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the VOL. 7, ISSUE 8

fig. 2­

frog

fly

fig. 3­

fig. 4­

dead livestock

hail

ILLUSTRATIONS BY MARGARET RHODES

fig. 1­

fig. 5­

locust

THE eleventh PLAGUE What swine flu means for Northwestern

02

god only knows

fig. 6­

swine

03

he’s a soul man

08

WRITING IN CURSIVE


2

02.25.10

THE WEEKLY MEMO

SURVEY IN NORRIS

Remember when swine flu was all the rage and kids just couldn’t get enough? Even though it doesn’t capture the headlines, it’s still an issue: only recently did WHO declare the pandemic to not be a risk any more, leaving us free to take off our face masks and fully coordinate our outfits for all those Greek formals we’re going to. But you can still get sick and find yourself totally sidelined for the rest of the quarter, which is why Megan Crepeau gives us the low down about swine flu at Northwestern, dorm quarantine and all. You’ll be able to share your drink with a clear conscience after all, and don’t fear, “I’ve got the swine” is still a totally appropriate excuse to give when someone is trying to make out with you. Samantha Leal talks to Tim Kasher of Cursive, who’s in town this weekend with Alkaline Trio in a throwback to our high school years, assistant editor Margaret Rhodes writes up the best regional delicacies for our Culinary Breakdown and Era Dykhne explores the lives of Muslim students at NU. Meanwhile an interview with comedian Tom Green will be up on our Web site tomorrow, courtesy of Sarah Spielberger. Join our Facebook fan page! We finally have as many fans as there are Pokémon (in the original game, at least). There’s only one more issue after this so we are trying to give you all of our love before the bitter end. Until next time, true believers.

NU keeps the faithless Weekends are a snooze for Northwestern students, whose lack of religious devotion is evident in the results of this week’s Norris survey. A whopping three-fourths of surveyed students reported never attending religious services, and, while most shook their heads with brazen negativity, a select few replied with a bashful, “I should.” One student responded affirmatively but whispered as an addendum, “Even though I don’t believe in God.” Shedding the unofficial “Fighting Methodists” nickname in the early 20th century showed incredible foresight on the part of NU’s founders—it turns out students are more interested in sleep and beer than prayer and worship.

Do you attend religious services weekly?

16

9

75

YES

SOMETIMES

NO

I’VE GOT FAITH

ONLY WHEN THE PLACE IS PACKED

long live pastafarianism

JEREMY GORDON

EDIT OR IN CHIE F

ART DI R E C T O R

MANAGING EDIT OR

ASSI STA N T A RT D I R E C T O R

A S SIS TANT EDIT ORS

COPY E D I T O R

jeremy gordon jeremygordon2007@u.northwestern.edu sara peck sarapeck@u.northwestern.edu coco keevan cocok@u.northwestern.edu margaret rhodes margaret-rhodes@northwestern.edu

brittney wong bwong@u.northwestern.edu jaimie vaillancourt j-vaillancourt@u.northwestern.edu jennifer haderspeck j-haderspeck@u.northwestern.edu

contact the weekly at 847.491.4901 l send confirmed and denied tips to the managing editor want to join our staff? e-mail our editor in chief l A weekly supplement to The Daily Northwestern

weekly

the

Sticking with God for the long run

E

confirmed

choice. He attended Jewish schools until eighth grade and has gone to synagogue at least once a week for his whole life. On campus, he is a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi, a Jewish fraternity, and has missed only five or six services his entire time at Northwestern. “It’s a very important part of my education and my identity,” he says. When coming to college, the expectations and pressures that come from party situations is something Singer, who was never much of a partier, found himself uncomfortable with. Instead he describes his idea of a good time as “playing board games, playing outside or going to get milkshakes.” But that’s not to say the temptation for other students doesn’t exist—drinking is both an easy way to meet people on campus and relieve the stress that comes from all-nighters and flunked exams. Between the many academic and social commitments, finding time to meet religious expectations is something that many students don’t have the time—or desire—to do. “Northwestern’s a really academically intense, fast-paced environment,” Oh says. “It’s really hard to balance academics, your social life, your work, your internships. (Being lax about religion) is a consequence of this environment.” Campus Rabbi Josh Feigelson thinks NU could do a better job encouraging its students to value the exploration of religion. “It’s certainly not viewed as important as getting a job after college or getting A’s in all of your courses,” he says. “I think that there’s a natural part of being 18, 19 and 20 for critically examining what you’ve grown up with.” Rabbi Feigelson thinks methods such as course credit, not just from a historical perspective, could potentially be very valuable. Ultimately, religion remains to be a personal experience, whether a person opts out of it or not. YOONIE YANG

& denied

PLEDGE BABIES GO BIG How quick the kids grow up, right? Those of us with younger siblings have had them visit campus to get a feel for Northwestern life and more importantly, the bars. When they end up following in our footsteps, it’s sweet to see them supplant us as the People Who Matter. Last Saturday a Tridelt pledge who has been visiting her older brother for a few years reportedly had her big 19th birthday in Lincoln Park, surrounded by her other pledges, older sorority sisters, older frat guys and a general cast of cool kids excited to pregame ZooBT with a cheap open bar. You wouldn’t think a freshman would have such a big party, but that’s what happens when you’ve been lucky enough to have years of NU experience before you’ve even officially enrolled. Buses were aparently late, but they picked the crowds up at Cahn and Patten and ferried them away to Soiree, where bouncers were light on IDs (without being paid off!). Said one Kappa, “This was the first time I truly felt at ease as a senior. It was fun watching the freshmen dance and get crazy, but oddly I wouldn’t have wanted to trade places with them.” We feel you, sister. We can also feel—or figuratively see—the torch being passed from one Greek generation to the next. OPERATION RUSH IS A GO We suspect there may be a leak in the

HEAD FIRST

xhausted from a weekend of partying and piled up with the mountains of homework and reading he had ignored for weeks, Hyesung Oh found himself unable to put on his Sunday’s best and make his way to church. “When I entered college, I was kind of sick of everything, in terms of God and my faith and the Christian community,” he says. “I felt like a big part of me was missing. I kind of lived with it and tried to ignore it freshman year.” Oh’s life took a major turn after Halloween his sophomore year. Feeling sick from the night’s festivities, he ran out of an El train and bent over the tracks—just seconds before an incoming train emerged. Luckily his friends pulled him out of the way before anything traumatic happened. Still he couldn’t just shake off the terror from that night. Even though Oh was so sick he didn’t leave his bed for the following week, he describes that period as one of the best weeks of his life. “I spent a lot of time trying to recover, trying to pray and see where God was leading me.” Now a junior Oh goes to church every Sunday, leads weekly Bible studies for Asian-American InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and considers his relationship with God one of the most important things in his life. While promiscuous sex, drug use and binge drinking seem to be one and the same with the typical college experience, some students are resisting these temptations and choosing religion instead. A 2004 UCLA study about spirituality in higher education showed 60 percent of the students surveyed maintained a strong commitment or strengthened their commitment to religion, while the remainder either maintained a low commitment or decreased the strength of their commitment. For Communication senior Benjamin Singer, staying religious throughout college was an easy

the weekly

Greek community: Over the weekend, copies of the AEPi’s rush guides were all over the first floor of Norris, giving any curious cats a look into the inner workings of the frat’s rush process. We thought it was too early for frats to be thinking about next year’s rush, but you can never start too early when it comes to selecting frat stars. One packet was labeled “New Rush Manual,” another “Lt. Master,” another “Exchequer and another “Minor Board.” Most of the information was pretty tame (they have a position involving Jewish heritage—shocking!), but there was some pretty dramatic stuff— check out the first line of the New Rush Manual, which states, “Rush is the life blood of your chapter.” Another eye-opener was a list of negative fraternity personality types, including characters such as Johnny Jock, Dirty Danny, Reluctant Randy, Corey Cool, Allen Absent and more. Dirty Danny is the guy who badmouths other frats, by the way. You definitely don’t want one of those guys hanging around, unless you want to be mentioned on College ACB all the time. We’re down with the alliteration, but what is this, the lineup for a high school ska band? Then again they keep the good spirit alive by saying, “It is unwise to have these personalities lingering around. Instead have an all-around appealing attitude.” Other frats, take notice. WEEKLY EDITORS


3

02.25.10

the weekly

FICTION An excerpt from “The Skinny on Christmas�

“I

just want to be skinny,� Nicole says, chewing off damn near half of her finger. “Just really, really skinny,� she repeats, silver nail polish flaking into her mouth. I pull her frail hands away from her mouth and drag her back to bed. She wraps her chopstick legs against my waist, nuzzling her head against my chest. “You are really, really skinny,� I say. “You’re so skinny that if you got any skinnier, you would poof, disappear.� I plant a kiss on her forehead. “I want to be like Adriana Lima-skinny,� she says, not listening. “No. Like Nicole Richie-skinny. Except not in that picture where she’s running on the beach because that was, like, unattractively skinny,� she goes on. “Like I want to be really thin, but still kind of healthy looking, you know?� I shake my head no. I don’t know. It’s Christmas morning, and all Nicole wants to do is to lose five pounds. It’s Christmas morning, and all she’s asked for are ExLax and diet pills. And all I can think about is shoving a sandwich into her mouth and making love into the New Year. I throw her over my shoulder and walk toward the kitchen. She is exactly like a child in the way she kicks and screams and pounds her feather light fists into my back. Her hair feels brittle against my skin, and it pains me to think about how thick and silky it used to be when she used to let me comb it at night, before clumps of it started clogging the shower drain. The other day at CVS, I actually thought about getting Nicole some Ex-Lax. I asked a salesperson where it was and took a stroll down aisle five. I checked the prices between different brands and ended up putting the generic into my basket. I even mused over whether or not they had gift-wrap. But when I got to paying, I was reminded of the same

deadpan expression on Nicole’s face every time I’ve tried a joke on her in the past six months, and so I decided against it. “Actually I’m feeling much better now,� I said to the girl at the register, awkwardly avoiding eye contact. She didn’t say anything for a second, and perhaps she was confused, but suddenly, she let out a snort and began laughing hard, grasping the counter for sup-

looking at Nicole nibble at the boiled egg white I have prepared for her, which is okay to eat because it only has 17 calories, most of which is protein. I pour her some black coffee, which she loves because it has only five calories per cup and dehydrates your body so you look like you’re thinner. She has it at least five times a day. We are having dinner with her parents to-

I am a man who has prematurely dedicated his life to holding together the pieces of a girl’s self-image with a thin glue of familiarity and old dreams. port with one hand and banging the scanner against it with the other. Then I did something I haven’t seen Nicole do in a very long time. I began to laugh, too. I began to laugh at myself. I stood at the counter for God knows how long watching this girl laugh at me, all the while laughing at myself in the not-so-funny situation that both of us happened to find so hysterical, and I noticed how the girl, who at first struck me as ordinary looking, began to look prettier as her eyes watered and nose crinkled, her white teeth shining in the fluorescent light. “Your change?� she said. “I change?� I replied, stupidly. “Your change,� she laughed, wiping drool from the side of her mouth. She handed me several dollars and some cents in a fluid motion, which I stuffed into the donation box for Appalachian orphans, I guess out of a show of chivalry. By then, she was already helping the next customer, but even still, I walked out the revolving door without taking my eyes off her once. Except now I’m not looking at her anymore. Now I am looking at Nicole. Now I am

night like we have every Christmas since we were 17. There was once a thrill in dressing up and play-pretend back when we were both underage and wine flowed freely at the dinner table, but now I am not so sure why I do it anymore. I suppose part of me wants to believe things haven’t changed since then: I am not working 70 hours a week as a junior attorney at a firm where no one knows my name, and Nicole is not interning at Cosmopolitan magazine where she is being brainwashed by anorexic monkeys, and the both of us still like to hold hands under the table. “So are you ready for your present?� Nicole says, with her paper-thin arms around my waist from behind. I can see the blue of her veins branching along her underarms to her wrists, and with every drop of self-control left in me, I do not take her arms into my hands and I do not break them. I close my eyes and cradle her limbs with my own and wish hard that when I turn around she will be smiling up at me. She will be smiling because she loves me and because by loving me, she sees how much I love her and she will love herself. I turn around and open my eyes. She is not smiling. She is looking at me imploringly,

social diary [Growing up and throwing up with a Medill junior] 18 thursday 19 friday 17 wednesday 20 saturday 21 sunday I still don’t really know what hookah is, but I spend about three hours smoking it. It’s legal, right? There’s nothing more therapeutic than sitting with a pipe in your mouth debating life’s serious questions. I’m so grown up.

with that frustrating, incessant half-frown, searching for acceptance. She runs off to get my gift although I am not ready. How can I be ready for my Christmas present if I am not even ready for the present moment? Chewing on runny eggs that taste differently now that I know they are 180 calories apiece, I recall talking with Nicole once about whether or not we really love each

We make a drinking game out of curling, and I somehow get from my friend’s room in her sorority to Buffalo Wild Wings in 15 minutes. Spicy Habanero tastes so much better when you��€™ve still got the taste of vodka on your tongue.

I break my day-long sober stint with a fifth of Absolut and a theme party. At about 11 p.m., I go to a sorority. At 11:15 p.m., I go to leave. She vomits on her bed, and I grab my coat and eat away my disgust at BK.

I go into Chicago for a theatre show and come back ready to drink my El costs away. By the end of the night, I’m hunched over a trash can, wishing I could take back the fried chicken I had for dinner. I guess I can’t, but I give it back anyway... ew.

d i a p u o y Have ? s e n fi y r a your Libr If you have any Library Fines, you must pay them by

Chapter is where fun goes to die. I sit for hours listening to nothing, and I have an incredible amount of homework that seems all the larger because it’s Sunday. Sunday nights are the biggest reminder that Northwestern teachers suck.

other or whether we are just together out of habit. “Does it really matter?� she asked, pulling me into her then-tangible thighs. Reflecting upon this I realize that the saddest part about the whole ordeal is even if I still just wanted to have sex for the next seven days straight, it would be inconceivable. Nicole’s legs have ceased to arouse me. As of lately, little about her besides the obvious pleasure of her orifices turns me on. I’ve tried the herbal supplements. I’ve tried Viagra. I won’t even try to deny it; I take magazines with pictures of real women with real breasts and real thighs into the bathroom for a couple of minutes before returning to bed. I am 26 going on 60. I am a whipped boyfriend on the road to impotence and an unhappy marriage. I am a man who has prematurely dedicated his life to holding together the pieces of a girl’s self-image with a thin glue of familiarity and old dreams. Nicole returns with a big box wrapped in cellophane, decorated with ribbon. I wonder how nice it would be if it was actually something I wanted, like an iPhone or my libido back. But I shouldn’t get my hopes up.

22 monday

23 tuesday

I lock myself in my room and watch every episode of this season’s “30 Rock.� I start my big project due this week, a difficult task with 50 drunk sorority girls in the room next to me. “Bad Romance� comes on, and I’m screwed.

After three meetings, I get back in my sweatpants and start my boring night of homework and “American Idol,� just to see who John Park is up against. The heater is broken, and I look like Mother Teresa in winter. Total nerd.

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4

02.25.10

DON’T TOUCH ME...

I’M SICK S

“My parents told me I was gonna die,” says BIENEN senior Matthew Law, dead serious as he waited out the required 15 minutes

around the world Top five countries with the highest rate of H1N1 confirmed cases per capita

1. Iceland 2. Portugal 3. Belgium 4. Spain 5. Kuwait by the numbers

102

number of H1N1 deaths in Illinois

50

percentage of Americans worried about H1N1, as of May 1, 2009

50

percentage of Americans who believe the H1N1 outbreak is over, as of Feb. 5, 2010 Sources: Associated Press, Harvard School of Public Health, CIA factbook

of rest after getting his flu shot at Norris. our questionnaires—yes, I am within the ages of 18-24, no, I don’t have asthma—and then a very tall man with a name tag barks at us to get into the room. We sit on one side of the room, then we get shot, then we sit on the other side of the room. Students go in, students come out. For something that has been the source of so much hand-wringing over the last year, these swine flu shots are almost depressingly uneventful. The student’s-eye view of swine flu at Northwestern has been fairly limited. Part of that can be chalked up to a college student’s natural callowness, our inclination to twist things our own way and to just plain ignore stuff. Administrators can set up as many Web sites, online self-diagnosis quizzes, isolation houses or campus-wide guidelines as they want, but the students will do our own thing. And swine flu will spread, no matter what the students or University care to do about it. All NU can do is try to maintain. And getting us to listen has been the last step in a long, protracted chain of events. Managing swine flu has been a lesson in how to navigate headache-inducing layers of bureaucracy, from federal mandates to town-gown relations to petty interdepartmental squabbling. Worse, H1N1 is a changing threat with limited common knowledge of how to combat it and a massive PR problem. It has understandably kept the administration busy. William Banis, vice president for student affairs, could not be reached despite repeated requests for comment. His assistant directed me to Executive Director of Student Health Services Donald Misch, who raised his voice to me over the phone. “It’s impossible!” he says after I request an interview. “I’m absolutely overwhelmed.” But Dr. Misch directed me to Katie Naliwajko, his boots on the ground. Nurse Naliwajko is middle-management. As the school’s Travel and Infectious Diseases nurse, she doesn’t make the huge decisions, but she is privy to them. She deals with the scattered few panicked student calls about vacation travel and high fever or the occasional intractable professor who won’t excuse a student for swine flu symptoms. She doesn’t call it swine flu.

Sebelius: “Unfortunately, yelling at an egg doesn’t make it grow any faster.” So Northwestern waited, in the meantime setting up handsanitizing stations and flyers reprimanding students for touching their faces, until finally it got its share of the vaccine. That’s when the real fun started. NU had to join forces with the City of Evanston to distrib-

sive over the summer. The school says it took its guidelines straight from the federal Center for Disease Control. A week-and-a-half before classes started up in the fall, an e-mail was sent to all students and faculty from “announcements@northwestern.edu” about what to do about swine flu on campus:

Would professors really follow that guideline? we wondered. Would students? “It’s Northwestern!” scoffs McCormick sophomore Kurt Duenser as he stands in line for

By Megan Crepeau tudents are standing quietly in a long, solid line, two or three kids thick, holding standard-issue clipboards and turning off their cell phones to comply with the large sign at the entrance of the room. The line moves fast. We are here to be vaccinated. This is probably as orderly as the Norris University Center has ever been. Not necessarily because we think we need it. Mostly we are doing this to assuage our parents or friends’ parents or professors or coaches or whatever. But we’re here anyway, standing around in pajama pants and fraternity ballcaps, joking about eigenvalues and other things. When we finally reach the front of the line, a woman wearing scrubs and too much eyeliner sits at a table to take

5

02.25.10

“It’s been a little crazy with the H1N1,” she says, her voice hinting at a flat Midwestern accent. She sits in a quiet, clinical office with informational flyers on the wall about tetanus, hepatitis and influenza. There’s a bright red trash bin with the BIOHAZARD label stenciled on it, its lid slightly askew. Naliwajko is slim and fine-boned. She’s a graduate student at Rush University Medical Center, studying to become a family nurse practitioner. Watching the intersection of the public and private at NU, she says, has been a learning experience. “Really cool,” in her words. It all started, Naliwajko says, in spring 2009 when the swine flu pandemic scare was starting to pick up steam, and one fact became clear: The disease was attacking individuals regular flu usually doesn’t— healthy young people. A campus of 8,000 undergraduates and about as many graduate students, all crammed up together in a few square miles of dorms and illegally over-populated apartments, provides an ideal breeding ground for infectious diseases. By April the school had acknowledged swine flu might become a serious problem in the future, telling The Daily response procedures were in place—but not detailing what those procedures might be. “There’s no reason not to expect it’s going to explode everywhere,” Misch says at a Campus Safety and Crime Prevention Committee meeting April 27. By May, 20 cases had been confirmed in Evanston, including one NU student who went home to recuperate with her family. Over the summer, the North Shore network of hospitals saw an average of two or three cases per week. By September that number had bumped to about 12. The next month President Barack Obama declared a national emergency, and students and their loved ones were starting to believe the talk of pandemic. “My parents told me I was gonna die,” says Bienen senior Matthew Law, dead serious, as he waited out the required 15 minutes of rest after getting his flu shot at Norris. He said he wasn’t too worried personally until he woke up with a fever during the second week of school this fall. He stayed off campus for a week or so. His ailment turned out to be a normal strain of flu, but he decided to get the shot anyway, to calm his parents down. And besides, it was free. Amanda Laabs, the SESP sophomore sitting next to him, had a similar scare. (Full disclosure: Laabs is a former Daily staffer.) She was down for three days earlier this quarter with flu-like symptoms, “really sick,” but the student health center was “packed at that point.” Even with all the restrictions the University had placed on which students should seek the health center’s help and which should not, she couldn’t get an appointment until Friday when she called on a Monday. By Friday her symptoms had cleared up, so she canceled her appointment. She wasn’t going to get a flu shot until her friend’s father, a doctor, had recommended it strongly, so she spent 20 minutes at Norris getting vaccinated. “And it’s free now, so …” But you get what you pay for. The vaccines were a month late, and there’s nothing Naliwajko or anyone else in the long supply chain could do about it. “The federal government is having all manufacturers of regular flu vaccine making H1N1 now,” she says. “They said by mid-October we’d have all the supplies.” This message made its way down from the federal government, to the states, to local health departments, to NU. “You can see how many hands are in it,” Naliwajko says. She was quick to report NU had its order of vaccines in on time, and the only cause of delay was the slow growth of the vaccine itself. She quoted the federal Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen

his vaccine. “People will still come to class.” ute the vaccine. Tensions between the two entities run thick. Evanston is largely tony and educated; the students are transient and sloppy. Fancy boutiques sit next to the 24-hour Burger King, and there’s not much overlap. Political relations between city officials and NU administrators have a strained history. And yet the coordinators in the vaccinating room at Norris all wore City of Evanston polo shirts or nametags, clearly identifying them as Health and Human Services workers. “They actually ran the whole thing,” Naliwajko says. Getting them here was a matter of persuasion from much higher up. “We have to report to the state every single dose and the age of people who got it,” Naliwajko says. “You’re going to be accountable. That has kind of forced the bureaucracies to share the same vision. We were all pretty much forced to share the same idea. It’s just, you know, everybody learning to work in a team environment.” By now Amanda and Matthew and the rest of us crammed row by row in the Norris waiting area have all internalized the University’s messages: Wash your hands often; stay home and isolate yourself from other people if you feel sick; your professors won’t mind, and your NU health care providers won’t have anything more to say to you than we already have right here, so you should probably avoid the health center. These guidelines were in place in milder form over the spring and became more cohe-

n If you’re experiencing flu-like symptoms, stay home and isolate yourself so you don’t spread the illness to others. This is not a time for you to try to “tough it out” and come to class/work when you’re not feeling well. If a student suspects that he/she has H1N1 flu and can return home for isolation, please do so. People with fever (temperature of 100 degrees F/37.8 degrees C or greater) AND either a cough or sore throat should isolate themselves from others until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. n Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. n Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcoholbased hand cleaners, such as Purell, are also effective. n Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way. n Try to avoid close contact with sick people. n Get a flu vaccine shot for seasonal flu before you return to campus. n Bring your own Purell or other hand sanitizer to campus and use it frequently. Students also should bring their own thermometers so they can take their own temperatures to determine whether they have a fever. But the passage following that laundry list is what caught most students’ attention: “The

University is advising faculty to use commonsense leniency in regard to student absences this fall, including relaxing enforcement of the requirement that students attend the first day of class or be dropped from the course.” Would professors really follow that guideline? We wondered. Would students? “It’s Northwestern!” scoffs McCormick sophomore Kurt Duenser as he stands in line for his vaccine. “People will still come to class.” It turns out there are a million ways to abuse the system. We can come to class to try to salvage our GPA even when we’re sick, and we won’t get any more punishment than the disapproving looks of our fellow students. We could infect an entire lecture hall and not suffer any real academic consequences. Or we could email a professor to say we have swine-flu like symptoms—that’s an easy way to get out of class, and since we are encouraged to be isolated, we don’t even have to get a doctor’s note if we’re being discouraged to stay away from the health center. If we fill out an online “Student Reporting Form for Influenza-Like-Illness or H1N1 Influenza,” we can give permission for a “flu buddy” to go to the dining halls and pick up a meal or five for us. If we’re tired of our roommates, we can claim they are sick and request housing at a nearby hotel, and the school will give it to us gratis. Or we can claim to be sick and move to the “isolation center” at Rogers House, an all-female dorm. Nobody really questions any of this because nobody wants to get sick. Professors can get away with a lot, too: so far, Naliwajko says, only one student has called in a complaint about a professor refusing to excuse her absence on account of apparent sickness. Of course there’s no real way to track whether a student is taking advantage of the swine flu scare or not, just like there’s no way to track the actual spread of swine flu on campus. Flu season officially started last December, and it generally peaks in February and March. “There are so many (swine flu) cases now,” Naliwajko said last fall, shaking her head a little. “It’s concerning that it’s thriving in environments when it usually didn’t thrive. We haven’t lived with this virus through a flu season.” Despite the University’s warnings, all any of us can do—the feds, the schools, the cities, the students—is tough it out.

swine in schools Percentage of students diagnosed with H1N1 in Chicago-area schools

8.7

University of Illinois

4.5

Northwestern University

.44 DePaul University

1.3 Loyola University

0

Columbia College Source: University Web sites

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6

02.25.10

CULTURE BLOTTER Love and hate in the kitchen

T

his week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. It is also Chicago’s Restaurant Week. It seems bizarrely contradictory and morbid the two “weeks� coincide so perfectly with each other, and is indicative of how obsessed our culture is with food. I am someone who loves food almost too much. Instead of playing ELAINE WILLIAMS Sporcle or Facebooking when I procrastinate, I download the menus from five-star restaurants, pore over their offerings and mentally create the meal I would order if I could go there. When I’m stressed out, I bake cookies and muffins and cakes, which explains why there are currently three full muffin pans in my kitchen. I religiously follow at least a dozen food blogs, and I love the Food Network so much I gave it up for Lent (no easy task, mind you). So on one hand, it is difficult for me to fully understand eating disorders, though I can of course empathize. On the other hand, is an anorexic or bulimic fixation on food just a different way of manifesting my own degree of food obsession? It is heartbreaking our society puts such high expectations on impressionable girls and women of all ages. The average American woman is roughly 5-foot-4 and 140 pounds. The models that we so often see on runways, in magazines and on billboards? About 5-foot-10 and 115 pounds, even before the professional makeup and hair stylists, flattering lighting and Photoshop get to them. The expectations on men are no better: Be thin but not gaunt; muscular but not

body-builder; tall but not towering. There’s no way to fulfill these purported guidelines, and you could drive yourself crazy trying. At the same time, the foodie culture is hardly a perfect one. Food is too often given such huge importance that entire publications, careers, businesses and weeks are devoted to two or three tiny bites on a plate that is mostly composed of white space and the occasional smear of sauce. One plate can make or break a chef’s career. Thousands of foodies have devoted their lives not to providing basic nutrition and food education to people, but to elevating the concept of food so high it no longer truly resembles what food is intended for at its most basic level: sustenance. Like any girl I’ve done my fair share of personal body-bashing. There is always something that can be bigger, smaller, flatter, tauter or generally better. I try not to allow myself to overeat or eat unhealthfully. I am also hugely guilty of salivating over the beautiful food photography in magazines and going out to eat at nice places more often than I should, even though the portions could barely satisfy my 10-year-old sister, who eats like a bird. It still strikes me as odd, though, that our society is often so diametrically opposed along the food spectrum. Total obsession with eating on one end, and on the other, an overwhelming obsession with not eating. Neither outlook is a totally healthy one, and because food is a basic human necessity, we as a culture are not going to stop being preoccupied with it. I just hope the level of obsession, on both ends, does not infringe on the basic health and sanity of individuals. Obsession in any form is no way to go about living.

3 credits in 6 weeks? Really.

the weekly

BEHIND THE SCENES Muslim students reconcile religious traditions with collegiate expectations College demands some adjustments: Dealing with newfound independence, dining hall surprises and your roommate’s action figure collection. But for some students, it also means learning to juggle college life and religious beliefs. Abdullah Malik, Sijh Diagne and Farrukh Virani all consider themselves devout Muslims. They have been confronted with the challenges of committing to five daily prayers, avoiding certain foods and saying “no� to alcohol— a dominant component of college social life —but each has found different ways to deal with the pressures and temptations. While devout Muslims pray at designated times five times each day, this can pose a challenge. Malik, a Weinberg sophomore, tries to fit prayers into the 10-minute interval between classes by going to an empty classroom or the library. But praying in a public place can lead to awkward looks and uncomfortable situations, “so you kind of hope that no one really notices,� Malik says. A certain degree of flexibility does exist when it comes to prayer. Farrukh Virani, for instance, chooses to make up his daily prayers at the end of the day if he’s in class or at a meeting. Sijh Diagne, a Weinberg senior, avoids scheduling classes on Friday so he can attend a 1 p.m. Muslim prayer service at the mosque and also makes up prayers if his schedule conflicts. “The religion is definitely flexible. If it’s not possible for you to pray at that time, then you can pray later,� Diagne says. As with prayer some Muslims abide by stricter dietary standards than others. “The only kind of meat I can eat is meat that was slaughtered or served by another Muslim,� Malik says. So he tends to stick to a vegetarian diet on campus. On the other hand, Virani, a Weinberg sophomore, doesn’t view the restrictions as a problem. “Other than pork I really don’t keep to any other dietary restrictions so once in a blue moon, I may have to eat a veggie sandwich if all they have is pepperoni pizza.� While several dining halls offer halal meat, which, like kosher foods, are slaughtered and pre-

PHOTO BY PAUL TAKAHASHI

pared in accordance with Muslim belief, a lot of Muslim students choose to move off campus. Refraining from drinking seems to be one of the most challenging aspects of abiding by religious restrictions on a college campus. “A huge part of the college experience is being able to go out to parties and stuff, and I feel that I have missed out. It’s kind of an awkward position to be in when everyone is drinking, and you’re not,� Malik says. “I wouldn’t say that I have found it to be necessarily difficult but I think I’ve missed out on some social parts of college.� Virani agrees that growing up in a somewhat sheltered setting he didn’t anticipate alcohol to dominate so much of the social life. “College was a huge shock,� Virani says. The three have found different ways to deal with the pressures. Malik chooses to steer clear of temptation by generally avoiding frat parties and bars. And though Virani, a member of Sigma Chi fraternity, is surrounded by temptation, he says he has never been pressured by his brothers to defy his religious beliefs. Diagne credits his family for instilling him with the discipline to abide by his faith. “Just because I go to school in America doesn’t mean I have to always act like an American college student. Learning to resist temptations was difficult at times, but those things have made me a stronger person,� he says. ERA DYKHNE

A Perfect Off Campus Friday Night Date Meet Epstein MeetGerald Gerald Epstein as as he he presents presents

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ticles and editor or co-editor books,introductory including Beyond Inflation Targeting, (E.atElgar There of willseveral be an informal ½ hour with refreshments starting 7:00pm. Following the presentation, there will be a Question andProgressive Answer period. 2009), Financialization and the World Economy (E. Elgar, 2005), Globalization and This is aFlight free event donations accepted. Economic Policy, (Cambridge University Press, 1999), Capital and with Capital Controls in Preview Gerald Epstein on YouTube at www.peri.umass.edu/?id=483#1004 Developing Countries, (E. Elgar, 2005), Transforming the U.S. Financial System (M.E. Sharpe, 1992) and he is the Co-Author of An Employment Targeted Macroeconomic Policy for South Africa. (E. Elgar, 2007). There will be an informal introductory ½ hour with refreshments starting at 7:00pm. Following the presentation, there will be a Question and Answer period. This is a free event with donations accepted.

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7

02.25.10

the weekly

CULINARY BREAKDOWN Ravishing regional specialties from across town Inspired? Sample foreign cuisine from some weekly staff favorites at these lesser-known (but equally loved) Evanston restaurants.

american Sarkis Café (2632 Gross Point Rd.) is a hangover-curing diner that offers a stick-to-your-ribs breakfast, hash browns you’ll crave and a solid cup of coffee. Don’t be disappointed if you see a crowd of ETHS kids a table over.

thai Siam Pasta (809 Dempster St.) makes for an inexpensive dinner-and-a-movie night. Take to the outdoor patio (when the snow melts) for some milder curries, pad thai or pad see ew.

Kaufman’s Bagel & Delicatessen (4905 W. Dempster St.) serves up corned beef and pastrami sandwiches on housemade challah, rye and rolls, as well as homemade pickles, noodle kugel and other Jewish deli specialties.

french Bistro Bordeaux (618 Church St.) specializes in French cuisine by former NoMI chef Frank Mnuk, namely the not-too-salty escargot covered in delicate puff pastry. If you’re dining on the weekends, make a reservation.

italian

Va Pensiero (1566 Oak Ave.) takes its Italian dishes so seriously, it imports its sea salt, balsamic vinegar, parmesan and prosciutto. The menu features more than your typical marinara, from Housemade Tagliatelle to Red Wine-Braised Lamb Shank.

mexican Lupita’s (700 Main St.) dishes all the classic Mexican plates, from enchiladas to caldo, for a sub-$10 bill at lunchtime, excluding the mojitos and margaritas. Dinner is a classier affair, with plates like Salmon Asparagus Enchiladas ($18.95). Carmen’s Pizza (1014 Church St.) has long been called Evanston’s hidden deep-dish gem. Hit the $5.99 lunch buffet Monday through Thursday for “stuffed pizza.” Top off the meal with fresh cannoli.

TEXT by TARA KALMANSON Illustration by margaret rhodes

MAN ON THE BEAT

TIMOTHY STEVENS, University chaplain

A

s he unlocks the light wooden door to Parkes Hall, University Chaplain Timothy Stevens passes a guitar case on his left as he makes his way into his office. He sits at a cherry wood table. On top sits a box of Heavenly Soft facial tissue, not the least bit ironic. Bookshelves line the wall boasting Dante, Chaucer and Shakespeare among many others. “The trouble is I acquire books, but I don’t ever give them away,” Stevens says. “It would be like giving away your children. How could you do that?” Stevens has been the chaplain at Northwestern since 1986. “What I am called to do, and I think it’s consistent with what I think Christians should do, is to respect the religious convictions of those around them and say, ‘How can we partner with you?’” One of his goals as chaplain is teaching to be a good neighbor in a pluralistic community. Stevens attended Rose Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana to study engineering. After struggling with the issue of his stance as a Christian regarding the morality of the Vietnam War, he decided to pursue his faith. He later attended Princeton Theological Seminary for his Master of Divinity degree and then NU for his doctorate in English literature. After that the position as chaplain opened up, and he was able to combine his passion for academics and ministry. While some see his job as setting aside his own convictions to accommodate the needs of others, Stevens disagrees. “As a Christian my job is to be chaplain of not only all the students but all the faculty, all the staff, all the alumni of Northwestern University ... It is not my job to say ‘My religion is the best, and you should join it.’ My job is to say, ‘How can I enhance your spiritual journey?’” After finding out the Buddhist group on campus had stopped meeting a couple years ago, he contacted every student two years back

Photo by CHRISTINA WALKER

who expressed an interest in Buddhism. After extending a helping hand by purchasing meditation cushions for them, the group began to thrive and now meets on a weekly basis. Stevens also opens Parkes Hall every Friday to Muslim students so they can have a place to gather for Juma’h Prayer. “I had a Muslim student who said, ‘We view you as the spiritual leader of the campus.’ I was really touched by that,” Stevens says. In explaining the Protestant faith, Stevens describes what he calls an “insider language” by comparing it to people involved in a relationship. “When Christians get together to worship, they say things like, ‘Jesus is the best; Jesus is the way.’ Fine. When two people are in a relationship, you will hear things like ‘My girlfriend, my fiancé, my wife is the most beautiful person in the world. She is absolutely like an angel.’ Well there’s six billion people on the planet; there might be one or two others who are kind of attractive too, right? But we view that as acceptable in that setting.” Over the last few decades, Stevens has witnessed the significant growth of religious diversity on campus. Church-going is no longer the thing to do. However Stevens thinks that might be a good thing. “Now church isn’t just something you go to because it’s expected and it pays off ... but it’s because you actually believe it.” CHRISTINA WALKER


8

02.25.10

the weekly

WHY WE LIKE

ALMOST FAMOUS

“I love Risk so much,” a friend of mine once told me, “that my band wrote a song about it. It’s called ‘Risk.’” Well, there you have it. What else is there? The charm of Risk, to some a children’s game played on family nights and to others the ultimate test of intelligence and savvy, lies in the activity it represents: war. You have to win at war. If you lose, you’re dead. This isn’t some nonsense like poker, when you just lose your money, or football, when you lose your manhood. War is about life and death. Risk is about life and death. There is nothing else. But playing Risk in person is one of those things left to high school, when it wasn’t so difficult to organize five people to play a board game for hours at a time. In college you have to worry about making sure everyone can stay focused for the time it’ll take to finish a game. You also need just the right amount of people because if you have any stragglers, they’re going to sit there on the outside, unable to participate. The other month, my friend from Italy turned me on to Conquer Club, which is exactly like Risk except played online. The Internet component meant we didn’t have to sit around and wait for our friends to finish their turns. We could go to class and come back to find it was our turn to roll the virtual dice, deploy our virtual troops and attack some virtual cities. We could be excited to open up our e-mails and see those words, “It’s now your turn!” We could use the in-game chat room to talk with other players, or if we knew them in real life, gchat them in order to form secret alliances. I would message my friend to complain, “I can’t believe I attacked Dubai with a 10 to three troop advantage and you still won,” and she would smirk, “That’s why it’s called Risk.” Friendships would be broken, names shouted, caps lock furiously pressed, all in the name of war. “I want you to die,” my friend told me as I broke his hold on North America for no reason other than I wanted to, “God, I just want you to die.” The game is just simple enough: There’s no option to invest money in dirty bombs, no nuclear warheads to drop, no anti-Communist propaganda to distribute to citizens in order to get them to rebel against their Red overlords. Each gamble doesn’t carry the human impact of real war—it’s totally justifiable to attack South America because you want to prove a point, rather than needing some motivation for it. There are no WMDs to fake, no world policing, no dubious morality. Just the gimme gimme gimme mentality of needing every city. You could settle for just beating your opponent, but you could also take everything. It’s always worth the risk.

u We definitely set out trying to go in somewhat of a different direction I suppose, we wanted to wanted to broaden the sound and really just make good music. We had done more so in making the album to be something that doesn’t necessarily have a goal, by playing around and trying to make the songs louder and quieter simultaneously, just experimenting. u I do get asked sometimes what keeps me going, but I don’t think it’s any one thing. I think if life goes kind of stagnant, I think it’s important to keep changing, to keep yourself energized, I guess continuing to put yourself into situations where you keep learning. I just hope that they (lyrics/sound) improve, that’s kind of the whole goal is to keep getting better and keep doing different stuff in what you love to do. I don’t want to just become the doldrums of the job, this thing that no longer provides any progress, where I keep doing the same thing every day. u Well, when we (current band member Matt Magin and former members Steve Pedersen and Clint Schnase) formed, we wanted a title that didn’t necessarily suggest any specific genre; that was kind of open. Then from there, we just settled on Cursive. I like that it’s a writing discipline, which relates to the band, I think, from a lyrical standpoint. u You certainly don’t want to feel like you’re

Tim Kasher of Cursive

Conquer Club

JEREMY GORDON

COURTESY OF WENDY LYNCH REDFERN

putting on the same routine every night. There are differences, even just looking at subtle changes. You want to be open to spontaneity I guess. As we’ve moved on from different seasons, there’s been more and less improvising, just going with the flow of things. You want to keep things fairly loose as far as being ready to let anything happen. At the same time, we do follow a set list, we don’t want to go off so much from what the audience expects or wants. u It’s great to do what we do, I think. I think we’re just trying to stay in the game, so to speak. I would love music regardless of whether I was in this position, and I’d love to keep doing it full time, I know the day will come when I won’t be able to do it full time. Then I’d like to do it part time (laughs).

u There’s a difference, which kind of comes back to performance, different from other creative types (such as) authors, novelists, even filmmakers, is that in being (these types), they write and they produce what they’re doing, and then they kind of put it out to the world, and that’s that to a certain extent. They may talk about it or they may have to look at it again, but they don’t have to re-live it really. With performance and what you write, you may be performing it over and over again for the rest of your life. I guess if you’re an author you may have that problem of getting sick of your characters, but with music kind of doing it over and over again, you have to really come to grips with your art as this everlasting thing.

MId Brow

HIGH Brow

THE BROW Winter Olympics

Low Brow

Ice Dancing

Women’s Skeleton

Yuki Ohno

Ice dancing alone has always been a crowd pleaser, but racist ice dancing? At this year’s Olympics, the International Skating Union’s decision to have “folk dance” as this year’s theme sent dancers running in all kinds of racially questionable directions. The Russian team toned down their Australian aboriginal look for something that looked like a Na’vi LARP gone horribly wrong. The Americans didn’t seem to get too much flack for wearing bindi and a sari. Their routine earned them a silver medal and praise from Indians for being a job well done. Wish the same could be said for those Zaretsky siblings from Israel. That must have been the most lackluster rendition of Hava Nagila ever featured on national television.

Perhaps a refresher course is needed on the principles of the skeleton event. On the same tracks as their bobsledding and luging colleagues, these athletes start with a breezy 50meter sprint before diving headfirst onto their sleds and going for it. Once you’re lying on your stomach and hitting speeds up to 70 mph, the trick is to steer by shifting your body very slightly. Some tracks (not Vancouver’s) feature kreisels, or turns that loop underneath or above to form a circle. No big deal. Amy Williams’ gold medal victory for the UK this year marked the country’s first individual gold medal since 1980. In interviews Williams could not seem more casual about the sport but does say that halfway down the fourth run was a bit of a blur. A gold medal for understatement, please.

It has been hard to keep things classy in Vancouver. Shaun White keeps dropping the F-bomb and still looks like Carrot Top. Bob Costas wants to reignite the Cold War as he fans the flames between Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko and his “enemies.” Amid such moral decrepitude stands one terrific father: Yuki Ohno, the man behind favorite skater Apolo Anton Ohno. Sorry, Shani Davis. You may be from Evanston, but did your father leave you alone in a cabin in the middle of the woods? Apolo admitted his father is his backbone, shaping everything from his drive for success to his ill-advised facial hair. Gold medal goes to Yuki for being a hair stylist with a child-rearing ethic that just won’t quit.

ALL SCHOOL OF COMMUNICATION & WEINBERG COLLEGE first-years and sophomores are invited to attend the

american studies program

SAMANTHA LEAL

JONATHON SIMRIN

EN JOY E VA NSTON'S FAVORIT E RESTAUR A NT

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02_25_10 Weekly