new low-cost carrier, Peach, just began service from Osaka.— INGRID K. WILLIAMS 19. Laikipia Plateau, Kenya A pristine slice of biodiversity is home to a new luxury eco-resort. Set between Mount Kenya and the Great Rift Valley, the Laikipia Plateau teems with wildlife: elephants, leopards, endangered rhinos and one of the highest concentrations of zebras on the continent. Now the area has also become a conservation success story, sustained and protected through an unusual mix of public and private partnerships and a network of environmentally minded ranchers. With the 2013 opening ofSegera, a resort owned by Jochen Zeitz, a German-born executive, there is also a new spot to admire its pristine landscapes. The 50,000-acre property includes an enviable collection of contemporary African art, an organic and solar-powered farm and a wine collection focusing on African labels. And more sustainable travel may be on the horizon: A new national park on the area’s southwestern border has been proposed by the gov-

ernment.— ONDINE COHANE 20. Yogyakarta, Indonesia A volcano, a temple, a shrine and now a place to stay. This central Javan sultanate draws crowds for its proximity to bewitching attractions: the monumental, wedding cake-esque Buddhist temple Borobudur, the soft-serve-icecream-shaped Hindu shrines of Prambanan, and pre-sunrise hikes to summit Indonesia’s friskiest volcano, Mount Merapi (which most recently erupted in 2013). But finding a decent room has never been easy, until now. Thanks to tax breaks for hotel development, 20 new starred hotels, to complement the city’s existing 30, will open through 2015. Among them are Zest Hotel (a Swiss-Belhotel brand) in 2014 and, according to a director of the Tourism Promotion Agency of Yogyakarta, three new properties from Accor, whose brands include Sofitel and ibis.— SANJAY SURANA 21. Tahoe, Calif. A ski area spruces up with new terrain, lodging and an entire base village. For decades Northstar-at-Tahoe, on the north end of Lake Tahoe, was a mostly overlooked ski hill. Since 2004, however, more than $1 billion has poured into the resort. Thoughweather in the region has been fickle so far this season, the improvements are impressive. And they aren’t limited to the base village that has risen at the renamed Northstar, centered around a huge ice rink ringed by couches and fire pits. The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe opened a few years ago, and Vail Resorts, since buying the ski resort in late 2010, has built an on-mountain day lodge, added more terrain and installed the new Promised Land Express lift on the resort’s Backside. Tahoe is resurgent, as resorts from Squaw Valley to Homewoodundertake improvements with an eye toward bidding for the 2026 Winter Olympics. In the next few years expect to see everything from the Cal Neva Resort, once owned by Frank Sinatra, open after a big renovation, to a South Lake Tahoe with new waterfront hotels.— CHRISTOPHER SOLOMON 22. Yorkshire, England A photogenic (and historic) ale trail. The sprawling northern county of Yorkshire is becoming a big destination for beer lovers, thanks to a recently

published guidebook called “Great Yorkshire Beer” and a renewed interest in historic breweries like Samuel Smith (founded in 1758) and Timothy Taylor (from 1858). Spend an evening crawling through the Fat Cat, the Kelham Island Tavern and other award-winning pubs in Sheffield — recently called Britain’s best beer city by the connoisseur Adrian Tierney-Jones — then travel to Leeds, whose compact center is home to the Victoria Hotel, the Cross Keys and other public houses that pull pints on traditional hand pumps. A final stay in the photogenic city of York offers a Tudor-style pub at the end of every cobbled lane, as well as modern beer temples like York Tap, Pivni and the House of Trembling Madness.— EVAN RAIL 23. Dubai Reborn, relentless and still over the top. Five years ago, one of the planet’s most ambitious cities appeared to be dying. Crushed with debt, Dubai found its megaprojects and skyscrapers scuttled or scrapped. The city went from juggernaut to joke. But now, it’s back. Economically surging, Dubai has won its bid to host World Expo 2020 and has unveiled its Tourism Vision, also for 2020, a plan to attract 20 million tourists — double the current crowd. October witnessed the first passenger terminal at Dubai World Central Al Maktoum International Airport, and travelers will discover colossal new hotels like the 555room Conrad Dubai and the 77-story JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, which Guinness World Records recognizes as the tallest hotel in the world. This year, a new tram system will be inaugurated, along with some theme parks, including the first phase of Dubai Adventure Studios, the first phase of IMG Worlds of Adventure, and Holy Quran Park (devoted to the Islamic holy book).— SETH SHERWOOD 24. The Vatican New saints, a new(ish) pope and newly restored treasures beckon. Pope Francis, who has nearly 3.5 million followers on Twitter and routinely makes headlines for doing things like inviting atheists to join the cause for peace in his Christmas message, is widely viewed as reinvigorating the scandal-plagued, conservative-leaning Roman Catholic Church. (Just ask Time magazine, which last month named him the 2013 Person of the Year.) The first South American pope is so popular that the Vatican is anticipating record pilgrim attendance at its celebrations this year. Well over HAPPENINGS HAPPENINGS 23 #


a million visitors are expected in April when Holy Week will be followed by the canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II. Services commemorating the new saints will continue throughout the year. In 2014, the faithful can also enjoy the fruits of restorations that have taken years, like that of Bernini’s colonnade in St. Peter’s Square and the reopening of the Via Triumphalis necropolis, a vast ancient Roman cemetery first uncovered in the 1950s. And pilgrims can stay up-to-date on news and events, including restorations and exhibitions, thanks to the Pope’s new mobile app.— KATIE PARLA 25. Uruguayan Riviera South American beach towns, before they go upscale. Around glamorous Punta del Este and boho-chic José Ignacio, there’s no deficiency of boutique hotels, expat art galleries and exclusive waterfront brasseries. But farther east along the Uruguayan Riviera, a relatively untrodden stretch of Atlantic coast tucked between Argentina and Brazil, sun, sand and simplicity remain the draw — for now. In the Rocha region, villages like Cabo Polonio, La Pedrera, San Antonio and Punta del Diablo are just starting to attract serious international attention, bringing a sprinkling of first-rate accommodation — like Brisas, a clifftop 14-room inn restored by an Argentine tech mogul — without compromising the area’s natural charms: miles of undeveloped beach, rolling pastures and a culture where gaucho cowboys and fishermen with wooden boats aren’t just props.— REMY SCALZA 26. Chennai, India A cultural capital springs to life. Chennai, in the state of Tamil Nadu (and formerly known as Madras), was long considered the gateway to popular South Indian tourist destinations like Kerala but was overlooked as an attraction itself. It is, however, a national cultural capital and home to several dance and music schools like Kalakshetra for dance and the Music Academy for Carnatic South Indian music, which both regularly hold performances around town. There are also historic sites aplenty, including the Kapaleeswarar Temple, built in the name of the Hindu god Shiva. Fresh buzz makes this city especially enticing: Several major hotels including the Park Hyatt have recently opened, and there is a slew of new and trendy clubs, boutiques and restaurants, including Ottimo 24 # APRIL APRIL 2014 2014 // // VOL. VOL.11

for excellent pizzas.— SHIVANI VORA 27. Seychelles An African luxury hot spot that’s become easier to get to. This archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean now has one of the world’s most expensive hotels. The listed price for a villa at the North Island resort, on a private island where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stayed during their honeymoon, ranges from 2,582 to 4,079 euros (about $3,670 to $5,800) per night; the Doubletree by Hilton Seychelles, which opened last year is, thankfully, more affordable. The appeal goes beyond pampering and powdery beaches: The Seychelles is also home to some 100,000 giant Aldabra tortoises that live on a coral atoll that is a Unesco World Heritage site. Air Seychellesrecently signed code-share agreements with Air Berlin, Cathay Pacific Airways and other airlines, making these islands about 1,000 miles off the east coast of Africa more accessible.— RACHEL B. DOYLE 28. Krabi, Thailand A Phuket-like hideaway, but still unspoiled. The southern Thailand town of Krabi lies just a 45-minute boat ride across the Andaman Sea from Phuket. But you can spare yourself the trip to Phuket — plenty of riches lie here, and you don’t have to fight the crowds to enjoy them. Krabi sits next to the Mu Koh Lanta National Park, a prime spot for hiking, rock climbing and elephant trekking. If you do get restless, there are about 130 pristine islands nearby that are ripe for exploration and virtually undeveloped save for a few ancient monasteries. And Krabi, which used to have few options for accommodations and was hard to get to, is now more tourist-friendly. A number of hotels have opened in recent years, including Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton property. A marina, Port Takola, is in the works and will be home to restaurants, night life and shopping, and a new terminal that has opened at Krabi Airport means that there are more flights to and from this gem.— SHIVANI VORA 29. Aspen, Colo. Ditch those poles. Art and bike trails await. This ski town has a big development off-piste: The long-awaited reinvented Aspen Art Museum will open its doors this summer. The 33,000-square-foot space, de-

signed by the Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, is meant to reflect the mountain experience. Visitors first take a lift to the roof and take in the view from the sculpture garden before descending to tour the galleries. There is also plenty of news for outdoor types this year, too, with new mountain biking trails planned throughout Aspen and Snowmass, a new mountain skills center and expanded lift-serviced biking.— BONNIE TSUI 30. Highlands, Iceland Natural wonders are in danger. Go see them before it’s too late. The Icelandic government has spent decades protecting its glaciers, pools, ponds, lakes, marshes and permafrost mounds in the Thjorsarver Wetlands, part of the central highlands, which constitute some 40 percent of the entire country, mostly in the interior. But last year, the government announced plans to revoke those protections, allowing for the construction of hydropower plants (instead of glaciers and free-flowing rivers, imagine man-made reservoirs, dams, paved roads and power lines). “If they get into this area, there will be no way to stop them from destroying the wetlands completely,” said Arni Finnsson, the chairman of the Iceland Nature Conservation Association. More bad news looms: A law intending to further repeal conservation efforts has been put forward, so if you ever want to see Iceland in all of its famously raw natural beauty, go now.— DANIELLE PERGAMENT 31. Umea, Sweden Soundscapes and culture shine in northern Sweden. A hotbed of hardcore and heavy metal music through the 1990s, this northern city will welcome all genres during its tenure as a European Capital of Culture this year. Music will take center stage at outdoor opera performances, a crowdsourced music festival and an orchestral tribute to the local hardcore band Refused. Visual arts focused on the culture of indigenous Sami people will be exhibited at Bildmuseet, the city’s contemporary arts museum that reopened in 2012 in a glass-and-wood building designed by Henning Larsen Architects. And it’s all easier to reach thanks to a new higher-speed rail connection from Stockholm.— INGRID K. WILLIAMS

32. Xishuangbanna, China Skip smog-choked cities — and face masks — and head out to China’s wild frontier. With pollution skyrocketing in China’s showcase cities, visitors to the country are increasingly seeking out greener pastures to explore. Set deep in the tropics of southern Yunnan province, Xishuangbanna is about as lush as you can get — the region boasts the richest biodiversity in China, including some of the country’s last wild elephants. Last February, the area went upscale with its first five-star hotel — the Anantara Xishuangbanna Resort & Spa, which organizes tea-leaf picking trips in mountainside plantations. More action-oriented experiences are possible, as well, such as the tour groupWildChina’s jungle biking trips or treks along the caravan route plied by tea traders centuries ago.— JUSTIN BERGMAN 33. Andermatt, Switzerland A mountain makeover from overlooked to opulent. Andermatt has long been a quiet town of Alpine farmers and bargain-seeking skiers. But this winter, the former Swiss Army outpost began its transformation into a bona fide ski destination with the opening last month of the Chedi Andermatt. The 104-room resort, housed in a modernized chalet with a Japanese restaurant among several dining options, indoor and outdoor pools and a 10-treatment-room spa, is just the first phase of a big new development of apartment buildings, homes, five more hotels and a golf course in the coming year over 321 acres. The pedestrian village will offer skiers access by gondola to the nearly 9,800-foot Gemsstock Mountain, with future lifts to the larger nearby ski area of Sedrun planned to open in 2015.— ELAINE GLUSAC 34. Indianapolis In the land of cars, cycling (and culture) get the limelight. An urban cycling model has arrived in Indianapolis: the new $63 million, eight-mile bike-friendly Indy Cultural Trail. The path connects five downtown neighborhoods, including arty Fountain Square, to top downtown sites, including the Capitol Building, City Market and White River State Park, a 250-acre park that hosts the Indianapolis Zoo and six more major attractions. Bicycles can be rented along the paved and lighted pathway, allowing riders to HAPPENINGS 25


cruise past public art, including a motion-activated fireflylike swarm of LED lights. City officials say that planners from Cologne, Germany, to Portland, Ore., have come to see how the city most famous for a 500-mile car race managed to swap auto for bike lanes and still keep everything rolling smoothly.— ELAINE GLUSAC 35. Mekong River River cruising swells on the Danube of Asia. Like the Danube in Europe, the Mekong River in Southeast Asia has become a vital river cruising course, with a variety of small-ship itineraries linking Vietnam and Cambodia. Late last year,Pandaw River Expeditions upgraded two of its ships, the Mekong Pandaw and Tonle Pandaw, enlarging public spaces, adding gyms and stocking cabins with iPads. In 2012, the company launched the 32-guest Angkor Pandaw, offering three- to seven-night itineraries, while Avalon Waterways set the 32-passenger Avalon Angkor sailing between Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap over seven nights. Next August, Aqua Expeditions will introduce the 20-suite Aqua Mekong, offering guide-led shore excursions to temples, villages and wildlife-rich areas via skiffs.— ELAINE GLUSAC 36. Athens Out of an economic crisis, a city surges back. Vibrancy and innovation can bloom even in hard times. Exhibit A is Greece’s ancient capital, which was hit hard by the global economic crisis and yet is seeing change at sites old and new. First the old: At the Acropolis, the famous Caryatids statues continue to get a restoration in 2014; the process will be on view in the Acropolis Museum through the end of the year. And the new: The National Museum of Contemporary Art opens this spring in a former brewery complex. Neighborhoods have also seen a resurgence, including the quickly gentrifying Monastiraki and the still gritty Kerameikos-Metaxourgeio; the latter will get a cultural lift in 2015 from the biannual ReMapart event. Travelers will have a new lodging option by summer, when a revived Emporikon Hotel opens on Aiolou, a street that is also home to a host of new dining spots.— GISELA WILLIAMS 37. Barahona, Dominican Republic A scenic, low-key destination on the verge of discovery. 26

APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

Most vacationers to La Republica hole up in the all-inclusives north and east, overlooking the rarely traveled southwest. The port town of Barahona is the gateway to the cactus-strewn region’s riches, like the hauntingly beautiful Bahia de las Aguilas beach and the eight climate zones at the geological depression Hoyo de Pelempito, both blissfully devoid of people. But there are signs of the government’s vision to develop the area. The abandoned former Barcelo Bahoruco Beach Resort will partly open in 2014, and two separate 300-room projects — near La Canoa and San Rafael Beach — are in the final stages of design approval. For now, you can experience the quiet life at the thatch-roofed Casa Bonita, or at Rancho Platon, which has a tree house raised between the palms.— SANJAY SURANA 38. Arctic Circle Chasing the northern lights? This might be the year. There aren’t many reasons to visit the frigid region surrounding the North Pole, but the coming months offer the most stunning of them: Some are predicting a double peaking of maximum solar activity, which usually means especially dramatic northern lights, that colorful spectacle of solar particles entering our atmosphere. And there are some comfortable ways to see them, thanks to hotels offering northern lights safaris, including the newly opened Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel in Iceland and the Icehotel in Swedish Lapland (and actually within the Arctic Circle).— GISELA WILLIAMS 39. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania On the African coast, music thrives in a commercial capital. Tanzania may be best known for the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro and the game-packed plains of the Serengeti, but the real pulse of the country is found in its largest city, Dar es Salaam. An eclectic mix of music echoes through the beach clubs, open-air bars and nightclubs of this Indian Ocean coastal city. Old-school dance music competes with Swahili hip-hop and traditional drumming, all drawing from the city’s African, Indian and Arab influences. Add in the street food, the beaches and the fact that the year-old African low-cost carrier Fastjet uses Dar as its hub, and it’s easy to see that this commercial capital is more than a stopover on the way to Tanzania’s natural splendor. It is an African metropolis coming into its own.—

RACHEL B. DOYLE 40. Downtown Atlanta A revitalized city center welcomes new museums and streetcars. Atlanta plans several ribbon cuttings in 2014, but the main event is the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, scheduled to open in May next to the Centennial Olympic Park and the Georgia Aquarium downtown. The 42,000-square-foot, environmentally friendly museum will feature permanent galleries devoted to domestic and international rights struggles and will house the Martin Luther King Jr. papers owned by Morehouse College. By midyear, visitors will be able to take the new Atlanta Streetcar on a 2.7-mile loop that will link the park to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and other stops. Another parkside attraction, the 94,000-square-footCollege Football Hall of Fame, is expected to open in time for fall kickoff of the N.C.A.A. season.— ELAINE GLUSAC 41. Nozawa Onsen, Japan Skiing, soba and snow monkeys. For nearly a century, visitors have been lured to this ski destination, a 90-minute drive from Nagano, by affordability and a host of charms: fine powder, long slopes and charming cobblestone lanes lined with traditional ryokan inns, generations-old soba noodle shops and natural hot spring baths. But the recent arrival of stylish, foreigner-friendly restaurants, cafes and bars have infused the area with new energy, offering travelers just the right mix of old and new. Microbrews and excellent coffee are served at ski-in/ski-outCraft Room, while Tamon prepares innovative kaiseki cuisine using local ingredients. The lantern-hung rooms at Jon Nobi are popular among international skiers, as is its chic izakaya restaurant Himatsuri, inspired by the town’s fire festival, held annually on Jan. 15. The Asian operator Backyard Travel offers 10-day itineraries to explore Nozawa and nearby sights like a seventh-century temple and a refuge for the area’s famed snow monkeys.— NAOMI LINDT 42. Subotica, Serbia Serbian wine? Time to take a sip. The Balkan Peninsula has a wine culture that dates back hundreds of years, but war and political unrest over the last century decimated Serbian vineyards. As recently as a

decade ago, Serbia produced virtually no wine that met international standards. But progress has been swift. Recently, small producers have revived the Subotica-Horgos wine region near the northern border with Hungary. Here, the Palic Wine Route has been attracting domestic wine tourists who spend days sampling local cabernet sauvignon in wine cellars, sipping dry Trijumf white during dinner at Bosscaffe and unwinding in theHotel Galleria‘s high-tech spa.— INGRID K. WILLIAMS 43. Elsinore, Denmark A museum’s entrance makes for something new in the state of Denmark. Even angst-ridden Prince Hamlet, literature’s most famous Dane, might be cheered by the new Maritime Museum of Denmark, which recently opened in his hometown Elsinore. Designed by the architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group, the glassy structure is built into a U-shaped dry dock and filled with slanted floors and zigzag passageways that evoke ocean-rocked ships’ decks. Maritime relics — from torpedoes to Lego pirate ships — mix with electronic maps and films that explore the romance of the sea, shipboard existence and trade, both centuries ago and today. Interactive exhibits allow you to run your own trade company, navigate by the stars and ink a sailor’s tattoo. For additional watery wonders, head to Copenhagen’s new Blue Planet aquarium, billed as the largest in Northern Europe.— SETH SHERWOOD 44. Cartmel, England Haute cuisine comes to the lush landscapes of the Lake District. The British dining scene is expanding beyond London, and the chef Simon Rogan deserves much of the credit, having helped elevate the Lake District village of Cartmel into one of England’s most unlikely culinary destinations. His three restaurants in the medieval village — the Michelin two-starred L’Enclume, Rogan & Company and his most recent addition, the Pig & Whistle — have menus featuring whatever’s fresh on his nearby farm. Cartmel is also home to a celebrated farmers’ market, Cartmel Cheeses and the Cartmel Village shop, renowned for its sticky toffee pudding. What’s more, the village is a cozy base from which to explore the Lake District, once an inspiration to William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter.— DAVID SHAFTEL

HAPPENINGS 27 #


45. Nepal New peaks open up for alpine adventurers. This Himalayan republic is the mother lode of alpinism, home to eight of the world’s 10 highest summits (including Everest). So when a Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation subcommittee recommended last September that Nepal allow access to 165 new peaks in the Kanchenjunga massif this year — 13 of them above 23,000 feet — the world’s mountaineering community was aflutter. Some welcomed the announcement, while others dismissed it, saying the government had stretched the meaning of “peak” in a few cases to include subpeaks within mountains that were already accessible in order to rake in more in fees. Even so, the proposal is significant since it is the first such release in a decade. If the approval process progresses as expected, the territory will open for the spring season.— SANJAY SURANA 46. Vienna Feel like reminiscing? A city is awash in anniversaries. Vienna is home to some 450 balls each year, from traditional waltzes to the “seriously outlandish” Rosenball for the gay community, and this year is the 200th anniversary since the city’s ball culture took root. You could mark the occasion by attending one, but it wouldn’t be the only date to celebrate in the capital city this year. Visitors can pay homage at theSigmund Freud Museum since it has been 75 years since the psychoanalyst’s death. The city is also commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War I with special exhibits and theEuropean Peace Walk, a permanent route from Vienna to Trieste through five countries. There are also new art spaces, a new transportation hub, more direct flights from the United States and offbeat places to stay, like Urbanauts’ former storefronts or Chez Cliché’s themed apartments, with décor inspired by fictional hosts, such as Marie Therese, who loves Baroque furnishings and classical music.— TANYA MOHN 47. Siem Reap, Cambodia Even a 1,200-year-old lost city has some new draws. If you’ve seen the temple complex of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, then the country’s lost city of Mahendraparvata, its majestic temples on Phnom Kulen and the stone animal carvings at the site of Srah Damrei (elephant pond) should 28

APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

be next on your list. About 30 miles from Siem Reap, Mahendraparvata predates Angkor Wat by about 350 years and was the birthplace of the Khmer Empire in A.D. 802. Although the city has been known about for several decades, researchers in June discovered new temples and a network of roads and dikes that had been concealed under thick mountain vegetation.— ROOKSANA HOSSENALLY 48. Varazdin, Croatia Croatia’s architectural and musical gem lies inland. Forget Croatia’s beloved coast: The inland city Varazdin is one of the country’s most picturesque and well-preserved areas. One hour north of Zagreb, this small metropolis of 50,000 has an immaculate cobblestoned town center and is stocked with Baroque churches and palaces like the Draskovic. The theme continues with an annual Baroque music festival, but that’s where it ends. Other music-themed festivals and concerts are decidedly modern and change from year to year: One, the Radar Festival, for contemporary stars, has drawn names such as Bob Dylan and Carlos Santana, and various other festivals throughout the year such as Spancir Fest, celebrated from the end of August to September, attract artists and musicians from around Europe.— SHIVANI VORA 49. St. Petersburg, Fla. Reinventing a Florida city’s reputation. Once mocked for its thousands of green benches dotted with senior citizens, St. Petersburg is anything but stationary. With a redeveloped waterfront, a stunning Dali Museum, and sophisticated restaurants in place, the downtown energy is now heading up historic Central Avenue, thanks in part to the craft beer scene. Among the many recent arrivals, artsy Cycle Brewing features Fixie and Endo ales, while Green Bench Brewing Co., the name a nod to those erstwhile icons, invites winter escapees to its sunny taproom and beer garden. Refuel at the ambitious Rococo Steak, set in a renovated 1920s YWCA, then hit the Tap Room of the reinvented Hollander Hotel.— DIANE DANIEL 50. Belize More flights and lodges in Central America’s eco-frontier. Twenty years ago, when Francis Ford Coppola opened-

Blancaneaux Lodge in western Belize, relatively few travelers had ventured into this small Central American country. Slowly they arrived, many of them curious to witness the scenery that had captivated the film director, which he described in an email as “completely remote, with a beautiful pristine river you could drink the water out of and the most star-studded night sky I had ever seen.” Since then, upscale rustic hotels have cropped up all over Belize — there’s the one-year-old El Secreto in Ambergris Caye, for example, and Belcampo, an eco-lodge and sustainable farm in the south that’s about to unveil a sophisticated redesign — adding to the lure of rain forests, Mayan ruins and coral reefs. It helps that Belize is easier to reach: Delta recently announced nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Belize City, and regional carriers like Tropic Air have expanded their routes, connecting Belize to resorts like Cancún and making remote towns like San Ignacio more accessible.— PAOLA SINGER

Known for its remarkable natural beauty and tourist kitsch, Niagara Falls is now evolving into a draw for those who love food as well as those who seek thrills. A year ago, the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute opened a high-end restaurant, deli, patisserie and gelateria steps from the American Falls, transforming the area’s dining scene overnight. A gastro pub called the Griffon Pub, which features 50 beers on tap and creative New American dishes like gnocchi poutine, opened a few miles east of the falls in August. On the Canadian side, oenophiles can get a taste of the region’s growing wine scene just a short bike ride from the falls along the Niagara River Recreation Trail. Nondining attractions are plentiful, too. This year, Canadians will host two major War of 1812 bicentennial re-enactments in the area, and, beginning this spring, visitors will be able to see the falls from a new luxury catamaran. Tourism officials on the Canadian side appear poised to allow daredevils to zip line across or rappel down the Niagara Gorge later this year.— DAVE SEMINARA

51. New Caledonia What you’d expect (natural beauty) and not (world-class museum). This semisecret gem of the South Pacific, a three-hour flight from Sydney, is attracting visitors like never before. Thank infrastructural upgrades like a refurbished international airport, improved roads and bridges, and the arrival of high-profile properties like the new Hilton Noumea La Promenade Residences and the Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Resort & Spa, opening this summer. An island itinerary reads like a fantasy novel: snorkeling and diving in one of the world’s largest lagoons, an aquamarine stunner populated by thousands of coral and marine species and home to the world’s second largest reef (after the Great Barrier); horseback riding through verdant mountains and indigenous Kanak villages; kayaking by moonlight among the submerged forest of the Blue River Provincial Park. The cosmopolitan capital, Nouméa, has its own allures, like Le Roof, where you might spot dolphins diving in the distance while savoring the fresh oysters, and theTjibaou Cultural Center, a Renzo Piano-designed museum housing one of the world’s largest collections of Pacific art.— NAOMI LINDT 52. Niagara Falls, N.Y. Once a kitsch capital, now earning a reputation for food and sports. HAPPENINGS

29


Happenings

H ow to g e t a j o b a f t e r co l l e g e 5 T i p s To H e l p Yo u P r e pa r e

By Lydia Dallett Colleges and universities across the U.S. are entering the final 100 days of their academic calendar this week, and for many seniors this can only mean one thing: It’s officially time to panic. While a lucky few receive job offers at the end of their junior summer internships, the vast majority will begin their last semester of college without a post-graduation plan. According to a 2013 Accenture poll, only 39% of the classes of 2011 and 2012 had jobs lined up by the time they graduated; for 2013, just 16% had job offers a month before their commencement. Thanks to recent job gains and record highs in the stock market, however, those numbers have a good chance of turning around this year. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) 2014 Job Outlook Survey 30

APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

estimates that employers will hire approximately 8% more new college graduates in 2013-14 than they did in 2012-13. That’s good news for the approximately 1.6 million students who will be entering the workforce with a Bachelor’s degree this spring. But no matter how many new jobs the economy adds, it’s up to seniors to go get them, says Diana Gruverman, director of Employer Services at New York University’s Wasserman Center for Career Development. “The job’s not going to come to you,” she says. “You have to be proactive.” Here are five ways to rev up your search and increase your chances of donning a cap and gown with a job offer in hand. 1. Forget landing your dream job. Focus on what can get you there in the future. While your first job can serve as a springboard for your professional future, it’s not HAPPENINGS

31


make a list of everything that interests you, even if you’re going to make or break your career, and it certainly won’t not qualified. be your last. “There is a fear in deciding what to pursue, - Apply, apply, apply! and a fear that the choice will be right or wrong,” says Jumping headfirst into hundreds of job listings Lori Balantic, a senior associate director in Connecticut can be incredibly overwhelming and demotivating, so it’s College’s career counseling program. But choosing a first important to first think about who you are, what you’re job isn’t an indictment on your future, she says. Rather, it’s interested in, and what you’re qualified for, so that you a chance to explore a new field, build a network, and gain can tailor your job strategy to meet your unique goals and skills and insight that will serve you regardless of where deadlines. your career path goes. 3. Make an appointment with Career Services — For most Millennials, that path will be long and ASAP. For student job seekers, a visit to career services winding. “These days, college graduates are staying in should be top priority. “College career centers are a wealth their first job for 18 to 30 months and then moving on,” of information for students,” says Gruverman. Some of notes Gruverman. Instead of searching for your dream the dozens of resources they provide include internal job, “find something that will position you for your career job boards, lists of alumni you can contact in a variety of goals,” she advises. “Pick something interesting that will fields, self-assessment tests, sample resumes and cover present you with challenges that will make you more marletters, and information about applying to grad school. ketable for your next job.” The most valuable services they provide, how 2. Map out each week of the semester, ever, are one-on-one meetings with career so you can visualize how you’ll achieve your experts who can review your resume, goal. “There are 13 to 15 academic weeks conduct mock interviews, connect until graduation,” says Balantic. Figure you to alumni, and help you pracout what your goals are — be it a “ M a k e a p l a n tice your 90-second pitch. job offer, grad school, or a summer “Students should be able to talk internship — and then make a weekby-week plan for achieving that goal. f r o m w hi c h about their experiences and skills, and why they would make a great A sample plan may look candidate for a job in 90 seconds or something like this: to d e vi at e .” less,” says Gruverman. Whether you - Set up an appointment at Career practice with a friend, a career counServices. selor, or the mirror, the important thing - Make a list of your interests, skills, and is make sure you don’t sound too robotic or desires for your first job (check out this artirehearsed. “Practice will make networking feel cle for good questions to ask yourself). a lot less awkward,” she adds. - Create or update your LinkedIn account, and 4. Network your heart out. check your social media profiles to make sure you aren’t “We encourage our students to think of everyone as a sending the wrong message to a potential employer. potential networking resource,” says Gruverman. “Fellow - Update your resume. students, peers, teachers, alumni. You never know where - Join your college’s alumni network and plan on attending that conversation can take you.” a few upcoming events or panels. Balantic agrees. “I’ve noticed that students often - Talk to everyone you know about what you’re thinking about, especially professors, parents or mentors who know neglect to mention what they are thinking about for postBA with their most immediate network during the semesyou well. ter: their fellow students and professors,” she says. - Reach out to three alumni in your field of interest and ask This is a critical mistake. Networking is one of the most if you can take them out to coffee or set up a 30-minute important things you can do to increase your chances of phone call where they talk about their experience. getting a job, and it will continue to be important through- Set aside a few hours each week to peruse job listings out your career. through your college’s career services homepage, and 32

APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

While it may feel extremely uncomfortable to sell yourself as a potential candidate, remember that most people you speak to are eager to help students because they were once in your position themselves. (And don’t worry — even people with years of practice think networking is awkward, so you’re in good company.) The important thing is to make connections and keep in touch. It’s good practice to send notes to people you meet at networking events, says Gruverman. “This gives you the chance to follow up again and it will make sure you’re on their mind in case they see a job opportunity that they think you’d be good for.” 5. Keep an open mind, and apply to everything.

“The more applications you submit, the higher your response rate will be,” says Gruverman. She recommends submitting 20 to 30 job applications a week, though your counselor may adjust that depending on the kinds of jobs you’re applying to. Above all, keep an open mind. As Balantic says, there are no “right” or “wrong” jobs, only different kinds of experiences. Don’t limit yourself to one company, one position, or even one industry, because you never know what opportunities you might miss by closing off your options too soon. In other words, “Make a plan from which to deviate.” And don’t forget to proofread!

HAPPENINGS

33


Happenings

t i p s f o r s ta r t i n g yo u r ow n b u s i n e s s A Students Guide

By James Eder There are lots of challenges involved in setting up a business. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. But one of the most difficult things is actually getting started. So, you have an idea. Now what? I’ve just returned from speaking at the One Young World conference in Johannesburg, where over 1,300 young people from all over the world were inspired to take action. When I was just 22 years old, we had been rejected for a loan by the high street banks, but in the end received a low interest loan from The Princes Trust which set us on our way to start up studentbeans.com. My advice for anyone thinking of setting up a business is: 34

APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

Take action. Ideas are cheap but it’s those that take action who can really make a difference in the world. Learn by doing. There is only so much you can learn by studying and preparing, the real learning begins when you take action. Keep going. Drive, commitment and determination are all essential ingredients to helping make any idea a success. Universities are a breeding ground for young talented individuals who have great ideas for businesses. However, many students have a fear of giving things a shot and taking a risk. They think that their lack of knowledge, finance and support will hold them back. You may think that you’re on your own, but here in the UK there are a growing number of resources around to help you – you just need to make the most of them. HAPPENINGS

35


If you are at university, you could join the EntreIf you are reading this and you are not 100% sure you want preneurship Society or find out about National Associto set up a business, that’s OK. You can still get involved in ation of College & University Entrepreneurs (NACUE.) the entrepreneurial world and take what you learn into the There is also a wealth of knowledge and experience to be workplace. To do this, the most important thing is being gained by getting involved in the different clubs and sociproactive and taking responsibility for your contribution eties; whether it be skiing, film or sports. in the world. Managing the finances, recruiting and managing Access people rather than pounds a team, organising an event or trip – these are all transferRather than access to millions of pounds, what you really able skills that should not be underestimated, whether you need to start or develop a business is access to people, start up a company or go and work for someone else. relationships and strategic networks. I was involved with AIESEC, where I got some amazing By meeting, speaking and listening to those who have business development and sales training. I also gained ‘been there and done it’, you can gain the knowledge and skills managing, recruiting and training people and I was support to take that first step in setting up your own busisent on sponsored placements to work in The Philippines ness. and Colombia – all before I graduated. Google Campus If you’re in London don’t miss out When we first started out almost 8 years ago, there on a visit to Campus, powered by Google, which offers sevwas nothing like the support networks available today. It en floors of flexible work spaces, free high speed internet is invaluable to have the advice and support of and all the support you need to fuel your ideas. people who have gone through the experiThey regularly host mentoring programmes, ence before you. speaker series and networking events. the most Funding is available Silicon Drinkabout is a i m p o rta n t There are a number of schemes regular after work drinks for startand organisations that you can turn ups every Friday ‘round the Silicon thing is being to for funding. Roundabout! Founded by Mind p roact i v e a n d The Prince’s Trust When we were Candy, and run by 3beards, Silicon Drinkabout is open to start-ups of all ta k i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y looking for an initial start up loan to get our idea off the ground – and sizes as a place to meet like-minded fo r yo u r co n t r i b u t i o n had been rejected by the bank – we people, have fun and relax. were able to turn to The Prince’s General Assembly is a great i n t h e wo r l d. Trust and, after pitching our idea, rehub and has a wealth of education ceived a low interest loan. programmes and networking events. There We were part of their Business Programme really is something for everyone; from marketand the advice and support from them in the early ing and design to development at the heart of the days was invaluable. It wasn’t just about the funding, but community. the additional support structure. We were assigned a menStartUp Britain is a national campaign by entrepreneurs tor from the law firm DLA Piper who I would meet once a for entrepreneurs, harnessing the expertise and passion of month to review our figures, successes, failures and our Britain’s leading businesspeople to celebrate, inspire and next steps – these were vital in the process of continual accelerate enterprise in the UK. learning and development. Over the years they have been an amazing sup Startup Loans is a fantastic scheme led by James port to thousands of people up and down the country and Caan and Lord Young where young people starting a regularly put on events, many of which are free to attend. business can apply for a loan of £2,500 and get access to Enternships – for those just starting out this is a great personal support and mentoring. place to explore getting experience in a start-up. Gaining As well as the money, it’s important to see what some more experience in the start up world can be hugely other young people have achieved and understand that beneficial before going it alone or landing your dream job. setting up a successful business is something that can Take part in university clubs and societies 36 APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

actually be done. We need public figures like James Caan and Lord Young to bring entrepreneurship to the forefront. When the programme first launched I was appointed as an ambassador, I helped show students a real life example of someone who is working day to day to build a brand and grow a team around them. I was delighted to be able to share my story and inspire others to take the same leap I did when I set up studentbeans.com when I was 22. Student Upstarts Run by Christian Jakenfelds and Matthew Stafford, who really know and understand what people need. They invest up to £15,000 in exchange for up to 8% equity in student teams, to create and build businesses. The criteria is simple – one member of the team must be a full-time student at a UK or European higher

education institute, or have graduated from one in the last 12 months. This applies to undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students. Student Upstarts was established in 2012 with the aim of investing in 100 student businesses by the end of 2015. The motivation for this is the huge potential of the talent that we see in the UK’s universities, together with the belief that with investment, support and their network, Student Upstarts will discover the next generation of entrepreneurs who will become the UK’s business leaders and change the world. Of course, no success story comes without a lot of hard work behind it. So be prepared to work, take responsibility and most importantly enjoy the journey.

HAPPENINGS

37


Happenings

l i f e i n t h e r e a l wo r l d T h e N at u r e O f C o l l e g e

By James Farrell On college campuses, students often speak about the difference between college and “the real world.” The student speaker at the 2003 St. Olaf College commencement told her classmates that their graduation confirmed their status as “real adults.” Our students are told that they need to work hard to get ready for “the real world.” They know that some majors—in science and computers, economics and business—have “real-world” payoffs, but other majors–History and English and the arts–are relatively impractical. Parents and professors warn students that they’ll need to behave differently—more seriously–in “the real world.” They’re advised to take internships to get “real-world experience.” Conventionally, college is understood as a counterpoint to “the real world.” In general, the academic world of inquiry and imagination, of trust and 38

APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

thoughtfulness, is defined as unreal. Once, in my presence, a group of my own students made the distinction between between professors and real people. I’ve been suspicious ever since. Innumerable books and essays reinforce the distinction between college and the real world. An advice column at the job-search website Monster.com begins with the assertion that “the `real world’ starts once you’re out of college and on the job.” Maria Shriver writes about Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Went Out into the Real World. Chad Foster advises Teenagers: Preparing for the Real World. Stacy Kravetz offers graduates a Welcome to the Real World, while The Everything After College Book offers “real-world advice for surviving and thriving on your own.” For students not ready for the real world (but still caught up in the concept), Colleen Kindler

tells about Delaying the Real World: A Twentysomething’s Guide to Seeking Adventure. Critics of academia (and even some friends) also describe colleges as “the ivory tower.” E.D. Hirsch’s The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy says that “living in an ivory tower” means “an impractical existence removed from the pressures and troubles of everyday life.” As an example, Hirsch offers this sentence: “Like most college professors, Clark lives in an ivory tower.” According to critics, this ivory tower is both a place and a state of mind where people grapple with intellectual or idealistic considerations rather than practical everyday life. In the bubble, in the ivory tower, in college, we seem remote from “the real world.” At St. Olaf, students also talk about the “St. Olaf bubble,” the safe space of college, the place where they’re freed of many practical responsibilities (including food and shelter) to engage in other responsibilities (learning to learn). The image of the bubble connotes a dome that encases the campus, a protective shield against many of the problems of other places. It’s an image of campus that emphasizes students’ separation from the real world, their freedom from practical responsibilities, and their submission to rules that inhibit their full freedom. But what exactly do we mean by “the real world?” What makes it real, and what makes the rest of the world unreal? What does our characterization of “the real world” tell us about our social construction of common sense? What does the “reality” of that world tell us about the social construction of reality? And how does “the real world” of our imaginations affect the way we live now? The Reality of the Real World “The real world” is deeply attractive to many college students. Most students believe that college should be, in some way, preparation for “the real world.” They’re eager to graduate and test themselves by “real-world” standards, even though they expect them to be more demanding than college life. And this attraction points to a wider web of American values and cultural patterns. If you talk to college students, you quickly discover that independence is the main appeal of “the real world.” College students look forward to a time without a syllabus, without homework, without RAs, without the paternalistic advice of professors and administrators. Even

though in loco parentis is obsolete on most of America’s college campuses, students resent even the vestiges of parental care. It’s a rule on college campuses that you can’t like rules, and you can’t like regulations or restrictions either. In “the real world” world, according to students, you’re finally on your own. You can’t depend on other people to pay your bills. You have to do it yourself because there’s no safety net. “The real world” is the world of American individualism where the self-made man or woman makes it—or not. It’s where college students find out if they’ve learned enough to earn enough to survive outside the ivory tower This emphasis on independence fits perfectly with broader patterns of American socialization. In America, growing up is growing apart. We socialize our children for autonomy; we take pride in their emerging independence. We congratulate them when they can do things “on their own.” In America, as soon as you’re really self-sufficient, you’re grown up. So “the real world” benefits from its associations with autonomy, adulthood, and Emersonian self-reliance. In America, unless you’re independently wealthy, your independence depends on your income. So students also look forward to the work of “the real world.” In order to pay your bills, you need to work. And in “the real world” you’re not working for grades—you’re working for a living. So the stakes are high. Failure in “the real world” is worse than a failing grade in physics or philosophy. Your job and your lifestyle both depend on your own ability and industry.[i] For some students, the main attraction of work is the work itself. They feel called to serve people in some capacity—in medicine, in law, in teaching, in nursing, in business, in social work—and they look forward to helping to make people better in a better world. For more and more students, however, the attractions of work are mainly monetary. They look not to the intrinsic rewards of good work but to the extrinsic rewards of good pay—not for the money itself, but for the freedom it seemingly promises. At least from the perspective of college, paying the bills is a sign of freedom and a foundation for family life. Students anticipating the freedoms of “the real world” often forget that freedom can be quite expensive. Once you’ve signed the lease, you’re not free to skip the rent. Once you’ve purchased the car, you’re not free to HAPPENINGS

39


skip the “low monthly payment.” Once you’ve charged a purchase with the credit card, you’re no longer free of debt. And once you’ve established a lifestyle, there’s more social pressure to upscale than to downshift. In “the real world”—and even on campus—American commercial culture works by persuading us to spend money that obligates us to spend our time at work. We respond by praying the great American interdenominational prayer “Thank God it’s Friday,” and by celebrating the cultural institution we call the weekend. We often buy entertainment and commodities that have been packaged as “escape” thus expressing our distance and disdain for the job. When we do, of course, we actually buy the signs of freedom with the substance of unfreedom. But that’s not how it looks from a classroom or a dorm room. When you think about America’s social construction of “reality,” it’s quickly apparent that “the real world” is basically the commercial world, the world of American business. When students talk about “the real world,” they’re not usually thinking about love and relationships or friends and children. They’re not talking about spiritual life or religious community. They’re not talking about their leisure pursuits. They’re not talking about travel or vacations. They’re talking about the work world, in which people toil for a wage to support themselves. It’s the world of the bottom line, the world of money and the marketplace. This “real world” is Darwinian. It’s “a man’s world,” although working women are now a part of it. It’s a dogeat-dog world, a world of competition and one-upsmanship. To a great extent, what makes the real world real is its hostility. The real world is—in many of our assumptions about it, if not in fact—unpleasant and alienating. When students talk about “the real world,” therefore, you don’t hear many images of deep human fulfillment. In fact, anticipating their impending engagement with reality, students seem to take pleasure in its lack of pleasure. They assume it will be hard and tough and challenging. They know it’s not as easy as life in college. Their “real world” is the world of Calvin and Hobbes—and not the comic strip. It’s a world of people who are depraved— or at least untrustworthy—and it’s a world where life is nasty, brutish, and long. Often, talking about “the real world,” students sound like masochists, lusting for pain. They seem to accept uncritically the cliché “No pain, no gain” (and its illogical corollary, “the spinach principle:” “if it tastes bad, it must be good for you.”)[ii] 40

APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

The Reality of the Unreal World The “real world” imagined by our college students is one half of an American dualism—the half they don’t live in. Americans love dichotomies, because they reduce the complexity of the real world to a single pair. Mocking this double vision, writer Robert Benchley once said that “there are two kinds of people—those who think there are two kinds of people, and those who don’t.” The problem with dichotomies, however, is that they erase the middle ground, the fertile spaces between the poles. A dichotomous world would have North and South poles, but nothing in between. But the real world isn’t dichotomous, even though we define it that way. If you look it up in the dictionary, the word real means: “1. Being or occurring in fact or actuality; having verifiable existence; 2. True and actual, not illusory or fictitious; 3. Genuine and authentic, not artificial or spurious; 4. (in philosophy) Existing actually and objectively.” It comes from the Latin “res” which means “thing.” The same root leads to real estate, and to republican (res publica–the public things). In comparing possible synonyms, the dictionary notes that real “pertains basically to that which is not imaginary, but is existent and identifiable as a thing, state, or quality.” Colleges are arguably real; they occur in fact or actuality. There are buildings and grounds, roads and parking lots. There are classrooms and dorm rooms, cafeterias and bookstores. Colleges are connected to basic utilities—gas and electricity, water and sewers, telephone and computer cables. Colleges have real income and real expenses. Many people have jobs at colleges; in some towns, the college or university is one of the primary employers. College people eat and drink and shit and copulate. At most colleges in America, you can buy a Coke, and, as we know, Coke is “the real thing.” So why aren’t colleges considered as real as McDonald’s or Microsoft? College professors are also true and actual, genuine and authentic. Shakespeare realized this in The Merchant of Venice: “Hath not a college professor eyes? hath not a college professor hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a middle manager is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us,

do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?” We exist actually and objectively. So why aren’t college professors as real as lawyers and doctors and insurance agents? The social patterns of a college are also verifiable. Real people—including professors and students—interact in institutional patterns that have been established over centuries. Real people enact the social roles of presidents and professors, registrars and deans, students and staff. College cultures include observable patterns of human life: deference and authority, hierarchy and inequality, status and competition, politics and power. A relationship on campus is just as real as one off-campus, even though both partners may live in “the bubble.” A kiss feels just as good in college as in “the real world.” And even the virtues of college—truth and beauty, wisdom and wonder, imagination and freedom of thought—are arguably real, since they’re embodied by faculty and staff and students. Environmental patterns of college life also have measurable consequences. The campus is not, in fact, a bubble, and college campuses are not cut off from the world. Every day, resources from all over the planet flow in and out of the so-called bubble. Trucks and cars come onto campus, along with parking problems, pavement, and air pollution. Few campuses grow their own food, so each campus creates its own foodshed, importing coffee and bananas, meat and milk, fruits and vegetables, beer and pizza from around the globe. Electricity sizzles onto campus in wires, illuminating our lives without illuminating our connections to the sources of electrical power like coal and uranium. Water pumps through faucets and showers and toilets and hoses. If a college campus is a bubble, it’s a bubble as big as the biosphere. Still we speak about college as if it were unreal. Why? I’m not sure, but I have six suggestions. First, I think we define colleges as unreal because students aren’t paid for schoolwork, and if work isn’t paid, it isn’t worth much. When we define reality this way, of course, we forget that much of the world’s good work is unpaid—like parenting. We also forget that professors are compensated for their academic work. We forget that many students work to pay their tuition and fees. We forget that some students are, in fact, paid to think, because

they receive grants and scholarships that subsidize their education. And we forget that, in the long run, the work of college does pay off: the average college graduate makes around a quarter of a million dollars more than the average high school graduate. But these logical inconsistencies don’t interfere with our constructions of reality. If work’s not paid, we think, it’s not real. To some extent, secondly, we think colleges are unreal because we define them as places of preparation. You’re not a real lawyer until you’ve completed law school and passed the bar. You’re not a real doctor until you’ve been certified. But preparation for the real world seems to be a real-world activity too. We don’t think that food preparation is less real than eating a meal. We don’t think that music practice is less real than a concert. So why would we think that academic work is less real than paid employment? We define colleges as unreal because students and faculty deal in theory and abstractions, concepts and method. We consider academics unreal because they use an analytical language that’s not always easy to understand. Americans have a predisposition to prefer action to analysis, and we celebrate cultural heroes—cowboys and cops and Presidents—who don’t think too much. We seem to believe that thinking is less real than action, even though almost all action depends on thinking, either present or previous. We forget that business also deals in theory and abstractions, concepts and method—think of “total quality management” or “just-in-time delivery.” The standard operating procedures of business don’t seem theoretical because the theory is already embedded in routines and practices. Third, sometimes college seems unreal to students because it’s not the world of the news. College students often feel detached from the world, and from news about the world. If things are newsworthy, they somehow seem more real. And the day-do-day life of college seldom makes the news. Students feel like they don’t know what’s going on in “the real world,” and that they’ll be more in touch after they graduate. The disconnection of college students is, of course, their own choice. They have time to read a newspaper, although most of them don’t. They could watch the news, or cable news channels, or documentaries, even though they watch videos and DVDs of movies they’ve seen a million times before. They even have time to check HAPPENINGS

41


the news on-line, and some of them do. But on-line news is so superficial that it seems like no news at all; it’s almost as ephemeral as Instant Messenger, which tends to get more dedicated time anyway. In the same way, in reality, it’s unlikely that college graduates will be more attentive to news about the real world. Given the patterns of privatization in American life—private property, private enterprise, and personal privacy—we generally don’t get more connected than this. After college, students will be working a job from 8 to 5, and spending time on the necessities of life—food and shelter and clothing—that are provided for them now. In the real world of American culture, people usually narrow their focus to life, lifestyle and livelihood—the 20th century version of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Unlike Jefferson, who understood the pursuit of happiness as both a private and a public matter, we generally define our primary pursuits as private. He believed in citizenship; we believe in “sitizenship,” which mainly entails sitting around bitching about the politics we don’t support or participate in. In any case, by looking for “the real world” on TV, we ignore the real world on our side of the television screen. Fourth, I think college is seen as unreal because it’s generally a world of enough. Students generally have enough food and clothing and shelter. They can go to the health service when they’re sick. They can see counselors if they’re depressed. Even entertainment is provided on campus. But American society is, by design, a system in which some people don’t have enough so that other people can have too much. In that world, the prospect of poverty makes life after college seem more real than college life. We define the “real” in terms of privation or the possibility of privation. The danger of “the real world” is a defining element of its reality. The suffering—even if we don’t personally experience it—makes our successes sweeter. This explains why many students like rap and hip-hop and so-called “urban” fashions. For young people growing up in suburban safety and security (even when it’s mainly mythical), the life of ghetto kids and gangs looks “edgy, gutsy, risky—all that adolescents crave.” Romanticizing poverty and the ghetto, many students buy the sound and look of the city’s gritty realism, and they buy into a social construction of reality that tells them that urban poverty is not just different than their own lives, 42

APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

but more “real”—and therefore, more valuable. Like other constructions of “the real world,” this one is paradoxical. Students don’t want to live the “real” life of the ghetto; they just want to use it as a way of criticizing their own lives.[iii] Fifth, I think college is defined as unreal because it discusses and displays assumptions about human nature that are less pessimistic than people in power prefer. College assumes that people are rational, and that they can be improved. College assumes that people are good—or at least that they have the capacity for being good—and that it’s possible to make people and institutions better. College assumes that it’s important to ask big questions, even if you can’t always find the big answers to match them. It’s important to ask “What are people for?” because, if you don’t, you might settle for a second-rate existence. It’s important to ask “What are my deepest values?” because, if you don’t, you might live a life you don’t really value. It’s important to ask “Why do we act the way we do?” because otherwise you might never get wise to the whys of your culture. Finally, college is considered unreal because, comparatively speaking, people care about you as a person. Most college students are supported in college by families who care for them. Most college mission statements talk about the development of the whole person. Many college classes put that care on the syllabus in the form of questions about character and vocation. Some college students find that their professors and teachers care for them too, although the economies of education often keep that care at a distance. When we think about the real world as a competitive marketplace, we forget the care and cooperation that characterize the institutions Americans love most—family and friendship, church and school.[iv] Whatever the reasons for our social construction of reality, it definitely performs cultural work for us. When “the real world” is defined as the world of the business bottom line, it affects both our perception and our experience. Instead of hope, we get diminished expectations and a habit of settling for someone else’s understanding of reality. Having defined reality unrealistically, we’re bound to see the world through distorted lenses. We mock people who see the world through rose-colored glasses, but we implicitly praise people who see it cynically in shades of black.

Even worse, though, our conventional definition of the real world makes us irresponsible by defining us—the people of higher education—as unreal. Defining college as unreal, we deftly define ourselves as unreal. Seeking meaning in the culture’s construction of reality, we demean ourselves. In the process, we avoid responsibility for our real lives. If accountability is a feature of “the real world,” and we’re still in college, we don’t have to be accountable. Some students, in fact, seem to use “the bubble” as an excuse to maintain their disengagement from the world. It’s easier to blame it on the bubble than to get involved. These people, says one student, will eventually make a bubble of their lives as well. If the real world is somewhere else, we’re not responsible for it. Instead, it’s party time![v] “Get real!” America’s unreal definition of “the real world” has real consequences. It marginalizes values that don’t fit the competitive marketplace. It teaches students to suspect care and cooperation, simplicity and humility. It tells them that “it’s a material world,” so it also teaches students that ideas and idealism are illusory and ephemeral. And students are taught to believe that interdependence is a fleeting phase of life, and that comprehensive critical thinking is something we’ll grow out of. This is no accident. In America, the institutions that offer an alternative to the values of competitive capitalism are systematically marginalized or commodified. The business of America is business, said Calvin Coolidge, and part of the power of business is the power to define reality. In America, and even at American colleges, ideas are somewhat suspect. Americans worry about the power of ideas, and so we often try to protect ourselves against them. In high school, the student who loves ideas is often mocked and marginalized. S/he becomes “the Brain,” the nerd, the geek, the dork. There’s more regard for ideas in college, but students with other substantial talents—a passion for sports or fashion or video games or beer—still occupy many of the popular campus hierarchies. American education may be a meritocracy, but students who merit praise from professors often merit scorn from their peers. In America, often, idealism is even more suspect than ideas. Idealism is the sense that what should be

could be. Realism is often the sense that what should be can’t be. So the social construction of “the real world” is a way of hobbling our hope. The conventional image of “the real world” helps us to adjust to the banality and evils of our time. Instead of learning hoping mechanisms, we content ourselves with coping mechanisms. We learn to adapt to the demands of our world instead of demanding that the world adapt to our visions of the good. In the 1960s, critic Paul Goodman advised students to “Think about the kind of world you want to live and work in. What do you need to know to help build that world? Demand that your teachers teach you that.” Much of the time, sadly, today’s students don’t follow his advice. Too often, they prepare themselves to live in “the real world,” instead of the world they really want to live in. Too often, they take courses to fulfill requirements instead of requiring courses to fulfill them and to help them build a better world. And students hardly ever demand enough from their professors or their education. Americans often remind each other of our social construction of “reality” with the injunction “Get real!” Sometimes this exclamation is just a figure of speech, and it doesn’t mean much. Other times it means so much it’s demeaning. When somebody tells us good news, sometimes we reply by saying “Get real!” We mean “it’s too good to be true.” But we implicitly suggest that goodness is extraordinary, that it’s not in the order of things. We seem to believe that good news is miraculous in a world characterized by bad news. But even though we say it all the time, do we really espouse this pessimistic vision? In America, for example, most of us profess a faith that begins with an affirmation of the goodness of creation and ends with a proclamation of the gospel—the good news. And by almost any standard, this world is amazingly out of the ordinary. After all, we live on the only planet in the solar system that supports life. “If the landscape reveals one certainty,” says Annie Dillard, “it is that the extravagant gesture is the very stuff of creation.”[vi] If “Get real” is a common response to good news, it’s also often a response to statements of hope or idealism. In that case, “Get real” means “It’ll never happen.” When a student says she believes in “practical idealism,” we tell her to “Get real!” When students hope for an environmentally sustainable college community, we tell them it’s not possible. We encourage students to volunteer to help young people or seniors or racial minorities, but if HAPPENINGS HAPPENINGS 43 #


students want to change the structures that disadvantage such people, we tell them it won’t work. In such circumstances, “Get real!” is the voice of practical pessimism. It means “Think like me” or Get hopeless, like me.” It means “Think like the majority” or “Think like all the other people who live lives of quiet desperation.” “Get real!” tells us to stop trying to make our deepest dreams real. “Get real!” means “Conform to the world, don’t reform or transform the world.” In this instance, “Get real!” reinforces the standard vision of “the real world,” privileging fatalism over initiative, conformity over creativity, realism over idealism. We can have ideals, we’re told, when other people are paying the bills. We can be idealistic in college, but thankfully we’ll get over it. We, too, can adjust to the cynicism of the real world. A “reality check” is similar to the injunction to “Get real!” Sometimes a reality check is just an occasion when we tell the truth to ourselves. But in other situations, it’s a way of avoiding the truth about reality. In the first instance, a “reality check” asks us to examine our assumptions, and to identify the illusions that may be causing us grief. We might aspire to be a professional basketball player; a reality check reminds us that we’re not very talented. We might hope to be a straight-A student; a reality check notifies us that we’re not that smart. We may want to be beautiful or buff, and a reality check reminds us that we don’t have the body for it. Usually, a reality check asks us to keep our aspirations in line with our actual abilities, so that we’re not perpetually disappointed. It doesn’t ask us to give up hope; but it keeps us from wishful thinking. Unfortunately, we seldom perform a second sort of reality check—a check on “reality” itself. In this sort of reality check, people might ask if reality in America adequately addresses the full humanity of human beings, or if our social construction of reality allows for the flourishing of the natural world. In this instance, reality is checked by idealism. In the nineteenth century, for example, slavery was very real; it was one of the primary institutions of American culture. But a reality check showed that it didn’t match American ideals, and so Americans abolished it. In the twentieth century, chlorofluorocarbons made air conditioning a widespread reality. But a reality check showed that they also obliterated the ozone layer, and so international treaties abolished the use of these chemicals.

44 # APRIL APRIL2014 2014////VOL. VOL.1 1

Sometimes such idealism provides a useful reality check for the so-called “real world.” In fact, one of the primary virtues of today’s impractical idealists is to show the impracticality of the so-called “real world.” In the real world of nineteen major industrial nations, for example, Americans are first in the world in greenhouse gas emissions, and first in contributing to acid rain; first in air pollutants per capita; first in forest depletion; first in paper consumption per capita; first in garbage per capita; first in hazardous waste per capita; first in gasoline consumption per capita, first in oil imports, and first in oil spills affecting our shores; first in TVs per capita; first in cars per capita, and first in use of cars instead of public transportation. Is that practical? Is that realistic over the long haul? How long can we live this reality? In the real world of industrial nations, the United States is number one in infant mortality, number one in percentage of low birth-weight babies, number one in children and old people in poverty, number one in inequalities of wealth, number one in big homes and in homelessness, number one in credit cards and in private consumption, and number one in executive salaries and inequalities of pay. We’re number one in time devoted to TV, and last in books published per capita. Is this practical? Is this realistic? Is this good? No. Environmentally, “the real world” is a disaster area. Capitalism has always been a system of “creative destruction,” and it’s been an amazing catalyst for human imagination and inventiveness. But in our time, the destruction seems to be outpacing the creativity. The “realism” of American capitalism is undermining the life systems of the planet. The so-called realists have gotten us into real trouble. And more “realism” is probably not the solution. In this situation, the actual realists are America’s idealists—people who understand both the needs of human nature (as opposed to their desires) and the needs of the planet. David Orr, author of Ecological Literacy, Earth in Mind, and The Nature of Design, contends that we’re living in a time when altruism and necessity coincide–when the impractical idealists are the consummate practical realists. And these new realists are telling the architects of “the real world” to “Get real!” Conclusion All our talk about “the real world” is just that— talk. It’s words and ideas. But these words and ideas can

affect our worlds and ideals. They in-form our hearts and minds, our beliefs and behavior. So it’s a good idea to understand the implications of this construction of “the real world.” If we performed a reality check on “the real world,” we’d realize that it’s not as real as we thought—nor does it really encompass the whole world. Our conventional definition of “the real world” omits too much reality. As we’ve seen, our conventional definition of the real world omits many of the real wonders and pleasures of the people and places that surround us. Another unreality of “the real world” is that it only includes the human world. By any sensible standard, the real world is much bigger than human games or gains. The real world is the biosphere, a delicate balance of organisms, fluids, solids, and gases that supports life. And if the real-world activities of human beings threaten the web of life, then—quite simply—they’re not realistic. While we’re at college, we may have minimal effects on the bottom line of business, but we have environmental impacts that are real and substantial. And paying attention to campus ecology can remind us of that crucial reality. “The real world,” as it happens, is just part of the world, and it’s manufactured every day by people like us. So if we realized all the implications of our social construction of “the real world,” we might begin to realize alternative visions of reality. One meaning of the word “realize” is “to comprehend completely or correctly.” Comprehending “the real world” of American culture, we can see that it’s not reality, but a social construction of reality. The predominant image of “the real world” is, happily, just a half-truth. It’s true to some of our experience, but not to all of it. It’s like Catch-22. In Joseph Heller’s novel, Captain Yossarian is threatened by Catch-22, the simple proposition that “specified that a concern for one’s safety . . . was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask, and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions.” Ultimately, Yossarian discovers that “Catch-22 did not exist . . . but it made no difference. What did matter is that everyone thought it existed, and that was much worse, for their was no object or text to ridicule or refute, to accuse, criticize, attack, amend, hate, revile, spit at, rip to shreds, trample upon or burn up.” When something as arbitrary or unreasonable as Catch-22 or “the real world” becomes a part of the social construction of common sense, only

uncommon sense can guide us back to reality. When “the real world” results in real problems, sometimes the lofty perspectives of the ivory tower can offer a corrective to practical everyday life. A second meaning of “realize” is “to make real or actualize,” and the example given is “to realize an ideal.” In the first definition, we get our thoughts in line with reality. In the second instance, we get reality in line with our thoughts and ideals. It’s this sort of realization that I’m most interested in. It’s this sort of realization that’s possible on America’s college campuses. Sometimes the practices of the ivory tower can offer important alternatives to practical everyday life. We don’t just go into a real world that’s already made, but that we make the real world in our everyday lives. We make it by our beliefs and behavior, by the way we act and the way we talk. So we need to be careful what we do or say. If we continue to talk about “the real world” as if it were somewhere else, we’re likely to miss the real world all around us. If we continue to prepare to go out into “the real world,” we’ll be unprepared to affect the real world we inhabit now. If we act like “Animal House,” the real world will be “animalistic.” If we act like citizens, the real world will include the common good. When we act on our ideals, we make them real. As we learn an ethic of sustainability, and as we enact it, we can make a real world that’s really worth living in. The real world is out there. But it’s also in here, in our hearts and minds and souls. It’s not just there in the business world; it’s in our families and neighborhoods, and it’s right here in our college classes and the cafeteria. If we want real-world experience, we don’t have to get an internship. We don’t have to move off campus. David Orr contends that colleges are for designing minds, and for designing ideas and institutions that make it easier to be good for one another—and the whole creation. He expects colleges to apply the theories they profess and to practice the values they preach right on their own campuses. Orr agrees with John Dewey, who said that “education is not preparation for life. Education is life itself.” So we can begin to realize our ideals in the real world, where we are right now.

HAPPENINGS

45


Happenings

T i p s f o r t i m e m a n ag e m e n t & B a l a n c i n g A H e av y W o r k l o a d

By Ben Davies We all have only 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week... yadda, yadda, yadda. Here’s a no-nonsense guide to time management - the process that will help you to keep balance even when you are extremely busy (which is probably most of the time) - along with a concise tips section to show you how to make a more effective schedule (who has time to read an entire article?). What is time management? Time management is a fairly straightforward concept. It’s the process of arranging and controlling how you spend your time in or out of work. Why is it necessary? By controlling your time you can cut out non-essential activities and achieve more, thus enhancing your career and getting more out of life. 46

APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

It can also make your job more enjoyable and rewarding, as time management teaches you to be more productive and to say no to impossible workloads. Time management is a highly important matter for most professionals as demands are placed upon any hard-working person with responsibility - demands that strain one’s diary and one’s character. If you are sometimes too busy, if you have deadlines that are impossible to meet, if you are disorganized and just can’t seem to find the time to sort out your inbox, then time management can help you. How to manage your time Start by recording how you spend your time currently. Simply use a planner or diary to note down your activities throughout the day in order to monitor where your time is going. At the end of the week, set aside some time to

review your schedule. Now, how much time was wasted? This is where you need to be strict. Consciously cutting out unproductive conversations, numerous tea/coffee breaks, or any of the other little time wasters in your schedule takes some will power but it is worth it. Of course, you still need human contact and a cup of joe every now and again, but being aware of how much time your are spending on those things will help you to control your activities. Appointments: Unnecessary appointments may also have wasted your time. How many regular meetings do you have with colleagues? Again, you should be strict here, but how many of those were actually necessary or productive? Controlling your appointments is a vital step in time management. Colleagues: Well-meaning colleagues can be a further source of wasted time. In the spirit of camaraderie, you should want to help your colleagues if there is a problem that needs your attention. If the task is not something directly related to your position, then perhaps refer them to someone who would be in a better position to help. Water cooler gossip is another source of time wastage. Pointless, or even friendly, conversations can easily fill your schedule if you don’t employ strict time management. Workload: Take another look at your schedule. How much time is spent on work that someone else could/should be doing? Menial tasks, such as photocopying, stamping letters, or filing work, are often duties of clerical or secretarial staff. Even if you have been doing these tasks for years, training or requesting that someone else takes on this duty (where appropriate) will save you much time in the long run (although you may have to spend some time to monitor and teach someone how to do it at first). Managers: It’s unfortunate that sometimes one’s superiors contribute to wasted time. Within the proper bounds of respect and good humour, helping your manager to see how they are unnecessarily taking up your time can help to ease the strain on your schedule. Poorly defined tasks and unclear communication is a key source of time wastage. If your manager doesn’t define duties clearly then you will end up going back to them with questions. Try to get clarity from the start. Being prepared: Being well prepared for essential meetings and appointments will help you to save time. How many times have you attended meetings without a clear idea of what it is about, or without having read the necessary documentation beforehand? It’s probably a

safe bet that those very same meetings were unproductive (which probably led to a follow up meeting). If, on the other hand, you take the time to prepare for each scheduled appointment then it will be a success. Decisions can be made and actions assigned only if you have clear thoughts on the issue and are aware of what’s going on. Deadlines: Of all the things that are knocking your balance, deadlines are probably having the biggest effect. And it is probably the most difficult thing for you to change. Organising your projects in terms of priority and not just the closeness of the deadline will help you to keep a balance. What if the deadline is just downright impossible, though? In that case, you should reason with your superiors to get the deadline extended. Failing that, forcefully requesting more resources to achieve the task will make the deadline more practical. You could also consider getting the Deliverable altered so as to be more achievable, even if the due date doesn’t change. Your only remaining weapon is just to make it clear from the start that the deadline is impossible, although as a dedicated worker you will of course put your all into it. Communications: Being organized in terms of communications is also vital. Paperwork can easily get out of hand. A simple and effective system is necessary here. You only need two folders for paperwork - the ‘to do’ folder, and the ‘to file’ folder. Anything else can be thrown away. Taking immediate action when you receive paperwork is vital to being organized. Sort your paperwork into the appropriate folder and schedule time to deal with the folders regularly. Emails can be equally cumbersome. Studies have shown that keeping email programs open is actually disruptive to efficiency. Rather, you should check emails regularly (five or six times a day) and deal with the incoming emails appropriately. Having separate folders in your inbox for different types of emails will keep you organized. Telephone calls can easily waste your time. Rather than waiting on hold, it is wise to find out an appropriate time to call someone, or even request that they call you. You could even schedule a specific time to call someone to avoid the problems of missed calls. You should also make sure that secretarial staff are aware of how to deal with calls. They should know when to refer the calls to your colleagues, and when it is appropriate to take a message rather than put the call through to you. HAPPENINGS

47


Benefits Is managing your time really worth the hassle? Resoundingly, yes, it is. On a day-to-day level, it will make your routine more practical and organized. It will make your long-term view clearer, as you know that you are in control of upcoming projects and tasks. For your career, it will help you achieve your goals quicker. It even has health benefits. It’s scientifically proven that we get highly stressed when we don’t achieve tasks and goals that we wanted to reach. Stress, in turn, is detrimental to sleep, digestion and mental activities. On the other hand, a balanced workload and controlled use of time will negate stress and make you more capable. Top Tips 1. Make a record - how are you spending your time? What can be cut out? Also, always write down your ‘to do’ list and organize it according to priority. 2. Managing communications - make effective telephone calls (don’t stay on hold, leave clear messages etc.), keep a tidy inbox with multiple folders for different types of emails, don’t let yourself be disturbed by colleagues if inappropriate. 3. Managing meetings - attend only meetings that it is necessary or advantageous to attend. Make sure you are prepared for it so that it achieves something (otherwise a follow-up meeting becomes a requisite - another timewaster). 4. Be organized - a tidy desk, a tidy to do list, and a tidy email inbox show a tidy and organized mind and person. 5. Prioritize - even if you have multiple projects on the go and numerous tasks to achieve, a clearly defined list of priorities will keep you on top of things and will help you to meet deadlines. 6. Delegate tasks - don’t be afraid to pass duties onto other capable people. The time spent teaching someone else to do one of your tasks is soon made up for. 7. Say no - sometimes well-meaning colleagues, or people outside of your company, make demands on your time unnecessarily (meetings, conferences, solving other people’s problems etc.). A polite ‘no’ will help you to keep control of your time. 8. Maintain a record - a diary or planner will help you to keep an eye on where your time is going. If it is being spent badly, you can change things. Making a written note of how you spend your time is one of the key steps. 48 APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

Don’t miss it out. As we go through each strategy, jot down an idea of what each will look like for you: • Blocks of study time and breaks As your school term begins and your course schedule is set, develop and plan for, blocks of study time in a typical week. Blocks ideally are around 50 minutes, but perhaps you become restless after only 30 minutes? Some difficult material may require more frequent breaks. Shorten your study blocks if necessary-but don’t forget to return to the task at hand! What you do during your break should give you an opportunity to have a snack, relax, or otherwise refresh or re-energize yourself. For example, place blocks of time when you are most productive: are you a morning person or a night owl? Jot down one best time block you can study. How long is it? What makes for a good break for you? Can you control the activity and return to your studies? • Dedicated study spaces Determine a place free from distraction (no cell phone or text messaging!) where you can maximize your concentration and be free of the distractions that friends or hobbies can bring! You should also have a back-up space that you can escape to, like the library, departmental study center, even a coffee shop where you can be anonymous. A change of venue may also bring extra resources. What is the best study space you can think of? What is another? • Weekly reviews Weekly reviews and updates are also an important strategy. Each week, like a Sunday night, review your assignments, your notes, your calendar. Be mindful that as deadlines and exams approach, your weekly routine must adapt to them! What is the best time in a week you can review? • Prioritize your assignments When studying, get in the habit of beginning with the most difficult subject or task. You’ll be fresh, and have more energy to take them on when you are at your best. For more difficult courses of study, try to be flexible: for example, build in reaction time when you can get feedback on assignments before they are due. What subject has always caused you problems? • Achieve “stage one”--get something done! The Chinese adage of the longest journey starting with a

single step has a couple of meanings: First, you launch the project! Second, by starting, you may realize that there are some things you have not planned for in your process. Details of an assignment are not always evident until you begin the assignment. Another adage is that “perfection is the enemy of good”, especially when it prevents you from starting! Given that you build in review, roughly draft your idea and get going! You will have time to edit and develop later. What is a first step you can identify for an assignment to get yourself started? • Postpone unnecessary activities until the work is done! Postpone tasks or routines that can be put off until your school work is finished! This can be the most difficult challenge of time management. As learners we always meet unexpected opportunities that look appealing, then result in poor performance on a test, on a paper, or in preparation for a task. Distracting activities will be more enjoyable later without the pressure of the test, assignment, etc. hanging over your head. Think in terms of pride of accomplishment. Instead of saying “no” learn to say “later”. What is one distraction that causes you to stop studying? • Identify resources to help you Are there tutors? An expert friend? Have you tried a keyword search on the Internet to get better explanations? Are there specialists in the library that can point you to resources? What about professionals and professional organizations. Using outside resources can save you time and energy, and solve problems. Write down three examples for that difficult subject above? Be as specific as possible. • Use your free time wisely Think of times when you can study “bits” as when walking, riding the bus, etc. Perhaps you’ve got music to listen to for your course in music appreciation, or drills in language learning? If you are walking or biking to school, when best to listen? Perhaps you are in a line waiting? Perfect for routine tasks like flash cards, or if you can concentrate, to read or review a chapter. The bottom line is to put your time to good use. What is one example of applying free time to your studies? • Review notes and readings just before class This may prompt a question or two about something you

don’t quite understand, to ask about in class, or after. It also demonstrates to your teacher that you are interested and have prepared. How would you make time to review? Is there free time you can use? • Review lecture notes just after class Then review lecture material immediately after class. The first 24 hours are critical. Forgetting is greatest within 24 hours without review! How would you do this? Is there free time you can use? Select one of the ten applications above. and develop a new study habit! Try something you have a good chance of following through and accomplishing. Nothing succeeds like a first successful try!

HAPPENINGS

49


Happenings

A i W e i w e i E m b r ac e s t h e P o l i t i c a l Art News

By Melissa Eddy The “Evidence” from which the Ai Weiwei exhibition at the Martin-Gropius-Bauderives its name could be the displayed collection of hard drives, laptops and notebooks the Chinese authorities confiscated after arresting the artist in 2011 as he tried to board a plane. Or it could be the life-size replica of the cell where he was held under constant surveillance for 81 days following his detention. Or even the 6,000 wooden stools that fill the sunken atrium of the space, in a silent testimony to a lost way of life in the Chinese countryside. Mr. Ai’s solo exhibition, which opened here on Thursday and runs through July 7, is the largest show of his works to date. It reflects both the current social upheaval in China, as well as the artist’s own experiences with repression. Organizers said they encouraged Mr. Ai, who has 50

APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

long angered the Chinese authorities through his outspoken opinions about censorship and art, to highlight the political element of his works in the show. “He is always accused of being a political activist,” said Gereon Sievernich, the director of the Martin-Gropius-Bau, in a recent interview. Mr. Sievernich made several trips to China to meet with Mr. Ai, who has not been allowed to travel since his release. “We took that charge and stood it on its head and fully embraced the political,” he said. “That this is taking place in the Martin-Gropius-Bau, which is funded by the German state, is a German response to this political art and to the power of culture,” said Monika Grütters, Germany’s minister for culture, before the opening. She also stressed the importance of holding the exhibition in one of the country’s most HAPPENINGS

51


individual standing up against government injustice. prominent, state-funded exhibition spaces for art. For “Stools,” a collection of 6,000 traditional Chinese “Evidence” was two years in the making, said Mr. Sieverstools lined up in tight rows, Mr. Ai designed the work to nich, who curated the show with Mr. Ai. Members of the fit the sunken level of the 19th-century exhibition hall’s artist’s team who were allowed to travel came to Berlin to central atrium. To create it, Mr. Ai carefully studied the help install the works, most of which were shipped by sea building’s architecture and drawing plans, creating tight from China, while a few arrived from North America. rows that look pixelated from a distance. The installations are displayed in 18 rooms and several Alexander Ochs, a Berlin-based gallery owner who has of the main conceptual works were made for the exhibiknown Mr. Ai since the late 1990s and helped to build tion, while the others have not previously been shown in his following in Germany, said the show reflected the full Germany, where Mr. Ai enjoys a large following. Chancellor range of the artist’s abilities. Angela Merkel of Germany pressured the Chinese govern “Ai Weiwei has given us a very political, but also ment for Mr. Ai’s release in 2011 and there were hopes that very aesthetically and a deeply spiritual exhibition,” said she would be successful in securing him a new passport to Mr. Ochs, who helped found the Friends of Ai Weiwei attend the opening of the exhibition in Berlin. That did not group, which has raised awareness of Mr. Ai’s situation happen. with the German public and politicians. Instead, Mr. Ai sent a video message from his stu The artist had hoped until the last minute that he dio in Beijing, where the installations were conceived and would be able to attend the opening, telling the prepared with his team of 20 assistants. The German public radio broadcaster ARD last message was shown at the opening of the week that he kept a suitcase packed and exhibition. ready. Mr. Ochs and his friends have “This show reflects the work in past “Everywhere been lobbying Ms. Merkel’s governyears. Most of them are new works,” Mr. Ai said, speaking in English. he is sending us ment to take up the case with Chinese officials, including President Xi “Some are related to my current little messages in a Jinping who visited Berlin last week. condition, related to my concerns. Supporters in the United States, Some are more aesthetic presentabottle, ” where exhibitions are planned at tion of the kind of concerns that I theBrooklyn Museum and on Alalways have with art and art history. -Mr. Sievernich catraz in California, have also taken Some are more involved with my up the call for Mr. Ai to be allowed to activities on the Internet and documentravel. Last month the graphic artist Sheptary.” ard Fairey released a poster of Mr. Ai, his head An element of that condition — the shaved and bearing a gash from a run-in with constant surveillance of Mr. Ai by the Chinese police, in a sign of solidarity. authorities — greets visitors as they enter the exhibition in Despite, or perhaps because, of Germany’s supthe form of two cameras, marble replicas of those trained port, Mr. Ai did not shy from a wink at the powerful inon the entrance to the artist’s Beijing studio. dustrial country in an installation included in the show. It Above them, a web of 150 bicycles by the Shanghai-based involves eight ceramic vases from the Han Dynasty paintForever bike makers hangs suspended from a rotunda. ed in the metallic greens, shimmering silver and iridescent Called “Very Yao,” the work is a nod to Marcel Duchamp, blue of the luxury automobiles that earn German carmakthe conceptual artist who Mr. Ai often references. It also ers millions each year in sales to the Chinese market. commemorates the controversial case of a young Beijing resident,Yang Jia, who was arrested on charges of stealing a “Everywhere he is sending us little messages in a bottle,” Mr. Sievernich said. bike in 2007 and gained public sympathy for speaking out against the police harassment he said he suffered. Mr. Yang later killed six Shanghai police officers and was executed in 2008, but to many Chinese he remained a symbol of the 52

APRIL 2014 // VOL.1

HAPPENINGS

53


Happenings