The Brandeis Hoot, October 14, 2022

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On Sept. 22, students gathered in Upper Usdan to protest the ring of Catering Lead Kevintz Merisier and deliver a petition to Harvest Table’s Resident District Manager Clayton Hargrove. e protest was organized by the Brandeis Le ist Union (BLU), who have the goal of “building a coalition committed to direct action and

See DINING, page 2

Capsule promotes access to medicine

e Student Union held its Capsule Kicko on October 13 to connect students with a free prescription delivery service, according to a post on their Instagram page. CapsuleCare is a “smarter, simpler, kinder pharmacy”, according to their webpage. “ e Student Union has partnered with Capsule to promote an e cient, accessible, and free

See CAPSULE, page 2

PHOTO BY VICTORIA MORRONGIELLO

Univ. announces preliminary ideas for Phase 2a of science complex

e university announced design plans for the building project of Science 2a— the second half of the renovation of science spaces on campus. e university plans to use this space for wet labs, core facilities, class-

rooms and maker space, according to a BrandeisNOW article.

From the Board of Trustees report released in May 2022, the university announced that the 2023 scal budget would include a proposal on how to budget the expense of the Science 2a project. e project had initially been expected to follow the construction of Phase 1 of the proj-

ect— the Shapiro Science Center (SSC) — which was completed in 2009, according to a previous Brandeis Hoot article. However, construction and plans for the second phase came to a halt due to the 2008-09 recession.

e budget for the Science 2a construction was initially approved in 2005, according to a Hoot article. e university took

on $100 million in debt to complete the new science facility projects. In the original timeline, phase 1 was intended to begin in Spring 2007 with initial use being in Fall 2008, according to the article. Phase 1— SSC— replaced two buildings on campus— Kalman and Friedland. Phase 2a of the project was initially intended to be a building to replace the

Edison Lecks Science Building, according to the original construction plans. Phase 2a was initially set to begin in the Spring 2009 and be nished in 2011. e new plans for the Science 2a project include the partial removal of Gerstanzang Science Library and the

See SCIENCE, page 4

Conversations on themes on biological perception

Over the course of the academic year, Brandeis faculty from diverse disciplines convene to share their perspective on broad issues with the Brandeis student community during events called Critical Conversations. is year’s rst Critical Conversation, “Comfortable Illusions: How Our Brains Mislead Us”, recently took place and featured themes regarding biological perception, social behavior and nationalistic biases.

e talk was moderated by Professor of French and Comparative Literature Michael Randall

(FREN), and the faculty participants were Professor of Psychology Donald Katz (NEUR/PSYCH), Associate Professor of Psychology Jennifer Gutsell (PSYCH) and Associate Professor of Sociology and International Global Studies Chandler Rosenberger (SOC/ IGS).

Randall started the conversation by sharing a thought experiment: in the sport of hunting, which animal would be most bene cial for tracking games, a dog or a hawk? e question implicitly focuses on which sensory system is the most important. Randall explained how on the one hand,

See CLIMATE, page 3

Someone please get him to stop

OPS: PAGE 15

Volume 21 Issue 6 “To acquire wisdom, one must observe”
Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper · Waltham, Mass. October 14, 2022 Inside This Issue: News: Student Union Voter Registration Ops: Ingenious People’s Day at the univ. Features: Interview Music Department Chair Sports: Women’s XC wins Keene State Editorial: Brandeis Days are not the solution Page 3 Page 14 Page 9 Page 5 Page 12 Anxious People
www.brandeishoot.com
Have you met an anxious person? On this campus? Probably not.
Farming E quipment
ARTS: PAGE 20
Students deliver petition
dining manager
to
PHOTO FROM BRANDEIS MTS

e university held Giving DeisDay on Oct. 6 through Oct. 9— an annual fundraising event the university hosts as a day of giving. e university exceeded its donor goal with 2,185 donors for this year’s fundraising event.

“ is year, #GivingDEISday aims to set new giving records,” according to the event page.

e goal of this year’s Giving DeisDay was to have 1,948 donors; the university exceeded this goal with 2,185— which was 112 percent of the set donor goal. With the donor goal met, the university unlocked an additional $100,000 for Brandeis students due to a contribution from Dan Kazzaz ‘74, MA’74. e university raised $869,144, in 2020 the university raised $1 million with over 2121 donors on Giving Tuesday alone, according to a previous Brandeis Hoot article.

GivingDeis Day raises $869,144

e university typically hosts the fundraiser on the same day as Giving Tuesday— a global generosity movement which encourages people to give back to di erent organizations and causes, according to the Giving Tuesday webpage. Giving Tuesday is set to be celebrated on Nov. 29, 2022, the university decided to move the date of Giving Deisday this year, according to the university’s event page. e date moved to align with the same weekend as Homecoming and the Hall of Fame Weekend, according to the event page.

“Giving Tuesday was a great way to launch a crowdfunding campaign at Brandeis, but the day has become so overwhelmingly popular (a good thing, in general) that it makes it di cult for our message to be clearly heard by our alumni and supporters. To remedy this, we moved Giving DEISday to align with Homecoming at Brandeis, making for a unique Brandeis holiday that will amplify both

Univ. hosts eventHomecoming on Oct. 8

messages,” according to the page. e university advertised Giving Deisday as a way to help the university be competitive, thrive, and be fun, according to a live video advertisement for the event.

e funds raised from the event go to various groups on campus including: athletics, student groups, Waltham group, theater, the Gender and Sexuality Center and many more. e funds also help create scholarships and support grants for students.

“Your gi to Brandeis can bene t any area of the university. We have special challenges with bonus funds up for grabs that you can track in real-time on leaderboards,” according to the page.

Brandeis athletics exceeded its fundraising goal by 123 percent, with 650 donors raising $123, 375. e Brandeis Fund— a exible fund applied to the changing needs of the campus from COVID-19 precautions to nancial aid for students— received $410,302 from 657 donors. is

exceeded their goal with 262 percent met. General Scholarships met 48 percent of their goal with $62,712 from 120 donors. Each program that had more than 50 total donors to their program that donated $25 or more receive a $1,000 bonus, according to the page. Athletic teams that exceeded $7,500 worth of donations would receive a $750 bonus for their program. For Departments, they received a $5,000 bonus a er surpassing $100,000 worth of donations, with an ad-

ditional $2,500 if they surpassed $150,000, according to the page. Of the 16 groups that donors could make a contribution towards on the about page, seven made or exceeded their fundraising goal. e other 9 did not meet the fundraising goals set, according to the page. Gi s to the university could be made anonymously, and a minimum donation of $5 was requested. e gi is tax-deductible and matching gi s were accepted, according to the page.

Student Union partners with Capsule pharmacy service to deliver perscriptions

CAPSULE, from page 1

pharmacy option for all interested Brandeis Students. is service is an additional option available to students for re lling prescription medication,” according to an email sent to community members on Oct. 11.

e Kicko occurred outside of Usdan Student Center and members of the student union passed out giveaway prizes to showcase the partnership.

e partnership went live on October 12, according to an Instagram post on the Student Union’s page. Students can transfer their existing prescriptions from their current pharmacy to capsule in 60 seconds, according to the email, via an online form. To transfer prescription services students can either visit the Capsule website— Capsule.com— or can download the Capsule app to their device.

e service coordinates delivery with the user’s doctor or prior pharmacy to ll the prescription, according to the email. It also accepts most forms of insurance. e service sends a text to users with a link to schedule free sameday delivery or pre-scheduled delivery.

“Capsule delivers your prescriptions directly to campus, either the same day or on a scheduled date, manages your re lls, and has pharmacists available to text or chat, 7 days a week - Capsule takes all major insurances, at no additional cost to you!”

To receive deliveries users have to download the Capsule app on their devices. In the app, they can enter the university’s address— 415 South Street, Waltham, MA, 02453— for delivery information. Users can then select where they would want their pick-up location on campus to be. When selecting the location, students should be sure to give exact directions for their driver to locate them, according to the email.

“Our goal in partnering with

Capsule is to provide students with a more accessible and friendlier pharmacy option; Capsule is convenient, e cient, free, and works with insurance so you don’t have to!”

e contents of deliveries from this service are con dential, according to the email. e driver will not know the prescription is lled, only the name of the user of the service to deliver to. Students should be aware that when scheduling a delivery someone must be present during the 2-hour delivery window. According to the email, the person present does not have to be the recipient of the medication— it could be a friend or a roommate. Someone must be present because the medicine cannot be le unattended.

e Student Union did a Q&A to answer students’ questions about Capsule on their Instagram. Hana Klempnauer Miller ‘’25 — Student Union Director of Accessibility— answered community members’ questions. e service lls birth control prescriptions, Klempnauer Miller explained the company has also made a commitment towards reproductive justice. Students do not need a provider in Massachusetts in order to get their prescriptions delivered through Capsule.

Klempnauer Miller explained that students can link their home state provider to Capsule Boston in order to get their prescriptions lled. e service can also be used by International Students, Klempnauer Miller said that the only requirement is that the prescription has to be prescribed by a doctor in the United States.

One question asked in the forum was how the partnership would a ect students who already use Capsule. e collaboration would allow for students to now receive their medications directly in the mail room, which was not a feature previously available. It also gives the carriers information about the campus to make deliv-

eries go more smoothly and also makes the university a priority in the company’s delivery schedule. Students are also able to text the service with questions with their insurance or medication, Klempnauer Miller explained.

e Student Union recognized in the email the challenges students have faced in the past when trying to access their prescriptions. e Chief Pharmacist of Capsule— Sonia Patel Jain— has worked in traditional pharmacy settings for decades, according to the Capsule website. e experience “made her all too familiar with the frustrations of patients,” according to the page.

e company’s “new approach” to the pharmacy is an attempt to make the delivery process easier for clients. Capsule has a “predictive inventory” —- according to their page— meaning that the company always has the medications needed by their consumers in stock. e company tries to claim their “entire ful llment process is smarter, safer and nicer,” than the traditional pharmacy prescription services.

Capsule works faster than traditional pharmacies, according to the page, because users never have to wait in line at the pharmacy for the prescriptions, which are instead brought straight to their door. e company also keeps track of re lls so that users do not have to. Capsule also has no voicemail Autobot for users, instead, the service allows users to text, call, email or chat with their pharmacist whenever it is convenient for them. e service also coordinates with user’s doctors and insurance so that they do not have to talk with their insurance company, according to their page.

NEWS 2 The Brandeis Hoot October 14, 2022
PHOTO FROM ALUMNI BRANDEIS EDU
e university held homecoming on Oct. 8 with many events for alumni and students. Students were able to get free food from food trucks and could particpate in activities. Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams played home games for homecoming. In addition there was a beer garden, petting zoo and cornhole for spectators next to Gordon Field. PHOTOS BY SOPHIE SALGIAN

University professor unearths Mayan settlement

Brandeis anthropologist Charles Golden and his colleague Andrew Scherer recently got the opportunity to unearth a signi cant Maya settlement in the Valle de Santo Domingo of Mexico, according to a New York Times article. is settlement they believe to be ruins of Sak Tz’i, which is a Mayan settlement that is at least 2500 years old. ey found what remained of an acropolis and a ball court where a religious event of symbolic regeneration was played. Many of the temples and pyramids were disassembled by robbers, and the thick jungle covered much of the site. is e ectively erased Sak Tz’i from memory. However, with this uncovering, Golden was nding more than ever.

e New York Times article discusses how Golden and his colleagues found dozens of stone stelae, cooking tools, and even the corpse of a middle-aged woman.

eir radiocarbon dating listed the site as likely colonized in 750 B.C. and was probably occupied until the end of the Classic period. A er combining everything they had found, Golden and Scherer established that this site was a capital if not the capital of the Sak Tz’i dynasty, which they named Lacanjá Tzeltal. A curator at the Penn Museum of the University of Pennsylvania named Simon Martin took the evidence from the researchers and agreed that the site likely had great signi cance to the dynasty. e discovery was not done by Golden and Scherer. Whittaker Schroder, one of their former research assistants, was looking at archaeological sites for his dis-

sertation topic when a vendor agged him down to look at something. He was shown a picture of a wall panel with hieroglyphics and proceeded to contact Golden and Scherer. At rst both of them were skeptical. “We frequently get requests to look at stone gurines and sculptures in private collections,” Scherer said. “While the vases and other ceramic objects are almost invariably ancient, the stone sculptures are usually modern objects cra ed for tourists. So when someone says, ‘Come see my pre-Columbian sculpture,’ we tend to assume we’re going to look at a souvenir knocko .” ey were surprised to see a fullsize monument with glyphs of the Sak Tz’i dynasty. It took them another four years a er this to obtain permission to excavate the area, according to the New York Times article. In 2019, they were nally able to y drones and planes with

the sensing tool LIDAR over the site. LIDAR allowed them to see through the canopy and visualize the site. With this information, they were able to estimate that the settlement had as many as 1000 inhabitants at its peak. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their excavation was halted for two years. When they nally returned to the site, most of the work was focused on preserving the structures. According to the New York Times article, the stone walls of the acropolis were especially in danger of collapsing, Golden and his team had to seek out a local crew to help reinforce the structure. eir observations of the surrounding structures indicated the defense was very important to Lacanjá Tzeltal. e strongholds in the arroyos and riverbanks were densely packed as the stone barricades were reinforced by wooden palisades.

Another notable discovery was a stone altar and what surrounded it. e researchers found spear points, obsidian blades, spiny oyster shells and fragments of greenstone. Each of these objects symbolizes something special in Maya cosmology. Golden was able to reconstruct the altar through a 3-D model and showed how its glyph depicted two bound captives and the pincers of a centipede, which signi ed the underworld.

Martin said that Golden and Scherer’s ndings were a major advancement in our understanding of Maya culture and politics, according to the New York Times article. He went on to say, “Such discoveries restore history to now lifeless ruins and, metaphorically at least, repopulate them with long-dead rulers, nobles, warriors, artisans, merchants, farmers and the whole social matrix of ancient Maya society.”

Brandeis hosts Fall 2022 Critical Conversation

PANEL, from page 1

hawks have great visual acuity, but while dogs don’t have as clear vision as hawks, they have a far more developed olfactory sense.

Considering best practices in hunting informed medieval notions of perception that were especially relevant to philosophers in 14th-century France. Randall concluded that “hunting actually represents a di erent medieval point of view regarding perception … In our Critical Conversation tonight, we are o ering, in some ways, an updated version of this earlier debate about perception.”

Followed by Randall’s introduction, Katz demonstrated how the contextual cues that humans receive in uence their perception of objects. He rst presented the audience with a simple collection of lines that formed a trapezoid. en, a proportionally smaller trapezoid was placed inside the larger trapezoid. While the image was initially unambiguously a trapezoid, the image now looked like the side of a wall with a window on it, giving the illusion of a rectan-

gle being viewed from an angle.

Katz proposed how the brain can be thought of as a computational machine that processes raw sensory information from our visual system and outputs the most likely object that is being seen. As he puts it, “Your brain intrinsically, and without asking your conscious permission, plays detective. It considers the clues in the surrounding circumstances.” ese clues make up the context of the situation.

Furthermore, Katz asserted the importance in considering context in understanding perception saying, “Someone who doesn’t see things the way you do isn’t necessarily dumb or uneducated. It might be that the context that they read through the data is remarkably di erent than yours, which means that your perceptions are just as subjective as anybody else’s.”

Gutsell extended Katz’s ideas regarding human perception of objects to the perception of other groups of people in social settings.

During her presentation, Gutsell proposed a common situation humans face in order to illustrate how context in uences so-

cial perception, saying, “Imagine you are in a strange city and you are lost … You don’t know which way to go back to your hotel.” At this point in the scenario, people scan others in their surroundings to make a decision about who to ask based on traits such as age, gender and race, for example.

Gutsell noted, “ ere is a big di erence between categorizing the physical world and categorizing people because when [we] categorize another person, we place ourselves in relationship to that category.” A question that humans then ask themselves is whether they are members of that category or not. If the answer is yes, the other person is considered a member of the in-group, while if the answer is no, the person is considered a member of the out-group. e biases humans have between in-group and out-group individuals a ect the social dynamics between the two groups.

Gutsell cited several examples, including an image of a politically ambiguous protest and a black and white picture of a racially ambiguous person. She explained how related studies had been performed where partici-

pants were told that the content of the image was either a member of their in-group or their outgroup. As a consequence of this information, the responses varied from negative and threatening associations toward out-group members and positive or safe associations towards in-group members. is ultimately illustrates how one’s context, upbringing and notion of social norms color the perception of others in quickly evolving social situations.

Rosenberger scaled up the ideas presented by Katz and Gutsell to the scope of nations and international a airs. In particular, Rosenberger discussed the Russian president Vladimir Putin and how his experiences as a KGB ocer shaped his decisions regarding the recent invasion of Ukraine.

In 1989, Putin was working as a KGB o cer in East Germany, where he was running intelligence tasks for the Soviet Union and contributing to Soviet control over East Germany. In November however, the East German regime started to fall and a mob of enraged protesters surrounded the Dresden KGB building. Despite Putin’s fervous attempts, he could

not get the Red Army to provide protection because Moscow was “silent,” and no orders were given. Consequently, Putin developed the fear of a sudden collapse of the Russian central power. Understanding the context of Putin’s political history shaped his ultimate decision to invade Ukraine when the Ukrainian government sought to join the Western defensive alliance NATO.

Overall, Rosenberger described how “nationalism is perhaps the biggest out-group we come up with … A big part of international relations is understanding how other people see the world … and the kinds of conversations that they have within their cultures that bind them together.”

A er the faculty presentations, rst-year students taking University Writing Seminar classes as well as other members of the Brandeis community in the audience had the opportunity to partake in a question and answer session. e overarching takeaway that the Brandeis faculty imparted was the subjective nature of perception and how that a ects our physical, social and national outlook.

Student Union holds voter registration drive

On Friday, Oct. 7, the Student Union held an event in Fellows Garden to register members of the Brandeis community to vote in the upcoming midterm elections. Local o cials, including Mayor McCarthy, Councilor Bradley-MacArthur, Councilor Katz and Councilor Paz, appeared at the event and two Waltham’s League of Women Voters members attended as well. e goal of the event was to serve as a conduit to get “as many people registered [to vote] as possible,” according to Student Union President Peyton Gillespie ’25.

e Student Union, VoteDeis, Brandeis Democrats, Brandeis Students Demand Action and ENACT ( e Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation) were running booths at the event, and several of these clubs’ representatives spoke with e Hoot.

Members of VoteDeis mentioned that they wanted to encour-

age “engagement with the political process.” ey added that registering to vote is “insanely easy” and only takes two minutes if you go to vote.org. Nate Lapointe ’24, Political Director of the Brandeis Democrats, added that Brandeis students should “make their voice heard.” Several club representatives also mentioned how important it is to vote in the upcoming midterm elections: “Voting is most important now,” said Allison Weiner ’25 of Brandeis Students Demand Action.

Each group was set up in a blue booth in Fellows Garden, and each booth had a poster with a QR code that starts the voting registration process. Brandeis Students Demand Action had a table with sticky notes where students wrote about why they registered to vote.

It’s easy to register, but the deadline to do so may be fast approaching: “States have di erent deadlines,” added Brandeis Democrats Vice President Adah Anderson ’24. Members of VoteDeis added that voting is one of the best ways to be civically engaged, and

encourage all Brandeis Commu- nity members to register if they’re able for the imminent elections.

October 14, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot NEWS 3
PHOTO FROM BRANDEIS EDU

to direct action and organizing on and o campus,” according to their Instagram bio.

In an interview with e Brandeis Hoot, BLU member Josh Benson ’23 said that Merisier was “a particularly militant laborer with regard to our dining struggle last semester to secure catering exclusivity and the union contract.” Merisier was red on for reasons that could not be disclosed to community members, according to an email interview with Hargrove and Matthew Carty, Harvest Table’s Brandeis Guest Experience Manager. According to Carty, the company could “not discuss personnel issues nor answer questions out of respect for the privacy of our current and former employees, as well as to abide by our CBA.”

In a seperate interview with e Hoot, Merisier mentioned that the given reason for his ring was that he “violated company policy,” but feels that “[t]hat was not the real reason behind [his] ring.” He went on to say that he feels his vocal nature may be the cause: “Clay would always joke with me, what’s the Kevintz model? If it hurts, I’m going to say ouch, I don’t sugarcoat things. [So,] [i]t’s not in their best interest [to keep me as an employee].”

Merisier also mentioned that he was “pretty involved” with the Brandeis Dining Workers Union; “I helped lead the exclusivity rallies we had all last year. I am the face of catering.” He also brought up how personable he was during his time on campus, saying “I was the man, I’m a people person. I interacted with every single person on that campus, every ethnicity,

upperclassmen, underclassmen, BEMCO, facilities, Brandeis police. I speak to everybody, I hold doors, I do all the events on campus. My face is always there … and I’ve never ever had an issue.”

He added that Harvest Table has not contacted him since his ring, and that “I am missing all my vacation pay and my personal hours that I had stored. Since my ring I haven’t recieved anything, not one cent.”

“I just want my job back,” Kevintz concluded, “I just want to come back to my campus. I gotta come back home. Brandeis is home.”

In response to the ring, students gathered in Upper Usdan around 3:30 p.m. to “deliver the petition to Clayton in his o ce [in Usdan],” according to Benson, but they soon learned that “Clayton had le Upper [Usdan] at around 3:20 in anticipation of the delegation.” Student protestors then “trekked through the rain down to Sherman and as soon as Clayton saw sort of on the curved the stairs a er Sherman, he bolted out the emergency exit.”

In an attempt to deliver a physical copy of the petition that had been circling among community members online to Hargrove, “some students followed him, looped back around Sherman, and then Clayton went into the entrance to the kitchen on the kosher side,” according to Benson.

She continued, telling e Hoot that a er Hargrove entered the kosher side kitchen, “students were told that they couldn’t enter there. Students didn’t [enter], handed the petition o to some junior Harvest Table employees, did some chants with the workers who gathered in support of Kev-

intz and in support of students trying to deliver the petition.”

Commenting on the events that occurred on Sept. 22 when students attempted to deliver the petition to Hargrove, Carty wrote to e Hoot that “for everyone’s safety, it is important to know that kitchen access is restricted only to those who are working in dining.” Carty went on to write that, “Campus security was called on September 22, 2022, when students entered the prohibited kitchen space at Sherman Dining Hall and refused to leave when asked. Campus Security responded. Students le before they arrived.”

Benson explained that the student protestors le a er recognizing that they wouldn’t be able to hand the petition to Hargrove, and instead students returned to Usdan where they had originally congregated. Benson recounted that then, the protestors received a call from an employee

Lindsay Pool closed due to mechanical issues

in Sherman who told them that “Brandeis police had been called to Sherman, and that they were headed up to Usdan looking for [them].”

“ at was really scary,” she recalled. Not wanting to be in harm’s way, Benson explained that the group of students made the decision to disperse.

Benson mentioned that the BLU was “simply trying to deliver a petition,” and that “[Brandeis] police are not supposed to be used to break up protests.” She also added that the BLU has reports from people who were on the scene that Hargrove was saying that the protestors endangered him in some way or were threatening him, but disregards this as “totally untrue.”

Benson said “the combination of exaggerating the claims of danger [posed a] risk to all students, but speci cally students of color.”

Benson added that “Harvest Table is not making a good reputation for themselves [over the]

four months that they’ve been on campus. at’s a shorter span of time than Sodexo was here for … but de nitely in that short time Harvest Table, its representatives, Clayton’s other managers and even their CEO … have not been helpful.” Elaborating, she mentioned that Mary ornton was on campus and the [BLU] members … tried to explain the situation regarding Kevintz to her, tried to give ornton a petition very diplomatically, but [she said] “I don’t know about this [situation] and even if I did, I can’t do anything [about it].”

Benson feels that “a transition to self-dining, which Brandeis used to have many decades ago … would be better for workers and would allow students to more directly pressure the university to take accountability [for] the treatment of the people who work on campus.”

New Science Complex design under way

of the upper oors of the Edison Lecks Science Building.

In addition to these structural building changes, there will be a conservation of the outdoor space outside of the Science Complex known as the “Red Square” into a green space and walking paths, according to the article.

e construction plans would create an additional 100,000 square feet of mostly new spaces for wet labs, facilities, classrooms and a maker space. Some of Science 2a will involve renovating existing spaces on campus. For the new building, there will be 75% exible research labs and 25% learning spaces, according to the BrandeisNOW article. e building will be ve stories and will be located adjacent to the SSC so that the two buildings can connect via the SSC atrium. e new facilities will also house the new engineering science program that was approved in 2021. e engineering major will begin no later than the 2026-27 academic year, according to the university page.

Construction is currently estimated to begin in late 2023, according to the article, it is estimated to take two to three years to complete construction. e estimated budget is $145 million

for the project. e budget for the project was assessed during the May 2022 Board of Trustees Report. e intent of the new facilities is to “bolster the recruitment and retention of top faculty and students, strengthen Brandeis’ position as a leader in scienti c advances and enhance interdisciplinary connections across campus,” according to the BrandeisNOW article.

e Owner’s Project Manager (OPM) will be run by Compass Project Management; they were selected for this role in April 2022. e architect for Science 2a will be Payette, the company that was in charge of the design for the SSC, according to their webpage. Payette had also done an initial proposal for this project in 2005 when the plans were rst being put in place, according to a previous Hoot article. e project is under the supervision of the project sponsor group (PSG) and is co-chaired by Stew Urketsky, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration. Ron Liebowitz is overseeing the programming, budget, space and schedule for the project, according to the article. Designs have yet to be completed; the team will be meeting with stakeholders to gain insight on the components that would be most useful for the labs and classrooms, according to the article.

4 NEWS The Brandeis Hoot October 14, 2022
SCIENCE, from page 1
, from page 1
DINING
e Linsey Pool was closed to community members on Friday Sep. 30, according to the Facility Schedule, the pool was closed due to mechanical issues that occurred on the night of Sep. 29. e pool was closed with no set date for reopening.
4. a
e pool reopened on Tuesday, Oct
er the mechanical issue had been xed. e pool was closed for
ve days.
PHOTOS BY JACKIE JIANG PHOTO BY SOPHIE SALGIAN

On Sept. 29, the Brandeis volleyball team used a balanced attack on both o ense and defense to win their fourth-straight match, 3-0, over Clark University. Set scores were 25-18, 25-21, 2514. e Judges led wire-to-wire in both the rst and third sets, scoring seven of the rst eight points in each. In the second set, there were ve ties, but Brandeis never trailed a er going up, 2-1. e nal tie of the set came at 6-all a er back-to-back kills by the Cougars’ Sheyenne Williams and Claudia Rivera. Brandeis rookie Anna Ertischek ’26 answered with a kill and the Judges never trailed again. Brandeis established a ve-point lead at 1914 on a block by Bent and Rita Lai ’24 and never looked back.

e Judges had a balanced offensive attack, with three players scoring between 10.5 and 12

A busy week for Judges volleyball SPORTS

points, and another three tallying between 6.5 and 8.5 points. ey were also balanced on defense, with two players recording 15 digs and another with 14. Lai was the team’s top scorer on the night with 12 points, nishing with seven kills and eight blocks (two solo).

Verstovsek had a team-high eight kills, while adding two service aces and two block assists for 11 points. Bent was the third player in double digits with points, racking up ve kills, four service aces and three block assists for 10.5 points. She also notched 14 digs.

Grom-Mansencal had a terrific all-around game, with 27 assists and 15 digs for her eighth double-double of the season, while also contributing two kills and four service aces. Borr also had 15 digs on the night. e Judges’ 14 service aces were a season-high for the Judges. In addition to nishing with 10 team blocks, the Brandeis defense held Clark to a .009 hitting percentage (22 K-21 E-113 TA).

On Oct. 8, the Brandeis University volleyball team lost a pair of contests hosted at Endicott College. Brandeis lost both matches 3-1 against Endicott (25-21, 18-25, 25-23, 25-22) and Babson (25-18, 12-25, 25-17, 25-18). In the opener, the Judges got a match and career-high 24-kill performance from Sophomore Lara Verstovsek ’25 and a 10-kill performance from graduate student Sydney Bent.

Bent also had the team-high in digs in the match with 20, followed by a tie between Verstovsek and Senior Stephanie Borr ’23 with 15.

Junior Ines Grom-Mansencal ’24 led the team in assists with 35. In the second match, Verstovsek led the team in kills again with 12, while Borr led the team in digs with 12. Grom-Mansencal had another great outing, nishing the match with 31 assists.

On Oct. 2, the Brandeis volleyball team saw its four-match winning streak shut down as the Judges dropped a pair of Univer-

sity Athletic Association (UAA) contests at Carnegie Mellon University. Brandeis lost a pair of 3-0 decisions to Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) (25-20, 25-17, 25-19) and the University of Chicago (26-24, 25-13, 25-20). e Judges played close in three of ve sets, staying within ve points of their opponents. Against Case Western Reserve, the Judges were within two points late in each set. In the rst, they trailed, 22-20, but the Spartans won the nal three points.

Both of the nal two sets saw Brandeis behind by two at 1816 before the Spartans went on a late closing run. e Judges’ best chance to win a set came in the opener against Chicago. ey led by four, 16-12, and owned a 2321 advantage when the Maroons called a timeout. UChicago won three in a row to get a set point at 24-23, but Brandeis rst-year Anna Ertischek ’26 stopped the momentum to force extra points, but UChicago took it, 26-24. e

second set was tight early on, with Brandeis taking an 11-9 lead on a Bent kill. Chicago answered by scoring 12-straight points to go up, 21-11, and rolled from there.

e Judges were also ahead early in the third with a 9-8 lead when UChicago went on an 8-1 run to go up, 16-10, and never looked back.

Brandeis had a pair of 10-kill performances on that day. Bent had 10 in the opener against CWRU, while Verstovsek had 10 against Chicago. Bent tied with Borr with 11 digs, giving Bent her fourth double-double in a Brandeis uniform. Verstovsek also had a team-high 13 digs against the Maroons for her third double-double of the season. She also had nine kills, two aces and a block against Case. Grom-Mansencal had 22 assists and eight digs against CWRU and 21 assists and ve digs against Chicago. e Judges meet Endicott and Babson next Saturday for a tri-match at Endicott.

Women’s soccer plays homecoming game

e Brandeis women’s soccer team kicked o conference play in Cleveland in a competitive match against host Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). Ranked #14 in Division III by United Soccer Coaches, CWRU topped the Judges 2-1 with all goals of the game scored in the second half, snapping the Judges six game winning streak. e following weekend, the Judges hosted Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) for the 2022 Brandeis homecoming game; unfortunately, though, the Brandeis women’s soccer squad was unable

to pull out the win on Gordon Field, losing their second consecutive game. e Judges’ record fell to 6-4-1 in non-conference play and 0-2-0 in UAA action. While both CWRU and Brandeis were scoreless in the rst half, the Judges outshot the Spartans, 5-3. e rst goal came in the 60th minute of the game by the Spartans who gained a second-half advantage over the Judges. Senior mid elder Caroline Swan ’23 located forward Juliette Carreiro ’23 in the 79th minute of the game to equalize the score; Carreiro chipped the ball over the charging Spartan keeper. With under seven minutes to go, the Judges were whistled for a foul from approx-

imately 25 yards from the goal, resulting in a Spartan free kick. CWRU converted the opportunity and secured the victory, 2-1. For the game, CWRU outshot Brandeis, 11-9, and the Spartans had a 7-4 edge in corner kicks. e loss was the rst in ve decisions this season for sophomore keeper Hannah Bassan ’25. Defensively, Brandeis had not allowed more than one goal in their previous six contests, dating back to their 4-3 loss to Babson. On the attack, though, Carreiro has been a consistent presence for the Judges, successfully scoring a point in the last seven contests and nine of 10 this season; her goal against CWRU was her seventh of the season, tying her total for 2021,

when she earned All-American honors. Carreiro now ranks in a tie for 14th in career goals at Brandeis with 23 and 13th in total points with 65. Swan is also moving up the leaderboard, as she is now tied for 12th on the all-time assist list at Brandeis; her fourth assist of the season became the 15th dime of her career.

Following the defeat in Cleveland, the Judges returned to Gordon Field to compete in the Brandeis homecoming game. While it was a defensive battle, the decision fell in the Tartans’ favor. In the rst half, Carnegie Mellon led in shots taken 5-3; and, in the second half, the Tartans remained on the attack, outshooting Brandeis seven shots to

two. e Tartans held the advantage in nearly every category—12 to 5 in shots taken and 6 to 0 in shots on goal; additionally, Carnegie Mellon held the advantage in corner kicks, 5 to 4. Brandeis keeper Bassan did her best, effectively saving ve shots on goal throughout the game, but the Judges did not have many opportunities to tie things up. e Tartans’ lone goal in the 28th minute was the only goal of the game.

e Judges travel to the University of Rochester this weekend, looking to snap their two-game losing streak and pick up their rst win in the UAA. Good luck, Judges!

A er nishing in rst place last year at the Keene State Invitational, the Brandeis women’s cross country maintained their streak and nished in rst place in this year’s invitational on Oct. 1. e team overall nished with 40 points and an average 5k time of 18:59.50. On the men’s side, the team nished in third place a er placing second last year. ey had 88 overall points with an average ve-mile time of 26:27.39. Overall, the two teams played very well in their third competition of the season. e women’s team was led by senior captain Bridget Pickard ’23 as she nished in second place overall. Her 5k time was 18:31.62 and was a new career best in the 5k by seven seconds. Junior Juliette Intrieri ’24 was not far behind Pickard with a time of 18:37.36. She nished in third place in the competition and set a new career-best 5k by four seconds. Just behind her was junior Lizzy Reynolds ’24 with a time of 18:40.30. She placed h overall for her best placement of the season and set a new personal record by 33 seconds.

Sophomore Zada Forde ’25 was

the next Judge to nish. In 13th place, she had a time of 19:26.08 which was also a career-best by nine seconds. Junior Katie Lyon ’24 rounded out the top ve with a time of 19:42.14. She nished 16th overall and broke 20 minutes for the rst time as she set a new personal best by 28 seconds.

Sophomore Kyra Au ’25 nished shortly a er in 22nd place with a time of 19:57.86. She set a new career best in the 5k by breaking the 20-minute mark for the rst time. e next Judge to nish was rst-year Calli Morvay ’26 with a time of 20:45.82 in 38th place. It was a new career best in the 5k for Morvay. Junior Adah Anderson ’24 was next in 42nd place with a time of 21:06.97. e men’s team was led by senior Matthew Dribben ’23 who nished in rst place overall. His 24:53.28 was his rst time breaking 25 minutes in the ve mile, as he beat his career best by 11 seconds. e next Judge to nish was sophomore Lucas Dia ’25 with a time of 26:19.75. He nished 12th overall and shaved almost an entire minute o of his previous career best time.

Sophomore Dashiell Janicki ’25 nished shortly a er with a time of 26:40.39 in 21st place. Compared to his time from last year at the invitational, Janicki took over two minutes o of

his time. Junior Samuel Kim ’24 came in 24th place with a time of 26:56.47. He also improved his time from last season, with more than a minute decrease in time.

A short while later, junior Henry Nguyen ’24 nished 31st with a time of 27:27.07 to round out the

top ve for Brandeis. Senior Taylor Diamond ’23 nished in 70th in 30:09.82 to improve his season best in the ve miles by 53 seconds.

Both teams will have their next competition on Oct. 15 at the Connecticut College Invitational. is will be their last

competition before the University Athletic Association Championships in Atlanta on Oct. 29. Editor-in-Chief Victoria Morrongiello ’23 is a captain of the women’s cross country team and did not contribute to the writing or editing of this article.

October 14, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot 5
PHOTO BY VICTORIA MORRONGIELLO

While hockey is the most secular sport compared to the main four, it is still a sport that is largely dominated by Christianity. However, one religion is slightly growing in number, albeit on a small scale, within the National Hockey League: Judaism.“We’re probably looking at a record number of Jewish players in the league right now,” said Mathieu Schneider, arguably the most famous Jewish hockey player of all time. A small yet powerful number of Jewish players are emerging in the NHL. As of now, no Jewish players are throned in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Hopefully, that will be subject to change in the coming years. is article will attempt to shine a spotlight on the players and important people in the NHL whose heritage and religion, along with their contributions to the sport, are so o en looked over.

Gary Bettman

Gary Bettman, the NHL’s commissioner, is Jewish. Raised in New York and taking over as NHL commissioner a er a short successful stint in the NBA, Bettman has become one of the most successful commissioners in all of sports history, and has continued to succeed over the pandemic, allowing his league to succeed during a time of turmoil. Bettman became the commissioner of the NHL in 1993, when the league was far from a successful organization. However, he was able to turn the league around, expanding into multiple new cities and adding seven new teams over the years. His actions have led to a growth of revenue from $400 million to about $3 billion today. Gary Bettman is a major representative of Jews in sports, and has done a fantastic job over the years in leading the NHL, despite the chorus of boos that consistently follows him.

Judaism’s impact on the NHL

e Hughes Brothers

Jack Hughes, the second oldest Hughes brother, was dra ed rst overall in the 2019 dra by the New Jersey Devils at age 18. He’s the son of a Jewish mother and a Catholic father, and he has stated multiple times that he embraces the heritage of both of his parents. Hughes was the rst Jewish player to be picked rst overall in the NHL, and his brothers are also proving to be successful in the hockey world. e son of Ellen Weinberg-Hughes, also a Jewish hockey star, Hughes had a Bar Mitzvah, and also has mentioned celebrations of Jewish holidays, including Passover. e center’s rst season was solid, putting up a total of 21 points with 14 assists and seven goals. Jack Hughes is an inspirational gure to the many Jewish hockey fans, like myself, around the world.

Quinn Hughes, dra ed a year before Jack, is proving to be a solid player. A er helping the U.S. nish at the 2018 IIHF World Championship, Hughes was selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the seventh overall in the 2018 NHL Dra . Hughes played one more season following his dra at Michigan, scoring 33 points ( ve goals, 28 assists) in 32 games before signing with the Canucks on March 10, 2019. A er recovering from an ankle injury sustained during the Big Ten playo s, Hughes made his NHL debut with the Canucks 18 days later, had an assist and was named ird Star of the Game in a 3-2 shootout win against the Los Angeles Kings.Luke Hughes, the youngest Hughes brother, was dra ed fourth overall by the New Jersey Devils and will be joining his older brother in New Jersey. Hughes starts with the perfect skating posture, settling comfortably into his stride as he darts around the ice. His skating habits are pretty stellar, too. Hughes collects the puck in-stride, skates through his passes, and weapon-

izes movement to draw opposing defenders to his orbit, creating space for his teammates. He’s always looking to create advantages with the puck on his stick, as described by Elite Prospects.

Adam Fox

Adam Fox, 24, has become a star in the NHL, his e ort for the Rangers earning him the James Norris Memorial Trophy for the league’s best defenseman last year, and a seven-year, $66.5 million contract—the largest in NHL history for a defenseman leaving his entry-level contract. He was selected for his rst All-Star game earlier this year but didn’t play because of an injury. He grew up rooting for the Rangers in Long Island’s Jewish community. “ ere are a lot of Jewish residents on Long Island, so it’s cool for me to represent that community,” Fox said. “And, you know, there are not many Jewish athletes. So to be one of the few and have people who come from where I come from look up to me … I think it’s de nitely pretty special.” Before playing professionally, Fox decided to attend Harvard College, where he majored in psychology. He also immediately made an impact for the Harvard men’s hockey team, leading all NCAA defensemen in points per game in his rst season and was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference/Ivy League Rookie of the Year. While in school he also represented the United States at two IIHF World Junior Championship Tournaments, winning gold with the team in 2017 and bronze in 2018. In his third season with the Crimson, Fox was a nalist for the Hobey Baker Award for the top NCAA men’s hockey player. Choosing to go pro in his senior year, Fox nished his psychology degree through online classes over the summer. By the end of his rookie season, Fox had 42 points (eight goals and 34 assists) in 70 games. Fox improved during the

2020-2021 pandemic-shortened season of 56 games, leading all NHL defensemen with 42 assists and coming in second for his position in points with 47, thus securing himself the Norris Trophy.

Jason Zucker & Mark Friedman

e Pittsburgh Penguins, for the second straight year, are one of the precious few teams in NHL history to feature not one but two Jewish players on their active roster: veteran le -winger Jason Zucker and defenseman Mark Friedman. e unique pairing came to fruition last February when Pittsburgh, which had already acquired Zucker as a free agent in 2019, claimed Friedman a er he was put on waivers by the Philadelphia Flyers. While neither player has gured prominently in Pittsburgh’s emergence as a Stanley Cup contender, Zucker was a steady presence for the Minnesota Wild in the last decade but he appears to be past his prime, while Friedman has seen limited action as a fourth liner since coming back from Philadelphia. e fact that the Pens have been rolling out lineups featuring multiple Jewish players is noteworthy in and of itself. Zucker is, by far, the longest-tenured Jewish NHL player currently in the league. Since his debut in 2011, Zucker, who recently celebrated his 30th birthday, has tallied 286 points, including 153 goals. “Judaism is all-in or nothing, in my opinion,” said Zucker, who has a Hebrew message tattooed on his le arm, in part to remind him of his beliefs. “I don’t mean that in a negative way. It’s just the way the Jewish religion works. ere’s a lot that goes into it.”

Zach Hyman

Zach Hyman of the Edmonton Oilers is a great example of Jewish representation in the NHL. Hyman, who says he knew he wanted to play in the NHL from a young age, describes his Jewish upbringing as secular—he grew up attending shul on the High Hol-

idays and doesn’t consume pork. “For me, being Jewish is more than just a religion. Obviously, there’s a really big communal aspect to it,” he said, describing the distinction between various religious denominations as “blurred.” A er taking a year o to focus on hockey, Hyman spent four years playing hockey on a scholarship at the University of Michigan starting in 2011, where he majored in history. Hyman wears the number 18, in which he chose since its Jewish signi cance of chai, the Hebrew word for life. Hyman has 113 career goals, 126 assists and 293 points overall since he joined the NHL in 2010.

Josh Ho-Sang

Josh Ho-Sang, a New York Islander and former 28th overall pick, is on the cusp of Jewish greatness as well. Ho-Sang’s background is a mix of seemingly in nite cultures: his mother, Ericka, is a Chilean Jew, with roots in Russia, Germany and Spain, while his father, Wayne, is a Jamaican Christian, whose heritage can be drawn back to Hong Kong. Ho-Sang was raised celebrating all of the cultural traditions in his household, including those of Judaism, and has embraced his role as a model for the many groups he represents. He has voiced his pride in himself for the hope he has provided for Jews, Hispanics, Asians and Europeans in the sports world. HoSang has seen success in his small sample sizes in the pros, but he still is waiting to have a breakout performance and stake out his position as a star in the league. ese players, among others, will hopefully emerge as superstars in the coming years, providing much needed Jewish representation in the NHL and hockey. Players like this, who have existed since the NHL’s inception in 1917, have yet to receive the recognition they deserve and it is only a matter of time until hockey has its rst Jewish Hall of Famer.

e Brandeis men’s soccer team looked to carry their momentum from the win against Clark University to their rst University Athletic Association (UAA) games of the season. ey started with a game against Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) on Oct. 1 in Cleveland, Ohio. Last year in their matchup, CWRU got the better of Brandeis with a 2-0 win. In their rst game of October, CWRU put the pressure on early with a shot o the crossbar and a few shots high over the goal. ey quickly got on the board in the 18th minute to put the Judges in an early 0-1 de cit. e Judges got into trouble when one player got his second yellow card of the game to put Brandeis a man down with 70 minutes le in the game. From there, the CWRU o ense kept pushing the pace, but two saves from senior goalie Aiden Guthro ’23 helped slow them down. However, CWRU scored another in the 25th minute to bring their lead to 2-0. Brandeis got their rst shot of the game from freshman forward Elan Romo ’26 in the 38th minute. is ended up being the only shot the Judges would have in the rst half. ey were outshot 1-9 in the rst half and had zero corner

kicks compared to CWRU’s three. e man disadvantage was going to be tough for them to overcome, but they pushed forward. CWRU continued to dominate on o ense with early shots at the start of the second half. ey scored their third goal of the game in the 61st minute. e Judges had their rst shot on target from sophomore back Andres Gonzalez ’25 but it was saved by the CWRU goalie. Brandeis continued to compete, but CWRU had control of the game. ey scored their last goal of the game in the 72nd minute. Brandeis fell to CWRU 0-4 in their rst UAA game of the season.

CWRU outshot Brandeis 18-4 overall, while having seven shots on goal compared to Brandeis’ one. Guthro had three saves in the game, while CWRU’s goalie had one. e Judges had 10 fouls in the rst half and 13 overall, while CWRU had just nine. Gonzalez had the only shot on goal, while mid elder Nico Beninda ’26, Romo and forward Sammy Guttell ’23 all had one shot.

A week later, the Judges returned home to play Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) for Homecoming and the second UAA game of the season. ese two teams last faced each other in 2019, as Brandeis won the game 2-0. e game started with midelder Rainer Osselmann-Chai ’26 sailing a shot over the goal.

Senior Sancho Maroto Tobias ’23 also nearly got the team on the board early but sent his shot high. In the rest of the rst half, both teams traded shots but neither team could score. e rst half came to an end with the score 0-0. CMU was outshooting Brandeis 5-4, but none of the shots in the rst half overall were on target. Brandeis almost took the lead to start the second half as Romo had the team’s rst shot on goal, but it was saved by the CMU goalie. CMU countered by taking a shot on an open net in the 63rd minute, but senior back Forrest Shimazu ’23 jumped and headed the ball over the goal to keep the game tied. A er a header that went wide right, CMU had another shot on goal, but were denied by Guthro a er a diving save. CMU nally broke the draw in the 79th minute a er a free kick was headed into the goal. Brandeis had one more chance in the 84th minute, but Maroto Tobias’ header was denied by the CMU goalie. e nal score of the game was 1-0 in favor of CMU. Brandeis were outshot 10-15, as CMU had 10 shots in the second half alone. Only three of the Judges’ 10 shots were on target. Guthro had two saves in the game, as he saved nearly all of CMU’s shots on goal. CMU had 15 fouls compared to Brandeis’ 12, but the Judges had 10 of those

fouls in the second half. One of those fouls led to the free kick that assisted the game winning goal. Junior forward Max Horowitz ’24, Romo and Maroto Tobias led the team in shots with two.

Overall, the men’s soccer team has a record of 4-4-2. ey will next play an away game against the University of Rochester on Oct. 14. Last year, the two teams played an exhausting double

overtime game that ended in a 0-0 draw. Two days a er their game against Rochester, they will play an away game against Emory University. e Judges also went to overtime against Emory last year but ended up winning a er just six minutes into the overtime period to win 3-2. A er backto-back losses, the Judges look to turn it around with these last two away games of the season.

6 The Brandeis Hoot The Brandeis Hoot October 14, 2022
PHOTO BY SOPHIE SALGIAN

Justin - It’s Oct. 9 at approximately 10:13 p.m. and I am sitting in my room crying. I am crying because I am laughing so incredibly hard at the New York Mets. A er winning 101 games in the regular season, it was all for nothing as they lost in the Wild Card round of the playo s to the San Diego Padres. As a Washington Nationals fan, I didn’t have a lot to cheer for this season, because the Nationals were probably the worst team in all of baseball. However, I de nitely was cheering against the Mets in this game and not because they are one of the Nationals’ biggest rivals. It’s because the Mets created this whole storyline this season that made their downfall so funny.

It started in the 2021-2022 Major League Baseball o season. A er nishing 77-85 and third in the division, new owner Steve Cohen was ready for a change. Cohen made it very clear that he would do whatever it took to get the Mets to the World Series. He hired Buck Showalter as the new manager. Showalter is known for being one of the best managers for the past 20 years, so it was a very safe hire. en Cohen did exactly what he said he was going to do. He went out and spent a ton of money. He rst signed one of the best third basemen in the free agent market, Eduardo Escobar. Escobar signed a two-year $20 million contract. Cohen quickly followed by signing the best center elder in the free agent market, Starling Marte. at deal was for four years and worth $78 million. When I saw these two signings, I immediately knew that Cohen was completely serious. He was not messing around. en he did the impossible and signed starting pitcher Max Scherzer to a three-year $130 million contract. Scherzer was by far the best starting pitcher in the free agent market and had plenty of teams interested. But Cohen refused to be outbid. He gave Scherzer the largest annual salary of all time, at $43.3 million. e Mets also traded for starting pitcher Chris Bassitt from the Oakland Athletics to boost the team’s starting rotation. ere were other signings such as Mark Canha and Adam Ottavino that were big signings, but not as crazy as the other ones. Overall, it showed that Cohen really believed that he could literally buy wins. According to Spotrac, the Mets went from a total payroll of $207 million in 2021 to $282 million in 2022. ey were the highest-spending team in all of baseball by $7 million. When the regular season started, I was ready to see this plan blow up in Cohen’s face. You can’t buy wins. at’s not how baseball works. As the regu-

lar season started, it seemed like I was going to be proven wrong.

e Mets started out the regular season incredibly strong. ey were so good that on June 1, the Mets tied the record for biggest division lead in National League history at 10.5 games. e reigning World Series champions Atlanta Braves were in second place. I was in complete shock. Were the Mets actually good? en I realized something: they are the Mets, of course they aren’t good. Amid this great start, Sportsnet

New York (SNY) baseball host Sal Licata famously said, “ e NL East is over.” is statement has been referenced many times over the last month because the National League (NL) East was in fact not over. e Mets went 1312 in June and that division lead got smaller. Atlanta inched closer but never took the lead. at was until Sept. 9, when the Mets lost to the Miami Marlins and the Braves took their rst lead of the division since early April. What the heck happened? How did the Mets blow that big of a lead?

As soon as I saw the Braves take over the division lead, I knew it was over. e Mets always nd a way to mess up. Mets fans will likely argue that some of their best players were injured. Starting pitcher Jacob deGrom and Scherzer were still recovering from injury. Marte injured his nger at the start of September. All I hear are excuses. No team that well built should have blown that big of a division lead. A er having a rough September that saw them get swept by the Chicago Cubs and lose two of three games to the Nationals, the Mets were still in position to win the division. All they had to do was win one to two games against the Braves in their last matchup. It was by far the biggest series of the entire season. What did the Mets do? Did they compete and take two games to make sure they didn’t have to play in the Wild Card round? I think you already know the answer. ey are the Mets; they got swept in three games and ended up losing the tiebreaker to the Braves for the lead of the division. So now they ended up having to play in the Wild Card round.

Even a er their absolutely ridiculous collapse in the regular season, for some reason people were still optimistic about the Mets and their chance to win the World Series. Yes, they had deGrom and Scherzer, who are two of the best pitchers in baseball. Yes, they were h in all of baseball in runs scored. But momentum is so important going into the postseason and the Mets had negative momentum, if that’s possible. Game 1 was an absolute massacre. Scherzer got lit up for seven runs in 4.2 innings of work. is great Mets o ense mustered one run on seven hits in response. ere you go, Steve Cohen: as you can see, you

cannot buy wins. Scherzer cost you $43.3 million and although he was great in the regular season, in his lone postseason appearance he was absolutely terrible. Most Mets fans are probably blaming Scherzer for that loss, but what about the o ense? is o ense averaged 4.73 runs per game and scored just one run in one of the biggest games of the entire year. at wouldn’t be the only time the Mets o ense disappeared. So, Game 2 happened, and the Mets won, but nobody cared about that win. Let’s talk about the fateful Game 3. San Diego took an early two run lead o of Bassitt, but that shouldn’t matter right? e Mets have one of the best o enses in all of baseball, two runs are nothing. First inning, no base runners. Second inning, no base runners. ird inning, no base runners. Fourth inning, no base runners and the Padres scored another run. It wasn’t until the h inning of an elimination game before the Mets got a single base runner on a hit by Pete Alonso. A er he got on base, there was a strikeout, y out and one more strike out. It wasn’t looking too good for the Mets. en possibly the funniest thing I have ever seen on live television happened. Multiple fans noticed that there was something shiny on Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove’s ear and there was a noticeable uptick in the spin rate of his pitches. So, people thought maybe he was cheating and had some “sticky stu ” on his ear. e Mets also noticed this and could not believe that Musgrove was naturally just beating the crap out of them. He had to be cheating. Showalter appeared to agree so he asked the umpires to check on Musgrove’s ear. e umpires proceeded to check Musgrove’s hand, glove and hat, but found nothing. ey then went and started rubbing his ears. It was absolutely ridiculous. I suggest you watch Jomboy Media’s breakdown if you haven’t seen it yet. Obviously, this was about to become super embarrassing for the Mets if he didn’t have anything on his ear. It was almost a sign of defeat. I am guessing you know how this story ends. e umpires didn’t nd anything. Musgrove pitched two more innings without allowing another hit and the Mets lost to the Padres 0-6. He wasn’t cheating, the Mets just suck. Mets fans might blame Bassitt for the loss. He did allow three runs in four innings, but come on, o ense, what are you doing? ey had only two baserunners in the entire game. Only one of them was a hit. Once again one of the best o enses in all of baseball disappeared when they were needed most. I think one more event during the game of the Padres sums up their season. Mets closer Edwin Diaz pitched extremely well this season and he became even more popular when he started being

introduced by a trumpet solo in the song Narco by Blasterjaxx & Timmy Trumpet. I have to admit, even though I don’t like the Mets, it was a really cool walkout song. e fans loved the walkout, and it was super exciting to see him jog out from the bullpen with trumpets blaring. Mets fans got to hear it one more time in their last game of the series. is time it was when they were down four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. You could see the Mets fans were completely distraught because they knew they were going to lose the game. It was the saddest trumpet entrance I have ever seen. e broadcast was panning around the stadium looking for people that were excited and you could see all the Padres fans jumping around cheering. To put the icing on the cake, Diaz ended up allowing a hit that scored two more runs which de nitely put the game out of reach. at Mets season was fun. I can’t wait to see this again next year. Victoria - So it happened. e Mets did what we all knew they would inevitably do and they blew it. Remember when I wrote an article about this two months ago saying that the Mets aren’t a second-half team. Well, it’s come to fruition. No, I’m not clairvoyant, I was just raised a Mets fan. Out of the 180 days of the regular season, the Mets spent 175 days in rst place for the NL East. 175 days. is is a pretty convincing statistic to think that maybe they could see things through in the postseason. Yet they did not come in rst and instead fell to the Braves who won the NL East a er only eight days of being in or tied for rst. Is that upsetting? Yes. But we had entered the second half (dun dun dun). Yes, we could think about how large the lead was that the Mets held. We can talk about how they were up 10.5 games—a stat which tied the team for the biggest division lead in NL East history on June 1—and then slowly but surely watched that gap get closed by the Braves. But June 1 was in the rst half, and the Mets hadn’t entered the second half curse.

Yes, we could talk about how they blew this, or we can look at this as consistency. You can always count on the Mets to not be a second-half team—even though this year they tried to fool us with over 100 regular season wins. ey really were pulling our leg with that one. Remember 2016? Yeah, we do too. We. are. not. a. second. half. team.

ink about it though: the Mets were good enough to get a 10.5 game lead. e Mets were able to piss people o with how good they were doing. Let’s put the last three weeks aside and look at it from that perspective. People were mad because we were doing well, people were mad because they couldn’t make

the easy joke that the Mets suck because they weren’t sucking.

We disrupted the order of the MLB, by not being the team people could look at and say “Well, at least I’m not a Mets fan.” Because we were having a great time during the regular season. We had the trumpet man, we were winning games le and right, we were having a good time with some good old fashioned baseball. People were mad because we were doing things we normally don’t get to do. I wore a Mets hat to work this summer and didn’t feel shame. Do you know how great that was? No one made any jokes, the Yankees fans kept their mouths shut (this is back when they weren’t doing so hot)—it was a beautiful time. Sadly that didn’t last and now that we have successfully ful lled our duty of being the guy people laugh at, order has been restored. And the vultures can now attack the fans who had hope. ere is nothing to really blame this collapse on. We didn’t have a slew of our top guys on the injured list; in fact, our starting lineup was perfectly intact. A typical problem with the franchise is that halfway through the season half the team is either actively getting surgery or is injured. Why did we blow it? Well, I’ll just blame the second-half curse. But I will say this team reminded me most of the 2016 Mets. It’s a team that I actually liked to follow; I liked the team dynamic and the fact that they made baseball fun. Sure winning is nice too, but the team dynamic plays a huge part of it. e trades that came a er 2016 with Flores and Granderson and Duda, it kinda killed the vibe because the team dynamic was being altered. But I guess it is easier to have a positive team dynamic when you’re playing well and not getting constantly shit on.

I would like to point out though that sometimes the Mets aren’t a rst-half or a second-half team, so at least we got something this season. We got that spark of hope, that maybe, just maybe, we could be a second-half team. at’s why you’ve gotta enjoy it while it lasts. But if you’re a true Mets fan you know the truth about what will happen, and sure it can be nice to hope, but there is always a part of you that knows it’s not gonna last. For right now we will continue to be the guy that everyone who follows the MLB laughs at. It’s okay. It’ll make winning the World Series one day all the better. Who wants to win the World Series when people respect your team? No, it is much more fun to prove people wrong and make them angry about it. Until next year.

Herschel Walker has demolished his legacy

From Heisman Trophy winner to a sorry excuse for a political candidate, Herschel Walker has run the gamut of American fame. Once regarded as one of the greatest college football players of all time, Walker is now (somehow) the Republican nominee in the 2022 United States Senate elec-

tion in Georgia. Walker wants to “heavily invest” in the military, thinks that Biden’s 2020 election win was fraudulent and favors reducing business regulations because he hates poor people. When asked about gun laws Walker said that “what I like to do is see it and everything and stu [sic].”

Walker’s fall from grace didn’t start when he decided to run for Senate, though. It started years ago when he was accused of

“physically abusive and extremely threatening behavior” by his exwife. Walker’s son said on Twitter the following in reference to his father: “You’re not a ‘family man’ when you le us to bang a bunch of women, threatened to kill us, and had us move over 6 times in 6 months running from your violence ... how DARE YOU LIE and act as though you’re some ‘moral, Christian, upright man’ ... You’ve lived a life of DE-

STROYING other peoples lives.”

Walker’s political positions are horri c: he’s anti-environment, anti-women, anti-transgender rights, anti-same-sex marriage, pro-border-wall, pro-conspiracy theory and pro-economic deregulation. He also paid for his girlfriend’s abortion despite holding a notably anti-choice stance on abortion. In short, he’s a Republican.

Walker’s legacy on the eld is,

in my eyes, erased. e legendary athlete Walker once was is long gone. No amount of awards for hitting other men as hard as humanly possible can ever make up for attempting to destroy the lives of Georgians and other Americans alike. His virulent, hateful, odious political views are destructive and should not be tolerated by Georgia’s voters or anyone else. We all deserve better than a washed-up running back.

October 14, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot The Brandeis Hoot 7

e 2022 Laver Cup in London was one of the most emotional moments in the history of tennis.

For the past 23 years Roger Federer has been not only one of the best players on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tour but also one of the most loved.

On September 23 Federer played in his nal professional tennis match, a doubles match, alongside long time rival and best friend Rafael Nadal. In this match Federer and Nadal, the duo known to fans as “Fedal”, competed together for Team Europe against Jock Sock and Francis Tiafoe, both Americans representing Team World. Federer returned to the ATP tour and professional tennis a er a two year hiatus due to injury. Previously, Federer had made it to the nal of Wimbeldon where he faced Novak Djokovic. e match which lasted four hours and 55 minutes on centre court was the last time fans got to see a peak performance Roger Federer ght in a high stakes match. Since then Roger has been absent from the professional tour as he was recovering from knee injuries and not competing due to the pandemic shutting tournaments down. With Federer taking a forced step back from the tour, fans were patiently awaiting his return. All ready to cheer the Swiss tennis maestro on. But prior to the Laver

Cup beginning, Federer made an announcement that all tennis fans were dreading: on September 19 Federer announced that the Laver Cup would be his nal ATP event. e tennis world doubled over in excitement for the 2022 Laver Cup because they could watch not only the return of Federer to the court but watch his nal match. With the eyes of the tennis world turned towards this tournament the meaning of the Laver Cup transformed. What is usually a tournament to see which team is better (Team World or Team Europe) became a farewell event for Federer. Fans roared as Federer walked onto center court with Nadal for his nal match.

e match began with Federer and Nadal losing the rst set 4-6 to Sock and Tiafoe. But the dynamic doubles team of “Fedal” fought back in the second set 7-6 bringing it to a tie breaker which they won 7-2 to secure the set. e match was then headed into a super tiebreaker to determine if Federer’s last match would be a win or not. Fighting tooth and nail to win the match Federer and Nadal could not win in the nal stretch as Nadal put a volley into the net ending the tiebreaker 9-11 with Sock and Tiafoe ending up on top.

But it was not the kind of match where excessive celebration from Sock and Tiafoe would ensue, rather the court was covered in tears. Federer and Nadal held each other’s hands as they walked o court; both of them with tears

streaming down their faces. e 2022 Laver Cup was the nal time Nadal and Federer would step on court together, the nal time Team Europe would compete with Federer as their captain and the nal time where Federer would captivate the tennis world with seemingly elegant strokes and one handed backhand. In a moment of true sportsmanship and unity, as Federer was waving the crowd goodbye, players from both teams li ed Federer up and paraded him around the court. e impact of Federer on the sport of tennis will be remembered for generations to come such as, but far more impactful than, the careers of legendary tennis players such as Billie Jean King, Bjorn Borg and John Mcenroe. Roger Federer holds the most records on the ATP tour. He has won 20 grand slam tournaments. Six wins from the Australian Open, one from Roland Garros, eight from Wimbledon and ve from the U.S. Open. Federer was the rst player to surpass 14 majors titles which was a record previously held by American Pete Sampras. Federer holds the record for the most Wimbeldon titles of any player and holds the record for oldest player to reach the number 1 ranking in tennis at the age of 36. But Federer’s impressive records stemming from his performance at grand slam tournaments are a fraction of all the records he holds as a player. Federer has won a total of 103 titles in his career. ese in-

clude six ATP nals titles; 71 hard court titles, and 19 grass court titles, all of which are all-time records. Apart from these, Federer has won an Olympic singles silver medal and an Olympic doubles gold medal. He is also a Davis Cup champion which is the tennis equivalent of the FIFA World Cup.

Federer’s accomplishments do not end with titles as well, his dominance as a player can be re ected in the fact that he was a number one for a record 237 consecutive weeks (four and a half years). Federer has also won a total number of 1,251 matches that includes 783 hard court wins and 192 grass court wins respectively—both are all-time records. Federer will have one of the longest lasting impacts on the sport of tennis because despite how accomplished he is with a racket and ball in hand; Federer has been one of the best ambassadors for the

sport and sportsmanship. Federer is consistently voted as the ATP player of the year which is a distinction given to players who show high degrees of sportsmanship, compassion and tenacity on and o the court. He has been known for his respectful nature on court since Federer, a er rising to the top of the rankings, only once broke a racket on court. Which immediately prompted the crowd to boo Federer for one of the few times in his career to express how they expected more from him.Federer has and will continue to inspire generations of young tennis players all over the world. ey will all work to achieve his level of speed and perfect timing on court when both moving to a shot and hitting the ball. Federer may no longer be in the ATP but he will be a presence in the sport for years to come.

Men’s tennis at the ITA Regionals

Men’s tennis competed in the ITA Regionals in Maine on Sept. 30. Tommy Harrison ’26 proved a standout player at the event.

Beating the sixth seed in the rst round 7-6 (6-4), 6-4, Harri-

son was the only Judge to win a singles match. Others got close.

Simon Kauppila ’23 lost in a tight three set match, 6-4, 7-6, 6-4, and Alex Merson ’26 got to a third set until ultimately dropping the match 1-6.

Although the singles matches proved di cult for the Judges,

the doubles teams were unstoppable in their rst round matches. Kauppila and Hunter Levine ’26 won in the closest match, 8-3.

Chen Liang ’24 and Jack Goldstein ’26, Dylan Walters ’24 and Harrison, and Haidyn Green ’26 and Merson won with a bagel and two breadsticks, respectively.

Across the board, the Judges struggled with their second-round matches, going 0 for 5.

In singles, Harrison lost 3-6, 2-6.

He also fell with partner Walters in the doubles, losing 5-8. Liang and Goldstein and Green and Merton each lost 4-8.

Kauppila and Levine fell 2-8.

ese results wrap up the fall 2022 matches for the men’s team. ey’ll pick up again in the spring with a home match against St. Michael’s College on Feb. 4. e women’s team still has one match this semester, playing Nichols College at home on Saturday, Oct. 15.

Concussions have been a problem in the National Football League (NFL) since it was created. Players are getting thrown all over the place. It’s naturally not a safe game to be played and concussions are evidence of that. Plenty of players have even quit football because of head trauma. One of the greatest linebackers of all time, Luke Kuechly, retired from football at the young age of 28. He cited his three concussions as the main reason for his early retirement. Players that have frequent concussions may develop chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and Kuechly wanted to reduce the possibility of developing this condition. So, he retired early. His retirement was ideal for him in terms of his long-term health and set a good example of what players should be doing if they get concussions. However, his retirement did not help change the view of concussions. More and more players have gotten injured and downplayed the impact concussions may have. e most recent example was a recent injury from Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.Tagovailoa

had a great start to the season. In the Dolphins matchup against the Baltimore Ravens in week 2, Tagovailoa threw for 469 yards and six touchdowns. At that time he was leading the entire NFL in passing yards and was ready to lead the Dolphins to the playo s. en in week 3, everything went wrong. ey were facing the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 25, and Tagovailoa had a solid start to the game. at was before he was hit, causing him to fall backwards. His head bounced on the ground and it looked like he may have had a concussion. Tagovailoa stood up under his own power, but had trouble walking and fell back down to the ground. He clearly had a concussion. ere was no doubt that something was wrong. He le with trainers toward the locker room and the Dolphins that he was questionable to return to the game due to a head injury. During hal ime though he apparently cleared concussion protocol and instead his injury was more focused as a back injury. e guy wobbling around a er a hit was being diagnosed with a back injury. At the time something de nitely seemed shy. Tagovailoa returned to the game and the Dolphins beat the Bills 21-19.

roughout the week in between the next game, he was said to be

dealing with a back injury. Nothing related to the head. Neuroscientist Chris Nowinski tweeted this before the game, “If he has a 2nd concussion that destroys his season or career, everyone involved will be sued & should lose their jobs, coaches included. We all saw it, even though they must know this isn’t right.” Yet the Dolphins chose to let him play. Pretty much everyone saw what came next. Right before hal ime, Tagovailoa was sacked and it appeared as if he hurt his neck and head. He laid on the ground for nearly 10 minutes before being taken o the eld on a stretcher. Right away, he was transported to a local hospital. Later he was nally diagnosed with a concussion, even though he clearly had one the week before. Everyone criticized the Dolphins for letting him even play in that game at all. ey responded by ring the independent neurotrauma consultant that cleared him to play in the rst place. Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel responded to all the criticism with the same attitude. He trusted the independent consultant and would not have played him if there was any indication that there was a head injury. McDaniel said, “We’re talking about high-level football conversations about progressions

and defenses and recalling stu from two weeks previous and then him having to reiterate a 15-word play call. All things, absolutely no signs. ere was no medical indication, from all resources, that there was anything regarding the head.” I am sorry but that’s complete bullshit. A er the rst hit, he literally struggled to walk properly. You do not have to be an expert to realize that there was something wrong with his head. Since the injury, other coaches have talked about how they approach concussions. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said this when reacting to the Tagovailoa injury, “A lot of times, players want to play. ey want to go out there, and they want to play, and sometimes you just have to tell them, ‘No.’ You have to say, ‘No.’” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said, “If I see a player that I think is not functioning properly that for some reason has not been identi ed, then absolutely I would [take them out]. I have done that.” Head trauma is so dangerous, so why bother taking any chance with it? If there is any possibility that he could have had a concussion why play him? ere had to have been some serious negligence from the Dolphins and McDaniel. We aren’t even talking about never playing foot-

ball again. It’s about Tagovailoa’s livelihood. It’s about him being able to walk and function as he always has. People need to realize that it’s about more than football. Tua’s best course of action now may be retirement. Much like Luke Kuechly, Tua may need to put his health rst and retire. He will certainly leave behind a legacy: he won 30/32 games as a starter at the University of Alabama, was 1st in FBS history in career passing e ciency rating, and was the 2018 Heisman Trophy runner-up before being dra ed h overall in 2020. He’s also made enough money for several lifetimes: his career earnings are estimated to be nearly $26,000,000. Additionally, if Tua chooses to retire it could set an important precedent for the whole NFL. A young player who was having an incredible season chooses to retire to save himself from the NFL’s broken concussion protocol; other players may follow suit and the NFL may be forced to make a policy change to survive the court of public opinion.If he chooses to hang it up a er these horri c injuries, he’ll still have his health, his legacy and a well-funded retirement. One famous neuropathologist urged Tua to “gallantly walk away,” and I agree. For his own safety, it may be time to retire.

8 The Brandeis Hoot The Brandeis Hoot October 14, 2022
PHOTO
FROM BBC

Interviews with Brandeis University’s academic leadership: The music department

e chair of Brandeis University’s music department, Professor Karen Desmond, sat down for an interview with e Brandeis Hoot to shed a little light on the department, its future and herself. is interview is part of a series of interviews with the chairs of a plethora of di erent academic departments and programs at Brandeis.

Editor’s Note: This interview was recorded during the 2022 spring semester. Professor Erin Gee is the current chair of the Music Department, and Professor Karen Desmond is on leave. Why did you choose to come to Brandeis?

I was in a post doc program and was searching for the right opportunity, but I did really want to come to this area. Brandeåis did appeal to me because it’s especially well known for music and I had had professors who had either taught at Brandeis or graduated from here. So, the name was very familiar to me. I’m originally from Ireland, so I’m not as familiar with all the American universities, but Brandeis was de nitely up there with name recognition. When I interviewed, I really liked the place and I especially liked the students. I had to do a demo [class] teaching students and then I chatted with the grad students too. I was really impressed with the Brandeis students, so that was a particular draw.

What do you wish that students knew about the Music department?

Well, we would love to get more folks in the door at the music department …. It’s a great place for students to gather. ere’s lots of couches, it’s this wide open space and it has Leonard Bernstein’s piano in the middle of the lobby.

If you’re sitting there, you get to hear all the di erent sorts of music that are happening in the various teaching rooms and practice rooms. You can hear anything from a jazz band to an American roots ensemble to opera singers. It’s a really vibrant place once you’re there. But, we do get the sense that if you don’t know about it, it’s sort of one of [Brandeis’] secrets. If you’re not involved in one of the ensembles or taking a class in the music department then … [you] aren’t necessarily passing by and seeing what’s going on.

What do you think that the music department does well?

We have very good student-faculty connections. Because our classes tend to be smaller, … and most of our courses are taught by professors in the department, … students can really get that involvement with the faculty.

Is there anything you think the music department could do better?

I think it’s really just about getting students in the door …. We would love to get more folks in and listening to new music that’s happening at Brandeis. But, I know that there’s lots of other things competing for students’ at-

tention. So I think if we can gure out a way to [communicate] with students to let them know about what’s going on, [the department will be better for it] …. I would really love it if the university, and maybe they are going to do this, put some sort of investment in outdoor spaces for students to gather and socialize outside when we have nice weather. So in the spring and through the fall, if we had that, it’d be fantastic to have outdoor music performances there.

Which of the three tracks is most popular within the music major?

Probably the performance track. I think we have 11 music majors who are doing the performance track. Just this week, we had a meeting called “Meet the Majors” for folks who were interested in majoring. Quite a few of those people were saying they were interested in the composition track. So I don’t know, maybe the composition track is gonna have an in ux [of new students] this year. I don’t know.

Why is keyboard pro ciency a graduation requirement?

at is going away with our revamp of the curriculum. at’s been a requirement in place for maybe 10 or 15 years; it’s been there a long time. But, as part of our revision of the curriculum, we wanted to create a music major that allowed for anyone who was interested in the study of music to study music, whether or not they had a performance background [in the Western musical tradition]. In order to open up our program to whatever music

tradition a student comes from, we signi cantly revamped what we will require students to study. It doesn’t make sense to require everyone to study keyboard, because not everybody is interested in keyboard. Now, it does make sense for some students if they were, perhaps, thinking about a career as a choir director in a church or something like that

…. But for other professions, it wouldn’t be necessary. What we’re really trying to do is not force students to take requirements that aren’t pertinent to their particular interests. We want to make more student-focused requirements. We’re opening [the program] up so that students can take more electives in their particular areas of interest and so on.

The future of journalism: Interview with Prof. Adriana Lacy

is is Professor Adriana Lacy’s rst semester teaching in the journalism program at Brandeis. Besides teaching at Brandeis, she is also the Digital and Audience Engagement Editor for Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation. Before coming to Brandeis, she worked for the New York Times, Axios and the Los Angeles Times, and taught at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California.

In an interview with e Brandeis Hoot, Lacy shared her experience in the eld of journalism and o ered some suggestions to e Hoot.

This is your rst semester at Brandeis. Why did you decide to come here?

I had just moved to Boston and I was just looking for a place to teach. I wanted to kind of teach at a place where I knew it would be really small-knit and just really supportive of the work that I do. I found Brandeis and I really enjoyed the faculty here and the resources. I thought it would be a great opportunity.

How does the journalism program at Brandeis di er from

other institutions you have taught or worked at?

I think that a lot of the places I’ve taught at have had a journalism major. is is the rst place I’ve come that has the minor, but I think the minor is really strong here. What I really like is that there are so many di erent types of courses here. I think usually you don’t nd that in small places, but here there are so many really great courses and really great professors. Brandeis does a really great job in cultivating an engaging journalism program. Compared to other larger institutions, I think the biggest di erence is that a lot of students here may not necessarily want to go into journalism, but they are really interested in journalism. So I think that’s always really great—to have students who can use these skills, even if they are not going into journalism.

As an expert on social media, do you have any comments on the future of paper media?

I think it’s not going to exist. In a long time. I think it will be a little bit [longer], but I do think that we are moving into a place where there is not going to be a lot of print media. I think there will still be a few places, like e New York Times, for example, [to be printing]. We’ll still print for a really long time. Also, we will still see a lot of magazines in print,

like e New Yorker and Vogue. But I think that a lot of the smaller media companies will maybe stop printing just because it may not be nancially feasible anymore.

In your opinion, what is the biggest revolution of the development of social media in recent years? How have you worked to address the change?

Wow, that’s a big question. I think the biggest thing is just this idea of aggregating content. For so long you kind of had to read a bunch of di erent places to nd the news, but now being able to have Apple News, for example, where everyone can go to one place and read a bunch of di erent stories, has helped people read more because they can nd everything in one place. Also, I think the ability to connect with people on social media has been [having] a really big impact.

Do you have any comments for The Hoot’s social media page?

I have seen your website before. I really like the website. One great thing about it is that you all have really great photos at the top and a lot of really di erent topics. I also really like the submissions that you have. I think that the idea of community-centered journalism and hearing from people is really important.

I’m looking at your Instagram account right now. I think it looks

really great. I love how its look and feel are kind of the same across all of it. e branding looks really great and looks really neat and professional. I think it’s a great way to share the news in a way that is really positive for people.

Do you have any suggestions for us?

I think the biggest thing is maybe just to switch it up a little bit. Post more photos without text, like galleries you could do of … an event on campus. Sharing more moments like that could be a really great way to do things. Even Instagram started o as a photo platform, so people still want a little bit of photography. And then also experimenting with more video content. Reels are really big right now.

As a woman of color, have you had any challenges working in the journalism eld?

Yes, I think one big thing about journalism is that it’s not as diverse as it should be. ere weren’t a lot of women of color working in journalism, so I think the biggest challenge has been nding people who look like me in the industry.

at is also why for me it has been really important to do things to help get more women of color in the industry and more people from marginalized backgrounds, so that the industry can be more

diverse, which helps us tell stories better and really reach di erent communities.

Can you introduce the class that you will be teaching next semester?

I’ll be teaching a class called Reporting on Diverse Communities. In this class, we’ll be looking at communities that maybe have not been served well by the media, and guring out the best ways you can reach them. We will be looking at the platforms that these communities are on, and thinking about how we write stories and how we can make sure that our reporting is inclusive. It is exactly similar to the idea of getting minorities in the journalism eld. I think even for people who may not come from these communities, it’s important that they learn how to cover communities that are not like them. And I think that’s really important for anyone to learn how to cover people who are di erent than you.

FEATURES October 14, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot 9
PHOTO FROM TWITTER COM

Interviews with Brandeis University’s academic leadership: the South Asian Studies program

e chair of Brandeis University’s South Asian Studies program, Professor Brian Horton, sat down for an interview with e Brandeis Hoot to shed a little light on the program, its future and himself. is interview is part of a series of interviews with the chairs of a plethora of di erent academic departments and programs at Brandeis.

Editor’s Note: This interview was recorded during the 2022 spring semester. Professor Ulka Anjaria is the current chair of the South Asian Studies Program, and Professor Brian Horton is on leave.

Why did you choose to come

students grapple with the kind of long standing history of the region, particularly through thinking about the case of India and Pakistan. I think that the program also really prioritizes our minors. We’re, I like to say, a small but mighty program. We have a handful of minors and a handful of faculty, but in that there’s also the opportunity for minors to get more face time with faculty, [and] for minors to collectivize among themselves and develop an atmosphere that is both intellectual and social. We have dinners [and] small events for our minors. So the students really get attention in a way that I don’t think they would necessarily get if they were in a signi cantly larger program.

Is there anything that you think that the South Asian Stud-

just because of the particular arrangement of things in my own sort of trajectory at Brandeis. I would say, so far, my favorite course to teach is probably my introduction to anthropology seminar, which I’ve taught twice now. I really enjoy that seminar because it’s a way for me to introduce students to the language versus the languages of theory, of color, of critique, of anthropology and of Black feminism. We read a range of scholarship that’s all principally organized around gender and sexuality, in particular non-normative gender and sexuality. I think that the class is fun in part because the material’s really exciting to me, but also [because] the students who end up taking that class are students for one reason or another who have [a] personal investment more o en than not in the subject matter. And I think that there’s something really powerful about teaching people content that will help them translate things in their lives if they don’t yet have a language for articulating. And so there’s, I really enjoy that class because I think people bring their whole selves into the seminar room, but also are really trying to think with, and mind through the readings to gure out what can be helpful and illuminating for them and their lives outside of the text and outside of the classroom.

The South Asian Studies program’s website says that “South Asia includes the modern nations of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and in certain contexts Afghanistan, Maldives, Myanmar, and Tibet.” Why are some countries only considered part of South Asia in certain contexts?

the sort of orbit of China, which is an East Asian country, right? at language is put onto the website to acknowledge that there are interwoven histories mapped into the region and to also kind of point out the fact that the map, as a unit for representing culture, is a provisional tool. Maps can only take us so far. You look at that region, the Northeast region [of South Asia] where you have places like Nepal and Tibet buttressed against China. ere are so many interwoven and complicated histories that span back millennia, in some cases, that names like East Asian Studies or South Asian Studies or Southeast Asian studies can only take us so far in touching even the surface of some of those histories.

How do Brandeis-India Fellows typically spend their time in India?

I should add that this is my rst year in the chairship, so I’m currently in the process of doing this now. From what I understand, it is a range of di erent opportunities that Brandeis students pursue.

the intersections of queer studies, critical theory, popular culture, digital anthropology, and South Asian studies.” How do all of those topics intersect?

to Brandeis?

e easy answer is that it wasn’t really a choice. I was a grad student on the job market and there were not a lot of jobs. But in all seriousness, I think the reason I came was because the campus seemed like a really good mix of things that spoke to me. I really liked the intellectual rigor that classes seemed to have and departments seemed to have. I like that Brandeis is an R1 institution that really prioritizes research and really cares about scholarly productivity, but also is equally invested in students and teaching and retaining faculty who can do exciting cutting edge scholarship but also translate that into opportunities for student engagement and student learning.

What do you think the South Asian Studies program does right?

I think that the program offers really [wonderful] handson opportunities for students to think critically about the region of South Asia, but also to think more broadly about South Asia’s place in the world. So we o er really great courses like SAS 100A: India and Pakistan: Understanding South Asia, which really lets

ies program could do better?

Absolutely. I think that region is one of the things that we are still not doing great at. If you look at the faculty that are currently on sta , all of us are specialists in India. We don’t have a specialist who is in another country in South Asia, such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka or Nepal. at’s not to say that the faculty that we have currently on sta can’t teach those regions, but it would also be nice to have a scholar whose primary specialty is a country outside of India. I think that that’s one area where, as chair, I’ve been trying to push either in terms of growing the program or in terms of more on-campus opportunities and programming for students.

So a plug is that we are in the process of trying to bring a potential visiting scholar to campus next year who specializes in a region outside of India to teach classes and be a part of the intellectual life of Brandeis.

What is your favorite course to teach?

at’s kind of an unfair question because I’m here to talk to you about South Asian Studies, but I actually haven’t gotten to teach a South Asian Studies course yet

at’s a question that is less about Brandeis and more about a shi ing geopolitical context. Depending on the university that you’re at, sometimes some of those countries are in Asian Studies, … sometimes those countries are in the Middle East in Middle Eastern Studies programs. … So, sometimes Afghanistan may feature in Near Eastern and Islamic studies, for instance. … e borders of some of those places are contested, right? Tibet is, as I understand, not necessarily recognized as an independent country, right? So how can Tibet, which culturally has quite a bit of similarity to regions in India … but it’s considered politically within

So particularly for graduate students, speci cally M.A. and PhD [students], the opportunities tend to be research-based. ey use the funds [from the fellowship] to help pursue their own independent research courses. It may be people who are working on a dissertation or working on a master’s. Sometimes students decide to do an internship or volunteer or work for an organization or do an internship with a think tank or a business or the government. Sometimes it can be language acquisition. Because we are not big enough to host our own language programs speci cally, which is a request that students o en have of us, to go back to your previous question [that is another] sort of challenge the program faces. … So sometimes students will use the money to go study an Indian language, either in India or elsewhere. ere are great programs that are run in the summer. … e challenge is that in the time I’ve been at Brandeis, which has been since Fall 2019, India has been relatively shut o to pretty much everything because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’ll be interesting to see what kinds of things people decide to start doing this year.

Your bio on Brandeis’ website mentions that you are a “a cultural anthropologist working at

ey intersect for me through the projects that I am working on. So the book I’m currently working on is based on my dissertation, it’s about spaces of sort of touch and intimacy that trans folks in Bombay are organizing outside of law and medicine. So I’m looking at things like nightlife, for instance, it’s a way to think about how the world that is built in India today beyond the courtroom or the doctor’s o ce or activist protest. So what does it mean to think of the kind of embodied pleasures of a club, a party, or a virtual space? Lots of folks are on mobile apps like Grindr to nd connection and nd intimacy. My second book project is sort of broadly building on the rst, in some ways, but thinking about recent waves of migration from the continent of Africa to India. So thinking about what we would call these Global South to south migration, and thinking about the ways that the experiences that Black folks in India have, are really complicated. inking about how race and racism in particular also travels. So one of the things I’m really interested in is popular culture and the ways that popular culture becomes a frame of reference for people to cite, whether it’s people citing their own queerness and nding space for it in the broader sort of cultural media. … In my second book project, I’m thinking about what it means that Bollywood has a history of using anti-Black imagery, such as blackface to communicate particular ideas about Black people, in particular Black people who are living in India. Even though those seem really disparate, they’re asking very similar questions. A lot of my work is organized around how people make sense of living in a world where there’s a kind of constant push and pull between pleasure and violence. What does it mean to try to build a life, a life that’s not just about survival, but about thriving and about enjoyment, about pleasure in a world where there’s a constant risk of violence or violation? I think that those things are deeply connected for me, even though they’re quite di erent and quite distinct projects.

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Brandeis’ academic calendar has a unique designation for “Brandeis Days” a few times each semester. On these days, Brandeis follows a di erent weekday class schedule. is past week, we had the Oct. 13 Brandeis Monday and followed a Monday schedule on ursday. Brandeis Days are—at best—inconvenient. You have to alter your sleep schedule, rearrange dinner plans and show up a few minutes late to a club meeting. At worst, you have an 8 a.m. again, you’re double-booked during a club e-board meeting and you don’t have time to eat in the frenzy of the changed schedule. And, worst of all, some students even forget about the day and go to the wrong classes, wake up at 8 a.m. when their rst class isn’t until 11 a.m., and totally lose their footing on the linear ow of time. Even better, is when professors forget what days are Brandeis Days. Having to remind your professor that you have a class when you really shouldn’t have a class that day makes you that kid.

feel o -kilter for a couple weeks. is week, if you have a class on Tuesday and ursday, you’ll only meet twice over the next two weeks. You meet this Tuesday, Oct. 11, but ursday, Oct. 13 follows a Monday schedule so you can’t attend the class then. Are you following along?

Ayash,

Brandeis Days are used by the university’s administration to make up for lost time: when we have several days o that fall on Mondays we get a Brandeis Monday to compensate and ensure that students get enough class time. However, this schedule change means that other classes

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Next Tuesday, Oct. 18 is a Brandeis Monday which means that the class won’t meet again until ursday, Oct. 20. In this case, Brandeis Days—which are intended to make up for lost Mondays—just shi the burden to Tuesday and ursday classes. ink about how this a ects classes that only meet on either Tuesday or ursday. Some of our classes are divided into sections so you don’t attend two lectures a week and instead only one depending on the day you are assigned. Or how the lab days get messed up as a result of this. Even if overall class time is evened out across all weekdays now, Brandeis Days cause unnecessary change and needless stress for students and faculty alike who must recon gure their schedules to accommodate the administration’s attempt at improving the academic calendar. Brandeis community members’ schedules are already full enough as is, so the Brandeis Day disruptor can be a lot for students to handle. ese schedule changes are stressful, hard to understand

and should be easily done away with. Causing further schedule disruption in the name of equalizing Brandeisians’ schedules is ultimately unnecessary. And yet Brandeis Days are part of the culture of the campus; they’re something we all collectively hate—students, faculty and sta alike. at may be the one positive of Brandeis Days—it is something we can collectively sigh over. ere’s nothing like explaining the logic of Brandeis Days to a rstyear for the rst time and watching their face contort in confusion. It's almost like a right of passage. e reasons behind Brandeis Days are important. It provides students observing holidays to not have to worry about the additional stress of school as they celebrate—a luxury not provided at every school. It also makes up for lost class time for professors whose classes are on Mondays. Most universities have fall breaks—where the institution closes for an entire week to provide a break to their community memebrs—but the full week o does not provide the same relief as having one day o a week. e spacing out of breaks eases some of the burden of work on a daily basis, which is helpful. It is when we start calling ursdays “Mondays” that the real problem arises.

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Biden’s pardon gives some hope for expungement

Last week President Biden issued a proclamation granting pardons to those imprisoned for marijuana possession under federal law or in D.C. In his statement, President Biden urged the states to follow suit, a unique turn in the nearly 50-year-long American war on drugs. But, despite Biden’s call to action, states will continue to prosecute individuals for simple marijuana possession. In his press announcement, Biden explained how the criminalization of marijuana has negatively impacted Black and brown Americans at a higher rate than white Americans, despite the fact that across races marijuana is used at a similar rate.

Although his “pardon” won’t

actually reduce the United States’ startlingly high prison population, and will likely only expunge the records of 6,500 individuals, it still matters. Finally, the federal government is responding to the issue that it created and that has torn communities apart and perpetuated the pipeline to prison.

e war on drugs is a piece of the puzzle creating the new Jim Crow, along with disenfranchisement, over-policing, anti-Black bias in the judicial system, redlining and more. is was a purposeful political move. Richard Nixon’s domestic policy advisor shared this fact in an interview in 1994, stating “we knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the [Vietnam] war or blacks, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin and then criminalizing them both heavily, we could

disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night a er night in the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Although Biden seemingly could do more, it’s important to celebrate the wins where we get them. 19 states have legalized recreational marijuana and 37 states allow medical marijuana use, but despite this, it is likely that over 40,000 people are imprisoned in the U.S. on marijuana charges. Even in states where recreational marijuana is legalized, there are numerous roadblocks in the way of people’s previous marijuana charges being expunged. Individuals have to petition for expungement, which can be legally denied even in the case of marijuana. According to numbers from the

Massachusetts Probation Service, in the past year 73% of expungement requests were denied, meaning if someone is able to nd the time to request expungement, it isn’t even likely that it will be granted. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker made it clear that he will not be issuing his own pardons for previous marijuana o enses, explaining that “Massachusetts has passed an expungement law for anybody convicted of simple possession of marijuana back in 2018,” ignoring the fact that the process for expungement is di cult and riddled with bias just like the rest of the justice system. Current gubernatorial candidates Maura Healey and Geo Diehl are split on the issue, with Healey claiming she would pardon past convictions if elected and Diehl saying he wouldn’t.

With Biden’s pardon also came

his stressing the potential reclassi cation of marijuana which is currently classi ed as a schedule one drug which is de ned as a substance with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Schedule one drugs include heroin, ecstasy and peyote, and are considered more dangerous and addictive than methamphetamine, oxycodone and fentanyl, which are all Schedule II drugs.

As someone who believes the criminalization of the use of any drug is harmful and unnecessary, Biden’s proclamation gives me a little bit of hope. e war on drugs isn’t over and likely won’t be for a very long time, but there is some work being done to slow its negative e ects.

The Year of Climate Action Column:

An introduction to the YOCA column

is week, e Hoot is launching a new weekly column in its opinions section: e Year of Climate Action Column. is column is a way to showcase people who work on climate solutions,

climate-related opinion pieces from people across campus, and anything else that’s related to Brandeis’ Year of Climate Action. is week, I’ve written an article about “forever chemicals” in our rainwater. In the future, I’d love to receive submissions from Brandeis community members (faculty, students, or whoever else happens to be reading this)

like you. Whether you’d like to plug one of your Year of Climate Action-funded events, give your opinions on the Year of Climate Action, or write about a Year of Climate Action event you attended, this Hoot column is for you. You can also write more generally about climate change, too. If you have any ideas for or contributions to this column please

get in touch with me at coopergottfried@brandeis.edu or come to our production nights ( ursdays from 6 p.m. to midnight).

I created the YOCA Column to give the Brandeis community an opportunity to voice their thoughts on the Year of Climate Action (and climate change in general), so please reach out. I’d love to hear from you and give

you a chance to speak your mind on this incredibly important issue.

Special thanks to Professor Sally Warner for her help with the creation of the YOCA Column.

Don’t drink the water if you can’t see through it

You know rainwater? e stu that falls from the sky? Provides life to all living things and sustains the world as we know it?

It’s poisonous. ere are per- and poly uoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, in the water. ese chemicals, which make certain products nonstick or stain resistant, have been mostly phased out by the manufacturers but are unbelievably still in production today. is isn’t a local issue, this isn’t a national issue, this is a planetary crisis that we all must reckon with. e researchers who published the study revealing our water’s contamination say that a “planetary boundary has been exceeded.” PFAS present a nova mortis for our collective environmental health: they cause an increased risk of cancer, decreased fertility, liver damage and more. e worst part is how long-lasting PFAS are. ey’re known as

forever chemicals because they’re “among the most persistent chemicals we’ve ever created” as the bonds within them take an immense amount of energy to break.

Actually, I take that back. e worst part is how ubiquitous PFAS are. ey’re in furniture, rugs, textiles, outdoor gear, cardboard, food packaging, drinking water and now… rainwater! is scares me because once a substance enters into the water cycle, it enters everything. Now that PFAS are in the rain, they’re in the oceans, the soil, the food we eat, the air we breathe and inevitably us.

PFAS are a man-made horror completely within our comprehension, and our knowledge makes them all the more horri c. World governments must act now to halt all production of PFAS and clean up the mess that massive, environmentally-cataclysmic conglomerates have created.

e EPA claims to have “accelerated the pace of research and actions needed to tackle the PFAS

crisis and protect American communities,” but will those actions come fast enough? Likely not, as the PFAS in drinking water, soil and food products have likely already begun to a ect the same communities that the EPA is looking to protect. Notably, in 2019, the very same EPA allowed 40 new PFAS to be made despite the myriad well-documented risks associated with the chemicals. One particular PFA, a reactant known as 647-42-7, increased pup mortality and increased adult death rate in highly unethical tests on rats. But, in de ance of all logic and morality, between four and 40 million pounds of this compound were produced by DuPont in 2015 alone. Given their track record on PFAS, I don’t have much faith in the EPA’s claim that they are doing all they can to help Americans. e recent news that PFAS is in our rainwater could give the EPA the jolt they need to create change, but I seriously doubt that.

One solution to the PFAS crisis (yes it’s a crisis), is creating

substitute chemicals and phasing out PFAS for those substitutes.

I have good news: DuPont tried that! ey created GenX as a replacement for PFOA (also known as C8), which was used in the production of Te on until 2013. PFOA increases the risk of cancer, so its successor shouldn’t, right? Wrong! DuPont led more than a dozen reports of “substantial risk of injury to health or the environment,” including causing cancer in highly unethical tests on rats. DuPont will obviously face no consequences for producing these chemicals, poisoning the drinking water of hundreds of thousands of people or for all of the environmental damage that the PFAS they produce have caused and will cause.

To make a dent in the PFAS problem, all PFAS production must be stopped. ere shouldn’t be any compensation for the companies that will forcefully have production stopped; they’ve known about the health risks for decades and have continued pro-

duction in spite of them. Momentous clean-up e orts are needed, possibly with PFAS-eating microbes that found success in Wisconsin, even though PFAS is known to have “poor reversibility” a er initial environmental exposure. Poorer communities must receive help rst because, as with most environmental issues, they are most impacted.

e question that’s on my mind is “what happens now?” PFAS are in insecticides, wildlife, rainwater, me as I’m writing this article and you as you’re reading this article. I think that PFAS poisoning will be our generation’s lead poisoning. Everyone will be a ected, everyone will su er and nobody will receive any punishment for the destruction of an entire generation’s health. I shudder at the thought of a PFAS-contaminated future, and I will continue drinking water exclusively out of my BRITA ltered bottle, for all the good that’ll do me.

OPINIONS October 14, 2022 Th OPINIONS 13
PHOTOS FROM BRANDEIS EDU AND THEBRANDEISHOOT COM, GRAPHIC BY COOPER GOTTFRIED

Brandeis Marks Indigenous People’s Day

2022 marks the 530th year since the landfall of Christopher Columbus and his crew on the island of Hispaniola in 1492, and the subsequent claiming of the island for the Empire of Spain.

For the next ve centuries, the events on this date would be endlessly paraded around as a milestone for the constantly morphing cultural and political needs of the societies which arose in the wake of the imperial scramble to eat up the land now known as “America.”

From the beginning, the story which was ignored or outright attacked was the story of the Indigenous peoples who had resided on this continent for thousands of years before. In recognition of the truly horri c history of Native American brutalization, which spanned the majority of half a millennium, the celebration of “Columbus Day” began to be abandoned in favor of the more inclusive Indigenous Peoples’ Day, something we recently celebrated this past Monday here

at Brandeis.

e event started at noon on the front patio of the Intercultural Center (ICC). While I will say that the ICC was appropriate for this event, it was a little out of the way, to the point that (other than people who live in East Quad) it would be hard to take part in this event. at may have been the intention, however, as the day’s activities were to include both an interactive dance ritual as well as a catered lunch.

To begin the event, guest speaker Jean-Luc Pierite was invited to speak. Pierite is the board president of the North American Indian Center of Boston. He is originally from New Orleans, and a member of the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. Before he was board president North American Indian Center, Pierite was elected to the Community Linguist seat at the Institute on Collaborative Language Research, or “CoLang.”

Pierite was a very captivating speaker for the hour or so in which he talked. He spoke about his previous experience in preserving Native American heritage through projects aimed at revitalization of Native languages,

as well as organizing “teach-ins,” events designed around informing people of facts when it came to the history of Indigenous peoples in America.

His speech touched on a number of topics, ranging from the exploitation of natural resources located on native land (as exacerbated by the Dakota Access Pipeline), to the e orts by various groups to continue the erasure of Indigenous Americans through the minimization of Indigenous Peoples’ Day itself (for example, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu’s declaration of “Italian American Heritage Day” this past weekend).

A piece of the talk struck me. I believe he had been talking about a proposed silica mine in the Black Hills of South Dakota, when he mentioned how the developers of the plan had insisted that the e ect of the mining would be minimal, all of the stripping would occur underground, unseen, unheard. Pollution would be kept to a minimum, historic water rights would be respected. As if this changes the fact of the matter, was his response, that in the end all of these schemes only serve to strip the Earth, our mother, of her plentiful natural resources. At the same time he was saying this, I thought back to an interview I had read with William Shatner last summer, in which he described what he had seen as he was being own out into space on Je Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket: “I saw a cold, dark, black emptiness. It was unlike any blackness you can see or feel on Earth. It was deep, enveloping, all-encompassing. I turned back toward the light of home. I could see the curvature of Earth, the beige of the desert, the white of the clouds and the blue of the

sky. It was life. Nurturing, sustaining, life. Mother Earth. Gaia. And I was leaving her.”

On that note, another thing struck me, as a cloud moved lazily out of the way of the sun; isn’t campus so unbelievably paradisiacal this time of year?

About midway through his time he opened the oor up to questions and comments from the audience. A lot of good dialogue was shared here; notably, a person asked for advice on how to get in contact with other Native groups outside of the Boston area. Pierite took some time to point out that a lot of the best connections are made through rigorous work in both volunteering and outreach, and that a stable foundation of trust would have to be built in order to be in a place where individuals can start making a di erence.

One of the names brought up was the National Congress of American Indians, which is one of the oldest and most widely-respected organizations for the representation of native interests, having been founded in 1944.

ey o er opportunities relating to outreach, which are listed on their website. Another thing Pierite mentioned was the urgent need to contact local as well as federal lawmakers, an essential task for everyone and anyone who views themselves as an ally to the cause of Indigenous rights.

For more details on issues regarding Massachusetts state law, a good resource is the MA Indigenous Legislative Agenda, which can be found at their webpage.

A er the end of the Q&A portion, it then was time for the round dance part of the event. We began with a blessing with a drum led by a native man (who unfor-

The future of the Pokémon series

e rst Pokémon game, originally called “Pocket Monsters,” was released in Japan in 1996. e adventures in the Kanto region were so popular that they came to the United States in August of 1998, and the video game industry has never been the same. e series’ collectathon gameplay has enthralled millions of people around the world, and the games haven’t had to change much to continue being massively popular for over two decades. e rst Pokémon games, “Pokémon Red, Blue and Green,” sold 31.38 million copies and the most recent game, “Pokémon Sword and

Shield,” sold 23.9 million copies as of earlier this year.

But, as the series reaches the legal drinking age in the United States, it’s starting to show its age. As we complete a Soul Link Nuzlocke (soullocke) of “Pokémon Sword and Shield,” it feels like a weathered shell of the games that we both grew up obsessed with.

“Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver” were the rst Pokémon games that we ever played as kids. e nostalgic value that those games alone hold makes among them the best in the series for us. While Johto is regarded as one of the worst Pokémon regions by many fans, nothing compares to when Professor Elm o ers you the choice between Cyndaquil, Chikorita and Totodile in our minds.

Catching a legendary Pokémon

was not only exciting, but meant that you could brag to your friends about your accomplishments. is was the golden era of Pokémon for us: “HeartGold and SoulSilver,” “Diamond and Pearl” and “Black and White” were (in our opinions) the greatest Pokémon games ever made.

ey featured beautiful artwork, unique legendaries that felt exciting to capture, and plots that didn’t make you feel like an infant child being read a nonsensical bedtime story.

GameFreak, the company behind Pokémon, continued to publish these games to massive commercial success. But newer games, particularly “Pokémon Sword and Shield,” have felt hollow when compared to the childhood-de ning experiences that

generation 4 and 5 were (“Brilliant Diamond” and “Shining Pearl” don’t count as new games in our eyes, as they’re just republished versions of the same game).

at said, the same old formula of battling your way through an evil organization, defeating eight gym leaders, catching a legendary Pokémon and ghting for the title of Pokémon champion is still in place, but this Pokémon game feels empty.

e drastically lower di culty of “Sword and Shield” is apparent from your rst Pokémon battle. Hop, your rival, chooses a starter that’s weak to whichever one you choose. In most every other Pokémon game your rival chooses a Pokémon that your starter will be weak to, as this adds a sense of challenge to the game and gives rival battles some semblance of di culty. But “Sword and Shield” chooses to make the trainer you ght most frequently a weakling when compared to past games’ rivals.

e story of “Sword and Shield” was clearly phoned in, too. A er obtaining your starter, you get approached by a funny dog in the woods and then go ght several gym leaders while passing through progressively worse-designed puzzles to reach them.

en, you ght an evil oil tycoon and the funny dogs help you kill an energy dragon before you inevitably become the champion. We may have glossed over a few points, but that’s a relatively complete synopsis of this multi-million-dollar budget game made by a AAA franchise.

tunately I wasn’t able to catch the name of), who made a sacri ce of tobacco over the drum’s face. We then went into the round dance. e dance consisted of two concentric circles made out of people holding hands. We moved in a circle, and over time the inner circle connected to the larger outside circle, and the two circles switched places. We were told that in doing this we were replicating the life cycle of a snake. is continued until we ended up in the places we had been when we had started.

A er the short dance, we headed inside the ICC for the lunch which was provided for us. I thought this was actually one of the highlights of the whole event; the food was actually really delicious. e meal included lima beans, chickpeas, roasted squash, cranberry sauce, cornbread and stu ed baked onions. What I considered to be the best part of the whole thing was that the entire meal was completely vegetarian, which really helped justify the amount of it that I was putting into my body.

I think that, going into the future, the Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebration here at Brandeis was very worthwhile. It might be a good idea to try and change the location, or have it be on two days, like last year. However, in total, I will certainly be planning on attending next year’s celebration as well.

Pokémon in this generation are, in general, very crudely designed. e two legendaries are just red and blue dogs that hold di erent things in their mouths. at is not innovation. ere are exceptions, like the apple-mythical-beat-hybrid Flapple or the extremely punny Polteageist, but the majority of Pokémon in this game are extremely sophomoric. ere are four Pokémon with the same exact model but di erent coats of paint. Grubbin, Snom, Pinurchin and Pyukumuku look like the artists had a deadline at midnight and started work at 11:55. So many of the designs in this game seem to have been designed carelessly, and it makes the process of catching new Pokémon so much less satisfying. Players want something new when they go to a new route or a new section of the wild area, not a Grubbin clone.

For the new game, “Pokémon Scarlet and Violet,” we have high hopes. It’s an open-world game with three di erent story paths, four-player multiplayer and the ability to give your Pokémon another type.

If all of these things are included, “Scarlet and Violet” is shaping up to be the most innovative Pokémon game in decades. at’s not really saying much, but we’re both very excited to see what GameFreak has been cooking up. A return to form, and games that are passionately cra ed, is what the Pokémon community truly wants. We can only hope that we don’t get another lazy re-release of past games with a new coat of paint.

OPINIONS 14 The Brandeis Hoot October 14, 2022
PHOTO FROM POKEMON COM PHOTO FROM TEACHHUB COM

Here I am again, e Hoot’s resident farm boy apparently. Here for another installment on what farm equipment I use and how I rate it. When I had last asked our fearless leader of free thought and expressions (also known as our Opinions editor) about what tool I should cover next, what came out of his mouth was NOT surprising. He had suggested I write about the importance of a good hoe on the farm.

What a child he is; at least he makes up for his naivety with his charming nature and good looks. A hoe is nothing to joke about with a farm boy I should have you all know! First, you have to nd the right one for you. Some are kinkier than others at the end which can greatly contribute to how they turn your soil. Some have thicker sha s than others and require gloves if you are going to use it for some tough and sweaty work. To quote my great grandfather who told my youthful grandfather at the time, Cyrenius (that is not a joke—that is his actual name), “you gotta wrap it before you tap it young one.”

But I cannot allow myself to stoop to the level of our Opinions editor and validate his childish nature. Once he gets some dirt under his nails I will then embellish his primordial brain with simple jokes about hoes. But until then forget him!

The value of a good farm dog

Forget his pretty face and forget his luscious hair! is is my article so I am going to determine what I want in it. So, with that being said I think it would only be tting to discuss what makes a good farm dog and the ways in which the crackhead I live with that walks on four legs falls short.

To de ne the ideal farm dog is to envision a perfect worker. A good farm dog has no fear! He is willing to confront animals that are magnitudes in size larger than he is but look them right in the eyes and say, “I am the captain now!” A good farm dog hears every command and then executes them to perfection! e dog never questions what the command is that is being called but instead runs into the eld and does exactly what was told. en, what really seals the deal for a not-just-goodbut-great, and dare I say perfect, farm dog is if they are a good family dog. We can all imagine what the ideal family dog looks like, but for a farm dog, the job of being a good family dog is harder. A er a long day of running around and chasing sometimes unmoving and unwilling cattle, the dog has to still be excited to see the family, play with the kids and not get snappy.

To nd the perfect farm dog in a lot of ways is like winning the lottery but when you nd the one everything falls into place. But sometimes you will wind up with a dog like mine—Scout. Scout is NOT the perfect farm dog. Scout does not fear anything and by that I actually mean that he has super irrational fears. For

instance, Scout is scared of water. Imagine that! A dog who is bred to be a water dog, a powerful swimmer and good in cold water, hates water with a passion. Does he drink water? Yes. Does he actively run away from the hose when it is turned on? Yes. Does he hate swimming? Yes. Scout has many fears but certainly being afraid of water limits his ability.

“Is Scout good at taking commands?” is most likely what you are wondering next if you read the previously listed criteria. Yes! Scout is really good at taking commands especially if you dene being “good at taking commands” as actively not listening to commands in his old age. Scout

has convinced my family that he is deaf but I know that scheming dog better than anyone. I think he has nally found a way to outsmart my family by playing up his old age. Scout uses the senile old dog card to get out of doing pretty much all of his commands nowadays. So, no, Scout is not good at that.

But is Scout a good family dog? Yes, and by this I actually mean yes. Being a part of Scout’s life has been one of my greatest honors. is dog when he was a puppy always wanted a part of the action when it came to a ection. If my parents were hugging he would run between their legs and rub his head into their knees

to ask for his own hugs. If I even sat on the oor for a moment he would jump into my legs and curl up into a ball, making it impossible for me to move as he would gently fall asleep and force me to remain on the oor for longer (making JLo and Pitbull proud). But when really determining what makes a good farm dog it is the last category that really matters. Because what it all comes down to, regardless of how hard-working the dog is, is if they make you happy. If just by being with you they lighten your day, then they are doing their job and putting in overtime without you even seeing it.

Why are Americans so obsessed with boba?

I went to a Mid-Autumn Festival event that was hosted by some Asian cultural clubs this semester. eir yers were all around campus, saying there would be games, moon cakes and boba provided. I came in 15 minutes a er the event started, and I realized the boba was already gone. Most people who came did not stay for the games or moon cake making. ey just le directly a er grabbing a cup of boba. I did not stay either a er realiz-

ing there was no food and drink le . On my way walking to Sherman, I saw my friend who was walking towards where the event was held. “ ere’s no boba le ,” I told her. She sighed loudly and turned back in the direction of her dorm. I was sure that even the ant passing by could hear her disappointment in the sigh. is event was not the only one that had the boba run out quickly. According to my observation, if you want to grab a cup of boba at a club event, you have to come at least within the rst 10 minutes a er it starts. For some larg-

er events, there could be even a line for food and drink before the door opens.

I do not understand why boba suddenly became so popular in America. Originating from Taiwan, boba used to be a drink that was exclusively popular among East Asians. I went to a boarding high school in Maryland. I remember how my Chinese friends and I complained about how much we missed home because we could only get authentic boba in China. In my senior year of high school, a Kung Fu Tea opened in the plaza 10 minutes away from my school. I remember the excite-

ment we all had when we heard this news. Even though Kung Fu Tea was considered the “Americanized” boba place (based on the hard-to-adjust sweetness of their drinks and we do not have this brand in China), it was still primarily Asian faces that showed up in the shop. en COVID-19 happened and I went back home for a year and a half. When I came back to the US for college, I was very surprised that so many boba shops had opened and the consumers shi ed from primarily Asians to the entire Gen Z population. Not to mention bigger cities with

multiple chain stores that originated from Taiwan or Mainland China, even in a small town like Waltham, there are three to four di erent boba shops to choose from. e price of boba also rose a lot. ree years ago, a boba was about the same price as a grande Starbucks drink. ree years later, a medium cup of boba could be as much as six to eight dollars depending on what toppings you add. As the North American boba market grew, the variety of boba expanded from the most basic milk tea to fruit tea, milk cap and slushie. Besides the regular brown sugar boba, multiple toppings like aloe, pudding, or even di erent types of fruit boba can be added to the drink. It is the consumer who has to pay the price of the rapid evolution of this drink. My favorite moment is when the sta at the boba shop hand over a fresh-made drink to me. e boba at the bottom is still hot, but the ice milk tea cools down the temperature of my palm. e sound of the straw poking through the plastic lid is music to my ears. With everything being said, it is still unable to nd a solid reason why boba suddenly dominated the whole American youth population. Well, consuming sugar can bring people happiness, and boba is sweet. No matter where you are from, you always want happiness, don’t you?

October 14, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot OPINIONS 15
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Hurricane Ian: A timeline from Naples, Florida

On Wednesday, Sept. 28, Hurricane Ian hit southwest Florida. I am from Naples, Florida, though I was fortunate enough to be on Brandeis campus when the storm made landfall. Hurricane Ian was forecast to curve northwards and make landfall around Tampa Bay, but instead, the storm moved south towards Fort Myers, Naples and the surrounding areas. I spoke with my parents to get an account of what happened during the unprecedented storm, one of the strongest on record for Florida.

Tuesday, Sept. 27

e storm was so large that, on Tuesday, when it was still 300 miles out from shore, there was already wind and rain that got progressively more and more intense. By the evening, my family started receiving tornado alerts on their phones.

Wednesday, Sept. 28

Wednesday morning: Over the preceding hours, there were continuous strong winds, loud like a train roaring past, which made the hurricane shutters vibrate against the windows. e wind was accompanied by bursts of rain. Despite all of this, various birds—doves, ibises—were still seen ying in the sky.

Around 10:30-11 a.m.: e lights were ickering and then the power went o is was the

indication that Hurricane Ian had come on shore. Within a few hours, the swimming pool had turned a dark, swampy green, full of rain and leaves and debris. At this point, there was no phone service or access to the news. A few text messages were received sporadically, though it was dicult to send text messages.

Around 3:45 p.m.: e house’s courtyard began to ll with oodwater, reaching the thresholds of doors. One of the windows facing the courtyard had not been boarded up with shutters, which o ered the view of the water level slowly increasing. My father and mother placed towels down at the base of the doors to prevent the water from seeping in.

At this point, my sister went to her bedroom to pick up things that she had on the oor and found herself ankle-deep in water in her bedroom (around ve inches), with water in her closet. My father did not know where the water was coming from—he thought it may have been coming from the bathroom—and went to the garage to get a toolbox to shut o the water in the bathroom. As he opened the door between the laundry room and garage, water came rushing in: Floodwaters, now three feet high, had been forced into the garage under high pressure, li ing the trashcans and pushing them around inside. My dad slammed the laundry room door shut, locking it, and started placing towels on the oor in

the laundry room as a barrier. My father, mother and sister carried everything possible—the bed, clothes, books—out of my sister’s bedroom.

4 p.m.: High tide for the day.

is meant that the worst of the storm surge would arrive. A storm surge occurs when the winds from the hurricane force seawater inland. In this case, some of the storm surge water came from Tampa Bay, which was drained in some parts all the way down to the sea oor.

e reason my sister’s bedroom had already gained water before my father opened the laundry room door is because her closet wall backs up onto the garage wall. Water had seeped in through the shared wall and was coming into her bedroom through the closet. e water smelled like sewage—“horrible water”—and had picked up random debris along the way.

Around 4:10 p.m.: ere was around two feet of water in the courtyard when the water suddenly began to recede. If the water had continued to increase, my family would have had to try to move to a high location. e saying to keep in mind during a hurricane is to “hide from the wind, run from the water.” What is important to know is that as all of this was taking place, no one in my family knew what was happening outside the walls of their courtyard home. Without an internet connection, they did not

know that their neighborhood was four feet deep in water or that the road that runs along the front of their neighborhood had become a deep and strong- owing river. I knew more about what was going on than my family did; they did not realize the extent of the damage in Florida until much later.

A er 5 p.m.: e storm was so strong that the wind and rain continued past 6 p.m. despite predictions that the storm would let up sooner, and it continued on through the night.

Thursday, Sept. 29 ursday morning: My dad went outside—“it was possible to see how high the water had been from the debris sticking to the sides of walls and trees.” Coast guard airplanes and police helicopters were ying overhead helping and assessing the damage. Our house is at around 11 feet of elevation from sea level, and it ultimately received around two feet of storm surge, so there must have been around 12 to 13 feet of total storm surge in our neighborhood.

(Note: I saw a video online of the garage for the condo building across the road from our neighborhood ooded by eight to nine feet of water, and a restaurant a ve-minute drive away submerged up to its roof. One of our neighbors sent a video of what the neighborhood looked like as the water started to recede, and the road looked like a river.) My family walked outside and

It’s 2022, tipping is compulsory

If you don’t tip 20% every time you go out to a restaurant, you can’t be my friend. A er working in restaurants for a year and a half now, it’s surprising how many people don’t know that servers don’t make a normal wage— there’s a normal minimum and a tipped minimum wage. In Massachusetts, tipped minimum wage is $6.15 per hour while the regular minimum wage is over twice that at $14.25 per hour. ere’s a wage expectation of tipping for those who are “tipped employees,” so that their employers don’t have to pay them a livable wage for their labor. If you don’t tip 20% you’re depriving servers and the other tipped employees they tip out—

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bussers, food runners, bartenders, barbacks, etc.—of a livable wage. Some people respond to this fact by telling service workers to simply get a di erent, better paying and more stable job. is argument is the stupidest thing to say to wage employees who work for your bene t every time they clock in. To those who argue servers should just quit and get a di erent job, who will serve you then? Who will you cut o when they’re asking you how your day has been with a quick “Diet Coke?” Who will speed walk around a tiny restaurant dodging your unruly children and dealing with overbearing management and fake laugh at your jokes just convincingly enough that you think you’re funny? Telling people that their job is the reason they don’t deserve to earn a livable wage is essentially telling people

that some people are worth less than others in our capitalist society, when without hourly employees everything would shut down.

I also hate when people who poorly tip say that it isn’t their responsibility to pay their servers said livable wage. If anything, it’s worse than the ignorant ones because these people know there is a fundamental problem in the payment of servers. Sure, it isn’t necessarily your responsibility, but if no one is picking up the—tiny and expected—slack, many people will become even more impoverished than they already are. If you have the money to go out to eat at a nice sit-down restaurant and rack up a $200-plus bill, you have no excuse to not tip 20%.

Every time I go out I overcompensate for all the people I know tip awfully by being bad at math! Being bad at math makes it easy

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found the oddest assortment of items strewn about, including a piano bench, car seat booster, bicycle rack and a dead eel.

ursday a ernoon: My family drove to Miami. By this point, the house still had no power and— very crucially in Florida—no air conditioning. e area was also under a “boil water” notice, which meant that the water was unsafe to drink. Some of the major tree debris had been cleared during the morning, allowing cars to leave the neighborhood. On the I-75 highway, road tolls had been suspended. As my family drove to Miami, they saw more than 50 ambulances driving towards the Fort Myers area to pick up patients. Many excavator and electric repair trucks were also coming in—Florida Power and Light had staged hundreds of their emergency vehicles at the fairground, waiting until the winds were less than 45 miles per hour to dispatch them. Both of my parents said how amazing it was to see everyone to help.

Final Notes

My family is now safe and back in Naples. Although parts of our home had a lot of oodwater damage and still need to be repaired, parts of the house are still livable. ey were very lucky— with many others it was much, much worse.

because you can just sorta think about what 20, 25 or 30% is and round up if you don’t want to deal with decimals. e people who go out of their way to tip a perfect 10% are actually sociopaths and I am not afraid to say it.

e number of tables I have who tell me I’m such a great server and I’m so sweet and kind and bubbly and e cient but tip me anything less than what’s expected is a surprisingly high amount. Compliment tipping is a phenomenon that I have learned to hate more than mean tables. Be mean to me but tip me well before you’re nice and tip like shit.

Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of xenophobia in the restaurant industry because of people who are from places where tipping really is optional and only for the most stellar service. is xenophobia I’ve witnessed a lot of, with my

coworkers saying “oh they’re *insert literally any race, ethnicity or nationality here* they won’t tip.” Weirdly though, Americans are the worst because they know tipping is necessary but o en still don’t tip the expected amount. I have never had a bad server, and even if I did I’d understand that working is hard and working with the public is exceptionally exhausting. Unless a server verbally harassed me and intentionally got me food that had my food allergen in it, I will still tip 20%. Work in the industry and you’ll see, you’ll be humbled quickly. So please, if you don’t tip correctly and fairly, don’t go out and don’t talk to me.

OPINIONS 16 The Brandeis Hoot October 14, 2022
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‘ e Great British Bake

O ’ series 13 episode 3: (Anything but) Bread Week

Ask any baker who’s been in the Bake O tent, and they all say the same thing: Bread Week is terrifying. Paul Hollywood is the undisputed Bread King of the UK. e Lord of Loaves, the Despot of Dough, the Baron of Brea—ok, I’ll stop now. But hey, my jokes are still better than what Noel and Matt have been coming up with recently. I am, however, molli ed by the fact that Noel’s sweater is absolutely phenomenal. Noel Sweater Watch is becoming a highlight of my week.

As the bakers march into the tent, we are informed that Rebs and Abdul are both out sick. A clever move from both of them, dodging one of the scariest and most taxing weeks, and in the case of Rebs, no doubt dodging elimination. From this moment on, it is eminently obvious that nobody will be going home this week (every time someone has been out sick with intent to return, it’s been a non-elimination week). But production has already invested in this episode, so the cameras roll and bread is baked.

Or is it? For Bread Week, this episode was sorely lacking in bread. e signature bake is pizza. Pizza has been done before on Bake O , in Italian Week (on a side note, Bread Week has clearly been on an Italian kick recently— last year we had focaccia and ciabatta breadsticks), and yes, pizza is technically a bread dough, but it’s not enough. I want doughy drama! I want Paul Hollywood poking and prodding at underbaked loaves! I don’t want the judges to be focusing more on the pizza toppings (which require no baking) than the bread dough itself!

Alas, the Bake O production team ignores my wishes and we plow on with the pizzas anyway. Syabira gets o to a rough start, having to remake her beet sourdough starter. Luckily, she makes it out the other side okay, with an absolutely delicious Malaysian prawn pizza. James risks

controversy with pineapple on pizza (with pancetta for a “modern” touch). Sandro is going for pineapple too, on a heart shaped pizza “to add some love to it.” In case it wasn’t clear before, I LOVE SANDRO. e fruity avors continue with Kevin’s “bring me some ggy pizza” which has, you guessed it, gs. “Figs have the Prue approval,” he says conspiratorially to the camera. “A-Prue-val.” Ba-dumtss. Meanwhile, Janusz is putting a whole fried egg on the center of his pizza. As a great lover of fried eggs, I approve. During judging, most people do an acceptable but not phenomenal job, with the exception of Sandro, whose pizza is deemed “ingenious,” and Carole, whose gruyere, pancetta and potato pizza is an absolute disaster.

With a disappointingly bread-free signature, we move on to the technical. It is… pain au raisin, a viennoiserie treat of hotel brunches everywhere. Viennoiserie is an umbrella term for yeasted breakfast pastries— danishes, cinnamon rolls and the like. We’ve seen them on Bake O before, but usually for pastry week or patisserie week. Not for bread week. What is this bread-averse bread-themed episode I am viewing? Why am I watching bakers bash butter on bread week? Why? WHY? Even

Prue notices this, with her blunt assessment: “ at’s not bread.”

Carole accidentally batch-bakes and underbakes her pastries and comes last, and Kevin’s underproved ones come seventh. Maxy de es the curse of the Star Baker with second, and Janusz comes rst (beautiful color, great ake and great avor). He can barely believe he’s gotten rst in technical on bread week, because “bread has a mind of its own.”

I’ll give you a hint, Janusz. It’s because you weren’t making bread during the bread week technical.

Going into day two, Carole is looking so doomed I’m beginning to suspect that production will break their no-elimination rule and give her the boot anyway. e showstopper challenge is Smörgåstårta. Say that ve times fast. What is a Smörgåstårta, you ask? Why is it capitalized, you ask?

To the second question, I don’t know. It’s how it was written in

the episode summary, so I assume it’s right. To the rst question, a Smörgåstårta is a Swedish breadcake. Yes, a bread-cake. Layers of bread, sandwiched with savory lling and covered in savory frosting. It’s like a cake with all the calories and none of the sugar rush. And yes, the Smörgåstårta is technically bread, but it’s so cake-i ed I’m not sure this counts. I want LOAVES. Is that too much to ask?

Maxy is Swedish, so she ought to have an advantage. Hernal product, however, looks like an arugula-themed art project gone wrong. Carole makes a surprisingly respectable sh Smörgåstårta, while Dawn’s Greek-themed experiment with ancient wheat fails to pay o due to a lack of coriander. Janusz wows with a sh and chip themed Smörgåstårta (“it’s a very particular British thing” he says sagely) despite Prue thinking it sounds “completely mad.” Syabira overcomes some mousse troubles to make another fantastic bake with Malaysian avors. And Sandro makes what appears to be a wedding cake with the avors of hangover food.

In the judge’s pavilion, Paul and Prue claim that Carole has saved herself (debatable). Dawn, meanwhile, has slipped, as has Kevin. Clearly, nobody is going home this week—this edit is all too familiar. Star Baker is once again a toss-up between Syabira and Janusz, and once again, it goes to Janusz. is rivalry is giving shades of David and Steph from Season 10, and I for one am here for it. Going home is… nobody!! And absolutely nobody is surprised.

Next time, it’s Mexican Week! e Great British Bake O taking on a non-European theme? What could go wrong? *laughs in Japanese week* I’m mildly terri ed of the o ensive challenges and jokes that may be coming. Will Syabira get Star Baker? Will Rebs nally go home? Will Noel’s sweater fashion reach new highs as his jokes reach new lows? Keep reading to nd out.

e Great British Bake O series 13 episode 4: Corny, spicy and a little bit dicey

First and foremost, I must regretfully inform all of you that Noel was not wearing a sweater this week. Instead, he was wearing an oversized psychedelic zebra shirt in the colors of the bisexual ag. Not Noel’s worst look, but not on the level of his sweaters from previous weeks. Now, onto the episode itself. It’s Mexican Week, a theme that will no doubt strike terror into the hearts of all those who were watching back in 2020. International weeks have been gaining steady traction in Bake O for the past decade or so, beginning with the relatively tame French Week before branching o to such exotic locales as Germany and Denmark. e most notorious international week is no doubt 2020’s Japanese Week, an episode that managed to offend both the Japanese and the Chinese, was cringy at best and at out racist at worst. Watching the preview for this episode, I was worried Mexican Week would su er a similar fate. Miraculously, the challenges all achieved the bare minimum of “being Mexican,” although whether the judges and hosts can pronounce them is another matter. e signature is pan dulce (liter-

ally “sweet bread”) which is arguably more of a category than an actual bake. It does make me hate last week’s episode even more, as this challenge is more bread-y than anything Bread Week produced. We even get immortal footage of Paul Hollywood prodding at bread dough! e most popular pan dulce is the concha, a sweet bread with a craquelin topping. Syabira appears to be on a corn kick this episode, and the rst example of this are her cornshaped, corn avored conchas. Paul is grumpy about the denseness of the dough, but Prue seems won over by the sweetcorn avor. Rebs keeps it simple with lemon and vanilla conchas, but the craquelin topping is too thick. James also su ers from the curse of toothick craquelin, and the lling in Dawn’s conchas explode. Carol’s pan de anis dulces are deemed “not really Chelsea bun shaped” from Paul, as he seemingly forgot that they are not Chelsea buns. Still, the avor is good. Is this the beginning of the redemption of Carol? Maxy triumphs with her avors, and Kevin’s rumsoaked borrachitos (literally: “little drunkards”) go down a treat.

e technical challenge is… tacos. Of course it is. Never mind that there is so much more to Mexican baking than tacos, but this is hardly a baking challenge. It’s a cooking challenge with a tortilla on the side. e bakers are told to “make the refried beans,” a cryptic instruction that would be utterly justi able IF IT WAS A BAKING SKILL. Multiple bakers appear ba ed by the beans, and I don’t blame them. Several also tremble at the prospect of cooking steak. e highlight of the whole challenge may be Carol referring to guacamole (yet another non-baking task the bakers must complete) as “glocky-molo” e technical judging goes about as well as you might hope, with the judges quickly evaluating the tortillas and then going on about the (non-baked) llings, the seasoning and other things that the bakers did not apply to the show to do. Last place is Carol again (too thick and small), ending her chance at redemption this week. Ninth is Rebs (overseasoned and over lled) and eighth is James (too small). At the top, we have Sandro in third, Syabira in second and rst is Maxy. Essentially, the people you would expect to do well are doing well, and the people who

keep struggling are still struggling. e showstopper is a tres leches, one of the most iconic Mexican bakes. It’s a cake drenched in milk and syrup, meaning that the words “wet” and “soaked” crop up constantly throughout the challenge (though Noel and Matt don’t make as much of this as I thought they might). Because of the soaking (sorry), tres leches are fragile and prone to collapse, making stacking them a precarious situation. Syabira’s corn enthusiasm returns with a sweetcorn tres leches. Multiple bakers are attempting co ee, chilli and chocolate, the best of which is Dawn’s which almost earns her a handshake. Rebs, who wanted to make this week her redemption week, produces a borderline inedible cake due to the quantities of chilli and tequila. James joins her in the danger zone as he makes what appears to be every possible type of cake and fails to decorate it well. Abdul goes for a Day of the Dead theme, much to Noel’s enthusiasm. Janusz’s perfectly decorated tropical fruit tres leches is exactly what we would expect from him. Sandro’s tres leches is decorated with a mustache that looks eerily like the one on the Einstein’s logo. And Maxy’s cake, despite the judges’ worries that it will be too rich, goes down a treat. In the judges’ pavilion, we are reminded that two bakers could be going home this week. In my opinion, only Rebs has performed poorly enough to get the chop, but apparently production disagrees, and James also leaves the tent. Poor James. In any other week, he would have probably been safe, but his showstopper did look appalling. Maxy, on the back of an excellent showstopper and rst in the technical, wins Star Baker. So far, Star Baker has gone Janusz-Maxy-Janusz-Maxy. Can another baker (I’m looking at you, Syabira, and you, Sandro) break through? Or will it be Janusz and Maxy domination all the way to the nal?

Next week, it’s dessert week! One of my personal favorite weeks, featuring one of my personal favorite challenges (mousse cake). Will Carol nally manage to redeem herself? Will someone break the Janusz/Maxy streak? And will Syabira manage to make even more corn- avored delicacies? Join me next week to nd out.

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In 2008, “13” premiered on Broadway with the entire cast being made up of tweens and teens. Even though it closed after only two months, it captured the hearts of many fans. Fourteen years later, this musical has hit the big screen. Audiences across the world can now see “13,” a tale of what it is like to be in middle school. Evan Goldman is a 12 year old who has to uproot his life and move to a brand new town where he doesn’t know anyone. On top of that, his Bar Mitzvah is coming up and he needs some friends to invite. Once he steps foot in his new school, he is in for a world of excitement. is whole story is told through song and dance numbers that can get stuck in anyone’s head. ere were not many serious stakes in this lm, but that is not necessarily a problem. It is a simple movie to watch that will keep you focused with all of the fast paced songs. It is a cute story with relatable characters. It was released on Net ix on Aug. 12, and it will be an entertaining way for you to spend an a ernoon.

Evan Goldman (Eli Golden) has lived in New York City his

whole life. It is the only home he knows. However, a er his father (Peter Hermann) has an a air, Evan’s mother (Debra Messing ’90) moves the two of them to Indiana where her mother (Rhea Perlman) lives. is happens as he is preparing for his Bar Mitzvah with his rabbi (Josh Peck). is city boy is in for a huge culture shock, especially as there does not seem to be another Jewish child in the whole town. While he is not happy about his new home, he is on a mission to make some friends so that he can have an awesome Bar Mitzvah. e rst friend that he makes is his neighbor, Patrice (Gabriella Uhl), who is a bit of an outcast. en he meets the cool kids of his school and he is ready to ditch Patrice. It turns out there is a lot of drama happening within the cool kids’ circle, involving relationships and rst kisses. Evan is willing to help them out if it means they come to his Bar Mitzvah. However, things don’t go exactly as planned. Evan has to learn what a Bar Mitzvah is really about, as well as the true meaning of friendship.

I may have been a little old for the intended audience of this lm, but I still had a fun time watching it. I haven’t been to middle school in a while and I would not like to go back, but I liked seeing these

children goof around together and learn from their mistakes. e script did not feel like it was talking down to 12- and 13-yearolds. It treated them like real human beings. e lm brings the audience back to that stage of life. Although, I’m sure most people’s middle school experiences did not involve randomly bursting into song. Full disclosure, I am a person who loves watching musicals. erefore, I found most of the numbers entertaining. Sure, some of them had obvious rhymes and there were quite a few that weren’t that memorable, but I found myself humming some of them a er watching the movie. Also, all of the big dance scenes had excellent choreography. However, if you are someone who is usually not a fan of musicals, this is not going to be the movie that will change your mind. It bursts into big songs at random moments, which is the usual complaint of musical haters. So hopefully going into this m, you already like musicals. For a lm where the majority of the cast is made up of children, I thought that everyone did a great job. Everyone seemed around the age of their characters, which is always nice to say. Obviously, the stand out was the lead actor, Golden. He was in most of the scenes in the lm and he was fantastic

in each of them. He was able to be funny in scenes where he was trying to impress people, as well as serious when he talks about the struggles of moving and his parents’ divorce. On top of that, he has a wonderful singing voice that can carry any song and dance skills that make him worthy of being front and center. Golden may be young, but I can see he has a bright future ahead of him. I also felt that Uhl who played Evan’s neighbor Patrice also did a nice job. She had a lot of solos which she was able to nail each time. Uhl brought this character to life and she made you embrace Patrice’s quirks and by the end of the lm, you would want to be her friend. All of Evan’s classmates came across as real triple threats. ey were all great acting as small town middle schoolers, they could sing in perfect harmony and they all had killer dance moves. ere was no small part, everyone stole the show. In terms of adults, I felt that Messing was terri c as Evan’s mother, Jessica. Her character was going through a big life change as well and she is rethinking her whole life and her marriage. She is thinking about all she could have done in life, but she is still always there for Evan. Messing was able to show this character’s complexity and why anyone would be

Gravediggers

“Opal, when I said that I would do anything for you, I didn’t think this was what you had in mind.”

Casey hugged herself, eyes scanning her surroundings as she listened to the sound of Opal’s labored breathing. Standing in the middle of the woods in the dead of the night was causing all of her worst fears to dance at the edge of her mind.

And the dead body wrapped in a sleeping bag a few feet away wasn’t helping with her nerves one bit.

Opal stabbed the shovel head into the dirt, prying a pile up as she spoke.

“Well I didn’t think burying a dead body would ever be something that I would ask you to do with me, but life is full of surprises, isn’t it?”

e shovel head pierced the dirt again, and Opal jammed it deeper with her foot. Casey tried her best not to look at the sleeping bag.

“Look, I’m not going to snitch but…how did you even get into this situation in the rst place? I mean that’s a…” She cleared her throat and shu ed her feet.

Opal sco ed, keeping her eyes on her work as she responded. “Trust me, you don’t want to know.”

“I’m breaking the law, so actually, I do.”

e young woman paused in her work, and for the rst time since they had arrived, looked Casey in the eyes. She quick-

ly turned away again, sighing as she li ed another pile of dirt.

“Yeah…um, okay. Do you remember that guy I was telling you about? e one who kept showing up right when I would get o my shi at work?”

“ e one who kept acting too friendly even though you said you weren’t interested?”

“Yeah.”

“I remember.”

Opal gestured at the sleeping bag. Casey didn’t look.

“Oh. So…did you like…hunt him down, or…?”

e digging pauses.

“No! What do you think I am, a monster?”

“ en how did he end up dead, Opal?”

She hu ed, before hopping down into the dip she created and continuing her work.

“Well, when I got o my shi tonight, the guy wasn’t there. Which was a relief, and I guess I just gured that he had given up. I took the bus and the train home, but there was no sign of him. So I thought that the problem had taken care of itself.”

Opal paused as the shovel head hit a rock, resounding with a large clang. Both girls stiened, and fell silent as the sound echoed in the air. ey waited.

Nothing.

Opal let out a shaky breath, before setting the shovel to the

side and crouching down. She sunk her ngers into the dirt around the rock and started to wiggle it free as she whispered.

“So I got home, and I was going to go make dinner, but then I got into the kitchen, and the guy was waiting there.”

“In your house?! How did he even-?“

“I don’t know! But he was there! With a knife…”

e rock was ripped free, and chucked over the lip of the ditch, rolling to a stop nearby.

“And I wasn’t sure what to do, because I didn’t want to get killed. So I tried to…talk him down, I guess? I dunno it seemed like a good idea at the time. Trying to get to a peaceful outcome is always the best option, right? He didn’t seem to want to talk though.”

Opal raised the shovel again, ready to stab the metal into the dirt, but faltered, and lowered it and set it to the side. She took a deep breath, and rubbed her hands over her face.

“I only did it in self-defense…I promise. I didn’t even want to kill him I just…I just didn’t want to die. And I didn’t know what else to do.”

e eerie noise of the dark forest lled in the silence that came from the two friends, masking the near-silent sound of Opal breaking down. Casey slid down into the ditch, but Opal didn’t meet her eyes, looking directly at the ground.

“Look Opal…we’ll gure this out. And I’m sorry that you had to deal with all of that in the rst place…I can’t even imagine

lucky to have Jessica as a mother. ere was not a bad performance in the whole cast and that is what helped make this lm more than just another wacky musical. I did not go into this lm expecting high art. I knew it was going to be silly and light, and it most likely won’t be receiving any Oscars. However, every now and then we could all use a lm that is not too serious and full of fun. ere were not really any twists and turns with this script and I could tell how most storylines were going to end. At the end of the day, this is a story about the struggles of being a tween. I am okay with a simple plot. It was an easy lm to watch and I could see myself rewatching it. It was certainly entertaining and I had a great time. is is a lm for anyone who likes musicals, wants to watch a story about life in middle school and wants some Jewish representation on their screens. If you t any of those qualications, open up Net ix and watch “13: e Musical” today.

how scared you must have been.”

Casey glanced at the sleeping bag for the rst time that night, before xing her eyes on the shovel.

“But we’ll gure this out.”

She leaned around her, taking the shovel, and placed a hand on Opal’s shoulder.

“Okay?”

e latter wiped roughly at her eyes before li ing her head, and nodding. Casey smiles, before gently pushing her to the edge of the hole.

“Here, I’ll take over for a bit.”

In quick work, the grave was made and the two grabbed the edges of the sleeping bag and laid the man inside. Opal and Casey spared him a nal, quiet look, before slowly starting to cover him up.

And quicker than one would think possible with the weight of a life on their shoulders, the dirt is almost completely replaced.

“ anks for doing this for me…I really appreciate it.”

“Of course. What are friends for?

Opal chuckles, and Casey goes to li the last pile of dirt, when the sharp light of a ashlight shined on her face through the darkness.

“Hey! What do you two think you’re doing?”

e two freeze as a gure steps into view, a tall woman wearing a uniform.

“ is is private property! You two can’t be-“

e guards voice falters as she drew closer, eyes xing rst on the shovel and then on the quite suspicious hole in front of her.

e guard narrows her eyes, before reaching for the walkie-talkie on her belt.

“Alright. I don’t care about whatever treasure hunting games you two think you’re doing, but again this is private property.”

e guard lowered her gaze to her walkie-talkie, getting ready to call it in. And because of this change in focus, she is slow to to react to the sound of Casey moving forward, shovel raised, and is promptly whacked in the head with the shovel, sending her reeling. e guard cries out, trips over her feet in a desperate attempt to get away, and…

And falls directly on the forgotten rock Opal threw out earlier.

e security guard’s head hit the rock with a crack, and the two watched her for what felt like years, waiting for a twitch or a groan. But nothing happened.

Opal slowly kneeled next to her, pressing her ngers against her neck. A er a moment, she looked up at Casey.

“…so I think we’re going to need to dig another grave.”

18 ARTS The Brandeis Hoot October 14, 2022

“Overwatch 2” has been out for over a week, and I have come to the conclusion that the game is simultaneously horrible and great at the same time. First, let me provide some context with my background of the game. I rst played the game on console shortly after its launch but quit a er a few months. In 2020, I started playing the game again, even though it was pretty much “dead”, but this time on the computer. During both of those occasions, I found Overwatch to be a mostly fun game. It was unique compared to other rst-person shooter (FPS) games because of all the abilities. However, the game found itself in ruins because the developers gave up on the game. ey turned their attention toward Overwatch 2 super early and stopped updating the original game. Without new content, the game got stale for some people, so they quit. Also, players were actively complaining about certain characters and abilities, but the developers made very little adjustments. at made certain games completely unplayable and incredibly frustrating. However, they said Overwatch 2 was going to be di erent. ey said they were going to add new characters, new maps and rework old characters to make them better. I think as a whole they have somewhat addressed that. e launch day and its following days were an absolute mess. Players were stuck in queues that lasted hours, so they couldn’t even play the game. People were super excited because this game was so hyped up to be better than its predecessor. When people nally got to play, there were obviously mixed views. e rst major change they made to the game was removing a tank player. is made it a 5v5 instead of a 6v6 as it used to be. I originally thought that this change was going to be terrible for the game. ere were going to be less opportunities for

synergies and combinations without that extra tank. I was somewhat correct about that. e game de nitely feels di erent without the extra tank as the tanks can no longer play o of each other. However, the positive of this change was that it’s much faster paced. Professional Valorant player TenZ said this when talking about Overwatch 2, “It feels like I am playing an aim trainer. It’s just constant movement and constant stimulation, which is quite nice.” I have also played Valorant. It’s a game that I enjoy, but there are de nitely times where the rounds are slower. Overwatch 2 on the other hand is just go go go. You die, you group up with your team and go again. Overwatch 1 had the issue of having too many shields. is made the game boring at times because you spent half the game shooting at shields. However, with the removal of the extra tank, there are less shields and more just shooting at players. is makes the game a lot of fun because of the constant action. You feel like you are actually doing something throughout the round. Adding on to the benets of one less tank is the greater opportunity for carry potential. I am not going to go into the intricacies of each role and how they are di erent, however I can say that in general a single player has more control over the game than they did before. With the extra tank/player, it was harder to truly have a signi cant impact on the game by yourself. You could be killing half of the opposing team on the damage role, but it’s dicult to hold positioning on the objective with such little health. You needed tanks. Additionally, it was really di cult to kill all six players before they killed just you. However, now that feels more reasonable. Without that extra tank, it feels way easier to carry games. Every kill you get has a greater impact because the teams are smaller. Also, it’s way easier to kill the entire enemy team because you don’t have to deal 500 damage to an extra tank. So overall, I think these initial changes have

been very good for the game. It feels like a normal FPS game, where you as a player actually matter, but it still has the abilities that make the game unique. Now I am going to talk about some of the frustrations I have with the game. Firstly, I am not sure I understood their whole character rework process. Some of the characters, such as Bastion, had interesting reworks that I am totally okay with. Other characters, such as Doom st, had reworks that made the character unplayable. I did hate Doom st in Overwatch 1, but the changes they made were too drastic. Finally, there were some characters that 100% needed reworks for the game, but they didn’t do anything. e character Moira, for example, seems so much better now in Overwatch 2, because she’s practically unkillable and she can 1v1 almost any character. More characters de nitely need a balance check, which I hope comes soon. at is one of my big fears about the game. If the game doesn’t get character patches or content updates, it’s going to be very di cult to continue to play the game. e next issue I have with the game is the fact that they didn’t add more maps or change the old ones. ey added six new maps into the game, but that de nitely didn’t seem like enough. I wanted the new game to be new, but part of it de nitely felt the same because of the maps. Also, the new game mode they added, called push, is terrible. I literally want to pull my hair out when I play that game mode. It’s a combination of the control and escort game modes and is somehow signi cantly worse than both of them. Push is terrible because every ght feels winnable. So, you may die rst, and then as you respawn you walk back while the ght is still going on. ese ghts take a little longer because everyone is ghting around the push robot and its surroundings. But by the time you get back, everyone on your team is dead and then the other team kills you too. It’s a really frustrating game mode to play.

editor

Growing up, I never watched anime. I think that in total I watched two episodes of Dragonball Z in the rst 17 years of my life. I grew up on American cartoons like “Fairly Oddparents” and “SpongeBob SquarePants,” and although I knew that anime existed, I never even attempted to watch it. en, as my friends changed and my interests went along with them, I decided to start watching anime. e rst one I chose to watch was one of the longest major animes because it would be too easy to start with something more digestible. “One Piece” has 1,034 episodes and counting, with only about 100 episodes of ller (content that doesn’t advance the story). I’ve just now gotten through 100 episodes, and I’ve been watching on and o since April. I’ve also miraculously dodged spoilers from my friends who are caught up, which has made the experience of watching much more enjoyable.

I’d like to add that I really dislike Usopp (voiced by Kappei Ya-

maguchi and whose name, I just discovered, refers to the Japanese word for lie). Although he had a really sweet backstory, with his leaving the Usopp Pirates and Kaya (Mariko Kouda) behind to become a “brave warrior of the sea,” I just nd him to be obnoxious at times. He claims to be the captain of the Going Merry constantly, and he strikes me as pretty abrasive. I’ve been told by my friends that my opinion of him will change at some point soon, but at this point I plain don’t like him.

If I had to pick a favorite character, I’d say Roronoa Zoro (Kazuya Nakai). He’s a stereotypical rebrand, and his ght scenes are always animated extremely well.

I hope that, in later episodes, he ghts Mihawk (Hirohiko Kakegawa) again. Having bested Zoro once before, Mihawk is the only obstacle Zoro has on his path to becoming the greatest swordsman in the world, and I think that another battle between the two is one of the things I look forward to most in the 934 episodes I have yet to watch. I also love Lu y (Mayumi Tanaka), even though he’s kind of a moron. e moment when Lu y was about to be exe-

cuted in “Buggy’s Revenge! e Man who Smiles at the Execution Platform!” (Episode 52) only to be saved by a bolt of lightning was hilarious. It’s clear that he has a suit of plot armor on at all times, but it never feels cheap to me when he manages to skirt death.

I really enjoyed the Loguetown arc, especially “Sandai Kitetsu and Yubashiri! Zoro’s New Swords, and the Female Master Chief Petty O cer” (Episode 49). at episode really solidi ed Zoro as my favorite character and the cursed blades that he picked up in this episode have made me watch each of Zoro’s sword ghts with a lot of interest. I found Daddy the Father (Toru Furuya) to be a really fun way to give Usopp backstory, and I hope to see him again for future worldbuilding.

e way the show has progressed—following Lu y’s odyssey rst through the East Blue and now through the Grand Line—is fantastic. e Going Merry acts as a literal vehicle to advance the plot from one crazy location to the next, each of which develops the crew and occasionally adds new members. I don’t really know how this show has stretched to

I think overall I enjoy the game. It’s a fast and fun FPS game that has a lot of intricacies. But in the end the game is still Overwatch. Even a er all the changes I still nd it to be the most frustrating game I have ever played. ere are so many games that feel so unwinnable because your team does nothing. I said previously that it is very possible to carry your team to a win, but some days you can’t do everything. Frequently, you play games with a player on your team that is literally throwing. at right there is a waste of 15 minutes. You probably just want to quit forever. e game gets so frustrating so quickly. Beyond the team, some characters are just so frustrating to play against that you just don’t have fun anymore.

I mentioned that I like how Over-

watch has these unique abilities. Well, some of them I hate because they are so absurdly broken. You can play almost perfectly with your team and all of it can be countered by one ability, Baptiste’s immortality eld. In conclusion, the game is somewhat di erent from its predecessor so it’s a fun game. However, it is similar to its predecessor at its core, so it can be very not fun. I honestly do not know what to think. Some days I think it’s a great game, other days I want to uninstall it.

be longer than 1,000 episodes but I can’t wait to nd out. is show is well-animated, funny and is some of the best television I have ever watched. It takes a lot of patience and time to watch

“One Piece,” but I’d say that it’s been well worth the commitment over the rst 10th of the show.

October 14, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot ARTS 19 PHOTO FROM NEWS XBOX COM
PHOTO FROM HULU COM

I’m back! (Shocking!) My TBR stack at school is dwindling and I’m down to only ve books out of the good 15-20 that I brought up with me from home. Basically, the point of this column is that I read books so that you don’t have to and tell you whether they are worth your time or not. ough I typically don’t write about the books I don’t like, so take my recommendations with a grain of salt because I am 100% biased.

is week’s victim: “Anxious People” by Fredrik Backman

As an anxious person myself I was very excited to read this book. It’s not as popular on BookTok as some of the other books I have reviewed here but I’ve seen it every now and then. I have to say, it is an absolute shame that this book is not featured on BookTok more. is book for sure deserves more hype on BookTok for its wit and the perspective that it brings into the story. I feel Backman gets more praise for his work

Ove,” which I haven’t read but am now eager to start given how much I loved “Anxious People.”

ere were parts of this book where I was audibly laughing and other parts when I literally wanted to cry. Backman did an excellent job of bringing these idiots (his word not mine) to life and making you invested in their stories.

Backman also manages to weave a delicate web of how lives are interconnected. He shows how the actions of one person can cause a ripple e ect in another’s life, which is beautiful and thought-provoking.

“Anxious People” is about a bank robbery and a bridge. Or at least that’s what the narrator directs your attention toward.

ough truly, if you ask me, “Anxious People” is about regular people just trying to get by. It’s about people who are trying to be good even when the world has been terrible. It gives you hope that there is good in people and it sparks thoughts on how we interact with others in our own lives.

Backman opens the novel with an apartment viewing in a

small Swedish town. Inside the tour are eight strangers; little do they know they are about to become part of a hostage situation. Across the street from the apartment viewing, there is a bank, where a robber has entered. Upon learning that the bank has no cash on site, the robber ees as the cops are called. e robber escapes from law enforcement and ends up at the apartment viewing, pistol in hand, taking all of the viewers as hostages. You spend the course of the story learning the backgrounds of each of the characters—none of them perfect, all of them trying. We meet the father-son cop duo (which, side note, shows a great contrast between generations) working the case and the strangers who all found themselves as hostages—but none of them are telling the truth.

e story does an excellent job of addressing very real issues like divorce, bank loans, suicide, trauma and anxiety. You meet characters from all walks of life, some young and confused, some older and lost. Despite be-

ing in various stages of life, these characters are able to interact and understand one another in what they are going through.

e novel is upli ing and heartwarming. It makes you feel hope and joy in humans who can sometimes be awful but can redeem themselves. I think the best summary of the book is from Goodreads which describes the story as a “whimsical plot [that] serves up unforgettable insights into the human condition and a gentle reminder to be compassionate to all the anxious people we encounter every day.”

I would 10,000% recommend this book to a friend. It isn’t so dense with thoughts and ideas on the human condition as to make you feel existential dread.

e narrative o ers a balance between harsh truths of the human condition and witty banter between the characters. e book doesn’t take itself so seriously as to avoid joking around throughout the plot, which I think is something I really appreciated.

Backman would throw some pretty serious stu at you and

then have the next chapter serve as comic relief so as to not overwhelm you with serious content. As someone who reads mainly for joy, sometimes heavier plots become too much to handle. I also genuinely loved Backman’s writing style. He did a great job of bringing to life the various characters and I never felt overwhelmed when introduced to a new character. He balances each individual’s storyline in a way that you can understand so you have to follow the web he leaves interconnecting each character’s life. Overall I think this book rivals “ e Immortalists” by Chole Benjamin as my favorite read of 2022. So yes, go buy this book. Bree if you read these (I don’t think you do) just know this one I may not give back to you.

20 ARTS The Brandeis Hoot October 14, 2022
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FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: “SMAUG THE GOLDEN(BASED ON A PIECE BY
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JOHN HOWE)”BY LAUREN
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