The Brandeis Hoot, September 2, 2022

Page 1

SciFest 2022 celebrates undergraduate research

e Brandeis community recently celebrated SciFest, an annual poster gallery that features the culmination of undergraduate research in the sciences. is year’s 11th annual SciFest was held on Aug. 11th and showcased 116 di erent undergraduate scienti c projects from numerous scienti c elds.

Student presenters described their experience conducting research and participating in SciFest with e Brandeis Hoot.

Nicole Kanzler ’23 from the Paradis Lab is researching a receptor protein called Plexin-B2 to study synapse formation in

the mammalian brain. In an interview with e Hoot, Kanzler described her research project, saying, “My ongoing research focuses on a receptor protein called Plexin-B2 that has been shown to promote inhibitory synapse formation onto excitatory neurons in the CA1 hippocampal region.” Her goal is to investigate “if Plexin-B2 plays a similar supporting role in inhibitory synapse formation, but onto a class of inhibitory neurons rather than excitatory.”

Kanzler adds, “Researching gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in my own branch of independent study. Experiencing lab life rst-hand and then getting to formulate my work into a poster presentation has provided me with a solid foundation for my future research and career.”


Brandeis responds to Surpreme Court overruling of Roe v. Wade

Colleen Collins authored an email to the Brandeis University student body which listed campus resources associated with reproductive health services, according to an email sent on June 24 to community members. In the a ermath of the Supreme Court overruling of Roe v. Wade Collins wrote to the student body, “We o er on-site pregnancy testing, emergency contraception, and hormonal contraception, and we refer to gynecology services that provide long-acting reversible contraception and abortion services.”

Collins’ email was sent as a follow up to a previous email sent to the Brandeis community by President Ronald D. Liebowitz. In it, Liebowitz mentioned that Brandeis would continue to support reproductive health care and o er courses which explore the rami cations of the ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Beginning in May, protests outside the Supreme Court building in support of the 1973 case Roe v. Wade took place as a rst dra of a leaked legal

Inside This Issue:

opinion signed by Justice Sam-

uel Alito revealed that the court was in favor of reversing Roe v. Wade. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” the dra opinion states. Alito, who was appointed by former President George W Bush, is a part of the 6 - 3 conservative majority of the court. is leaked opinion foreshadowed the o cial ruling which was delivered from the Supreme Court on June 24.

In the o cial ruling of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization the Supreme Court voted with six opinions in favor of Dobbs and three dissenting opinions. Justice Samuel Alito, whose dra opinion was leaked in May, wrote the majority opinion with Justices Clarence omas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Chief Justice John Roberts joining him. On the dissenting opinion were Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

e decision made by the Supreme Court on this case overturned the legal precedents set by the 1973 case Roe v. Wade and the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey. e legal precedent set by these two cases held that the Constitution protected

News: Brandeis Alumni joins Northeastern

Ops: oughs on changes of Brandeis’ facilities

Features: Interview with AMST Dept.

Sports: Interview with Aiden Guthro ’23

Editorial: Brandeis is a second-half team

a woman’s right to an abortion prior to the viability of the fetus under the individual’s right to privacy. “We hold,” wrote Alito, that “the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.” While the conservative majority voted in favor of this opinion, the three dissenting Justices took a rm stance writing that, “young women today will come of age with fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers.” ey said the court’s opinion means that “from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of. A state can force her to bring a pregnancy to term even at the steepest personal and familial costs.”

e impact of the ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization pushes the issue of abortion to a state level decision. Alito made sure to stress in the opinion that states are entitled to regulate abortion to eliminate “gruesome and barbaric” medical procedures; to “preserve the integrity of the medical profession”; and to prevent discrimination on the basis of race, sex, or disability, including barring abortion in cases of fetal abnormality. Despite Alito’s


David Housman ’66, PhD ’71 was named to a scienti c advisory board for a biotechnology company— iogenesis erapeutics Corp. (TSXV: TTI), according to a recent publication. e company’s main goal is focused on “developing proprietary thiol-active therapeutic compounds to treat unmet medical needs,” according to the company’s corporate overview.

e members of the Scienti c Advisory Board “are acclaimed leaders in their elds and will provide strategic guidance utilizing their vast experience to support the successful clinical and commercial development of iogenesis’ proprietary, novel thiol-active compounds,” according to a Stockwatch article on the biotechnology company.

Scienti c advisory boards are used for biotechnology companies in order to provide an objective for the company with an

external perspective, according to a Forbes article. Scienti c advisor boards, according to the article, also o er authentication of quality through constructive criticism and problem-solving strategies. e board is also typically responsible for helping raise the pro le and awareness of the company, according to the article. iogenesis erapeutics Corp. (TSXV: TTI) is in the clinical-stage meaning that it has a product that has been tested on humans in a clinical trial setting, according to a Law Insider article. Housman is one of three members elected to the company’s scienti c advisory board. His peers on the board include Gregory Enns, a professor at Stanford University in the Division of Medical Genetics, and Miriam Vos, a professor at Emory University School of Medicine in the Pediatrics and Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Department, according to the article. iogenesis erapeutics is a public company “developing thiol-active therapeutic compounds

Volume 21 Issue 1
Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper · Waltham, Mass. September 2, 2022
“To acquire wisdom, one must observe”
Page 2 Page 9 Page 7 Page 4 Page 8 ‘The R ehearsal’ review Nathan Fielder’s latest, controversial TV show! ARTS : PAGE 15 Money and never having enough An editor’s struggle with making money and planning for the future
PHOTO FROM HERATCH EMEKJIAN Brandeis alumni named to for biotech

Peelle-ing back the layers of cognition and hearing

Brandeis alum Jonathan Peelle M’02, P’05 is one of Northeastern University’s newest faculty members. In his work at Northeastern, he is bringing his expertise in cognitive neuroscience from his former lab—the Peelle lab at Washington University in St. Louis (WashU), according to a news article from Northeastern.

At Northeastern, Peelle works in e Center for Cognitive and Brain Health. In the Northeastern article, Peele is described to be continuing his previous studies from WashU on hearing and cognition. His research suggests that hearing is related to one’s cognition. “If I can help your hearing, I’m going to help your cognition,” said Peelle in the article.

Even mild hearing loss, he explains, causes the brain to work even harder to understand speech and therefore in uences cognition. He uses functional brain imaging techniques as a method to measure blood ow changes in individuals with hearing loss and individuals that use cochlear implants.

Peelle also uses pupillometry to measure shi s in pupil diameter. ese measurements are important because pupil diameter gets larger when people listen to speech that is di cult to follow and causes your brain to work harder. Based on the relationship between hearing and cognition, Peelle intends to determine if hearing aids may be able to help with cognition. “ ere really have been very few studies showing how much

cognitive bene t people have developed from hearing aids,” said Peelle. His move to Northeastern is perfect for this situation as there is a community-based audiology clinic.

In addition to his research at Northeastern, Peelle cohosts the podcast “ e juice and the squeeze” with Carleton College professor Julia Strand. According to its description, the podcast talks about everything in science spanning from careers in science to giving scienti c talks. As of Sept. 1, the podcast is up to 47 episodes a er starting in the fall of 2019.

e Northeastern article describes how at WashU Peelle also started the podcast “ e brain made plain.” In this podcast he gives students exposure to neurosciences. His social media presence

extends even beyond his podcasts through his Twitter account that he has had since the platform was created. His account has close to 7500 followers and is full of shared works from other scientists. In the article from Northeastern, Peelle said “I actually found out about the job at Northeastern because one of the other faculty members tweeted about it.”

According to the WashU School of Medicine in St. Louis, his research there focused on the brain’s ability to understand speech and how it is a ected by cognitive and hearing changes. ere were three main project focuses. One project discusses how the brain reacts to speech that is degraded by a variety of background noises. e results suggest that hearing impairment is relat-

ed to functional and structural changes in the brain.

Another study focuses on how speech comprehension changes over time. As people age the research explains how adults use additional regions of the brain. e last main project looked at the relationship between speech rhythm and listeners ability to process audio e ciently.

According to Jonathan Peelle’s website, Peelle spent 10 years at WashU before his move to Northeastern. He got his Masters of Arts in cognitive psychology from Brandeis in 2002. A er three more years at Brandeis, he got a P.h.D in neuroscience. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Brandeis for one more year before becoming a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.

Brandeis Board of Trustees welcomes three new members

e university announced that it has welcomed three new members to the Board of Trustees (BOT). e members recently elected to the board are Marjorie Hass, Leonard X Rosenberg ’89 and Jay Ruderman ’88 H ’18.

According to the announcement on the Brandeis alumni page, each of the new members has “a distinct commitment to the university and will serve

to further propel the board’s mission and duly expand the expertise of its membership.”

Hass is the president of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC)— an association of non-pro t independent colleges that help enhance institutional excellence, according to their page. She received the position in 2021 a er holding other leadership roles including being president of Rhodes College from 2017 until her appointment to CIC president in

2021, according to her BOT page. Hass has held other leadership roles as well including being on the CIC Board of Directors from 2012 to 2016. During her time on the board, she served as the vice chair for resource development from 2014 to 2016 as a part of the Executive committee, according to her biography page.

Rosenberg is a partner at Mayer Brown LLP— a global law rm dealing with leading companies and nancial institutions located in San Francisco and Palo

Alto, according to their page. At the rm, Rosenberg “leads the cross-border real estate practice, representing foreign and domestic investors and advisors, private investment funds, insurance companies, and public and private real estate investment trusts,” according to his BOT biography.

Rosenberg has ties with the university having held multiple alumni leadership positions on campus including being the Alumni Association board of directors co-vice president,

according to his BOT page. Ruderman has been an executive for over 20 years, with impacts as a social entrepreneur in the elds of Inclusion and Disability Rights as well we US-Israel relations, according to his BOT biography. Ruderman has helped found, “organizations and movements to mobilize bottom-up change and has taken courageous steps to fundamentally in uence top-down policy,” according to the page.

SciFest 2022 celebrates undergraduate research

SCIFEST , from page 1

Another student researcher, Nathalie Vieux-Gresham ‘23 from the Birren Lab studies the chronic impact of satellite glia cells on neuronal plasticity in the peripheral nervous system. Vieux-Gresham described the importance of this work, saying, “ is is important because the glia-neuron network in the peripheral nervous system is essential for modulating and regulating the activity of our organs like the heart. With that understanding, we can understand how certain disorders like hypertension come to be and how we can seek out potential treatment options.”

Vieux-Gresham explained that her summer research not only contributed to her senior thesis project, but also “became meaningful because [her] goal for the summer was to make [her] research accessible to both scientists unfamiliar with the eld and to those who are not well-

versed in the sciences in general.” She added that “science becomes more meaningful and impactful when there is a general level of understanding between [her]self, [her] audience, and anyone else interested in… neuroscience in general. Presenting at SciFest to other scientists was the beginning of that goal.”

Shoshana Solomon ‘24 from the Lovett Lab studies DNA damage using bacterial models. Her research involves examining the genes, such as iraD, that regulates DNA damage response under nutrient deprivation conditions. Solomon described the outcome of her project, saying,

“I produced data that gave insight to my overall project which aids my understanding of DNA damage response patterns and suggests further projects that explain the SOS independent response system to DNA damage.”

Solomon also shared what she learned from SciFest: “ rough SciFest, I was able to practice

designing a poster and presenting my ndings to the larger scienti c community. I was able to gain a tremendous amount of experience and am very grateful to have had the opportunity to present at the symposium.” e audience for SciFest consisted of other undergraduate students from Brandeis, caregivers of students, Brandeis graduate students in the sciences and Brandeis faculty and sta Hannah Riseman ‘24 describes her experience as an audience member at SciFest and what she took away from the experience, saying, “I really enjoyed SciFest! It was so exciting seeing my friends present the projects they worked so hard on over the summer and to learn more about research at Brandeis.” As a Chemical Biology major, Riseman noted, “I was particularly interested in some of the chemistry posters and had a great conversation with an undergraduate student from the Krauss Lab.” SciFest is supported by fund-

ing from several organizations and donors. In an email with e Hoot, Director of Division of Science Administration Heather Felton and Director of Education, Outreach and Diversity in the MRSEC program Anahita

Zare discussed the wide range of funding sources. is summer, the M.R. Bauer Foundation and the Blavatnik Family Foundation each supported summer research projects for 10 undergraduates.

Felton listed other signi cant donors, such as Dr. Frederick W. Alt ‘71, Gene and Shirley Cordes, Dan Getz, Stephen Hahn P’24 & Dina Venezky P’24, Peter & Barbara Palmer Jordan, Tema C. Nemtzow ‘79 & Kraig L. Ste en, Denise D. Selden ‘70, Dr. Ilene G. Wittels, David G. & Susan C. Van Hooser, Dr. Elaine S. Yamaguchi ‘71 and the Leontine Jordan & Johanna Dreyer Foundation, the Jerome A. Schi Charitable Trust, the Abraham Kaplan Charitable Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and

the National Science Foundation.

Zare shared that in addition to displaying Brandeis student projects, students from Hampton University, California State University at Fullerton and Smith College were able to participate in SciFest through the Research Experience for Undergraduates program (REU) within the Materials Research Science and Engineering Department (MRSEC).

Felton added that Brandeis “can only run the summer research program and SciFest because of the generous donations all our donors provide.”

SciFest is described as “the high point of the summer in the Division of Science” due to its celebration of undergraduate contributions and projects. e tradition of SciFest will continue next year, marking the 12th run of the symposium.

NEWS 2 The Brandeis Hoot September 2, 2022

to treat unmet medical needs,” according to their corporate overview. In the overview summary of the company, the focus is on proprietary compounds to address potential obstacles that limit the development of thiol-based therapeutics. e research is specically targeting the short half-lives and side e ects, according to the corporate overview. e lead compound the company uses is TTI-0102—a drug leading to cysteamine, a cystine reducer that can prevent the buildup of cystine crystals.

In the rst phase of their trials, the drug “demonstrated that it is well-tolerated with potential for dosing once-a-day,” according to the corporate overview. e com-

pany has a main focus on meeting the medical needs that currently go unmet for pediatric patients, according to their page. e focus of the human e cacy trials is for mitochondrial diseases and Rett Syndrome—a neurodevelopmental disorder, according to the corporate overview. e company noted that “there is no cure for [Rett Syndrome], the main therapies available are for the treatment of symptoms and they are limited.”

e company is focused on cysteamine because it is “one of the most promising thiols as a therapeutic, it occurs in low concentrations endogenously, as a therapeutic it must be administered in increased dosages in the form of a synthetic drug,” according to their PowerPoint. e lead compound being used is TTI-0102 which is

composed of cysteamine and pantetheine, according to the company’s PowerPoint. ere is a naturally occurring process, according to the page, which can transform pantetheine into cysteamine. During conversion, “the levels of cysteamine are intended to meet minimum therapeutic levels and be maintained for an extended duration, without exhibiting strong side e ects,” according to the report. e company reported that patients experience some side e ects of cysteamine including nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, halitosis, body odor and skin rashes.

e company received its primary patent—US 11,173,135—on Nov. 16, 2021. e patent allows for the company to test the “treatment of cysteamine sensitive disorders de ned as a disease for

which there is evidence that cysteamine can be an e ective treatment,” according to the corporate overview.

Housman is currently a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the biology department, according to his faculty page. His main focus is on studying the underlying biological pathways of various diseases, including Huntington’s Disease, cancer and cardiovascular disease, according to the page. Housman is a geneticist; notably, Housman was a part of the discovery of the HTYT gene which causes Huntington’s disease, according to his Wikipedia page.

Housman has received multiple awards for his work, including becoming a National Academy of Medicine Member in 1997 and a National Academy of Sciences

Member in 1994, according to his faculty page. He has also been featured in many publications that look at the molecular components of disease, according to his faculty page.

Housman is also head of a lab at MIT, called the Housman Lab. In the lab, the researchers implement genetic approaches to looking at the mechanisms of human disease pathways. Using this technique they attempt to identify effective intervention strategies that can be implemented to understand and treat human diseases.

Housman received his undergraduate degree from Brandeis in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He received his Ph.D. from Brandeis in 1971, according to his MIT faculty page.

Brandeis responds to Supreme Court overruling of Roe v. Wade

language suggesting that states ban or limit abortion; the ruling made it clear that states had the ability to decide on their own how abortion would be handled.

Without a uniform federal precedent on abortion rights and access, a divide between state approaches to reproductive health and abortion access presented itself. 26 states were likely to ban or limit abortion access upon the reversal of Roe v. Wade and of those 26, 13 have abortion trigger bans. Trigger laws are laws which are designed to take into e ect upon the event of a certain legal action happening. In the case of

On Monday Aug. 29 President Ron Liebowitz sent an email to the Brandeis community calling for nominations for 2023 Brandeis Honorary Degree recipients. President Liebowtiz stated that the “joyous time” of Brandeis Commencement “provides the university with the opportunity to

Roe v. Wade, 13 states (Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming) have laws which took e ect to ban abortion, with few exceptions, the moment the Supreme Court ruling was delivered. e other 13 states have begun voting procedures and amending their states constitutions to block abortion access. In some cases such as Texas, strict laws restricting abortion access have been put into place. e new Texas law governing abortions makes a single exception for abrortion access which they qualify as, “a life-threatening physical condition aggravated by, caused by, or

arising from a pregnancy.” is law does not allow for abortion access in the cases of rape and incest and serves as an example of one of the most strict laws restricting abortion access in the United States. However, other states have been implementing laws in the other direction, to protect and increase access to reproductive health care. In the case of Kansas, the state put a state constitutional amendment up to a referendum. With 59 percent of the vote for “no” and 41 percent of the vote for “yes” the amendment was struck down. In a major win for reproductive and women’s right activists this vote was the rst of its kind to protect abortion rights. President Joe Biden commented on the refer-

endum stating, “ is vote makes clear what we know: the majority of Americans agree that women should have access to abortion and should have the right to make their own health care decisions.”

So while some states are leaving abortion rights protection up to their citizens, others are authorizing laws which protect abortion access in state laws. On July 29, Massachusetts’ Republican Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation to enshrine reproductive health care access into law. e law protects patients and providers from legal interference when they are engaged in accessing or providing reproductive and gender a rming health care services that are le-

gally protected in Massachusetts. It also enshrined into law an executive order signed by Charlie Baker earlier in the month protecting those who enter the state looking to access reproductive healthcare in Massachusetts from extradition to other states who are investigating their actions. e overruling of Roe v. Wade placed abortion access in the hands of the states. Di erent laws granting di erent levels of access to reproductive healthcare divide state lines. However, Brandeis, as a rmed by Colleen Collins, will continue to o er services in this eld to protect women’s rights and increase access to healthcare.

recognize… individuals who embody the Brandeis spirit through their leadership…” in numerous areas.

Brandeis honorary degrees are considered the university’s “highest honor”, notes Liebowitz in the email. Which has been bestowed upon many notable individuals over the years including Leonard Bernstein, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John F. Kennedy, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, urgood Mar-

shall, Barbra Streisand, and more. Honorary Degree recipients are accomplished individuals whom Brandeis wishes to identify with through the awarding of honorary degrees. e university rst awarded an honorary degree on June 14 1953, at its second annual Commencement. “ e University honors individuals for distinctive achievement in the creative and performing arts, humanities, social sciences, sciences, public ser-

vice, philanthropy, business, the learned professions, social justice, Jewish life, international understanding and human rights,” notes the Honorary Degree History website linked in the email by Liebowitz. Recent Honorary Degree recipients include Christine Mann Darden and David Harris P’05 in 2022, Herman Hemingway, Lynn Schusterman, Bryan Stevenson and Robert J Zimmer ’68 in 2021, as seen on the list of

prior recipients. Liebowitz wraps up his email by inviting community members to submit nominations for 2023 recipients. e nomination form asks for information on the nominee such as any connection to Brandeis, their current position or a liation, and the nominator’s rationale for bestowing the degree. e deadline to submit the form is Wednesday Sept. 14.

Jacob and Louise Gabbay Award in Biotechnology

Jan Steyaert was selected as the 2022 Jacob and Louise Gabbay Award in Biotechnology and Medicine winner for his pioneering work in biochemistry.

e Gabbay Award recognizes research that adds value to the eld of biomedical science. Speci cally, the Gabbay Award targets research that has a distinct application from its basic science roots. Recipients of the Gabbay Award win either $25,000 if there is a sole winner or $30,000 dollars split between multiple winners. In that sense, it di ers from the Brandeis

Rosenstiel Award, which primarily focuses on basic research, or research that aims to uncover natural phenomena. is year is the 24th Gabbay Award ceremony.

Steyaert is the scienti c director of the VIB-VUB Center for Structural Biology, Vlaams Instituut Biotechnologie, at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, in Brussels, Belgium. Steyaert’s work involved innovating new techniques for pharmaceutical therapies. As described in an article published by the Brandeis alumni network, “Steyaert bridged fundamental high-impact research in biomedical sciences with the mechanistic understanding of one of the big-

gest classes of pharmaceutical targets by combining structural biology and advanced biotechnology.”

Dagmar Ringe, Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry Emerita at Brandeis and chair of the award committee, noted “Jan Steyaert is being recognized for the introduction of nanobody technology as exquisite tools to lock inherently unstable, dynamic proteins into single functional conformations.”

Steyaert’s earlier work involved developing Camelid single-domain antibodies. ese compounds are widely known as nanobodies and are of interest to scientists due to their applications in biology and immu-

nogenetics. Furthermore, these molecules are important due to their ability to be diversi ed in structure in versatile ways.

Steyaeart pioneered the idea of using these nanobodies to lock proteins into one particular conformation that is best suited for the speci c pharmacological treatment. en using methods such as X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM, scientists can elucidate further information about the structure of the protein.

In addition to this application, nanobodies are important biomedical technologies that are being used for therapeutic interventions. Steyaert was the co-founder

of a company called Ablynx that sought to discover more nanobodies for pharmaceutical purposes.

Steyaert also co-founded a company called Confo erapeutics that utilizes his nanobody technology to freeze compounds that are unstable into stable conformations, thereby facilitating drug discovery research.

Steyaert will be presented the Gabbay award on Oct. 27 this year. During the award ceremony, he will give a public lecture on his work, which will then be followed by a ceremony.

September 2,2022 The Brandeis Hoot NEWS 3
BIOTECH , from page 1
, from

Aiden Guthro ’23 talks about soccer and family SPORTS

Some people say their teammates are like family, and this is without a doubt true about the Brandeis men’s soccer team. Aiden Guthro ’23—the men’s soccer captain and goalkeeper—spoke with e Brandeis Hoot about the team that doubles as his family.

ly di erent. To be a great soccer player is something anyone can do; according to Guthro, being a good teammate on the other hand is more challenging. e men’s soccer team has no shortage of great teammates, Guthro explained, calling all of his brothers fantastic teammates.

marked about his teammates.

the experience of playing against well-matched teams. Guthro noted that the season ahead has a lot of high-level competition, despite having a tough schedule the team remains excited for what is ahead.

“Challenges bring out the best in us and this season is going to be a challenge—we are ready to embrace that,” said Guthro.

e Brandeis jersey has a great meaning for the team culture. It is not just a garment of clothing to wear on game day, but a reminder that they are contributing toward something bigger than just themselves, Guthro explained to e Hoot. Not only does it serve as a reminder while they are on the eld facing a common opponent, but when they are o the eld too.

On the eld, Guthro has high hopes for the team. e team has a lot of talent, according to Guthro, and he believes they would be able to compete with any team in the country. e team’s roster is stacked with talent, Guthro explained, and he believes this talent could amount to getting a bid to the NCAA tournament. To do this, though, Guthro said the team has to take each game as it comes. Rather than thinking of the totality of season wins, the team has to focus and be present in winning each individual game.

Personally, Guthro has his own goals set for himself for this season. He mentioned coming o of a strong season last year. He wants to progress both individually and as a team. Hopefully, Guthro can make the All-UAA selection and be a contender for

some bigger awards. Above all of that though, Guthro hopes for some big team successes. e team is a unit, Guthro explained, and a pretty good one at that. It is something he wants the Brandeis community to be able to witness, and the team would love to see more community members at their games. Guthro noted that the team does more than just represent the Athletics Department, it also represents the university as a whole. “Everyone who comes [to the games] is a part of the family,” Guthro assured.

Guthro explained.

Guthro referred to his teammates a ectionately as his brothers; he wrote saying that every player brings a di erent component to their team culture. e team was able to build up their culture during their preseason which happened just before the start of the fall semester. e team traveled to Jay Peak in Vermont to train for the upcoming season and get to know one another better. “We worked hard and put together the foundation for a great season together. It was nice to get away as a team and learn about each other without the stress of classes as well,”

He noted that to be a great player is one thing but to be a great teammate is something entire-

Being captain of the team comes with its fair share of responsibilities, Guthro explained to e Hoot on taking on the position. Despite having taken on more responsibility, the team has made being captain fun for him. His teammates’ personalities are great to be around, Guthro told e Hoot. “I never stop laughing during team meals or when we all get together. It is a great thing to be a part of,” Guthro re-

Guthro noted that the university’s location and conference gives the team a huge advantage in that they have great competition. e New England area has a powerhouse of college soccer teams, according to Guthro, which ultimately gives the team multiple opportunities to play on a high level. e university’s conference—the University Athletic Association (UAA)—also o ers great competition, according to Guthro. e UAA has some of the toughest opponents, Guthro told e Hoot, which gives the team

A 48-year-old professional baseball player

e oldest player to take the mound in MLB history was Satchel Paige, at the age of 59. But, in an MLB Partner League known as the Atlantic League, a 48-year-old Brandeis alum recently took the

mound. Nelson Figueroa ’98, who “played 9 seasons in MLB, last pitching professionally in 2014,” pitched a complete game for the Staten Island FerryHawks on Aug.

9.Figueroa, who was dra ed by the New York Mets a er his junior season at Brandeis in 1995, played professional baseball for a total of 18 seasons before retiring. Nota-

bly, Figueroa is the only Brandeis alum to make it to the MLB, where he played for a total of six di erent teams; he also played on the Puerto Rico team that won a silver medal in 2013 World Baseball Classic. Figueroa was recently inducted into the Brandeis Hall of Fame and was the “ rst baseball team alum to have his Brandeis

number retired.”Just last month, though, Figueroa played in a professional game for the rst time in years. He currently serves as a pitching coach for the Staten Island FerryHawks, and they were in desperate need of a starting pitcher for a double header against the Gastonia Honey Hunters. Figueroa stepped up and threw

119 pitches for the FerryHawks. Although the FerryHawks lost, Figueroa played well. Over a complete game, he allowed 10 hits, eight earned runs and threw four strikeouts. For his rst start out of retirement, and his rst professional game in nearly a decade, the Brandeis alum’s Atlantic League debut was a success.

This Spa is not for everyone - particularly Daniel Ricciardo

Last Sunday the world of motorsport had its eyes glued to a little town in Belgium named “Spa.” e 14th grand prix of the Formula 1 season returned to Belgium for the 78th time. Lots can be said based on what happened this weekend but the best news to come out of the race was that the Belgian Grand Prix would be included in the 2023 F1 season. But before the drama, race statistics and leaderboard can be discussed it is important to rst give an overview of the Belgian Grand Prix track and history. Spa is known as one of the most beautiful towns in Belgium due to its hilly landscape and large array of manors and mansions. is landscape, believe it or not, can also greatly impact the grand prix course and how drivers and their pit crews strategize racing on it. Spa has been known to rain constantly and this season turned out to be one of the few where drivers did not have to compensate for a slippery track. In fact, this grand prix track is the longest on the F1 circuit and in a few instances has had rain on one end of the track and dry pavement on the other. Spa challenges drivers to be fast (it is a race a er all) with some of the longest straits in any F1 race while not allowing others to pass them using DRS.

So for those wanting to see high speed action, this is the race to tune into during the F1 season.

So, on Sunday the cars pulled into their spots a er the formation lap with Spain’s Carlos Sainz in pole position (the rst spot on the grid) in his red Ferrari. Behind him was Sergio “Checo” Perez of Mexico in his Red Bull, Lewis Hamilton of the United Kingdom (seven time world champion of F1) in his Mercedes and all the way in 14th position was the current leader in the F1 season: Max Verstappen (last year’s F1 world champion) of the Netherlands in his Red Bull. All eyes were on these four cars to see who would pull away in the end and win the Belgian Grand Prix.

Sainz was able to hold a good lead for the most of the race as he took an early pit to get new tires only a few laps into the race. Perez played the long game and kept on his tail until the very last moment.

e true drama of the race when it comes to crashes came early on in the race at turn three and four where Hamilton collided into Fernando Alonso, a driver for Alpine. Hamilton was attempting an outside overtake on turn three to give him an advantage over Alonso into turn four but cut it too short. Hamilton’s rear right tire went into Alonso’s front le which sent Hamilton well into the air.

On the landing the undercarriage of Hamilton’s car was damaged and he had to retire the car in only

the rst few moments of the race. is crash has been one in a series of unfortunate events for Mercedes this year as they struggle to maintain the dominance they had in F1 over the past decade. With Hamilton out everyone was watching to see what the young lion (Max Verstappen) would do to pick up the pace. In no time (only a matter of een to seventeen laps) Max was able to climb from where he started in 14th place all the way to third.

An 11-car overtake in one race is no small feat but any fan of Verstappen knows that he does not settle for third or second. As the leader in the F1 season he needed a rst place win to enhance his lead in the points and distance himself further from his competition at Ferrari—Charles Leclerc (Sainz’s teammate).

Before anyone could even utter the sentence, “Max is in third place,” Red Bull had given team orders to Perez to let Max overtake him. All Max had to do then was wait patiently until Sainz was in striking distance. A er four laps the opportunity presented itself but what made it so interesting was that it was not just one Red Bull car passing the Ferrari—it was two. Verstappen made his move early which is not to discredit Perez who followed behind. Sergio proved why he is in the second Red Bull seat, because when the checkered ag was ying the rst two cars to cross the line were

the Red Bulls. Verstappen in rst, Perez in second and Sainz in third.

But the driver who did not receive major attention was Daniel Ricciardo in his McLaren. e Australian started the race on the grid in seventh position. He was in points contention and well ahead of his teammate, Lando Norris, who was 10 positions back in 17th place. Ricciardo in the past four years has changed teams about as frequently as Kim Kardashian nds new boyfriends since her divorce. In 2018 Ricciardo was a Red Bull driver with teammate Max Verstappen. But a er a poor season due to teammate in ghting he decided to leave and join Renault for the 2019 season hoping to make a bigger name for himself. However, due to consistent engine failures and poor performance from the team Ricciardo decided to change teams one more time in the 2020 season and join McLaren. inking he had found a new team Ricciardo and the McLaren team signed a three-year contract due to expire at the end of the 2023 season. Unfortunately, McLaren and Ricciardo never seemed to work together. Whether it was Daniel being unable to get the most out of the car or McLaren’s love for its other racer Lando Norris, there was never as much attention put onto Daniel as there should have been.

During his time at McLaren, Ricciardo was not performing to

what the team had expected of the former Grand Prix winner and one of the best racers on the grid. eir disappointment was never something that they hid, but things took a new turn in the past couple of weeks. It was announced that McLaren was using the buyout clause of their contract with Ricciardo to remove him from his seat for the 2023 season. At the moment Ricciardo is without o ers from other teams as it is still fairly early in the season for contract negotiations to begin. But the question le on the table is who really let Ricciardo down?

In Spa this weekend, Ricciardo was consistently in the ght for points and well ahead of his much preferred teammate Lando Norris. It was not until his pit crew called him in for a third pit during the nal laps of the race where he could not regain the time lost in the pit lane. McLaren shot Ricciardo’s chance for points in the foot by pitting one more time than other teams which killed their overall lap time. e only question that is le to ask as this once promising driver, whose former teammates are all ghting for championships, is whether he has let all of his teams down or if F1 has let his potential go to waste? Only time will tell if another team picks him up as a driver and if he can perform at the level he once did four years ago.

4 The Brandeis Hoot September 2, 2022

By Natasha Girshin editor

Canada against Finland. It seems like almost a locked-in landslide win, with Canada seeming the dominant force in the rst period, setting an almost unfairly fast pace against the winded Finns. But as the game progressed, something changed. In the Edmonton air, with an arena full of Hockey Canada fans, the Finns fought back and put on a near equal performance by the end of the third period, tying the game 2-2, while evening the shots on goal.

It was a shock to behold. How could Finland, a team who seemed almost childish and inferior compared to the titans of Hockey Canada, propel themselves to overtime? e answer lies in the ultimately superior Finnish goaltending and the anger that drove Team Finland to the edge.

e goaltending, which is nearly always Scandinavia’s strongest element, was outstanding by Juha Jatkola. e 19-year-old goalie pulled o a 23-save shutout against Team Sweden in the race to the nal, while boasting a .918 save percentage throughout the tournament. While Canada’s goalie, Dylan Garand, who had a .925 save percentage throughout the championship was also on top of his game, it is notable that Canada had far more skillful shots on goal throughout the game which

On the edge of gold

proved a much higher challenge for the Finnish goaltender.

e anger lies in the complete uprising Team Finland made despite taking up ve straight penalties, which resulted in a stockpile of opportunity for Team Canada to dominate and control the game. Watching Finland get penalty a er penalty for barely-there slashings and boardings while still somehow killing every penalty was a sight to see. And despite having only one penalty in the entire game, Team Canada did not use any powerplay to their advantage.

While bias isn’t new in hockey, it is especially surprising to see it on the junior and international stage. And when Finland struck back, it was like hope was nally restored—until it was crushed once again.

In the nal minutes of overtime, tensions were running high and fans were on their feet. It almost seemed like Finland could make a comeback and win gold once again. Yet, Hockey Canada captain Mason McTavish had a trick up his sleeve: pulling o an astounding feat of stopping the puck just as it was about to cross over the Canadian goal line. Everyone held their breath as it bounced once, twice… never crossing the line. e thrilling moment was over, and that would be Finland’s nal chance, before Logan Stankoven routed the puck to the Finnish zone, shooting it. And with an incredible save, Jatkola blocked the shot. But on

the rebound, Kent Johnson shot it back into the net to sound the winning buzzer. And just like that, Canada won gold. e arena burst into pandemonium while Finland lay there stunned. An unforgettable e ort by an unforgettable team.

Finland’s e ort and performance was so impressive, it is wrong to not give them the praise they so deserve. And while this World Juniors was a asco, one bright spot was illuminated, and we can only wait to see if Finland can re-emerge as winners next year.


Deshaun Watson showed how dumb the NFL is

entire 2021 NFL season due to the trade request, but the Texans refused to trade him. During the season, allegations were brought to the public as women began ling lawsuits against Watson. e next year consisted of legal disputes and NFL discussions as people tried to gure out what to do with him. Watson denied doing anything wrong, but it was obvious that he did something. Even though there were serious legal complications, there were still rumors about Watson being traded to di erent teams. e Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles were all linked to a trade for Watson.

On March 11, 2022, the grand jury cleared Watson of all sexual misconduct criminal charges against him. However, he still had to face 22 civil suits against him by women who described how inappropriate he acted during massage appointments. A week later the Browns traded three rst-round picks, a third-round pick and a fourth-round pick for Watson. e reaction to the trade warranted a variety of reactions. Some Browns fans were happy to get a great quarterback, while others were hesitant considering the situation. Despite some poor publicity, the Browns immediately signed him to a ve-year $230 million extension with all the money guaranteed. An absolutely ridiculous move for the Browns, but more on them later. Over the next month, another two women led civil suits against Watson, but he ended up settling with 20 of them. e NFL and NFL Players Association appointed Sue L. Robinson to be a disciplinary ocer in charge of determining how long a possible suspension could be. She decided on six games, but the NFL appealed the decision. Ultimately, they decided on an 11-game suspension for Watson, which he accepted. Watson has

ruined his image forever. Even if he is incredibly successful in Cleveland, there is still going to be that resentment from fans everywhere. A clip went viral during the Browns rst preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. e crowd was chanting, “You sick fuck,” over and over again as Watson played one drive. He was also terrible during that one drive, which most certainly did not help his case. e man appears to show no remorse for his actions and continuously denies everything. It’s de nitely hard to root for him. Although his teammates have mostly avoided talking about the situation, there clearly are hesitations. For example, quarterback Jacoby Brissett is set to replace Watson while he is suspended, so he was asked about whether it was going to be di cult to ll those shoes. Brissett swi ly replied, “It’s very easy for me to not be Deshaun.” Watson not only exposed this terrible side about himself, but also for NFL teams. Teams were closely monitoring his situation as they awaited a possible trade. is on its own makes sense. If he was cleared of everything, then it could make sense if your team really needs a quarterback. However, he wasn’t really cleared of everything and de nitely still had some legal disputes to work out. All these possible trade teams were ready to take a chance on Watson even though he had some serious issues. Ultimately not every team got him, but even the consideration from some of these teams is something to be disappointed in. e Browns de nitely deserve scrutiny considering they actually traded for him. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said “I think in this country and hopefully in the world, people deserve second chances, OK. I really think that …. Is he never supposed to play again? Is he never supposed

to be a part of society? Does he get no chance to rehabilitate himself? at’s what we’re gonna do, OK,” when talking about Watson. is wasn’t the rst time the Browns gave a player a second chance. In 2019, footage of current Browns running back Kareem Hunt was published and showed him kicking a woman. At the time Hunt was on the Kansas City Chiefs, and he was immediately released in the middle of the season. e Chiefs were pushing for a strong playo run and Hunt had just nished his rst season in the NFL, where he led the entire league in rushing yards with 1327 yards. But that didn’t matter to them, as they released him anyway. Hunt eventually was not charged for anything, so the Browns decided to give him a second chance. ere was some resentment towards the Browns for that signing but not as much as what they got for the Watson deal. e issue wasn’t just the trade, but the fact that they signed him to an extension that made him the highest paid player in the NFL. On top of that, all of his money is guaranteed. is was given to him before the suspension and the situation was settling down. A lot could have happened a er they gave him that extension but for some reason the Browns gave it to him anyway. e Browns are a strange franchise. A er being terrible for years, they thought they found their savior in quarterback Baker May eld. But that quickly went south, so a ri was created between May eld and the front o ce. e team proceeded to trade for the dumbest person on the planet and make him the highest paid player in NFL history. Good job Browns. Watson changed the landscape of the NFL for the worse. Teams were exposed and he painted himself in a negative light. e NFL had a chance to handle his situation that would not com-

pletely destroy their image, but ended up showing how ridiculous the league actually is. Firstly, the inconsistencies with suspensions are shown. Watson very clearly did something wrong to these women, considering how many allegations there are against him. It almost seems easy for the league to just suspend him for a minimum of one year. Instead, they suspended him for just 11 games. You may ask, why 11? e original suggestion from a mediator was six games, so why increase by ve? Why not just double the length?

A er a quick evaluation you can see that 11 games would mean that his rst game back is against his former team, the Texans. e NFL clearly wants to have the opportunity to make even more money by running this storyline. Go watch Watson’s rst game as a Brown against his former team! Everyone knows that sports are a business, and this is very evident from the suspension. It is further shown in Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley’s suspension. Ridley was suspended for an entire season due to gambling on his team’s game. However, he gambled on his team to win, and he didn’t even play in the game. As soon as the NFL discovered the gambling, without hesitation, they suspended him for a season. Gambling, in theory, violates the integrity of the game; in other words it can cause the NFL to lose money. at’s why his suspension is more severe than Watson’s. In the end, it’s a business so the league is going to do everything they can to do that. Could they have handled Watson’s situation better? Yes. Is the league going to change how they approach suspensions like this in the future? It’s very unlikely, but a er the backlash they received it is possible.

While Canada won gold, it was only by a slim margin. If McTavish was only a second late, if the puck bounced forward once more, gold would have been Finland’s. But we don’t live in that alternate reality. While Canada got the medal and the trophy, September 2, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot Sports 5
By Justin Leung editor

Baseball teams are stealing money from their players and it’s working

Baseball is a very di cult sport. Whether it’s hitting a ball that’s moving 103 miles per hour or being able to throw that, baseball is a sport where very few people are competent and even fewer are truly very good at the sport. e next issue becomes producing at a high level throughout an entire career. Some players are average or maybe below average for the start of their career and suddenly become one of the best players in baseball. Take the career of outelder Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers as an interesting example. Yelich started his career with the Miami Marlins. He was a solid player for ve years before he was traded to the Brewers. While on the Marlins he was an above-average hitter and decent elder but was not de nitely in the conversation to be one of the best in all of baseball. en when he got traded to the Brewers all of the sudden, he became one of the best players in baseball. He won the Most Valuable Player award in 2018 and came in second place for the award in 2019. en, just as quickly as he ascended to the top, he fell back to being average. Since 2020, Yelich has been a slightly above-average hitter and de nitely the worst he’s been for his entire career. So, as you can see, baseball is a sport that has a lot of variation. Another example of this is the Major League Baseball (MLB) dra . In the dra , there are 620 players dra ed. According to an article by Bob Howdeshell, the percentage of high school players that are dra ed and end up making the major leagues is 0.5 percent. Only 10.5 percent of college players dra ed make it to the majors. e big takeaway here is that baseball is hard and it’s di cult to take risks on players because there are so many variables to the sport. Even with this in mind, some teams are starting to break this mold and take risks on young players by giving them large contracts. For some reason, this strategy is working, and now more and more teams are starting to make this the norm.

In April 2019, the Atlanta Braves signed out elder Ronald Acuna Jr. to an eight-year $100 million extension. is extension would end up making his yearly salary close to $17 million and a free agent in 2029 at age 31 years old. Acuna had just come o a season where he won the Rookie of the Year award and displayed a style of baseball that people dream of. He stole bases, hit home runs and played elite defense. e extension made him the youngest player in baseball history to sign a contract worth at least 100 million dollars. When asked about the extension, Acuna said, “No, I have no regrets. No one can see the future. No one knows what’s going to happen tomorrow, so I’m extremely happy with the decision we’ve all made and I’m just excited to be here.’’ e Braves were not done there. ey also gave a seven-year $35 million extension to their young second baseman Ozzie Albies. At the time it seemed like a win-win situation for everyone. Acuna and Albies got nancial security with the extensions and the Braves locked up their young core for the long term. However, now it seems like the Braves got

an absolute bargain. Since signing the extension, Acuna has been an All-Star three times and has won two Silver Slugger awards. Albies may be even more of a bargain considering he is getting paid just $7 million a year while being one of the top second basemen in all of baseball. Obviously, both players had no idea how things would turn out. If they didn’t sign the extensions, they very easily could have gotten injured and their career could have been over. We can compare this situation with a di erent player. San Diego Padres out elder Juan Soto has been in the headlines for a variety of reasons over the past few years. Since getting to the major leagues with the Washington Nationals, Soto has been one of the best hitters in all of baseball. His plate discipline and power to all parts of the eld is nearly unmatched. He was a key player for the Nationals when they won the World Series in 2019. Similarly to Acuna, Soto also was a rookie in 2018 and came in second place for the Rookie of the Year award, right behind Acuna. So, when the Braves gave Acuna the extension, some fans wondered if the Nationals would do the same. However, Soto’s agent controls baseball. His agent is Scott Boras. Boras is the agent for some of the best players in all of baseball and he is very good at making sure his clients get absurd amounts of money. For them to do that, they need to reach free agency, so most of his clients do not sign extensions before their contract is up. He knows that his client will make more money when every team can bid for him. In the end, the Nationals traded him because they knew that he wouldn’t sign an extension and

they did not want to lose him for nothing. Soto reportedly rejected a 15-year $440 million extension with the Nationals. is blows Acuna’s extension out of the water and fans are now realizing how big of a bargain the Braves got when Acuna agreed to the deal.

A er seeing the success the Braves had, we began to see more and more teams trying to lock up their star young players for longterm deals. So far these deals also seem like they are solid bargains.

In 2021, the Marlins signed their ace starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara to a ve-year $56 million extension. at deal immediately paid o for the Marlins considering Alcantara immediately emerged as one of the best pitchers in baseball. is year, Alcantara has been 90 percent better than the average pitcher and is on track to win the Cy Young award. He’s getting paid just $3.5 million this year and his salary will max out at a yearly salary of $17 million. During this season, the Houston Astros signed designated hitter Yordan Alvarez to a six-year $115 million extension. Alvarez has consistently been one of the best hitters in all of baseball since his debut in 2019. For his career, he has been 59 percent better than the average hitter and this season he has been even better and up to 81 percent better. He will be making around $26 million a year. Once again, a great bargain for one of the best players in baseball. Even the Tampa Bay Rays, an organization that tends to not spend a lot of money, signed shortstop Wander Franco to an 11-year $182 million extension before the 2022 season. In his rst season, he showed why he was the best prospect in all of baseball as he was

electric from the start of his career to even his rst career postseason. ere are many more players that got similar extensions. Braves third baseman Austin Riley and Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. are two big ones. So, it is no longer uncommon to see teams take a chance on their young players and give them big contracts. ere are a lot of successes in this aspect of baseball, but once again, baseball is a game of huge uctuations. At rst, the Tatis extension also seemed like a bargain, but recently he got injured in a motorcycle accident and was suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs. e question of character has brought his future into question. When he’s on the eld, he’s one of the most electric players in baseball. Similar to Acuna, he hits for power and steals bases, while having a cannon of an arm at shortstop. But maybe the Padres gave the extension too soon. If these o -theeld issues continue to arise, it’s going to be di cult to gure out what to do next. Franco is somewhat similar as he has been injured for a big chunk of the 2022 season and when he has been healthy, he hasn’t been incredible. When you look at Yelich again, he got a seven-year $200 million extension in 2020. He followed that by having two of the worst seasons of his career. So as you can see, there are some risks to these extensions, but also it is still early. Baseball isn’t like other sports. You don’t see Lebron James signing a 10-year contract. Most contracts in professional football and basketball are two to three years in duration, with some being a little longer. Also, due to the di culty of the sport, there is much more

variation in baseball compared to football and basketball, and therefore you rarely see a football player just suddenly become completely below average. e contracts in baseball are especially unique because of this. ese massive extensions are changing baseball for the better. Fans get to see their favorite players stay with the same team for most of their career, young players get nancial security and teams can spend more money on other players and make their team better. Although these contracts have their risks, teams are de nitely going to nd ways to keep their young talent for as long as possible and for a low cost. Take the Seattle Mariners as a prime example. ey recently signed out elder Julio Rodriguez to an absolutely mind-blowing extension in just his rst year of major league baseball. e team is committed to making him the face of their franchise, so they signed him to a contract extension that increases in value depending on how he performs. So, over the next decade, if Rodriguez continues to perform at a high level, he will get even more money. e team found a way to keep him under contract while also reducing their nancial risk. Rodriguez gets great nancial security and the motivation to play better to get more money. His contract was extremely complex because of all of the incentives the team added. Who knows what new strategies teams will come up with to keep their young players for their full career.

6 Sports The Brandeis Hoot September 2, 2022

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

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

Editor’s Note: is interview was recorded during the 2022 spring semester.

Why did you choose to come to Brandeis?

I had actually le academia after I got my Ph.D. and although I continued to [be an] adjunct [professor] just for the fun of it, I wanted to have an audience when I went on about the 18th century. I was working full-time as a journalist, but I will say that the work was very grinding. I will admit to you completely on the record that I roll my eyes sometimes when academics talk about their deadlines because academics don’t know what a deadline is compared to journalists. I never missed a deadline, but I would get red circles on my cheeks from the stress of hitting deadlines sometimes. I was living in these two worlds and I wasn’t even actively looking for a position, but a friend saw the posting at Brandeis and it looked like it had been written for me. It’s this elite school that wanted somebody with a Ph.D. in a traditional liberal arts eld like American literature or American history, but they also wanted somebody to direct the journalism program. So I was like, okay, I’ll apply and see what happens.

What do you think you gained from being a journalist?

Humility. It was a very humbling experience. Typically if you work in newspapers, you think in terms of inches, the length of a column that you have. When you work in radio, you think in terms of min-

utes and you become very aware of unnecessary words. When I went back and I looked at my dissertation and had to think about turning it into a book in order to get tenure, I realized without even trying that I had become a much cleaner writer as a consequence of the time that I spent in journalism. Strangely, it was a humbling experience for me. It was also an empowering experience, I really don’t get intimidated by people [like] I used to. Some of that may be just because I’m older, but I do think a lot of it is that I had to get comfortable with asking pertinent questions. … Your job as a journalist is to ask questions that are sometimes going to make people uncomfortable. e more o en you do it, the better you get at it and the more con dent you become. What I was doing before I came to Brandeis was working for an international news organization. So I interviewed John McCain, I walked through the metal detector at the DNC in front of Joe Lieberman (the Senator from Connecticut, Al Gore’s vice presidential nominee). … You really do realize that the phrase “everybody puts their pants on one leg at a time” [is very accurate]. e really important, powerful people that you see on television and you read about in the newspapers are just human beings.

What do you think the American Studies program does right?

I’m o en asked what makes us di erent from history or literature. So there’s a sort of academic answer to what makes us di erent. In the history department, you have the history of other cultures and in the literature department, you have the literature of other cultures. But I think the other thing that we do, and I say this as somebody who was trained as a historian, we [in American Studies] are much more comfortable with this idea of saying that the reason we want to understand the past is entirely so that we can understand ourselves in the present. It’s not that you don’t have that in history, but historians bristle a little bit sometimes at the idea that

there has to be something useful in the present about the study of the past. … In fact, you need to be careful with getting too oriented toward the present when studying the past, they even have a word for that, “presentism.” I think in American studies, we’re a little bit more comfortable with this idea. Why am I going to study America’s past? So that I can understand exactly how we got to this day. ere’s a lot of relevance to the way we approach America’s past.

Is there anything that you think the American Studies program could do better?

If you go and take a look at our website, we have our learning goals. One of the things we have as a goal is something along the lines of, “we want our students to be able to situate American culture within a global context, and to walk away from the major within the understanding of both how American culture has in uenced cultures in other countries but also how our culture bears the mark of the immigrants.” We’re a little weak on that front. A lot of it is because we’re a program now but when I arrived here we were a department. e big di erence is that when you’re a department, you get to hire people a er your colleagues retire while when you’re a program, you don’t. So we have not been able to hire people which makes us increasingly dependent upon faculty hires in different departments to satisfy our learning goals. We’re a little weak right now because we can’t hire a specialist in race and immigration in American society.

If you could tell Brandeis students one thing about the American Studies program, what would it be?

What do you mean when you say you’re an American? I promise you there’s a history behind [every part of the American identity]. I like to think that your identity as an American is a bit like a room that is illuminated with a deceptively simple ick of the switch. Every day, I walk into the bath-

room in the morning to brush my teeth. I ick on the switch and the light is there. It seems really simple. It is not simple. ere is an incredibly complex grid behind that illumination in my bathroom. I know that the grid may be traced up to Quebec, there’s a grid system that brings the electricity down into Massachusetts, et cetera, et cetera. I think American studies is about trying to understand that really complex grid. First of all, trying to get you to even realize the grid is there and then to realize how complex it is. We are not a common race. We are not a common ethnicity. We are not a common language. We are not a common religion. We are an invented nation, so the story behind that invention. ere’s a story to every attribute that you’re going to associate with American identity.

Some of your research focuses on religion in America. What draws you to that?

I took a course, my junior year of college called “Catholics and American Culture.” I don’t think that I understood before that course how much disagreement there can be among people who profess to believe the same things. I don’t think I ever understood how many varieties of just Christianity there are just in this country and how deep some of those di erences were at one

point in the country’s history and are still for some people. For instance, there was a big debate in the 19th century between Baptists and Methodists, about what is the proper way to baptize somebody? Can you just sprinkle it on their heads or do you need to do a full dunking? Do you have to immerse them entirely in water? is was a deeply debated conict among two varieties of Protestants in the 19th century. So I think the contentiousness that is associated with American religious history is fascinating to me. Also, I was a philosophy major in college and I think I just like understanding what people believe. Even if you’re one of these people who thinks that there’s no logic and that religion is not rational, that doesn’t mean that there’s not an internal logic to religious belief. So I enjoy tracing the internal logic in di erent belief systems. As I always say to my students, you don’t have to believe any of the ideas that we’re gonna study in this class. But what you do have to understand is that these people did believe it and those beliefs motivated their actions and those actions had consequences that in some instances are still reverberating today. If you want to understand the contemporary landscape of America, you have to understand America’s religious history, pure and simple.

FEATURES September 2, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot 7 PHOTO FROM BRANDEIS EDU

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe.”


Victoria Morrongiello

Thomas Pickering

Madeline Rousell

Managing Editor Mia Plante

Copy Editor Logan Ashkinazy

News Editor Roshni Ray

Vimukthi Mawilmada

Arts Editors Rachel Rosenfield

Cyrenity Augustin

Lucy Fay

Opinions Editor Abdel Achibat Cooper Gottfried

Features Editor Jenny Zhao

Sports Editor Justin Leung

Deputy Sports Editor Natasha Girshin

Volume 19

FOUNDED BY Leslie Pazan, Igor Pedan and Daniel Silverman



As the weekly community student newspaper of Brandeis University, The Brandeis Hoot aims to provide our readers with a reliable, accurate and unbiased source of news and information. Produced entirely by students, The Hoot serves a readership of 6,000 with in-depth news, relevant commentary, sports and coverage of cultural events. Recognizing that better journalism leads to better policy, e Brandeis Hoot is dedicated to the principles of investigative reporting and news analysis. Our mission is to give every community member a voice.


The Brandeis Hoot welcomes letters to the editor on subjects that are of interest to the community. Preference is given to current or former community members and The Hoot reserves the right to edit or reject submissions. The deadline for submitting letters is Wednesday at noon. Please submit letters to along with your contact information. Letters should not exceed 500 words. The opinions, columns, cartoons and advertisements printed in The Hoot do not necessarily represent the opinions of the editorial board.


Advertising in e Brandeis Hoot helps spread your message to our readers across the Brandeis campus, in the Waltham community and beyond through our website. All campus organizations receive a 25-percent discount o our regular prices. To reserve your space in the paper, e-mail us at ads@


Writers, editors, photographers and graphic artists wanted to join e Brandeis Hoot, your weekly community newspaper. To learn more, send us an e-mail at, or visit our website


This semester is o to a slow start. Students and faculty alike are adjusting to the new and oddly-timed class blocks, students are exploring the new dining options from the new vendor and Harvest Table is struggling to provide the services Brandeis students are used to post-Sodexo. Harvest Table has added new dining options in Upper Usdan (now called e Hive), a new dining app, new delivery service and a new manner of displaying ingredients and allergens in menu items. is is a lot for students to adjust to, especially when we all just became experts at using the Bite App throughout these past semesters. Additionally, the way Harvest Table is displaying allergen information is di cult for students with food allergies to keep up with or access. Instead of the labels in front of the food with allergens listed, Harvest Table has scrolling screens and information on the online menu. is requires students with food allergies to further other themselves by studying these screens and pre-planning their meals before going to the dining halls—even more so than they are used to. is isn’t a new phenomenon for Brandeis students. Upperclassmen can remember the days when it was Sodexo making these mistakes of not updating the ingredients list between meals and mislabeling the foods; it is the same story but a di erent culprit. An additional frustration is the continued lack of dedicated gluten-free fryers in our dining hall kitchens. McDonalds has dedicated gluten-free fryers, why can't we? At least Harvest Table can say that this is its rst week, and mistakes and slip-ups

were bound to happen. Hopefully, the hospitality group can learn from its mistakes and this will be a problem of the past. Parents have also been made aware of these dining complications, complaining on behalf of their children on the parent Facebook group about the limited supply of food at the dining halls during peak hours. Many parents are sharing photos from their children of empty serving containers during meal hours. With the large rst-year class, the dining halls may need to account for the larger student population they need to feed on campus. is is once again a xable problem if the hospitality group takes into account the community they need to serve. We are also dealing with the repercussions of new COVID-19 policies and the world moving on from the pandemic protocols. Like many others, Brandeis students, faculty and administration are dealing with pandemic fatigue. If given the opportunity to go maskless, students will jump at the chance. But this is a problem for regulating our policies across the board. Some students are being told they have ve-day quarantines; others, ten days. With the inconsistent policies, it makes the community confused on what they should be doing. Because the Brandeis Health Center is only open on weekdays, students’ quarantine and isolation times are extended to accommodate its hours, negatively impacting students who otherwise would have tested negative sooner and would have been able to attend integral college events, see friends and get somewhat solid meals in our dining halls. We are a second-half team as a university. We start o with a bit

of a rocky path, but we always come up a oat. Hopefully, all of these concerns are just because we are all adjusting to new circumstances and changes, but one thing that cannot be solved by better signage in dining halls and solidifying COVID-19 policies is the insane overcrowding that can be seen and felt throughout campus. is might be because this year’s seniors experienced a sophomore year of very few students on campus, or because the current rst-year class is too big for Brandeis’ britches, but the campus is swimming in new—unmasked— faces, fewer free seats in common spaces and schools of people on the Rabb steps in between the oddly-scheduled classes. We should note that while the classes are oddly scheduled, the new schedule does provide more time to get to classes. It was a problem last semester when returning to in-person classes meant students had to get across campus in a matter of 10 minutes. With the additional time between courses, students no longer have to physically run to class to be there on time, especially when we know some professors love to talk past their scheduled time. is is a huge improvement for students and an example of how the university has listened to the complaints of students and created change for the better. And let us not forget, it was the opinion of the Brandeis community—through interest groups and feedback forms—that chose Harvest Table over Sodexo in the bid for a new dining contact. While we may not be loving their current performance, just remember we made this bed, and now we must lay in it.

Brandeis is a second-half team and this semester is no exception
the brandeis hoot • brandeis university 415 south street • waltham ma
Jonathan Ayash, Sam Finbury, Zach Katz, Sarah Kim, Joey Kornman, Josh Lannon, Kristianna Lapierre, Max Lerner, Rafi Levi, Francesca Marchese, V, Abigail Roberts, David Shapiro, Matt Shapiro, and Alex Williams
submissions to 800 words. All submissions are subject to editing.
welcome unsolicited submissions from members of the community sent by e-mail to Please limit
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 8 The Brandeis Hoot September 2, 2022

Brandeis seeing gradual facility improvements

ere’s been a lot of talk since the beginning of the semester about the new food vendor, Harvest Table, who has been brought in to replace our university’s last vendor, Sodexo. While the changes may not be as noticeable, there have also been major improvements to the general facilities, which the university has undertaken to help improve the overall feel of life at Brandeis.

I’ve noticed three main areas of improvement: Usdan, e Library and Sherman/ e Stein. Let’s start with Usdan. e new ordering system from Starship, along with the rework of the kitchen, has actually streamlined what I always thought was a pretty ine cient design for the restaurants. Prioritizing space for the kitchen sta behind the cubbies is a much better use of that area, since people can still go to the seating section to wait. e fountain drink dispenser was also

an amazing idea, as I will no longer have to be on the receiving end of a wild guess on what drink I might want when the vendors run out of Sprite.

e Hoot Market also feels like an improvement, since the more gnarly looking grocery shelves got replaced with open shelving units, also freeing up a little more space for the line which usually develops around noon and stays there until about 2 p.m. e new refrigerator wall is a big improvement on the grocery shelves from last year as well, I don’t worry as much anymore about just how long my sandwich has been sitting out.

Space is going to be a reoccuring theme in this article, since I feel that a lot of the improvements the university has made has been in service of maximizing the amount of room usable for the main campus services. Looking back on it, a lot of these changes seem fairly obvious, which is precisely why it’s so important that the university has started working on them.

Goldfarb/Farber seems to re-

main the most unchanged, although the main portion of the lobby has been renovated with a new front desk. is makes sense, as it looks a little more professional than the weird dentist-appointment counter from last year. While the upgrades don’t make much of a tangible di erence to usage, the overall feel of the space does seem a lot more professional, a major upgrade from the random, out of place blue walls from last year. It was also a good idea as it has optimized room for the printing section, allowing for more people to use that space at the same time.

Finally let’s move onto Sherman. Most of the improved things were things we always needed, including a space where the green boxes wouldn’t sit precariously . Also, the addition of a big table with condiments was an EXCELLENT idea. Instead of having to stop at three di erent booths, now it’s really a one-stop shop. However, its location is contributing to a lot of congestion in the middle of the mess hall. My suggestion

would be to move the condiments table to the area which had the milk dispenser last year, on the other side of the desert counter. Alternatively, we could set it up to where all lines could start in one direction, and then you could move around to whichever line you were interested in.

However, what I would really like to commend has been the near-total renovation of the Stein.

e remodeling of the oors and walls has made it into a much more open and respectable looking restaurant. Even though ordering online isn’t o the ground, the renovations have made getting food from there a lot better of an experience overall. It also gives

more room for a bigger number of tables, which will help when it comes to people packing in for trivia nights.

ese are just the major improvements, but I’ve been seriously impressed with how much the university has been able to improve the facilities in just the last three months. ere is certainly much more work to be done, but I’m excited to see how well all these changes turn out in the coming weeks. Also, Massell pond has a tree again! How cool is that?

An ode to your next four years at Brandeis

You will probably feel more lonely than you ever have before. You might hate it at rst, but eventually, you won’t even realize you’re lonely—it becomes a reality, until one day, you’re 21 in Farber at midnight staring at pictures of your 18-year-old self going to frat parties, orientation events and doing everything a rst-year in college does. You’ll probably think the friends you make that rst month of school will be your

best friends for the next four years and on. For the majority of people, this is probably not going to happen.

I was lucky.

e friends I made that September are still my home here. is is what I had hoped would happen that September, and it came true, but what I didn’t know was just how much our friendships and dynamics would change and evolve in these years.

ere’s something so disheartening about sitting in the same spot of the library you used to sit at with these people laughing

all night. Now you’re here alone, annoyed at the rst-years doing what you used to do. at feeling of possibility and naiveté—that doesn’t come back. It turns into nostalgia and evolves into adulthood.

Weekends where you wake up at 12, hungover in a dorm room, and meet your friends for stale pancakes and bad co ee at Sherman turn into forcing yourself to make some eggs in your kitchen because your friends either have work, e-board meetings, are at their boyfriend’s or are too lazy to walk the ve minutes to come to

your apartment.

You get busy.

Sometimes you get too busy to eat, to see those friends that live ve or 10 minutes away. Eventually, these people that you spent every waking second with because you couldn’t bear to be alone with your 18-year-old self who had extreme FOMO—these people become the people you have to have small talk with because you don’t know what’s going on in each other’s lives anymore.

You get busy and distance follows.

You know what else follows?

Comfort in yourself and being by yourself and learning to be lonely. at very same feeling you were so scared of three years ago—it becomes something so familiar that it’s your new reality. And you eventually learn that it’s not a bad thing. So instead of sitting in Farber laughing into the night with people you met a week ago, you nd yourself sitting in Farber, realizing that you’re surrounded by people who are alone. So you sit there alone together, acknowledging each other’s presence and realizing how far you’ve come.

Here’s to the end of COVID-19 caution

Since the start of the pandemic there has been a huge question— when will it end? For most, we thought it would be two weeks in our houses and then life would return to how it was. at was simply not the case. Now two and a half years later, have we reached the end of COVID-19 caution?

Let’s get one thing straight: there’s no going back to life without COVID-19. As much as some of us may wish the disease would just—poof—disappear, it’s not going to happen. Similar to the u, it seems it will just become a part of life until it feels like this was always the way. e only thing we can change is how we react to it. We have adjusted our lives around COVID-19, and now it seems like the world is adjusting back while it still remains present. Some would say it’s about time we do this, but this begs the question of what will the repercussions be?

Masking and testing were e ective precautions to take in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, as evidenced by the reduced spread on campus last year. Unfortunately, both of those preventative measures require money and social compliance. Socially, a good majority of people are over

COVID-19 and lessening the spread. e mindset has shi ed from “I really don’t want to get it” to “eh, it won’t be so bad if I get it.” With people less willing to mask not only for their own protection but the community’s protection we see the ever-present culture of American individualism.

People are over having to mask and quarantine because there is no bene t for them to perform those measures, since they no longer care if they test positive. e community has forgotten that immunocompromised people still exist. ey have forgotten that for some, getting sick means more than u-like symptoms.

ey forgot that wearing a mask isn’t only for them but for those they interact with.

Wearing a mask is not a prevention technique exclusively for COVID-19. It can help mitigate the spread of many airborne and droplet particles. In fact, wearing a mask was common in other countries before COVID-19 had ever begun its spread. One article in PsychologyToday notes masks as a preventative measure from 1984—36 years before COVID-19. In this story, the author noted seeing people wearing masks on the streets of Tokyo. Having just moved there, the author asked co-workers why people were wearing masks. e

explanation was simple: people wore masks in public when they were sick to avoid spreading their germs to others. It was considered polite and a “civic duty.” is story came from a culture that maintains a collectivist ideology, where the needs of the whole are considered to be greater than the needs of the individual. And that is simply not the case in America where we view wearing a mask or getting vaccinated as a violation of human rights (mind you, the same country that takes away a woman’s right to choice).

So while we pull back on COVID-19 measures we must ask ourselves—is it really the smartest thing to do? Moreover, is it a smart thing to do in a society that values the desires of the individual over the good of the whole?

I can tell you right now I know people who went to the dining hall while they were supposed to be in so quarantine. Why? Because they wanted to. I can tell you that I know people who were supposed to be masking in indoor spaces and didn’t. Why? Because they’re over being told they have to sit back and miss out on life.

And I’m not mad at anyone for their choices. I get it. I feel their frustration and their ire over the way life is. I wish, like them, for life to go back to the way it was three years ago when everyone’s

big concern in college was getting mono.

But here’s the thing: life isn’t stopping for COVID-19 anymore.

e world will keep moving and leave you behind whether you’re sick or a close contact or scared of contraction.

So, to keep up with a moving world, what would you do?

Even classes aren’t fully considering COVID-19 anymore. Some classes have had their video recording systems removed, so students who cannot attend in person will not be able to rewatch lectures. Other professors are giving two unexcused absences for a class that meets three times a week—and if you still feel sick and can’t participate via Zoom, your grade will take a hit. Even last year I had to miss class since I had COVID-19 and my atten-

dance grade went down, even though there was no option for me to attend.

So now we are here: a university divided. e half that can’t let go of everything in the past two and a half years and the other half ready to throw caution to the wind.

We all knew this was going to come at some point. It just seems the day has nally come.

So I urge you, even though the university isn’t keeping track of people with passports or testing. Follow the guidelines you are given. If you are told not to eat in the dining hall, take a green box and eat outside; the weather is nice anyway. If you are told to wear a mask in your classroom please come with a mask.

Welcome to the P.C. age. PostCOVID-19.

OPINIONS September 2, 2022 Th The Brandeis Hoot 9

Euphoria is one of the most beguiling shows that has ever aired. It involves a group of high school students who grapple with drugs, sex, love, social media and money as they come of age while trying to rmly establish their identities. e series’ main character, Rue Bennett, is portrayed by Zendaya. Rue is a recovering teenage drug-addict who endeavors to nd her place in the world as part of a group of high school students. She helps them nd their own identities while wrestling with her own. Rue’s experiences with drug abuse, anxiety and the passing of her father arguably makes her the most heartwarming and relatable character. rough the lens of Karen Horney’s theory of neurosis and Alfred Adler’s domain of individual psychology, I hope to answer the question: Is Rue Bennett deeply wounded or irreparably broken?

Katherine Horney’s Theory of Neurosis

Horney’s theory postulates that neurosis originates from “basic anxiety” that stems from “disturbed interpersonal relationships during childhood.” e demonstration of genuine a ection and warmth towards a child results in them undergoing normal development, but the demonstration of indi erence towards a child results in neurosis.

Basic evil occurs when parenting behavior that undermines a child’s security. In the pilot of Euphoria, Rue is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Her parents were neither hostile nor vitriolic towards her, but it can be argued that later they began to show indi erence towards her. Rue grew up in a middle-class, suburban family and her mental health struggles were taking a toll on her family’s nances. is, coupled with her father being terminal-

ly ill from cancer, was too much for Rue’s mother Leslie both from an emotional and nancial perspective. Leslie was Rue’s primary caretaker, and was exhausted from being the backbone of the family. Rue’s mental health spiraled out of control and led to the development of her neurotic needs.

Neurotic needs, according to Horney, are needs that almost everyone has that can lead to the development of intense anxiety if not met. Rue exhibits neurotic needs for a ection and approval as well as the neurotic need for personal admiration. is is obvious as she is in deep anguish that her father died under her care and supervision. She blames herself for his death but when he died she did the best that she could, given that the nurse who oversaw him would “play Candy Crush on her phone for two hours.” She desires for people to comfort her, admire her and approve her e orts because she deeply resents herself for not being able to save her father from cancer.

In addition, Karen Horney’s theory also elaborates on speci c mechanisms and behaviors that neurotic individuals engage in, to continue spinning a “vicious cycle.” In terms of neurotic adjustment to others, Rue is a hostile type. Hostile types move against people and seek expansive solutions. ey are narcissistic, perfectionist and arrogantly vindictive. ose with this neurotic adjustment type desire mastery, not love. ey abhor helplessness, are ashamed of su ering and need to achieve success, prestige or recognition. ey have a need for power, exploitation, prestige and personal achievement and can be seen as hypercompetitive.

Rue clearly demonstrates behavior which is indicative of this personality type. In the episode “Stand Still Like a Hummingbird”, we see a heartbreaking, intense and poignant interaction between Rue and Leslie. Rue is a drug addict who has struggled many times with sobriety. She is also a

very meticulous planner and beat a drug test using niacin, synthetic urine and another friend’s urine. For a long time, she believed that she would never be caught using drugs. is is behavior that is indicative of her arrogance and vindictiveness. She is infuriated at herself for not being able to save her father and punishing herself by slowly taking her own life and testing her body’s limits and terrorizing her family with violence. Rue’s unwillingness to introspect and externalize her rage is behavior which is quintessential of neurotic individuals. She has no control over her hostility and doesn’t try to address it head on.

is is made apparent in the episode titled, “ e Trials and Tribulations of Trying to Pee While Depressed.” Rather than actively attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and working on her sobriety, Rue watches Love Island to drown out her feelings. is is an avoidance coping strategy: rather than confronting her inability to maintain her sobriety, she just pushes it out of her realm of awareness. However, because her history with drug abuse has become such an integral part of her, she then turns her anger towards her family. She is vexed by not being strong enough to confront her darkness but directs that blame to her family.

Rue also employs what Horney terms “auxiliary approaches to arti cial harmony.” ese are tools that neurotics employ to deal with the inevitable con icts in an illusionary life. A speci c approach that Rue employs is cynicism. She takes pleasure in pointing out the meaninglessness of the beliefs of others. In the special episode titled, “Trouble Don’t Last Always,” Rue is told that “You don’t believe there is anything greater than Rue.” Rue responds by stating, “I just don’t plan on being here that long.” is is a devastating revelation, yet it’s understandable from an outside perspective. Rue had a childhood lled with turmoil from the beginning: she wasn’t born into wealth, witnessed her

father losing his life to cancer, and even admits that drugs are the only reason she hasn’t committed suicide. She doesn’t believe in anything.

Alfred Adler’s Domain of Individual Psychology

Rue’s personality can also be scrutinized through the lens of Alfred Adler’s theory of individual psychology. Adler believed that individuals seek companionship and harmony, and that the mind is an integrated whole which works to help attain the future goals of the person. He focused on the idea that individuals are unique and not sel sh; they are characterized by inner harmony and a desire to cooperate with others. Rue does, to a certain extent, demonstrate a desire to seek companionship and isn’t entirely sel sh. In “ e Next Episode”, we see Rue mercilessly grill one of the twin brothers who was smoking marijuana with her younger sister. In a mercilessly stern and icy voice she says, “My friends will strip you naked and go to work on you with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch. Do you hear me?” is is one of the moments where Rue’s protectiveness, empathy and tenderness emerges. She doesn’t wish for her younger sister to struggle with addiction like she does and threatens her sisters’ friend that there will be consequences if she nds out that Gia was coerced into smoking marijuana.

Rue’s need to seek out companionship is also evident when she socializes with Fezco and Ashtray, her drug dealers in “Pilot.” When Ashtray tells Rue, “I thought you were dead,” Rue counters, “I thought you had Asperger’s but then I realized you are a prick.”

e light sarcasm makes it clear that she enjoys their company but still uses them for drugs.

Adler also elaborates on the importance of birth order and parental in uence on personality development. Adler believed that a parent is instrumental to the mental wellbeing of a child. When Rue had to take care of her father while he was su ering from

cancer, she was putting his needs before her own. Because Rue lost her father, her core was shaken and she had trouble with her romantic relationships because she fears abandonment. is is made clear when she sabotages her romantic relationship with her partner, Jules, by not staying sober. Jules’ mother was an alcoholic and su ered deeply from addiction and Jules doesn’t want to be responsible for Rue. Rue isn’t willing to compromise and continues to drink. is behavior is evident of the ruling- dominant type: Rue wants to reign supreme in everyone’s life. Jules even at one-point states to her therapist, “I feel like her sobriety is entirely dependent on how available I am to her.” Rue has constructed her life in such a way that she is the most instrumental piece on the chess board.

Rue’s behavior is a glaring cry for help. She continues to use accusations as a safeguarding strategy: blaming everything bad in her life on her mother, her sister and the passing of her father. She takes drugs to get revenge on those who have limited her. Karen Horney’s theory of neurosis and Alfred Adler’s theory of individual psychology reveal not only the manipulative, vindictive and aggressive nature of Rue Bennett but also how critical factors and traumatic life experiences can shape one’s personality development. Parental in uences, innate human drives, needs and overreliance on defense mechanisms play a pivotal role in the emergence of maladaptive traits, behaviors and interpersonal dynamics. ese can all pave the way for neurosis and/ or a mistaken lifestyle as posited by Horney and Adler respectively.

So, while I believe that Rue Bennett was born deeply wounded with profound developmental challenges, the loss of her father and her reliance on drugs to numb her emotional pain led to her and her loved ones’ irreparable brokenness.

Ask SSIS: what is erotica? Is erotica considered porn?

Erotica is a term that is used to describe porn that is articulated and o en produced in strictly written form. ese could include explict sexual encounters

or articulating the sexual tension. It is not a term that is typically used for pornography, as that is attached to a visual aid that can sometimes include or not include audio. Although erotica is seen as a subgenre of pornography, it is still largely enjoyed by a large percentage of the world. Erotica can

come in many di erent levels of professionalism, from fan ction to #1 New York Times best-sellers.

Erotica is a form of porn. ere is no such thing as “normal” or “regular” porn, as it is based on the observer or person who is

going to be engaging with the media. ere are many forms of “alternative” porn that may not be what is being presented by mainstream media. Erotica by many is seen as porn, but it also can be classi ed as literature. Because erotica is o en, but not always, an articulation of experience, desire

and/or fantasies it may also sometimes be a part of a literary experience. Erotica also takes the form of comic strips, books and manga. e genres are endless and there is something for everyone if that is something that you would like to try out. If you have any questions please feel free to stop by

10 OPINIONS The Brandeis Hoot September 2, 2022 PHOTO FROM SSISBRANDEIS COM

Money: and never having enough of it

I’ve been a server for over a year now—with a few breaks in between jobs for school purposes. is job isn’t my favorite thing, of course, I mean, who dreams of fake smiling and relying on the generosity of others to be able to live comfortably? e pay isn’t always good, but when it’s good it’s addicting.

Making over 25 dollars an hour for barely doing anything is great, but it can be emotionally draining dealing with guests, co-workers and leadership sta in the industry. It feels like every restaurant has the same characters and the same problems, but I will keep going back for the quick cash.

is will be my rst time in college working a real job during

the academic year. I have had jobs since I was legally able to, but now it feels like my responsibilities are piling up. Unfortunately though, making money is kind of essential so I can’t drop this job to have more fun with friends during my senior year. I’ve been insanely lucky to make it so far in college without having to work a job like this during the semester, but senior fall is so overwhelming in itself, I don’t feel prepared to have the stressor of money on me.

Applying to law school is frightening for the same reason: money. I want to go somewhere prestigious and with name recognition if I can and yet money is on my mind. But, I cannot go to a school that gives me no money and is too academically rigorous to allow me enough free time for a job. I am not one of the lucky few who isn’t anxious about paying for school,

my parents are helping with housing and school for undergrad, but a er this, I am on my own.

I am insanely grateful for my parents, as they were able to put my sister and I both through undergrad without burdening us with nances and debt, but the fear of nally having to be self-sufcient is really hitting now.

Food is so expensive. Living is so expensive. 20 dollars doesn’t go as far as it used to when I had an allowance. If you see me sneaking food out of a dining hall, mind your business. If you have guest swipes to give, swipe me in. I am a sucker for free meals and also new friends.

Being at a point in your life when you have to budget for your vices—ca eine and alcohol for me—is so strange. I am still childish in that I want to be reckless and stupid and go to bars and

clubs and events every weekend, but I am adult enough to know my bank account may not be as down for it all as I am. e practice of putting away money in my savings account is my way of planning for the future, but there’s an underlying hope there still that I will never have to touch it. But what is the purpose of making money if not spending it on living? I think now having peace of mind and a bit of a nancial cushion is worth more than I expected it to be.

Balance every day between treating yourself and saving, this is better said than done—as I spent a lot on pre-ordered gluten-free donuts and recently invested in a blazer from Anthropologie. I am still learning this skill, but don’t deprive yourself of life’s little joys just because there’s never enough money in the world to ease your

So you’re in a ‘lofted’ triple

With the 2022-2023 academic year kicking o last week there has been one thing on most upperclassmen’s minds: why are there so many rst-years on campus?

For most of us, walking around feels odd because we cannot recognize any of the faces around campus anymore. It is simply overrun by rst-years now! But there is a reason for the high volume of rst-years on campus. As of mid-August we were expecting a little over one thousand students to enroll and move in. at would be the largest in Brandeis’ history, serving as both a cool display of Brandeis’ growth as a university and a further congestion of services and facilities on campus. You rst years have taken over

campus and as you will quickly learn by reading this section, while we love to have you with us, this university is not yet equipped for larger class sizes.

e dining halls, library and gym all feel a little smaller now with all of you packing those tiny buildings like a sardine can. But a tiny gym, poorly laid out library and dining hall without enough food is most likely not what is keeping you awake at night. I bet what is really preventing you all from getting your well-needed beauty rest is the two other strangers who share your dorm room with you.

For those who have not been clued in yet to Brandeis housing drama: the class of 2026 has set the record for the most amount of lo ed triples in rst year housing. While over one thousand did not actually show up, the number lies somewhere closer to nine hun-

dred and y, that is still A LOT of rst years and a lot of beds! It is still more than enough of you all to reach the title of most lo ed triples for a single class year.

To o er a helping hand from an upperclassman to an underclassman I thought I would o er what can only be described as the best guide for surviving your loed triple. Beginning with boundaries: who needs them? You are living in a room designed essentially for one person. So, throw all caution to the wind and act as one person. Use your roommate’s towel! Heck, drag it on the oor on the way to the bathroom too! ey won’t care because they will be using your laptop charger and eating up the edges on it to expose the copper wires that lie beneath. When it comes to stu , sharing is caring. What is mine is yours and don’t worry about asking to use it. It’s not like your roommates can

switch rooms anyways, they’ll simply end up in another lo ed triple!

Now, respecting each other’s sleep schedule is a completely different animal to deal with. If you have ever shared a room with a sibling you may already know this but the name of the game is maximization. You need to maximize both the productive and witching hours of your room. Ideally, the best time for these to overlap is during midterm season. When your humanities roommate is staying up till 3 in the morning trying to nish a paper, that is the best time to play e Lonely Island at full blast! You are not paying tuition to sleep, so use all of that green green money to stay up late distracting each other. at is the best way to maximize the work factor and the fun factor of the room.

And of course, I cannot nish


I’ve also had a few unpaid internships which I don’t recommend ever doing if you can avoid it. Days working on something unpaid can feel like a waste when right down the street is at least an easy 200 bucks every shi . If it’s unavoidable, remind yourself that experience is worth something similar to money, it is similar to classes but more valuable to future employers or grad school admissions o cers. So if you have to get an unpaid internship, make sure it’ll be worth your time (and lost money) in the future.

If it isn’t obvious already, I don’t have much time between my job, unpaid internship, classes, law school application prep and anxiety to come up with any wellthought-out articles this week. But hey, I don’t get paid for this!

my lo ed triple recommendation article without discussing bed set up. e room is tiny, but friendships are long and everlasting when done right. Having two people sleep up near the ceiling and one near the oor is not the community we really are looking for at Brandeis. To increase this sense of community you’re going to need the bust out the tool box and break down the lo s. Put all three beds right next to each other to form one MEGA BED! is is the most important information I could give all of you rst years because roommates that cuddle together stay together!

So while all of us upperclassmen try to gure out who you are, get to know each other so much faster and simpler with these loed triple tips and tricks!

Since returning to campus this fall, I have ordered through the new online ordering app, Starship, multiple times. I am a little disappointed with the set-up of the app, and I’d like to make some suggestions for how the app can be improved upon in the future.

First, the Starship app is not compatible with international phone numbers. I have a U.S. number and so was not aware of this when I downloaded the app. But I have a friend with a Canadian phone number who, as of now, has been unable to order anything through the app and has spoken with customer service about the issue. I understand that this is a system-wide app con guration, and so not speci c to Brandeis. However, as many Brandeis students are not from the United States, it would make sense to use an app accessible to everyone on campus.

A er successfully downloading the app, another bug becomes noticeable. Many orderable items feature a “customize” button to add new toppings on top of the base item. I have so far found that, aside from the o erings at Louis’ Deli, clicking the button within

items from La Sabrosa and Greens and Grains does not reveal any additional information or a panel to add toppings. All orders have a notes section at the bottom where you can ask to customize your order—though it is not possible to know what all the topping options are. I would suggest ensuring that pressing the customize button opens a drop-down menu of additional add-ons to include.

When ordering with meal exchange on Starship, the app limits you to three items. is could mean a sandwich, drink and chips. However, Starship considers dips (such as sour cream, ranch or salsa) to be one of these three items.

As the customize option is not available currently, the only way for a student to add sour cream to their burrito is to sacri ce either a drink or chips, which are part of a standard meal exchange. I would suggest allowing students to add a dip to their order the meal exchange option while also allowing for the sandwich, drink and chips.

A er you have made your meal selection and head to checkout, the only option is to immediately place your order and wait for the stated amount of time to receive your order. Under the previous dining hall service, Sodexo, the online ordering app allowed us to pre-order items and to specify

a general pick-up time. is allowed students with a short break between two classes to know that their food would be waiting for them and that they would not have to wait to pick up the food or have to leave class brie y to order their food. I, along with my friends, have noticed that the lines to enter Lower Usdan (now called Usdan Kitchen) and Sherman (now called e Table at Sherman) at peak hours (specically, between 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.) appear to be much longer than in previous semesters I have been on campus. It would be incredibly helpful to know that, even if I may not have time to sit down at a dining hall to eat between classes, I can still have food available to me. I would suggest instating the preorder system within the Starship app. Another complication is the tendency for La Sabrosa and Greens and Grains (and, indeed, any o ering at e Hive—previously Upper Usdan—has the potential to do this) to temporarily close to new orders under times of high demand. With no pre-order option available, the only method to ensure you can pick up your food is to refresh the app continuously, unsure of when the app will allow you to place an order, or to order far in advance and eat cold

food. Creating a preorder system could lessen the sudden increase in demand for food at lunch time, as employees will know ahead of time how many orders they will need to prepare.

What if I wanted to order from multiple places? Say that I wanted to order a sushi tray from Wild Blue Sushi and nachos from La Sabrosa. Once I have placed my sushi order, I go back to the app to order the nachos. However, the order pending screen prevents me from ordering anything else until my rst order is ready. is could turn a 20-minute wait for both items into a 30-plus minute wait. I would suggest adding a minimize button to the order pending screen to resolve this issue.

Finally, I receive a noti cation telling me that my order is ready for pick up. I am given a string of

seven numbers (the rst four of which are typically the same for all orders processed around the same time) as my way of identifying my order. e order numbers are di cult to di erentiate between, especially when students are in a rush between classes to pick up food, and I am worried that this could result in accidently picking up someone else’s order. I would suggest adding an extra input box before check-out asking for a name, so that orders can be personalized and more easily recognizable.

Overall, I am excited to see how the Starship app evolves as the academic year progresses. I have high hopes that, once these changes have been implemented, the user experience will be much smoother for students and for workers.

September 2, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot OPINIONS 11

Brandeis University has set itself a challenge

Welcome back to Brandeis, and if you’re a rst-year, welcome to Brandeis. As those of us who are returning are all aware, there are a lot of rst-years this year. In fact, it is the largest class—ever—in the history of the university. I’ve been working with them as an Orientation Leader, and I can tell you from experience that there are some absolutely incredible people in the class of 2026. With this in ux of students, however, there come challenges that the university as a whole—that means administration, education, grounds and facilities, the student union, student-run organizations and the students themselves—must meet and overcome if we are to have a successful year.

First and foremost, it is no secret that we have more lo ed triples (AKA forced triples) in the rst-year dorms than ever before. By nature, this is going to lead to an increase in tension and con ict between roommates; regardless of whether or not it is right, this is our current reality. ese con icts can be reduced by vigilance from the students: clear and continual communication with your roommates to make the best of the situation. However, that is not a substitute for what this means for the Department of Community Living (DCL): the e ciency of their operation, the professionalism of their conduct and the promptness of their correspondence cannot a ord to be diminished in any way. is charge is made harder by the simple reality that DCL

is short-sta ed for the amount of people that they need to look a er. DCL has an incredible challenge before them; they need to be supported by their colleagues in facilities, the Brandeis Contact Tracing Program and similar departments wherever possible. But they are not alone.

e burden set upon Brandeis Hospitality (as they prefer to be called; they are also Harvest Table or Brandeis Dining) is perhaps even greater than the charge before DCL. To start, they are new to Brandeis, and with that comes the natural challenges of growing and adapting to ll the hole le by our previous provider, Sodexo. Even if (and hopefully when) they rise to this occasion, they will be le to confront a similar reality as DCL: they do not have the necessary resources in sta ng and facilities to support the population of students that rely on them. Despite this, it remains the expectation of the students and the university as a whole that they ful ll their charge as outlined by the contract they have with Brandeis to provide food. ere is no room for error: there is an increased number of students with dietary needs and dietary restrictions, and those needs and restrictions must be met in full. Unfortunately, there have already been errors that Brandeis Hospitality has made: meat in the vegetarian food once, and lackluster support for those with allergies. Proper nutrition is vital to the health of students and their immune systems; malnutrition increases the chance and severity of infection from pathogens like the coronavirus. If the team at Brandeis Hospitality wishes to have a successful year, it

is absolutely imperative that they communicate closely with their partners, chefs and suppliers to meet the needs of the students. Critically, these e orts, no matter how great, will not amount to the required level of success unless the needs of the students are de ned by the students whom Brandeis Hospitality serves, without objection, interruption or manipulation.

e amount of students on campus is as much a boon for academic departments as it is a challenge. ey will have more student interest than ever before, and class sizes will also be much larger than before. Where academics is most likely to fail is in the breakdown of communication between professors and TAs—with an increased workload, the proximity with which class leadership must work will have to be far closer than it has been allowed to be in previous years. is means that TAs must ful ll their obligations to their jobs, and their professors must support their TAs if they wish to be supported themselves. is also places a charge on the students in a set class, as they will have to support each other, their TAs and their professors. Students can do this by understanding that it may take longer than they think for a professor or TA to respond to an email, and that (especially in large, 200+ person lectures) the students should understand to email their TA before emailing a professor unless the professor says to email them directly. is cuts down on the amount of time a professor has to spend responding to questions that a TA can answer—and will make them quicker to respond to

questions that only they can answer. Obviously, this is on a classby-class basis, and I also want to make very clear that this policy is not new: it has always existed. But it has never been fully respected or understood by every student, and we can no longer a ord such inconsistency. Similarly, students have to feel comfortable watching lectures online if they are unable to attend because of health or especially COVID-19 related reasons. Classes are a place where we can e ectively control and eliminate the spread of COVID-19; this we all know. It is more important than ever to actually do so; this responsibility rests on the shoulders of the professors, departments and ultimately, the administration. Should the administration not adequately listen to its faculty, not only will they have made a mistake we cannot a ord to make, they will place at risk the entire community. One critical circumstance of this semester, and one that the university and students seem to be largely (and painfully) unconcerned about, is the continual presence of COVID-19 in our community. While the pandemic is not as bad as it once was, it continues to infect people. Brandeis has got to take it more seriously than they have been this semester—and that includes students, academics and administrators. at means masking while indoors, distancing, you know the rest. You’ve done this before, in high school or at Brandeis, and you can do it again. If you feel sick, test yourself; if you’re positive, let the people around you and the university know. It is basic human decency to do so. e university needs to allow people the space they need to let the virus run its course in infected persons, supporting their academic and personal needs wherever possible. Should they fail to do this, they will be failing every student who contracts COVID-19 over the course of this semester. Should students fail to follow the appropriate safety procedures as recommended by the university and requested by their peers according to personal preference, we will see a rise in cases that could balloon outside the capabilities of the university to handle. In such a circumstance, they would have very little choice

but to go fully online with classes, or worse, to send students home in the middle of the semester. It is the shared responsibility of the students and the university to keep the spread of COVID-19 under control—and right now, both bodies are at risk of failing to meet these responsibilities in a way that is inappropriate and woefully unsustainable.

I want to stress: e cacy with exibility. Professionalism with compassion. Coordination with understanding. e university as a whole must be exible, compassionate and understanding to students, faculty and administration when they contract COVID-19 or otherwise misstep. If we are to be successful this year, we must prioritize the importance of treating each other with the basic human decency according to individual needs that must be met. Similarly, where we cannot a ord to slip up, we also cannot a ord to be rigid in policy or communication. is environment is a uid, dynamic thing, and it is the responsibility of all who are a part of it to react to its changes in direction or health with grace and forethought. e challenge that we have set ourselves is grand. Regardless of who set it, it is incumbent upon us all to see this semester reach fruition to the expectations and hopes we all have for it. e failure or unwillingness of any part of this community to carry their part of this burden will mean others have more weight upon their shoulders. e particular threat to the success and happiness of this semester posed by COVID-19 is signi cant and underappreciated. Where failing to meet the requirements we have set for ourselves in some areas may result in some nasty consequences, those failures will also make COVID-19 that much harder to control. DCL must do the best job it can, and Brandeis Hospitality cannot a ord to make any more errors; if these entities cannot meet the requirements incumbent upon them, they will place the community at an appreciably greater risk to COVID-19. And should we, as a community, fail to control the spread of COVID-19 on this campus, the consequences will be severe and we will have failed ourselves.

Brandeis in Siena: the good and bad

I was part of the Brandeis in Siena program in the past summer, in which I took classes on Tuscan art history and oil painting in Italy. As one of the Brandeis-led summer study abroad programs that was highly advertised by the study abroad o ce, it deserved the good words spoken and written about it, but also had many drawbacks that could be improved.

My favorite part of the program was simply being in Siena. e apartment we stayed in was great– it was a real medieval building with old-fashioned stone walls and wooden windows. We had big common spaces and a beautiful balcony where sunrise and sunset could be spotted from.

e Tuscan summer was just like what you see in “Call Me by Your Name”: the days were hot and

long, and the night came when the sky changed from blue to pink to purple. When the night fell, the mountain wind would sneak through the windows and get trapped in the stone walls. Fresh peaches and house wines came in all forms including gelato avors.

e best part was observing the palio (the biannual Sienese horse race) and witnessing all the contrada (neighborhood) traditions while being in the crowd. To learn about history, we must live in history, and Siena is the heart of medieval history.

However, I think the study abroad o ce could do a better job managing and designing the program. e program was very over-enrolled this year with 25 students, given the maximum number of people it ever had in previous years was around 15.

e program was supposed to be rolling admission with a limit, but the study abroad o ce eventually decided to take everyone who applied even at the later time of

the application. However, this was beyond the capacity that the program could a ord. Many people lived in forced triples in the apartment. e classroom and studio (although the faculty claimed that they rented bigger rooms this year) were both too small for the overcrowded group. It was also hard to organize such a big group for eld trips and hotels. When we were having art history classes in the museums, we were often told by the sta that we were blocking access for other visitors or we were getting too close to the artwork. It was unrealistic that more than 25 people could t in a tiny exhibit room full of delicate works while maintaining social distancing.

I also found the program physically challenging. We had three hours of class in the morning and another three hours in the a ernoon, both of which we could not sit down during if we went onsite to museums. e school was a 30-minute walk from our apart-

ment with no public transportation, and we had to do the walk at least twice a day. We also had a large amount of eld trips that we had to wake up for at 7 a.m. to catch buses or trains. Given that we were o en physically exhausted, it was hard for us to do well academically when we needed to rest. I personally think that how well we perform in class should not be connected to our physical capability.

Some advice that I would give

to the O ce of Study Abroad is to keep the program limit and try not to cram so much content in such a short period of time. ere was so much content that we wanted to see, but the reality was that we had to save time and energy for those we really needed to see. All in all, I would still say this was one of the best summers in my life.

12 OPINIONS The Brandeis Hoot September 2, 2022

‘Under The Banner of Heaven’ is a gripping tale of true crime and faith

In 1984, Brenda La erty and her 15-month-old daughter Erica were murdered in their home. Brenda was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, commonly known as Mormons. She was married to Allen La erty, whose family was highly regarded in the Mormon community in Utah. At least they were— until they met some questionable people. Did this lead to Brenda and Erica’s murder? You will have to watch “Under e Banner of Heaven” to nd out. is mini-series is based on the 2003 book of the same name by Jon Krakauer. His book not only explored this murder, but also some problems within Mormonism and similar groups. e show gives a more head-on approach to the murder, with a little bit of background on the early history of the religion. Told through the perspective of a devout Mormon detective who starts to question his faith, this series investigates this murder and the religious practices of the La erty’s. is is a dark mystery and it will have a hold on you every step of the way.

Detective Jeb Pyre (Andrew Gar eld) is put on the case to investigate Brenda La erty’s (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Erica La erty’s murder. e case starts with Pyre arresting Brenda’s husband Allen (Billy Howle), who has recently become less religious. Allen proclaims his innocence, but does not know who murdered his wife and daughter. He tells Pyre and Pyre’s detective partner Bill (Gil Birmingham) everything about Brenda, including her

family, how they met, and what his family thought of her. Brenda was always less conservative than the La erty’s which made them a little wary of her, but they still mostly accepted her. Allen has ve brothers, Ron (Sam Worthington), Dan (Wyatt Russell), Robin (Seth Numrich), Samuel (Rory Culkin) and Jacob (Taylor St. Pierre). roughout the series, Pyre interviews various members of the Lafferty family as well as some o heir

close friends. He is determined to get to the bottom of this. Along the way, he starts to question his own faith and if he is happy being a Mormon. ere are also some intercut scenes that show the beginning of Mormonism, with Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, that are meant to demonstrate parallels. is is a show that displays the meaning of faith and what people may do because of it. If there is one thing you should know about me, it is that I am

an Andrew Gar eld fan rst and a human being second. He has given a fantastic performance in everything he has ever done, and this show is no exception. We saw him as a man determined like never before. We can see Gareld’s seriousness as he talks to every suspect and drives for miles to solve this mystery. We also see him go through a religious crisis. e horrors of the murder and the behavior of the La ertys makes Jeb Pyre unsure if this is the religion for him. Gar eld portrays this internal predicament wonderfully and you really feel for him. Gar eld was nominated for an Emmy, and he deserves to win. I also have to applaud the performance of Wyatt Russell as Dan La erty. He is one of the older La erty brothers and he is always taking charge. He seems harmless at rst, but we soon see him go deep into some crazy ideologies. He has a presence in every scene where you want to listen to him and you start to get a little scared of him. Russell nails this role and he should have been nominated for an Emmy. Honestly, all of the actors who played the La erty brothers did an excellent job. ey were all unique and eshed out characters that became more exciting and a little frightening as the show went on. I can’t forget to mention Daisy Edgar-Jones’s performance as Brenda. She is a strong female character who always stands her ground. She is a bit of a sh out of water in the La erty family with her more liberal views, but she does not let that get to her. Edgar-Jones makes Brenda La erty so likable, which makes her death even sadder. is series has seven episodes with each episode being over an hour long. Despite that long length, I felt every scene in this show belonged. ere were many characters that had to be introduced and I felt that every single character was important. Even if they only got to be in one episode, they would still be really eshed out. ere were also so

many curve balls thrown in this story. With other shows, that could have made everything confusing. However, those curve balls helped keep my interest and made the mystery more exciting. I also liked the choice to show the story of the Mormons alongside the events of the murder investigation. ere were some interesting parallels and it gave some context for certain behaviors. Another choice I noticed was in lighting. e whole show had moody lighting except for the early ashbacks. Everything seemed brighter when everyone was happy. However, as the ashbacks went on, the lighting would seem darker even if it was daylight, like in the present time. It was a great way to show the darkness and seriousness of the show. I will say that while the whole show is interesting, it really picks up in the later episodes. e rst couple of episodes give background on everyone and set up some plot points, but the later episodes are where everything kicks into high gear and the real action starts. Expect the unexpected when it comes to this show. e murder mystery format has existed for a long time. Countless movies and shows have done the pattern of someone being murdered and then a detective investigating to nd the killer. However, this show does it di erently, as religion is thrown into the mix. is show is probably not for anyone who is a religious Mormon, as it does not cast a very friendly light. Personally, I found it to be an interesting look into this religion. I understand that was a special case with people who were not mentally okay, but we still got to see a perspective of the normal side of faith through the detective. is all made for a fascinating true crime show. It was full of excitement and I was constantly on the edge of my seat. If this type of story interests you, you can watch “Under the Banner of Heaven” on Hulu today.

ARTS September 2, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot 13

Why ‘Better Call Saul’ is even better than you think

“Breaking Bad”. Even though “Breaking Bad” is a character-driven show at its core, it still has the criminal world plot elements to keep the viewers engaged. “Better Call Saul” doesn’t have any of that until the midpoint of the show and the cartel plotlines added later on are only prefaces to what will happen in “Breaking Bad’. While I admit the later seasons sometimes overused the cartel storyline to keep the viewers engaged, the show made the distinction between Jimmy’s story and the cartel story very clear and it never lost its focus on Jimmy’s arc. Apart from small intersections needed to push the story forward, the two worlds moved on like two di erent stories that were being told by the show. However, that all changed in season six (the nal season).

the writers because when the viewers know a character is going to survive it is a challenge to raise the stakes in a show like this. e nal season featured several face-o s of the Salamanca family versus Gustavo Fring and Nacho Varga; even though we knew Gustavo and the Salamancas (except for Lalo) would survive, the writers still managed to deliver very iconic scenes. Situations like this are the primary reason some critics nd the prequel genre to be doomed in general, but “Better Call Saul” created an engaging story independent from its predecessor and reminded us there are still things we don’t know about Saul by showing us his

post-“Breaking Bad” life as well. Breaking down prejudices about the prequel genre is a big achievement for the creative team behind the show, but managing to do that in the era of binge-watching is an even bigger one. All six seasons of “Better Call Saul” were aired weekly on AMC over the course of seven years. Managing to keep the viewers coming back every week for seven years and becoming one of the most in uential shows of the decade in a time where series are consumed at full speed is truly a great accomplishment. Even though “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul” are very close quality-wise, the prequel deserves more praise due to

the environment it succeeded in.

A er all, the nal season of “Better Call Saul” almost denitely ended the “Breaking Bad” saga that started in 2008. With two TV shows and one movie (El Camino), the creators, Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, have told a story that will be remembered for a long time in 14 years. Because of their interconnected nature, it is almost pointless to compare the two shows. Even though they still gain high critical acclaim as standalone shows, the way they feed and enrich each other is the reason the Breaking Bad universe will be remembered as a legend of TV history for long years.

“Better Call Saul” tells the story of Jimmy McGill and outlines the events that turned him into the corrupt criminal lawyer Saul Goodman we know from Breaking Bad. Just like “Breaking Bad’’, “Better Call Saul” takes its time to build solid character arcs for all its main characters and still manages to create engaging plotlines. While the show provides some background information on important plot points from “Breaking Bad”, like the origins of Hector Salamanca’s brain injury or the rise of Gus Fring within the cartel, it is a story mainly about Jimmy McGill and his journey to becoming one of the biggest con-artists TV history has ever seen. at is the rst reason I nd “Better Call Saul” better than

Viewers knew the ending of “Better Call Saul” would also mark the beginning of “Breaking Bad” within the universe’s timeline, so the nal season had the tough job of resolving all the storylines they had set up in the past and establishing the status quo for the beginning of the “Breaking Bad” timeline. Doing that would mean answering long-lasting questions like the whereabouts of Kim Wexler, Nacho Varga, Lalo Salamanca and Howard Hamlin during “Breaking Bad” while still delivering an entertaining season. e nal season did all that better than anyone could have expected and revealed Saul/Jimmy’s ultimate fate by giving us glimpses of his post-“Breaking Bad” life. Knowing which characters were alive during “Breaking Bad” was a major challenge for

BookTok worth it or not: Dance of Thieves duology

Pearson’s other work; I think it’s a very loose connection from what I’ve read on GoodReads.

Welcome back for another week of book reviews! Basically, I have an addiction and it fuels this column so I nd books on BookTok and if I can get my hands on a copy I read it and then review it. is week I will be reviewing Dance of ieves and Vow of ieves, a duology by Mary E Pearson. is book received a lot (and I do mean a lot) of hype on BookTok. So much hype that I had purchased the book about two months ago but waited to read it because I was scared I was going to hate it. I also must say I was a bit angry because most of BookTok advertises it as a one-o book. It is one of my biggest pet peeves to buy a book thinking it’s a standalone because that is how it is recommended only to get to the end and nd out there is a cli anger and a follow-up novel. So a warning: Dance of ieves and Vow of ieves are a duology though there are no further books in the series. If you don’t like cli angers I suggest starting these books when you have time to dedicate to both and that you have the sequel on hand when you nish the rst book.

e books are also technically a part of Pearson’s Remnant Chronicles. I haven’t read the Remnant Chronicles so I cannot speak to whether they are worth the read or not (but who knows maybe that’ll be the next review). It is not essential for you to read

Onto the review. e book checked a lot of boxes for me with the tropes it contains: fake dating, enemies to lovers, duty versus love, found family, spying—the list goes on. Listing it out makes it sound overwhelming and all over the place but Pearson nds a way to meld these elements together to create an enjoyable story to read and become immersed in. A warning, the romance aspect of the book between our two main characters Kazi and Jase is a primary aspect of the book and it de nitely isn’t a second-hand storyline. Love is de nitely a driver in the story. So let’s meet our characters. Our protagonists are Kazi and Jase and they come from very di erent worlds. I think Pearson does a great job of solidifying their characters as individuals from each other despite being tied together as love interests. All of Pearson’s characters are very well written and they act in ways that make sense considering what they have experienced. Jase is the new Patrei— making him Head of the Ballenger Clan. e Ballenger Clan— according to their stories passed from generation to generation— were the rst clan before there were any Kingdoms. e Ballengers are not recognized as a Kingdom and therefore are considered Outlaws. I de nitely loved how Pearson incorporated the politics of the Kingdoms and Clan

into the story. Pearson de nitely takes the time in the book to esh out the Kingdom structure and how certain families came to rule and who has beef with who.

Our other main character Kazi is starkly di erent from Jase. She didn’t grow up with a large family or with power like Jase. She lost her mother at a young age and had to steal in order to survive. She received the nickname “ten” because she had escaped with all ten of her ngers intact despite having stolen many goods. e punishment for stealing if caught is to have a nger removed. Kazi now works for the Queen and is sent to the Ballengers to deal with a situation where they raided one of their villages. And that is how their paths cross and they start on this journey together where they are meant to hate each other because their duties require them to want for di erent things.

ough I will say that I could have lived if Pearson decided just to leave the story o with Dance of ieves. I was de nitely less entertained by Vow of ieves and felt it was getting a bit repetitive. at being said I still enjoyed the book and I feel like it de nitely showed more of Jase and Jazi as a couple and how they work together towards a common goal rather than ghting each other and deceiving the other in order to achieve their plans.

I think my favorite scene in Dance of ieves was de nitely when Kazi arrested Jase on counts of treason and brought

him to her Queen. What a girlboss move not going to lie. It was ruthless and calculated and she still somehow managed to make it a win-win situation at the end of the day. Does this cause problems later with a miscommunication troupe in Vow of ieves?

Yes. But it’s such a great scene.

Last point — and probably my

most valid point— this cover is a work of art. I mean seriously it is gorgeous. One of the main reasons as to why I bought the series is because it is simply stunning to look at. And don’t lecture me with you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. 100 percent judge a book by its cover— if it’s pretty, get it, if it’s ugly get it from a library.

14 ARTS The Brandeis Hoot September 2, 2022
Hardly anyone thought it would get to this point but, with its nale aired on August 15, a signi cant number of people consider “Better Call Saul” to be better than its parent show “Breaking Bad”. I am one of those people, and I am hoping by the end of this article you will join my side. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to spend time comparing the two because they are both legendary TV shows that feed each other. Many memorable moments of “Better Call Saul” (like the reveal of the laundromat lab or the introduction of Gustavo Fring) are memorable because of “Breaking Bad”, but, as a prequel, “Better Call Saul” achieves the impossible and manages to engage us in a story that we already know the ending of.

‘Drawtectives’: A fun show for art, mystery, RPG and comedy lovers

“Drawtectives”, a youtube series started by the Drawfree channel, had its season 2 nale in early August, and given that I’ve been following the series since last semester, I gured that it was about time that I actually give it a review. e show follows three new interns working mystery cases as part of a detective agency in an urban-fantastical world. e rst season follows the cast in a fantastical whodunnit, with the focus being on talking to the suspects of a murder case and nding the culprit. e second season follows the three as they wind up in a strange location with no memory of getting there, and must gure out how and why they are in this situation. In both seasons, the interns receive art prompts as they talk to the various characters, which they must

complete in order to trade for in formation needed to ultimately solve the mystery! Along the way, audience members get to listen to the cast joke around, both in and out of character, creating an overall casual and fun experience.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, the setting is urban fantasy, and though the characters are more so drawn from the D&D hand book with Grendan/Grandma/GMa (Nathan Ya e) being a dwarf druid, Rosé (Karina Farek) being a human rogue and York (Jacob Andrews) being a half-orc bar barian, that is more or less where the similarities end. Beyond that, the focus is on the roleplaying aspect rather than the mechan ics, and the only more structured “rule” is the required art prompts coming from the characters. is more lax roleplaying envi ronment is one that I genuinely enjoyed, not just because I love art, but because for me, the part I enjoy listening to most in D&D

podcasts has always been the

already been called out for its racist traits, and I nd that the creation of York ultimately played into that. Orcs have historically (both in Dungeons and Drgons as well as in Tolkien portrayals (which is where a lot of D&D races ultimately come from)) been associated with people of color, and have served as negative and racist portrayals, ultimately causing harm to the community. erefore, the idea of this almost “uncultured” halforc who can neither read nor write and is rather crude (there’s a discussion of how he defecates in front of an NPC), though it may not be intentional, ultimately ends up playing into this issue. Now, focusing speci cally on its second season, I found that there

was a stronger mystery sense than in the rst: a whodunnit versus a rather more complicated mystery of guring out what exactly was going on. Not to say that the rst season wasn’t entertaining, but I found that the second season was a lot more compelling, with both players and audience members confused and trying to gure out the premise of this new story. Hearing the players freak out with each new revelation and trying to piece together the various characters and information presented is not only funny, but also allows for a sense of realism to the entire situation- everyone’s just so confused. In addition, the second season brought in a variety of guests, who played characters that the cast met and

interacted with, something that wasn’t present in the rst season. I’m rather glad Lepetit was able to get a bit of reprieve, and in addition, the guests added their own humor to the show, which solicited laughs from me and the cast alike. e work put into this second season de nitely paid o ! “Drawtectives” has been conrmed for season 3, and I eagerly await to see what drawings, jokes, and mystery comes from this next journey! Whether used as background noise during work, or for a full viewing experience, I nd the show to be a fun addition to the role playing world.

‘The Rehearsal’ is an experimental adventure told through cringe comedy

“ e Rehearsal” is the second television project directed by and starring Canadian comedian Nathan Fielder. Since “Nathan For You,” Fielder’s rst project and one of the funniest, most unique shows ever created, concluded in an epic fashion, anticipation has been high surrounding the project that would follow the cult phenomenon.

Sticking to a similar format as its predecessor, Fielder’s “ e Rehearsal” takes the format of an awkward reality show supposedly meant to improve the lives of those involved. e show gives average people the opportunity to rehearse, in excruciating detail, a part of their life they have been worried about. ese rehearsals are outlandish a airs, requiring meticulous sets, dozens of actors and weeks of acting and planning out every hypothetical version of each subject’s uniquely personal scenario. However, as the

season progresses, the viewer realizes these rehearsals were little more than a sideshow, now pushed to the side in favor of Fielder’s larger focus. Experimenting with a hyperrealistic parenting simulation (consisting of over a dozen child actors, weeks of constantly changing complex set design and elaborate schemes all in an attempt to capture emotional realism) and all the consequences it brings.

For viewers unaware of his earlier work, Fielder’s own awkward persona has a great impact on the way his shows play out. Everything in this show is real, but Fielder puts on a face, what he calls a heightened version of his least desirable qualities. Fielder encapsulates the anti-game show host. Everything about him puts people just a little on edge. He isn’t creepy, he is just awkward—all the time. is persona, combined with “ e Rehearsal’s” editing, brings something out of the people involved that no other show has captured as genuinely. Peo-

ple are unapologetically themselves. Everyone is weird and a little stupid a lot of the time. An actor, when lightly pushed, stalks someone. A man helps an older man complete a bowel movement on camera just because he is asked to. Multiple people are casually antisemitic while knowingly being lmed for a show on HBO. Fielder allows people to be themselves, for better or for worse, and the editors of the show ensure that every moment of it is at least a little uncomfortable. “ e Rehearsal” is a comedy rst and foremost, but when it does periodically dive deeper into its subjects, especially those involved in the parenting scenario, its simulation of di erent human experiences inspires a huge array of emotions in its viewers. When a rehearsed scenario goes well in the real world, a person’s life was actually made better, and it is a beautiful thing to watch. When a young boy, acting as Fielder’s son, gets confused over whether or not Fielder is his dad, viewers see the e ects

another person’s actions had on a child’s life. e result is heart-wrenching. e viewer is forced to reckon in real-time with whether or not their entertainment is exploitative, and whether Fielder is ever actually acting in good faith. is incredibly funny and creative show manages in a six-episode arc to deconstruct the morality of reality television. And all through, presumably, unscripted interactions. is is solely speculation about the show, but a constant point of discussion surrounding all of Fielder’s endeavors in reality television. “ e Rehearsal” may be an elaborate prank on its viewers. Its production could range anywhere from more staged than it lets on to every person involved being a scripted actor. ere is not any realistic way to nd out. I like to believe otherwise. I like to believe that Fielder is simply gi ed at revealing the everyday strangeness of people, but “ e Rehearsal,” like all reality television, should be viewed critically. And

some scenes are just… wild. Season one of “ e Rehearsal” is like nothing I have ever watched. While unwaveringly entertaining and funny, it showed a side of both humanity and the reality television industry that I have never before seen expressed in a 30-minute television show. e exploitative nature of “ e Rehearsal” (intentional or not, it’s never clear) does add a coating of guilt to an otherwise glowing recommendation but so is the nature of any show pro ting o of the experiences of others. “ e Rehearsal” only di ers from mainstream reality TV because it forces its audience to face the double-edged sword of its medium head-on. As viewers of the edited actions of supposedly willing participants, are we supporting an exploitative and sinister industry?

September 2, 2022 The Brandeis Hoot ARTS 15 PHOTO FROM DRAWTECTIVES FANDOM COM
‘Where I’m From’ By
special to the hoot
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.