The Brandeis Hoot, November 4, 2022

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Brandeis Leftist Union holds protest

Brandeis Le ist Union (BLU) members, students and dining workers gathered in Usdan on Oct. 27 to protest Harvest Table’s unfair treatment of dining workers. e BLU announced that “in response to consistent disrespect and mistreatment from Harvest Table, the Dining Union will be holding another delegation

Univ. opens survey on diversity and equity climate

. LeManuel Bitsoi— Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion— wrote to community members inviting them to participate in a survey regarding the institutional climate on campus, according to an email sent on Nov. 2. e survey will be assessing diversity and equity on the Brandeis campus.

“Your participation in this research will inform Brandeis leadership about the current climate at Brandeis, both points of pride and areas for improvement,” wrote

See SURVEY, page 2


Craft Market showcases student talent on campus

On Saturday, Oct. 29 from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m, Create@ Brandeis hosted their se-

mesterly Cra Market. e market spread across the path at Fellow’s Garden and fell on the same weekend as Family Weekend.

Students and their families alike were able to at tend the event, to see what

fellow Brandeisians have created and could purchase a variety of items.

“I’m always initially drawn to [the cra market] because it’s honestly nice to make a

more than that it makes me so happy to get to talk with people and connect with the Brandeis community, which honestly is so special.”, said Anya Lance-Cha-

See PROTEST , page 3 , page 3

with e Brandeis Hoot. Lance-Chako was selling handmade jewelry at the event, including earrings and rings. Lance-Chako runs a jewelry account

Brandeis University hosts Family Weekend

e university hosted its annual Family Weekend this past weekend from Oct. 28 to Oct. 30, according to the university’s calendar. ere were a variety of events o ered for students and their guardians over the three days including open houses, luncheons and athletic events.

On Friday, Oct 28,, the university hosted a Parent Leadership Council Lun-

cheon, which could be at tended by invitation only.

ere were also open house options in various depart ments from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. including: Student Acces sibility Support, Depart ment of Student Engage ment, Academic Services and Hiatt Career Center.

While some of these be gan earlier in the day, the o cial Welcome Reception began at 4 p.m., according to the university’s webpage.

See FAMILY, page 2


Volume 21 Issue 9 “To acquire wisdom, one must observe”
Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper · Waltham, Mass. November 4, 2022 Inside This Issue: News: Student Union holds special elections Ops: YOCA column
Behind the Rose Art Museum Sports: It is Tommy time! Editorial: ank you to the health center Page 2 Page 11 Page 7 Page 5 Page 9 it is now time for tommy! The pain never ends SPORTS: PAGE 5
to be kind Read about how one of our editors is ready to be kind OPS: PAGE 10

Student Union releases special election results

Student Union Secretary, Ashna Kelkar ’24 sent out an email to the Brandeis community, on Wednesday, Nov. 2 updating community members on the second round of election results.

e email contained election results for the recent special election, with the exception of the East Quad Senator position results “due to a tie,” explained Kelkar.

e position of Allocations Board member was lled by Aaron Klein ’26 who ran unopposed.

Klein mentioned in his candidate bio that he’s “psyched to be able to run for Student Union because [he] want[s] to try and help everyone access all the opportunities that Brandeis has to o er.”

e two positions for the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee were lled by Mar Manolioudaki ’?? And Tasha Epstein ’??. Manolioudaki stressed the importance of having student voices in curriculum planning and stated that she will “advocate for the bene t of the student body when it comes to reviewing academic rules and regulations.”

Epstein also mentioned the im-

portance of student input in her candidate bio, writing that she ran because she “want[s] to help make the voices of undergraduate students heard in developing and evaluating academic regulations and curricular activities.”

Ariel Schultz ’25 won the one open position for CEEF representative, running unopposed.

Lyla Chereau ’25, Chloe Doonan ’26 and Tako Mikhelashvili ’26 won the three open Senator at Large positions. Chereau wrote in her bio that she hopes to continue “promoting mental health, sustainability, multicultural-

ism and women in STEM” at Brandeis through this position.

Doonan also explained in her bio that she “plan[s] tp advocate for more mental health awareness on campus,” and that she will “work [her] hardest to ensure there is representation for every student.”

Mikhelashvili proposed in her candidate bio the implementation of a Brandeis event app to help keep track of activities occurring on campus, as well as increasing outdoor study spaces by adding hammocks around campus.

Jessie Wu ’23 won the Class of 2023 Senator position, running unopposed, with one seat

still open. Wu wrote in her candidate bio that she ran “because [she] want[s] both domestic and international students’ voices to be heard and to advance politics which can bene t students.”

Zev Carlyle ’24 won the remaining Class of 2024 Senator position, also running unopposed.

Carlyle wrote that he will “bring a fresh perspective” to the Student Union and that he hopes to implement funding for outside learning opportunities such as museums and transportation, as well as a bike-sharing system for students.

Survey opened to access community perceptions of diversity and equity on campus

SURVEY, from page 1

Bitsoi to community members.

Bitsoi explained that climate refers to the current trends and attitudes on campus regarding the experiences of both individuals and groups. e university will take the results of the survey to interpret the institutional climate on various levels on campus.

e university performs this survey as a way, “ to create an environment characterized by openness, fairness and equal access for all students, sta and faculty,” wrote Bitsoi. e survey results will be interpreted to determine trends on perceptions of the university’s climate, per-

ceptions of how the university supports diversity, equity and inclusion and experiences with discrimination and harassment in the Brandeis community.

e data can then be used by the administration, “to inform the development of strategic plans across the university aimed to achieve a more equitable and inclusive campus environment,” Bitsoi wrote.

Community members are encouraged by the administration to take the survey in one sitting, though if individuals decide to exit the survey their responses from previous pages will be saved, according to the email.

ough in the event that com-

munity members exit the page, their responses may be lost. Attached in the email is a single-use link that cannot be shared without community members. e data collected from the survey will be handled by the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS)— a non-pro t organization, composed of universities and colleges that share data, knowledge and expertise, according to their webpage. In the email shared with community members, Bitsoi noted that responses would remain condential by HEDS when they process the data. HEDS will only be sharing the results with the o ce of Institutional Research

(IR), the data shared will be anonymized. Bitosoi noted that taking the survey is entirely voluntary but the feedback is “critical”.

If a community member wishes to report an incident of discrimination or harassment, they can report it to the O ce of Equal Opportunity (OEO), according to the email. e email includes a link to the reporting page, though the link will also be made available to community members once they submit their survey answers.

Attached to the email is also the option for students to opt-out from submitting to the survey. Bitsoi wrote to community members, “ ank you in advance for your contribution to this vital project.”

e university has help other Campus Climate surveys including a Campus Climate survey on Sexual Harassment. A survey was sent to community members in Spring 2022, to assess Sexual Harassment climate on campus, according to a previous Brandeis Hoot article. e results of this survey will be posted soon, according to the university’s webpage. e last shared results on the climate of Sexual Harassment on campus was from 2019, according to the university’s webpage.

Student Union connects students with rides to Logan Airport for breaks

In an email sent to the Brandeis community on Wednesday Nov.

2, Student Union Secretary Ashna Kelkar ’24 outlined the Student Union’s schedule for shuttles to Boston Logan International Airport. Rides in these shuttles will be $5 per student each way, according to the email, and the cash-only sales will begin on ursday,

Nov. 3 at the SCC Box O ce.

e Student Union announced there would be no shuttle to New York or New Jersey, which has been o ered in previous years, according to a previous Brandeis Hoot article. In response to student confusion over the removal of New York and New Jersey Turkey Shuttles, the email explains that “due to a mass driver shortage in Massachusetts, we will be unable to provide those services this year.”

e Hoot also spoke with Peyton Gillespie ‘25—Student Union

President—who explained that the Student Union did reach out to Joseph’s Limousine and Transportation—the company typically hired by the university for transportation needs. When Gillespie contacted the company about offering a shuttle from the university to New York and New Jersey they were told they could not because of the driver shortage. Gillespie wrote to e Hoot, “we decided to use the extra money we would’ve used for Turkey Shuttles in order to provide Logan Shuttles for both anksgiving and Winter breaks.”

e schedule for the new Boston Logan Shuttle Service for anksgiving break from Brandeis University is as follows: Nov. 22 departing campus at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m.; Nov. 23 departing campus at 6 a.m., 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Return shuttles from Boston Logan occur on Nov. 27 only and depart from the airport at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. e schedule for the new shuttle service for winter break begins on Dec. 13 with one trip to the airport at 5 p.m. e next andnal day of shuttles to the airport

is Dec. 16, with shuttles departing from Brandeis at 8 a.m., 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. Return shuttles to Brandeis a er Winter break are on January 16 only with the shuttle departing from Logan Airport at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. e email also outlined where students would board the shuttles, explaining that shuttles from Brandeis to the airport will board at admissions, and shuttles from the airport to Brandeis will board “downstairs, outside baggage claim near the orange ‘schedule buses’ sign.”

Univ. hosts Family Weekend events and Halloween Fun

FAMILY, from page 1

Parents could also elect to participate in the weekly trivia tradition of the university; the typical “Stein at 9” trivia night held on ursdays was additionally held on Friday so that parents could also participate in this tradition.

e activities on Saturday, Oct. 29 began at 9 a.m. with Class Coffee, an opportunity for families of students from the same graduation year to connect. More open houses were o ered on Saturday with Undergraduate Research and Creative Collaborations, the Department of Community Living (DCL) and the Gender

and Sexuality Center (GSC). e open houses encouraged parents to learn more about the departments and groups on campus and what they do. Among sporting events that parents could watch included the men’s and women’s soccer games against Washington University in St. Louis and the women’s rugby tournament.

e Campus Activities Board (CAB) sponsored and hosted both family bingo and a Halloween Extravaganza, according to the schedule of events. At the Halloween Extravaganza, students and their guardians could watch a Halloween movie and partake in pumpkin and cookie decorating, face painting, tarot reading, mini golf, carnival

games and a costume contest, according to the event description.

Parents could also attend the Student Performance Showcase which highlighted performances from student groups and individuals on campus.

For the nal day of Family Weekend, the university sponsored a Brandeis Legacy Families Celebration. e event was by invitation only for Brandeis alumni families. e Student Union also hosted a Pumpkin Fest on the Great Lawn. Families were invited to decorate and carve pumpkins as a way to connect with Student Union leadership, according to the decription. A pumpkin carving contest was held during the event and the winner was an-

nounced via their Instagram as Frank, a reimagination of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’s monster.

e other nalists included a carv-

ing of a Kiwibot, a painting of Jack Skellington, a carved pumpkin puking out the pumpkin interior and a happy-looking pumpkin.

NEWS 2 The Brandeis Hoot November 4, 2022

Brandeis features Craft Market for student art

who’s delicious cooking I get the privilege of fueling my body with frequently and who sold their incredible food at the fair.”

on Instagram called “cosmical_creations” where consumers can request commissions to purchase her handmade jewelry.

“It’s so nice to see people who are wearing the earrings or bought a pair for their mom (and because it was parents’ weekend I got to meet them !), or their roommate- but more than that I really love getting to have conversations with people and the items are just where it starts. It’s so special to learn about people, and they can be so kind, and full of such interesting stories,”

Lance-Chako told e Hoot.

e event featured many mediums of art. Some student booths sold pottery made at the pottery studio on campus and others were selling handmade jewelry. Other vendors were selling pieces of art for students to decorate their dorms with and others were selling edible goods. Angel Zhao ’25 sold three kinds of boba tea at the event and Ligia Azevedo ’25 sold brigadeiros—a traditional Brazilian dessert. Lance-Chako said to e Hoot, “So much of Brandeis is so talented - shoutout to my lovely housemates

Teresa Shi and Marissa Small

Student vendors signed up for the event starting in August, throughout September and the beginning of October, with the cut-o to register on Oct. 10, according to a post on the Create@Brandeis Instagram page. First-time vendors were required to attend an information session and workshop to “learn how to price [their] work” and get tips on how to “display [their] work to its best advantage” wrote Create@Brandeis.

e Cra Market was the rst put on by Create@Brandeis since reducing the number of tables to 20 and giving priority to current students, which was implemented a er the Cra Market in April 2022 as a part of the Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts.

“Getting to see graduate students’ work like Siran Liu (GRAD) whose pieces were incredible and I feel like I’m going to see them in a museum one day. Or get to talk with Sienna Bucu whose work is so brilliant and so important for the questions it raises about the exploitation and corruption that can exist in systems and institutions such as Brandeis, when image and pro t override the pro-

tection and well-being of individuals,” Lance-Chako told e Hoot. Despite the changes, the market held over 30 creators including current Brandeis students and individuals who are a part of the greater Brandeis community. Vendors sold art prints, stickers, ceramics, baked goods and other refreshments, jewelry, clothing and more. ere are plans to have a Holiday Market later in the semester, though an o cial date has yet to be set. Ingrid Schorr—Director of Arts Engagement—is responsible for coordinating and overseeing the various Cra Markets held throughout the year. Schorr is also responsible for overseeing the Leonard Berstein Festival of Creative Arts event held every Spring and she leads university arts communication initiatives like State of the Arts, according to her faculty page. Editor’s Note: Features Editor Jenny Zhao ’24 and Editor-in-Chief Victoria Morrongiello ’23 participated in the Cra Market and did not contribute towards the writing of this article.

Students rally to support dining workers

PROTEST, from page 1

in Usdan this ursday at 2:45 PM,” via an Instagram post prior to the protest.

Protestors began chanting “What do we want? Respect for workers! When do we want it? Now!,” as they marched from Upper Usdan to Lower Usdan. A er moving through Usdan, protestors arrived at Resident District Manager Clayton Hargrove’s o ce, across from the entrance to Lower Usdan. Hargrove was not in his o ce, and BLU member Josh Benson ’23 mentioned after the protest that “Lois Stanley [Vice President for Campus Operations] had to call him.” Administrative attendees included Stew Uretsky, executive vice president for nance and administration, Lois Stanley, vice president for campus operations and several Harvest Table administrators.

Resident District Manager Hargrove soon arrived, and went to greet protestors a er Vice President Stanley spoke with him

brie y. Upon approaching the assembled crowd, one dining worker passed along the groups’ demands: “Our request is very simple, we only want the company to respect us,” with another worker adding that “We want answers as to why the things we need [from our contract are] not in place.”

“We are requesting reasonable [things],” one employee added, “We are not Harvest Table’s slaves, we are human beings.”

One common complaint from the employees was being asked to work beyond the scope of their normal tasks.

In a short interview with e Hoot, one employee mentioned that cooks are o en given more tasks to do but are not given an increase in pay, even though they sometimes receive no help in performing these additional tasks. Another dining employee echoed this sentiment, mentioning that “when people are asked to work outside of their unit, they need respect.”

Dining employees also lodged complaints about understa ng

issues that have caused scheduling di culties. One employee gave a speci c example, speaking about the Starbucks in Farber, saying that “last time we had a conversation about Starbucks, we agreed on four cashiers. ree months later, there are only three. … We never have enough people [at Starbucks], we can’t take out 10 minute breaks. … We need help.” Another employee mentioned how, on the day of the protest they were “the only cashier at Upper [Usdan], and that’s happening every ursday and Friday.”

It was also mentioned that employees have been waiting for their bene ts to kick in “since August.” BLU members added that “on behalf of the students, we support our workers unconditionally.” ey went on to say that the student body does not bow, and “if you refuse to give a response and refuse to meet [the workers’] needs, we will continue to protest.”

One BLU member recalled the last protest (surrounding the ring of Kevintz Merisier), reminding attendees that “you [Hargrove]

called the cops on us,” and accused Harvest Table of having “managers go around intimidating workers from going to this delegation.”

A er the protest, in a separate short interview with e Hoot, a dining employee corroborated this claim, adding that a manager who they chose not to name began asking employees “Are you going to the delegation? You have to use your personal time,” and “Am I nice to you? Am I respectful to you?” e dining employee added that “At previous delegations at this exact time, we’ve had more workers.”

When asked if it was true that managers told workers not to come to this protest, Hargrove answered that that’s “not true,” and that he “[doesn’t] know anything about that.”

One BLU member asked Hargrove “When are you planning to give the workers a response [to their demands?” Hargrove countered, saying that “ rst of all, I support the workers as much as you do. … Anything as far as bene ts, if it hasn’t happened,

it’ll all be retroed back to July 1.”

When asked “Why these issues have just [started] happening with Harvest Table,” Hargrove responded by saying that he “can’t answer that.”

One BLU member pressed on, mentioning that “If you want students to think that you respect workers, your actions will change to show that.”

Employees also told the administrators that they wanted to work with Harvest Table, not against them.

“You don’t know how to run this place, you’re learning,” one employee remarked, “You can [learn] something from us, we can [learn] something from you guys.”

Other employees echoed this sentiment, adding that “Working together, we can change,” and appealing to Harvest Table to work with dining employees “as a team.”

“A lot of employees are scared,” added one dining employee. But, one BLU member addded “Brandeis administrators are starting to gure out that [students] are not going to let this shit go.”

Brandeis professor comments on the politics of crime

ABC News recently published a news report covering political discourse on violence and crime in the U.S. and how crime is affecting voting during the midterm elections. e article focuses on increased criminal activity in Toledo, Ohio and features expert commentary from Brandeis Adjunct Associate Professor of History Leah Wright Rigeur.

e article cites the drastic spike in violence in Toledo, saying, “Until 2021, Toledo averaged about 30 homicides a year. But

then the number of homicides more than doubled in 2021 to 71.” According to an analysis conducted by the ABC News team, Toledo was one of more than a dozen cities in the U.S. that have experienced record-breaking instances of homicide.

In Ohio, GOP Senate candidate J.D. Vance “has made crime a cornerstone of his campaign and has worked overtime to paint his Democratic opponent, Tim Ryan, as anti-police,” as described in the article. Ryan’s campaign countered that they do not support mass defunding of police, but rather criticize racial disparities in positions of criminal justice.

Rigeur weighed in about using crime as a talking point, saying, “Here’s the thing about using crime as a political talking point: You don’t actually want to go through the nuances of crime.” is tendency makes it simple for Republican candidates to leverage voter anxiety about issues of crime in localities to obtain positions in government, making crime talking points “a relatively easy dunking point,” Rigeur added. e article described how politicians and communities remain in disagreement about the best practical solutions to mitigate increased crime rates in the U.S. In an interview with

ABC News, Toledo Police Chief George Kral shared his belief that greater recruitment for the police force may help, however another pressing issue in the city is the widespread access to guns.

Toledo activists in the Black Lives Matter movement shared their thoughts, saying, “ e pandemic put extra stressors on locals and contributed to spikes in crime.” However, they disagreed that simply increasing the size of the police force would help ease the situation in Toledo.

Rigeur addressed the racial biases surrounding political discourse about crime. “You can’t come out and say, ‘Black people

are dangerous.’ It is ine ective at appealing to, you know, mixed communities or white liberals or white moderates, none of whom want to be associated with racism. But when you do it in a really subtle way, all of a sudden all of these fears and biases that people hold within come rising to the surface and it ends up being a relatively e ective political mobilization tool,” Rigeur explained.

Rigeur is the Harry S. Truman Associate Professor of History at Brandeis with research expertise in 20th Century American social and political history, modern African-American history and more.

November 4, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot NEWS 3
CRAFT, from page 1

As the men’s soccer season began to close, they played two more University Athletic Association (UAA) home games. eir rst game was on Oct. 28 against Washington University in St. Louis (WashU). Last year, the Judges fell 0-2 to WashU, so they hoped this year would be di erent. WashU almost scored early but Brandeis goalie Aiden Guthro ’23 made an early save to prevent the early de cit. Shortly a er, rstyear forward Elan Romo ’26 had the Judges’ rst shot of the game, but it went wide le . Brandeis followed his shot with many more shots, but nothing was falling for them early. ey nally broke through in the 30th minute. A corner kick from sophomore mid elder Toby Marwell ’25 found sophomore back Andres Gonzalez ’25, who headed the ball o the post and into the net. It was Gonzalez’s second goal of the season and Marwell’s second assist of his career. Marwell and Gonzalez both had shots on target towards the end of the half, but they were both saved by the WashU goalie. At the end of the rst half,

Men’s soccer splits home games SPORTS

Brandeis was clearly controlling the pace of the game with 11 shots compared to WashU’s three. WashU nearly tied the game with a header to start the second half, but Guthro continued his great game with another save. Senior back Isaac Mukala ’23 had a shot on goal a few minutes later, but it was saved. Both teams traded shots, but both goalies continued to make saves. Guthro made sure that the Judges held on to that lead, especially in the 62nd minute, when he made a reaching save towards his le . In the 72nd and 75th minutes, Guthro made two more key saves as the game began to close. WashU could not get one by Guthro that day, and this led to a Judges 1-0 victory.

Although the Judges outshot WashU 11-3 in the rst half, WashU put more pressure on the Judges’ defense in the second half and this led to Brandeis only outshooting them 15-11. e Judges, though, had more corner kicks, as they had ve while WashU just had one. Guthro had a great overall game with seven saves, including six in the second half. It was his h shutout of the season. Gonzalez’s goal was his rst career game winner and also his third career goal. e game was

overall very physical as the two teams combined for 29 total fouls with WashU having 15 of them. Two days later, the Judges faced the University of Chicago, which is one of the top teams in the conference. Last year, the Judges stole a victory against Chicago after junior forward Max Horowitz ’24 scored the game-winning goal in the 87th minute. is game was completely di erent. Chicago got fouled in the fourth minute and instantly took the lead o of a penalty kick. en less than a minute later, they scored again to put Brandeis down 0-2 less than six minutes into the game. Gonzalez almost cut the de cit with the Judges’ rst shot of the game, but his header went high over the goal. Chicago controlled the game for most of the rst half as they had nine shots compared to Brandeis’ three. Brandeis did not have a shot on goal in the rst half. e second half was much of the same. Chicago kept attacking even though they had a 2-0 lead. Brandeis nally got on the board in the 70th minute a er a Chicago player was called for a handball in the box. First-year midelder Rainer Osselmann-Chai ’26 stepped into the box for the penalty kick. His shot went o

the Chicago goalie’s glove but still into the net. e Judges were back in the game. Even though they had the momentum, the Judges could not tie the game. It was put out of reach in the 82nd minute when Chicago scored their third goal of the game. Brandeis couldn’t get another shot o and they ultimately fell to Chicago 1-3. Chicago played very well offensively as they had 22 shots compared to Brandeis’ nine. e Judges did have one more corner kick than Chicago, but also had 15 fouls compared to Chicago’s

12. Chicago did not have a single save in the game, while Guthro had 10. It was the second time this season that Guthro has made double-digit saves in a game and the third time in his career. Osselmann-Chai’s goal was his second in just 14 career games. Overall, the Judges now sit at 6-7-2 and 1-5 for conference games. ey will play one more game this season on Nov. 5 against New York University (NYU). is will be the team’s senior night. Last year the Judges beat NYU 1-0 in their late-season matchup.

Brandeis volleyball celebrates seniors

On ursday, Oct. 27, the Brandeis Judges honored the ve seniors and graduate students in their nal home game in Red Auerbach Arena. e volleyball squad celebrated senior day with a 3-0 sweep of Wellesley College; in the following game, the Judges concluded their regular season with a win over Spring eld College in three sets.

Before Brandeis’ match against Wellesley, the Judges honored their ve seniors and graduate students. Setter Talia Freund ’23, right-side Emerson White ’23, outside hitter Amelia Oppenheimer ’23, outside/ right side hitter Sydney Bent (GRAD) and defensive specialist Stephanie Borr (GRAD) dominated their nal home match

in Gosman Athletic Center. Set scores were 25-16, 25-17 and 25-15, all in the Judges’ favor. e rst set started out tight, as both teams were tied at 5-all. Sydney Bent, though, led a fourpoint streak with a kill; and a er a 7-1 retaliation run from Wellesley, Bent helped close out the set with seven consecutive service points, nishing out the set on a 9-1 run. In the second set, Wellesley won the rst point, which was the only time they led all set; in the nal set of the game, Bent served the rst eight points and the Judges led by as many as 11 points twice, securing the victory.

e 3-0 sweep of Wellesley was a team e ort. White registered a career-high 11 kills without an error in 18 attempts for a .611 hitting percentage. Graduate students Bent and Borr tied for teamhigh honors with 11 digs; Bent also nished with three kills and

ve service aces. Sophomore Lara Verstovsek ’25 added 10 kills with only two errors for a .381 hitting percentage and classmate Arianna Jackson ’25 contributed seven kills and three blocks in the Judges’ senior day sweep. Junior setter Ines Grom-Mansencal ’24 tallied 29 assists and helped the Judges to a .263 team-hitting percentage. Defensively, the Judges held Wellesley to a .000 hitting percentage. In the Judges’ nal regular season match against Spring eld College, the Brandeis volleyball squad started out strongly, never trailing in the opening set; the Judges won the rst four points and eight of the rst 10 which ultimately helped them defeat the Spring eld Pride 25-17. e Judges won the second set handily, 2513, with the help of Grom-Mansencal’s kill followed by nine service points. Finally, the third set was the most competitive, fea-

turing 14 ties and six lead changes. Spring eld did have a 19-16 lead late in the set, but the Judges quickly reclaimed the lead by winning the next four points on a run consisting of two Bent service aces and a solo block by Tatiana Wainer ’25. e Brandeis volleyball squad successfully closed out the nal set on a 5-2 run, 25-23. Against the Pride, Verstovsek had a match-high 18 kills and just four errors in 44 attacks for a hitting percentage of .273; this match marked her fourth straight with double digit kills and 12th match overall. Additionally, Lara Verstovsek recorded a career-high for a three-set match while also contributing defensively with six digs and four blocks. Wainer also recorded a career high six blocks, while tallying four kills.

Classmate Jackson added six kills and ve blocks. Defensively, Bent had a team-high 19 digs through-

out the match against the Pride, while Ella Pereira ’24 recorded 10. Grom-Mansencal controlled the pace of the game with 28 assists and helped the Judges to a .242 team-hitting percentage. In the nal two games of the regular season, the Judges focused on their defense. Brandeis held the Pride to a .026 hitting percentage in the third and below .000 in the rst two sets; the Judges also had 12 team blocks compared to their opponent’s three. e Judges currently stand at 12-13 in the regular season. Brandeis will nish their season at the 2022 UAA Championships this weekend in New York City, taking on top-seeded and host New York University in the rst round on Friday, Nov. 4, at noon.

Judges cross country takes part in UAA championships

On Oct. 29, the Brandeis University men’s cross country team placed eighth overall and the women’s cross country team placed seventh overall at the 2022 University Athletic Association (UAA) championships hosted by Emory University at Nash Battleeld Farm in Atlanta. e men’s team was paced by senior Matthew Driben ’23. Driben placed 50th overall with a time of 26:30.3 over the eight-kilometer course. He matched his previous career-best at a UAA tournament with his 2019 placement. First-year TJ Carleo ’26 was the team’s second nisher for the second time this season, the rst since the season opener at Wellesley. He set a personal record for the 8K course with a time of 26:41.3, 2.1 seconds

ahead of his previous best. Carleo placed 56th. Brandeis’ third runner was rst-year Rob King ’26, the rst time he was that high for the Judges. He came in 62nd with a time of 27:00.3, a career-best by 11 seconds. Sophomore Lucas

Dia ’25 was fourth with a time of 27:27.6, good for 68th place. He improved by four places from his UAA debut last year. Junior Henry Nguyen ’24 and sophomore

Dashiell Janicki ’25 rounded out the scoring for the Judges, placing 73rd and 74th, respectively with times of 29:04.2 and 29:11.6.

Nguyen’s time was a personal record. e women’s team was led by junior Juliette Intrieri ’24 for the second meet in a row nishing in 26th place with a time of 23:02.3 over the six-kilometer course. She was about 20 seconds o her personal record for 6K, set a week earlier, and she improved her best UAA performance by 18

places. Running second for the team was senior Bridget Pickard ’23, who placed 32nd overall with a time of 23:16.0, just 14 seconds behind her teammate. She shaved eight seconds o her personal record and improved by 35 places. Junior Lizzy Reynolds ’24 was the team’s third runner, coming in 39th with a time of 23:35.7. She was eight seconds o her personal record and improved by 19 places in the standings. Junior Zada Forde ’24 ran fourth, taking 50th place with a time of 23:49.9. missing a personal recprd by 14 seconds. First-year Ella Werkentine ’26 rounded out the Judges’ top ve with a 63rd-place nish and a time of 24:28.2. Junior Katie Lyon ’24 and rst-year Katriona Briggs ’26 rounded out the top seven in 66th and 69th place with times of 24:50.2 and 25:03.4. e Judges nished with 184 points, 30 ahead of the University of Rochester and

13 behind Carnegie Mellon University. e Judges will compete at the 2022 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) East Region Championships in two weeks at Bowdoin College.

Editor’s Note: Editor-in-Chief Victoria Morrongiello ’23 is co-captain of the women’s cross-country team and did not contribute to the writing or editing of this article.

4 The Brandeis Hoot November 4, 2022

Women’s soccer plays close games

A er a big win against the University of Southern Maine, the Brandeis women’s soccer team looked to continue that success as they closed the season. On Oct. 28 the Judges played against Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) in one of their nal University Athletic Association (UAA) games of the season. Last year, WashU got the better of Brandeis 2-1. WashU came out ring early with an early shot on goal; however, it was saved by sophomore goalie Hannah Bassan ’25. en on the Judges’ rst shot in the 13th minute, they scored and took the lead. A cross from senior forward Juliette Carreiro ’23 found senior mid elder Caroline Swan ’23 who proceeded to score. It was Swan’s second goal of the season and Carreiro’s sixth assist of the season.

e Judges lead was short-lived, though, as WashU came back and scored a goal just four minutes later. WashU nearly took the lead right a er their goal, but Bassan made two big saves to keep the game tied. is proved to be key as junior forward Sydney Lenhart ’24 made a great cross in the 25th minute to forward Makenna Hunt ’23. Hunt made a move past a WashU defender before putting the ball into the back of the net. It was Hunt’s third goal of the season and Lenhart’s rst assist of the season. e two teams traded shots for the rest of the half, but Brandeis held on to a 2-1 lead going into hal ime. It was a nearly even game between the two teams. Each team had seven shots and three corner kicks in the rst half. As Brandeis looked to hold onto the lead, WashU got their

o ense going early. It took them just 23 seconds to get their rst shot of the half. Ten minutes later, WashU tied the game 2-2. With momentum on their side, WashU kept attacking and ultimately scored another goal in the 65th minute to take the lead. e Judges got a few more shots o a er going down, but the WashU goalie made a couple of big saves to hold their lead. In the 81st minute, Brandeis had their last opportunity to tie, but forward Bailey Cullen (GRAD) sent a shot wide of the net. A er a tough game, the Judges fell to WashU 2-3.

Although the two teams were roughly even in the rst half, WashU’s o ense made things difcult for Brandeis in the second half. WashU outshot the Judges 8-3 in the second half and 15-10 overall. Brandeis ended up having one more corner kick than WashU, but also had two more fouls. Bassan had six saves in the game compared to the WashU goalie’s four.

Next came a game against the University of Chicago on Oct. 30. In their most recent matchup, the Judges went to Chicago and won a 3-2 thriller a er scoring two goals in the second half. e rst half of their matchup this year had plenty of o ense. Hunt scored the rst goal of the game in just the ninth minute of play. She intended to send a cross toward Carreiro, but it ended up going into the net. is was Hunt’s fourth goal of the season. Chicago answered with a goal of their own just six minutes later to tie the game. e two teams traded shots for a while before Chicago took the lead in the 35th minute. ey didn’t hold that lead for long, as the Judges quickly answered with a goal in the 42nd minute right before hal ime. e goal was by sophomore mid elder Dominique Paglia ’25 and it

was her rst goal of her career. At hal ime the game was tied at 2-2 with Chicago leading the game in shots. Chicago had seven shots compared to Brandeis with four. e Judges had only two shots on goal, but they both went into the back of the net. Ten minutes into the start of the second half, and the Judges fell behind. is wasn’t a goal, but a Brandeis player got a red card. So, they were now playing with 10 players. Chicago continued to put on the pressure, but

the Brandeis defense held strong. Since they were a player down, the Judges could not get their o ense going throughout the second half. However, with the great defense, the Judges successfully did not allow a goal throughout the second half. But they also didn’t score, so the game ended in a 2-2 tie. Chicago outshot Brandeis 16-7 overall but also had just one corner kick while Brandeis had four. Senior Jessica Murawsky ’23 had one save in the game and rst-

year Ella ompson ’26 had four. e two teams were relatively even in fouls as Brandeis had nine and Chicago had eight. All of Brandeis’ shots that were on target went into the goal, so Chicago had zero saves in the game. Brandeis’ record now sits at 7-7-2 overall and 0-5-1 for UAA conference games. ey will play New York University (NYU) on Nov. 5 for Brandeis’ senior night. Last year, the Judges beat NYU 2-1.

Tommy time

Tom Brady is the greatest football player of all time. A er winning six Super Bowls in New England, he (like all old men) went to Florida and won another. His legacy is absolutely undeniable, but what has he given up to keep playing the game he loves?

Brady has changed his personal life substantially to keep playing football. Recently he divorced his wife, Gisele Bündchen, and now has joint custody of his three children. He mentioned that he’s “focused on two things — taking care of my family and certainly my children. And secondly doing the best job I can to win football games,” but is football really secondary to his family? He’s taking his life in his hands every time he walks onto the eld at this point: he’s 45 and not getting any younger. Additionally, the football season is extremely busy. He can’t be spending enough time with his children and adequately preparing for and playing in NFL games. With such a highrisk, time-consuming job, it’s impossible to spend adequate time doing much of anything else.

Despite his age, Brady is an extremophile when it comes to his health. Supposedly he drinks anywhere from 14 to 37 glasses of water every day, and even more on especially active days. at’s enough water to hydrate a healthy person for ve days,

and enough to kill a person. He also follows a very strict mostly plant-based diet, “that excludes gluten, dairy, corn, soy, MSG, coffee, alcohol, GMOs, sugar, trans fats, overly processed foods, and more.” While this diet is extremely healthy, “there are some restrictions that aren’t backed by science, such as cutting certain veggies like mushrooms, eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes.” His dedication to NFL-level tness at the age of 45 is extremely impressive, but a lot of the rules that he follows are just unnecessary. Many of the central tenets of his diet, like excluding certain vegetables or eliminating dairy to avoid in ammation, aren’t based in science. Has his commitment to the sport been worth it? In general, you could say that it has been worth it considering he is going to go down in history as the greatest football player ever. However, at this point, it is hard to justify what he is doing as “worth it.” Every year he extends his career he has an opportunity to win more. He clearly has shown that even though he is old, he can still throw the football. Last year he nished in second place in the Most Valuable Player Award voting at age 44. It might have been time to retire there. Not only would he have nished on a high note, he also could have made a seamless transition into his next position. According to Sportico, Brady signed a 10-year $375 million contract with Fox Sports to be an onair NFL analyst. All of this goes

into e ect when he stops playing football. Yet instead of staying retired and going to Fox, he decided to come out of retirement a er 40 days and play football again. is cost him his marriage and on top of that, the Bucs aren’t even playing well this season. e team is 3-5 so far this season. ey may turn their season around, but still, it’s concerning. Brady is throwing tablets and

yelling at teammates, showing he might have made a mistake. He could have retired as the greatest player ever without any drama. His legacy in the sport is unreal, he is without a doubt the greatest player to take a snap. He’s a lockedin Hall of Famer, an idol for millions of young fans, and a great story about taking the opportunity you’re given and turning it into something great. But, to obtain all

of this greatness, he’s had to make a great personal sacri ce. Now, he’s still going to be known as the greatest player ever, but also that guy that divorced a supermodel to play mediocre football for a year.

Editors’ Note: is article is not a member of the Opinions column which also bears the name “Tommy Time.” Editor-in-Chief omas Pickering did not contribute to the writing of this article.

Novemeber 4, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot SPORTS 5

Predicting MLB award winners

Every year, awards are given out to some of the best baseball players in Major League Baseball (MLB). However, I always nd that these awards are very inconsistent. ere are clearly players that are more deserving than others, however they don’t win. You might be asking why? It’s because people care more about the storylines of a season rather than who actually ts the description for the award. Storylines are what make the game interesting and fun to follow but they also can lead to some players being robbed out of winning an award. Although the award has no money directly attached to it, some player’s contracts have additional incentives based on where they nished in voting for certain awards. Seattle Mariners out elder Julio Rodriguez, for example, recently signed a huge extension that varies in value based on his placement in Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award voting. If he nishes with no MVP votes in his rst eight seasons, the contract will be worth $200 million. However, if he nishes in the top 10 in voting two or three times, it’s worth $240 million. e value increases with more voting and can get up to $350 million. Regardless of the numbers, it’s safe to say that voting actually matters, but sometimes there’s just nothing you can do. Here are my predictions for who I think will win these awards and who should win these awards in the National League (NL) and the American League (AL). National League MVP is award is pretty much a two-man race between teammates on opposite sides of the diamond. It’s between St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado and rst baseman Paul Goldschmidt. Before talking about those two, I want to bring up San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado. Although Machado will likely not win the award this year, he still had an extremely good all-around season. He was pretty much behind only Goldschmidt or Arenado for most o ensive categories. It was a great season worth mentioning. Now who wins between Arenado and Goldschmidt. Arenado, like every season, was one of the best defensive players in all of baseball. He did that and was also 54% better than the average hitter. Although Goldschmidt had less value as a defender, he was a better hitter. He was speci cally 80% better than the average hitter. Goldschmidt led baseball in slugging percentage and was second in total bases. Simply put, he was the best overall o ensive player in the NL. One issue was his dip in production in September, so people might have a negative view on his play. I personally think Arenado should win the award because of his total overall production. Although Goldschmidt was the better hitter, it wasn’t by a large enough margin to justify the di erence in defense. However, I think Goldschmidt will probably win the award because his o ense was key for the Cardinals early in the season.

American League MVP e di erence in who I think and who is actually going to win is most substantial for this award. It’s obvious that the award is either going to be given to Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani or New York Yankees

out elder Aaron Judge. I have previously been adamant in saying that Ohtani always has to win the MVP because he simply just does more. He’s an elite hitter and pitcher at the same time. You literally cannot ask for more from a player. Yet, it is evident that Judge is going to win the MVP this year.

I am not saying he didn’t have a great year. In reality, Judge probably had one of the greatest seasons ever. He set the AL home run record at 62. He led all of baseball in most o ensive categories, and the di erence to second o en wasn’t even close. Judge was 111% better than the average hitter. However, Ohtani was 45% better than the average hitter but also 72% better than the average pitcher. Ohtani got my pick, but because Judge had the crazy storyline set with him trying to break the home run record, it’s safe to say he’s going to win the award.

NL Cy Young

I don’t really need to say a lot about this award. It’s obvious that the winner should and will be Miami Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara. Although he may not have had the lowest earned run average (ERA) or the most strikeouts, he did something we haven’t seen in a long time. Alcantara pitched well and a lot. His ERA was second in the NL, while also 228.2 innings. He pitched 23 innings more than the next closest pitcher. at’s roughly three games of high quality pitching that he had, more than anyone else. He had six complete games which was four more than the next closest pitcher in the NL. Being able to pitch that deep into games consistently and well is unheard of in the modern game of baseball. Alcantara gets my vote, and I am sure he will get everyone else’s as well.

AL Cy Young

I am not particularly sure who should win this award. e top most likely pitchers are the Houston Astros’ Justin Verlander, Chicago White Sox’s Dylan Cease,

Ohtani and the Toronto Blue Jays’ Alek Manoah. ere is an argument for each of these pitchers to win the award. Verlander had the lowest ERA and allowed the least number of walks and hits per inning pitched (WHIP). But he also pitched closets to the fewest innings out of all the guys mentioned. Cease had numbers very similar to Verlander and also nished in the top 10 in the AL for innings pitched. His only issue is that he also led the AL in walks. Ohtani led the AL in strikeouts per nine innings and was top ve in the AL in WHIP. He, like Verlander, did not pitch as many innings as some of the other guys. Manoah was just pretty good at everything. He didn’t allow a ton of hits and pitched a lot of innings. I think Verlander is probably going to win the award because of the sheer dominance he had at the age of 39. It’s de nitely a better storyline, especially because he was injured all of last season. However, I think Cease should win the award. Although the walks are concerning, considering he was still up there competing with Verlander in WHIP shows how dominant he was otherwise.

NL Rookie of the Year is is another battle between two teammates. It’s between two Atlanta Braves: out elder Michael Harris II and starting pitcher Spencer Strider. Harris’ success was extremely surprising. In the minor leagues, he was mostly known for his defense, but when he was called up to the majors, he quickly found his footing on o ense as well. In his rookie year, he had a .297 batting average and was 35% better than the average hitter. He also played elite defense in center eld and stole 20 bases. His teammate, on the other hand, was just as crazy. Strider had a ridiculous 13.9 strikeouts per nine innings and ended up having 202 strikeouts in just 131.2 innings. At times he was pretty much unhittable. If he pitched more innings, he

probably would have been in conversation to win the NL Cy Young award. In my opinion, the award should go to Strider. He had one of the greatest pitching seasons I have ever seen for a rookie. However, the award is probably going to Harris. Harris played every day, while Strider just pitched every ve days. So, Harris had more overall impact on the team.

AL Rookie of the Year is is another award that is pretty obvious. Rodriguez surely wins this award because he has quickly become one of the biggest superstars of the game. He was 47% better than the average hitter and had 28 home runs as a rookie. His only competition might be Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman. Rutschman also had a strong rookie season and already established himself as one of the best catchers in all of baseball. However, he had a slow start to the season and played a lot less than Rodriguez. Rodriguez also had a great storyline for the season as he was clearly one of the most hyped prospects in all of baseball. en he quickly became the face of the Mariners a er a strong rst half of the season. During the All-Star break, he proceeded to go to the home run derby and made it to thenals while putting on an absolute show. is established him as one of the faces of sport in general. So, he’s probably going to win the award and I think it’s justi ed.

NL Manager of the Year Managers are so di cult to evaluate in general. You might look for who makes the best decisions or who has the best record but a lot of that rides on who the players are. With that in mind, I think the Manager of the Year is Rob ompson of the Philadelphia Phillies. Every award is based solely on the regular season, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that he has helped lead the Phillies to the World Series. e Phillies started o the season in

a shambles. A er spending a ton of money in the o season to get players like Kyle Schwarber and Nicholas Castellanos, it was time for the Phillies to be good. But while under former manager Joe Girardi, the team was 22-29. A er he was red, ompson took over and suddenly the season turned around. e team went 65-46 under ompson and snuck into the playo s as a Wild Card team. Who knows what this change could have been attributed to? It’s possible that the Phillies players just stopped playing poorly, or maybe ompson did make a change. at’s what makes managers so hard to judge. ompson is who I think should win, but I would guess that Mets manager Buck Showalter will win the award. e Mets were 77-85 last year and jumped to 101-61 with Showalter. Again, a lot of factors could have played into this di erence, such as signing starting pitcher Max Scherzer, but maybe Showalter did do something. My issue is the fact that Showalter and the Mets choked on the division lead. Also, the Mets spent a ton of money so they should have been good. AL Manager of the Year I don’t really know a ton about the managers of the AL; however, I do know that two deserve credit. at’s Terry Francona of the Cleveland Guardians and Brandon Hyde of the Baltimore Orioles. Both managers were dealing with rosters that were extremely young and were projected to have subpar seasons. However, they both had very good overall seasons. e Guardians made it to the AL Division series while the average age of the roster was 26.2. Baltimore nearly made the playo s a er ve consecutive seasons with a below .500 record. I would guess that the award goes to Hyde because of how surprisingly well the Orioles were this season and I wouldn’t be upset if he won it either.

6 SPORTS The Brandeis Hoot November 4, 2022

The curation behind the Peter Sacks exhibition at the Rose Art Museum

e Rose Art Museum is one of the hidden gems on campus. Founded in 1961, it has attracted visitors all over the campus and from the greater Boston area for more than 50 years with free admission. is August, the Rose newly installed the exhibition “Peter Sacks: Resistance,” which is a series of portraits by the South African artist Peter Sacks that have never been revealed to the public. In awareness of the Peter Sacks exhibition, e Brandeis Hoot talked to the chief curator of the Rose, Gannit Ankori, about how the exhibition was curated and the history of the museum.

“Peter Sacks: Resistance” is located in the Lois Foster wing of the museum, an area used for rotating exhibitions. Ankori told e Hoot that a er the museum was reopened a er COVID-19, the curatorial team worked with Isometric Studio to redesign the wing, making it look like a separate thing with curved walls and windows but still connected to the main gallery, along with a screen and audio to present a multi-vocal approach. e Frida Kahlo exhibition and Barkley Hendricks exhibition had been previously installed in the Lois Foster wing. When it came to the Peter Sacks exhibition, Ankori worked with the graphic designer Siena Scarf.

e exhibition consists of 88 portraits of di erent individuals in elds including politics, literature, art and many more, which each resemble their own way of ghting for social justice and freedom.

e 88 portraits are displayed in black picture frames in groups, hanging on the wall painted in white and gray. e choice of background color is an important component of the curating, according to Ankori. As almost all the portraits are painted in black and white, the gray background could bring out the gray tones of the portraits, but it would have been too dark for them. To let the exhibition look harmonious yet stand out from the rest of the gallery, Ankori came up with the idea of having the gray framework and white in the middle: “it’s almost like there’s a piece of paper and a photo album where you have these works on paper on top of it. So it both separates and makes it one unit. And also the speci c white color that we used framed by the gray kind of makes it look like it highlights the works.”

“ e idea was to also amplify their voice,” Ankori said. Her point was to let the gray and white colors frame the works themselves, thus giving the visitors an immersive experience. She pointed out the signi cance of having the visitors and the individuals in the portraits looking at each oth-

eand hearing their words. “Sometimes [in] di erent languages, di erent contemporary philosophers, writers, artists, reading words chosen by di erent resistors, but it’s also all of it together.”

Ankori also explained to e Hoot why the exhibition is called “Resistance.” According to her, Sacks was an anti-apartheid activist from South Africa. When he was around 17, he went to Detroit as an exchange student. During the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.,, he learned about the resistance to oppression and discrimination and racism. Around 2020, he started making smaller works on paper because he had been in an accident. It was also a time where he felt that what was happening in the United States reminded him of the regime of oppression. With a rise of white supremacism and the taking away of voting rights of women, he felt like he needed the ones that inspired him on how to resist.

Sacks started to create works beginning with South Africans and Americans such as Frederick Douglass, Nelson Mandela, etc. Later on, he also included people who resisted Stalinism and the Nazi regime through their art, poetry, political activism and philosophy. He also found out that they were inspired by each other across time and geographic regions, with the similarity that they all fought for freedom and justice.

Ankori’s initial idea of the exhibition title was geographies of resistance. “And then we just said ‘resistance’ because why should we narrow it down?” she later explained, “and I think the way that it’s installed [is] the way that you share space [with them]. And then you hear contemporary people. Read their words and listen to [them], you get a sense of their lives, their activism, where they were from and their power.”

Following the geographic pattern and more, Ankori arranged all the portraits into groups when she installed the exhibition. In the Rose app and the catalog, the featured individuals are arranged in alphabetical order, but when it comes to the installation, Ankori put Frederick Douglas and Nelson Mandela in front because those were the rst two works that

Sacks did. She grouped the portraits in the way that Sacks made them: the people that are close to Brandeis; the people that Sacks personally knows; the portraits that all step out of the frame; the portraits that are light-colored… Visual a nity and thematic a nity are the patterns that she followed.

Ankori highlighted the structural relationship within the individuals and the juxtaposition between them: “let’s say I put a Native American [there], and then I put Gandhi there, and then underneath is Walter Beman. You know, like there are no borders. I didn’t wanna put it in, like all the people from here, all the women, all the men, all the people from

acquired, and the double-hanging of the portraits on the walls was a curatorial decision.

Ankori told e Hoot that the artist himself was very excited to have the exhibit on Brandeis campus, since Brandeis is known for its mission of social justice. Sacks came to the Rose at the beginning of this semester for the opening of his exhibition.

Besides Sacks’ resistance, another interesting point to notice is that all the exhibitions at the Rose all started with the word “Re:”. What is the logic behind the naming? Ankori explained with the example “re:collection” : “ inking back at the roots when the museum was founded, what were we collecting then? What are

this ethnicity or something. It’s about the human fabric.” She acknowledged the di culty of explaining the structure of all the artworks via Zoom to e Hoot, but also expressed that “the idea was that they are formal, sometimes thematic, sometimes they’re like a cluster of people who knew each other.” By grouping the individuals with di erent rationales, she wanted to express that the rhythm behind it was more than one long line, but the curators broke it up into sounds and verses that could immerse the visitors.

e whole project took almost two years to complete, according to Ankori. She rst saw Sacks’ earlier work “Without Name” at his New York gallery and was amazed by the abstract collage on a large canvas. She later contacted the artist and paid a visit to his studio. She saw his numerous smaller portraits of the resistors, which she thought would resonate with the mission of Brandeis and the Rose. It was a long process of thinking and hanging a er making sure what works should be

we collecting now? What did we not collect? And then I thought if we did it with a colon [before] collections, it’s also regarding collections. e idea is remembering how the museum started and how the collection began, but also thinking about who is collected and who is neglected.” e “re: collection” exhibition shows the old work that was acquired earlier in a new way, along with contemporary work.

Ankori also talked about the “re:presentation” section: “It’s about presentation, but it’s also about representation and self-representation. Who is objecti ed? Who is the subject, who’s the object?” and the “re:tellings” section, “It’s about layered traumas. It’s about telling the story, but it’s also about retelling the story.”

Ankori pointed out that everything with the “re” and the colon was intentionally designed to let the visitors think about the whole world, but Sacks’ resistance was more like a coincidence, which was an interesting point to notice.

FEATURES November 4, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot 7

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

e Brandeis Hoot invited Professor Erin Gee, the chair of the music department at Brandeis and also a composer, and Katie Ball ’22, the program administrator of the music department as well as an alumna, to join an interview. Gee and Ball gave an introduction about the three tracks for the music major, the upcoming opportunities for students, and the popular career tracks students will choose a er graduation.

As the course registration date for the Spring 2023 semester is around the corner, Gee introduced the courses she would teach next semester. Gee will teach two courses. One of the courses she mentioned was MATH/MUS 121B: Math and Music, which she will be teaching with Professor Jonathan Touboul from the math department. is course will focus on how music concepts can be expressed in mathematical terms. Another course is MUS 196B, which is about sound installations and move-

ment staging. Gee said: “ is one is about creating your sound installation, so it’s a combination of art, you know, creation, construction.” A special guest will also engage in this class: Colin Gee, Gee’s brother.

Gee also mentioned the three tracks for music major students, which are Composition & eory, History & Culture and Performance. For the Composition & eory track, students are asked to think about how music works and di erent possible ways of putting music together. ere is also the possibility of studying with one of the professors in one of the composition lessons, and students can put on a concert with peers.

e History & Culture track is about understanding music in di erent contexts. Ball demonstrated: “You can learn about the history of di erent kinds of music, the di erent meanings of music in di erent cultures, and that’s also a great lead-in for students who are interested in musicology.”

Due to the structure and the way classes look, the History & Cul-

ture track will look a little more like other academic programs at Brandeis. Students are asked to do a lot of readings on music of di erent cultures.

ere are also many graduate studies, writing and publishing opportunities in the eld. e Performance track attracts a lot of students who have an interest in instruments. Ball added: “People

combined with lots of other majors at Brandeis. Psychology, mathematics, sociology and computer science all can be combined with music, even if students are not pursuing music as a career. Gaining interpersonal skills, research skills and using the creative part of oneself helps make students pursue a well-rounded career in the future, according to

signing up for an audition course.

Gee demonstrated: “We have a collection of early music instruments that students gain access to, and pretty much everyone is starting from the beginning.” ough the music department does not o cially a liate with any clubs, there are many di erent music-based clubs that o en

who come in with an instrument or they’re a singer and they take lessons and they put on recitals.”

e music department is also

For career opportunities provided by the music department, it could be art administration, organizing arts events, teaching in music, etc. Ball gave an example: “We have students who graduated that were interested in the connections between music and illness.” Areas like music therapy are also elds that students can pursue.

As Ball used to be a Brandeis student, her identity is now changed into a sta member, which she has spent many years on the Brandeis campus. Based on this shi of identity, she has understood di erent elements of students’ academic experience at Brandeis. Ball said: “Yes, I am not the only student to be taking on sta positions a er graduating. I do think that students going into these roles and getting more involved with the university is a great way for us to help bring things to fruition that we wished we’d had in our undergrad careers.”

Gee recommended that students can get involved in performing opportunities towards the start of the spring semester by

perform and have events with the music department. e radio station and the acapella groups are some good examples. Ball told e Hoot: “ I can tell you that many of our students participate in those groups and really love them.”

e music department also set up lots of concerts and performance opportunities in this fall semester. Ball gave some examples: “We have the Garra Collective. ey perform Afro-Indigenous music from Belize and Honduras … and they have a concert this Saturday at 8 p.m. and there’s a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m. Before that. From there, pretty much every weekend until the end of the semester, we will have concerts.” More importantly, for Brandeis students, all concerts are free.

At the end of spring semester, the music department will do three concerts in one day. Ball demonstrated: “Students will have senior recitals in addition to the spring concerts for all of the groups I just mentioned. And we bring a di erent group from all around the world each semester for Music Unites Us.”

Gee. special to the hoot PHOTO FROM ERIN-GEE COM
8 FEATURES The Brandeis Hoot November 4, 2022

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe.”

Thank you to the Health Center


Victoria Morrongiello

Thomas Pickering

Madeline Rousell

Managing Editor Mia Plante

Copy Editor Logan Ashkinazy

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Arts Editors

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Features Editor Jenny Zhao

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Editor-at-large Lucy Fay

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It can be really easy to take things for granted when you don’t know life without them. ere are a lot of services and resources at Brandeis that can go undervalued and underappreciated because we’ve never had to live without it. One of those services is our Health Center. We would like to take this space to thank the workers at the Health Center for their continued work to keep campus safe and healthy. When talking to students on other campuses—comparatively—the services o ered are not as e cient or as helpful as the Health Center at Brandeis, especially under the circumstances of continuing to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and the u.Having to manage a campus full of students—a majority of whom are living on their own for the rst time—can be di cult from a health perscpective. While managing viral diseases like mono and upper respiratory infections which are historically spread among college students, the Health Center has also continued to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and u, not just in treatment and detection through testing, but in prevention through the administration of vaccines. When it comes to COVID-19, the Health Center could not have been any better. At every opportunity to vaccinate the Brandeis community, they did. ey have been advertising and administering booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. ey delivered and ensured that every student had the ability to be protected from COVID-19—all this while still o ering routine u shot clinics for the entire student

body. is service is something that most schools do not have to o er, but the Brandeis Health Center has been on top of and running smoothly. As further proof of their dedication to the Brandeis community and the students who live and study here, the Health Center is open ve days a week. While some universities across the country hesitate to o er services on campus such as COVID-19 booster clinics, our health center works a full work week to provide medical services to our campus. During their regular work week, they o er a number of services directly to students. Although the university has closed its mass COVID-19 testing center, the Health Center has picked up the job and has been o ering COVID-19 testing for students who are identied as close contacts or who are exhibiting symptoms. eir e orts to limit the spread of COVID-19 exposure on campus does not go unnoticed. For a campus resource that is understa ed and overworked, it is clear how much they care based on the high level of service they provide to our community. Sure, there may exist waits for testing or checkups in the o ce, but for only a handful of workers servicing 3,500 students on campus, it is impressive what they are able to accomplish. But the Health Center and those that work there are not just o ering clinics to vaccinate our student body, they are actively protecting our community from a number of conditions that can cripple college campuses. e Brandeis Health Center o ers to our students the

ability to test for iron de ciencies and sextually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia and hepatitis. en, if they do not have the ability to test for certain conditions in the on-campus center, they will outsource to a nearby location to provide the smoothest and quickest service to our students. is is important to consider while being reminded of the fact that some universities outsource all of the medical needs of their campus without bringing any directly to their student body. Students on other campuses are o en referred to hospitals or nearby urgent cares for matters like these. Working with college students can be undoubtedly di cult, but everyone in the Health Center is simply so nice and caring when you go in, whether it is for a shot or for testing. Truly, the practitioners make students feel safe. While this editorial does not focus on any particular aspect of the Health Center here at Brandeis; appreciation for all that the Health Center does must be given. On an everyday basis, they consistently provide generous and kind services to our campus which do not go unnoticed. ese are the unsung heroes of Brandeis who deserve higher praise for all that they do to protect us and make our four years here as healthy as possible.A special thank you to Colleen Collins who is the medical director of the university and has coordinated our COVID-19 protocols and distribution of care to help keep us safe and healthy. ank you for your work, it would not be the same community without you.



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CONNECT phone • (781) 330-0051 e-mail • eic@thebrandeishoot com online • brandeishoot com facebook • facebook com/thebrandeishoot twitter • twitter com/thebrandeishoot instagram • instagram com/thebrandeishoot EDITORIALS November 4, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot 9

The loss of oral tradition in Brandeis clubs post-COVID-19

After a year of virtual classes (2020) and another subsequent year of mixed online and virtual classes (2021), Brandeis University has almost entirely returned to its pre-COVID-19 operations, somewhat. Having online classes cut off most students from joining clubs on campus, and many groups did not perform for at least an entire academic school year. This raises the question:

what parts of Brandeis culture has COVID-19 taken from us?

I am referring specifically to the oral traditions, passed down from club leader to club member. For instance, many students are now unfamiliar with Liquid Latex, which used to be one of the largest performance groups on campus. Speaking to upperclassmen (especially seniors), they remember the cultural impact of the club. However, with underclassmen, very few know what the club is about. Liquid Latex’s most recent performance was in

the spring of 2022. Had this event not taken place, there would have been no one in the club currently who had ever been in a Liquid Latex show. Having the lived experience of participating in a show is vital for the continuation of a performance-based club—both in ensuring that events run smoothly and so that the club continues to have an impact on campus.

On a smaller scale, certain traditions that individual clubs used to carry out are no longer a part of those clubs—not because these traditions are no longer relevant to the club but because nobody currently in the club participated in them. This changes the dynamics with the club, for better or for worse. We will never know because we do not fully know what was lost.

There is at least an entire year missing from the history of many clubs. In trying to ensure a fast and smooth return to club activities, certain pieces of the clubs disappeared and remain trapped in the memories of Brandeis alumni.

If anything, this proves how easy it is to lose pieces of oral history. In my improv troupe (To Be Announced Improv), we know that the troupe has previously played certain improv games. None of us have learned how to play them, and the members who did know the games have since graduated. With very little written down, it is incredibly easy for small pieces or huge swaths of tradition to be lost. When old traditions are lost, new ones take their place. Every

new member joining a club will impact how a club is run, and over time, the goals of the club will likely change. This is inevitable. COVID-19 just exacerbated the process, and for me, made me more aware of it.

All of this is not to say that the current versions of the clubs on campus are somehow lesser than their pre-COVID-19 counterparts. The club culture on campus is thriving, and there is always something fun to attend or participate in. Everyone leading a club truly gives it their all, and the effort is evident in the final product. Students at Brandeis have a deep-set passion for their clubs, with many students participating in multiple across varied interests.

Clubs at Brandeis are different now. During my first semester in fall 2021, it was evident the club structure was unstable and on the mend. First and foremost, there was a focus on getting clubs back up and running. E-boards had to reconvene and figure out new plans, all the while having limited experience in comparasion to previous E-board groups preCOVID-19. And let me say personally, clubs persisted, and they did so incredibly effectively given the circumstances. A then-incoming first-year, I found no shortage of clubs to be involved in, and I am incredibly happy with the ones I am in now. This semester, with new Student Activities Specialist Bridget Summit on board, there is a more formal return to the club system on campus (how clubs operate and organize events), as well

as a move away from Presence and onto Campus Groups for online organization.

The way clubs operate now has indeed changed. And that is okay. Your clubs will not look the same now as they will look in five years or even next semester. Every club leader makes their club a unique place—gives it their own finishing touches from their previous experiences and interests. Clubs are living, breathing, ever-changing groups.

When you attend your clubs, you are attending an event nobody will ever get to exist in again. Clubs are a place for people with similar interests to get together and make something out of it. And club identity is never stagnant. There is always a new project to put together, a new event to organize, or a new goal to attain.

Despite all of this, I still mourn what has been lost and taken from us too soon. To the club leaders and members reading this piece, if anything, I hope that this encourages you to write down your traditions and keep them in a safe place. Clubs should by no means exist statically, unchanging, but a club should know where it came from. Do not let oral history and tradition be lost so easily. It is desperate to slip between our fingers and into obscurity.

Kindness Week approaches! Why should you join the fun?

As the seasons change and midterms tromp past us like boots in the mud, Brandeis University takes a moment to acknowledge what we have to be grateful for with Kindness Week, happening Nov. 6 to Nov. 10. After enduring lab after lab, finally making it through a nerve-racking performance and putting Halloween costumes away until next year, it is important to give ourselves and those around us time to heal as we prepare for further challenges ahead.

As we approach Brandeis’ 13th annual Kindness Day, I’d like to give some history to the event to help us understand how we got to where we are today. In 2009, “the Kindness Day initiative was started by a faculty member with a vision to further connect Brandeis by promoting morale, building community, and encouraging more small acts of thanks and kindness on campus.” Since then, Kindness Day has grown from one singular “Kindness Day” to a whole week centered around highlighting and celebrating kindness on campus. The Kindness Day Committee—a group of students that plan and run Kindness Day annually—has recruited student volunteers and partnered with a number of Brandeis clubs

and organizations to bring you, the student body, the experience you’ve been waiting for or, rather, the experience you never knew you needed.

In 2013, in order to spread awareness of the wonders of Kindness Day, the committee created its first official social media account on Facebook. To keep up with the times, the university group’s official Instagram page (@ deiskindnessday) became another mode of communication. In addition to its social media presence, the Kindness Day Committee works to share information about what’s to come through club emails, posters and fliers around campus, and maybe even a Hoot article! Between all of these resources, you have no excuse to not know about all of the fun events on campus.

Consequently, the next question we must ask is: why must we spread the word? We’ve got a lot in store for you! Instead of just a singular day of excitement, Kindness Week offers a variety of events focusing on different aspects of kindness for yourself, your friends and loved ones, your community and the Earth!

Our amazing event coordinators worked hard to plan events during the mornings, afternoons and evenings, so no matter what your schedule looks like, you can stop by, even if you can’t come to every event (busy Brandeisians…

typical *eye-roll*). These themes can help you choose which events are best for you.

Starting with the theme of kindness for yourself, on Tuesday, Nov. 8, the Be Kind to Yourself Fair draws from the creative ideas of our club and organization partners to deliver a holistic self-care experience for students. Dance, laugh, pamper yourself with a face mask (a skincare one, not a COVID one) and enjoy the immaculate vibes; the Be Kind to Yourself Fair is for you, so wherever you are in the healing process, feel free to do what fits your fancy!

For our kindness for the community theme, Monday, Nov. 7 hosts the Service Fair, a place where service groups (i.e. Waltham Group, TRII, PAD, among others) on campus demonstrate their commitment to their causes with compelling stories and fulfilling activities. Furthermore, the Kindness Day Committee has put together a service project that will blow your mind!

In honor of the ”Year of Climate Action,” the Kindness Day Committee decided that we were going to highlight being kind to the Earth. Kindness Week provides an outlet for students to show their care for the environment at the Sustainability Fair on Wednesday, Nov. 9. Here, the Kindness Day Committee teams up with

dedicated student environmental groups across campus to present a taste of Brandeis’ commitment to sustainability. What’s more, look out for fun activities to partake in and mementos to cherish (and keep an eye out for the Kindness Week table… the Event Coordinators have been waiting to plan this project for ages).

Last, but certainly not least, Kindness Day, on Thursday Nov. 10, finishes Kindness Week off with a bang. Your favorite clubs and student organizations will be tabling in the SCC for much of Thursday to show how much they care about the Brandeis community!

And this is not all! These are just some of the big day-time events. We have a bunch of evening events like Baking Night

with the Service Committee, Thrift Night, a Dance Party and Open Mic Night with the a capella groups of Brandeis! Take a look at our super cute schedules for more information!

In conclusion, Brandeis’ Kindness Week provides students with the space they deserve to show everyone, including ourselves, that we are committed to Brandeis not only as a powerhouse of an academic institution but as a one-of-a-kind community that thrives off of its ability to be the change and to live and breathe kindness. Keep your eyes peeled for updates, and we’ll see you at Kindness Week!

OPINIONS 10 The Brandeis Hoot Th November 4, 2022
photo by jamie trope
photo from brandeis edu

While it might be in poor taste, given the current state of global affairs, for me to strike a critical blow at the unity of the democratic world, nothing would evoke the unity of that world like the free expression of criticism. After all, the German delegation to Taiwan certainly exercised this freedom to criticize before I did, when they decided on Oct. 24 to scold the self-governed island for its continuance of capital punishment.

There is an unjustified conceit to the Germans’ approach that prior generations might have recognized to have manifested throughout Germany’s various historical regimes. Here lies a great power, an undisputed liberal democracy of the present day, which undertook a provocative journey to a fellow democratic state claimed by Goliath as its own province, only to frame what might have been a declaration of equal solidarity as a self-righteous lecture, the aim of which apparently was to correct the deviant conduct of an unruly pupil.

Of course, the symbolic fundamentals of the visit predominated as expected: Beijing submitted its usual rigid objections, while the international media expressed an unreserved approval at the high-level contact between two democratic states. Taiwan itself displayed to Germany only appreciation and gratitude, its government too aware of the general context to raise the hackles of a state far more reluctant to demonstrate a practical commitment to its fellow democracies than Britain, France, Denmark and most other transatlantic nations.

Berlin is more content instead to affirm its democratic credentials by disparaging those of other democracies; Taiwan was only the most recent sufferer of this. As per the German outlet Deutsche Welle, the German delegates had “expressed their concern” with regard to the Taiwanese management of Chinese threats. Their accompanying insistence that only mutual consent could resolve the cross-strait situation, while unobjectionable in principle, is nonetheless an apparent attempt to warn Taipei, equally as much as Beijing, against reckless unilateral initiatives. Their condemnation of the death penalty in Taiwan served to cap this grand exercise in undue admonishment.

The unpleasant element to this is not the fact that the German state directed its criticism at Taiwanese politics, which Berlin was entirely entitled to do, and which Taipei accepted without protest; nor does it derive from some fundamental wrongness in the German position on the death penalty (the discussion of which is an entirely separate subject). Rather, it is the presumption on the German side of its own correctness, without any consideration for the intrinsic debatability of its positions, that conjures a deplorable intransigence on the part of its policymakers. Regardless of whether the death penalty is right or wrong, to Germany the matter is settled; all other democracies still enmeshed in this debate simply haven’t caught up. A dirtier term to describe this position is bigotry.

Since Berlin had, in line with the other members of its self-contained Western European political ecosystem, at one point decided that the death penalty is undemocratic, any nation which

The ‘right’ sort of democracies

still retains it must now exist in continual violation of democratic standards. Who sets such democratic standards? Western Europe, of course, with Germany at its center. Since this community of nations happens to represent a crucial nerve center of the democratic bloc, it presumes that any general consensus there sets the purest standard to which all free societies must adhere. If any democracy peripheral to this Carolingian community happens to deviate from the Western European standard, then this country, no matter how legitimately democratic, regardless of whether it is Israel, Japan, Lithuania or the United States, must suffer a detraction from its democratic score. If Taiwan were to abolish capital punishment, it could conform once again to the template for what Germany conceives an ideal democracy to look like.

Whether Taiwan, which currently is debating the retention of capital punishment, decides to keep the death penalty or scrap it is none of Germany’s business; either outcome would reflect a judgment of compatibility with democratic standards in Taiwan, by the Taiwanese government that legislated it and the Taiwanese electorate that approved it. There may be legitimate interpretations of morality on either side of that debate, mutually disproving the other’s moral monopoly; such is the nature of democratic and indeed any intellectual debate, in which no single side can claim a moral mandate for its policy unless bidden by the electorate.

Germany might rebut this by indicating the illiberal policies which the Hungarian and Turkish governments had implemented with the approval of their respective electorates. These examples would illustrate that some policies must be acknowledged as undemocratic, which in the opinion of Germany includes the death penalty. Yet the majoritarian populism which so weakens the tolerance for political pluralism in those aforementioned countries does not characterize the likes of Taiwan or Japan; in fact, Germany might discover that democracy can perform better in those latter countries than within its own Western European neighborhood.

According to Freedom in the World, a survey and report released annually by Freedom House, Taiwan’s democratic metrics rank equal to Germany’s, with a total score of 94 in 2021. While Germany’s score has remained static in recent years, Taiwan’s has climbed slightly to reach parity with the very country which suggested its use of the death penalty fell short of democratic standards. It is conceivable that in another year or two Taipei might leave Germany behind in the dust, with a democratic state better functioning than that of Berlin. Japan, on the other hand, has already surpassed Germany with a near-perfect score of 96— while still in possession of the

death penalty itself. If Tokyo and Taipei can maintain democracies of equal or better health than Germany’s while each retaining the death penalty, then Berlin is in no position to judge whether those countries fall short of a self-declared democratic standard.

It should also be noted that Barbados, Cyprus, Uruguay, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Slovenia and other countries beyond the Western European ecosphere maintain—according to Freedom House—more successful electoral democracies than that of Germany. Berlin has no right to set a race for its fellow democracies, whereby to cross the finish line is to resemble Germany’s regulations and legislative decisions as perfectly as possible. If Germans have decided that the death penalty is inconsistent with its democratic standards, then it is equally legitimate for the Japanese to determine a compatibility between capital punishment and their democratic foundation; both have robust democratic scores and equally comprehend the meaning of democracy. Germany’s democratic tradition is no more ingrained in its cultural history than that of Taiwan or Japan; Berlin would do well to remember this before it attempts to supervise the regulatory developments of its fellow democratic states.

The quantification of those rankings, of course, warrants scrutiny in its own right. Freedom House, along with all other organizations devoted to the comparison of democratic metrics, must find a way to not only identify the structural commonalities of diverse democratic systems of government, but measure the efficacy of every such commonality against a rubric of objective standards. The problem pertains to what is objective and what is not. Individual countries such as Germany might presume that its own standards, such as that in relation to the death penalty, represent the ideal; it might also portray the political structure of another democracy as different from its own, and therefore inadequate for the proper maintenance of an elective government. Freedom House must carefully determine which democratic standards transcend debate, such as electoral competitiveness and media freedom, and which are interpretatively ambiguous. If conducted objectively, its rankings can reveal democracies of extraordinary structural diversity, with a variety of different regulations by which to approach justice, commerce, education and other matters. It is this freewheeling experimentation that characterizes the dynamic policymaking and creative solutions of the democratic world; if Freedom House were to decide that any democracies that restricted the death penalty, drug usage or firearms somehow failed some democratic standard, the pluralistic essence of a free society would be subordinated to the judgment and whims of a central decision-maker.

Far from the clownish sugges-

tions by Moscow and Beijing that their states represent “alternative democracies,” the notion of democratic diversity actually pertains to those myriad states that perform robustly in objective democratic criteria, such as France, the United States, Japan and Costa Rica, even as they maintain very different political structures. Chile, South Korea and the United States have presidential systems in which the head of government is elected independent of the legislature; France in turn has a semi-presidential system in which a prime minister exists to assist the president; Poland, Finland and India have parliamentary systems in which a president serves as a generally ceremonial head of state, while the prime minister serves as the active head of government; Japan and Britain maintain parliamentary systems in which a hereditary monarch acts as a ceremonial head of state to supervise the the activities of the elected government. Democracies may also vary in their administrative structure, depending upon the regional requirements of its subdivisions; Japan may function well as a unitary state, while Germany and the United States require more localized federal models to operate most efficiently. Each of these systems arose in recognition of the unique histories, traditions and aspirations of their respective countries. Many were tested, abandoned and replaced until the political structure could achieve harmony with its constituent population; each is therefore contoured to the specific conditions of their population. These national conditions are not excuses by which to justify forms of autocratic government, but genuine realities that underpin the electorate’s habits, reliances and societal configuration. Britain and Japan at different times rejected the replacement of their millennium-old monarchies with republican regime change, with their understanding that no form of government could impart a unifying legitimacy to the same degree as their most ancient sources of authority (stripped of their political power, of course). France represents a country that undertook extensive political experimentation before it finally found a government of best fit, having rejected monarchy and empire multiple times; Paris even decided that a traditional parliamentary democracy proved too unstable and indecisive for its liking, making sure to incorporate a powerful presidential role into its fifth attempted republic. The United States likewise realized nearly two centuries earlier that a stronger presidential system was necessary to administer its deeply regionalized model.

If derived from a common historical influence, regions may come to similar political conclusions. It is no coincidence that virtually all countries in the western hemisphere that were independent before the 20th century adopted the presidential sys-

tem of the region’s hegemon, the United States; likewise, England’s ancient democracy has left its imprint throughout continental Europe and its former empire. But is there a “right sort” of democracy that can transcend regions and be applicable to all free states? Certainly, the intrinsic diversity of countries testifies that no model is a universal fit; a government will be abandoned if it fails in its mission to govern—such is the mandate of a revolution. Do presidential or parliamentary systems perform better? If Uruguay with its presidential system ranks higher than Germany with its parliamentary system, and Finland with its parliamentary system ranks better than South Korea with its presidential system, then no reasonable conclusion can be reached. Each system betrays strengths and weaknesses: While Germany’s delicate coalition-building and America’s elaborate checks and balances may facilitate gridlock or delay new governments, yet this complexity is consciously designed to prevent the domination of a single political element. Some leaders in presidential and parliamentary systems alike may lose the popular vote yet win power; other leaders might have no term limits, like German chancellors; some leaders can exploit momentary political fortunes with snap elections, while others are powerless before fixed election dates.

Yet no matter the different trade-offs in the operation of government from country to country, the ultimate responsibility that legitimizes democratic rule is its capacity to represent the interests and defend the rights of the electorate. There is no “right” sort of democracy beyond that which can demonstrably perform its duties to whatever population it happens to govern. To apply pressure upon another democracy in the expectation that it might adhere more closely to one’s own, and to pretend that national judgments represent universalized standards, is to defile the spirit of liberalism itself; it is to pretend that you alone comprehend the paramount morality that governs human nature, to which all other states with their alternative philosophies must bend. The interpretative pluralism which justifies and sustains a free society can only endure while this conceit is resisted. A warning is necessary for countries like Germany, which venture out to lecture democracies of equal stature about the immorality of their laws: The free world only remains free while it respects the plural possibilities that freedom allows. Let Taiwan debate for itself what it deems to be right.

12 OPINIONS The Brandeis Hoot November 4, 2022 photo from shipafreight com

The Year of Climate Action Column

Trees: as one of Earth’s most resilient life forces, they have a lot to teach us

From a young age we are taught about the importance of trees; how they help us breathe and how they clean the air. Later on, we learn about habitat and pollination, shade cover and the sociological impacts of greenery. But, it is not often discussed what trees themselves can teach us. Two recent articles from The New York Times and The Washington Post provide ample facts and additional perspectives on the greater understanding of trees and their role in climate, how humans can affect that role and what an understanding of said role can do for us in the near future.

Both the fields of dendroclimatology and paleoclimatology, to be discussed later, provide critical knowledge to our understanding of the planet. According to a recent article in The New York Times, certain trees yield abundant evidence of past climatic patterns and offer insight on possible future outcomes of climate change. For example, the Great Basin bristlecone pine trees of the American west, some of the oldest trees on Earth, are giving forest researchers clues to the endurance of the species as they defy thousands of years of climate change manifestations.

Despite myriad climate struggles in the arid climates of California, Utah and Nevada, such as severe drought, fierce wildfires and bark beetles, the bristlecone pines are steadily thriving. One bristlecone pine located in the Methuselah Grove in California, (its exact location is kept secret by the U.S. Forest Service for its protection), is believed to be 4,855 years old, the oldest on Earth.

Scientists believe this longevity is due to the trees’ extremely slow growth, about one inch in diameter every 100 years, which has allowed the tree to develop a thick bark and added protection from the elements and wildfires. This increases the ability to persist in such a dry climate, which holds fewer competitors overall. Examining the outer grooves in the dense wood indicates the trees’ health, past endurance and age.

Additionally, cross-sections of a tree’s trunk will reveal rings that are used in conjunction with carbon dating to determine the age and health of an individual tree.

Paramount in research of tree rings is historical relevance and comparison, as explored in the field of dendroclimatology. The primary differences among tree rings are coloration and thickness; dendroclimatologists then use the knowledge from the rings, as well as current knowledge of individual species and climate, to define endemic climate anomalies and other patterns that can provide context for how species may react to upcoming weather and climatic patterns.

Depending on differing climates, ring boundaries and wood density can reconstruct depictions of historic climatic changes. A combined study of rings has shown that almost all of the planet, despite global climate variance, has been consistently warming since the Industrial Revolution. This shows definite results from human-driven climate change and exemplifies the importance of tree ring data in natural archives.

Paleoclimatology, the study of undocumented climate history, will help us garner a greater understanding of the true extent of human interference with Earth’s natural changes in climate cycles. Additionally, this reconstruction

of geological patterns and systems allows for further advancement of potentially beneficial ecosystem management innovations. Several academic groups have proposed ideas for invasive species integration into sustainable forestry projects; this includes building ecological diversity through controlled burning and mindful planting of new species. Advancements in biotechnology for the detection of invasive species are being researched, as are genetically modified trees as part of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques. By studying the outcomes of IPM within forest ecology, scientists can learn more about potential outcomes of these widespread IPM techniques in other fields as we endeavor to battle climate change.

As discussed in the article from The Washington Post, researchers based at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York have found an enzyme that could, through gene manipulation, save and bring back the “functionally extinct” American chestnut tree. Since the early 20th century, the American chestnut tree has been battling extinction via interference from an exotic fungus, whose arrival, as well as the arrival of many other arboreal diseases threatening the lives of native trees, was linked to global trade. The enzyme that researchers detected exists naturally in other plants, but the introduction of this enzyme into the chestnut tree and surrounding ecosystem requires significant approval (federal, agricultural and other). The transgenic (genetically modified) American chestnut tree is known as “Darling 58.”

Notably, Darling 58 could pose a turning point in genetically modified tree species as the outcomes relate to aggressive inva-

sive beetles; this is due to their specific interactions with the pests. If the FDA approves this alteration, this type of enzyme manipulation could open the door to a new era of IPM techniques and arboreal gene adaptations against invasive beetles as well, not just fungal diseases. In a diseased American chestnut tree, chestnut blight manifests as the fungus Cryphonectria parasitica, which releases oxalic acid, killing cells and allowing for the fungus to eat away at dead tree tissue. Researchers have located the encoding gene oxalate oxidase (OxO) in other crops (barley, for one), and engineered pollen to contain OxO. Specifically, oxalate oxidase breaks down the oxalic acid, keeping the fungus from eating tree tissue. This makes OxO safer in the long term because it still allows for a minor infection from the fungus, but stops the spread to the whole tree. The genetically engineered pollen will flower chestnuts that carry the OxO blight resistant DNA, allowing the next generation of chestnut trees to be resilient against Cryphonectria parasitica. Since the manipulation is only contained in one chromosome of the engineered pollen’s DNA, about half of the flowered chestnuts contain the blight resistance. This building up of immunity is what will protect the tree in the long term, ideally, much like the incredibly dense wood and thick bark of the bristlecone pine.

Tests on gene inheritance longevity have shown that blight resistance remains at about the same levels through generations. In this scenario, trees are strong actors in the ecological community and study of ecosystem management. While Darling 58 is evolving into a success story in the field, actions regarding invasive species and pests have been

slower on the pick up.

Invasive beetles continue to be vexations for scientists, as damage prevention via early detection and rapid response is most important, but preemptive preventative action remains futile. Many proposed tactics are largely contested due to the potential development of super-pests that are resistant to IPM or other aggressive chemical attacks. This review of articles and ecological fields has prompted further questions. For example, the bristlecone pine’s strength is largely understood to come from the thick bark and dense wood of the tree. However, if there is one, would forestry scientists and researchers be able to identify a part of the bristlecone pine’s DNA that aids this strength? If so, is it possible that in the event of Darling 58’s approval, the DNA code that bolsters the bristlecone pine’s longevity gets woven into the DNA of other struggling tree species through cross-pollination (like has been done with Darling 58)? Though, would it be practical to have such strong and slow-growing trees as the band-aid fix to struggling forestry? Additionally, if this occurs, what would the further effects of these long-living tree species be on their surrounding environments?

As long as trees can teach us about history, we can learn from them about the future. These multifaceted topics are culminating in groundbreaking research all over the world, however quietly. A more widespread understanding of these climate mitigation tactics and our environmental history should be a goal as we continue into this era of intense climate change debates and calls for imminent action.

Turning pessimism into climate action

I recently saw an image from the James Webb Space Telescope of the “Pillars of Creation” in the Eagle Nebula. In addition to having one of the coolest names ever, the Pillars of Creation are unreal, and I believed that they were computer-generated for a moment. They’re very real, though we may not get to experience any more breathtaking views like them.

As humanity destroys Earth, poisoning our air and spewing

waste into our atmosphere, we are slowly closing our window into the rest of the universe. As the curtains are slowly drawn on the human race’s window, I can’t help but think about what we’ll miss once we’re gone. Is there any other intelligent life? What are distant galaxies like? What kind of cheese is the moon made out of? These are all questions that we may not get to answer if we cut our species’ timeline short.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. While humanity is having the curtains slowly drawn on us, blocking out more and more of our universe’s majesty from our

view, we hold the power to stop it. We are the ones closing the curtains. There’s so much beauty, abundance and wonder out in the universe, most of which we still haven’t seen.

We still have time to make a choice: we are cutting our own time in the universe short, just to make a profit and have more expensive (and destructive) toys. We have the power to stop it, but will we?

At this point, I’m truly not sure. In many of my environmental studies classes, I’m told not to lose hope. I learn about new climate solutions, about possible future

solutions and I’m overall told that there is hope for the future. And I really, really want there to be. But as carbon dioxide levels rise, as 150 species go extinct every day and as I see other humans brazenly waste resources for pleasure and/or profit, it’s hard to keep that spark of hope that I learn about every week.

So what is one to do with this doom and gloom? I see only one feasible choice: turning pessimism into action. The world around me encourages wanton waste and apathy towards the environment, so I act to combat that. If things look bad, what can I

do to make it better?

That’s why I’m an environmental studies student, that’s why I started this column and that’s why I’ll keep doing what I can do to protect the planet. If we’ve already done ourselves in, so be it. I choose to go down fighting and not allow the looming inevitability of our planet’s doom keep me from action. I refuse to allow my perceived lack of hope in the fight against climate change to be my unraveling thread and keep me from action.

November 4, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot The Brandeis Hoot 11
photos from brandeis edu and thebrandeishoot com graphic by cooper gottfried

Now that ‘Derry Girls’ has ended, it is time you watch this hilarious Irish sitcom

In the face of danger and sadness, it can sometimes seem difcult to laugh. However, if you have a great group of friends by your side, then any problem can seem manageable. In the late 20th century, Ireland was dominated by e Troubles. is was an etho-nationalist con ict that led to violence over the status of Northern Ireland. It lasted from the 1960s to the 1990s, which means it was on the minds of Irish people for decades. is creates the setting for “Derry Girls.” While this does provide the background, that is not what this show is all about. e focus is on a group of high school girls and all of their wacky hijinks. is is a show lled with humor and a lot of fun moments, but also moments that are sweet and touching. e third season was released on Net ix on Oct. 7, bringing an end to this heartwarming series. So if you want to watch this series, now is the time. e setting is Derry, Northern Ireland in the mid1990s. e series centers around passionate Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson) and her energetic group of friends. ere is Erin’s eccentric cousin Orla (Louisa Harland), the hyper worrier Claire (Nicola Coughlan), the rebellious Michelle (Jamie-Lee O’Donnell) and Michelle’s cousin James (Dylan Llewellyn), the only one from England in the group and the only boy as well. e group all attend Our Lady Immaculate, a private Catholic private school that is all girls, except for James, who was granted an exception for being English and would not have been safe at the boy’s school. Even though

these schools are meant to teach girls how to be model Catholic citizens in society, the Derry Girls are anything but. ey are always nding themselves in a bunch of wild adventures. For example, in season three you will nd the girls encountering ghosts and creating public schemes for concert tickets. Viewers also get a look into the lives of the girls’ families, like Erin’s mother (Tara Lynne O’Neill), father (Tommy Tiernan), aunt (Kathy Kiera Clarke) and grandfather (Ian McElhinney). We also get to see some plots from the girls’ headmistress, the tough and sarcastic Sister Michael (Siobhán McSweeney). Every so o en, the viewers are reminded of e Troubles going on and how that is a ecting people’s lives. However, at the end of the day, this is a show about friendship, love and hope.

Even though I have never been to Ireland, did not go to a Catholic school and was not alive during the ’90s, I still felt that I could relate to these girls. e wonderful writing is what helps make these characters special and it is what made me want to tune in for thenal season. ey are all portrayed as fun people to hang out with and are absolutely hilarious. It felt like every minute there was a witty joke. At some times, all of that humor can get overwhelming, but for most of this season, there was a perfect balance. I’ve also picked up some fun Irish slang from this show. By the end of this article, you will probably see me refer to something as being really cracker. Since this is a sitcom, there was not a serialized story. Even though there are some ongoing running jokes and plotlines, most episodes have their own separate storylines. e problem with this is I feel that some episodes end where a problem is not fully resolved, and then

that problem is never addressed again. I wish some of the episodes had more closure. However, the sitcom format does lend itself to great rewatching ability, as you don’t have to rewatch in order, you can just pick some highlights. An episode that really stood out in the third season was an episode that focused on what the parents were like in high school.

I thought it was really unique and a highlight of the season. e last episode was also brilliant and de nitely rewatchable. ere are some emotional moments involving grief and e Troubles, especially in season three, but the writing is able to mix it with humor for a well-balanced show. I knew this in the rst season, but it is still true now. e lead actors of this show are terri c. ey have all really captured the energy of frantic and playful high schoolers. Of course, since this is television, the high school students are played by people in their twenties and thirties. However, unlike other teen shows where they make those teens look like chiseled models, I felt that the actors were able to e ortlessly pull o the high school look. I will say that some of the characters have become Flanderized by season three, meaning some of their personality traits from the rst two seasons have been dialed up so that they become exaggerated versions of themselves to the point of being a little unrealistic. While this is obvious at some points, the characters are still able to feel realistic at other points. All of the actors have excellent comedic timing and even though my American ears can not always understand their thick Irish accents without subtitles, their delivery is terri c. en when the time calls for it, they can portray sadness and show that they are dealing with huge problems in their country. I have to credit all of the Derry Girls, as they each bring something special to their part. Jackson is able to command the group wonderfully as Erin, Harland is able to take Orla’s odd behaviors and make her likable, Coughlan makes Claire the perfect amount of shrill for some high-quality humor, O’Donnell make Michelle absolutely iconic in her con dence and Llewyn makes you want to just give James a good hug because he is a sweet Englishman and Llewyn does a

great job at playing the butt of the jokes. I also have to shout out McSweeney’s performance as Sister Michael, as she nails some sassy comebacks and will make you want to be best friends with a nun. I hope all of these actors can become more well known to a mainstream audience as all of their performances were very high caliber.

I wouldn’t say there is anything particularly complex or unique about this show. ere is the fact that it is placing a high school comedy during a scary time in modern history. Beside that, there are no fancy special e ects, huge plot twists or exciting gimmicks. at does not mean that the show does not bring anything interesting to the table. is is a story of friendship. Even though this show takes place 30 years ago, the theme of friendship is timeless. It will cause viewers to think about their own tight friend group and feel incredibly grateful that they have their friends by their side. Sitcoms have kind of faded from mainstream entertainment, as everyone likes to have a continued storyline in a binge-watching format. However, that just makes this show easy to watch and easy to love.

If you want to learn more about modern history or you want to be brought back to the crazy times of high school, watch all three seasons of “Derry Girls” today.

ARTS November 4, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot 13

BookTok worth it or not: ‘Ninth House’

Boy oh boy do I have a book for you all this week! I’m back and I’m excited to share with you my thoughts on this book which has easily fallen into my top three reads of 2022. Here’s my deal: I like reading but am indecisive by nature. Instead of making a decision for myself I either wait until someone gives me a book or I choose a book that people hyped up on BookTok. I then read it and tell you whether it was worth the splurge of buying or not. is week’s review is “Ninth House” by Leigh Bardugo.

“Ninth House” is Bardugo’s adult debut novel, but it is not her rst book to blow up on BookTok. She is the author of “Shadow and Bone,” which Net ix adapted into a series in 2021. She is also the author of the “Six of Crows” duology, which is a part of the same universe as her “Shadow and Bone” trilogy called the Grishaverse. Bardugo has received a lot of praise for her young adult works “Shadow and Bone” and “Six of Crows,” but I’ve got to say while I was really excited to read “Six of Crows,” I’ve DNF-ed (Did Not Finish) it twice. I don’t understand why I can’t get through the book because it should be right up my alley. It’s actually a point of shame for me because I really want to love it but I wasn’t in love with Bardugo’s writing style. It’s also like a crime to say that you don’t like “Six of Crows,” so please don’t think terribly poorly of me. I don’t DNF o en either, I do try to stick it out even if I’m really hating the book— cough, cough “ e Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by V.E. Schwab.

So was I skeptical when I picked up “Ninth House?” Yes. But it was $9.99 at Trident Bookstore and I couldn’t pass up that o er. e book wound up completely blowing my expectations out of the water and I could not put it down. I ended up reading the whole novel in a matter of two days. Now as a warning, this book contains a lot of triggers. It is a dark and heavy read, and it de nitely isn’t for everyone, but it is just so well written and thought out that you are in awe of Bardugo’s genius.

For starters let’s talk about Bardugo’s world building—something she has been praised for with the Grishaverse. I think she goes above and beyond in “Ninth House” because she is making something that is familiar unfamiliar. e story is set at Yale but we are following the lives of students in these secret, magic societies. e book manages to blend these concepts of reality that we understand in everyday life and mixes it with something more magical and beyond this world.

e book dives into serious topics of privilege, power and in uence. It also has so much going on that you’re never bored by the narrative. Right up until the end there is plot twist a er plot twist. I mean seriously, it actually kinda reminded me of “Macbeth” when everyone just starts dying in the last ve pages—not because all the characters die, but rather because you just have so much going on after having this huge build up over the course of the book. You kinda get whiplash with everything going on which can be a negative but I think that just made me more excited to read the second book, which is coming out in January!!

Our main character is Alex Stern, who a er surviving an unsolved homicide against all

odds is given another chance at Yale University. She is given this chance because of her ability to see ghosts—which the novel refers to as “greys”—and this has an important value to those in Lethe House—one of the secret magic societies of Yale. Typing this out

it all sounds very bizarre, which is what makes it even more brilliant because everything makes sense when you read the story. While on a whole I think I really enjoyed the book, I do have some critiques with it. For starters, I personally really don’t like time jumps. is book takes place in di erent seasons: winter, last fall and early spring, and you bounce back and forth along these timelines. e only problem I have with this is that I am an impatient person and I want to know what happened in chronological order. at being said, while this isn’t my favorite method of storytelling I think Bardugo does a great job weaving this tale and incorporating the past and the present. Another problem I have is with Darlington and Alex’s relationship. Darlington is Alex’s mentor in Lethe House—the Virgil to her Dante. I obviously want them to be together because they’re cute and also I love Darlington even though his name is stupid (it’s a combination of his rst name Daniel and his last name Arlington and a fun play on the fact that he is known as Yale’s gentleman). But there is a logical part to me where them being together literally makes no sense. Like I thought in the time jumps we would get a little bit more but all we got was like one night at a Halloween party. en I also have some structural problems with how people are chosen to be in Lethe House. For starters, a big point of the novel is how they’re running short of people, but like they only take students every third year. Just increase your enrollment and that could solve a whole bunch of your problems. We also see in the book that the selection process to be in Lethe House requires the student to be incredibly smart—top of their class. at is why Alex—as a former drug addict—is out of le eld. But then we nd out that Darlington wasn’t top of his class either, so why do we have these two being chosen back-to-back while

they are also not choosing anyone else to do these magic-y things. In spite of all of this I still really enjoyed the book and I was able to get past these aws. Bardugo has some great quotes in this story too: “I let you die. To save myself, I let you die. at is the danger in keeping company with survivors.” I mean COME ON. at is just magni cent writing right there. Personally I think a big critique people seem to have with “Ninth House” is how much it varies from Bardugo’s other works. ey’re expecting similar writing and themes to her other works that are—comparatively—not as heavy. But I admire this growth in writing; she isn’t writing for the same YA audience that her other works are geared toward. You can tell the energy that was put into this narrative to make it cohesive and I am genuinely really excited for the next book. ough I would like to point out that I thought this was a standalone book and did not realize it would be continued until I reached the last page. Which is one of my biggest pet peeves. Lucky for me, the sequel is coming out in like three months.

I highly recommend this book, though I would recommend looking at the trigger warnings before reading since it does get into some pretty sensitive topics. But I personally think Bardugo outdid herself with this one. As of publishing, my top reads of 2022 are “ e Immortalists” by Chloe Benjamin, “Anxious People” by Fredrick Backman and “Ninth House” by Leigh Bardugo. All very di erent books but all worth the read.


‘Frankenstein’: A monster mash of ideas

A quick word: there will be a mention of violence and suicide. is is also a general spoiler warning.

In honor of Halloween, which at the time of publishing will have passed, let’s talk about “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley.

“Frankenstein; or, e Modern Prometheus” is a classic of science and Gothic ction, most notable for its o en-misidenti ed monster of a human being, as well as the mad titular scientist. Ignoring the lame trivia that Frankenstein is the scientist, not the monster, Frankenstein is a novel that can be approached from various angles, largely thanks to Mary Shelley’s rather intriguing life story.

Mary Shelley was the daughter of feminist and philosopher Mary Wollstonecra , best known for “A Vindication of the Rights of Women.”. Wollstonecra , unfortunately, died soon a er giving birth to Mary Shelley, leaving Shelley in the care of her father. Mary eventually met the poet and writer Percy Bysshe Shelley, whom she would later marry. She faced the loss of three of her children, with only one surviving past infancy. In 1816, as a part of a little competition to pass the time while staying with Lord Byron in Geneva, Mary wrote “Frankenstein.”

“Frankenstein” is ultimately a work warning against having kids.

Just kidding.

OK, I’m partially kidding.

For a brief summary of “Frankenstein,” the novel begins with Victor Frankenstein being picked up by a ship sailing in the Arctic as he chases his monster. Frankenstein recounts his life, starting

with how he had a perfect life, with a marriage set up for him, a loving family and a passion for science. Right before he leaves for college, his mother dies; in grief, Victor throws himself into his work, and gures out how to breathe life into inanimate objects. us, he creates his monster, which he, unfortunately, is forced to make large, because working with anything smaller would be too hard for him. Victor breathes life into his work, but is repulsed by him and ees, running into his friend Clerval. Upon returning to his lab, the monster is gone.

e monster learns what life is, discovering re and food, learning language, reading Plutarch and Milton, until he is ultimately attacked and scorned by a family he wished to befriend. Heartbroken over this rejection, the monster swears revenge against humanity, out of loneliness. Arguing that he deserves happiness as a living thing, the monster attempts to force Victor to create him a bride, with Victor initially agreeing but eventually refusing to deliver.

So the monster kills his entire family, and Victor swears to kill the monster; he begins to hunt him across Europe, always barely out of reach.

Now, back on the ship, Victor dies, and the monster boards the ship to lament Victor’s death, as well as vent his repentance and guilt. Resolving to kill himself and disappear from all memory, the monster jumps overboard and oats away. Phew.

Quite the story, isn’t it?

I think the beauty of “Frankenstein” comes from being able to really view it from di erent angles at the same time. For example, it’s easy to read “Frankenstein” as a “nature versus nurture” story just

as easily as viewing it as a typical Gothic story that seeks to focus more on the beauty of nature and the naturally unpredictable order of life. “Frankenstein” is a science ction work that ultimately seems to warn against playing God with nature, since that is more or less what causes all of Victor’s problems. Shelley writes various sections praising nature or simply describing it beautifully, especially with a silly romantic scene running through the grass. “Frankenstein” seems to debate whether scienti c progression is worth it if we are perverting nature and ruining ourselves, like how Victor gets (dramatically) sick and bedridden so o en it’s more or less every other chapter. One important thing to consider when reading “Frankenstein” is who is more at fault for the monster being the way he is—Victor or the monster? It’s important to note that the monster never has a real name, only pejoratives and straight-up mean names, o en “monster” or “devil” or something similar. Victor never names his creation, and immediately rejects him when he lays eyes upon his work. However, the monster clearly displays the intelligence to understand morality and justice. At the same time, the monster is still very young and innocent, so is it too late to correct him? Is the monster justi ed in retaliating against Victor? Does Victor have a responsibility to his monster? is in itself brings up the question of inherent good in people and especially in children, but I don’t have enough room for that. What I do have room for is mentioning just one more topic that I believe to be absolutely worth mentioning: women. In “Frankenstein,” Shelley’s female characters are largely passive,

trapped by the actions of Frankenstein and his monster. Elizabeth, Frankenstein’s ancee and wife, is killed by Frankenstein, while Justine, a family friend, dies because of Victor’s creation. Even the monster’s bride, with whom the monster is not guaranteed happiness, is destroyed before she can come to life. Here, Shelley seems to be demanding the attention of the reader to consider the position of women at the time, and even in the present. Perhaps by giving her female characters poor treatment, or at least passive treatment, Shelley is calling attention to how many women are forced into passive roles in the lives of men, dragged along for the ride. Meanwhile, Shelley may also be questioning the value of marriage, and whether that guarantees happiness even if two

people are nominally less lonely as a result. In this way, Shelley draws strongly from her mother, drawing readers to questions of how women are treated versus how they should be treated.

“Frankenstein” is a layered novel that I believe is worth one’s time. I think there’s this general notion that classics or old novels are hard to read, but that is absolutely not the case here. Shelley’s writing is sometimes a little archaic, but I found it highly readable. I highly recommend this novel for its complex main characters and the depth with which its story can be read. It’s truly worth the read, and who doesn’t like a bit of murder and violence and drama in their book?

Episode 1 and 2 of ‘Blue Lock’: A Review!

I actually hadn’t heard of “Blue Lock” until recently, with its recent adaptation into an anime. On top of that, I don’t usually watch sports anime, so I was willing to let it pass by without a second glance. However, because of the various clips of the show’s events and other people’s ramblings about their thoughts on the show that appeared on my TikTok feed, I caved. It didn’t look like the usual “power of hard work and friendship” show, so why not give it a shot?

To give a brief overview, the show basically focuses on Isagi Yoichi (Kazuki Ura) a high school soccer player who in the beginning of the show loses his chance to go to Nationals when his team fails to make the winning goal. As you can guess, he’s pretty bummed out about the whole thing, and has nearly given up on his dream of being the best soccer player in the world. But then, he gets a second chance! Alongside 300 other strikers (one of which is from the team he just lost against), he is called to participate in a competition called Blue Lock, proctored by a man named Ego Jinpachi (Hiroshi Kamiya). e ultimate

goal of this whole endeavor is to nd a striker to launch the national Japanese soccer team to victory in the World Cup. ose who decided to participate will live at the Blue Lock facility, train and ght it out in the form of soccer-based challenges to progress further in the competition. e winner becomes the greatest striker in the world, but the 299 losers will nd that their soccer career is over for good.

So as you can guess, the stakes are high.

e rst challenge is a game of tag, where the one who is “it” has to hit someone else with a soccer ball to make them “it.”

e last person to get hit when the time runs out is disqualied. is moment is where you really see the personalities of the di erent competitors shine through. One character speaks on the necessity for fairness, while another seems more or less unbothered by the whole situation entirely. Tensions are high, no one wants to lose and time is running low. And during this moment, when our protagonist ultimately gets sucker-punched with a soccer ball in the gut, we see the determination and selfishness that previously was only hinted at. He doesn’t want to lose.

However, on top of this desire to stay in the game, an interesting character trait pops up alongside

his sel shness. Yes, he doesn’t want to lose. But he also seems to want “to grow” as a soccer player as well. e easy way out isn’t enough for him. He wants to earn his place in this space, and earn the role of the greatest striker.

ese two want to mingle together to form a surprising alliance and a erce betrayal (one that in my opinion needed to happen). And with that stunning turn of events, the rst elimination takes place, the rst episode ends and the real ght begins.

In episode two, the focus is more on developing the relationships between the highlighted characters that Yoichi lives with in the facility. We get to see friendships and rivalries (and a weird mix of both) develop, and get a better sense of how they are going to interact, as well as the details of their living situation. A key thing that audiences are told about is the importance of their rankings, which don’t just a ect competitions, but also determine the perks one gets in the living facilities, serving as an added incentive to do well.

is focus on character isn’t just limited to the competitors however. Viewers get a view of the process behind this competition outside of the facility, where we learn more about Anri Teieri (Eri Yukimura), an employee of the Japanese Football Union who is determined to see Japan’s

soccer team win the World Cup, and the one behind the Blue Lock program in the rst place. is revelation is followed up by the introduction of Itoshi Sae (Takahiro Sakurai), an annoyed midelder with no faith in Japan’s soccer players and on the hunt for a forward to win the Champions League with. A er leaving an interview, the soccer player happens to pass by a press conference held by the Japanese Football Union about the Blue Lock project, and immediately becomes invested in seeing just what happens. And just like that, a new player is introduced to this intense soccer world.

Continuing this trend of relationships, the next challenge is revealed to be a team competition! e 11 strikers will have to face o with another set of 11, a huge change from the sniping elimination of the rst episode. And with the dramatic display of both teams and the playing eld, the second episode ends.

I think what draws me so much to this show is how much sel shness and competition is highlighted in the show. ey framed a sport that is constantly described as a team activity, even in the show, as a battle royale, and it provides an extra layer of curiosity and investment in the “action” attributes brought to it. After all, in a way, if they don’t win this competition, the players are

experiencing the death of their soccer careers. It’s all or nothing, and as a viewer you know that not everyone is going to make it. As sad as it is, it makes me want to see how far everyone is going to get, how these new relationships will hold up against the desire to win and ultimately what the nal showdown is going to look like.

To make a long article short, I am really excited about this new twist on the sports genre, the intense challenges that we are going to see in the future and the way that the relationships between the various characters will develop and fall apart. I think that it’s going to be a rather emotional ride (since I have already started to get attached to some of them) but I’m willing to su er through it to see how this ends.

November 4, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot ARTS 15
special to the hoot

It’s episode 7, and the tent is giving us another rst: Custard Week. Custard is one of the most British of substances. Essentially sugary milk sweetened with egg, it’s an accompaniment to British classics like sticky to ee pudding and apple crumble.

Mercifully, there is no opening skit this week. e signature challenge is îles ottantes, or oating islands. ey are a particularly vile French number: poached meringue oating in a sea of custard, topped with spun sugar. Sweet on sweet on sickly sweet. Bleh. ey’ve been seen on Bake O before, as a technical challenge for series 4’s “Dessert Week.” is episode also featured the most iconic custard-related moment in Bake O history: Custardgate, in which Deborah used fellow contestant Howard’s custard “by error” (#neverforget).

Syabira is making “mojito islands,” complete with palm trees and minty sand. Sandro is using alcohol (again), as is Kevin, who is putting prosecco directly into his meringue. is is a terrible idea. Alcohol tends to destabilize mixtures, and meringues rely on stability. Janusz is making vanilla

latte îles ottantes that look like real lattes. Abdul, who has never seen oating islands before, is going for cherry, orange, and pistachio, and Maxy’s are blueberry avored. Just blueberry. I’m surprised Maxy hasn’t been critiqued for boring avors yet.

On a side note, the reduced number of bakers in the tent is lovely for recapping purposes, as I can now mention what everyone is doing without going over the word count.

Onto judging. Paul and Prue are presented with the most elaborate îles ottantes they will ever see. Syabira and Janusz very nearly get a handshake, and Abdul and Maxy do fairly well, but Sandro (who has made it no secret that he’s chasing Star Baker) has overboozed his bakes (again) and Kevin’s meringue has dissolved, surprising nobody.

ere’s a twist for this week’s technical: staggered start times. It’s been done before, with sou és in series 6 and lava cakes in series 8. is year, the challenge is ice cream (more speci cally, pistachio praline ice cream in a homemade cone). As Prue sagely points out, “to make good ice cream, you need to be able to make good custard.”

It’s clear from the beginning that the tent’s notoriously terrible freezers are going to be a

problem. Even with Bake O ’s expensive ice cream makers, the custard mix (which is cooked on a stove) has to be cold before hitting the ice cream maker. If you chill it in the freezer, you’ll raise the freezer temperature, sabotaging yourself later. Even so, you usually want to chill ice cream for a good three hours (at the very least) before serving. Poor Syabira falls victim to the freezer demons, as her freezer is 4 degrees Celsius, and she comes last a er serving the judges pistachio praline soup. Janusz’s ice cream also melts, and he comes h. Abdul, who burnt his cones, is 4th, Kevin is 3rd, and Maxy is 2nd. Sandro is the only one who really did well for this challenge, and he takes a well deserved rst.

Coming into day two, Paul and Prue claim that everything rests on the showstopper. Paul also keeps referring to the technical challenge as “the tech,” which I despise with all my being. e showstopper challenge is a “set custard gateaux” in which a “perfectly set custard” must be the hero. Shockingly, though, all three challenges this week have been appropriately custard-themed. Have the challenge setters nally woken up?

Syabira, who seems to like theming her signatures and showstoppers (never forget the corn and the melon) is making

another cocktail bake: a pina colada custard gateaux. I approve. Janusz is making Neapolitan custard gateau with a traditional Polish sponge ( . potato starch). It’s decorated with drips for the FOURTH TIME THIS SERIES. Janusz, I love you, but you need to nd some other way to decorate your bakes.

Kevin and Abdul are both taking a risk. Kevin is planning on layering cakes made entirely of set custard, which comes with a high risk of collapse. Abdul is making a giant mille feuille, using Paul’s rough pu pastry recipe in a shameless bit of brownnosing. is choice does remind me that we haven’t had pastry week yet— it usually comes somewhere between week 4 and week 6. But we clearly needed Mexican Week and Halloween Week instead.

Sandro and Maxy present the most emotional bakes of the series so far. Sandro’s three-tiered masterpiece is a tribute to his late friend, who encouraged him to apply for Bake O in the rst place, and Maxy’s is a tribute to her late father-in-law. Maxy is once again using classic avors (in this case, a vanilla creme pat), and Prue nally seems at least a little skeptical.

Syabira, Sandro, and Abdul sail through this challenge. Poor Kevin, however, su ers disaster. His

custard doesn’t quite set, and his cake begins to collapse. In a beautiful “f*** it” moment, he dra s three other bakers into helping him haphazardly pile macaroons and cream on top—as if that will help anything. His custard tastes delicious, but he’s clearly in trouble.

Janusz’s custard is “like wallpaper paste,” putting him squarely in the danger zone with Kevin. Abdul is praised for “getting the spirit of the mille feuille spot on.” Two out of Sandro’s three tiers are lovely, but the middle tier is too gloopy. Maxy is criticized for failing to appropriately celebrate custard. Syabira’s gateau is perfect in every way, and even jiggles if you shake it.

Going home this week is Kevin, who just didn’t deliver at the same level as the other bakers. Still, he’s certainly proved himself, and he’s going out on a lovely-tasting bake. Syabira’s perfect gateaux allows her to snatch Star Baker away from a disappointed Sandro.

Next time, it’s the quarter nals, and nally Pastry Week! Can Sandro grab a second Star Baker? Can Janusz redeem himself? And will Maxy nally use interesting avors? Join me next week to nd out.

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