COUNTERPOINT the wellesley college journal of campus life march 2017 volume 48 issue 2
E D I TO R I A L S TA F F
Submit your opinions, thoughts, feelings, objections, reviews, art, shower thoughts, dream analyses, creative pickup lines, 2 am scrawlings, etc. to @alarcom or @cyu3 articles for the April issue are due by April 12, 2017 questions? contact alarcom or cyu3 Counterpoint categories for content warning: Implication of: for content that seems to be implied in any given article, but does not actually name or give a description or discussion of said content Mention of: for content that is named or defined in any given article, but does not provide specific details or descriptions in the usage of said content Description of: for content that is named and described in detail in any given article
counterpoint / march 2017
Images: Artwork by Elle Friedberg '17 (cover), Photo by Charlotte Yu '17 (left), Photography by Samantha English '19 (back cover)
Feeling vaguely subversive?
Allyson Larcom ’17 Charlotte Yu ’17
Editors-inChief Managing Editor Features Editor Staff Editors
Samantha English ’19 Roz Rea ’19 Nina-Marie Amadeo ’18 Lara Brennan ’18 Rachele Byrd ’18 Natassja Haught ’18 Molly Hoyer ’18 Rosaline Pyktel ’18 Claire Beyette ’19 Anna Cauthorn ’19 Alexandra Cronin ’19 Kelechi Alfred-Igbokwe ’19 Lydia MacKay ’19 Tiffani Ren ’19 Sarah White ’19 Kimberly Burton ’20 Francesca Gazzolo ’20
COUNTERPOINT THE WELLESLEY COLLEGE JOURNAL OF CAMPUS LIFE MARCH 2017 Volume 48 / Issue 2
IDENTITY OLIVIA FUNDERBURG
M E N TA L H E A LT H SAMANTHA ENGLISH
I FELL INTO A PIT
D E S I G N S TA F F Roz Rea ’19 Annabel Thompson ’19 Midori Yang ’19 Jessica Maciuch ’20
B U S I N E S S S TA F F Treasurer
Kelechi Alfred-Igbokwe ’19
C O N T R I BU TO R S
Allyson Larcom ’17, Franzi Ross ’17, Olivia Funderburg ’18, Samantha English ’19, Izzy Labbe ’20, Josephine Kim ’20
CAMPUS LIFE ANONYMOUS
THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
A STRANGE AND DISCONCERTING BELIEF
THE ART OF ASKING QUESTIONS
HOW TO GET A GUY
TRUSTEES Hanna Day-Tenerowicz ’16, Cecilia Nowell ’16, Oset Babur ’15, Alison Lanier ’15, Kristina Costa ’09, Kara Hadge ’08, Edward Summers MIT ’08
SUBMISSIONS The views expressed in Counterpoint do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff. Counterpoint invites all members of the Wellesley community to submit articles, letters, and art. Email submissions to email@example.com and cyu3@wellesley. edu. Counterpoint encourages cooperation between writers and editors but reserves the right to edit all submissions for length and clarity.
F E AT U R E S COUNTERPOINT STAFF
POLL: WANNA MEET FOR COFFEE?
CROSSWORD: A COLLABORATION WITH EL TABLE counterpoint / march 2017
BY OLIVIA FUNDERBURG Steps to growing out my natural hair: 1. Ask a friend what they think 2. Make the big decision 3. Tell Mom 4. Chop off a few inches over Thanksgiving break 5. Remember to moisturize 6. Settle down to wait 7. Think
think about how I have relaxed my hair since the seventh grade—that’s pretty close to half of my life. I think about how I’m tired. I’m tired of perms and of worrying about how my hair looks every day. I should be tired of trying to conform to unattainable beauty standards. I know I don’t want to be relaxing my hair every other month for the rest of my life. Even when permed, my hair has never been completely straight. When wet, it’s something in between—not quite curly, page 4
but a wave that’s a little more than just a wave. This is probably why “relaxed” is a more accurate description of the process. Without fail, after every weekly wash and the random in between washes after a summer beach day, I remember looking into the mirror at my hair that was definitely not straight. It’s as if all this time my hair was longing to return to its natural state. I hear its whisper in my ear: Look at me, aren’t I pretty? Isn’t this what I am meant to look like? There is more than one way to grow out your hair. Well. Mainly two ways: the big chop and what I’ve decided to do, which is not that. I didn’t really consider doing the big chop, mostly because it would be too drastic of a change for me to handle; I don’t know what I’ll look like with short hair. But then again, I have no idea what I’ll look like with my natural hair, period. Let me repeat that: I have no
counterpoint / march 2017
idea what I look like with my natural hair. I have pictures of myself as a young child with big smiles and a head full of curls or twists, but that isn’t a great measure for what I will look like as a twentysomething with curly hair. By the time I got to fifth and sixth grade, my hair was always up in a ponytail or bun, because that was the easiest way to deal with it. That was also the best way I could think of to blend in with my classmates, if such a thing was even possible. A fifth grade school portrait with my hair pulled pack or a sixth grade school portrait with it flat ironed aren’t much help in guessing what I will look like either. Will I like what I look like? Will I like who I am with my natural hair? Sixth grade me didn’t like who I was with my natural hair. She looked around herself and didn’t see anyone else who looked quite like her; she wanted her hair to be straight so that it would be prettier.
Image: http://www.wearewomanhood.com/ (left), http://vurbmag.com/channels/ (right)
IDENTITY I don’t blame her for falling prey to pervasive Eurocentric beauty standards. She didn’t know any better, but I do. Maybe it seems ridiculous to consider such a question, but I don’t think it’s far fetched to claim that identity is linked to appearance whether we like it or not. During my sophomore year, I read The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Twice. And it was just as good both times. I didn’t realize it then, but reading his book may have been part of my wake up call about my natural hair. (Not to mention about myself as a black woman.) Malcolm, like me, “conked” his hair, encouraged to do so by his friend and fellow hustler Shorty. Reflecting on his life, Malcolm’s adult self clearly labels this a mistake: “How ridiculous I was! Stupid enough to stand there simply lost in admiration of my hair now looking ‘white,’ reflected in the mirror in Shorty’s room. I vowed that I’d never
again be without a conk, and I never was for many years…This was my first really big step toward self-degradation: when I endured all of that pain, literally burning my flesh to have it look like a white man’s hair. I had joined that multitude of Negro men and women in America who are brainwashed into believing that the black people are ‘inferior’—and white people ‘superior’—that they will even violate and mutilate their God-created bodies to try to look ‘pretty’ by white standards.” Malcolm X, being Malcolm X, offers a somewhat extreme and not to mention fifty-year-old view of the hair problem. People might relax their hair for a number of reasons; it’s a personal choice, and I don’t think it’s my place to judge anyone else’s. But he’s not wrong. Sixth grade me wanted to look prettier and have the “right” kind of hairstyle. Seventeen-year-old me worried about
looking “presentable” when I went to work in a retail store. Presentable by whose standards? I should judge my hair—and my beauty—by no one’s standards but my own. The other day I saw a girl on the tube with a head full of curls—I wondered if that’s what mine will look like. Some days I’m impatient and want to grab a pair of scissors until all that’s left behind are the curls that are determinedly growing in. Some days I’m worried because I don’t know what new routine I’ll have to create for myself. But most of the time I’m content to wait and think. I think about how healthy and beautiful and big my hair will be and who gives a damn what the rest of the world might think. Olivia Funderburg ’18 (ofunderb@ wellesley.edu) is going back to her roots.
counterpoint / march 2017
MENTAL IDENTITY HEALTH
BY SAMANTHA ENGLISH
counterpoint / march 2017
write this from the Peter, at 8:05 PM, on a Tuesday, with two Canterbury Tales left to read. I slept through my first class this morning. I burned all night long, awake with an acid imbalance, sort of like a yeast infection but without an actual growth. Even the ice pack between my legs last evening couldn’t freeze the fires. When I woke up, I opened my window and laid with the covers off until I was almost cold again. I stared at the books I’ve shelved on my windowsill because there is no longer any room on my bookcase or on my desk. I think I must wander into a bookstore every time I’m lonely—books are easier to hold onto than friends. I tried to swallow some oatmeal, but only half the bowl went down. My stomach felt smothered by any attempt at nutrition after missing dinner. I put on that dress I got in England, the one I saved up for—I hadn’t worn it yet. I thought maybe, for a second, that if I looked nice, I’d feel nice. The dress has a cotton cat as its collar—the button that holds her paws together kept coming undone under my jaw. I sat in my seminar room until it started at 1:30. The first words I spoke for the day were to ask a classmate for medication, for my eyes had gone blurry at the first sign of stress—warning of a terrible headache.
Images: Line drawings by Charlotte Yu '17, Stasia Burrington (left), gyfcat.com (right)
Content warnings: descriptions of depression, anxiety, chronic intestinal and urinary tract illnesses
I went to Boston and sat in a cafe for four hours, waiting for a fictional character to show up and make me unlonely. When I walked, later that evening, into the breakfast bookstore with wide, sad eyes, the waitress made me pancakes and called me “dear.” I tried to translate some Latin, but all I know as of now is that Aeneas misses his friends. I walked to Mass Ave, looked over the dark river. I thought, for a moment, about skipping the bus, just to stare at the water. Moving slowly toward the end of my night, I checked my phone repeatedly. My mom hadn’t returned my calls. My two best friends had texted me back—but they aren’t at Wellesley. The ones who are, I haven’t heard from. One of my earliest memories is of lying in a doctor’s office, sobbing, as a nurse attached a tube to my urethra. When they pulled me off the table, they handed me two items: a white teddy bear with a bright red ribbon around its neck, and a placeholder of a diagnosis. I was prone to urinary tract infections, nothing more. Another memory: howling under the covers, afraid of something unknown in bed with me that hadn’t been there the night before. The outline of some being, swallowing me, claiming me as its own. Sleepless for the first time since early infancy, I choked on terror, enraging my exhausted mother, who took security blanket after security blanket from me until I was left bare, alone. I finally found rest that night on the floor. As I stared
at the blank ceiling, I knew something always lingering had finally awoken inside me—but that hardly seemed possible. I was the girl who played with dolls until she was twelve and replaced them with Hermione Granger. In seventh grade, my teacher warned my mother that I was antisocial, for I spent far too much time between the pages of novels. Middle school was marked by a grandmother vanished in the cruel combination of black ice and semi-trucks, by two parents finally realizing that they should never have been married in the first place, by financial strain and a move into my late grandmother’s ghost-filled home, by chronic illness. My UTIs had turned into regular constipation, which in turn had turned into active acid reflux, which in turn had turned into sudden weeklong episodes of intense stomach pain, where I could eat and do almost nothing. I retreated into myself, obsessively reciting the same prayers every night, certain that if I didn’t, the universe would turn against me and claim another part of my existence. As much as people change, I do think so much of us stays the same, has always been written on our souls a certain way. It would be simple for me to say that the isolation I’m feeling today is new, that this anxiousness is fresh, but it isn’t. It has been deforming and decaying my insides for nearly twenty years. It has taken on a full-fledged existence of its own. It grows as I grow, it finds new fictional trifles to
terrify me with, it finds new symptoms with which to bear my body down. Today, it embodies itself in extreme vaginal pain, in unbearable itchiness without a rash, in an undying fear of failure, in a neverending worry that my friends all secretly hate me. And I often wonder what it will proclaim or erase next. Though, in the end, it doesn’t matter what comes next. It will be the same story as before, over and over, like a series with the same stock characters in similar situations that manage to differ ever so slightly. Samantha’s Body Hates Her. Samantha’s Friends Called Her A Creep. Samantha Is So Childish. Samantha Isolates Herself (Again). I am stuck within myself. I can’t seem to get out, no matter what I do. Samantha English ’19 (senglis2@wellesley. edu) would like to thank Meg Murry, Hermione Granger, and Violet Baudelaire for their comfort and support, along with OF, PH, and ET, whose compassion is just as constant as their fictional counterparts’ is.
counterpoint / march 2017
A HAPPY PERSON'S GUIDE TO DEPRESSION
BY IZZY LABBE
Content warning: descriptions of depression and anxiety, mentions of self-harm and suicide
not understand. The truth is, in the immortal words of Parks and Rec’s Andy Dwyer, “I fell into the pit.” I guess it was easy at first to get trapped in what would eventually ruin my life, because as I learned, when you first tumble into that pit of despair, the media’s glamorization of depression often breaks your fall. It took probably three years to realize what was going on, and during that period I went through fluctuating bouts of anxiety and depression. For a while I thought these periods of intense sadness, dread, fear, and panic attacks were side effects of being an over-involved, Type-A kind of person. It wasn’t until my first semester at Wellesley that I started exhibiting symptoms I’d never shown, not even in my worst periods of anxiety during high school. Suddenly, faced with a new environment full of unfamiliar people and an entirely new routine to adjust to, I had a breakdown. You know how there are stages of grief? Shock, denial, bargaining, Ben and Jerry’s, etc.? I feel like there are similar stages but for depression. Until that point I’d always been at the safer end of the spectrum, where the most dangerous thoughts I had were general fears about letting my parents down, not getting into college, and never feeling at peace with myself. As I tumbled deeper into the pit during my first semester at Wellesley, these thoughts did a complete 180. I was unconcerned with my existence. I wasn’t doing
t was Christmas Day, probably around three in the afternoon. I had spent the morning in my bed, under the crushing weight of my blankets, bingewatching The Office and taking frequent breaks to just stare into the distance and hate myself. It was the hatred I felt for myself and everything else that drove me to put on a pair of boots and a jacket, then walk downstairs. My eyes red with tears, I pushed past my concerned parents who called after me and walked out the door into the frigid air of a classic late December day in Maine. I forced myself to walk, sobbing uncontrollably, past house after house in my neighborhood, occupied by happy people who knew my family; past town landmarks that I had often frequented in the decade I’d lived there; past innocent bystanders walking their dogs, their narrowed eyes trailing after me; and, finally, past a plethora of children making snowmen and playing on the frozen water of the lake. I was sad for some unknown reason, which made me cry, and thinking about my current situation made me even sadder, which pushed me to cry more. Why am I like this? I asked myself as snot eased down my face and tears clogged my eyelids. You’re so lucky. Think of all the people who have actual reasons for crying. Think of the people who are legitimately depressed. page 8
That’s when it hit me: Was I depressed? I like to think of myself as a fun person. I’m silly. I dress like Ms. Frizzle post-sobriety. My sense of humor can be described by the lil’ smiles marine iguanas make when they open their mouths to catch flies. I think weird stuff is worth exploring, and I like dogs as much as the next person. Because I am really a robot who relies on a steady diet of human joy and batteries, I have the primary goal of making people laugh. That being said, I also like to complain a lot, so in a way, any sadness I had at first was sort of a jackpot for me. Wait a minute—are you telling me I have something to write about that is sort of legitimate now and not just me pretending I’m a tortured genius? Hot dog!! For years I had exhibited signs that I didn’t pay attention to or didn't fit into a diagnosis: I was sensitive, crying frequently and often without a reason. It took me over two hours to fall asleep each night because every time I let myself rest my brain flooded with anxiety and general uneasiness. My existence hinged on the ability to stick to a schedule, and even the slightest changes caused me to lose it. I took my jumble of emotions out on people I cared about. I took it out on myself. I guess the good thing is that I took it out at all, instead of leaving it in a dark place somewhere to grow bigger and bigger until it toppled and crushed me. But not acknowledging my depression and anxiety had the same effect: I was squashed by a burden I did
counterpoint / march 2017
Image: Leslie in the pit, pinterest.com (right)
I FELL INTO A PIT
anything to hurt myself, but I started to think about the millions of terrifying possibilities surrounding my potential death. I was no longer worried about it. If a car hit me right now and killed me, that might actually solve a lot of my problems. And yet I still did not realize I was depressed. “I’m deeply sad,” I told my mother over the phone. “It’s lasted a while.” “Maybe you’re depressed,” she suggested. “Mom, I think I’d know if I was depressed,” I retorted, opening one of those mental books full of your brain’s contents, like in the beginning of Shrek. “I’m not depressed; I just struggle through every day, hate myself, hate everyone else, resent love, can’t sleep, can’t control my eating habits, have constant anxiety attacks, no longer derive pleasure from things I once enjoyed, and have experienced a period of intense sadness for longer than two weeks. God, mom, I think I’d know if I was depressed!!”
seek help. By failing to show depression as a spectrum disorder, we condition people to believe that there is only one type of depressed person. By failing to acknowledge anxiety as a symptom of depression, we only help solidify this onedimensional representation of a disorder that affects over 15 million Americans, and 350 million people worldwide. So there I was: fifteen days into my long-awaited winter break, walking down the street of my beloved hometown, sobbing for no other reason than I was sad and I didn’t know why. It was looking me in the face and yet I still couldn’t come to grips with it, because I honestly didn’t believe that I could have depression. Silly, funny, successful, determined, passionate me. It took scaring neighborhood children to realize that I was lying to myself. That society was lying to me, and others like me. That I needed help. So there you have it: I fell into the pit.
I fell into the pit and I didn’t realize it because I wasn’t educated about the pit. I was only told stories about how badass/ sexy/artsy it is to fall into it. How it’ll just serve as another life experience that makes good inspiration for art. That the only people who get it bad are lazy and suicidal. I wasn’t told the truth about depression. But now it’s my job—and really, everyone’s job—to get that truth out there, the multifaceted, subjective truth. Even though there are times in life when “we all fall into the pit,” I want everyone to know that there are ways you can climb out, and help others do the same. Izzy Labbe '20 (firstname.lastname@example.org) is now a Zoloft-poppin’, therapy-goin’ gal whose life has improved dramatically since seeking treatment for depression and anxiety. She is now watching Parks and Rec for the 7th time.
I was in the stage of depression that’s basically denial. Denial because I had been told what depression was from television, movies, and the internet. Mom, I think I’d know if I was depressed. I’d be wearing sweatpants every day and eating ice cream out of the carton and trying to hurt myself. I’d be able to relate to those Buzzfeed articles that are like, “10 Things You Can Only Relate To If You’re Depressed.” I’d feel something when reading a John Green book. Is that not what depression is? Because that’s all the information I’d gotten about it growing up. We are failing ourselves by not talking about what depression really is. By reaffirming the stereotypes that basically reduce people suffering from depression into lazy slobs, we deny people the chance to recognize their symptoms and counterpoint / march 2017
Yet study abroad is also bigger and better things. Study abroad is reminding myself that it’s okay not to be doing everything that everyone else is doing, that it’s important to give myself credit for the little accomplishments each day— remembering to cut myself some slack. Tomorrow is a new day. It’s getting to see a new part of the world, traveling farther than I could normally afford, and seeing in person that which I have only seen in pictures. Study abroad is doing a little better each day, learning my way around campus, discovering good places to study, and making a few new friends. It’s going along on group outings and working to be more social. It’s the smile I plaster on for video chat that becomes more genuine. Study abroad is sitting down to write
The Road Less Traveled OR, THE UGLY SIDE OF STUDY ABROAD BY ANONYMOUS
o matter how prepared I may have been, how many web pages I read or maps I studied, how much I knew I wanted to do this, study abroad is not all worry-free days and adventure. It’s not just weekend getaways and clever Instagram captions. It’s a lot harder than that. Study abroad is choking out only a quiet and awkward goodbye as I leave my brother behind, or barely holding back tears as I hug my parents at the airport after having felt rather nauseous the whole drive there. Study abroad is arriving in this new place and thinking to myself: I shouldn’t have come here. I chose the wrong program. I wasn’t ready. Study abroad is sitting in my room listening closely to the sounds outside because I am afraid of going to the kitchen and finding someone else inside— someone who is a stranger, someone who has been here longer than me, someone who will be watching as I get my bearings in this unfamiliar place. Study abroad is considering waking up at five in the morning one day just to be page 10
sure I can have the kitchen to myself, or having groceries sitting in my room for hours instead of just putting them away. Study abroad is rushing to catch the train to class at the last minute almost every single day for the first six weeks because I can’t get myself into the panic mode that will force me out of bed. Study abroad is thinking to myself, I must be a really good actor if I fooled the Stone Center into thinking I was “fit” for this. If I fooled myself and everyone around me into thinking I was fit for this. Study abroad is smiling each time I call my parents, and telling them how great everything is going, because if I told them the truth they would worry. And they have enough on their plates to be worried about. Study abroad is still not speaking in class even though it’s week five of ten because I am afraid—afraid my accent
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will give me away, the insights I offer will not be good enough, they will know I am not one of them. It’s the worst kind of imposter syndrome. It’s a rather solitary experience at first. Study abroad is procrastinating on the smallest of things, like taking out the trash or sending an important email or organizing the now cluttered collection of apps on my phone. Study abroad is realizing that I have let two days pass without doing any homework. Study abroad is being asked what I’ve done today, and fumbling to come up with an answer better than the truth, which is practically nothing. Study abroad is trying each day to do better and failing time and time again. I tell myself: fake it till you make it. Study abroad is hard.
This is my once-in-a-lifetime experience, one semester of the-best-four-years-ofmy-life, and I should make the most of it. Study abroad is doing the best I can do and setting realistic goals for each day because that’s all I can fairly demand of myself. It’s not over yet. Perhaps to be alone is to be empowered, is to be brave, is to breathe, is to learn something new about myself. Now I’m seeing this experience a bit differently: not a failure, but an opportunity. This is where I cut myself some slack and begin to really work on myself. Things can only go up from here. For information about articles published anonymously, please contact the EditorsIn-Chief (email@example.com, cyu3@ wellesley.edu).
Images: http://cdn.yomadic.com/ (left), metmuseum.org (right)
Content warning: implication of depression and anxiety
this piece because I might not be the only one who is struggled to get through their time abroad, and because writing everything down makes it a little more real. It’s a concrete reminder to myself that I can and will do better; I still have time to turn this thing around. But that more importantly, I need to take things one step at a time. It’s okay not to be okay. It’s me realizing that this is not just a study abroad problem. This is a last semester problem, a six-months-ago problem, a living-away-from-home or a doing-myfirst-internship problem. Study abroad is acknowledging that I need help. That I should seriously consider getting back into therapy when I get home. That until then, I am going to do my best to get out of bed on time and stick to a good routine and make time to enjoy myself.
counterpoint / march 2017
Content warning: mention of ghosts
hen I’m driving alone, I always set my bag down in the passenger seat. It’s innocuous enough. It’s probably something a fair amount of people do. It’s convenient, it’s easy, and I hate the hassle of opening multiple doors when I could just climb in and sling my backpack over the center console. But it also keeps that seat occupied, so that it’s not an open invitation to whatever might be lurking on the side of the road. I tend to avoid explaining the last part to people, but it’s a practice I picked up largely by virtue of growing up in a Western state. It’s a tradition that comes out of the Southwest, apparently, and it’s not something everyone there does, but I’ve always been a person who lives with a healthy dose of consideration for the supernatural and the departed. I developed an understanding early on that the world is older than any of us, and it’s unwise to think that that we comprehend all the ways in which it works. It’s not even necessarily that I believe with any strong certainty in anything in particular— although I do believe in ghosts—and I’m always careful about not disturbing or offending the other side. I just think it’s smarter not to mess with things we don’t understand, at least not without proper preparation and precaution. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve always been so superstitious. I can’t pinpoint a time in my life when I haven’t been a cautious believer, but I can certainly name the moments or situations in which I became more of one. My first summer of theater camp, when I was eight, I learned not to say the M-word, lest I curse myself or my castmates by accident (if it must be said, I picked up the practice of crossing myself directly afterwards, even though page 12
counterpoint / march 2017
A Strange and
Belief B Y A L LY S O N LARCOM
I’m not, nor have I ever been Catholic). When I was twelve, I visited a known-tobe-haunted train station and felt a hand on my left shoulder. In the eleventh grade, my math teacher taught our class how to tell our immediate fortunes by counting the number of magpies in a tiding, and my semester in Ireland taught me not to mess with anything labeled "fairy"—not rings, not trees, not pools or paths or standing stones in fields—and to speak in euphemisms. After my best friends, the second place I turn to for advice is a tarot deck. When I know I’m going to have to speed to get somewhere, I drive with a penny tails-side up on the dash to avoid speeding tickets. I greet the crows and the known ghosts, I listen to the hairs on the back of my neck. At Wellesley, we know the campus is old. We know some of the stories (though no one can ever hope to know all the stories), and we swap them over mugs of tea and scented candles. We know the quirks of these aged buildings—know that time passes differently in Claflin’s basement laundry room, know the ghost that rattles the pipes of the Shakespeare Haus is named Jill, know that there’s a lingering presence in the Tower East elevator—and we warn the younger, more susceptible among us of such things, so that they can in turn warn those who come after them. Be wary of fairy circles in the Furniture Gallery. When the lamppost with the “Today Is Your Day” graffiti flickers, pay it no mind but do not linger. Never visit the Suicide Suites alone, lest you find “HELP” written in the dust. If Wellesley has not added new beliefs to my superstitious repertoire, it has at the very least reaffirmed such concerns and taught me to exercise fresh caution. And it’s not that I avoid such things, it’s that I am cautious—that I’m vigilant and prepared—and that I may do a bit
Image: wallpapercave.com/dark-woods-wallpaper (left), mfannii.tumblr.com(right)
CAMPUS LIFE of exploring from time to time. (When a friend told me about the eerie red light in Stone-Davis, for example, I had to see it for myself.) In a lot of ways, I carry my superstitions the way I carry souvenirs. They’re markers of the places I’ve been and the effect those places have had on me. They’re partial lessons that say I’ve learned something from the places I’ve visited and the experiences I’ve had. I came and I listened and I took something with me when I left—something that might keep me safer in the long run. Sometimes I wonder if they are a replacement sort of belief system for a curious, imaginative, spiritual child who grew up without religion—a strange and disconcerting faith for me to cling to when the world seemed more mysterious than anything else. My mother, once a barely-devout Catholic and now an agnostic woman of science, told me once that she’s a partial believer, too (more partial than me, perhaps, but if she understands there might be something more out there, then I feel justified to believe as well). I know it’s a little odd, that I’m a little unconventional. It’s just that there’s more to this campus, to this world than we can really hope to explain. I’m not saying to automatically ignore and avoid anything that gives us the chills. After all, considering what might lurk on the side of the road is part of the fun. I’m just saying we ought to be heedful of where we step and when, and perhaps we ought to set our bags down in the passenger seat when we’re driving alone, because sometimes— probably most of the time—we just never know. Allyson Larcom ’17 (alarcom@wellesley. edu) is the most terrifying supernatural phenomenon in any given situation.
The Art of Asking Questions BY JOSEPHINE KIM
like it when authors ask questions. You know that you are dealing with someone intelligent and rational. In all fields of study, you begin to realize that even a great individual is limited in her thinking in the face of a cosmos of unknowns. And that is okay. We grow up thinking there are answers to all our questions. Ultimately, yes. But there have not been enough times where I have encountered an honest person who says, “You know, I don’t know…I’ll think about it.” I argue that the art of asking questions is more necessary than finding the answer. These days, we need a catalyst to do anything and everything. Though it seems like curiosity is no longer enough in the face of convenience and apathy, the fact is this: we can power ourselves to "the next stage” by asking good questions. Every time a question is actually thoroughly satisfied, we tend to just stop dead in that track (of thought or of action). More disappointingly, we begin to assume we know everything; the world is suddenly so knowable that we no longer find the need to challenge it with our curiosity.
Stop! Ask! Ask! Critical thinking is intimately linked with the art of asking questions. We hear the cliche—“there is no stupid question”—and roll our eyes. To me, this hints we have a tendency to “hold back” as a collective body of (lifelong) students, possibly from fear, lack of practice, or care in the world. We have been holding back our questions for too long, so habitually that we have deceived ourselves into thinking we really do not have anything to say, ask, or do. Indeed, not every space is equipped to receive your question, not every space is safe, and not every space will encourage you to ask. In that case, you better have stacks of notebooks full of questions. Because someday, the ideal space will come along like the blue moon…and then be gone. When those rare gaps of time come to you, will you be practiced enough to ask those much-needed questions? The ones that would make the globe spin off its axis in delight? Josephine Kim '19 (firstname.lastname@example.org) sure will be ready to ask, when the time comes.
counterpoint / march 2017
wanna grab coffee? B Y C O U N T E R P O I N T S TA F F
BY FRANZI ROSS
This month we asked you what kind of coffee you order on that awkward Tinder date. With over 150 responses, here's what you said:
vanilla chai latte
irish coffee hold the coffee espresso
OTHER RESPONSES "A fancy-schmancy beverage that takes well over ten words to describe" • "A real amontillado" • "a steaming cup of petty" • "Bath Salts" • "Black coffee it's a power move" • "Cafe Au Lait" • "cafe mocha" • "Cafecito con leche y una concha" • "Cappuccino" • "Carmel Macchiato" • "Chai Latte" • "coconut milk mocha caramel macchiato" • "coffee hold the awkward Tinder date" • "Dark roast, splash of soymilk" • "Death Wish Coffee exclusively. If I die the date will end." • "Don't have Tinder! But I enjoy a variety of coffee based beverages." • "Grain alcohol" • "Green Tea" • "Green Tea Latte with Soy Milk tbh" • "Hazlenut latte" • "Herbal Tea" • "herbal tea bc I'm earthy and a little bit sanctimonious about not drinking coffee" • "Hot Chocolate" • "hot chocolate bc i don't need caffeine to feel alive unlike certain people no tea no shade i will never get off my high horse" • "I don't drink coffee, so hot chocolate (dark)" • "I don't drink coffee." • "I don't drink coffee...or use Tinder...or go on dates..." • "I don't have a tinder" • "if it's a bad date, I'll order as much coffee as possible so I'll spend the whole time pooping and won't have to talk to the date" • "if its not a mcdonalds mcflurry we aint talkin" • "Latte" • "male tears, the blood of my enemies and a quadruple shot of homosexuality" • "Matcha latte! Yummy regardless of the meeting." • "Medium coffee-- I can chug it if I need to get out fast and it isn't to much of an investment" • "Mocha" • "normal chai latte?? what is this vanilla bs" • "orange juice" • "Order something expensive and boogie and make them pay for it" • "People have time for awkward Tinder dates?" • "Scotch- double the malt double the fun" • "Some kind of latte" • "Some ridiculously fancy froufrou drink, obviously." • "Something I can drink fast so I get the hell out and back to swellesley" • "Something iced, so I can seductively sip at the straw." • "Straight Bailey's" • "tea" • "tea to avoid the coffee shits" • "tea with milk" • "Tea, because coffee + nerves makes me have to poop" • "Tea, because I don't like coffee" • "Tea... because I don't have a Tinder and I don't like coffee" • "Three shots of vodka" • "Uncomfortably sip random coffee because you don't like coffee, but you agreed to meet for coffee in the first place" • "Whatever coffee I feel like at the time. People don't change what I do" • "Whole, unpastuarized milk" page 14
counterpoint / march 2017
counterpoint / march 2017
a counterpoint-el table
collaboration ACROSS 3. The Toto song about a wonderful continent that never fails to get all of El turnt 9. The professor that dragged El during Lip Sync, even though he was once their customer of the month 10. There are several of these little guys floating around on one of El’s murals 14. El Table goes hard for this campus-wide competition every semester. 16. Our favorite Counterpoint editor who also makes some tasty sandwiches 17. Fun fact: the lightest coffee roasts are the ones with the most _______ 20. This Latin American/Caribbean music can often be heard at El Table 21. The name of the local bakery from which El Table gets its bread and pastries 22. The other quad building El Table is in 23. Free during the last 15 minutes before closing! 24. The El scone options are currant, chocolate chip, orange cranberry, prosciutto. parmesan, and _______ 26. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong (with avocado) 27. SkELly the spooky but friendly __________ hangs in the doorway and is always down to greet customers 28. This secretarial alum used to work at El 29. This green creamy fruit is on many of El Table’s sandwich creations
DOWN 1. El Table just added this fruit drink to their fridge. 2. This delicious spicy condiment is free at El Table 4. The second-most-popular green fruit sandwich ingredient 5. The special addition Counterpoint-inspired sandwich 6. The quad building El Table is officially housed in 7. This special brew is the roast with the most, also known as El’s most popular flavor 8. What the “El” actually stands for 11. Worst day to go to El 12. He holds office hours in El and is really just an overall amazing man 13. One of El Table’s missions as a co-op 15. Along with Punch’s Alley, SCoop, and Cafe Hoop, El Table is a student-run ____________ 18. This cheesy, greeny masterpiece is the most popular sandwich at El 19. The warm term El Tablers often use when referring to their amazing co-op members 23. Buy this substance from El Table to eat in class if you want to complete the Wellesley 50 25. Most students open one to pay for all their food at the end of the semester, instead of by cash