The Brandeis Hoot, October 15, 2021

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Volume 19 Issue 7

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe”

October 15, 2021

Brandeis University’s Community Newspaper · Waltham, Mass.

Water contamiants caused by dormancy By Daniela Zavlun and Nataniela Zavlun special to the hoot

The university’s Facilities Department recently discovered higher levels of contaminants in the water fountains in the Brown Social Science Center and Edison-Lecks building, after having been dormant due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an email sent to The Brandeis Hoot by Lori Kabel, Facilities Services Director. “All wall-mounted drinking fountains will be turned off due to high levels of lead found in the tap water. The kitchen sinks will remain functional, but must not be used for drinking/consumption (humans and dogs!),” read an

email obtained by The Hoot sent to students on the chemistry listserve and faculty who typically occupy the Edison-Lecks building. Kabel explained that campus water fountains were shut off when COVID-19 began spreading throughout the United States in early 2020, “as a precautionary and protective measure for our students and staff.” The university tried to limit the use of water fountains that could spread the virus on campus. With the water fountains being unused for over a year, the chances of water contamination increased, according to Kabel. She explained to The Hoot that, “with any idle water system, the supply lines and See WATER, page 2


Univ. hosts 49th annual Rosentiel Awards after COVID-19 delay By Roshni Ray editor

The 49th annual Rosenstiel award honored the pioneering work of David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian concerning temperature, touch and pain sensation in a recent webinar. The ceremony featured congratulatory remarks from President Liebowitz, Professor of Biology James Haber and Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry Chris Miller.

By Victoria Morrongiello editor

Signs were posted outside of Usdan Student Center on Monday, Oct. 11, saying that the Lower Usdan Dining Hall, the Hoot Market and the game room would be closed for the day, according to photos obtained by The Brandeis Hoot. “Please be advised that Usdan Dining Hall and a section of the Hoot Market are currently closed as repairs are being made to the ceiling above the space”,according to an email sent by Brandeis University Services on Oct. 14. A sign posted in Usdan noted that the closure was, “due to Non-Covid related issues,” according to photos obtained by The Hoot. On Oct. 11 students were restricted from walking through Lower Usdan near the Lower Usdan Dining Hall, the

Inside This Issue:

The timing of this Rosenstiel award ceremony is unusual. While the 49th Rosenstiel award winners were announced in 2019, the ceremony was postponed due to the pandemic, Liebowitz explained. Therefore, although last spring marked the 50th Rosenstiel award, the 49th award’s ceremony was postponed till the fall of 2021. The webinar’s hosts James Haber and Ron Liebowitz both note the correlation between Rosenstiel award winners and Nobel Prize winners: 36 of the

past Rosenstiel winners have gone on to win the Nobel Prize. However, Julius and Patapotuin share the unique position of having received a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine prior to receiving their Rosenstiel award. Despite the clear trend, Brandeis has “never really tried to be predictors of Nobel Prizes but [rather] to identify people early on in their careers to acknowledge pioneering work,” Haber said. Julius and Patapoutian largely used techniques in molecular bi-

ology in order to investigate their research interests. Haber contextualized the nature of this type of research saying, “We sometimes forget what it means to do molecular biology...This scale on these remarkable devices David and Ardem are talking about are that small, and yet we feel them profoundly as pain and touch and temperature receptors.” Julius’ most recent work sought to understand the molecular mechanism of pain sensation. He describes his motive for understanding

pain sensation, describing how feeling pain serves crucial evolutionary benefits in organisms. Despite the significance of pain and pressure sensation, understanding how the system worked was largely an enigma, Julius explained. Unlike other sensory modalities like touch or smell, pain reception is not localized to one part of the body. This heightened the difficulty of determining how pain sensation occurs. See AWARDS, page 4

Game Room and Hoot Market. “Please dine with us in Sherman Hall or Upper Usdan. We are sorry for the inconvenience,” read the signs posted on Oct 11. On Oct. 12, students were allowed to walk through Lower Usdan and could use the Hoot Market. However, the Game Room and Lower Usdan Dining Hall remained closed, according to photos obtained by The Hoot. New signs were posted on columns outside of the entrance to the Lower Usdan Dining Hall. “Due to Non-Covid related issues … Lower Usdan Dining Hall will be closed until further notice. The Levin Ballroom, on ing, will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You are also welcome to dine with us in Sherman Hall, Upper Usdan See USDAN, page 2

News: Gillian Flynn discusses career with students Page 2 Ops: Why Brandeis admissions should go test-blindPage 10 Features: Alumni return for homecoming Page 9 Sports: Red Sox postseason chances Page 6 Editorial: Why is Brandeis falling apart Page 8


Missing Women

U.S Gov. should investigate murdered and missing indigineous women better. OPS: PAGE 10

Hoot Reviews

Read a review about Netflix’s Season 1 of “The Maid” ARTS: PAGE 15


2 The Brandeis Hoot

October 15, 2021

Gillian Flynn discusses background in journalism By Emma Lichtenstein editor

Before Gillian Flynn was a best-selling author best known for “Gone Girl,” she was a journalist, with a focus on reviewing the arts. On Tuesday, Oct. 12, she visited the university to discuss how her background in journalism helped with her fictional writing career, both for her novels and for her television screenplays. “I don’t think I would’ve ever written my first novel if I hadn’t been a journalist first,” said Flynn. She said she learned two important things as a journalist: that she doesn’t always want to write and that first drafts are “kind of a slog.” Flynn said that she loves revising her pieces, but that getting the first draft down can be a challenge as it can be difficult to translate the idea in her head to words on a page. Flynn also said that having a background in

journalism helped her not take criticism as harshly. She said that “sometimes it stings,” but that she can also learn from the critique she received. She is also aware that one bad review does not reflect the true quality of a work. “Reviews are purely that one person’s opinion, not the opinion of the other hundred or so people that work [at a company], not the opinion of the Internet in general.” She also said that getting interviewed was not nerve-wracking after having conducted so many herself. Having that experience, she said she understood that journalism was not a “monolith” “out to get her.” Revision and learning from feedback was something that Flynn stressed in the event. According to Flynn, this is true in both journalism and fiction writing. “To me, the best kind of editor is the person who asks you useful questions, who asks you why a certain [point] is in there,” said

Flynn. Flynn said to the audience that if you can’t defend the point, then it’s not necessary, but if you can, then you can understand the true value of the argument you’re making or the plot you’re writing. Flynn also gave advice to aspiring journalists. She stressed the importance of asking hard-hitting questions, even of people you admire. “Risk asking questions that maybe you don’t want to hear because you put them up on a pedestal,” she said. “You are never going to be friends with that human being because you talked to them for an hour.” She mentioned playing to individual strengths in the talk. “I wasn’t great at reporting, wasn’t great at getting scoops, but I was a really great writer,” she joked. Flynn had a lot of practice, though, saying that her father used to take her to the movies every week growing up and then asking her to consider her

thoughts on the film. “He would never let me get away with ‘I liked it,’” she said. Even at a young age, “I was being asked to justify my thoughts and opinions.” Her final point of advice was to “read broadly—or watch broadly if you want to be a screenwriter. There is no such thing as a waste of time watching a movie or

reading a book as long as your brain is working.” The Gillian Flynn event was hosted from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in person in Olin-Sang 101 as part of a guest lecture for Josh Wolk’s course, JOUR 114B: Arts Journalism, Pop Culture and Digital Innovation. This event was sponsored by the Journalism Department.


Water contaminants in Brown Social Science Center and Edison Lecks WATER, from page 1

fixtures, as well as tightly-controlled drinking water pH levels, affect the leaching of metals into drinking water lines.” When students and staff returned to campus, the Facilities Department coordinated with the Environmental Health and Safety Department to test at least one fountain in every building for contaminants, according to Kabel. This would indicate to the departments which fixtures to shut down in the event of higher levels of contamination. “We instituted a sampling plan focused on water fountains that sat idle and were identified as potentially the worst-case scenario for water quality after the pan-

demic,” Kabel wrote in the email. The Facilities Department and Environmental Health and Safety Department determined that there were approximately 12 fountains with higher levels of contaminants than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends, according to Kabel. The majority of these contaminated samples, according to Kabel, were found in water sources throughout the Brown Social Science Center and Edison-Leck building. Since discovering the issue, the Facilities Department has flushed the lines of all buildings where high concentrations of contaminants were detected. “Flushing allows the water supplied by [Massachusetts Water Resources Authority] MWA to remove the

build-up of naturally occurring debris and sediment,” wrote Kabel. New fountains were back-ordered to replace the current fountains in the buildings that continued to have unsafe levels of contaminants after flushing, including the Brown Social Science Center and Edison-Lecks buildings, and are estimated to be installed by January 2022. The Brown Social Science Center is also scheduled for a major renovation next year, wrote Kabel, during which the water contamination issue will be addressed. Until then, the water bottle fillers will remain shut off and water bubblers will be placed above the fountains in both buildings, according to Kabel. The university has also posted signs on those

fountains indicating that the water is not safe to drink. Kabel clarified that it is safe to wash dishes, tables and utensils using the water from these fountains, as “only a small amount of water clings to surfaces such as those.” She added that it is also safe for students and staff to use the hand washing sinks in these buildings because “it is not uncommon for hand washing sinks to use non-potable water.” According to Kabel, the Facilities Department reached out to “points of contact” in each building, who passed the information on to their staff. By the time of publication, Kabel did not respond to The Hoot’s follow-up to elaborate on which “points of contact” she was referring to. According to the Brandeis Uni-

versity Parents Community Facebook page, some parents who reached out to the Department of Community Living about the issue were told there was “no truth to this and that Facilities is monitoring it carefully.” “Facilities and Environmental Health and Safety tested the water to ensure our levels were within standards after being idle so long in order to protect our staff and students. When levels were high, we took action accordingly,” wrote Kabel. “The safety of our students and staff is our #1 priority and this is one step we take to ensure it remains our priority.” The Environmental Health and Safety Department did not respond to The Hoot by the time of publication.

Usdan closure of Hoot Market, Lower Usdan Dining Hall and game room USDAN, from page 1

and the Stein (revised hours of operation). We are sorry for the inconvenience,” read the signs outside of the dining hall. The Hoot Market reopened on Oct. 12, though students are restricted from using the back refrigeration section of the store. According to photos from The Hoot, shelves have been positioned to prevent students from going to the back wall of the market, and merchandise from the back section has been moved towards the front of the store. Parts of the store have been roped off with caution tape to prevent students from entering, according to photos obtained by The Hoot. To accommodate for the loss of Lower Usdan until further notice, the university has set up a Usdan Dining Service in Levin Ballroom, on the other side of the

Usdan courtyard, according to a sign posted on the outside of Usdan Student Center. “Alternative dining locations and seating areas have been set up to help serve the needs of our community. Additionally, staffing levels have been increased at other locations to help accommodate for larger crowds than normal,” according to the email. The hours of operation for the Levin Ballroom dining location are breakfast from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., according to a sign posted on the outside of Usdan Student Center. In the email sent by Brandeis University Services, they updated the community about the alternative dining locations for students. Levin Ballroom will be closed on Friday, Oct. 15 but will be opened Friday, Oct. 22 for breakfast, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., and

lunch, 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. but will be closed for dinner, according to the email. The university has also adjusted The Stein hours, to offer another dining option to students in place of Lower Usdan Dining Hall, according to a sign posted in Usdan Student Center. According to the Branda app, the Stein is open from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. whereas their previous hours of operation listed on their website were 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. Thursday through Sunday. According to the email sent by dining services, The Stein will be open Mondays through Wednesdays for lunch, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and dinner from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.. It will also be opened on Thursday and Fridays for lunch and dinner but with adjusted hours. For lunch The Stein will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for lunch and for dinner it will be open for

normal Stein hours which are from 4:00 p.m. from 12:00 a.m., according to the email. The Hoot reached out to the

Resident Dining Manager for Lower Usdan Dining Hall but did not receive a response to the questions by the time of publication.


October 15 , 2021


The Brandeis Hoot

Board of Trustees re-elects Stephen Berger ‘59 By Victoria Morongiello editor

Stephen Berger ’59 has been re-elected to the Board of Trustees, according to a BrandeisNOW article. Berger served on the Board of Trustees from 1994 to 2003, according to the article. Berger will be rejoining under the investment committee, according to the Board of Trustees page. The board is made of nine standing committees. In his previous time on the Board of Trustees, Berger was a chairman of the financing committee, according to the article. Berger has experience in many different roles, having served as a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), professor and chairman to various platforms, according to the article. He has also received numerous awards for his work in public service and business. He received New York’s Special Tribute Award, for having improved the state’s healthcare delivery system and was also nominated for

Crain’s New York Business’ Top 5 Hall of Fame. Berger is also a philanthropist. According to the article, he is a supporter of the arts, education, healthcare and conservation. Berger has experience working in both the public and private sector, according to the article. He has leadership experience on Wall Street and has served as CEO for various private and public organizations. Berger has worked at the federal, state and local levels in the public sector, according to the article. In his professional career, Berger served as Chairman and co-founder of Odyssey Investment partners LLC, according to the article, and also served as a board member, corporate director and private equity investor, for other organizations. Berger worked on a $6 billion capital plan to modernize various New York City landmarks. This project included sites such as John F. Kennedy Airport, LaGuardia Airport and the World Trade Center. Berger also worked as an

executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, according to the article. During his career, Berger worked under President Jimmy Carter’s administration as the chairman of the board of directors of the U.S Railway Association, a group which “controlled the flow of government investments and loans to Conrail and monitored the carrier’s performance,” according to the National Archives website. Berger worked during this time on Conrail’s bankruptcy situation and helped revitalize the railway service in the Northeast and Midwest regions, according to the article. Later in his career, Berger was nominated by former New York Governor George Pataki to chair the New York State Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century, according to the article. Berger led an investigative study which has been dubbed the ‘Berger Commission’ which consequently created the first major restructuring of New York State’s

healthcare delivery system. From 2010 to 2011, Berger served as a member of former Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign team, which was responsible for proposing changes to Brooklyn’s hospitals and primary care facilities, according to the article. Berger also worked as a professor in Public Administration at

New York University (NYU) in the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, according to the article. He worked at NYU from 1977 to 1983. Berger graduated in the class of ’59 with a degree in history, he received a magna cum laude honors, according to the article.


Student ensembles will resume in-person concerts By Emma Lichtenstein editor

In-person music is returning to Brandeis, according to the Brandeis Concert Series page. Every student ensemble in the music department will be performing in Slosberg Music Center, including the Brandeis Chamber Singers, University Chorus, Brandeis Wind Ensemble, Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra, Early Music Ensemble, Brandeis Jazz Ensemble, Fafali: Music and Dance from Ghana, Brandeis Improv Collective and Chamber Music, according to the page.

The Brandeis Chamber Singers and University Chorus, both directed by Dr. Robert Duff, will be performing on Nov. 14 at 3 p.m., according to their events calendar. The Chamber Singers’ repertoire includes “both a cappella and accompanied music from Western and Non-Western vocal traditions,” according to their website. The University Chorus primarily focuses on playing from Western culture, according to the website. They also lead the Messiah Sing every December in the atrium of the Shapiro Campus Center.

According to the band’s website, “The Wind Ensemble is a 50-member group that performs a wide variety of music. The ensemble performs two or three concerts each year and is conducted by Tom Souza.” Past repertoire has included classic composers like Gustav Holst and George Frideric Handel, as well as modern ones like John Williams. The group will perform on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m.The Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra is directed by Neal Hampton and features students from Brandeis and Wellesley College, as well as Babson and Olin Colleges, according to the ensemble’s

website. The orchestra is “dedicated to bringing inspiring performances of the great orchestral literature, both past and present, to a new generation of musicians and audiences.” They will be performing at Brandeis on Nov. 21 at 3 p.m.Early Music Ensemble focuses on playing pieces composed in the 16th century, according to the ensemble’s website. Instruments used in this group reflect those available in the 16th century, including recorders, harps and bowed strings. They will be performing on Dec. 1 at noon and Dec. 5 at 3 p.m. “The Brandeis Jazz Ensemble,

open to the entire Brandeis community by audition, is composed of 15-20 musicians led by one of Boston’s best-known jazz musicians, Professor of the Practice Robert Nieske,” according to the ensemble’s website. The band explores “historically relevant composers,” as well as original compositions by members of the ensemble. They will perform on Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. Fafali performs music and dances from Ghana. According to the Fafali website, the group has even performed for the President of Ghana. Their show takes place on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.

Mold in Village housing removed by facilities By Peter Mitelman special to the hoot

Students reported mold growing on the ceiling of the main floor of the Village B Residence Hall Common Room in September as well as in the bathrooms of Village C Residence Hall, according to Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Timothy Touchette, these issues have since been addressed. “There was mold in the ceiling on the main level of Village B that was isolated to some insulation on some of the pipes,” said Touchette in an email interview with The Brandeis Hoot. “The insulation has been removed.” Despite this mold having been reported last month, Touchette said it is unknown how long it had been present. As for the Village C mold, some of the exhaust fans were found to have been tripped, according to Touchette’s email. “This has since been fixed and the area was cleaned by the Housekeeping team,” Touchette said. Touchette says that Facilities Administration and Department of Environmental Health & Safety helped provide him with the information concerning both the growth of the mold and the campus’s response to it.

Mold has been a recurring issue at Brandeis, according to a previous Hoot article, as there have been other instances of it being reported. In 2019, some students claimed to have seen it growing in Deroy Hall, according to another previous Hoot article. Some considered it a safety hazard, and a few students who fell ill around the time of the growth of the mold stated that said mold may have been a factor in their sickness. A parent of one of the hall’s residents may have considered legal action at one point, according to the previous article. Despite this, area coordinators did not locate any mold and found that the humidity levels were not those in which mold could easily grow. In 2010, a ceiling in a Schwartz Hall dorm room partially caved due in part to the growth of mold; no one was in the room at the time, according to a Hoot archives article from 2010. That same year, the campus faced a mold problem because of water damage related to flooding, according to another archived article. Touchette emphasizes the importance of watching out for mold growth on campus. While there is nothing in particular students themselves can do to prevent mold or address the issue if

they notice it, they must contact facilities. Touchette said that “if residents see moisture marks or anything that looks like mold, please report it to Facilities by calling (781)

736-8500 or placing an online work order as soon as possible.” The mold in the Village was quickly taken care of and did not physically affect any students or cause structural damage, said

Touchette. By taking the above actions, it serves as preventative measures to ensure that issues like these do not get out of hand in the future, according to Touchette.



The Brandeis Hoot

October 15, 2021

Prof. creates AI technology to amplify voices of students of color By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

Brandeis professor James Pustejovsky (COSI/LING) is currently working on a software titled “the Diana Program,” which is an artificial intelligence (AI) program meant to aid teachers in seeing which students are engaged during class. According to the article, “TeachFX and Diana have a common goal of making sure the voices of all students are heard and that the message from teachers is getting through to everyone in the class.” “We think this will be incredible assistance to the teacher, just to keep track of what is going on. To help the lesson proceed and the lesson plan you want,” said Pustejovsky, according to a Fox5 New York article. The purpose of the software is to enhance human connection, since students learn while interacting with others. The developers are “trying to close the opportunity gap between students of color, different ethnicities, even gender,” according to Jamie Plotkin, one of the developers of the program. AI is helping students with how often they are speaking and how involved they are. “The goal is to

point out the students who, for whatever reason, are not as involved as others,” according to the article. Over the last few years, we have been developing “technology that can parse through the audio of the classroom,” said Plotkin. One of the features of the programs is called TeachFX, which was developed by Jamie Plotkin. TeachFX is an app that can measure student engagement, which will allow teachers to see which of their students are following along and which students are falling behind. The methodology behind this is “providing data on how often a student interacts and what questions prompted that interaction,” according to the article. A fuller version of the Diana software will soon be available for use: “What we focused on with Diana is to try to create an environment that is a 3D simulation with a human or another robot interacting with one another.. it’s done by recreating [the student’s] environment through multiple cameras and she’s able to see [the student’] face.” According to Pustejovsky, the next step of the project will be engaging with students, so it can encourage those that are not participating to engage in the class.

The technology is still in its early stages of development, but numerous schools have already started implementing it in various programs. Pustejovsky’s work is focused on modeling human communication with each other in computers and robots, according to his faculty page. In his work, Pustejovsky examines ways in which humans communicate through language, gestures, gaze, facial expression and action. According to his faculty page, Pustejovsky’s work involves developing computational simulations, theoretical and computational modeling of language and computational support for digital humanities. Pustejovsky is a TJX Feldberg Professor of Computer Science at the university. He has taught Modal, Temporal, and Spatial Logic for Language (COSI 112), Fundamentals of Natural Language Processing II (COSI 114), Introduction to Big Data Analysis (COSI 129), Computational Semantics (COSI 135), Information Extraction (COSI 137), Discourse and Dialog (COSI 233) and Topics in Linguistics (LING 190). Pustejovsky has received numerous awards for his work including being a lecturer and keynote speaker at many institutions

as well as being featured in multiple publications, according to his faculty page. He got his bachelor’s degree at the Massachusetts Insti-

Using cells’ responses to capsaicin, a compound present in chili peppers, Julius pinpointed a receptor protein in neurons that responds to high temperatures by sorting through a library of millions of protein-coding DNA fragments. The implications of this research have clinical connections in the treatment of chronic pain, Julius noted. Patapoutian too, had research

interests in touch and pressure sensation. By using a microscopic pipette tip, he poked individual cells to create stimuli and then observed which receptor seemed to be responding to the stimulus. Collectively, the two scientists’ independent research shed light onto the few remaining questions in the understanding of molecular sensation: pain and pressure sensation. Julius first became interested in science when he was learning about the trajectory of a baseball

in physics in high school, according to a recent New York Times article. The article also describes how Patapoutian grew up in Lebanon during its civil war and fled to the United States when he was 18. He joined a research laboratory in college and discovered his passion for basic science. Now, Julius is a professor of physiology at the University of California, San Francisco. Over the course of his career, he has gone on to win the Kavli Prize in Neuroscience, the Dr. Paul

from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


Julius and Patapoutian win 49th Rosenstiel Award

AWARDS, from page 1

tute of Technology, and his Ph.D.

Jannsen Award for Biomedical Research and the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Ardem Patapoutian is a Professor of Neuroscience working at Scripps Research Institute in San Diego. His other recent awards include the Alden Spencer Award from Columbia University, and a nomination into the National Academy of Sciences as well as the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Liebowitz honored their accomplishments, saying, “David and Ardem have unlocked one of the most elusive biological mysteries of how we perceive and understand the world around us. Their discovery has profound implications for the future of medical research, making them and their research true embodiments of what we hope to recognize and celebrate with this award.”

Prof.’s book covered in New York Times column By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

A New York Times article titled “Joe Klein Explains How the History of Four Centuries Ago Still Shapes American Culture and Politics” highlights that the divide between two groups in a nation is by no means a new phenomenon. Klein cites David Hackett Fischer’s (HIST) book, “Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America,” about the history of British migration to colonial America and how the process of assimilation went as a way of showing that these trends can be found in history. Klein describes how during the times of COVID-19 he noticed the divide in the United States: in the South cases soared, while in New England there were high vaccination rates and fewer cases. “The divide between maskers and anti-maskers, vaxxers and anti-vaxxers is as old as Plymouth

Rock. It is deeper than politics; it is cultural,” writes Klein in the article. According to the article, the deep South was settled by emigrants from Scotland and England, who brought their “clannish, violent, independent culture, which had evolved over seven centuries of border warfare.” Klein notes that Fischer described the South as “a society of autonomous individuals who were unable to endure external control and incapable of restraining their rage against anyone who stood in the way.” Fischer describes the Scots and Irish as people who “were intensely resistant to change and suspicious of ‘foreigners.’ … In the early 20th century, they would become intensely negrophobic and antisemitic.” Meanwhile, New England was settled by the Puritan founders for whom “order was an obsession,” according to Fischer’s book. It was a society where everything

was regulated. These trends continue to today, according to Klein. The book shows how these were the roots of American culture, and how tangled they are today, as well as the effect that the entanglement has on contemporary society. The value systems that the British emigrants brought to America can be seen in “distinctive societies and value systems” according to Klein, though he highlights that “Culture is amorphous; it isn’t immutable.” Fischer’s book was published in 1989. The focus of the book is the assimilation of various British cultures in colonial America. Fischer is an Emeritus Earl Warren Professor of History; he taught The United States in World War II (HIST 166), according to his faculty page. He also won the Pulitzer Prize in History for “Washington’s Crossing” in 2005, among numerous other awards.


October 15 , 2021


The Brandeis Hoot

Honorary degree nominations form open By Victoria Morrongiello editor

The university announced the opening of the 2022 Honorary Degree Nomination Form, according to an email sent by President Ron Liebowitz to community members on Oct. 12. Community members can now fill out the form to nominate individuals who they believe should receive the award, according to the email. “Today, I write to invite you to nominate candidates for us to consider ahead of our Com-

mencement 2022 celebrations. While we cannot guarantee that all nominations will be selected or approved, we value your input,” wrote Liebowitz in the email. Honorary degrees are given to recipients at the commencement ceremony each year, according to Liebowitz. “For our university, we seek to recognize those that represent not only the very best of their chosen professions but those who embody the highest values of our institution and shape their communities—and our world—for the better,” wrote Liebowitz to the community.

Nominations for the honorary degree recipients must be submitted in writing, according to the Honorary Degree Nomination Form page. On the form, individuals must include the following criteria: the candidate’s name, their current position or affiliation to the university, their rationale for supporting the nomination of their candidate, their candidate’s connection to the university and information on how to contact their candidate, according to the form. “We grant honorary degrees to a select group of individuals whose contributions to business,

COVID-19 dashboards

politics, academia, public service, the arts and other areas distinguish them as leaders of their respective field,” wrote Liebowitz in the email. The university’s honorary degree has been given to several notable individuals, wrote Liebowitz in the email. Recipients of the award have come from different backgrounds. In his email Liebowitz named past recipients, including David Ben-Gurion, Leonard Bernstein, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John F. Kennedy, Coretta Scott King, Deborah Lipstadt, Thur-

good Marshall, Golda Meir, Steven Spielberg, Bryan Stevenson, Barbra Streisand and Elie Wiesel, according to the email. Nominations for 2022 honorary degrees can be submitted virtually through the university’s Honorary Degree Nomination Form page or through the mail. Mail must be sent to the Office of the President, MS 100, Brandeis University, 415 South Street, Waltham, MA, 02453, according to the page. Submissions for honorary degree nominations must be submitted by Friday, Nov. 19.

In the Senate, Oct. 10 •

The procedure for impeachment of senate members was amended to the bylaws during the Senate Meeting by Chair of the Rules Committee, Joseph Coles ’22. Coles mentioned that he realized that according to the constitution, the procedures for impeachment are supposed to be stated in the bylaws but were not.

Coles wrote up the process for impeachment to be amended and spoke about how the process would typically work. In the case of impeachment, all senators would be notified 72 hours prior, giving the member being impeached a good amount of warning. Once in session, the person that presents the Articles of Impeachment has 10 minutes to present and the person being impeached has 10 minutes to respond with their defense.

Afterward, the remaining senators will go into an executive session. Once back into open session, there will be a vote to which a twothirds majority vote would be required to pass the motion. Coles added that “no impeachments are happening anytime soon that we know.”

The Chair of the Club Support Committee, Charlotte Li ’24, mentioned that the umbrella organization for instrumental clubs,


Marimba, is no longer active. Li claims she spoke with Terry Tozzi,

Total postive COVID-19 cases each week. Last Update October 14, 2021.

Student Activities Specialist from the Department of Student Activities, who took down Marimba’s Presence account, a campus engage-

Total postive COVID-19 cases each week. Last Update September 2, 2021.

ment platform. •

What remains are the individual clubs, which were all chartered except for MAD band. After a vote, the motion ended up passing and MAD band has officially become a chartered club.

Vice President Courtney Thrun ’22 briefly touched upon Pumpkin Fest, which will be held Sunday, Oct. 17 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Thrun also mentioned that she has a meeting with the Director of Athletics, Lauren Haynie, on school spirit shuttles that are to be implemented.

In addition, there are plans underway to involve giving out whoopie pies, phone wallets and polaroids to community members in celebration of Kindness Day, according to Thrun.

Village Quad Senator Nicholas Kanan ’23 said that he has begun reaching out to all the Community Advisors so he would be able to receive more effective feedback from residents. Kanan added that he plans to find a way to put his contact information on the bulletin boards near the dorms to make sure that feedback is as open as possible.


Total COVID-19 tests administered each week. Last Update October 14, 2021.

-Vimukthi Mawilmada


6 The Brandeis Hoot

October 15, 2021

What makes the Red Sox dangerous?

By Justin Leung editor

Going into the final week of the Major League Baseball (MLB) regular season, the Boston Red Sox were fighting for a Wild Card spot. This was a team that was very far ahead in first place of their division before a swift collapse following the All-Star break. The collapse could be attributed to how at the trade deadline the Red Sox did not address what the team needed. They needed starting and relief pitching help. Instead, they relied on what they had and settled for getting outfielder Kyle Schwarber, relief pitcher Hansel Robles and reliever Austin Davis. Davis and Robles would provide some pitching help but not nearly enough to be consistent enough to fully address their pitching woes. Schwarber would add to their strong offense, but he can’t exactly pitch. Another reason for their collapse was how one of their best relievers completely collapsed in the second half. Closer Matt Barnes was an All-Star for the first half of the season, but in the second half he was statistically a below-average pitcher. This collapse led many to believe that the Red Sox may have squandered their chance to make a strong return to the playoffs two years after trading away their best player, outfielder Mookie Betts. So, after a very back and forth month of September that saw them beat the American League (AL) leading Tampa Bay Rays but lose to the Baltimore Orioles who were the worst team in the AL, the Red Sox were sitting in a tough position to get a Wild Card spot. After being behind in two of the games against the Washington Nationals in the final series of the season, the Red Sox would come back in both games to barely secure a Wild Card spot. Some people believed that the Red Sox were lucky to even be in the playoffs. The AL Wild Card game was set to be one for the ages. Not only was it between two teams in the same division, but two teams that have one of the biggest rivalries in all of sports. In the 2021 AL Wild Card game, the Red Sox faced off against the New York Yankees. Both teams had just barely gotten into the postseason even with the large amount of talent they had on the roster. The Yankees had made significant improvements at the trade deadline, but ultimately struggled down the stretch. However, even with the Yankees recent struggles, they were still favored in the Wild Card game because they were starting one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. Starting pitcher Gerrit Cole was set to start the game for the Yankees. In 2020, Cole was given one of the biggest contracts for a pitcher in baseball history, so the Yankees were basically paying him to pitch in these big moments. Starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, on the other hand, was pitching for the Red Sox. Eovaldi had a solid season but was not nearly as good as Cole. The Red Sox were the home team and were playing in their famous Fenway Park where the atmosphere was electric. After a clean first inning from Eovaldi, the Red Sox took control of the game. Third baseman Rafael Devers walked with two outs in the inning and brought shortstop Xander Bogaerts to the plate. At the end of the regular season, Bogaerts had struggled significantly.

According to, he only hit .241 in the last month of the season. This is not terrible, but not up to the standards for one of the best offensive shortstops in all of baseball. All his struggles did not matter at that moment as he sent a hanging changeup to center field for a two-run home run. That home run nearly sealed the game for the Red Sox. Schwarber would add onto the lead in the third inning with a solo home run of his own to make the score 3-0. After 50 pitches and only two innings completed, Cole was out of the game. The man who was paid so much money to pitch in these key games had collapsed in just two innings. For the rest of the game, the Red Sox were in the driver’s seat. They would score three more runs in the game, with all of them coming from clutch hits from outfielder Alex Verdugo. In the game, Bogaerts would score two runs and have two runs batted in (RBI). He also walked two times, meaning he got on base three times in the game. According to, Eovaldi not only outshined Cole, but he also limited a very good offense to just one run and four hits through five innings. Eovaldi and Bogaerts led the team to victory even though they may not have had the best recent stretch of games. They played their best baseball when it

was incredible, it wasn’t projected to be enough to lead them to series wins in the playoffs. With the predictions against them, the Red Sox proceeded to Tampa Bay to play the first game of the series. In game one against the Rays, the Red Sox’s worst fear came to life. The offense was not able to outweigh their pitching issues. They got nine hits in the game but could not score a run. This lack of offense did not help as starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez and reliever Nick Pivetta struggled and allowed five runs. Ultimately, the Red Sox would lose game one 0-5. In game two, the offense bounced back. They scored two runs in the top of the first inning, however starting pitcher Chris Sale struggled and gave up five runs in the bottom of the first inning. After one quiet inning, the Red Sox tied the game after back-to-back home runs from Bogaerts and Verdugo. With that momentum, the Red Sox would score another 10 runs in the remaining innings of the game. Outfielder Kike Hernández erupted in the game as he had five hits in his six at bats. He had three doubles and a home run leading to three RBIs in the game. Designated hitter J.D Martinez also added on four hits with one of them being a home run. The offense easily allowed the Red Sox

proved to be a very good one as Pivetta would pitch four clean innings as he kept the game tied all the way to the 13th inning. In the top of the 13th inning, Pivetta pitched out of the inning without a run due to rule technicality associated with balls going out of play. But with that lucky break, it was the Red Sox’s chance to win the game. They would indeed win the game after a walk off two-run home run by catcher Christian Vázquez. This would prove to be a huge win for the Red Sox as the Rays invested so much into the game and lost. Game four was a similar story. Devers put the team up three runs with a home run and Verdugo and Martinez extended the lead after that with RBI hits of their own. Then the pitching collapsed again. Meadows would have an RBI groundout to put the Rays on the board and Franco then hit a two-run home run to cut the Boston lead to two. Then again in the eighth inning, the Rays would score two more runs to tie the game. After the game was tied, Cora sent in young reliever Garrett Whitlock. According to, Whitlock had a very good season after being taken from the Yankees by the Red Sox in the Rule 5 draft. But at that point in the top of the eighth inning, he needed to stop the bleeding and make sure

mattered most. After the Wild Card win, the Red Sox had to face the top seed of the AL in the American League Division Series (ALDS). The Tampa Bay Rays stood between them and the American League Championship Series (ALCS). During the regular season, the Rays were arguably a top three team in all of baseball. They were nearly at the top of the league in most pitching categories and were top ten in most hitting categories. According to Oddshark, the Rays were the favorites from the AL to win the World Series, while the Red Sox were the least favored team. So going into the ALDS, the Red Sox were the clear underdogs. In the playoffs, teams that have very good pitching have had the most success in the playoffs. Most recently, the Nationals won the World Series in 2019 behind their three-headed starting pitching monster of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin. Even their fourth starter Anibal Sanchez was an above average pitcher, according to Baseball Reference. The Red Sox, on the other hand, have not had great starting pitching this season. Even though their offense

to remain in the series even after their ace struggled in the first inning. Pitcher Tanner Houck also contributed greatly to the team win as he pitched five innings and allowed only one run. In game three, the Red Sox traveled back home but did not get a clean first inning as Eovaldi allowed a tworun home run to outfielder Austin Meadows. However, the Red Sox quickly cut the deficit to one with a solo home run from Schwarber. With the crowd behind them, the Red Sox eventually tied the game on a Hernández single and then they would take the lead behind a single from Devers. Hernández would extend the lead to two with a solo home run in the fifth inning. Then the Red Sox worst fear came back. In the top of the eighth inning the Rays would tie the game on a home run from young superstar shortstop Wander Franco and an RBI double from outfielder Randy Arozarena. The lack of solid pitching had come back to hurt the Red Sox again as the game ultimately was tied following the completion of the ninth inning. After a poor game one, Red Sox manager Alex Cora would go back to Pivetta to keep the game tied. This decision

the game was tied. He ended up doing just that. Whitlock would pitch the eighth and ninth innings without allowing a run. These two innings were crucial in giving the Red Sox a chance to end the series. In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Red Sox came to bat with the chance to knock out the best team in the AL. The inning started off strong with a single from Vázquez and a bunt from second baseman Christian Arroyo to put Vázquez at second base. A single from pinch hitter Travis Shaw then moved Vázquez to third base. The winning run was 90 feet away. Then came the man of the series. Outfielder Kike Hernández stepped to the plate with the winning run on third base. Hernández already had a hit in the game but none of those at bats mattered. Everything was riding on that one moment. On the second pitch of the at bat, Hernández crushed a ball to deep left field that was caught by Meadows, but it got the job done as the run from third scored and sent the Red Sox to the ALCS. So, what makes the Red Sox a dangerous team to face in the postseason? It is not their pitching. Although the team got great


outings from Pivetta, Eovaldi, Whitlock and Houck, the pitching is not their strength. If anything, their pitching is hurting them more times than not. Their relievers blew the lead twice in the eighth inning in the series against the Rays. What makes them dangerous is their incredibly explosive offense. Their offense is so explosive because everyone is a threat. Their main starting lineup consists of Schwarber, Hernández, Devers, Bogaerts, Verdugo, Martinez, outfielder Hunter Renfroe and Vázquez. Each player can dominate a game. Schwarber had a strong series, but his true offensive talent was shown when he hit 16 home runs in a single month. Hernández was by far their best player in the series, and he wasn’t even their best player in the regular season. Devers was probably their best offensive player in the regular season, and he continued to be an offensive threat in the ALDS. In game four he had three hits, three RBIs and a home run. Bogaerts had plenty of clutch hits and even had that big home run against Cole in the Wild Card game. Martinez had .467 batting average in the series with two hits in game four. Verdugo was incredibly clutch as he drove in six runs in the series. Renfroe may not have had the flashiest series, but he had 31 home runs in the regular season. Vázquez hit a walk-off home run. All these players have incredible offensive potential and they displayed it in their series against the Rays. Not only did they show their offensive prowess, but they also showed it against one of the best pitching teams in all of baseball. If the Red Sox can score runs in bunches against the Rays, they can do it against anyone. Even with all this offensive firepower, there is still a chance that they get blanked in a game, like in game one against the Rays. However, there is too much talent on the team for them to get shut down consistently. They may score zero runs in one game and then score 10 in the next. If one day Bogaerts doesn’t get a hit, Devers may pick up the slack and hit two home runs. No team wants to face the Red Sox anymore because they know if their pitching is perfect then there is a chance that the game just ends up in a back-andforth offensive battle, considering both sides will likely have poor pitching. If that happens, there are few teams that can match the offensive talent that the Red Sox have. Additionally, the Red Sox are just “lucky” to be here. The team is likely going to be the underdog for the rest of this postseason. There is likely going to be less pressure on them and more on their opponent. This underdog mindset makes them a scary team to face. They may be an underdog in the series, but every day they have a chance to blow you out with their overpowering offense. The Red Sox are turning away from what normally leads to success in the postseason and that makes them scary to face. On Oct. 15, the Red Sox will face off against the Houston Astros in game one of the ALCS.

October 15, 2021

The Brandeis Hoot 7

The Brandeis Hoot

Men’s and women’s soccer fall to Case Western during Homecoming By Sasha Skarboviychuk editor

Homecoming weekend took place at Brandeis on Oct. 9 and 10, where both men’s and women’s soccer played against Case Western Reserve University. Both teams suffered a loss, pushing the men’s team to 3-6-2 in the season and 0-1-1 in the University Athletic Association (UAA), and the women’s team to 5-3-2 in the season and 0-2-2 in the UAA. The men’s team were defeated 2-0. The men were out-shot by Case Western, 15-9, however they did have eight corner kicks compared to four for Case Western. Brandeis had three shots on goal. Case Western’s Jacob Hall scored the first goal of the match in the 25th minute, bypassing Brandeis’s Aiden Guthro ’23. Guthro had five saves in the game. Brandeis made numerous at-

tempts to score in the second half of the game. Michael Burch ’22 tried to score but hit the left post, during the 47th minute. In the 58th minute, Adam Kulick ’23 also attempted a goal, but it was blocked by Case Western’s goalkeeper Jackson Callen. Callen also stopped Skyah Dias’s ’22 shot on goal in the 70th minute. Case Western’s Hall scored his second goal of the game in the 89th minute, which was the last goal of the game. The men’s next game will be on their bi-annual UAA Midwest road trip, which will take place on Oct. 15, 16 and 17. They play the University of Chicago on Friday, Oct. 15 at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time. They then will take on Washington University on Sunday, Oct. 17 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time. The women’s team also took on Case Western Reserve, with a 2-1 defeat. For most of the first half of the game, the women had con-

trol of the ball, outshooting Case Western 9-1. The first goal came in the 29th minute, from Case Western’s Carolyn Koutores, who put the ball in the net, going over Brandeis’s goalkeeper. Brandeis managed to tie the game soon after, with Caroline Swan ’23 kicking the ball into the goalie box. Although the ball bounced, Yasla Ngoma ’24 got the ball and scored into the net. This is Ngoma’s fifth goal of the season and Swan’s fourth assist. However the tie did not last for long as Case Western scored early in the second half. Anika Washburn’s goal bypassed both Brandeis’ defenders. Hannah Bassan ’25 was unable to get to the ball, which allowed Brianna Van Zanten of Case Western to kick the ball into the net. Bassan made no saves in the game. The women made numerous attempts to score another goal, however the Case Western goal-

keeper, Maggie Storti, stopped all four goals. Lauren Mastandrea ’22 had a free kick in the 88th minute, which Storti also stopped from going into the net. The women’s next game will be on their bi-annual UAA Midwest road trip, which will take place on Oct. 15, 16 and 17. They play the University of Chicago on Friday, Oct. 15 at 4 p.m. Eastern time. They then will take on Washington University on Sunday, Oct. 17 at 12 p.m. Eastern time. Despite the losses, Brandeisians were able to enjoy the homecoming weekend. Along with the two soccer matches Saturday, Oct. 9 featured a volleyball match against Babson as well as competitions against alumni in various sports, including track and field, softball, basketball, swimming and tennis. Students were able to spend time and compete against their former teammates. “It was a very fun weekend... it was great to

see my former teammates,” swimmer Jonathan Ayash ’22 told The Brandeis Hoot. For spectators and families, there was also pizza and tacos, as well as an ice cream truck; the first two hundred students got vouchers to get the food for free. For the alumni there was also a complimentary beer garden as they cheered on the players. There was also a bouncy house and a petting zoo with rabbits, chickens and goats. Children were also able to ride ponies, however students were not allowed to ride as they likely weighed more than the ponies themselves. During the 3 p.m. volleyball game, the first one hundred students were able to get free long sleeve shirts. There was also alumni gear available for sale and lawn games to play.

Brandeis women’s volleyball are on a cold streak By Jesse Lieberman staff

The Brandeis volleyball team played three matches this past week, losing to New York University 3-1 (19-25, 20-25, 25-23, 19-25) and Washington University 3-1 (26-28, 17-25, 25-22, 1325) on Sunday. The Judges then welcomed UMass-Boston on Tuesday, losing 3-0 (27-25, 25-19, 25-22). The Judges’ record is now 5-12 and 0-5 in University Athletic Association (UAA) play. Sunday, Oct. 3, NYU 3 – Brandeis 1: Freshman Lara Verstovsek ’25 had 12 kills and Senior Kaitlyn Oh ’22 had 13 digs, but the Judges couldn’t stop undefeated NYU and their offense, losing 3-1. Down 21-15 in the opening set, the Judges battled back, winning four points in a row. The Violets answered by winning four consecutive points to close out the set. The Violets jumped out of the gate in the second set, winning nine of the first 14 points. The closest the Judges would get to NYU was 24-

20 before the Violets took the set. The Judges started strong in the third set, jumping out to a 14-11 lead. The Violets then went on a 7-1 run to lead 18-15 before the Judges responded with five points in a row. The Judges took the final two points to win the set after Kaisa Newberg ’22 had a kill and Oh recorded an ace. Junior Amelia Oppenheimer ’23 and senior Stephanie Borr ’22 each had ten kills, while Sophomore Ines Grom-Mansenecal ’24 recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 33 assists and 12 digs. The Violets came into the contest ranked 16th according to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) website. The Violets were hyper-efficient offensively, recording 58 kills, and had a hitting percentage of 0.285. NYU later defeated Emory in their second match of the day, to go to 5-0 in UAA play. They jumped six spots in the rankings to 10th in the most recent poll. Sunday, Oct. 3, Wash U 3 – Brandeis 1:

Verstovsek had 10 kills and Grom-Mansenecal had 23 assists, but the Judges lost the second match of their UAA doubleheader to Wash U, ranked 23. Trailing 24-21 in the first set, the Judges won the next three points to tie the set 24-24. The Judges survived another two set points before Wash U took the set 28-26. The Bears raced out to an early lead in the second set, winning 12 of the first 17 points. The closest the Judges would get was three points. Wash U recorded seven of their 11 total service aces in the second set. The Bears opened the third set, winning the first two points. The Judges answered with four straight points and never trailed the rest of the set. Wash U tied things up 8-8, but the Judges won four of the five points thanks to two kills each by Newberg and Oppenheimer. The Bears drew even with the Judges again at 18-18. Once again, the Judges responded with a 4-1 run. The Judges went on to win the set 25-22. The Judges built off their mo-

Women’s volleyball Oct. 9 By Francesca Marchese staff

The Brandeis University women’s volleyball team competed against two of the top regional teams at Brandeis’ Annual Homecoming celebration. While Auerbach Arena was filled with enthusiastic family members, friends and alumni, the women were unable to defeat #22-ranked Babson in their first game of the day; and, unfortunately, Brandeis fell short in their second game of the day, too, after extending Endicott College to five sets. Talia Freund ‘23 helped decrease the deficit for the Judges, serving six straight points to bring the set within two in the first set against the Beavers; the women then won the next point because of a Babson error, which allowed the Judges to score four additional points. Sophomore Ella Perreria’s ’24 service ace gave Brandeis the lead, 19-18, but the Judges were unable to capitalize off the momentum they built, allowing the Beavers to score the final 10 points of the set. Babson

went on to win the game in just three sets: 22-25, 8-25, 20-25. Overall, nine Brandeis players recorded kills, led by senior middle blocker Kaisa Newberg ’22 who tallied six kills and one block. Sophomore Rita Lai ’24 had a team high four blocks, while also contributing five kills. Defensively, Kaitlyn Oh ’22, senior libero, led her squad with 13 digs; and sophomore setter Ines Grom-Mansenecal ’24 set her teammates up for success, recording 10 assists, a team-high of the game. In the afternoon, the Judges returned to the court to face unranked Endicott College, who upset the Babson Beavers in five sets. The Brandeis women’s volleyball team pushed Endicott to five sets; however the Gulls were victorious, winning the fifth 15-7. Winning the first set 25-21 on their home court, the Judges built momentum spearheaded by junior blocker Amelia Oppenheimer ’23 and veteran blocker Newberg. Senior leader Stephanie Borr ’22 and Oppenheimer both registered kills to put the Judges

up two in the set, 19-17. While the Gulls took the second set and the third, Brandeis remained engaged and competitive, securing the fourth set, forcing the fifth. Endicott never trailed in the fifth, though, defeating the Judges 15-7. First-year Lara Verstovsek ’25 led the Judges against the Gulls with a team-high 13 kills and five blocks. Oppenheimer and Newberg each recorded six kills and Borr had five. Defensively, the Judges were equally successful with Ella Pereira ’24 tallying 10 digs, followed by Oh and Borr who each had nine; furthermore, Brandeis defended the net incredibly well, recording a season-high 13 blocks, led by six each from Newberg and Lai. Setter Grom-Mansenecal recorded an impressive 22 assists in the five-setter. On Sunday, Oct. 17, the Judges will compete in their final two UAA matches of the season on Emory’s home court in Atlanta, Georgia. The Judges look to defeat the University of Chicago and the University of Rochester on the road.

mentum to begin the fourth set. Brandeis won the first seven points in the set and led 13-9. Wash U answered with 16 consecutive points to take the set and the match. Grom-Mansenecal and Oh each led the Judges with nine digs. Oh and sophomore Rita Lai each had two aces. Tuesday, Oct. 5, UMass-Boston 3 – Brandeis 0: Playing for the third time in three days, the Judges dropped a non-conference matchup to UMass-Boston 3-0. The Beacons led by six early in the opening set, before Brandeis tied it at 17-17. After the teams traded several points, the Beacons won three in a row to take the lead 23-21. The Judges won the next three points and had an opportunity to take the set. The Beacons won the next two points and after the Judges tied the score 25-25, the Beacons won the following two points to take a 1-0 lead. The Beacons led throughout in the second set. After being down 20-11 in the set, the Judges man-

aged to go on an 8-3 run, but it wasn’t enough as UMass-Boston took the set 25-19. The Judges looked to ignite a comeback, taking an early 10-5 lead in the third set. The Beacons rallied and evened the score at 15-15. The Judges then went on a 6-2 run, but the Beacons closed out the match, winning eight of the last nine points to take the set 25-22. The Judges couldn’t find an answer for the Beacon offense. UMass-Boston, who averaged just under 10 kills per set entering the match, recorded 44 kills, their second-most this season. Three Beacon players had at least 10 kills. For the Judges, Borr and Verstovsek led the way with six kills apiece, while Oh had a team-high 12 digs. Senior Emerson White ’22 played well off the bench, notching two kills and recording an ace. White was outstanding on the block, recording a solo block and two block assists. Junior Talia Freund ’23, playing in just her third match this season, provided a boost off the bench as well, re-


The Brandeis Hoot 8

“To acquire wisdom, one must observe.”

Editors-in-Chief John Fornagiel Emma Lichtenstein Sasha Skarboviychuk Copy Editor Madeline Rousell News Editor Victoria Morrongiello Deputy News Editor Roshni Ray Arts Editors Stewart Huang Caroline O Opinions Editor Thomas Pickering Deputy Opinions Editor Mia Plante Features Editor Shruthi Manjunath Sports Editor Justin Leung Layout Editor Anya Lance-Chacko Editors-at-Large Abdel Achibat Tim Dillon Grace Zhou

Volume 19 • Issue 7 the brandeis hoot • brandeis university 415 south street • waltham, ma

FOUNDED BY Leslie Pazan, Igor Pedan and Daniel Silverman


Cyrenity Augustin, Jonathan Ayash, Lucy Fay, Sam Finbury, Cooper Gottfried, Zach Katz, Joey Kornman, Josh Lannon, Kristianna Lapierre, Max Lerner, Rafi Levi, Jesse Lieberman, Francesca Marchese, David Shapiro, Matt Shapiro, Jahnavi Swamy, Luca Swinford, Alex Williams

MISSION 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, The Brandeis Hoot is dedicated to the principles of investigative reporting and news analysis. Our mission is to give every community member a voice.

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October 15, 2021

Why is Brandeis falling apart

arlier this semester, we discussed how uneventfully it began: it seemed abnormally quiet for Brandeis. Evidently, we spoke too soon. From the plague that was the black mold in Village to the roof issues in Usdan to the lead in the water fountains, the structural issues at Brandeis know no end. Although all of these things can be explained separately, when they are happening all at the same time, it shows a larger issue with this campus: it is falling apart. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), black mold can “lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin,” though in some people it can lead to even more serious health issues. This is not an environment anyone wants to live in, especially when students pay upwards of $10,000 to live here. Lead in the water is also concerning, particularly since the university did not notify all students, but only chemistry students and people who are regularly in the building, according to a Hoot article. People who do not belong to either of these groups could have also been drinking this

water, yet that did not appear to concern Brandeis. It is also not fair to put the responsibility of spreading information onto the individuals: a campus-wide email would have been significantly more appropriate. Having only one dining hall open (with Usdan being closed due to ceiling issues, according to an email sent out to the Brandeis community on Oct. 14), has put additional strain on both dining staff and students. Long lines in dining halls are nothing new to Brandeis, but these lines are insane. Finding a space to sit has been like the Hunger Games, with people leaving as soon as they’re done eating in order to free up space for others. Although Brandeis made an effort to reduce the load with opening Levin Ballroom as a dining space, it does not solve the issues. We do hope that during these times students remember that the Sodexo workers are trying their best, and it is not their fault that Usdan has structural issues. Even non-fatal issues are causing inconveniences. The stairs next to Sherman Dining Hall that lead to Massell Quad have been blocked off this entire week, with no notice of

when they’ll be open again. There is construction happening near the Admissions building and Spingold Theater. It is noisy and displeasing to the eye, and students remain in the dark about what the construction team is working on. The most frustrating part of all this is the slow pace at which problems can be fixed. This is not a hit on facilities; we are just aware that the volume of problems on campus is significantly higher than it typically is. More requests mean more competition for fighting for an appointment to get the situation taken care of. All of these issues also seem to have come to light right before Family Weekend. To the parents who are visiting their kids for the first time here at Brandeis: it’s not usually this bad. Brandeis is not perfect by any means, but it’s usually not this bad. We hope that the Brandeis administration pays attention to these issues and doesn’t just sweep them under the rug. These are not issues that you can put a band-aid on: this needs major structural change. Students should not be living in mold-infested dorms or drinking lead water.

October 15, 2021


The Brandeis Hoot 9

Pittman highlights mistreatment of BIPOC By Emma Lichtenstein editor

Chadra Pittman explained the long history of dehumanization of Indigenous and African people, and warned that the battle for justice is still not yet won. In her virtual presentation—titled “‘I, Too, Am America:’ Stolen Land, Stolen People and the Forced Migrations of the Native and the African”—she dove into the different ways Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) have been mistreated by white European colonizers, starting with Christopher Columbus and going through present times. Pittman rejected the idea that Columbus found the Americas. She started her presentation with a song by the Legacy of Weya-

noke, which honored the Indigenous people of the Americas and included lines like “you can’t make the discovery of someone else’s property.” She began her history lesson there, and it was with sorrow and bitterness that she spoke about Columbus and those who helped him colonize the land. Pittman walked participants through further mistreatment of Indigenous and African people, particularly in the sense of killing them. She emphasized the diseases that the Europeans—starting with the Spanish and Portuguese, but continuing through with the English—brought with them, effectively killing most Indigenous people in the area. One statistic she kept coming back to was about the Powhatan Chiefdom. She said that the Powhatan Chiefdom had about 12,000 peo-

ple when the English arrived in Jamestown, but that by the end of the century, only 1,000 remained. Disease was not the only violence perpetrated against Indigenous people discussed by Pittman. She said that the Trail of Tears was “largely due to the expansion of the settlers, largely due to the fact that they wanted that land, largely due to the fact that the land had gold in it.” But, she said that Indigenous people fought back against the settlers, using the example of the Dade Massacre, when 180 Seminole people attacked one hundred settlers in Florida, leaving only three alive. Her history lesson ended by looking at where the United States is today, particularly in the treatment of Black people by police and the way officers have locked immigrant children in cages. She said that the maltreatment is still

there, it has just evolved to fit the times. In thinking about the history of the United States, she asked participants to think about the sources they learn from. “These images, these comments about native people being called savages … who controls the narrative?” She warned against this narrative of “othering,” saying, “the only way that we’re going to move this forward is if we come together as humanity.” Coming together in the pursuit of justice is what Pittman truly stands for as a person. According to her bio on the event description, “Chadra Pittman is Founder & Executive Director of The Sankofa Projects (where she works to preserve the legacy, history & culture of the African diaspora) and 4 E.V.E.R. (End Violence End Rape), an activist organization that seeks to end sexual violence, eradicate

rape culture while advocating for deaf and LGBTQ inclusion across the four directions of the Earth.” In her presentation, she explained that she focuses on using the past to look forward towards change. “To know where you’re going, you must know where you come from.” This event took place on Zoom at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 11. This event was one of many Indigenous People’s Day events hosted by Brandeis. This event was sponsored by the Intercultural Center; Office of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity at the Heller School; Departments of Women and Gender Studies and African and African American Studies; Brandeis Library; Office of Graduate Affairs; Dean’s Co-Curricular Grant; Gender and Sexuality Center; Film, Television and Interactive Media Program and Women’s Studies Research Center.

Alumni return for Homecoming festivities By John Fornagiel editor

On Saturday, Oct. 9, many Brandeis alumni returned to campus to celebrate Homecoming. This year, the annual celebration of Homecoming featured both men and women’s soccer competing against Case Western Reserve University, along with two volleyball matches, according to an email sent out by the athletics department. In addition to the sports games, the event also fea-

tured three food trucks. Two of these food trucks featured pizza and tacos, and the third one featured ice cream. Additionally, the first two hundred students that arrived at Homecoming received free food and ice cream vouchers that they could then redeem at the food trucks. There were events and festivities that were catered towards both alumni and any younger family members. There was a complimentary beer garden along with an athletics gear sale for any alumni looking to support

the university. There were also many events that catered towards younger family members. There was a bouncy house, cornhole and even a petting zoo. The petting zoo included animals such as chickens, guinea pigs, baby goats and rabbits. There were also ponies that children would be able to ride or walk around with. There were many events during Homecoming in addition to the festivities. Some events that also occurred during Homecoming include a swimming and diving alumni meet at 9:30 a.m.,

a fencing alumni meet at 11 a.m., and a women’s basketball alumni game at 10 a.m. These events allowed many of the alumni to get back into the sport that they played while they were competing for Brandeis. Many of the students enjoyed the event too. When questioned about what they thought of the event, the food and the pony, club tennis player Matthew Colbert ’23 stated that the “chicken taco was good. Pony was short and fat. Not quite as cool as Li’l Sebastian but still pretty cool.” Li’l

Sebastian is the name of a pony found on the television series “Parks and Recreation.” Although the main segment of Homecoming was on Saturday, there were some events that were left for Friday, Oct. 8 and Sunday, Oct. 10. For example, a women’s soccer alumni game was featured at 6:30 p.m. on the preceding Friday, while a men and women’s tennis alumni tournament was featured on Sunday, Oct. 10.



The Brandeis Hoot 10


October 15, 2021

Disparities in justice for missing and murdered women By Mia Plante editor

The spectacle of true crime has become a popular topic in recent years, particularly among women that I know. Even I am obsessed with true crime podcasts, documentaries and am excited about the claim that the Zodiac killer has potentially been found. But behind these stories are real people. There is real suffering within each podcast we listen to and real consequences to be faced for the violence we sensationalize. There are stark differences that must be acknowledged within the criminal justice system regarding missing and murdered women of various races and backgrounds. Stories of missing white women are turned into national headlines, their searches televised and widespread. White women are a picture of innocence within the justice system. Yet this innocence is a facade. White women’s claims have forever put innocent Black men behind bars, and have caused lynchings across the American South. It is no coincidence that the efforts put into solving crimes against white women in particular are far stronger than those put into crimes against women who fall into various minority groups. Indigenous women are sexually assaulted and murdered at significantly higher rates than white women. The murder rate is 10 times higher for women living on reservations than the national average. In Wyoming between 2000 and 2020, Indigenous homicide victims made up 21 percent of all homicides despite making up only three percent of the population. Additionally, Indigenous women are two times

more likely than white women to be raped, and three times more likely to be murdered. Indigenous women have seen the way their cases are largely ignored by law enforcement and the media and have compared this to the recent widespread coverage of the Gabby Petito case. It is rare that cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women are covered by popular media sources, and when they are there is often a negative light shined on the victim, almost blaming them for the violence they face. On top of bias preferring white victims in the media, there is also an alarming issue of poor communication within law enforcement combined with the issue of jurisdiction. This has caused the U.S. Department of Justice to only report 117 cases of missing Indigenous women and girls, when there have actually been nearly six thousand cases as of 2016. Fortunately, this issue has become well known in recent months. This past April, the Secretary of the Interior created a new unit, entitled the Missing and Murdered Unit, which will pursue justice for missing and murdered Indigenous people. President Biden also declared May 5, 2021 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day. But these are shallow actions until true change has come, and the outcry of Indigenous women in the past month during the Petito case has shown that not much has changed since these acts. These disparities in justice do not stop at Indigenous women, but continue into other minority groups. Nearly one hundred thousand Black women and girls have gone missing in the United States, and similarly to those of Indige-

nous women, their cases are rarely news. Similarly to Indigenous women, Black women go missing at a disproportionate rate to their percentage of the population. In 2020, one third of all women reported missing were Black. These cases of missing and murdered Black individuals are significantly less likely to be solved than those of white victims. The clearance rate for homicides involving white victims are 78 percent, versus the 67 percent for those involving Black or Hispanic victims, according to data from 1980 to 2008. New York City’s disparity is far worse than average. 86 percent of homicides involving white victims are solved, compared to 45 percent of those involving Black victims. Even in Boston there is a wide gap in arrest rates between the murders of white victims and Black victims. This may be based in racial biases within law enforcement, as well as a lack of cooperation within Black communities due to their very valid fear of police. At the intersection of various marginalized identities is where we find an even more significant lack of justice, particularly the intersection of transgender women of color. 78 percent of the victims of fatal violence against transgender and gender non-conforming invidiuals were transgender women of color. Black transgender women make up 66 percent of all known victims since 2013. Most victims of crimes against transgender individuals are trans women, and most victims (85 percent) are BIPOC, meaning those who are both trans women and BIPOC are at the highest risk of violence. Similarly to the failure in reporting in regards to missing and murdered Indigenous wom-

en, the FBI has inconsistent statistics on how many transgender individuals have been the victims of fatal violence as compared to the Human Rights Campaign. While the HRC has reported 165 fatalities from 2013 to 2019, the FBI has only reported two. There is a terrifying epidemic of not only violence against transgender individuals, but underreporting and non-reporting of the violence they face. Additionally, there are legal loopholes which almost allow this type of violence towards transgender individuals. LGBT “panic” defense strategies are only banned in 16 states, not including Massachusetts (although legislation has been introduced against these strategies this year). The United States has a long

way to go in creating equality within the justice system. The sensationalization of the Gabby Petito case shines a light on the issues that are so often overlooked by American media and law enforcement. Many Indigenous women and Black women in the United States are subjected to higher levels of violence that Anglo-American women are not subjected to, and their cases are less likely to be solved, and in some cases reported at all. These disparities in justice cut deep, and anyone passionate about true crime must not ignore the failures of the community in discussing stories of missing and murdered non-white women.


Test-optional is not far enough. Brandeis should go test-blind. By Cooper Gottfried staff

The Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and American College Testing (ACT) are disturbingly evil. They’re statistically invalid tests that favor wealthy students, and they’ve been around for far too long. The standardized tests don’t measure a student’s abilities, they measure their socioeconomic background. Brandeis is currently test-optional, but I believe that Brandeis should go test-blind and not accept standardized test scores at all. For context, the SAT is a threehour test composed of four sections (reading, writing, math with a calculator, math without a calculator) and an optional essay. Scores on the SAT range from 400 to 1600. The ACT is also a threehour test composed of four sections (English, math, reading and science) and an optional essay. Scores on the ACT range from 1 to 36. Both tests have fees associated with them, although these can be waived. The national average SAT score was 1051 and the national average ACT score was 20.6 in 2020. The SAT, administered by the College Board, has been used as a tool for racial segregation

since its creation. Its inventor, Carl Brigham, once wrote that “American education is declining ‘and will proceed with an accelerating rate as the racial mixture becomes more and more extensive’”. Moving past that touch of malice, Brigham’s standardized test has continued to be a tool of racial segregation today. In a 2018 study, the College Board found that Black students scored 177 points lower than white students on average. The biggest gap was in the math section, where Black and Hispanic students scored nearly 100 points lower on the math section than white students on average. The ACT, administered by ACT Inc., was developed soon after the SAT as a competitor and it also has huge disparities between white and Black test takers. On the ACT, Black students’ average score was 17.0, while white students’ average score was 22.3 in 2014. The largest gap comes in the English section, where the average was 15.8 for Black students and 22.0 for white students in 2014. These score gaps exist in large part due to the income disparity present between white and nonwhite families. White families are more likely to be able to provide private tutoring for their children,

thus allowing them to get higher scores on the tests. According to the College Board, as little as 6-8 hours of personalized SAT prep can lead to an average score increase of 90 points on the test. This score increase may seem small, but it contributes to the disparity between Black and white students’ test scores in a big way. Families with less money are also likely to live in districts with lower-quality public schools. In districts with these under-funded public schools, children are less likely to get the resources they need to do well on these standardized tests. According to a 2019 report, high-poverty districts serving mostly students of color receive about $1,600 less per student than the national average. That money, if available, could go towards career readiness or college readiness programs for these students. Last year, when many schools put a temporary pause on accepting standardized tests, I was hopeful. Many schools stopped requiring the SAT and ACT for admission, largely because tests simply weren’t being administered. But, students who were able to take the tests and submit their scores were at an inherent advantage. Brandeis is one of those schools. They’ve gone test-option-

al, but students who do well and choose to submit their test scores still have an edge over those who don’t. All that said, I think that Brandeis should go test-blind, meaning that they don’t factor standardized test scores into admissions at all. This would allow students who have previously been marginalized by these tests to get a fairer look in the admissions process, and negate some (but not all) of the advantages that students of a higher socioeconomic background have in the process.

Brandeis has a long history of admitting people who were deemed unworthy by other schools; it was founded to take in students rejected by Ivy League schools simply because they were Jewish. In going testblind, Brandeis has a chance to make another stride towards the equity that it was founded upon. Brandeis may not be the first major university to ignore standardized test scores, but Brandeis’ administration can make waves in higher education by going testblind.


October 15, 2021

By Herbicide-Free Brandeis special to the hoot

When most people think of pollination, they picture bees and flowers. They may be aware that pollination is necessary for the growth of plants, but what exactly is pollination and why is it so important? Technically speaking, it is the transfer of pollen from the male anther to the female stigma of a flower. For practical understanding, it is the method of reproduction for most plants, without which, plants would cease to exist. Therefore, pollination, and the manner in which the pollen travels from flower to flower, is a crucial part of each local ecosystem. Vectors influence the movement of pollen and can include environmental factors such as wind and water, but the main driver of pollination is the inadvertent work of animals such as bees, butterflies, bats, etc. These important workers are called pollinators and are just as important as pollination itself because without them, the process would never occur for most plants. Despite ecological and human reliance on pollinators, they are in rap-


The Brandeis Hoot

id decline largely due to human activity. The amount of locations where bumblebees can be found in North America and Europe has fallen 46 and 17 percent, respectively. This is largely due to climate change and widespread pesticide use, including herbicides that are used by Brandeis. Pollinators play an important ecological role. In fact, pollinators are so important that they are classified as keystone species because they are fundamental in keeping the ecosystem healthy. Without them, we face a plethora of major problems including climate change and food supply shortages. At least 75 percent and up to 95 percent of plants require the help of pollinators to transfer their genetic material in order to reproduce. These plants contribute to a majority of the fruits and vegetables that we eat (a third of the foods we eat are subject to pollinators’ work), half of the raw materials and natural oils, the reduction of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and the inhibition of soil erosion. All of these functions affect human life. Unfortunately, these pollinators are constantly threatened by human activities that have resulted

in the decline of pollinators’ populations. People have upset the ecosystems by replacing native vegetation with lawns, gardens and roads which have taken away the pollinators’ nesting and feeding habitats. In addition, climate change compounds the issue, affecting the pollinators’ relationship with the plants it is responsible for pollinating. Another way humans are hindering pollinators’ jobs is by using pesticides. Pesticides are chemicals used to deter pests such as rodents or insects and are an umbrella term for herbicides, insecticides and rodenticides. They are very effective and can be found nearly everywhere, but the overuse of pesticides is negatively affecting the population of pollinators. The situation seems dire, and it is. At Brandeis, for example, you can find pollinators such as the European wool carder bee and gray hairstreak butterfly hard at work. But, like pollinators all over the world, they face the threat of pesticide use and the removal of native plants and habitats. Brandeis acknowledges the benefits of pollinators for the biodiversity of campus and the importance of them for the eco-

system; in fact, they have planted two pollinator meadows to attract the ecologically crucial animals (most recently over the past summer near the Rose Art Museum). However, these efforts are greatly undermined by Brandeis’ use of herbicides. This is why our branch of Herbicide Free Campus is determined to work diligently to support these pollinators by reducing herbicide and fertilizer use at Brandeis and promoting pollinator-friendly habitats on campus. Currently, Brandeis uses a fertilizer/pesticide mix called Proscape Mesa, which contains many toxic chemicals that harm the environment and pollinators. For example, one ingredient—Dimethylamine salt of 2,4-D—has been proven to inhibit heart contractions in bees and negatively affect the development of bird eggs. Dithiopyr, another ingredient in Proscape Mesa, is also classified as toxic to bees. By replacing this herbicide with an organic herbicide, Brandeis would greatly improve the health and safety of our campus for students and pollinators alike. Additionally, by employing organic landcare principles to improve soil health,

Brandeis could greatly reduce the need for fertilizers. Another way to help pollinators is by planting pollinator-friendly vegetation. HFC wants Brandeis to replace their annual plants, which must be planted each season, with perennial and native plants, which regrow by themselves and do not require herbicides. A priority of HFC is planting host plants for pollinators to increase the biodiversity on campus. Examples of alternative plants include blue vervain, swamp milkweed and wild geranium. These plants would attract a slew of pollinators such as monarch butterflies and bumblebees. In addition, they are good candidates to plant easily because for the most part, they are shade tolerant, resistant to deer (which can be seen on campus often) and are pest free. If Brandeis would give up their use of the toxic herbicides and plant some of these alternatives, there would be the potential for a healthier ecosystem and student body. Besides, who wouldn’t want more butterflies on campus?

Burger King’s ghost pepper nuggets: a spicy disappointment By John Fornagiel and Sasha Skarboviychuk editors

For a limited time only you can get the “ghost pepper” nuggets at Burger King (right in time for Halloween). According to the Burger King website, the nuggets are “made with white meat chicken kicked up with fiery ghost pepper, our Ghost Pepper Chicken Nuggets are the perfect balance between flavor and heat.” The nuggets come in batches of four or eight, costing $1 and $1.49 plus tax, respectively. John After the miserable Ch’King spicy chicken sandwich, Burger King took a stab at spicy chicken nuggets in an attempt to redeem themselves. Being honest, the first thing that I thought of while staring into this nugget was “what the heck are those lightly-colored dots that are speckled throughout the nugget?” Now let’s dive right into our first bite. Definitely a lot crunchier than I would have initially ex-

pected from a nugget, I guess they really put heavy emphasis on the “crispy” in spicy crispy chicken huh? Maybe I am getting a bit desensitized from doing all of these spicy food reviews, but I really did not find the nuggets to be all that spicy. Even after shoving three of them into my mouth, I did not really feel the urge to grab some water, though I would be lying if I said I did not feel a little burn on my tongue. They really thought they were being cool by putting “ghost pepper” in the name of the nugget but it was just another disappointment in spice for me. I know this might conflict a little with Sasha’s point of view since she was over in the corner hogging the milkshake. As for how the chicken itself tasted, it’s funny but I don’t really recollect that much about how the chicken tasted, probably because my mouth was too busy dealing with the crunchiness to even think about how the chicken tasted. Or maybe there was just so much seasoning that my mouth couldn’t tell the difference. Who knows. Overall, I would give these nuggets a six out of 10. While I might

try these once in a while if I feel bored and want to spice things up a little bit (pun intended), I will probably just avoid these when going to Burger King. Considering I usually avoid Burger King in general, that probably means that I won’t be seeing these nuggets anytime soon. Sasha I did not have very high expectations for these nuggets. I think the regular Burger King chicken nuggets are quite gross, and usually fast food chains call anything with a gram of pepper “spicy.” The nuggets definitely look underwhelming; they are much smaller than the Wendy’s and McDonald’s nuggets. There was definitely a lot more “crust” than there was actual meat (in fact I didn’t taste the meat at all), they were probably 60 percent crust and 40 percent meat. I don’t know if that is a good thing, considering Burger King meat is sketchy at best. These were probably the spiciest fast food nuggets I have had; they didn’t make me cry, but I was definitely reaching for my milkshake very frequently. Of all the fast food

nuggets, I would say that these are the spiciest—well done Burger King! The portion of nuggets was definitely small, though for the price you pay for them, you can’t really expect much (John and I shared an eight-piece). Overall, the nuggets weren’t as bad as I expected. Would I buy them again? I would not go out of my way for them, but if I was getting Burger King for some reason, I would probably get them. I would rate them a 6.5 out of 10, but I have to say that they are my least favorite fast food nuggets. Though I do have to mention that when I sent a picture of the nugget to The Hoot’s Opinions Editor Thomas Pickering ’23, he said “it looks poisonous!” If you find yourself in a Burger King, I would also recommend checking out the “Chase Hudson Meal.” I have no idea who Chase Hudson is, but that man has taste. For $6 you get a Spicy Ch’King (with no vegetables, but with cheese and savory sauce; you can, however, customize it to make it “normal”), four mozzarella sticks and a chocolate milkshake. It is definitely the perfect meal. I could

not have come up with a better one myself. There are two other meals in the “Keep it Real Meals,” but I don’t think they are as exciting as this one. The “Cornell Haynes Jr. Meal” comes with a Whopper with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, mayo and ketchup, a small fry and a small sprite. The “Larissa Machado Meal” comes with an Impossible whopper with lettuce, tomato, pickles, mustard and ketchup, a small try and a small sprite. (See what I mean? Compared to the other two, the Hudson meal is superior). While some of these fast food restaurants are really going all out with trying to come up with new and innovative dishes to impress their customers, we feel that coming up with gimmicky “ghost pepper” nuggets won’t do the trick. Personally, we both feel that Burger King should keep coming up with meals like Chase Hudson’s, a super cheap meal that fills you up and satisfies your guilty cravings!

Ask SSIS Welcome back to the SSIS column, where we answer any and all of Brandeis students’ questions about sex, sexuality, identity, and relationships. If you have a question you’d like answered in our next column, email ssis@ or leave a question in the Google Form link on the Student Sexuality Information Service Facebook page. Any and all questions are welcome: there are no bad, stupid, or weird questions! (Note: These answers are good-faith attempts by SSIS to be helpful to the Brandeis community, and are by no means exhaustive or to be taken as universal. If these answers don’t resonate with you, either pay them no mind, or reach out to us with suggestions for improvement!)

By SSIS special to the hoot

What is the difference between an STD and an STI and tips on telling if a partner is becoming infected? Great question, and thanks for writing in! While these terms are often used interchangeably, there is a slight difference in the definitions. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that spread from one person to another through oral, vaginal or

anal sex that have progressed to the disease stage. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) mean the bacteria or virus has first entered the body and started multiplying. STDs are simply a more progressed version of an STI. STIs and STDs are very common, and while not all STDs and STIs are curable, they are all manageable. The term STI is often preferred over STD because the word “disease” carries stigma. This stigmatization of the word “disease” is often due to a lack of information, and can keep people from getting tested. The word “disease” is often

associated with clear symptoms of medical problems; however, many sexually transmitted diseases do not present themselves in an obvious manner. The word “infection” is used more often because sexually transmitted infections become diseases. STIs are much more common: 20 million people a year in the U.S. have STIs, with half of this number coming from people ages 15-24, according to the CDC. Many people who contract an STI will not experience symptoms, which is why destigmatization, safe sex practices and testing are essential. Getting test-

ed every six months for sexually active people can be vital for staying safe. Additionally, if you were potentially exposed, it is recommended to get tested three weeks after exposure. There are many types of STIs and being aware of them can help you care for your sexual health. One category of STI is viral STIs. Viral STIs are not curable but there are treatments available to manage the disease. Some examples of viral STIs are herpes, HPV, hepatitis B and HIV. The main treatment for viral STDs includes medication to help manage symp-

toms. The other main category of STI is bacterial STIs, and these are completely curable! Examples of bacterial STIs are chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and syphilis. The main treatments for bacterial STIs are antibiotics or ointments to cure the infection. Have fun with your partner, communicate clearly and know that being aware of STIs will help to keep you both healthy! We hope this helps, and as always, feel free to stop into our office for more information.


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October 15, 2021

Healthcare as a right By Abdel Achibat editor

Healthcare in America remains a contested debate across the aisle; a combination of private and public health insurance companies work towards ensuring access to healthcare to be unaffordable and highly strenuous yet there still is the perverse notion that the state ought not to carry the financial burden of providing coverage. While a portion of the population is able to get coverage off of their employers, this is not at all times completely inclusive to all health care facilities, and frequently there are limitations to what the health care coverage can actually cover for both costs and operations. Generally, this limitation greatly deters those who do not have full access as they end up having to narrow down what services they can get or what they are even able to afford. In contrast, most other developed countries have instituted universal health care programs in which taxes carry the burden of providing healthcare for the whole state. This includes prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and aftercare, all of which are susceptible to not being fully covered by the American healthcare system. Living in New York City as a first generation child of middle class immigrants, we were fortunate enough to be able to have medicare which covered the majority of costs for our healthcare needs. The problem that still persisted was an overworked public hospital system that was known, to us at least, as being inefficient and still costly if you ever needed specialized care. This pattern of inefficiency resulted as a product

By Thomas Pickering editor

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my version of Squid Game. Now although you will not be captured in your sleep and forced to play children’s games for money, you will be subject to my all-knowing will. Your fate for the week is bound in your willing participation in the process of how your fate will be determined. For this week I will be deciphering what the cosmos has in store for you through my playlist. I will click shuffle and based on the song title I will be able to tell you what to expect in the coming days. This is by no means a reflection of the music I listen to and if anyone has issues with my music then I can only tell you that it must be this way because Mercury is in retrograde (I do not even know if it is). Aries – “Reason to Stay” by Brett Young. Look, Aries, you are the best. No one else: you are number one. In fact, you are the only one on this campus and truthfully in this world that matters. No one knows that fact better than you do but maybe it is time to stop telling everyone about how you could have been in the Student Union but lost in a race to the write-in candidate “Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.” You need to give your friends a reason to stay with you and maybe the place to

of public hospitals existing in a capitalistic system where private hospitals and private health insurances harbor the money, resources and best access to care. The general notion is that us being within the poorer middle class we would not be able to depend on our local hospital for our healthcare needs as it would always take too long and in the long run open us up to having to pay extremely high prices for the specialized healthcare we sought after. Consequently, people in America are constantly having to struggle when it comes to receiving proper and affordable healthcare. Having health issues, whether preventable or not, is a huge strain on financial resources and the more dependable the health issue is on medical facilities and providers, the more costs and healthcare loops one has to pay for. Healthcare in itself is understood as a hassle, and a costly one. Contrastingly, France’s healthcare system is universal, meaning all people have access to the healthcare they need. The government largely controls the costs of healthcare and covers the majority of costs burdened onto patients. There exists lower prices for operations, medicines and treatments and the money that is paid by the patient is frequently paid back by government refunds. The majority of people in France understand their healthcare system as simple, easy to navigate and inherently affordable. This translates to people having close healthy relationships with going out to get healthcare in which they trust the system to be affordable and dependable. The process of reaching out to doctors, whether specialized or general, is simple and cuts through

the American system of having to make sure your health insurance covers whatever specific doctor or medical office you are trying to contact. The process to see a doctor, whether specialized or not, is a dependable one that does not have the American deterrent of extraordinarily high costs. Recently, due to an asthma attack, I had to endure the process many French people go through in order to receive healthcare. Finding healthcare was not difficult, I knew I had at least 3 options in getting treatment within the next 24 hours, and being an American without French citizenship I was surprised at how easy it was to even get a doctor’s appointment. I ultimately ended up choosing to go to the emergency room in which the process itself was simple. The expectation for French nationals is that they give their social security number or proof of health insurance, and the whole expense including price

for treatment, medicine and stay at the emergency room would be entirely covered for. Due to me not being a french citizen and not having my health insurance card on me, I have the responsibility of paying a whopping 30 euros (of which I still have not been billed for). This 30 euros included the treatment I received at the hospital, and even the prescription medicine and inhalers they had provided for me for my aftercare. The only extreme fault I have seen in this healthcare system is the length it had taken for care to finally be allotted to me. I was in the waiting room for three and a half hours in which I truly could not breathe properly and was extremely disappointed in the wait time. Upon asking some people here about what is normally a wait time at the hospitals, I have been told extremely long wait times are common and honestly to be expected. Ultimately, the price that is paid in this universal health-


Horoscopes – week of Oct. 17

start is by telling them about how you do not set a million alarms in the morning to wake yourself up like “those” roommates. Taurus – “Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen. Taurus, we all know you guys to be pretty chill dudes. You enjoy being surrounded by relaxing things, but reality is going to set in before you enter the metaphorical meat processor of life, which is really just a real meat processor. You will be forced to reflect on your past days and how you definitely peaked in high school. But hey, it will be a really cool reflection that will distract you from how far you are now from your peak. Gemini – “Uma Thurman” by Fall Out Boy. Gemini, in every sense of the word you are a Brandeisian. You are painfully involved on campus and always in a state of “about to have a panic attack but somehow postponing having a panic attack because you do not have the time for it with all that you do.” That is why this week we recommend that you take some time to yourself and do not go to the three thousand club meetings you have this week and just enjoy being with yourself and dance like Uma. Cancer - “Superheroes” by The Script. Cancer, you have a knack of being everywhere all at once. I do not mean physically necessarily so much as I mean why are you

care system is not the access to efficient high quality healthcare, as American capitalist defenders of our current healthcare system will say, but the length of time it can potentially take to receive it; an exchange I personally am ready to opt for if it means a more dependable healthcare system that I can trust to properly care for me at a free cost and ensure my own continued quality of life. The environment that has been set up by our American healthcare system is one completely plagued by capitalism, in which we have normalized our own access to capital to how worthy our lives are of receiving healthcare; this has seeped down to the ways we view our doctors, sick people, patients and what wealth and health means in manners we are not even aware of due to the capitalistic foggy lens we have all been forced upon.

in my freaking head all the time? What is with your compulsion to figure out if I am emotionally stable or not? I will tell you without you reading my body language, no I am not okay and no I do not want to talk about it. You are not my superhero but perhaps you could be… All it would take is for you to single handedly fix Lower so I can eat there again. Get on it champ! Leo – “Power” by Kanye West. You’re a king Leo, keep it up with all your power. Virgo – “Heart of Gold” by Neil Young. Virgo you are in it for the stuff. Do not be ashamed of yourself, but be honest with yourself. However, you definitely did not understand the assignment when a few students came down with an illness due to drinking brown water from G-zang because that led to you putting your mouth fully around the water fountain spigots. The University did not want to encourage students to be “unique” by coming down with an unknown illness and now you potentially have worse metals in your system to worry about than that “heart of gold” you keep saying you have. Libra – “Overwhelmed (Ryan Mack Remix)” by Ryan Mack. Libra, I understand how the world is supposed to be in some sort of balance in your eyes. Well, I do not know where you have been

but one of our freaking dining halls is now being serviced in a ballroom. Where were you? Why did you leave? See what happens when you leave for a weekend! The whole campus descends into chaos with only one dining hall. This week you are going to have to be fully present here and not become overwhelmed by this small ask from the universe: build a new dining hall by yourself. No need for Ikea instructions, the stars believe in you! Scorpio – “Fancy” by Reba McEntire. Scorpio, no one knows what you’re about and where you get all of your wild and crazy energy. Heck, you do not even know the answer to that question! It is almost as if the stars were aligned when picking this song because Reba had no idea what was going to happen to her. Was she going to find a guy and move out of her poor life or would she be left alone? She had a lot to figure out and I am here to tell you that this week is more a problem week than a solution week like Reba’s. But hey, at least you’ll know what the problem at hand is. Sagittarius – “Ride” by Twenty One Pilots. Sags, what is up? Can I call you Sags? I’m going to call you Sags. Look, it comes down to this Sags, you are always learning, aren’t you Sags, on the quest for knowledge or whatever you may call this journey. Sags, to

quote the all-wise Mr. Meseeks, “most importantly you just need to relax.” So, Sags, take it easy this week because it won’t be easy to learn when you find unhealthy amounts of mold in your dorm room. So get ready for the ride that you will take into the basement of Rosie for a week. Capricorn – “1812 Overture” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Capricorn, I don’t even know what to say. Just enjoy the 15-minute ride that is Tchaikovsky and buckle up; this week feels hectic. Aquarius – Spotify crashed when I went to find your song so interpret that as you will. It is my job to tell you the future based on the song, not on what happens when there is no song. Good luck! Pisces – “Big Time Rush” by Big Time Rush. Pisces, you get lost in the clouds and also in Massell Pond. It is a serious issue, Pisces, you need a visit to the BCC and the health center from how you are always daydreaming but are confronted by the reality that Massell pond waters are not as nice as the waters of Narnia. But no worries because you will be living it big time in the Boston Children’s bed you will be in after Rocky attacks you because you have been trespassing on his turf, or should I say surf.


October 15, 2021

The Brandeis Hoot 13

‘No Time to Die’ leaves you shaken, but sadly not stirred By Sam Finbury staff

Among the many movie franchises that have strung about through cinematic history, the James Bond series has always stood out for its self-contained identity. For decades, each film had been a stand alone feature, with the only throughline being James Bond and his pit crew at MI6. Even when James got married in 1969, Tracy Bond was immediately killed off and barely ever mentioned again. Because of this, Daniel Craig’s stint as Bond has been radical, with his films sporadically attempting to create an overarching story for the secret agent. “Quantum of Solace” ended up being an awkward tale of avenging Vesper Lynd’s death in “Casino Royale,” and 2015’s “Spectre” was a ham-fisted attempt to link all of Bond’s villains to a single over-hyped and underwhelming antagonist, Christoph Waltz’s cringe-inducing Blofeld. I’m not saying a Bond series with a greater story couldn’t work. I’m saying it didn’t, and when one entry in a series is piddling or weak, the next one is forced to take on the debts of its predecessor and pay them off with a smile. So here we have “No Time to Die” (NTTD), the sequel to the dead tooth of the Bond series that was “Spectre.” “NTTD” is saddled with resolving the tissue paper menace that was Blofeld and his organization, convincing us that Bond and Madeleine Swann are part of a whirlwind romance rather than an empty breeze of acquaintanceship, and on top of all

of that conclude Craig’s tenure as the super spy in worthy fashion. It’s an unenviable heap of tasks, but “NTTD” performs admirably, delivering some of the best Bond moments of any entry in recent memory. But while it succeeds in many areas, it falls short in equal measure, resulting in “NTTD” being the first truly middling film of the Craig Era. When we last left Bond, he had given up his life of espionage to elope with his newest true love, the endlessly bland Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux). As it turns out, their romance is short lived, as at the start of “NTTD,” an attempt on Bond’s life throws his trust in Madeleine into question, pushing him to callously abandon her. Years later, after a Russian scientist and his devastating DNA-detecting nanobots are stolen by the mysterious Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek), Bond is coerced back into the game to save the world one last time. On his last adventure, Bond butts heads with the new cocky 007 played by Lashanna Lynch, and finds himself at the center of a web of deceit surrounding Madeleine, MI6 and his fellow agents, in which the fates of millions hang in the balance. It’s a monumental plot that feels cut from classic Bond camp, but is rather unorthodox for Craig’s Bond, whose villain schemes have always been more grounded. Even the illuminati-esque Spectre only wanted to use CCTV to spy on people. “NTTD” has cell-killing Nanobots, a secret villain base on an island and an apocalyptic endgame, things which in recent years have felt more Mission Impossible’s game

than Bond’s. However, the series has picked these elements back up for its climax. While the effect isn’t always perfect (the nanobot threat is ridiculous past the point of being fun), they do make for a bombastic final act. Where “NTTD” excels is in being a proper spy flick as, for the first half of the movie, Bond is left mystified about who to trust, with constant revelations, double crosses and twists leaving the audience’s head spinning in the most exhilarating way. While the story doesn’t always hit its mark, the performances have more success. Rather than slumming it for one last check, Daniel Craig delivers his most evocative portrayal of Bond, running the gambit of emotions from rage to regret, and with his charm turned up to eleven and the knob twisted off. Remarkable too is Lea Seydoux’s reinvention of the character of Madeleine, transforming from the styrofoam peanut of charisma she was in Spectre, into an earnest, determined and passionate proper Bond girl, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Vesper. “NTTD” made me fully buy into her romance with Bond, which is impressive given how the portrayal of their relationship in the previous film was so lacklustre as to place them a mile behind the starting line with a bullet in their kneecap. Less impressive is Christoph Waltz’s return as Blofeld, whose brief appearance was just as clubfooted as ever, doing nothing to redeem his utter failure as a villain. But for all of Blofeld’s clownish smirking, he has nothing on the embarrassment that is Malek’s Safin. Malek speaks his

lines in an airy, day-dreamy fashion that gives off an impression of perpetual confusion, fitting for a villain whose place in the film is so muddled. Safin’s motive seems to switch every scene he features in, of which there are precious few, with him starting off wanting revenge on Spectre and Blofeld, to being in love with Madeleine, to wanting to eradicate half of humanity for megalomaniacle reasons I doubt even he understands. I suppose with a name as sledgehammer-subtle as Lyutsifer Safin, he’s not exactly going to start selling ice cream. Even so, Safin’s desires are so confounding, that as Bond’s final adversary, he comes off as woefully unsatisfying and nigh bi-polar. Bi-polar is how I would categorize this whole film, in fact. Half the time “NTTD” is an outstanding blockbuster, with

stand out performances, nail-biting set-pieces, gritty action and smarmy Bond oozing out of the film reel. The other half of the time, the scenes are goofy, the villains underwhelming and the story beyond understanding. It’s like a world renowned dancer giving a performance with a tack in one shoe, every other step is a stumble that drags the whole affair down. “NTTD” still puts “Spectre” and “Quantum of Solace” to shame by actually having salvageable aspects, but it is painfully good, enjoyable until you remember this is the last hurrah of Craig’s decade-long role as our Bond. Sometimes it’s satisfying and sometimes it’s infuriating. “NTTD” was going to be a bittersweet ending to the Craig era no matter what. I only wish the sweet could drown out the bitter.


Marvel’s ‘What If’: a refreshing take on Marvel Stories By Josh Lannon staff

The newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) takes the characters we know from the films outside of the MCU and into the Marvel cinematic multiverse. Each episode of this series takes place in a different universe, where one alternate event leads to an entirely different outcome for that universe. The series also offers some great references to the Marvel comics. As someone who has been recently suffering from Marvel fatigue, a condition derived from being overloaded with mainstream Marvel material, I found the “What If ” series a refreshing breather from the main MCU continuity. I read a few of the old “What If ” comics, the series the TV show is based on. These stories were told from the perspective of the Watcher, a godlike being sworn to watch the events of the universe, but never intervene. Each issue of the comic proposed a question that began with “what if...” For example, there were issues like “What if Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four?” or “What if the invisible girl of the Fantastic Four married the Sub-Mariner?” These what-if scenarios were usually things that would drastically change certain characters and therefore were stories that could not be told in the main continuity.

But the fact that these characters were not canonical means that the writers had free reign to take these stories in new and exciting directions and ask increasingly amazing what if scenarios. The MCU’s take on “What If ’’ shares a lot with its comic book counterpart. The series is narrated by the Watcher, who in the MCU watches over the multiverse. Like in the comic, the watcher is sworn not to interfere as he views the often tragic events of the many universes he views. Each episode takes place in the MCU, but always with a slight change. The first episode follows the plot of “Captain America: The First Avenger,” but instead of skinny Steve Rogers undergoing the process that would make him Captain America, his love interest Peggy Carter becomes the Super Soldier. This first episode is a perfect example of how a “What If ” scenario should be applied in the MCU. For the most part, the episode follows the events of the film it is based on. However, it doesn’t simply repeat the beats of the film; the show actually takes into account what huge changes would happen to the timeline if Steve Rogers wasn’t Captain America. In a clever reversal of their usual dynamic, the episode ends with Carter in the future and missing her dance with Steve instead of the other way around. This episode takes characters and stories we already know and adds new elements that make it familiar but

refreshingly different. Some episodes, on the other hand, take a different approach. For example, the episode “What if Zombies” goes very off book by having Bruce Banner return to earth as he did in “Avengers: Infinity War,” only to find out that most of earth has succumbed to a zombie outbreak. The episode is clearly a reference to “Marvel Zombies,” a comic book series with a similar undead premise. In the episode, the zombie infection begins during the events of “Antman and the Wasp,” when Hank Pym goes to the quantum realm to find his wife Janet. She has been infected by a quantum virus and infects Hank. As the contagion spreads it quickly infects the Avengers and turns earth’s mightiest heroes into earth’s mightiest monsters. The result is the few remaining heroes having to race to find a cure. This is a storyline that could have worked in the mainstream MCU and shows how the “What If ” series can encourage unique and captivating stories within the MCU but without the limitations of being a part of a greater narrative. In a sense, we don’t have to worry about how this story will affect the greater MCU, we can just sit back and watch the Hulk fight zombies. The absolute highlights of this series are the final two episodes. The first shows us a universe where Ultron defeated the Avengers and then gained the infinity stones. As a result the newly god-

like Ultron is able to shatter the boundaries of the multiverse and threaten the very Watcher who is telling the story. This leads to the final episode where the Watcher must break his vow to not interfere. As a comic book fan I found this moment amazing. The idea that the Watcher would break his vow is simply astounding. However, I was a trifle disappointed that when the Watcher, who is a cosmic entity, fought Ultron, it resulted in a visually spectacular fight, but ultimately came down to punching each other really hard. The final episode more than makes up for the first fight, when the Watcher gathers characters from each of the previous episodes in order to fight Ultron. This was a clever way to connect all the episodes together in a manner that made sense themat-

ically; however, like many parts of the MCU, I would not recommend thinking about the show’s internal logic too much and just enjoy it for what it is. Marvel’s “What If ’’ tells new stories with characters we know and love. The very nature of the show encourages unique and innovative stories that turn the worlds we know upside down. The show more than lives up to its premise and pays proper homage to its source material through its alternate takes on what might have happened in the MCU. After “Avengers: Endgame,” I was stuffed with Marvel content, but this series served as a nice palate cleanser that reinvigorated my love for the Marvel Cinematic Universe or, I guess, now the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse.



The Brandeis Hoot

October 15, 2021

Keeping up with ‘Saturday Night Live’ special to the hoot

Live from New York it’s … Kim Kardashian West! On Oct. 9, “Saturday Night Live,” the hit sketch comedy show, was hosted by reality television star, influencer and billionaire Kim Kardashian West. She does not exactly have acting or comedic experience, so wary expectations were the general reaction when her show was first announced. While this episode may not be classified as the greatest of all time, there were some laughs and excitement during the show. She started her night with a monologue, as is tradition. Surprisingly, she had remarkable comedic timing. She made teasing remarks about her family, her career and her history. “You want me to host? Why? I haven’t had a movie premiere in a really long time. I actually had that one movie come out, and nobody even told me it was premiering,” she quipped. She was able to make fun of herself and have a sense of

humor about her life story. That was what made the monologue very funny and better than one might expect. That being said, the true test of comedy would come when she had to act in the sketches. Her first sketch was a spoof on the movie Aladdin, with her playing Jasmine and Pete Davidson playing Aladdin. The joke played up the fact of Jasmine being far more richer and having a higher status than Aladdin, as if Jasmine was a representation of Kardashian herself. The sketch had a few laughs, but nothing extraordinary. It is possible the whole sketch was a ploy for Davidson to get an excuse to kiss Kardashian West. Next up came the first pretape of the night with Kardashian West, Cecily Strong, Ego Nwodim and Punkie Johnson: a fun music video about what it is like to be a thirty-something woman going to the club, where naps happen more often, heels are harder to walk in and traffic is more of a concern. This was a charming sketch and it was very amusing and enjoyable. Next sketch up was a stupidly humorous sketch about lottery

numbers. Kardashian and Strong played two women calling out the winning lotto numbers during the local news. What started out with normal numbers continued on with items like meatballs and car keys being called out as the numbers. It was the type of timeless humor that you just have to laugh at. It was one of the highlights of the night for me. It was a sketch with simply funny jokes that did not have to try hard. Up next was a pre-tape with Kardashian West and Aidy Bryant. Kardashian West wants to know what it is like to live a normal life, and Bryant wants to know what it is like to be so cool and ultra famous. Ergo, they decide to switch bodies. With fun little jokes about each other’s lives and hilarious reactions from both of them, this was definitely a fun sketch. With special guest appearances from Kardashian West’s sister Khloe Kardashian and her mom Kris Jenner, this was a unique sketch that had a lot of laughs baked into it. Up next came a bachelorette parody called “The Dream Guy” where Kardashian West had

to pick her dream guy out of a group. This happened to be a particularly star studded group. With Blake Griffin, Chase Crawford, Chris Rock, Jesse Williams, John Cena and Tyler Cameron, featuring a special appearance by Amy Schumer, SNL pulled out all the stops for the cast of this sketch. This, unfortunately, did not lead to a funny sketch. Among the lineup of guys was cast member Kyle Mooney, playing the dorkish Zeke, who was supposed to be so obviously beneath all of these other men. The whole sketch centered around this one joke, so eventually the joke fell flat. There were some cute jokes in the sketch, but overall, there was nothing particularly special about it. SNL had the ability to get all of these celebrities, and it seemed they did not know where to go from there. In the spirit of parody, Kardashian West did a sketch where she did an impression of her sister Kourtney Kardashian, as if she were a judge in “The People’s Kourt.” The premise of the sketch was that Kourtney was supposed

to be solving problems in her family in a sketch that playfully teased the Kardashians and their catty lifestyles. With Kris and Khloe showing up once again, this was a fun sketch that made laugh-worthy jokes about the Kardashians. To close off the night, Kardashian West did a fake commercial for her new shapewear line, Skims. The joke of this sketch is that there is shapewear being made for big dogs. With various cast members holding cute dogs wearing dog-sized shapewear, it was definitely a cute sketch with a cute joke. This could have been a cheeky way for Kardashian West to remind people that she does have a shapewear line, but even so, this sketch was a fun idea and caused a few laughs. For someone who is not known for their comedy, Kardashian West did a great job at holding her own. She had excellent timing, was able to make fun of herself and she meshed well with the other cast members. While not every sketch was amazing, this was an overall delightful episode with quite a few laughs and some memorable moments.

‘Homegrown Sprouts:’ the homegrown, refreshing album By Caroline O editor

Released by Brandeis University’s very own April Ginns ’21 and Maya Kattler-Gold ’21 (vocals), Chami Lamelas ’22 (guitar) and Sam Stern ’20 (drums), the album “Homegrown Sprouts” is composed of hopeful songs that mesh well with the overall mood of 2021 thus far. This album features an impressive range of sounds, from the ambient laughter in the background of some tracks to the smooth guitar, drums and synth. In just the span of 25 minutes, this album provides and invokes a mix of confusion and relief in reflecting the past year. Perhaps no song really captures this overall mood more than the opening track “2020,” which is one of my favorites. The song opens with quiet vocals, as though

one’s listening to someone singing from the room over. If you’ve ever lain awake listening to your friend quietly hum to something because they’re afraid to disturb others, then you’ll know what I’m talking about. The vocals are comforting in this sense though, and they’re fitting with reflective and conflicted lyrics like “in some way, it’s reassuring to know there’s bigger than your own” and “you know that I’ve been hurting … just take my genuine human connection to go.” Appropriately titled after the year 2020 itself, this opening track sets a solid mood for the overall tone of the album, speaking to both the tentative uncertainty that comes with some form of settling after an unstable time. Another favorite of this album is “California Song,” which revolves around memories of living in a place that you might not re-

ally like, but the company makes things at least a little worth it. Because of these complicated feelings, this song makes for a compelling and bittersweet mix of nostalgia and longing. The dreamy synths and the guitar in the background evoke images of walking near the ocean, just as the lyrics recall, “sometimes I smell the salt of the bay, and it reminds me of that day.” The instrumentals are notably constant during this whole song, almost as though the artist themselves are still caught in a loop of their California memories, culminating into the final lyric: “all I really want is to get the hell out of California.” The continuing loop of instrumentals eventually fades, and the little note at the end—a short twang of a guitar—concludes the song abruptly, but in a way that is reminiscent of someone deciding that there is now no longer a story

worth discussing in these memories. “Homegrown Sprouts’’ concludes with another short number, this one called “A Letter to You,” which is a happy-sounding piece, all the while capturing the very familiar clutter of thoughts that comes with entering a new phase of life. Accompanied by ukulele and cello, there’s something cheerful but also just a little bit rambly about this piece, but the ramble only adds onto the overall charm of the song. With relatable lyrics like “you’re stuck down south in Florida, and I’m stuck in my bed” and “my whole existence, a concept based off a book I just read,” this song is full of quirky quips that make the listener feel like they’re catching up with an old friend. While the risk with certain types of rambly-esque songs is that they can seem a bit repetitive or long-winded, this

more rushed, scatterbrained nature of the lyrics eventually slows into a sweet ending: “I’m yours either way.” This more confident sound is a nice contrast to the tentative opening track, adding a much more cohesive and sophisticated feel to the album as a whole. Overall, just as this song is a lovely way to bookend the album, this album is a lovely way to bookend the last few months of 2021. There are definitely nods and allusions to the frustrations that come with the frozen year that was 2020 and early 2021, and while the album doesn’t shy away from all those complicated feelings, it still looks forward to brighter, hopefully happier days ahead—which, honestly, sounds like a good plan.

A conversation with HappyHappy: a DIY musician you should listen to By Lucy Fay staff

HappyHappy (she/they), who is also known as Eve, is an Indiana-based musician who has released eight full-length albums in the last six years and has 5600 monthly listeners on Spotify. She describes herself as “folk punk adjacent,” but notes that none of her recent albums really fall into the same genre. They vary based on what she is listening to, which can be anything from hyper pop to ska to electronic music. Eve describes her songs as “emotionally vulnerable,” with lyrics discussing meaningful things that happened in her life, from people she feuded with in college to her stay at a psych ward. Eve’s music is completely DIY, meaning she does all of her own music production. “My family got a Mac when I was really young and there was GarageBand on it,

and I wasn’t allowed to play video games or anything like that, so I would play with the GarageBand, and got into music production and never really stopped doing it. And I ended up majoring in sound design.” Since her music rarely comes from a positive headspace, Eve said everything after writing and recording is the most fun. She plays a wide range of instruments, but guitar and vocals are featured most prominently in her songs. After releasing two albums in the last year, HappyHappy’s music production has slowed. “I’ve started to realize ... it’s like a weird hyperfixation that I leave and then come back to, where like I’ll leave it alone for a while and then all of a sudden I have one song idea, and then I’ll bust out like twelve songs in a month, and then I’m like alright I’m done for the year … I’ll write a whole album in winter and then I’ll release it in spring, so I’m kinda waiting for

that to happen.” Music also is not Eve’s primary job, nor does she plan on ever becoming a full-time touring musician. She noted she is not the biggest fan of concerts in general and feels that doing it professionally would be too much stress: “I’ve been on tour a little bit and it just wore me down. Like, it took me a year to recover from it.” Eve may not have the biggest following, but she still is not sure how people find her in the first place. “I have no idea [how people find my music], I have no idea where they came from or how they find it.” When I asked her how she would react if she went viral, HappyHappy told me, “I would think it was really cool. I would be really excited, that would be really funny. Just cause like people don’t really expect anything from you when a song goes viral, like I feel like I have all the material there to let a song go viral and just kinda let it sit, where people can be like ‘oh wow there’s

other songs there too’ and like I wouldn’t really have to do much with it.” Still, as her music stands now, she said, “It’s bigger than I want it to be... it’s weird. I think everyone can kinda tell, I mean I’m never really on social media, I never play shows really.” She likes when fans reach out to her and always appreciates questions about her lyrics, but for the most part, Eve is the most comfortable in the shadows. I feel extremely lucky that I got to talk to Eve as she is one of my favorite musicians and has been for the last two years. I found her through “Overreaction” and “Father” being recommended to me on Spotify. While it is hard to pinpoint what exactly makes any musician good or worth listening to, there’s something about Eve’s lyrics that sticks with me. The way she talks about her mental health, or addiction, or experiencing toxic relationships feels so honest and blunt. Her music is relatable

and emotional even if you have never been in her situation. Her switching of genres and aesthetics from album to album also serves to make her music more compelling. Songs do not blur together or become repetitive, they all tell their own individual stories. The fact that Eve’s monthly listeners keep growing based on nothing but her music should speak for itself. Her music is unique, entertaining, sad, angry and beautiful and more people should give it a try. Eve’s personal recommendations for people just discovering her music are “Once a Loser Always a Loser” and “A Few Thoughts Moments Before I Fender Bender.” While she is not currently writing new music nor does she have any planned tour dates, a new album or a short tour seem likely sometime next year.

October 15, 2021


The Brandeis Hoot

‘There’s Someone Inside Your House’ is rather unremarkable By Emma Lichtenstein editor

Stephanie Perkins was one of my favorite young adult romance authors growing up, so I was incredibly disappointed when she switched to the horror genre. I’ve never been a fan of horror, but because I loved Perkins, I decided to give the book a chance. When I read “There’s Someone Inside Your House,” I was terribly underwhelmed and, honestly, confused. So, you can imagine my surprise when Netflix adapted it into a movie. The movie adaptation of “There’s Someone Inside Your House” is much stronger than the book, but even still it falls a little flat. “There’s Someone Inside Your House” follows Makani (Sydney Park), a high school student running from a mysterious past in her home state of Hawai’i. She moves to the Midwest to get away from her scandal back home, hoping to start a new life. It mostly works; she has a great group of friends and a secret boyfriend. It all blows up when a mysterious killer starts breaking into people’s houses, exposing their secrets and then brutally murdering them. I enjoyed the serial killer plot in the movie much more than I did in the book. None of the murders in the book seemed particularly scary, and I was often bored in

the scenes that were supposed to be the most intense—like when the killer goes after Makani. The movie handles this type of scene really well, making good use of all the cinematic elements available with the medium. The sounds in the background—whether it be the unnerving music or the panting breaths of people running for their lives—really help to set the mood and pull a viewer deeper into the plot of the film. One particularly nice moment is when Makani is running through the high school. When the presumed killer pulls up, there’s quiet, ominous low brass music playing in the background, which stops when she enters the school. From there, it’s dead silent save for the sound of her breath, her rapid footfalls and the squelch of a knife entering a human body. One scene that didn’t sit well with me was the second murder, of Katie (Sarah Dugdale), the president of the Student Council. Her secret was that she was a white supremacist who made an anonymous podcast explaining why white people were better than people of color. Sure, it’s plausible that a rich, white, very religious Christian girl in the Midwest would be racist—but there’s no critical commentary on race in the entire rest of the movie, aside from offhand remarks at the police station that cops treat people differently based on their skin

color. It honestly felt like a ploy to try to appeal to the younger generation, but it fell really flat. It’s uncomfortable, but not in the way it’s supposed to be. I’m sure it was meant to try to prove that racism is bad—truly something no filmmaker has ever done before—but it doesn’t fit in with the rest of the plot, and the execution is overall bad. I don’t remember this part from the book, so either it was so forgettable in the novel due to lack of relevance or it was a new concept added to the movie to try to make it more politically relevant. Either way, not sure a horror movie about an angsty teen serial killer was the place for that. Overall, the plot just feels really rushed. One of my biggest gripes with the book is that each character felt really two-dimensional; they all existed for the purpose of (almost) dying. The movie has the same issue. The characters feel a little more real—as we can see faces instead of just words on a page—but they are still pretty bland. Caleb (Burkley Duffield), the football player who miraculously becomes friends with Makani’s friend group with no structure showing how he fits in, has no other personality traits than playing football and liking men. Almost every time someone talks about him, it’s to mention that he’s gay. The movie doesn’t even pretend to handle homopho-

bia, so these comments just feel increasingly out of place. Ollie (Théodore Pellerin), Makani’s secret boyfriend, has no personality other than looking suspicious. We get to find out a little bit about his tragic backstory, but I honestly couldn’t tell you a single fun fact about the guy. Alex (Asjha Cooper), Makani’s best friend, does little more than look pretty and complain. While some of her complaints could be important and make a statement, like being treated differently due to her being a Black girl in a racist area, we never actually see this moment come to life. It’s more performative words in a script that does not address racism at all. That being said, I imagine it

conforms to horror tropes pretty well. As mentioned earlier, the actual serial killer scenes are impressive and nerve-wracking. Makani also has a great “final girl” moment as she tracks the serial killer. In classic high school movie fashion, the film ends at graduation, with a sea of smiling teens. “There’s Someone Inside Your House,” both in book and film, is rather unremarkable. The plot is forgettable, the characters are two-dimensional and nothing new is brought to the table. But it’s October, the season of scary movies. I wouldn’t put this at the top of your list, but there are definitely worse ways to kill an hour and a half.


‘Maid’ conveys trauma and struggle in an authentically real way By Anya Lance-Chacko editor

I’ve been wanting to find a film or show that goes beyond the hard stories until people actually are able to recover and undo the trauma in their familial history instead of continuing it, and “Maid” did exactly that. The moment I started watching it was all I could talk about because everything from the characters to the cinematography to the arc of the story was so incredibly engulfing. The characters were so complex that they felt like people you knew and understood, not just some archetype of a 2D human you want them to be. Molly Smith Metzler, the creator, said it herself in a Mashable interview: “I wanted to tell the truth about abuse, I wanted the audience to understand and have empathy for Sean. How he is not one thing, he is not a mustache-twirling villain, he is the product of being a child of an addict, being around abuse himself. When we grow up in that it’s normalized, it’s all we know … We inherit these things, they’re in our bones, it’s subconscious, it’s who we’re attracted to, it’s a very hard cycle to break.” There are so many films that portray mental illness, abuse and struggle, but it seems like even the best shows rarely get to the root of it for the sake of forward narrative progression. But in the real world, oftentimes the only way to begin living your best life is to take a step back into the dark trenches of trauma and recognize them for what they were so that you can move forward. One of the most beautiful elements about “Maid” in relation to this was how characteristical-

ly distinct the sense of place was, and how that grew out from the realness of Alex’s (Margaret Qualley) painful experiences. The creators had such a powerful way of conveying trauma and patterns through locations, as we saw the pattern of closed cupboards affecting Alex and eventually her daughter based on her past. Although painful, that sense of place made things the most real. We later saw her physically get engulfed by her sofa as her abusive boyfriend came in and out of the house and she remained in a dissociative/depressive episode. Later the show cut to her in a deep pit of vines, with powerful but dark imagery. This allowed the viewer to further emphasize with the characters on screen that is so often difficult to convey through dialogue alone. Everything was so powerful, and so incredibly real, even if it was metaphorical. So often we see characters on a screen and we imagine these made-up people as one thing or another, but that’s so distant from reality. “Maid” shatters this concept completely through the immersive acting and cinematography as well as the incredible writing. The characters aren’t characters but human beings that the audience can sympathize with. There’s no villain, just hurt people who hurt people. Whether it’s the stuck up employer with a troubling personal life who goes from belittling to helping Alex, Alex’s troubled mother (Andie MacDowell) who’s been through so much but is stuck in a pattern of abusive and unstable relationships, Sean (Nick Robinson), who is abusive and manipulative but was abused and neglected his whole life or Nate (Raymond Ablack), the prospective lover who

could easily be the hero of Alex’s story when he provides her with a house and food and an education for her child, but lets jealousy take over and throws Alex to the curb the moment the prospect of sleeping with her vanishes. Or Danielle (Aimee Carrero), who also was an influential figure in Alex’s journey to recognizing her abuse for what it was, but ended up returning to the abusive relationship she was in herself. Or Alex herself, who makes bad decisions and repeats them, but it’s because it’s the only thing she knows. The reality of life isn’t happy endings and perfect relationships, but the fact that people accept the love that’s familiar, and that they feel they deserve. The world isn’t made up of rights and wrongs or good peo-

ple and bad people, but a whole mess of broken people who often end up accepting to continue to be hurt or hurt other people because it’s what they know, and it’s how so many people who grew up in traumatic households learned to survive. So many developing brains end up being subjected to so much so early, and that sort of hurt can get hardwired into people’s systems and the connections they form later in life. As the final episode communicated so eloquently, sometimes no matter how much we care, no matter how much we love, no matter how much we want to hold on, in the end in this broken world you have to follow the past that is best for yourself. Alex tried with all her might to bring her moth-

er out of her pattern of accepting domestically abusive relationships in her life, but in the end, Alex had to choose her own path. She worked with every ounce she had and started something new and purely hers. She went on to get an education and develop her incredible skill of writing, protected her daughter and brought her on the new journey of change. She finally broke the pattern that had existed within her family and chose what was best for her and her kid. Sometimes it takes the caring of other people to finally make healthy choices in our own lives. In the end, there isn’t much more you can do but do your best to help other people within the context of boundaries that allow you to protect yourself.



The Brandeis Hoot

By Stewart Huang editor

We’ve all heard of this classic card game and the hit anime show, but not a lot of people know how to play it, so let me give you the basics. Overview First, you and your opponent have to decide who goes first. You can do this by rock paper scissors, rolling dice or some other method you’ve agreed upon. You both start out with eight thousand Life Points and draw five cards from your deck with the win condition being to reduce the opposing side’s life point to zero. You do this by attacking them with your “Monsters” or via card “effects” (what the cards say they do are their effects). A deck must have 40 to 60 cards. There are six “phases” in a player’s turn: Draw Phase (DP), Standby Phase (SP), Main Phase (MP), Battle Phase (BP), Main Phase 2 (MP2) and End Phase (EP). Do not be disturbed by all these terms because all you need to know right now are DP, MP and BP. You enter a phase by declaring it. A player enters DP at the beginning of their turn, where they must draw a card. MP is when you are able to play the majority of your cards. BP is when you can attack your opponent’s monster or your opponent. Since going

By The Brandeis Hoot Sasha Skarboviychuk: When it comes to studying, the best background noise is silence. But in cases when my roommates or anything else in my surroundings is making noise, I opt for classical music. My big thing with this is that the music I listen to while studying cannot have lyrics; if the song has lyrics then I will be focusing on them, not whatever I am trying to do. The type of music largely depends on my mood. If I am studying something boring or if I am just tired, I’ll go for something more upbeat and energetic, though my general preference is definitely slower, calmer music, especially just piano, but that’s a no-go if I am studying a dry topic. Youtube has some great selections, some of which can be over three hours long (and some of them don’t even have ads). Next time you’re trying to study with music on, try something without lyrics: it really does help you focus. Stewart Huang: Try Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor. A simple search on Youtube

October 15, 2021

Yu-Gi-Oh! 101

first is a huge advantage, the player going first cannot draw during DP and they cannot conduct BP. Monsters can attack the turn they are summoned, but they cannot attack the opponent if they also have monsters on the field. Monsters with higher attack points will destroy one with a lower attack in battle, and the difference between these attack points will be inflicted as “battle damage” to the losing side’s Life Points. Card types There are three types of cards in this game: Monsters, Spells and Traps. Each type has their own subtypes, but you will stop reading this article if I spell them all out. The basic idea is as follows: Monsters: These are the minions you control to do battle with your opponent, such as the famous “Dark Magician” and “Blue Eyes White Dragon.” Monsters have levels ranging from one to 12, but you can only play monsters with level one to four straight away without cost—this is called a Normal Summon. For other monsters, you will need to “tribute” monsters that you’ve summoned before as cost—this is called a Tribute Summon. You can only choose to perform, only once per turn, either one type of summoning and not the other. However, there is another type of summoning called Special Summoning, which can be performed as many times as possible. You do

so by meeting specific requirements listed by certain cards, an example of which is “Cyber Dragon”: it can be Special Summoned from your hand if only your opponent controls at least one monster. Spells: These are nifty tools to help you advance your own game state or impede your opponent’s. For example, “Monster Reborn” lets you revive you or your opponent’s monster. There’s no restriction on how many Spells you can play per turn as long as you meet their requirements for activation. Traps: These are disruptive traps that prevent your opponent from making plays. They have to be set face down on the field (meaning the back of the card will be facing up) for a turn before they can be activated. They are generally meant to be activated on your opponent’s turn, and a lot of them have very powerful effects, such as “Mirror Force,” which destroys all monsters in attack position when your opponent declares an attack. Like Spells, there are no restrictions on how many traps can be activated per turn provided you have fulfilled the requirements, though you are limited by how much space you have on your back row. As you can see from the image here, each player occupies a 5x2 grid, with some other zones that you don’t need to worry about right now. You place monsters on

the front row of the grid, while the back row is for spells and traps. Monsters that are destroyed by battle, card effects or used as summoning fodder as well as Spells and Traps that have been activated go to the Graveyard, located above the deck zone on the right. There are exceptions but I won’t go into them here. On the left of the game field is the Extra Deck, which is where you can summon various types of Monsters. The most straightforward type are the Fusion Monsters, which are summoned by fusing two or more monsters using specific spell cards. Monsters from the Extra Deck are very powerful and consistent because you can summon them straight from the Extra Deck as long as you meet the summoning requirements— you don’t have to worry about whether you’ll draw into them or not from your deck, which is really called the Main Deck. Understanding card effects Yu-Gi-Oh!’s card text is notoriously long-winded and complicated since the game has evolved over the years. Though they are written with a formal system called “Problem-Solving Card Text,” designed specifically to avoid confusion. The specific punctuation and terms that are used always mean the same thing, so you should know exactly what a card does if you understand the system. For example, if a card

doesn’t have “target” in its text, then its effect is not a targeting effect. Though you shouldn’t worry about looking up this formal system because a lot of the card texts should already be reasonably clear to you, now that I’ve provided you with some basic terms (ones that are capitalized). Note that some of them are abbreviated: Life Points becomes LP and Graveyard becomes GY. The best thing about Yu-Gi-Oh! card effects, though a not so good thing for beginners, is that a lot of them bend the basic rules that I’ve just described. Some cards allow you to Normal Summon more than once per turn, for example. When you encounter these cards, always remember that card effects trump the game rules. Conclusion For accessibility and brevity’s sake, there is a lot of detail that’s left out of this introduction. You’ll have to learn the more intricate details as you play, which is the best way to learn, so I recommend that you have a friend teach you along the way. If not, a good way to start out is download the mobile version called “Duel Links.” It has different rules but the basics are still there and teaches new players very well. Good luck, and SOMEONE PLEASE PLAY WITH ME!

should do it. This is a 26-minute long piece with four movements. When I write my papers, I don’t listen to a playlist or switch songs—that’s too distracting. Instead, I keep one song on a loop and have it on for hours, which is perfect for this piece. As you would expect with Mozart, each movement is ingenious in how the main musical phrases are developed over time, and having the piece on a loop makes sure you can appreciate all the fine details. It’s pure satisfaction that makes you go in a trance. This is one of the few sublime works of art that you must not miss out on. Emma Lichtenstein: The best study music is the “How to Train Your Dragon” soundtrack. I’m sure you’ll be skeptical; I was too at first. I only ever listened to it because I played it in band, but I was blown away by how exceptionally good this score was. I’ve always been a fan of low brass, and much of this score revolves around higher instruments, but the melodies are so beautiful that I find myself appreciating instruments like trumpets and bagpipes for the first time in my life. Of course, the French horn is nicely featured throughout the album. And don’t

get me wrong, the low brass moments are stellar too. A lot of this soundtrack feels like a Viking battle cry, as the main characters in the movie are Vikings and dragons. However, the tracks—especially in tempo—helps me drive to work harder and faster, as if conquering my finance problem set is my own version of a deadly battle. My favorite tracks are the powerful “This is Berk” and enchanting “Romantic Flight.” For when you want to be the main character in your study session, the “How to Train Your Dragon” soundtrack is the way to go. Lucy Fay: The soundtrack to the Adult Swim show “Joe Pera Talks With You” is the best music for midterms. Not only does it help me keep focus with its soft repetitive piano, but the headspace the melancholy music puts me into has genuinely improved my work, as well as allowed me to control my frustration and stress that occurs all too often when I have a large workload. The music engulfs you with its comforting positivity and makes you want to create something beautiful and believe in yourself. It’s not boring, the songs do not have jarring stops and starts that take you out

of your state of focus and when you are done with your work, the soundtrack to “Joe Pera Talks With You” leaves you feeling quite serene. Plus, if you like the music, there is a wonderful show with 22 eleven-minute long episodes waiting to uplift you. Daniel Xu: Playboi Carti’s self-titled album, “Playboi Carti,” is what I’ve had on repeat while studying recently. While there are bangers in the tracklist, most of the album can be classified as chill or even ambient hip hop which is great for hip hop fans looking to get some work done. The songs that exemplify this quality the most are “Location,” “Let It Go” and “Yah Mean.” The simple, laidback lyrics won’t get in the way of your work, while the creative instrumentals stimulate the brain. The cohesive relationship between the beat and the vocals is what makes the album so appealing to me. If this album resonates with you and you enjoy Carti’s sound, listening to his 2018 album “Die Lit” would be the next step. Caroline O: After a long, hard day that requires yet another tiring study session, I automatically turn to the “Miss Hammurabi” OST. Not only is “Miss Hammurabi” a

brilliant Korean drama about the legal system, but this soundtrack is full of hopeful tracks which all feel like someone’s cheering for you from the sidelines or sitting with you as a studying companion. A personal favorite is “Someday, Somehow:” with its steady drums and guitar, as well as comforting lyrics like “it’s alright … it will all be fine someday,” it’s impossible to not at least feel a little encouraged into opening up your notebook again. There are also some lovely instrumental pieces, all of them ranging between the hectic, cheerful clickety-clack of “The Typewriter” to keep you company during your 2 a.m. essay-writing session or the gentle piano and guitar of “Book Store” to sit with you in your reflections about why the heck you started studying what you’re studying in the first place. In the end, though, it doesn’t matter if you listen to the lyrical or instrumental songs of this soundtrack—either way, I guarantee you’ll feel both assured and confident in taking on your next academic challenge.

‘Campus Life’ Comic

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