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TUFTS OBSERVER October 10, 2011


volume XxxIIi / issue 2

inside the Online dating in  college (page 2)

A fratty photo inset (page 13)

Sequel: the Modern  Love contest winner (page 18)

featured articles



Meeting your match in the digital age


modern love Sequel, the winner of our first Modern Love contest

off campus Discovering folk opportunities near Tufts


arts & culture Pretty Lights’ live show, reviewed


poetry & prose Poetry by Diane Wegge and Flo Wen


The Observer has been Tufts’ publication of record since 1895. Our dedication to in-depth reporting, journalistic innovation, and honest dialogue has remained intact for over a century. Today, we offer insightful news analysis, cogent and diverse opinion pieces, creative writing, and lively reviews of current arts, entertainment, and culture. Through poignant writing and artistic elegance, we aim to entertain, inform, and above all challenge the Tufts community to effect positive change.



O Editors


October 10, 2011 Volume CXXIII, Issue 2 Tufts Observer, Since 1895 Tufts’ Student Magazine

editor-in-chief Eliza Mills managing editor Zachary Laub

production director David Schwartz section editors Eric Archibald Anna Burgess Kyle Carnes Molly Mirhashem Cara Paley Nicola Pardy Molly Rubin Katherine Sawyer Natalie Selzer Ariana Siegel Evan Tarantino

photography director Catherine Nakajima photography editor Louise Blavet art editor Becky Plante lead artist Natasha Jessen-Petersen copy editors Kristen Barone Gracie McKenzie Isobel Redelmeier Michael Rogove production assistants Paul Butler Ben Kurland Angelina Rotman Lenéa Sims web editor Bradley Ooserveld business manager Claire McCartney

2 feature Digital Love, by Angelina Rotman 5 news Obama: A Partisan Problem, by Anna Burgess 6 news Giving Every Soldier a Voice, by Claire McCartney 8 opinion Crime and Publishment, by Cara Paley 10 opinion The Cot of Compromise, by Elias Kahan & culture 11 arts Craig Thompson Talks Heart and Inspiration in Habibi, by Gabe Nicholas 12 campus Mind the Gap: The Separate Lives of Students and Faculty, by Molly Mirhashem inset 13 photo Fratting Around 17 food Grilled Cheese Lovin’, by Luke Pyneson love contest 18 modern Sequel, by Ashley Suarez & culture 20 arts Pretty Lights, by Elliott Engelmann 22 campus When Art Becomes “Uz vs. Them,” by Patrick McGrath campus 24 off Finding Folk, by Ian MacLellan and Emma Scudder & prose 26 poetry Late Night, by Diane Wegge & prose 27 poetry Piecing it Together, by Flo Wen 28 campus Police Blotter, by Becky Plante

Contributors Elliott Engelman Izzie Gall Elias Kahan Laura Liddell Ian MacLellan Anna-Maria Melachrinou

Patrick McGrath Gabe Nicholas Luke Pyneson Gabriela Ros Emma Scudder Diane Wegge

Flo Wen






By Angelina Rotman 2


OCTOBER 10, 2011

Art bY Natasha Jessen-Petersen

can be happily single, desperately looking for love, part of a serious relationship, or trying to piece together the blur of our most recent hook up, but our intimate relationships with each other dictate a large part of our lives here on campus. Though sometimes it feels like the Tufts campus is brimming with happy couples, most students still find themselves entrenched within Tufts’ particular brand of hook-up culture. However, more and more college students, gorwing sick of the hook up scene, are turning to online dating as a legitimate alternative to the 123 basement.




Sex is on our minds

all the time.

Though online dating is not the most prevalent dating tactic on college campuses, the stigma of meeting a significant other online is fading into the antiquated recess of the pre-digital age. Some websites are growing more and more popular, particularly with the college-aged set. For example, users of OkCupid, a free dating site, tend to fall in the younger age brackets, according to Jenna Wortham of The New York Times. The concept of actual dating, let alone online dating, may be a little intimidating, but for those looking for something more than a random hook-up, online dating may be a practical and interesting solution. “I think it is great that students at Tufts (or at other colleges) turn to online dating because it is really hard to date in college,” said blogger DeeDee of Tufts Dateless Diva, a blog dedicated to helping girls navigate the waters of Tufts’ dating and hookup scene, said. “Hook-ups can always mean nothing, whereas dates have a connotation of a promise to something more. If someone doesn't want a relationship, they are not going to take you on a date. And most people in college don't want a relationship. I know that some people are very careful about what they do so that the person they are hooking up with never thinks they want more. A date is no exception.”

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5 3




Some students, like Kevin McDonald, a senior who found someone he liked on OkCupid, begin online dating as a means of meeting people they can't meet otherwise. “I was in the closet in high school,” McDonald said. “So it was sort of very impossible for me to meet guys. I went on the Internet and found this one community directed to high school guys.” Though McDonald took a break from online dating when he came to college, a conversation with a friend over spring break about the lack of men of quality in their lives inspired a return to the online dating pool. OkCupid strives to be less a dating site and more a social network. The homepage features no cheesy pictures of happy couples, no proclamations of the site’s success rate and no cherubs singing or otherwise. This is no Match or eHarmony; the site isn't geared towards marrage and instead aims to get its users to meet in person as soon as possible. Overall, it feels a bit like Facebook, down to the blue and white page design. The questions OkCupid uses to make matches are all user-generated, and you can look through other profiles and send messages to people you find interesting. There are also pages of personality quizzes ranging from “What’s Your Dating Style?” to “Who Would You Be in 1400 AD?” “It’s easy to get sucked in,” McDonald said. “It’s like a personality test, except instead of results, you get people you might want to date. It’s very cool. I like that it’s very casual.” As far as dating sites go, OkCupid is unique not only in its attempt to be more inviting to younger users, but also in their methods of matchmaking. The site was founded in 2004 by four Harvard mathematicians, making OkCupid’s formula just that—a mathematic formula. When a user answers a question on the site’s “Improve Matches” page, the information the user gives includes his or her answer, how that user would like someone else to answer that question, and how important the user rates the question. That user’s answers are then compared with another user’s answers to get a “Match Percentage.” Then, it’s up to the user to message who they find appealing. The website’s blog, OkTrends, is dedicated to publishing dating research based on the ways their 7 million users present themselves and interact with one another. Posts include “10 Charts About Sex,” “The REAL ‘Stuff White People Like,’” and “The Big Lies People Tell in Online Dating.” While the blog has garnered OkCupid a lot of media attention, as well as a surge in users, according to The New York Times, some find the site’s findings little more than ridiculous. For example, of the charts in that particular post, one compares college tuition with the number of times the students would like to have sex per week. “Generally speaking, the more your parents are paying for your education, the more horny you are,” writes OkCupid co-founder



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} }

§ § §

Christian Rudder. “If only Freud were still around to help us understand; instead we have psychology majors, those Adidas shower sandals and darkness.” At almost $42K, Tufts falls neatly on the 5.25 times per week line. Other findings on OkTrends show that a girl’s most appealing profile picture features a smile and her doing something interesting, such as playing guitar or hiking in the Alps. Guys, on the other hand, should not smile, and should instead show off their abs. Another finding, applying a bit of game theory, shows that the more men disagree about a woman’s attractiveness, the more messages she will receive, while a universal “cute” is more or less a death sentence. Another alarming fact: OkCupid hides “good-looking” people from “less attractive” users. Users are ranked by OkCupid click data and algorithms. Those who rank in the top 50% will theoretically see more good-looking people in their searches. “We are very pleased to report that you are in the top half of OkCupid’s more attractive users,” says an email the website sends to those in the top 50%. “Your new elite status comes with one important privilege, you will now see more attractive people in your match results.” This seems mildly unfair on both the winning and losing sides. After all, Zooey Deschanel married Ben Gibbard, didn’t she? What it boils down to is that, because we are putting our private lives out there online, we are making them, in a sense, public. By letting those things that are so hard to categorize and put into words (the feeling of liking someone; falling for someone new; playing the field; etc) online, we are allowing someone else to categorize the uncategorizable, break things down, take them apart, graph and chart them, use logic to decode the illogical. Sam Yagan, co-founder and CEO of OkCupid, said in The New York Times that part of the company’s open approach included shedding light on what their data revealed, whether or not it was flattering. “We’re not saying what we’ve found is good or bad,” Yagan said. “But it’s a dating phenomenon, and we’re just trying to capture it.” DeeDee, among others, fears that the methods OkTrends is using to get their data may be doing more harm than good. “Throwing a bunch of stats about peoples' demographics, sex interests, and their sexual experience together does not equal a good study on the human sexual experience,” DeeDee said. In college, most students aren’t looking for a soulmate. But in a social scene as small as Tufts’, perhaps there is merit in looking outside the hill, even if it is just for dinner and a movie. “[Online dating] is a way of escaping the bubble,” McDonald said. “We are very hard working and many of us probably don’t have the time to invest in a relationship. I know people who’ve used OkCupid for hooking up and for dating and for everything in between. I think it’s a matter of finding the right person, and it’s not always easy to do that.” O


Obama’s Partisan Problem

Creative Commons


By Anna Burgess

resident Obama has been criticized in the past—more than once—for his lack of strong stances on various issues. While Obama branded himself as someone trying to “reach across the aisle,” critics often hammered him, saying he was trying so hard not to upset anyone that he was doing nothing of note. No one is saying that now; Obama certainly has made some big partisan moves in the past few weeks and months. But these moves haven’t gotten him much approval. His numbers in the polls are falling, and are now at an all-time low. The latest Gallup poll, as of September 30th, shows that our president has an approval rating of 39% and a disapproval rating of 52%. His approval rating dropped little by little over the course of this summer, as he dealt with deficit concerns and unemployment issues. Now, two of the president’s recent plans—those for creating jobs and for filling the deficit—have seen his approval drop even further. Interestingly, the Gallup poll shows that Obama’s job plan itself has a large base of supporters. 53% of Republican voters favor eliminating certain tax deductions on large corporations to help pay for the new jobs, and 41% of Republican voters favor increasing income tax on people earning over $200,000 a year. The Democratic approval ratings on these proposals are 86% and 85%, respectively. These seem like high numbers, especially from the Republicans, who have long shown

disapproval for Obama. Many economists are also behind Obama’s plan, saying that it could “help prevent a 2012 recession,” according to a survey from Bloomberg News. Where things get a little shakier is in discussion of Obama’s other new plan, the plan for deficit reduction. The president has announced that he plans to cut deficits by $4.4 trillion in the next decade, beginning with some cuts to entitlements and discretionary spending—and adding many new taxes for the wealthiest people in America. Whereas earlier this summer, Obama and Speaker Boehner were discussing a “grand bargain,” a sort of compromise deficit-reduction plan, the president has now gone ahead and proposed his own plan emphasizing taxes on the very wealthy. He has also said that if Congress wants to cut any health care benefits to help the deficit, they must raise taxes on the wealthy as well, or face a presidential veto. It doesn’t come as a surprise that many of Obama’s opponents are strongly opposed to his deficit-reduction plan. He has been accused of being in “political class warfare mode” by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, whose own plan for reducing deficit and spending was to turn Medicare into a voucher system. Obama expressed his disdain for this idea, saying, “I’m not going to allow [our need to reduce health care costs] to be an excuse for turning Medicare into a voucher program that leaves seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry.” It seems as though our president is facing attacks on multiple fronts and has decid-

ed that the best defense is a good offense. In the past, his attitude has notoriously been one of compromise. In fact, earlier this year, Obama said he would consider raising the Medicare eligibility age to cut costs, which would have been a big compromise with the GOP. His new proposal, though, has no such age raise. In the face of a Republican Congress, the president has started sticking to his liberal guns more and more. So why are his approval ratings falling? Maybe because, when you stop trying to please everyone, someone is going to end up unhappy. “Obama is causing class warfare,” opponents are saying, or, “Obama is losing himself the Jewish vote.” But if the president believes taxing the rich is the best way to fix the deficit and that alliance with Israel doesn’t mean supporting their every action, then he is simply acting on these beliefs. The country elected Obama in part because the confidence he had throughout his campaign helped voters to believe in him as well. Now, with another election drawing near, voters’ confidence is badly shaken, and this is reflected in the low approval ratings. But while 39% approval is far from ideal, Obama should at least be commended for taking a strong stance—or stances. Maintaining his strength and composure in the face of much opposition is impressive, and the president doubtless hopes that voters will recognize this and remember the self-confidence that was so inspiring the first time around. O OCTOBER 10, 2011



s ew








OCTOBER 10, 2011

by Claire McCartney

n the harsh fluorescent light of what looks like a dorm room, a short-haired young man in a white t-shirt sits down at his desk, gamely facing the camera he has placed on himself. “I’m probably about as nervous as I ever remember being. I’m about to call my dad in Alabama...” And so begins the now viral video of 21-yearold Randy Philips, a gay soldier stationed in Germany who publicly came out to his father on his extremely popular YouTube channel. The video continues as Philips nervously dials the number and tells his unsuspecting father on speaker phone, “The hardest thing that gay guys will ever have to say.” The young soldier and his millions of viewers wait with bated breath for the reaction of a father’s first time hearing the words, “Dad, I’m gay.” After a softly uttered, “Yikes,” to everyone’s relief Philips’ father adds in a southern drawl, “I still love you, son. Yes, I still love you.” After a loaded pause he adds firmly, “It doesn’t change our relationship, you hear me?” American soldiers around the world celebrated the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, or DADT, on the morning of Tuesday,

September 20th. Despite some conservative opposition, Obama removed the 18-yearlong ban of openly gay individuals serving in the armed forces, stating “[if] you want to be commander-in-chief, you can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States even when it is not politically convenient.” Signed into law by President Clinton, DADT prohibited those serving in the military from discriminating against closeted individuals but also prevented homosexual servicemen and women from sharing any information regarding their sexual orientation. This controversial law created many difficulties for gay men and women in the military by ordering them to keep important aspects of their lives, families, and relationships secret from their fellow soldiers. It also caused pain and humiliation for those who were discovered to be gay and quickly discharged from the military because of their sexuality. The recent repeal of DADT swung open the closet doors for those previously living in fear of losing their positions and esteem in the military. Philips’ heartwarming conversation with his father put a youthful face on the many members of the military that have suffered the ramifications of the act for years, like Navy Lt. Gary Ross, who flew to Vermont the morning DADT ended to marry his partner of 11 years. American

N ew s


, Don’t Tell

soldiers across the world are experiencing the relief and the freedom of being able to speak the truth for the first time. Many veterans who were once discharged for their sexuality are also celebrating, and many have expressed the desire to re-enlist and begin their military careers again. Joseph Rocha of Sacramento, California experienced endless harassment for his sexual orientation when he enlisted in the Navy at the age of 18. Though he was discharged in 2007 for being gay, he still feels called to serve his nation and would



re-enlist if given the opportunity. “It’s a unique and beautiful thing most of us feel we were robbed of and would take the first chance to have it back,” he said, echoing the words of many other vets that will attempt to rejoin the military now that the law is repealed. Yet despite the celebratory nature of the repeal, there are other hurdles to be conquered. Because of high enlistment, there is no guarantee that veterans like Rocha will be able to rejoin the military if they wish to serve. Benefits for partners of homosexual soldiers are also at a standstill, because, like most of the United States, the military does not recognize gay marriage as a legitimate union. This means the significant others of gay servicemen and women cannot live on military bases like other soldiers’ partners and do not have access to support groups and other services that are normally provided to the family members of soldiers. And not all members of the military were thrilled about the repeal. Emily Mears, the Staff Assistant for Tufts’ own LGBT center and reservist in the Coast Guard for ten years, is skeptical that true change will come to the military. “Even though you change the law you do not change the minds of people that have to follow the law,” she said, adding, “Most people that I know are overjoyed and might feel more comfortable now, but I do not.” After surviving sexual

assault perpetrated by a classmate during training, she was vigorously questioned by her supervisors about her sexuality, “as if it had anything to do with it.” This experience, along with her poor treatment during the investigation, left Mears “hypersensitive to DADT and what it meant to be treated like a second class citizen in the military.” She plans to end her affiliation with Coast Guard within the year. As a symbol of the progress we have made as a nation and as individuals, Randy Philips’ emotional moment with his father was broadcast around the world. For so many servicemen and women that have been living in fear and anxiety, the military’s recognition of its gay members as equals was a truly historic moment in time. However, the lesser-known video that Philips made that same day was his call to his mother. Her reaction was colder than Philips’ father’s, filled with pauses of disbelief and confusion as the young soldier talked her through it haltingly, working toward a shaky acceptance. Positive changes in equality occur every day, in leaps and bounds like the overturning of a discriminatory law, and in small, subtle increments, like a mother learning to accept with her son’s identity. Year after year, time marches on like soldiers in a row, as the nation does its best to mend old wounds and create the foundation for a more just society. O OCTOBER 10, 2011



n io pi n o

Crime and publishment by cara paley


eet Amanda Hocking. A 26-year-old assisted living worker from Minnesota, Amanda wanted to be a writer. Correction: a published writer. And so, fed up with hopelessly blind submissions, too-choosy editors, and impersonal rejections, Amanda self-published her three paranormal-romance-thriller books—delicious mash-ups of vampires, zombies, and utopian fantasy—as e-books online. By March 2011, she racked up two million dollars in sales. She sold 45,000 books in the month of January alone, all thanks to this explosive self-publishing craze. Small-town Amanda Hocking is now a millionaire. Amanda isn’t the only author dominating the digital e-book realm. Amazon’s Kindle store has become an increasingly enticing hotspot for writers who just couldn’t master the tricky world of print. As self-publishing services like CreateSpace, AuthorHouse, and Publish America continue to proliferate the Web, more writers are abandoning the old-fashioned route for the satisfying guarantee that their work will reach the public eye. Last year, CreateSpace, a subsidiary of Amazon Kindle, topped the field with 34,000 self-published titles. According to a recent press release by Publisher’s Lunch, “non-traditional” books—that is, web-based self-published works and public domain reprints—ballooned to a staggering 2.776 million. Not all writers are striking it rich. In efforts to entice readers and beat out savvy online competitors, self-publishing newbies must sell their e-books at extremely low prices, sometimes as low as 99 cents. The eager-to-be-published often find that the only way to sell books is to, essentially, give them away. And this makes all too much sense. Without that vibrant connection to a reputable publishing house, complete with an in-the-know publishing team to do the dirty work



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for you, it’s significantly harder to produce a book of the same market value, let alone quality. Editors commit at least two years toward polishing content and nourishing a story’s literary genius. Today’s best-sellers and most critically acclaimed would be nowhere without the laborious, ever-continuous process of editorializing, producing, marketing, and selling. And there are the copyeditors, the often-undervalued masters of Chicago Style who strain their eyes scouring out spelling mistakes and reinforcing the basic rules of grammar. The process is meticulous, tiresome, and at times painfully slow. Like it or not, it works. It’s not all about the big bucks. Oftentimes it’s that strong, self-fulfilling desire to just write and be published; to see your heart-and-soul of a story somewhere other than your musty desk drawer, that drives writers to simultaneously don the hats of editor, marketer, and distributor. According to The New York Times, a whopping 81 percent of people, or 200 million people, “feel they have a book in them and should write it”. This colossal pool includes its fair share of hidden literary gems. It also includes the inexperienced, the untalented, and the literaryclueless. But what’s so mind-blowing isn’t the amount of people who aspire to write but the numbers who sit in front of their computer screens and actually do it. This past summer, I worked as an editorial intern at the New York-based literacy agency Curtis Brown, where I witnessed this baffling trend first hand. Each and every morning, I gawked, bleary-eyed, at the mountains of query letters that took my inbox by storm, each promising to hit the top-seller list as Twilight numero dos. One of my jobs was to parse through the overflowing “slush pile”, the editors’ name for the heaps of manuscripts flooding their desk drawers, and alert my boss if anything had a hint of potential. I also had the dream-crushing task of rejecting the overwhelming numbers that—as so eloquently put by the agency’s form rejection


o n n


d as self-publishing takes off, t literature pays the price y

letters—“just weren’t strong enough to succeed in today’s book market quite yet.” And so, disenchanted by the exasperating process of being repeatedly rejected by can’t-be-bothered agents (and their interns), many writers decide the hell with it. At the office, I heard many stories of writers popping up on social media platforms to tout the slick e-book versions of their once-rejected work. In fact, social media sites have become more than handy promotional outlets, transforming into outlets of literary connection, fostering quasi-communities of writers who, realizing it’s not always wise to be back-stabbing competitors, offer each other mutual encouragement and support. It’s common for authors to exchange marketing and promotion tips, and even write glowing online reviews of another’s literary handiwork. Glaringly absent from these discussions is any talk about the traditional concerns of publishing. That is, the actual content of these books. This is not to say that there are no e-books written by talented literary hopefuls whose catchy voices we’re thrilled to absorb on our fancy online devices. There are those whose roadblock to literary stardom isn’t quite their talent but the struggling state of today’s industry. But there are also the notorious spammers, the ones who are eager to make a quick buck out of this anything goes book culture. These wise-guys simply steal snippets of text from various websites and mold them into quickie e-books, sometimes crafting as many as 10-20 books a day. And we often can’t help but fall for it.

This self-publishing craze has evolved from trend into threat, posing problems for the stability and health of today’s publishing world. By assuming full responsibility for their latest work, selfstarter writers entirely eliminate the traditional roles held by the literary gatekeepers, the ones we rely upon to publish the good and the worthy, to reject the silly and just plain bad. As someone considering this shaky publishing industry myself, I’m not just touting these hard-working publishers for selfish reasons. Simply speaking, what they do is important. The editorializing, the copy-editing, the promotional efforts, and the all-too-necessary selection process—it’s there for a reason. It’s there to assure that we as readers can choose a book and know it will be real and poignant and grammatically correct and simply worth our precious spare time. It’s only when unedited, anything-goes literature starts to infiltrate our digital libraries that we can sit back and realize how important the gatekeepers really are. When we scour through a bookstore, we have the reassuring feeling that, personal tastes aside, everything there has been published and printed for a reason. The world of e-books is much trickier; with open, outstretched arms, it welcomes the crazy and fanatical, the dry and the insipid, the disorganized and the focus-less. Without that diligent weed-out system, the few online gems become buried underneath the teeming swarms of “literature” that—for a good, concrete reason—editors just didn’t want to publish. Without the promise of good literature, it won’t just be the editors sifting through piles of slush; as today’s e-book readers and consumers, it’ll also be us. O

“The world of e-books... welcomes the crazy and fanatical, the dry and the insipid, the disorganized and the focus-less.”


OCTOBER 10, 2011





the cost of


by elias kahan

s a student at a liberal school in a predominately liberal area of the country, I can’t help but notice that the hope for progress and change that prompted hundreds of my fellow classmates to rush onto the quad the night Obama was elected has faded. Obama rode that wave of hope through the election, hailed as the catalyst of change for an executive branch that had struggled under the George W. Bush administration. Despite this initial enthusiasm, however, in my mind and in the minds of many others, Obama has fallen short of our expectations. What was the linchpin that reversed so many of our opinions? On Tuesday, September 13th, the Alexander Hamilton Society chapter at Tufts welcomed Ramesh Ponnuru, a senior editor at National Review and columnist for Time magazine, to speak on “The Cost of Audacity, ” where he gave his opinion on the shortcomings of the Obama presidency. Ponnuru’s critique focused on the lack of transparency of the Obama administration and its unwillingness to enact the change that the president had spoken of in so many of his speeches. In Ponnuru’s eyes, Obama’s glamour, mystery, and coolness faded once he gained office. Since Obama’s position was sufficiently vague, the American population projected their hopes and dreams upon him, which in a sense set him up for failure. Although Ponnuru stated that it would have been impossible for Obama to ever live up to the expectations of the American public, he wasn’t shy in criticizing the president’s first term to this point. Despite Obama’s desire for bipartisanship, Ponnuru believes that the economic slump would have been much shorter if Obama had strongly pushed for the necessary (though unpopular) policies to turn the economy around. Most of the policies Ponnuru suggested however were skewed toward the right. I was surprised that Ponnuru attributed the recession more to the Fed’s carefree attitude than to the bursting of the housing 10


OCTOBER 10, 2011

bubble. Regardless of its causes, Ponnuru believed that Obama brought with him the notion of a great moderation, claiming the economy would continually grow without entering the business cycle. In his opinion, such optimism was unwarranted and cost the government valuable time that could have been used to dampen the recession. In Ponnuru’s eyes, the crisis gave Democrats a perfect platform to increase the size of government. This Keynesian notion of increasing government spending is often attributed to aiding the US escape the Great Depression. But, according to Ponnuru, such spending will not (and did not in previous cases, such as in the 1930s) lead to increased private spending. So long as private sector confidence is low, individuals will not spend their money, and the multiplier effect will not be present. Ponnuru argued that a small government approach would have been more able to handle the recession. Not only as an economics major but also as someone who has become much more self-reliant since coming to college, I find it increasingly difficult to believe that anything could have driven individuals to increase their spending during the recession. Ponnuru argued that, without fiscal spending, the administration would not have had to enact policies to curtail inflation, and would have instead worked to increase private sector confidence. If Congress or Obama had pushed for legislation that mandated a rise in nominal GDP by five percent a year, the private sector would have been confident in the future and would have put more money into the economy. I, however, personally disagree. I believe that only in a perfect world would the Fed’s bolstering of confidence trigger private spending. I do agree with Ponnuru’s

Becky Plante

belief, however, that the Obama administration was either not fully aware of the magnitude of the crisis or did not share it with the American people. Despite the record stimulus package that almost reached $1 trillion, it is apparent that the funds were simply not enough. Ponnuru went on to dismiss the cap and trade to stop global warming, trade agreements with South American countries, and the increase of the debt ceiling as ways of possibly stimulating the economy. He further discussed the pitfalls of the health care overhaul and the diminishing role the US will have in international affairs as the economy weakens. Ponnuru also feared the return of protectionist policies, such as Romney’s idea to impose sanctions on China; such policies could only further weaken America’s economy. Although I was not in agreement with all of Ponnuru’s critiques, considering he denounced almost every one of Obama’s reforms, his lecture brought me back to my original question. Why do I, as a well-informed American, feel as if my president did not fulfill my expectations? Where is the change that he promised? I believe that the amicable candidate that I had admired for his attempts to reach across party lines, in effect, sabotaged his administration by attempting to moderate instead of enact the change that needed to happen. I am entirely unsure whether the economic ideas of Ponnuru would have been better for America. I am sure, however, that President Obama must alter his administration and himself if he is to rekindle the hope I had that night, nearly 3 years ago. O



By Gabe Nicholas write a fantastical epic or political nonfiction, and the final product was a mix of the two.” Habibi moves away from the vast swaths of white space in Blankets to more intricately designed backdrops and complex story lines. “The fantastical I was craving was an environmental epic. A planet in peril,” Thompson said. Habibi is indeed a masterpiece, but even more amazing is how much Islamic art Thompson had to consume to give his novel its genuine 1001 Nights feel. “Comics used to be this immediate medium. Now it’s akin to novel-making. You go into a cave and come out seven years later, crazed,” Thompson said, as he showed slide upon slide of Islamic art he had used for inspiration over those seven years. Thompson’s inspirations ranged from paintings to pottery to tapestries to stories by Islamic authors. In one slide, Thompson showed an Arabic poem called “Rain Song” by Badir Shakir al-Sayab. He had put it on a light box and painstakingly traced every

Arabic letter, simply for the background of a single panel. Thompson’s presentation illustrated the patience and hard work that goes into great art. When he started work on Habibi in 2004, the artist spent months just copying Arabic calligraphy and paintings to get a feel for the Islamic style. Then he wrote 200 pages, felt unsatisfied, and scrapped all of them to restructure the book around nine chapters, each one based on the shape of its corresponding number to the Arabic numeral system. After finishing the first draft of thumbnails in the fall of 2005, he was unsatisfied with the ending. He wrote, illustrated, and subsequently discarded hundreds of pages until he got it just right two years later. As he showed examples of these discarded pages, the audience was astounded at how much beauty Thompson, the perfectionist, had abandoned. One of the most fascinating aspects of Habibi is that it doesn’t take place in a specific time or era. Instead, Habibi takes place in an unnamed Islamic village some time in the past. “It’s like Star don’t know where it is exactly, but you know it started ‘a long long time ago, in a galaxy far away.’” Thompson said he did this so he could focus more on the style of 1001 Nights rather than the socio-cultural specifics of a country or village. He looked at the Arabic fairytale as a complex series of tropes, like a Western, rather than a genre with a distinct time and place. Thompson is truly a master of his craft. He has won many Eisner and Harvey awards for his past works and Habibi will surely gain equal decoration. Definitely a book worth picking up, and an artist to keep an eye on. O by linda le

o one has described Craig Thompson’s new graphic novel Habibi better than The Boston Phoenix: “Habibi is a masterpiece. This isn’t an opinion...Thompson apparently covered himself in honey and rolled around in a thousand years of Arabic calligraphy and Islamic art, and the result is breathtaking.” The Phoenix hit the nail on the head; Craig Thompson came to the Brattle Street Theater on September 21 and talked about the creative process of writing and illustrating his new, almost 700-page epic, a process so long, so arduous and deepreaching into Islamic art and culture that it is as breathtaking as the book itself. Craig Thompson first saw critical acclaim for his 2003 graphic novel Blankets, a beautifully crafted autobiographical tale of adolescence, sexuality, and fundamental Christianity in the snowy Midwest. Habibi tells the story of a love affair between a prostitute and a eunuch that centers on themes of religion, sexuality, and water crisis. “I got tired of drawing snowscapes,” Thompson said. “I either wanted to


Craig Thompson talks Art & Inspiration in

OCTOBER 10, 2011




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am C

Mind the Gap The Separate Lives of Students and Faculty


By Molly Mirhashem

he lifestyle of a Tufts student is an amalgam of a little bit of everything. We study hard, all too often barely sleeping, but we also are involved in a slew of extracurricular activities, all the while still trying to have a good time, let loose, and experience new things. But what do our professors think of all this? How do they perceive us? In high school, when I was doing my college visits, countless people told me that one of the most important things to take away from college is to get to know your professors outside of class. My parents and their friends all had their stories about that one professor who used to invite them over for dinner or the one with whom they still exchange occasional emails. College students and faculty are frequently in entirely different places in their lives, which can make it difficult to connect but also holds the potential for valuable communication across generational or cultural differences. After talking to a few faculty members here at Tufts, it became clear that many students don’t share much, if any, of their personal lives with their professors, in the way they would with their peers. This seems fairly intuitive (as it may be awkward to approach your biology professor after lecture to talk about a recent hookup, for example), but at the same time, bonds between students and teachers are built from a basic level and strengthen over time. And generally, these types of relationships are beneficial for creating a positive learning environment as teachers grow to understand their students, as well as provide an outlet for faculty members to mentor their students in areas that may be less directly academic.



OCTOBER 10, 2011

Maybe we just assume that our professors are too busy to hear what is going on in our lives, or maybe that they just aren’t interested, or pass judgment on us for our decisions. But regardless of the reasoning, many faculty members don’t have a good sense of their students’ lives outside the classroom. Despite some feelings of being in the dark, journalism and non-fiction writing professor Neil Miller gave some comments on his perceptions on Tufts students’ lifestyles. “I sort of have a contradictory idea about it,” he said, “Being over-extended is one thing [that comes to mind]. They’ve been programmed to work really hard and be really involved in a lot of things. But on the other hand, there’s the staying up all night, getting drunk on weekends side of it. I don’t know, maybe that’s just the release they need.” Professor Miller laughs his way through anecdotes about various students he’s had in the past, and reflects on the way life was different when he was in school (Miller went to Brown University). “When I was in college,” he recalls, “so many people were in relationships. I just don’t get that feeling here at Tufts.” Miller says he doesn’t know whether times have simply changed, or whether the hookup culture at Tufts is similar to that of other schools. Overall, Miller has a very realistic sense of what it means to be a young adult in college. “Generally I’ve found that Tufts students seem to be pretty responsible when it comes to doing their work,” he said. After a few moments, he corrected himself and went on to say, “I don’t know, what’s responsible? I think college is a time when you should be doing all sorts of things, not just studying… People go through different stages of life. I guess [Tufts students] use their time ‘responsibly,’ if you want to use that term, but it’s also just a time to experiment and try different things.” English professor Julia Genster shared similar sentiments to Professor Miller in regard to her

level of knowledge about stu d e nt s’ lives. She started off with the disclaimer, “I am going to tell you that I don’t think I have very good information.” Professor Genster expressed her belief that there is less of an expectation now to study for extended periods of time and, compared with her experiences when she was in school, assignments can be much less timeconsuming. Of the party scene, she said jokingly, “The idea of what the weekend is has expanded to include much larger swaths of the week.” But Genster feels as though, with the exception of a few students with whom she maintains close relationships, she doesn’t really have much insight into the Tufts student lifestyle. “I don’t think [we] have a very well-developed sense of what [students] social lives are like,” she said. “[It seems that] the Venn diagram in which teachers and students overlap is almost entirely restricted to the classroom.” From this small sample, it seems that we, as students, should perhaps make a more concentrated effort to get to know our professors and let them get to know us. Bridging the gap between students and faculty could help us make meaningful and lasting connections for the future, in both a social as well as professional sense. Both the student body and the faculty at Tufts have a lot to offer through their diverse passions, interests and aspirations. Our professors’ familiarity with our lifestyles should not be gleaned through the grapevine, as Miller suggested when he said, “It’s just things I hear and things I see. I mean, I don’t really know that much about the lifestyle of a Tufts student.” O


Frats are grimy and gross but secretly we love them. - AS (... secretly?)

Exclusive when you’re a freshman, hook-up spot when you’re a sophomore, home when you’re a junior, and plague when you’re a senior. - KW

We offer a service . - KC

Culture shock. - AM


Grilled Cheese Lovin’


food talk with luke pyenson

My ex-girlfriend made grilled cheeses with butter and cinnamon sugar on the outside. I was usually the cook but happily gave up that position to eat these dreamy, sweet/savory sandwiches. Sounds weird, but give it a try. Really.


2 2 4 1


slices wheat or multigrain bread haphazardly-cut slices of sharp cheddar cheese little pats of roomtemperature butter large pinch of cinnamon sugar

by catherine nakijima

Assemble the sandwich: Spread one side with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Put the sandwich butter-and-sugar-side-down into a mediumhot pan. Cook until cheese starts to melt and the bread turns golden brown. Meanwhile, butter and sugar the side facing up. Flip and cook for a few minutes to get color. Serve. O

OCTOBER 10, 2011





SEQUELS ’ve never gotten back together with anyone. Much like my disdain for sequels, I’m convinced the second round will never be as good, or as stable, as the first. If it failed, it failed for a reason. If it was great, it can’t get any better.

This is what I’m thinking, as Eric stands with his hands shoved in his pockets, during mid-winter, breaking up with me. If he goes, this will really be the end. And I’m not ready to let go in such a permanent way, because to me, leaving once means leaving forever. But an hour later, he changes his mind. I’d like to say it’s because of my brilliant argument skills, but really, I think he just ran out of things to confess. He says that he doesn’t believe in marriage. He doesn’t want kids. He doesn’t want to live with anyone. And he’s questioning the legitimacy of monogamy. “Okay,” I think. “Why are we breaking up again?” I’m only twenty and nearly all of these relationship milestones, far off in the distant future, have failed to cross my mind. In fact, the only time the thought of my own marriage had come up, was when I had to buy a wedding dress for my senior year debutant ball. I was 17 and self-consciously busty. I remember throwing on dress after dress in the bridal shop up the street from my house, until I found one 18


OCTOBER 10, 2011

with a corset that could sufficiently make double D’s seem like small C’s. “We keep arguing about the same things,” Eric continues. I start to use the gloves I’m wearing to wipe off my lipstick, while he dumps out his anxieties about our relationship. I’m only half listening. “We think of love in different ways,” he says. He tells me that he interprets love from physical contact and verbal affirmations, which conflicts with my idea of love as a day by day process; someone just sticking around. He says he’s never told me this, because he’s never felt like he can be himself around me. Okay, fine, I say, we’ll work at it. “We shouldn’t have to. We shouldn’t have to work at anything. If this was supposed to happen, then we would just be happy.” I have no response to this. I can’t imagine a world in which things come so naturally—where no work is ever involved in getting what I want—so this argument takes me by surprise. After a few more angry words, however, he calms

himself down, takes it back, and with all the sincerity a self-oriented person can muster, apologizes. Two months later, we break up anyways. A year and a half relationship ends over something trivial—I win a poetry award and have a reading, but he doesn’t come. He’s busy with a play, and I’m unsympathetic. The whole thing lasts about fifteen minutes, via text messages. And I feel nothing. The surprise is minimal, the shock is hardly debilitating. His words have been slowly corroding my feelings since he let them loose a few months back—how do you trust someone after they try to leave you? The fragile illusion of stability and consistency is missing. And that’s all I’ve ever really cared for to begin with. My mother is equally unsurprised. Her satisfaction is only slightly masked by her concern for my potential hurt feelings. But she approves of the result. To her, I am the sensible daughter. I give my boyfriends expiration dates, I don’t take them seriously, and Eric is, thankfully, not an exception.



“Eric wants to get back together.” I break the strangely shocking news to my mom over the phone. It’s been five months, and we’ve never even mentioned him since the break up. But she doesn’t miss a beat, “Are you considering it?” “I don’t know, I guess. We just get a long so easily. And I’m too busy to try and


start over with someone new.” I approach the situation with cold logic—the only way my mother will understand. “What about BC guy?”This is how men are usually discussed with my mother— they have nicknames, possibly to dehumanize them, possibly because she doesn’t remember their real names. Eric was “film

he’s questioning the legitimacy of


He says things have changed, that he’s

boy.” In this case, she’s referring to Joe, the PhD student I dated during the summer. “I think it’s too early to make a decision.” I continue the facade of indifference over the phone. But the truth is, I’ve already made the decision. I just don’t have the energy to admit my weakness to my mother. Eric and I have been on two dates already. I’m on my way to see him now. He says things have changed, that he’s sorry, that he’s different and willing to try and doesn’t expect every aspect of our relationship to be perfect like he used to. And I’m an idiot for believing it all, but the relief still flows through me in approval of his restored affection and it’s only pure feeling, not logic, that pushes me forward. And I tell myself that not every sequel is so bad after all. Not every relationship is undeserving of a second try. And regardless of whether or not I believe anything I tell myself, whether or not I believe what he’s told me—I’m still here, with him—trying to continue an impossible plot-line —never being content with the first version of our story. O OCTOBER 10, 2011



E FEarts AT UR

Pretty Lights

By Elliott Engelmann



OCTOBER 10, 2011

Wordplay was not lost on the masses at Bank of America Pavilion. “Those were some pretty lights,” the glow stickriddled college student said to his friend, who was decked in newly acquired neon from Goodwill. However coy the turn of phrase, the light show accompanying DJ/producer/electronic musician Pretty Lights was, in a word, beautiful. Vivid animations displayed on building-like structures prompted some concert-goers to invoke the classic chicken or egg paradox. “Do you think the light show is really good because his name is Pretty Lights, or is his name Pretty Lights because of the awesome light show?” one eager attendee inquired.

E UR AT arts FE

The actual etymology of the name Pretty Lights comes from an old Pink Floyd poster imploring fans to “come and watch the pretty lights.” Thus the name is a tribute, which tonight also included a bass-laden remix of the English group’s 1973 song “Time.” The undeniable highlight of the evening, as determined by a random sample of seven Tufts students, was the opening song of the hour-and-a-half show. With the stage swathed in darkness, the first few notes of “I Know the Truth” rang out to raucous applause and cheers. We were teased through what felt like 10 recurrences of the opening cadence, waiting anxiously for that first wave of delicious bass as the backdrop slowly grew brighter. The minute or so of maddening build up was finally resolved with the proverbial “drop,” a music snob term for when a dubstepesque song stops blue-balling the listener. Thousands of glowsticks were simultaneously launched into the air. The main drawback to the show had little to do with the music, which was sublime from start to finish; it had everything to do with the venue. Simply put, the Bank of America Pavilion is no place for a show like this one. Most fans of electronic music will agree that one of the best parts about these shows is being swallowed up by a sea of sweaty strangers, and inevitably finding yourself pressed up on some 30-year-old dude with a neck tattoo who smells like a mixture of bacon and dirty laundry. But the Pavilion offered no such experi-

ence, as the venue was defined by rows and rows of seats, none of which seemed particularly moved by the music. So we were forced to stand in neat, preconceived patterns designed more for the afternoon octogenarian opera crowd than the ridiculously-dressed substance-abusing group of 20-somethings at this show. I soon felt myself itching for that familiar crushing sensation and occasional bout of severe claustrophobia, rather than the awkwardly vacant three feet of space in front of me. But the show went on despite the strange music venue configuration, and Derek Vincent Smith, the man behind the epithet, dropped beats like a greased-up Dwight from The Office. Remix after wobbly remix engulfed the damp mess of an audience until Mr. Lights finally exited for the encore. It was not until his return that we were blessed with the classic jazzy tune “Finally Moving,” which samples some silky vocals from Etta James. But the wait was well worth it and was a fitting closing act to nearly two hours of filthy music and that one indefinable dance move that remains the only way to dance to something at 70 bpm (you know exactly what I’m talking about). The moment we were released back into the real world that is downtown Boston, our collective appearance became shockingly conspicuous. Scholars of social behavior would have had a field day studying the movement patterns of groups of neon-clad college kids speaking at decibel levels that could only be the result of the ringing in all of their ears. O

photo by david schwartz

OCTOBER 10, 2011



Ca m pus

By Patrick McGrath


he “Uz vs. Them” exhibition of Richard Bell, an artist-activist for Australian Aboriginal rights, is currently on display in the Tufts University Art Gallery. Bell’s multi-media work offers the viewer a glimpse of the current standing and contemporary stereotypes of Australian Aborigines both in Australia and across the world. Ranging from short films depicting artistic and engaging satiric pieces or interviews of present-day Australians on the history and rights of Aborigines to Pollock-like “drip” paintings to pop art graphics in homage to Roy Liechtenstein, Bell’s works certainly leave their mark on the viewer. Some paintings truly burst with color and sheer size, while others overwhelm with giant printed phrases that hypnotize the viewer, bombarding them with subliminal messages from all sides of the room. 22


OCTOBER 10, 2011

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Separate rooms are provided for Bell’s videos, which emit a distinct style and music, and the viewer can soak up the novelty of the exhibit with the resonant and abounding echoes of the didgeridoo. Viewers are truly treated to an indulgence for a variety of senses in taking in the diverse and multifaceted work of an undeniably talented and innovative artist. In one video titled “Uz vs. Them,” Richard Bell stars as an Aborigine “fighting for Australia” against an aggressive white man. “I don’t need a tax cut. I want my whole country back,” Bell declares, voicing the frustration of the Aboriginal due to the lack of compensation from the Australian government for past misdoings against the indigenous Australians. “You know the trouble with white people is that they’re lazy. They’re so lazy if you take your eye off them, they’ll walk away and do something else. They’re just like children. I’m not a racist. Some of my best friends are white,” Bell says, turning the stereotype of lazy, drunk aboriginals on its head by calling into question those who created the bias in the first place. Bell uses the same effect in a series of photographs of himself depicted in a confrontational and slovenly manner in a piece titled “Pigeon Holed.” The photographs are labeled, respectively, “drinker,” “tailor,” “sold yer,” “failure,” “butcher,” “baker,” and “trouble maker,” with the last photograph replaced by a mirror, forcing the viewer in the shoes of the stereotyped Aborigine and blurring the stereotypical borders between us and them. “Thank Christ I’m not Aboriginal!!!” a white woman declares via-thought bubble in a piece of pop-art revival titled “The Peckin’ Order”. In contrast, Bell declares, “I want to be black again,” in another short film titled “Broken English.” Instead of seeking to discriminate against Aborigines and assimilate into the Western culture, Bell looks to promote and redefine Aboriginal society. While Bell speaks up for this everdiminishing culture, his solutions and resolutions come across as far too radical and wholly unrealistic. “Consequently, we are seeking alternative arrangements with a view to treaties, which guarantee for us parliamentary representation, sovereign-

ty, etc. on our lands. We are conscious of the international popularity of democracy. Presently, we are outnumbered. This however, may be overcome by an aggressive emigrant-enhancement programme and favourable immigration policy,” Bell writes in a mock-letter to the “Chairman of the People’s Republic of China” in an enormous painting titled “Prospectus.22,” decorated with severed hands, indigenous Australian species, boomerangs, pickaxes, miniature cutouts of Bell which bleed down the canvas, and, directly in the center, a crown of barbed wire. Rational and open-minded discussion on this controversial topic may never succeed if Bell takes such a controversial political stance as he does in “Uz vs. Them.” Furthermore, in works such as “Broken English,” instead of truly dispelling Aboriginal stereotypes, Bell chooses to feature and incriminate an ignorant and drunk, white Australian man. Is it fair to cast off an insulting stereotype by throwing that same bias upon another culture or type of people? Bell’s frequent use of the term “Aryan” also reminds the viewer of times of bitter racism and Neo-Nazism. The prevalence of this term almost isolates and divides his audience, and thus, while Bell’s message remains clear, he excludes viewers that do not belong to his intended audience, especially non-Aboriginal Australians to whom the message would appear most pertinent. “Genocide is not illegal,” Bell writes in another work made of acrylic and bitumen titled “In This Land.” This work, black and visceral, faded and seemingly indistinguishable through its coarse nature, serves as a serious and chilling reminder of past wrongs that are never to be forgotten. No matter the reality or controversy of Bell’s stance, his message remains eternal and poignant: communicating social change through art. Bell’s work undoubtedly makes the viewer think, and one can not help but admire an artist who has the courage to address issues that may otherwise continue unnoticed. If not for the issues addressed, the exhibit is certainly worth a visit alone for the exceptional quality and ingenuity of Bell’s work, and the viewer will not leave disappointed. O

Richard Bell, Scratch an Aussie #4, 2008, digital print on aluminum, 38.5 x 25.5 inches, courtesy Milani Gallery, Brisbane, courtesy American Federation of Arts.

Bell’s works certainly leave their mark on the viewer.

OCTOBER 10, 2011





Photos by ian maclellan & Connor cunningham



OCTOBER 10, 2011

ost Tufts students could go about their four years here on campus without ever knowing about the surrounding area’s thriving folk music scene. Let’s face it: Tufts students live in a cultural bubble, where Ke$ha, Nicki, and dubstep are bumping in every basement. It’s not hard to see why folk music is so easy to miss here. Those who do have the desire to venture out of the “Tufts bubble,” however, will discover the vibrant and thriving folk scene we have at our disposal. Hundreds of Bostonians witnessed folk music at its finest at the 8th annual RiverSing along the Charles River. At the end of September, just a few days before the Autumnal Equinox, RiverSing, a community folk song and poetry collaboration, welcomed the coming season by inviting residents of the greater Boston area to gather by the river and sing as one. Almost every song played at the event was a meditation on the river, from “So Sang the River” to “Sailing Down this Golden River” to “Down by the River Side.” RiverSing was organized by a group called “Revels,” which builds new seasonal traditions by restoring old cultural and artistic practices. The RiverSing festival managed to encapsulate the quintessential American folk experience by bringing together both country and urban roots and creating a community through song. All year-round, this same folk community is alive. Club Passim in Harvard Square, for instance, features folk musicians every night of the week. In addition to these nightly performances, the venue offers folkrelated classes in a variety of topics, from American Fiddle Music to Songwriting 101. Highland Kitchen in Somerville provides a Sunday morning alternative to Soundbites with its weekly Bluegrass Brunches. The lo-


//Emma Scudder //Ian MacLellan cally inspired menu complements the Bluegrass music performances, which also draw off local talent. For the musical crowd looking to play some folk of its own, Boston offers options to meet all your pickin’ needs. The Folk Song Society of Greater Boston hosts monthly singing parties at members’ houses, and each month, MIT hosts a “Chantey and Maritime Sing.” The average age of participants at both these events is bound to be much higher than at your typical Tufts party, but this in and of itself offers


a good change from the usual scene. Finally, for the 21+ crowd, the Cantab Lounge jam in Central Square provides a great opportunity to experience bluegrass music every Tuesday night. Since 1993, the lounge has featured a set which sandwiches bluegrass acts between open jam sessions. On any given night, there is a diverse crowd of old and young musicians and singers. To keep updated on the folk scene around the city, make sure to check out “Boston Song Sessions” online, which features a calendar that displays upcoming folk events. Although it may not always be obvious, the folk scene is very much alive here at Tufts as well. Most recently, it showed itself in the living room of 3 Capen Street, where two folk musicians, John Elliot and Jack Wilson, performed a house concert. Tufts own talent, Sam Cantor, opened for the duo. The idea came to fruition when junior Ben Ross was approached by Sara Terry, a docu-

mentarian who is currently working on a film about the lives of American folk musicians. One of the documentary’s characters, John Elliott, happened to be coming through Boston with fellow musician and friend, Jack Wilson, so Ross offered up his house as an extra stop on their tour. The concert was intimate and the crowd, enthusiastic. “After the success of last night, a lot of people who were there have been saying that it was not only the highlight of their week, but that it has filled the void of

something we’ve been missing here at Tufts,” Ross reported. As far as future concerts go, Ross seems optimistic: “This just got the ball rolling,” he said. There are plans already in the making for the coming months. To the performers, the fact that so many students showed up for their concert showed just how special Tufts is in respect to the American folk world. Considering the typical audience of Elliott and Wilson—mostly older women, they said—there is a spirit and enthusiasm alive on campus that isn’t found just anywhere. If you open your eyes to folk music, you’ll find that it isn’t just about the performer and the audience, it’s about the community. Every concert and sing-along offers a new chance to ground yourself the core of an American culture and identity. Folk doesn’t just live on Facebook and YouTube though, so step out of your dorm or apartment and into the world of music. O

OCTOBER 10, 2011





Diane 26


OCTOBER 10, 2011





The sky was green, the grass was blue, and chaos we were feeling; Between us: wreckage, hostile thoughts, and things he was concealing. I knew enough to topsy-turve the love we’d been maintaining For disbelief replaced whatever passion was remaining. For he and I had always said, it’s you and me forever In those five words, there wasn’t room for his or my whoever. But pacts are pacts, by nature meant to be a bit mistreated They say that love’s a game and if it’s true, his pawn had cheated. I called her all the names I could; indeed my friends came running For ladies who have morals jump at any chance of shunning. Yet shunned or not, this lady stayed the object of affection – He was mine, and she was his: it’s just love’s imperfection. But imperfection paves the way, like puzzle pieces fitting: The process of elimination used before committing. And though I didn’t know it then, we didn’t fit together; For he remained a corner piece, and I was in the center. But I, like every puzzle piece, upheld my only function: To find that central piece near mine, and strengthen the conjunction. For God knows every pair of lovers needs a good supporting; In fact, it’s just the nature of the troubled act of courting.

Amy Shipp OCTOBER 10, 2011




X OX O X OX O You have three hearts. Cut them out and stick them on something or someone you like at Tufts. Feel free to add your own message.


POLICE BLOTTER SATURDAY, September 24 Tufts police observed two people carrying a girl across Cohen lot. When asked for her ID, the girl turned over her cell phone instead (an embarrassing mistake, but probably less shameful than any texts or calls she would have sent). The student was deemed intoxicated and taken to Somerville Hospital.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, NOON A male riding down Boston Ave on his bike was hit by a motor vehicle in front of Cousen’s gym. He was uninjured, and left the scene alone. So, so alone. Wednesday, September 28; Sometime between the 27th and 28th, 98 Professor’s Row (which is under construction) was broken into, and vandals opened cans of paint and splashed them on the walls. This seems like a huge bummer, but 98 Pro Row is the old AEPi house, and paint is definitely the least disturbing thing to have been smeared on the walls in there. Friday, September 30th, 11:06 AM Police responded to a fire alarm that went off in a Hillsides suite. No fire was found; a first floor resident had set off the sprinkler system by hanging something on the sprinkler head, causing water to go everywhere and generally ruining everything for everyone. 28


OCTOBER 10, 2011


The Fares Center

The Fares Center

The New Middle East: Challenges and Opportunities An international conference sponsored by The Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies, Tufts University OcTOBER 13–14, 2011 caBOT InTERculTuRal cEnTER TufTs unIvERsITy Medford/somerville, Massachusetts Hassan abbas

Ellen laipson

stephen W. Bosworth

John W. limbert

Drusilla K. Brown

Tarek Masoud

sheila carapico

stanley a. Mcchrystal

Michele Dunne

anthony P. Monaco

Mona Eltahawy

Malik Mufti

John P. Entelis

vali nasr

John l. Esposito

William B. Ostlund

leila fawaz

Thomas R. Pickering

shai feldman

nadim n. Rouhana

Querine H. Hanlon

William a. Rugh

for Eastern Mediterranean Studies

Bernard a. Haykel

Richard shultz

David R. Ignatius

Randa M. slim

farhad Kazemi

shibley Telhami

Rami G. Khouri

stephen W. van Evera

Celebrating our 10th anniversary

David J. Kilcullen

Ibrahim Warde IllusTRaTIOn By naDIa HlIBKa

CONFERENCE PROGRAM Thursday, October 13, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

REGIsTRaTIOn 2:00–3:00 p.m.

WElcOME 8:30–8:45 a.m.

WElcOME 3:00–3:15 p.m.

sEssIOn II: 8:45–10:30 a.m. Economic and Social Development

sEssIOn Iv: 2:45–4:30 p.m. Security Issues in the Gulf sEssIOn v: 4:45–6:30 p.m. Domestic Political Issues and Transitions

Tufts Observer

KEynOTE aDDREss 3:15–4:30 p.m. “The U.S. and the Middle East: Challenges and Opportunities” sEssIOn I: 4:45–6:30 p.m. Continuing Tension in the Levant REcEPTIOn 6:30–7:15 p.m. Hall of flags

sEssIOn III: 10:45 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Afghanistan and Pakistan

Since 1895

clOsInG: 6:30–6:45 p.m.

WEBcasT KEynOTE aDDREss 1:15–2:15 p.m. “U.S. Engagement with the New Middle East”

Tufts University P.O. Box 5302, Medford, MA, 02155

To register or for more information, please visit our website at or contact Tufts university conference Bureau by telephone at 617.627.3568, or e-mail at

Co-sponsored by Office of the Provost, Tufts University • The Fletcher School, Tufts University • The WEDGE Foundation • International Relations Program, Tufts University • International Security Studies Program, The Fletcher School • Hossein and Dalia fateh fund OCTOBERThe 10, 2011

Please Recycle



Fall 2011 - Issue 2  

Tufts Observer Volume CXVIII Issue 2

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