The Peacock Editors In Chief
Illustrator Photographer Contributors
Rachel M. Nielsen F. Ford Leland
Monik Chaudry Michaela Dasch Dari Goldman Toki Kumekbayeva Molly Mason
Emmeline Butler Hannah LaSala Rachel Morrall Tala Alem
Le Tran Quach Karena Viehbacher
India Contributors Feature Editor Layout Editor Writers
Lacy Wood André Lavergne Puxan Bc Madeline Boughton Katie Finnigan Chantelle Lusebrink
The Keys to Unlocking Leadership AUP’s President Celeste Schenck spearheads the first seminar on both women and leadership. By Rachel Nielsen
uture leaders of AUP came together under one roof to learn about how to tap into their potential on Tuesday, January 31. The Women’s Leadership Conference was led by President Celeste Schenck, and information about this event was spread via email, giving first priority to graduate students. Shortly after, the email invitation was extended to undergraduates with only 100 places available in total. The seminar was held in the Grand Salon, and while most of the attendees were female, a few men made their way into the crowd. Upon entrance of the room, the attendees were asked about their dreams and to mingle with others who signed up for the conference. President Schenck began the seminar discussing her own history prior to her presidency, the top leaders in the world, and specific aspects of being a leader: overcoming fear and humility. She then introduced the four professional leadership coaches: Elyse Michaels-Berger, a Certified Professional Co-active Coach or CPCC, Suncica Getter, CPCC and Organization and Relationship Systems Certified Coach, or ORSCC, Anne-Marie Gonçalves-Desai, trainer at the European Union, and Emma Wheat, CPCC. The audience was broken up into four groups, where leadership was fully discussed. Different types of leadership were discussed: Enforcer, Authoritative, Dictator, and Action were listed as one type, Service and Giver as another, Visionary and Thought as another, and Transformational, Inspirational, and Motivator as another. “This incredibly beneficial program was hosted in a relaxed, informal setting where both female and male students were able to meet and collectivize knowledge surrounding the values of enhancing women’s leadership,” said Michelle McAdam, GSC Social Director. “It was a wonderful introduction to the subject and very rewarding.”
The seminar ended with every attendee putting their resolutions in words and an eager anticipation of the next seminar. “Leadership became a concrete path rather than just a vague concept that only the wise and weathered would understand,” said Monik Chaudry, USC Treasurer. “I am waiting for the next one already!” President Schenck sent out an email on Friday, February 3 thanking everyone for their attendance and including the date of the next workshop. Again, on a first come first serve registration through email, but it is set for Thursday, March 22.
President Celeste Schenck Photo courtesy of AUP
The lavish Chateau Chambord of Francis I.
The Loire Valley Photography and written by Michaela Dasch
Suddenly the streets get emptier, the fields broader and the woods deeper. It is liberating to escape the hectic Parisian life for a while...
A breathtaking view of the Chateau Amboise.
A little church from the Cheateau Amboise.
he charming valley along the Loire River, called, Val-de-loire, is the home of more than 300 ancient castles has served as inspiration for famous painters, poets, and writers. Getting to the valley can be an interesting twohour road trip, especially through the south of Paris and the vast forests following lonely country roads. On the way, Orléans, the historical place where the martyr Jeanne d’Arc was buried in the 15th century is a must see. The pretty little village can be easily visited in one day before embarking on the tour. For those who prefer traveling by train, the TGV offers student tickets for as cheap as 20 €, going directly from Paris Montparnasse to Tours, which is an ideal point for discovering the castles. The continuing tour can be done by bike or bus. For active sightseers, bike rental stations are situated along the river at short distances. The cycling route covers 800 kilometers in total. The entire trip meets the needs of bicycling fanatics, historical fans, and gastronomic specialists. Hostels in the small villages close to the castles offer reasonable prices. Although the ancient castles attract most of the attention of the visitors, the magnificent valley also provides natural riches such as vineyards and forests. 3,000 kilometers of underground tunnels and caves are used for wine caves and cave apartments. One has to keep in
The beautiful garden of Chateaux d’Ussé.
Another view of the Chateau Chambord. mind that this area is nominated World Heritage because of the unique accumulations of palaces, monuments, and castles. Presumably one of the most famous French castles, Chambord, triumphs over the other castles with pride, elegance, and size. The 426 rooms used to be the pleasure palace of Francis I and one can imagine the feasts and parties our ancestors have held around 1519. The former hunting park around the castles sizes up the center of Paris and the view from the top of the castle is breathtaking. The rooms of the King and his mistresses are reminders of the luxurious and bourgeois lifestyle of the aristocracy. Impressive paintings of the King’s figure gaze at the passersby from the wall, as he was, apparently, two meters tall and the ideal of beauty in the 16th century. The architecture and the size are overwhelming. The magical double helix staircase represents its treasure. Like ghosts, two people going up and down the stairs aren’t able to see each other. For those who prefer less lavishness and more moony
places, 40 kilometers from Tours, the Chateaux d’Ussé can awaken the child in anyone. Hidden from bigger villages, this place seems quite isolated. Although Ussé is not one of the most famous castles, it is charming. It was visited in the 17th century by Monsieur Charles Perrault, the writer of the original fairytale, “Sleeping Beauty.” The palace with the mysterious Chinon forest and the magnificent garden gave him inspiration. Music follows the visit even deep into the dungeon where prisoners had to die a cruel death. In the living rooms and the tower, where “Beauty” fell into the hundred-year sleep, are inhabitants still following their daily activities. There are human size dolls covered with original dresses playing chess in the living room. Small aisles, spooky spiral stairs and the high towers are reminiscent of the tale. It is in private possession, but two towers are open to visitors. However, Perrault was not the only artist who was inspired by the beautiful landscape of the valley. Leonardo
da Vinci died in the Chateau du Clos Luce in the Loire Valley in 1519. Francis I invited him three years earlier and offered the castle to the painter. He used this place to follow his profession as an engineer, architect, and regisseur. As this place is surrounded by an enormous garden, da Vinci used the space to hold festivals and parties for the villagers. Today, this castle is a museum filled with da Vinci’s inventions, paintings, and writings. Although it is not the real smile of the Mona Lisa that brightens the home, his spirit and some pieces of work are also admirable. “Une journée bien remplie donne un bon sommeil. Une vie bien remplie donne une mort tranquille,” a poster on the wall says to remind guests of his life’s philosophy. Situated in Amboise, only half an hour from Tours, this village is charming to take a little walk and taste the peasant products of the region. There are many more castles that invite for a romantic adventure tour. All offer fantastic arts, beautiful scenery,
and fascinating architecture. Yet, there is much more to discover in the Loire Valley. Along the road, several wine caves, including some private ones, warmly invite sightseers for a tasting. The valley owns the biggest white wine production in France, next to famous red wines such as the Cabernet Franc. One of the most famous wines, the Sancerre, belongs to the Loire. The local people are friendly and open to recount interesting facts and myths about the famous wine region. If there is good wine, tasty food is never far. Restaurants and small hotels are not expensive and they offer typical French dishes and haute cuisine, including snails, all sorts of cheese, and meat. A trip to the Val-de-Loire offers a vivid introduction to French history and culture. There is no other place in the world where the vast amounts of historical palaces exist next to each other in nature. A combination of history, adventure, and art can help escape the daily routine and let fantasy become reality, at least for a little while.
Preparing For The Future 10
Interviews about French internship policy with Magdalena “Maggie” Martin, AUP Internship Office coordinator & alumnus Boris “Bobby” Pavlov (’10)
n internship is an assignment a student undertakes within a sector of their interest to further their career goals and enrich their academic experience. The assignment is not considered as a job in formal legal terms and it is illegal in France for the student to act as a regular employee under any circumstances, such as taking up a position for someone who is on maternity leave. Bobby Pavlov, an alumnus from AUP, is successfully employed in France after his own experience with the university’s internship office. “By no means am I saying this to discourage anyone; on the contrary, with patience and hard work, landing a job in any field becomes a certainty,” said Pavlov, trading analyst at Société Générale. “People might say that you also need luck, but in this case I believe luck is defined by the moment when opportunity meets preparation… What I learned from the time spent writing cover letters and interviewing is that companies don’t hire transcripts or degrees, they hire people.” What follows is a guide for pursuing an internship in France. Legal Mentions for France A convention de stage, or proof of student status, is required before beginning an internship. It’s a contract between the employer, intern, and the intern’s university. An internship cannot last longer than six months and, to continue to intern with the same agency, there must be a two month gap between the end of the internship and before reapplying to start another internship with this same agency. A student can continue onto another internship elsewhere immediately after one internship finishes. As of 2012, the minimum remuneration that an intern receives is 436.05€ because it is 1/3 of the minimum salary, according to Salaire Minimum Interprofessionnel de Croissance, or SMIC. AUP Policy Degree-seeking students may earn credit and recognition of the internship completion on their transcript after submitting proper forms to the AUP internship office. Registration of an internship opportunity can never be retroactive. It costs undergraduates less to register a 1-credit or 2-credit internship than a 0-credit internship, which ensues a 181€ out-of-pocket cost, especially if a student is taking a full course load. A 6-credit option is available only to students who entered AUP prior to fall 2009. Practical Information
Cover: from left to right - Mehdi Aliouat, Hatuna Pokrovsaia, Alexandra Lank, Eli Maitland, Meghan Jennings, Jenna Dessart, Danielle Savage, Maggie Martin. < Medhi Aliouat works diligently at Lyxor.
Lindsey Tramuta ‘09 Master of Arts in Global Communications
‘As part of the MAGC program, I completed a six-month internship at Landor Associates (Paris office), a leading global branding and design agency where I was on the new business and communication team. It was an entirely new experience for me to participate on client pitches and help advance the partnership between Landor and their biggest clients, such as Citroën, whose identity the agency had completely upgraded just as I arrived.’
Extensive internship and career opportunities are continuously added to the MyAUP online database. These opportunities are not always things that vanish with their deadlines but rather an address book, says Danielle Savage, “– this is why we leave contact information that dates back [several] years.” The Internship Office does not require an appointment and accepts walk-ins. However, they encourage students to make an appointment because they are unique one-on-one hour long sessions with the career counselor.
A student who pursues an internship solely through AUP often goes through a two-step process. It starts with an appointment made with Careers through MyAUP Careers appointment link or via other communication for help with CVs, cover letters, and presentation. A meeting where the counselor assesses the students’ and helps them refine their search and polish their resumes. The student would then follow the proper procedures when looking to apply for an internship.
expecting an internship this fall with the Paris office of Wunderman! We like to hear about our students’ success stories and post blurbs about them on our site for other students to read. We also have events like this with our partners that are found on our site under “Partnerships.”
Interview with Maggie Martin, AUP Internship Office Coordinator
As far as mistakes go, carefully reading our AUP registration policies minimizes a lot of these errors. In the workplace, a mistake would be not showing enough interest. For example, try to ask clever questions that are well-contemplated. It’s all right to ask questions and show that you are eager to learn: i.e. “I’m sorry, I’m new, I’ll inform myself and get back to you.”
Would you tell us a brief history of the AUP internship office?
It was formally created in 2000. The interesting thing is that it began as a by-project of Christine Baltay, an AUP professor of Art History, and then became part of the Career and Development Office within the Student Affairs Department and was led by Danielle Savage. The job of Internship Coordinator was created in 2008 as part of the Registrar’s team. I work together so closely with Danielle but we have never been part of the same department. In 2009, the Office of University Advancement and Outreach was created and integrated internships and careers. However, Careers as wholly transitioned to this Outreach Department in 2011, whereas the Internship Office is still tied to Academic Affairs. One of the reasons is because my office and the Registrar’s Office work very closely together.
One thing to mention is the very unique hierarchy in the French industry. Many previous interns with these French companies mention that the hierarchy is very rigid it, which may be seen as jealousy among the interns employed and/or veteran co-workers. There are instances where, for example, the intern displays exceptional competencies, performing and progressing well in his or her work, and is therefore regarded highly by his or her supervisor. The intern’s co-worker, one who has been employed for a while, looks down upon this.
What exactly do you do? Would you give an example of your routine day? We work with our MyAUP Internship Office site a lot. My day includes answering e-mails and inquiries. When a student asks me a question. I would normally paste the information to them and refer them to our site. We encourage all students to really read the information so things like outstanding internship completions are minimized. Document Tracking Among the routine e-mail and Q&As, I also take care of internship paperwork like the convention de stage between employers and the student. All of this status information is available on a student’s AUP document tracking site. Do you have any particular advice for students during their internship process to avoid common mistakes?
What do you think are some important results of an internship? Obviously, finding out what you like and dislike is important. The internship allows you to learn things about yourself, as well. In any case, terminating one’s internship early is not a good route just because the completion of the internship is also a learning process. Real Time Application and Advice: AUP Alumnus Boris “Bobby” Pavlov & Société Générale Bobby, who graduated in 2010, is from Bulgaria and received his undergraduate degree with honors in International Economics and International Finance. After obtaining his Masters in Finance at EDHEC Business School, Bobby became employed as a trading analyst with the investment banking division of Société Générale at La Défense, the first business district in Europe. Bobby has completed several internships ranging from the largest retail bank in Bulgaria to a small IT company in Paris.
Pre-Planning and being Proactive
Do you have any helpful thoughts for AUP students looking to work in France for a living?
Attend events and stay longer for the cocktail, always carrying a CV in your bag – meeting people and networking is important. Actually, one of our MAGCs students was recently at an event in London where he stayed later and made contacts with a representative from Wunderman, a company with 55 locations internationally, that helped him to begin an internship this spring in Paris with Young and Rubicam, sister company of Wunderman. He is also
Working in France can be described with a single word: complicated. There are certainly a number of benefits, such as the short working hours of 35 hours per week and a relatively high average salary. As you most certainly have noticed, many labor unions are constantly pushing employers and the government for better working conditions. On the other hand, the effective tax rate can easily be 40%, with an additional 25% of your pay going to
social security and other benefits that even French people don’t really understand. If you are not an EU citizen, you need a work permit, which has become harder to obtain in the recent years due to quotas imposed on certain countries. One thing is certain though, if a company wants to hire someone, they will do it no matter the cost. Are there any particular obstacles that relate to career searching and maintaining that students should be aware of? Preparedness and Performance The job-hunting process is a very long one. It involves a lot of research, writing applications, CVs and cover letters, attending many interviews and career fairs. You have to know the company you’re applying to inside-out - what it does, why it does it, who’s the chairman, what’s the mission, the stock price, the departments, the functions, office locations, logos, sayings, etc. Furthermore, you need to know why you want to work there, what makes you suitable for the position, what you are going to bring to the company, etc. An impeccable CV and an original cover letter, specifically tailored for the company, are musts. Throughout the applications you will encounter all sorts of competency-based or technical questions, which you must answer according to certain methods. For example, a competency based question in an application or during an interview is answered using the STAR method: Situation, Task, Action, Result. Networking, Etiquette, and Two Methods of Finding Employment There are a number of guides on the Internet that can help you prepare for the process: forums, such as WikiJobs, where applicants post their experiences with job applications. Ideally, you would have also met one of the HRs or a manager at a fair, over the Internet or in a pub - no one cares where, as long as you made a good impression. It is no news that networking can get you anywhere and taking advantage of your contacts is perfectly normal. The second way is to do an internship for the company before graduating. For example, former summer interns filled 70% of J.P. Morgan’s full-time positions for recent graduates in 2011.
Yann Lechelle ‘93 BS, Computer Science Summa Cum Laude
‘I undertook an internship during my last semester, working for a financial software company in La Defense, now a subsidiary of Reuters. This company ended up offering me a full-time position right after graduation, and essentially defined the field of my first “career” in software development, leading me to various jobs in financial software (but also in cartoon animation at Dreamworks!).’
My Method: Experience and the Learning Process The third way can be described by my personal experience - I applied to over 40 banks around the world and spent about 5 months doing it. Your GPA and GMAT score only get you through the initial screening. As long as you have attained their minimums you are safe, such as a 3-3.5 minimum GPA according to the company/position. I had seven interviews with Société Générale and no one asked me anything about my grades. I talked about the unique international nature of AUP, the sports I’ve been practicing and other extracurricular activities; I gave examples from my internships or my years as captain of the volleyball team of AUP.
The Indies You donâ€™t have to be a film studies major to appreciate Franceâ€™s rich history of cinema. Step away from mainstream Hollywood with these independent theaters. Written by Karena Viehbacher 16
Le Balzac Le Balzac has been on the corner of the Champs Elysées since 1935. It hosts three theaters, which is pretty big among indie cinemas, and a small bar that boasts Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. This theatre stands out for its special collections of films. This is the place to watch the famed Rudolph Nureyev leap across the screen as the prince in Swan Lake and other recordings of historic opera and ballet performances. If that’s not your thing, they have also played the great comedies of Buster Keaton or Laurel and Hardy. For true authenticity, experience silent films. Most recently, Hitchcock’s The Lodger played, with a live pianist to play the accompaniment as they did in the days before sound was available. Saturdays, you can catch a 20 minute live concert before your show at no extra cost. The Balzac invites students and graduates from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris to perform classical or jazz. Check out their website at www.cinemabalzac.com or on Facebook 1, rue de Balzac 75008 Metro: George-V Tickets are 7,50 to 9,50€ The outside view of Le Balzac. Photography provided by Le Balzac.
Courtyard of Le Pagode Photography provided by Le Pagode
Le Pagode The only cinéma in the 7th, this theater was initially built back in 1869. It was a gift from François-Emile Morin, the director of the famous department stores, Le Bon Marché, to his wife. Unfortunately, she left him soon after for his partner, but even so, it’s easy to imagine the many beautiful soirées that were held until 1928. It was reopened to the public a decade later. Named for the stunning Japanese Gardens, the little Pagoda cinéma mostly specializes in art house films. It carries the ‘Art et Essai’ classification which is given by the French Ministry of Culture to promote critically acclaimed films that have not reached a wide audience. You don’t have to be a seasoned cinephile or trying to impress your date to enjoy the Pagoda theater. The content may be high brow, but the gardens are beautiful and won’t appear in many tourist books. Indulge yourself by splurging on a glass of champagne and enjoying the view. You can find show times at the website www.etoile-cinemas.com/location-de-salles/ pagode.html, although the easier choice is to go to allocine.com for more information.
57, rue de Babylone, 75007. Metro Saint-François-Xavier
Le Nouveau Latina The recently renovated Latina, still includes a bistrot, bookstore as well as its theaters. As the name suggests, the Latina tends to play a lot of Spanish and South American films, however, their line-up usually features a good amount of independent films from all over the world. It’s a good place to remember France and culture and its place in the European Union. Keep an eye on the acronyms after the film title, VO (original version) and VOST (original version with subtitles) can mean quite a difference if you are walking into a Russian film. 20, rue du Temple 75004 Paris http://www.lenouveaulatina.com/
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La Clef La Clef, or the Key, is a much younger counterpart to the others on this list. It was briefly opened in 1990 with the idea of showcasing African and South American films though it now shows films from all over the world. A festival for Chinese documentaries just ended but next up in early February is the International Festival of Films on the Environment from all over the world and which many are in English, which is definitely something to look forward to. More exciting still is the Clef ’s dedication to holding debates between filmmakers but also discussion between directors, film historians, and even psychoanalysts. Movie series are picked with great care, some of which have never been displayed at any other theatre. If you are looking for something shorter, they have a special diffusion of short films (under 6 minutes) that have never been shown to a public before. It’s only 3€ and all films are presented by their directors so it’s all an incredible opportunity for any budding AUP filmmakers to get their pieces displayed and promoted. 34 rue Daubenton 75005 Paris M° Censier-Daubenton http://www.cinemalaclef.fr/
The outside view of the crowded Le Champollion. Photography provided by Le Champollion.
If You Really Want Your Voice To Be Heard
[here] The Peacock is now offering an organized communication format that students can actually read. To place an ad in our pages contact ThePeacock@aup.edu
coming artist. Her first album, Geidi Primes, was released with only 30 cassettes that quickly disappeared. The song, “Rosa,” starts off with a few steady notes in a loop that manages to contrast and highlight her distinct singing style. Following this album was Halfaxa, also released in 2010. “Devon,” is reminiscent of Jon Brion’s scoring for the movie, Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind. It strikes an emotional core that leaves the listener wanting more. Grimes’ free expression through both song and movement gives harmony between the visual and musical. Her following album, Darkbloom, features her song, “Vanessa.” Released in 2011, it is unlike any of her other songs. The melody is incredibly catchy and moving. Even after one listen, the breathy words she sings creates an atmosphere that takes up the entire room. This song leaves its audience wanting to hear more from Grimes, and is definitely the recommended first listen. This album was Claire Boucher’s first time integrating producing and performing, and undoubtedly a success.
Artwork for album Visions.
Both of her first albums are free to download on Arbutus Records’ website with an option to donate.
Grimes By Rachel Nielsen
mix of masochistic and trance-like qualities combined into a catchy beat alongside Claire Boucher’s lyrics leaves snippets of each song etched in the mind for days at a time. Each song applies a different feature from a wide array of genres that shows Grimes’ ability to grow and change as an artist, which is proved time and time again throughout her albums. With her new single, “Genesis,” the listener is taken to a pop-filled world and is unwittingly left moving to the music. The single is the second track listing on her new album, Visions. It’s scheduled to be released in the US on February 21, and the rest of the world is left waiting until March 12, a little after she sets out on tour. “This is the only means through which I can be fully expressive. It is both an ethereal escape from, and a violent embrace of my experience. The creative process is a quest for the ultimate sensual, mystical and cathartic experience and the vehicle for my psychic purging. Visions was conceived in a period of self-imposed cloistering during which time I did not see daylight,” said Boucher of her own work. Though having performed in both Canada and Oregon prior to the international release of Visions, the opportunity to see the innovative psychedelic revelry allows her audience to truly experience what she is capable of. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she brings punk ethos back to life through her music. Having only been releasing music since 2010 with three prior albums to Visions, she’s proved to be a truly up-andLeft: Claire Boucher, Grimes. Provided by Beggars Group.
The artwork for her first album, Geidi Primes.
Bob’s Kitchen Written By Ford Leland and Rachel Nielsen Photography by Tala Alem
aris is without argument, an amazing city full of interesting opportunities. However, to anyone who has spent a significant amount of time living in America, Paris’ menu options can feel lacking. After the first few months of living here, it is hard not to start missing the array of choices available stateside. One of those choices, that is almost completely lost on the French, is the all natural “hole-in-the-wall” organic juice bar. However, if you find yourself craving fresh carrot and beet juice, wholesome portions of home made organic vegetarian cuisine, or organic buckwheat pancakes on Saturday morning, you’re in luck! Hidden in the 10th on rue Lucien Sampaix is Bob’s Juice Bar, a small, owner operated café that is dedicated to feeding people healthy, allergen free food. You literally cannot eat here without feeling excellent and refreshed afterwards. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about diets or calories because everything that Bob’s serves is healthy, wholesome, balanced and nutritious. Marc Grossman opened the first location on a whim six and a half years ago and was so successful, he had to open a second and larger location only three years later. “I thought, initially, it would be a good idea because there are so few juice bars in Paris, that there must have been a demand for healthy vegetarian foods,” said Grossman. With an eclectic past
of writing and filmmaking in Los Angeles and New York, his lifelong fantasy of living in Paris has come true and is shared by his wife and their two children. Bob’s Kitchen, the larger, more food-oriented location, is one of the few vegetarian and healthconscious breakfast/lunch options in all of Paris. They offer a range of salads, curries, soups, fresh squeezed juices, and fresh fruit smoothies at reasonable prices, it’s a must try, even for carnivores. To find the juice bar, hope off of line 5 at Jacques Bonsergent. 15 Rue Lucien Sampaix: Mon. to Fri 7:30 AM to 3 PM It’s a short walk to this hidden gem where smoothie prices range from €4 to €6 euros depending on the size. For the kitchen (suggested for larger groups) go to 74 rue de Gravilliers in the 3rd off of lines 3 and 11 at Arts et Métiers. Lunch anywhere from 5€ to 10€.
India Notes from the Field 28
Each year, a group of students from American University of Parisâ€™ Sustainable Development Practicum travel to Auroville, India to put their skills to work for community organizations. This year, they encoutered a cyclone.
India Notes from the Field
Galaxy Auroville By Katie Finnigan
uroville is teeming with projects for sustainable living. People at the Solar Kitchen eat meals cooked with power from the sun, residents of the International Pavilion use waterless toilets that compost waste, and shoppers at the Freestore reuse items their neighbors don’t need anymore. With all this innovation, the city’s raison d’être seems to be reducing its impact on the environment, but in fact, sustainability is fueling a larger mission. Auroville is, as resident, Deepti, describes it, “an experiment in collective consciousness,” an attempt to create an idealized international community in which individuals can progress towards perfection without being constrained by nationality or religion. The Auroville experiment began in 1968 when it was founded by a spiritual guru known only as The Mother. Her smiling portrait, along with the portrait of her mentor and Auroville’s namesake, Sri Aurobindo, hang proudly in most of the city’s buildings. Her dream was to create a universal city, “where men can live away from all national rivalries, social conventions, self-contradictory moralities and contending religions; a place where human beings, freed from all slavery to the past, can devote themselves wholly to the discovery and practice of the Divine Consciousness that is seeking to manifest.” The Mother’s vision has two components. First, Auroville should be a place where individuals have the freedom to develop by realizing their own paths. Second, in the process of growth, individuals join together to form an ever more perfect community. They develop personally by contributing their skills and talents to the larger social experiment, whether that be art, gardening, or waste man-
agement. This is where sustainability comes in, because living well together is tied to living well with the environment. The complementary concepts of universality and individuality are so central to Auroville that they even weave their way into its urban planning. The city is slowly being constructed in the spiral shape of a galaxy, symbolizing its universal aims. At the center, sits a giant, gleaming, golden sphere known as the Matrimandir, which houses a space for deep individual concentration. Even looking at a map of the city is like checking off a list of prescriptions for manifesting the Divine Consciousness. Places in Auroville have names like Solitude, Certitude, Surrender, Verité, Revelation, and Victory. Of course, Auroville faces problems like any city. As a former Auroville Council member readily admits, “even Aurovillians don’t know how to make Auroville.” For instance, take the water situation. According to Toby, an expert in water management at the Auroville Water Harvest, water in the region is being used up four to five times faster than it is being replenished. In ten to fifteen years, the region’s wells will run dry. Auroville needs to develop solutions to capture rainwater, change agriculture and even start construction on a water desalinization plant, but the loosely organized Auroville Council has stalled on making a decision. The impasse could be solved by centralizing authority and formalizing a governing structure, but that would violate the communal principles at the heart of the city. Ideals can’t be formalized, and as that same Council member says, “to institutionalize Auroville is to lose Auroville”. Auroville is not a perfect city. It faces inequality, unsus-
tainability, indecision, and conflict, which plague many cities around the world. As the water example illustrates, Auroville doesn’t have solutions to these problems. Yet, Auroville is attempting perfection. As Deepti says, it is an ongoing “experiment in solving the problems humanity faces”. Its goals can be summed up in the Auroville charter, which defines the city as “a place of unending education, of constant progress, and a youth that never ages”. Auroville endeavors to be a journey more than a destination. It is a perpetual research project into the process of living together, in which success lies as much in the process of experimenting as in the results of the experiment.
‹ The Mother and Sri Aurobindo ‹
The Matrimondir, a space for concentration in the center of Auroville
India Notes from the Field
Taking Action By Madeline Boughton
he aim of this practicum is for students to act as consultants to various organizations, assisting with their communication needs. Between day 2 and day 8 we toured and visited several non-governmental organizations (NGOs). There were about 23 units on our list of possibilities to work with. Each day was packed with multiple units with presented goals and missions to students, answering any questions we had about how they function and the groups they serve. The overarching themes of the NGOs we worked with were health and human rights, environmental sustainability, and education. These broad terms included causes such as women’s empowerment, Dalit rights, formerly known as Untouchables, children, sustainable and ethical fashion, sustainable living, radio, solar energy, waste management, and more. This NGO practicum truly offers something for everyone’s interest or passion. With so many good causes it was difficult to choose just one. I could have easily chosen about 3 places I was interested in working for. The other factor that could make choosing an organization difficult is matching an organization with students’ skill sets. Some organizations needed assistance with website building, creating pamphlets and flyers, or creating short videos to display on existing sites. Fortunately, there was a wide range of skills within the group and we also had a media mentor that assisted us with technical questions and projects. After a few days of visiting 5 organizations per day, we had an idea of where we wanted to work. Many of us were quite anxious to begin our jobs and projects right away. I chose to work at the ADECOM Network. This agency advocates for the rights of the Dalit community. I was happy to assist with my small contribution to shed light on discrimination against an extremely vulnerable population. In the end students wound up doing a major project at only one organization, but we are well informed on almost all that Auroville has to offer in terms of advocacy and non-profit organizations. For communications students and professionals, the work we did came naturally and we were able to produce useful and practical material for the agencies to use and build upon long after we’ve gone. All of the organizations were extremely impressed and grateful for the projects accomplished with such a limited amount of time. For three years, students from AUP have offered their services. In turn, students gain practical experience that will be useful for their professional live and create impact to the NGOs.
Left: Lindsay Hebert climbs mountain Gingee Fort. Right: Andres Del Castillos Moises examines a wooden toy.
India Notes from the Field
In Living Color Photo Essay by AndrĂŠ Lavergne
Top Left: Young boy at the Pondicherry waste dump. Top Right: Woman resting near Mamalapuram Temple, a World Heritage Site. Bottom Right: Man selling colored chalk at Pondicherry market. Bottom Middle: AUP students, Jeomar Montelon and Katie Finnigan, trekking through a rice field. Bottom Left: Display of Hindu gods in Pondicherry market. 34
India Notes from the Field
Words & Images by Lacy Wood
Quality is synonymous with sustainable practices.
fter a long drive swerving through honking Indian drivers, mopeds carrying families, towns bulldozed for the purpose of building highways, and countless rice paddies, we finally arrived in the Shevroy Hills. Julien Peak, located in the heart of Tamil Nadu in the south of India, is known for its coffee. Winding up the mountain, it felt as if we had just crash-landed in the Pacific Northwest, thousands of miles away from India or anywhere close to it. As a coffee person, I have learned that the variables going into a well-balanced shot of espresso are endless. When a barista pulls a bad shot, there is an internal list of possible mistakes: was it tamped evenly, maybe the grind was too fine, was it extracted for too long, was the water at the wrong temperature. With all of these variables, there are no rules, only taste and muscle memory. After visiting this coffee plantation, I gained an entirely new depth of understanding of this plant’s complexity. For Ramesh, the farmer who owns the plantation on Julien Peak, creating well-balanced and delicious coffee has taken years of trial and error. His family bought the land in the 1930s. Ramesh intermingles coffee with orange and pear trees, tall shade canopy trees, cardamom bushes, and pepper vines. All of these contribute to the richness of the soil and the complexity of the taste of the coffee. This is called intercropping and it is a much more sustainable growing practice than conventional methods. His neighbors, for example, plant one variety of coffee in
long rows with only a few shade trees. They weed their land, clear brush, and often spray fertilizer and pesticides. In contrast, Ramesh allows a thick compost to develop on the ground for animals to make their home, creating a dynamic biosphere in the forest, which eliminates the need to use fertilizers. Additionally, his plants are relatively healthy, allowing him to use pesticides sparingly – only on trees that are sick. While he does process his coffee through the “wet” method, which uses about 2,000 liters of water per ton of coffee, he is working to buy a new machine offered in India that uses less water to wash the coffee. The beans are separated from the fruit, then washed and set out to dry for eight to nine days. Ramesh reports that he does not follow the guidelines of Fair Trade certification. This is often a costly process with little direct benefit, requiring farmers to buy new equipment, and conform to strict international standards that are not necessarily more efficient or cost effective. Instead, he invites buyers to visit his plantation and examine his growing practices. His personal set of guidelines and emphasizing quality push him to grow his coffee as sustainably as possible. Incidentally, quality is synonymous with sustainable practices. With every sip, I enjoy a new appreciation for the time and energy that goes into growing a tasty cup of coffee. I will forever envision the coffee forest thick with compost, lush plants, and birds cawing.
These women are leveling coffee to encourage even drying. A hot job that requires long hours in the sun, they all share in this assignment.
India Notes from the Field
‹ Boobathi owns a ceramics business which exports products all over the world. › This mural of the monkey god Hanuman overlooks the Mohanam Center’s playground.
Stories from the Village Words & images by Katie Finnigan & André Lavergne
ou could drive by the small South Indian village of Sanjeevi Nagar and never realize it’s there. But behind the dusty roads dotted with farm animals is a humming hub of art, craft, community and culture.
› Raji, an entrepreneur, embroiders these patterns herself onto burlap obtained by recycling rice bags.
Sanjeevi Nagar is home to a concentration of creative minds that would make even global capitals double over in envy. Almost every other building is home to an artisan fashioning everything from tiny terra cotta oil lamps
to massive granite sculptures in dirt-floored workshops. Although the facilities look simple, the artists inside produce stunning, professional works that they sell to India, Europe, America and beyond. Among these artisans are poets, singers, healers, and performers, and roads are decorated with multi-colored kolams, impermanent masterpieces drawn by women with chalk powder every morning. Even the origins of the village are awash in colorful imagery. It is said to have been founded when the monkey-god Hanuman lifted Sanjeevi, a mountain rich with medicinal plants, and flew it to his friend Rama, who had been gravely injured in an epic battle. On the way, a piece of the mountain broke off, and the place where it fell marks the ground where Sanjeevi Nagar sits today. Yet, with its vivid heritage, the culture of Sanjeevi Nagar is under threat. Like small villages all over the world, some youth are forced to move to the city to find work. Others find modern trends more appealing than village traditions. They want to be part of a culture with prestige, and unfortunately, the rich heritage of Sanjeevi Nagar, and other villages of the region, is little known and appreciated by the rest of the world, an issue that village leaders are hoping to change. André Lavergne and I worked to help mitigate these problems Sanjeevi Nagar’s beloved Mohanam Cultural Centre, a heritage center that aims to bridge the traditional and the modern. Our solution was to create an adaptable online resource to articulate Sanjeevi Nagar’s values and traditions, as well as engage its residents in the process of collecting and sharing their stories. The project had three objectives: to involve local youth in the transfer of culture, to share the rich heritage of Sanjeevi Nagar with the world, and to promote the work of local artisans by helping them connect with wider markets.
The resulting website, Stories from Sanjeevi Nagar: A Living Library of Village Knowledge, is a reflection of the village itself. At first glance, the homepage is an almost overwhelming collage of color, but the categories in the menu act as guides, allowing users to pinpoint specific information. The site is a participatory project – built on the easily updatable Wordpress platform – that was developed in collaboration with Sanjeevi Nagar’s residents. From the beginning, we worked with8 Murugan, Madhu and Rajasekar, three local youth, to take ownership of the project and become the stewards of it when we left. Murugan took the lead, scheduling visits and bridging the gap between Tamil and English. Madhu and Rajasekar, both students in Visual Communication at a local college, recorded video and took photos along the way. We took daily trips to Sanjeevi Nagar to explore the village and meet its residents with Murugan, Madhu and Rajasekar acting as our guides. These village walks became one of the most rewarding parts of the experience. We would meet someone fascinating each day from world-class stone carvers to an 86-year old traditional singer and songwriter, and each day we built a stronger relationship with the village and our team. We posted our experiences on the website, acknowledging we could never hope to describe Sanjeevi Nagar better than those who lived there. Our goal wasn’t to tell all of the village’s stories, but to build a flexible infrastructure that would allow the residents of Sanjeevi Nagar to tell them themselves. After a brief training session, we cheered with pride and excitement as our team posted their first stories online. Success wasn’t just in creating the site, but in being able to hand it back to Sanjeevi Nagar with the tools and training to tell their own stories. See the project at www.mohanam.org/sanjeevinagar
Kadhir Vel is an 86-year-old singer and songwriter with a lifetime of experience performing and teaching his craft. He was kind enough to sing one of his compositions for us the day we visited.
The red earth and clay of Southeast India is at the heart of village life in Sanjeevi Nagar. This is particularly true of the dozens of villagers making their living from terra cotta, and the thousands more who use their wares daily.
Stories from the Village (cont.)
Morning Motifs Kumar runs an innovative stone carving company that employs over 60 people from Sanjeevi Nagar and neighbouring villages. His craftsmen showed us a leading-edge technique of combining ceramics and granite.
Words & images by Puxan Bc
Every morning at sunrise, the women of Tamil Nadu, India emerge from their homes to create materpieces in white rice flour and colored chalk in front of their doors. These elaborate designs are intended to welcome visitors into the home, particularly Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity. Called kolams, these designs are also a way for for village women to express themselves and the mood of the household.
Each year, mid-january marks the start of the harvest festival Pongal. On the last day of the celebration, the women of Sanjeevi Nagar particpate in a Kolam competition that takes over the streets of the village.
Kolams are a way of life. More than a simple tradition, a Kolam symbolizes the maturity process, transition to womanhood and pride of an entire family. Women learn the art from an early age through observation, sketching their designs in their diaries, and then showcasing the complex, elegant, geometric patterns in the doorway each morning.
An elaborate kolam.
India Notes from the Field
A Cyclone Strikes By Chantelle Lusebrink
n Dec. 30, 2011, with winds measuring more than 140 kilometers per hour, Cyclone Thane devastated the southeastern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Today, it is recognized as the worst storm to hit this area in decades. As part of AUP’s unique Sustainable Development Practicum, based in the region in Auroville, India, 20 AUP students, faculty and alumni witnessed the devastation of Cyclone Thane. In its aftermath, the central Indian government has assessed the damage at more than 1.5 billion Indian rupees,
The Bamboo Research Center before, left, and after, below, the cyclone.
which is equivalent to 23.1 million euro. 48 people lost their lives, and more than 20,000 people evacuated as a result of the storm. But these are just figures. What the photos tell you is the story of Cyclone Thane through the eyes and the lives of the people that live here. Immediately, structures were damaged, computers and supplies were lost, solar power units destroyed; homes lost walls and roofs; and without power to pump the wells, clean water — an already scarce commodity in the region — has grown even more scarce. Students helped by clearing debris from roads and homes and by contributing news and multimedia reports from the area. AUP students were already developing com-
To make a contribution, visit http://aupindia.org and click on “Cyclone Relief.” munications initiatives with community organizations to advance various missions in areas like health, social rights advocacy, sanitation, and equitable labor. To help serve immediate needs, they quickly shifted gears, setting up the Cyclone Thane Relief fund, which will help repair structures and get these organizations back on their feet. Today, the people living in Auroville, Pondicherry, and the surrounding villages are rebuilding every day. The toll Cyclone Thane will have in the long run, specifically on crops, such as the cashew and coconut trees that were destroyed, remains to be seen.
Tim Capener clearing debris outside of the Tibetan Pavillion.
India Notes from the Field
Shiva Pays a Visit By Lacy Wood
evel one cyclones are not generally considered destructive, but in the recent path of Cyclone Thane, extreme ruin was dealt to the Pondicherry and Auroville areas because they lacked any structural preparation. There was ample warning of its arrival, and as the practicum students returned from a long day’s hike and swim in the countryside, no one seemed concerned of a system that in the West we call a hurricane. Somehow, Auroville felt indestructible. On December 30, 2011, after a long night of cyclone induced wind gusts at up to 150 km/hour, we survived on the graces of Kalsang and her family, the keepers of the Tibetan Pavilion where many of us were staying. That afternoon, the rain slowed enough for us to venture into the nearest village in search of food and water. Along the way, we examined the extent of the damage. Every twenty feet there was a tree across the road. Electrical wires were strewn about, making the roads virtually impassable. Kalsang made us lunch, led us to the nearest vegetable sellers, and opened her home to us. It was thanks to her that our rain day was actually bearable, despite the fact that we were all wet, tired, and surrounded by destruction. The following morning, our clean up began with the tree in front of the Pavilion. Even though Kalsang was there for its construction and dedication, I was the one crying as the tree was cut into pieces. Stoic and wise, she understood that this storm offered an opportunity for rebirth.
However, she did get emotional as later that day she announced her inability to host her New Year’s Eve celebration of the laying of 1,000 candles in honor of 1,000 souls. Traditionally, family and friends would get up early to put out over five thousand oil candles, cook food, and prepare the pavilion for the Tibetan monks’ throat chanting. Busloads of people show up every year to witness the memorial of those that have died in support of the Tibetan people. Instead, this year, they spent the entire day moving trees and clearing roads. Watching the stars this New Year’s Eve, Kalsang described the celebration to me. The scent of the oil, with people lit by the glow of endless candles packed into every corner, coupled the throbbing of the chants surround you in a truly unique experience. That night, the absence of light in the pavilion became a symbol of the devastation of thousands of homes, the loss of many lives, and the upending of the glory days of the development in Auroville. As we watched the moon poke in and out of the clouds, waiting for midnight to strike, Kalsang was stoic as ever. She made her resolution to be positive in every situation. Even though I struggled to be optimistic about the coming year, I decided to leave our fate in the hands of Shiva, the god of destruction. It is obvious that the god of destruction and rebirth visited us this New Year, beckoning us to accept what the future holds.
The PSDF Creche daycare center after the cyclone.
Sexual Anxiety ‘I always say, the 70s were the last great party on earth before the plague hit. Sex was like having dessert. But in the 80’s and 90’s my more poignant recollection is of friends dying from AIDS and HIV. It didn’t take many trips to the graveyard until we learned that you had to be careful.’ - Sue Leland-McKenzie, Someone who lived through it all
e careful! This is the caution that screams in the backs of the minds of our generation when we consider being physical with a new partner. Whether from parents, media, or school, STD and unwanted pregnancy fears have been drilled into us from an early age. This conditioning, coupled with the discomfort that many people feel when discussing these risks, can lead to feelings of anxiety as one explores their sexuality. This is not all bad. Especially considering a completely carefree attitude towards sex can put you at risk. However, anxiety does not mix well with feeling comfortable and liberated. When faced with an opportunity for physical intimacy, it can feel so much easier to ignore these anxieties, instead of potentially upsetting the mood with the safer option of discussing deadly infections. But, anxiety does not go away that easily. Boxing it up and putting it in the back of your mind can lead to feeling disconnected from the experience. Busying the mind with the task of compartmentalization compromises ones ability to be in the moment, openly communicating their needs, boundaries, and expectations. The solution to this problem is knowledge. We all know that we need to be careful, yet, thanks to the cultural stigma surrounding the discussion of sex, few of us know the detailed reasons why. When you are equipped with the hard facts about how STDs and contraceptives work, conditioned fears become simple facts that are easy to be confidently prepared for. The Peacock is taking a stand against sexual anxiety. It is a phenomenon that silently plagues the sex lives of many people. For this semester, every edition will devote a number of its pages to the discussion of relevant sexual issues. This month we are starting with an in-depth look at HIV. In future issues, we will provide well-researched answers to our campus’ sexually oriented questions and concerns. If you have an issue that you would like us to discuss in our sexuality pages, submit your query to ThePeacock@aup.edu
Models: Anthony La Rosa Rachel Morrall Photograph by F. Ford Leland
Use our pages to turn knowledge into power. - F. Ford Leland, Editor In Chief
Myths Demystified An in-depth look at Human Immunodeficiency Virus
By Hannah LaSala
t is safe to assume that most people have heard of Human crucial for everyone to have a working knowledge of this Immunodeficiency Virus or the Acquired Immune disease so that they can properly protect themselves as well Deficiency Syndrome, more commonly known as HIV as rid themselves of certain anxieties. and AIDS. However, despite how familiar these terms have become very few individuals have a strong grasp on what An important fact to know is that HIV and AIDS are not they really mean. Many of you reading the same thing. HIV is considered the this article may not be infected or even precursor infection that can progress know someone who is infected with to AIDS. People do not die from HIV HIV or AIDS but your lives are still they suffer and/or die from AIDS affected in an intimate way by these and the other resulting infections it Madison Mentz, a sophomore diseases. The impact of the threat causes the body to be susceptible to. of HIV/AIDS on people’s sex lives Since the first recognition in the early studying psychology. is tangible and lack of information 1980’s of HIV/AIDS science has made is the primary culprit. It is this lack great advances in understanding of knowledge that we strive to address here because it is it. According to Ron Turner, Msc, FIBM, Fellow of the
“STIs freak me out. They scare the f--- out of me,” -
Institute of Biomedical Sciences, “It has become very rare for those infected with HIV to acquire the immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) when they follow their treatments.” This is an exciting fact that we are grateful for but simply put, HIV can be so taxing on the body’s immune system that it can completely lose its ability to function properly. This is not a risk worth taking in spite of available treatments. HIV, the virus you aquire that leads to AIDS, can be found in most types of body fluid. Blood, semen, and vaginal fluids are the most dangerous because they contain the largest quantities of the virus. The easiest way to become infected is through exposure to blood that contains HIV. This is why so many people become infected from sharing needles when doing intravenous drugs; however, a needle stick is not the only way that HIV can enter the bloodstream. It can enter through a small, open scratch on your skin or mucous membranes because these are also open pathways to the bloodstream. Practically speaking most people do not regularly expose their open wounds to other people’s blood, but almost everyone who is sexually active is exposed to other bodily fluids that can contain HIV. The potential for sexual transmission of this disease is very frightening for many people. It can cause anxiety and relationship difficulties as well as behavior extremes that range from overly cautious to not cautious enough. Nobody wants to think about death when they are having sex, but there should be an awareness that there is always risk involved. There are many different ways to have sex: vaginal, anal, oral, digital (fingers), toys and the list goes on. Of all of the types of sex, anal sex carries the highest risk of transmission because of the delicacy of highly vascular rectal tissue. During anal sex the HIV exposure risk is escalated because the rectum contains many thin blood vessels that can easily burst during penetration. This opens a pathway to the receiving party’s bloodstream which, when followed by exposure to semen or even pre-ejaculate, puts the receiver at risk. The penetrator is at a significantly lower risk of infection from the receiver unless they themselves have an open pathway such as a wound, wart, or sore in their genital area. Transmission is also high via vaginal sex, but somewhat lower than with anal sex. Though stronger than the rectum, vaginal membranes are susceptible to damage during sex and thus a pathway to the bloodstream can be created that ejaculatory fluids can then enter. Saliva contains a small amount of HIV, therefore saliva in oral sex and saliva used as a lubricant in sex can be a threat, but without the presence of a direct opening to the bloodstream, the risk of oral or saliva transmission is extremely low.
A scanning of budding HIV-1 cells. Photo courtesy of C. Goldsmith
The way HIV works is complicated. Once in the bloodstream, the virus targets the body’s primary immune cells, the CD4s or T-cells. As a retrovirus, or an RNA virus, it cannot replicate without using a host cell. When it enters a host cell it adds new DNA coding to the DNA of the host and as the host replicates, it replicates more strands of HIV. This is why it is so hard to research a cure, because in targeting
the source of virus replication, you would have to target the host cells themselves. As the virus further develops, the immune system becomes greatly compromised. This is why there are often other infections present, in conjunction with the HIV virus, called comorbidities. According to Dr. Berwyn Clarke, founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Lab21, a clinic that creates virus detection tests and performs HIV related research in Cambridge, England “There are two forms of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. About 90% of HIV patients are infected with HIV-1, but even with HIV-1, there are a variety of forms of the virus that are resistant to medication, which is why patients with HIV need to be assessed at the onset of the disease, then tested again three to six months later.” More than 34 million people worldwide live with this disease, according to the World Health Organization’s 2011 fact sheet. Nearly 2.7 million people around the world were newly infected with HIV or AIDS in 2010, and about 1.8 million died from the illness. There are three major preventative measures that should be taken by those who are sexually active: openly discussing the risk of disease, testing, and wearing condoms or using other barriers. It is incredibly important to have open dialouge with sexual partners in order to protect against this disease and prevent the potential of spreading the disease to others. Getting tested before any sexual activity occurs is essential. Condoms and barrier methods lower the risk of HIV transmission and also protects against other sexually transmitted infections, plus helps prevent unplanned pregnancies. Getting tested for HIV and other STDs is an easy procedure. A blood sample from either the finger or arm is taken, and then tested for antibodies. When a disease infects the body, it leaves behind a trail of antibodies, which is what the tests look for. However, there is the possibility of a false negative with HIV testing. This is because the disease may take a range of time from weeks to months to create the antibodies. Therefore, getting tested three months after suspected exposure is recommended. It is important to be cautious in the interim between potential exposure and testing three months later because you can pass the infection on to others almost immediately after exposure. Please remember that false negatives do not mean you are incapable of infecting others. It is a good practice to routinely get tested, even without suspicion of infection. The fear of disease can cause one to avoid getting tested, but with the development of medications and treatments, there is no excuse not to check. The sooner the disease is detected, the better. HIV is a devastating disease that affects people of all ages, races, genders, and sexual orientations. While there is no cure for HIV or AIDS, there are precautionary steps that one can take to prevent contracting the infection: education about the disease and how it is transmitted, partner dialogue, condoms and barrier methods as protection, and getting tested regularly.
Communication Beyond Words By Toki Kumekbayeva
sychologists often advise us to talk about our feelings. When we express ourselves and share our thoughts, we let others know who we are. Even better, we build a stronger connection with them. But is communication more than just talking? According to John Gray, relationship counselor and the author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, “Good communication requires participation on both sides” and is most efficient when we try to achieve mutual understanding. This means not simply comprehending what the other person is saying on the surface, but putting ourselves in their shoes and trying to see their point of view. When confronted by a partner who is sad, angry or irritated, it is easy to ignore their feelings or react irrationally. But when we try to understand why the partner has these feelings, it becomes easier to deal with differences of opinion and prevent arguments. If good communication means seeing each other’s perspective, that doesn’t sound difficult. So why does communication fail so often? We are all different. Each person is unique in many ways. Our differences of upbringing and culture can be so vast that they form obstacles to understanding. Take our beliefs for example. Everyone has something they are strongly convinced of. We all have opinions, and sometimes deeply ingrained views cannot be easily negotiated. When they clash with our partner’s opinions, it can turn into an ugly battle. If you are faced with a partner who refuses to adapt to even minor changes, the solution may be to try to understand why they are so firm in their belief. If your partner sees that you’re really trying to understand and accept them, they will most likely do the same. Everyone brings their own set of expectations into the relationship. “We expect the opposite sex to be more like ourselves. We desire them to ‘want what we want’ and ‘feel the way we feel’,” writes Gray. While it’s perfectly normal to expect certain actions, there are moments when expectation turns into an attempt to change the other person. We try to make them conform to our way of thinking, to nudge them toward being what we want them to be, instead of accepting them as they are. For success in a relationship, it is important to recognize the boundary between realistic and idealistic expectations. It is realistic to consider a partner’s qualities and flaws, to pay attention to what they say and do for you and to what they may mean but not express openly. It is less realistic to expect the partner to conform to an idealized image. We tend to idealize our partners and their potential. We expect a partner to act the way we do, to do for us what we do for them, to make us happy. Idealization can result in
great misunderstanding: one party is not satisfied with what they receive and the other is disappointed because they are not appreciated for what they are. Situations like this may crop up in relationships – one likes to go out, the other wants to stay at home and each expects the other to bend. AUP professor, George Allyn, says, “Idealization is a part of any loving relationship, but it is important not to over-idealize and retain a realistic image of the partner.” We focus on what the partner isn’t doing rather than what he or she is doing. It’s also important to remember what is positive about your partner rather than focusing on their flaws and shortcomings. Setting aside expectations and running a positive reality check will be much more helpful for communication. If you feel like you’re expecting something but will never receive it, tell them about it. You might find out that your partner, too, has expectations that you have not been meeting. Sharing will allow you to see each other’s perspective, which in turn will help understanding each other and appreciating each other more. Trying to understand one another is the ultimate communication skill to learn. “Relationships thrive when communication reflects a ready acceptance and respect of people’s innate differences”, says Gray. It doesn’t take a lot of knowledge or practice: simply try to put yourself in the other’s position and imagine the situation from their point of view. Remember to listen and speak up, to express your feelings but also to be aware of the subtext underlying your partner’s words and actions. Try to be constructive and realistic in what you want. Don’t make your goal to win every argument. Communicating on a deeper level will help strengthen your relationship if reach for mutual understanding – not only of what the other person is saying, but the emotion behind it and why that emotion arises. Simply remembering the differences and focusing on the positive aspects of each other’s personality is a way to improve communication – and stay happy in your relationship. Toki is a third year undergraduate Psychology student at AUP who enjoys looking at the facets of interpersonal relationships. If you have personal or relationship questions, email Toki at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Blue Valentine T
he mention of love can be especially biting in the middle of February. Seeing couples stare at each other romantically is suddenly unbearable. Between the added pressure to find that romantic someone or the added pressure to make that day extra special, it can be unnerving. These feelings prior to February 14 can linger and continue beyond the day itself, turning potential disappointment into sadness. Combining this scenario with the constant cloudy gray scenery makes these feelings even more difficult to shake. Whether in France or the US, this holiday can increase a sense of pressure to have “succeeded” at love. For those who have not recently been in a relationship or have just gotten out of one, a sense of “failure” or loneliness may increase at this time. There’s a lot of media – from movies to magazines – all about feeling lonely and depressed around Valentine’s Day. Many advice columns dole out words of wisdom. These columns address the common feelings and how easy they are to come by around this time of year. Around this time of the year, with all the candy hearts, flowers and cute couples, it’s easy for a single gal or guy to feel a bit blue. However, there is a distinct differentiation between these feelings. What can be considered depression is often just sadness, a feeling that will take care of itself over time. When trying to assess the differences between sadness and depression, clarification can be helpful. Kristin Duncombe, a clinical social worker and off-campus counselor for AUP, helps to explain these differences. “Sadness is one of many ‘normal’ states that we humans will find ourselves in over our lives, and generally will occur in response to an event, a piece of news, a difficult circumstance, grief, etc. Depression is a much more serious (mental) illness that, while it may include feelings of sadness,
has many other symptoms as well,” she said over email. The knowledge of what these two scenarios are can be very helpful when trying to figure out whether it’s sadness, depression, or something in between. When sadness or loneliness strikes, find a way to help distract from the emotion. Go out with friends, talk to family, relax. Last year Cameron Grey, 18, a freshman at AUP, and a group of single friends threw an I Hate Valentine’s Day Party. “It was a fun way to celebrate the holiday with a group of people and a lot better than sitting at home alone,” said Gray. This can also distract from the disappointment that can follow the holiday. Depression can be portrayed with a variety of symptoms as opposed to the simplicity of sadness. Depression is characteristically a chronic disorder of several symptoms, including sadness, that take place over a period of time. For example, trouble sleeping, loss of interest, or unexplainable fatigue. If these symptoms are persistent, it’s incredibly important to see a doctor to help get on the track to feeling better. This condition may not apply to everyone, and it’s important to take a look at the root of these emotions. By asking introspective questions, figuring this out can be a big part of why someone is feeling down. Did something happen to make me sad? Is it because I’m single this time of year? If the assessment is sadness, it’s still important to remember the highlights of the holiday. Both for those in a relationship and single, Valentine’s Day can be “a nice excuse to do something fun and special,” said Avery. Feelings of sadness are universal. For most people, their mood will pass in a day or so – or just after finishing a box of chocolates.
“Sadness is one of many ‘normal’ states that we humans will find ourselves in over our lives.” - Kristin Duncombes
By Molly Mason
The Reality of Depression Depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. Not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some people experience a few symptoms, others many, and the severity of symptoms varies among individuals and over time. Many symptoms of depression are commonly known – feeling blue, tired and unable to concentrate, losing interest in activities that were once enjoyable, changes in appetite. Karen Kasch, Ph.D., and her team from Stanford University suggest that a major depressive episode involves physical changes as well as a behavioral and emotional shutdown. Anhedonia is the loss of energy and the inability to take part in pleasurable activities or have any “fun.” In 2002, Kasch and her team found that anhedonia is more characteristic of severe episodes of depression than, for example, feelings of distress or sadness, which was published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. If you recognize these symptoms and feel they are affecting your life, contact Health and Wellness on campus in Bosquet. You can email Kristin Duncombe (email@example.com), Ariane Wilder, off-campus counselor, (firstname.lastname@example.org), or or Aaron Murray-Nellis, an on-campus counselor (email@example.com) to make an appointment. Reasons for an appointment don’t need to be revealed and everything remains confidential.
An antique Valentine’s Day card. Photo courtesy of Liz West
Menâ€™s Fashion Week Why We Love Eccentric Collections Fall/Winter 2012-13 Bernhard Willhelm Julius Walter van Beirendonck
Written by Dari Goldman Photography by Ford Leland
t’s hard not to look at Bernhard Wilhelm’s recent menswear collection and not think of the infamous Zoolander movie, which featured homeless couture, “Derelicte.” The styling of the models was disheveled, accompanied with equally tattered and shredded clothing. Wilhelm has always shared an unusual and edgy point of view, but this collection may have fallen off the cliff while still surviving to tell the tale.
“Wait, can we stop for a minute and just talk about how hot he is?” -Rachel Nielsen
There was a constant nomadic motif referenced by the “Transit” uniforms, patterned looks and general patchwork feel, as if each look was brought together by a different destination. Utility has certainly been found in many menswear collections this season, but Wilhelm draws inspiration from those who must utilize each of their possessions for survival. The show also tied in the popular animal theme present in menswear this season, featuring a Siberian tiger on many of the shirts and trousers, making for powerful imagery. Undoubtedly, one could picture the cool, edgy skater or punk rocker from around the block donning the shirts, or even the shredded pants. The bold native American prints and knits are especially wearable for the fall and winter seasons for those who want to express a bit more than the somber emotions that come with colder weather. It’s a specialty of Wilhelm’s: giving something more to a piece for those who need more. While he stays on trend, he keeps an element of whimsy and enthusiasm. But the collection certainly had its unabashed moments of contention, most notably the “I Love Black C---” and “ Boy Toy” headbands that adorned a few of the models. Juxtaposed with the rest of the looks, the possible meanings are uncomfortable. In a collection that may celebrate the nomad, was it also critiquing the lifestyle that often leads to a more dangerous path of dependency? Is this a celebration or a damnation? The answer hovers in the collection, but never stays in one place. It’s nomadic, and perhaps that’s the whole point.
t was cold and grey with a light drizzle on the morning of the Julius runway show. The weather was mirrored by many in the crowd, who were draped in blacks and faded greys, waiting with feigned boredom to witness Tatsuro Horikawa’s latest collection. Though the showgoers acted jaded, the atmosphere buzzed with the excitement that the new collection could bring. Horikawa began his career as an artist, venturing into clothing in 1996 with his label NUKE, which he considers to have been the start and root of Julius. “People tend to think that Julius suddenly arrived in the last few years and compare us to some of the newer Western brands, without knowing just how deep our roots go. I think this is a cause for a lot of confusion when people talk about who did what first, particularly regarding underground culture and the use of industrial motifs, but this was what NUKE was all about.” Since the early days of NUKE Horikawa’s powers of design have grown. He has drawn inspiration from movies like Akira, which depicts a post-apocalyptic Neo Tokyo, and other dark anime in Japan’s diverse underground cultures. His past collections have also focused on his darker interests in fetishism, cyberpunk, and industrial cultures in a dualist balance with his spiritual side rooted in traditional Japanese Zen Buddhism. His pallette is monochrome: blacks, whites and greys predominate in his collections. Rarely does one get any color from Horikawa. Perhaps this is because of the heavy influence of the bleak view of Japan’s postpunk industrial underground. At times, Horikawa’s future reality seems bleak, void of light or hope. But then he surprises, again and again, with a gesture of subtlety that suggests humanism and hope. Diverging from prior collections, this year Horikawa presented looks that were distinctly wearable. Though the designer pleased his devoted with in his asymmetrical draped t-shirts, many of the pieces from this collection focused on utility with flair instead of the stark purity of the aesthetic designs that Julius fans may be used to. Some favorites from the presentation included camouflaged harem skinny trousers, reminiscent of the military trend often seen this season. Horikawa’s technical ability shined with a thick knit sweater with the neck hovering between collar and scarf. Horikawa’s theme for this season, “resonance,” permeated the collection. Though Julius went in a lighter direction this season, the monotonous ping of the soundtrack and the foggy room established the continuity with early works. The models, frail but relentless in their march, always blankly expressionless, gave a gothic feel to the event, staying true to the brand’s history. It’s easy to see why Julius has been such a success. In a men’s week filled with the prim and proper, Horikawa and his team are one of the few houses that maintains a consistent counter-trend. This collection spoke of a “metropolitan trilogy” of fortitude, faith, and resonance, which is surely a good message for our current reality. If he continues creating in his own direction, his work will have a presence long after the seasons.
Walter Van Beirendonck Lust Never Sleeps
en’s fashion week can be a mixed bag. Between the usual germane practicality and the fantastical imaginings of designers, really wearable innovation is often missed. Designer Walter Van Beirendonck finds a harmony between the two opposites, creating a whole story that dances on this provocative line. Throughout the collection, Beirendonck’s work speaks for itself, showing a masterful hand with fabric as well as a playfulness that is refreshing in the menswear scene. The styling was certainly jarring. The theme, “Lust Never Sleeps,” was shown in each look – from the exotic fetish masks and gloves, to the accessories adorned with voodoo figurines and rubber padlocks. Even more, the masks and gloves have a light pink color that eerily resembled skin tones preferred in Fashion Weeks’ past. It made one think that perhaps lust did not only refer to the blatant fetishism imagery, but also the way in which fashion has lusted after a certain type of model, Beirendonck merely taking us to the next logical step of that obsession.
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Beirendonck took the audience from day to night and back to day, showing that lust did not sleep in his world. The designer showcased an assortment of looks: suits, rubber overalls, fuzzy pajamas, and ended with voluminous overcoats that are warm enough for winter, but bold enough to make a statement. The looks did not lack any of Beirendonck’s usual whimsy, as he included bright colors clashing with bold prints and plaids. Favorites were the four sweaters knitted into patterns, which seemed to swallow the viewer whole, but were made in such a fuzzy yarn as to render them harmless once felt. This collection is clearly made for a person who is willing to dabble in all types of play, be it innocent or of a more provocative nature. But it leaves the question: Who is the man behind the mask, willing to play these dual roles? In a menswear world where one can’t push the boundaries outside of the assumed roles, the man in Beirendonck’s collection may be as elusive as Lust’s slumber.
contact with your CV: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel’s Valentine’s Day Cookies Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 9 - 11 minutes
Ingredients: • 2 1/4 cups (288 grams) all-purpose flour • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking soda (bicarbonate de soude if you need a French replacement) • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt • 1 cup (128 grams) butter, softened • 3/4 cup (96 grams) granulated sugar • 3/4 cup (96 grams) brown sugar • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract • 2 large eggs • 2 cups (256 grams) chocolate chips • 1 bag of M&M’s • Lots of miniature Reese’s peanut butter cups (or just 2 spoonfuls of peanut butter) Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit (191 degrees Celcius) 2. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small mixing bowl. 3. Beat the butter in a large bowl. 4. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla in with the butter. 5. Add eggs to the mix with the butter and sugar. 6. Gradually add the flour mixture to the mix with the butter and sugar. 7. Grease a pan (or cheat and use tin foil) and make the dough into small balls, spacing them evenly. 8. Place in the oven for 9-11 minutes, then let them cool for about 3-5 minutes. Every Valentine’s Day, I make special cookies to celebrate every loved one, from family to friends to significant others. These cookies are universal and a little touch of care. Enjoy these special cookies that are filled to the brim with candy and have yourself a delicious Valentine’s Day!
News By Monik Chaudry
With the semester off to a rolling start, the campus is already buzzing with activity. Here’s a highlight of what has happened so far and things to come: The Senate The Senate had its first meeting of the spring semester on January 29, 2012. This meeting had two members return in new roles. Former senators Mohammad “Moe” Bourji and Tim Capener stepped into the positions of Vice Presidents, for the Undergraduate Student Council, or USC, and Graduate Student Council, or GSC respectively. The following decisions were made in the meeting: • Bourji and Capener will no longer serve as senators for their departments and these positions would be up for grabs for other students within their departments: Master of Arts of Global Communications, otherwise known as MAGCs, and Economics, respectively. • Budgetary allocations to the Sports Committee will allow 7,000 € for 40 student-athletes to compete in an international tournament in Belgium. • Frantz Fanon was also allotted 4,000 € for a conference will be held later this year with 10 unknown guest speakers and many more attendees. • The senior representative, Benjamin Barillas, was allowed approximately 10,000 € to add to the original amount for the Graduation gala, which is held every May.
Games Across 3. god of destruction 5. Horikawa’s former brand 7. first name: Boris; nickname: _____ 9. goddess of prosperity 10. we tend to _____ our partners 11. the loss of energy and inability to take part in pleasurable activities 15. loss of interest in activities may be a sign of this 17. he was inspired by the Loire Valley castle for Sleeping Beauty 20. started by Marc Grossman 23. he is also a writer prominent in Paris 24. Japanese film drawn on for inspiration 25. a helpful endeavor towards your career 26. AKA Claire Boucher Down 1. a restaurant that serves meals cooked from the power of the sun in India 2. the town known for sustainable living 4. the only cinema in the 7th 6. name of the mountain themed coffee 8. an alumnus who worked for Dreamworks 12. some Indian women do this every morning 13. where Jeanne d’Arc was buried 14. she leads a workshop on time management 16. one teaspoon of 18. the pleasure palace 19. he owns an international ceramic business 21. Lust Never ______ 22. the number of people from AUP who witnessed Cyclone Thane firsthand
AUP Events On Thursday, February 16 at 13:45 in C12, there will be a workshop led by Deanna Canoge, ADD specialist, helping students with time management. On Thursday, February 16, from 18:00 to 20:30 at Vernissage, The AUP Fine Arts Gallery is having a showing of paintings by Raphaëlle Pia, called, “Sable et Lumière.” On Tuesday, February 21, at 18:30 in C12, join AUP and the Eugene Lang Partnership are holding a lecture series on Communicative Objects with Christy Shields of the Global Communications department and Dominic Pettman of Media and Culture from Eugene Lang. On Wednesday, February 22, at 18:30 in C12, Toni Erskine, Professor of Social and Political Theory from the University of Aberystwyth, will speak about “War Sanctions, Fines, and Boycotts: Punishing Delinquent Institutions in World Politics.”
sauce, cookies, skype, sweaters, fashion, photography, juice, lady, masochism, blankets, snow, nachos, ballet, fur, avocado, giants, models, typo, hippie, rubber