48 HOURS WITHOUT SLEEP: IS CRUNCH TIME WORTH IT?
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS: LAST RESORT REGISTRATION OPTIONS
WHITMAN STUDENTS CLOSEDMINDED TOWARD DEBATERS
STUDENT-PRODUCED OPERA TACKLES CHALLENGES
SEX TOY PARTY PROMOTES OPENNESS, FUN
WHITMAN COLLEGE Walla Walla, WA Volume CXXV / Issue 10 whitmanpioneer.com N ,
CRASH INJURES 4
COMMUNITY EXTENDS SUPPORT TO STUDENTS IN AFTERMATH OF ACCIDENT
Earlier notice helps students bounce back from D-slips by LIZ FORSYTH Staff Reporter
by JOSH GOODMAN Associate News Editor “Sometimes these tragedies take place and we find out what a wonderful, responsive community we have,” said Associate Dean of Students Clare Carson following an accident Friday, Nov. 6, that left four students injured, two critically. From writing cards to sending care packages to streams of well wishes posted on Facebook walls, the Whitman community has come together to
support the injured students. Sophomore Maggie Allen’s Lexus sport utility vehicle was struck by a semi-truck Friday afternoon as she attempted to make a U-turn on Hwy. 730 near Irrigon, Ore. The crash occurred about a mile east of I-84. Allen, sophomores Katie Radosevic and Khoa Nguyen and first-year Lindy Jacobs were on their way to PowerShift West, an environmental conference in Eugene, Ore. While Allen, who broke her shoulder, and Nguyen, who
suffered a concussion, returned to campus Friday night, Radosevic and Jacobs were flown to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland. Radosevic underwent treatment for a broken pelvis and is currently in fair condition, according to a hospital representative. Jacobs, who was put in a medically induced coma to minimize swelling in her brain, is in serious condition. The driver of the
The collision between the semi-truck and the SUV occurred on Hwy. 730 near Irrigon, Ore.
From top left: Katie Radosevic, Maggie Allen, Khoa Nguyen and Lindsay Jacobs
semi-truck, Dirk Martin, was not injured. As the students recuperate, the campus has sprung into action to provide support. “People have been incredibly supportive,” Allen said in an e-mail Tuesday. “My friends have written me many notes of encouragement in addition to personal visits.” CR A SH, page 2
GRAPHICS COURTESY OF WHITM WHITMAN.EDU & GOOGLE MAPS VAN NESTE
This semester, 142 students have received D-slips, which indicate that a student is achieving a grade of D or lower in a class, a higher than usual number for this point in the year. Rather than signifying greater academic difficulties among students, the increase may represent a new Academic Resource Center strategy to identify and assist struggling students. “I attribute the change in the pattern from last year to this year to an earlier initial request to faculty to identify students who were already struggling in the fifth week of classes. In the past the initial request for D-slips did not go out until the seventh week,” said Juli Dunn, director of the Academic Resource Center, via e-mail. No matter when it arrives, finding a deficiency slip in the mail box is an unpleasant surprise. “I was hoping to get a present from my sorority instead,” said first-year Emma Oschrin, who received a D-slip. Of the ten percent of students who got D-slips last fall semester, about half ended up with a D, F or no credit. Partway through this semester the registrar began including any notes submitted by the professor regarding the student’s academic status with the D-slip notification sent to a student. Before, the administration had access to these notes detailing how students were doing, but students did not. “I think [making the notes available to students] will be good down the road because faculty often lay out a fairly detailed road map to getting back on track,” Dunn said via e-mail. “If students don’t seek assistance, at least they have a game plan and know on which assignments or skills they need to focus.” Forty percent of this year’s D-slip recipients were firstyears such as Oschrin, about double the amount of any other single class year received. Faced with a D-slip in a class she needed for her expected major, Oschrin started to work right away to improve her grade. The ARC set a meeting up for her with a member of the deficiency slip advising team. D-SLIPS, page 2
Tension over debate tournament eases
More posters, lower enrollment this year limit disruptive impact on campus
by LEA NEGRIN Staff Reporter
Ryan Crocker ‘71 climbs the new rock wall in Sherwood Athletic Center. Crocker offered two workshops and a lecture in his latest campus visit.
With a new name, Whitman’s annual debate tournament for high school students sought a new image on campus, improving organization of the debaters to decrease the stress Whitman students and staff had noted their presence caused in previous years. Now called the Remy Wilson High School Speech Tournament, the name was changed to honor the woman who developed the tournament as coach and director of forensics at Whitman from 1969 to 1980. This year’s tournament featured fewer debaters, improvements to the programs that schedule and track debates and an increased number of the posters placed around campus to direct debaters.
Even Whitman students who only had experienced one year of the tournament noticed the decreased disruption. “It was definitely less invasive than last year; the only thing I really noticed this year was all the posters,” said sophomore Jessica Matresse. The 468 high school debaters, less than the past average, took notice of the additional posters too; though not all of the high school students appreciated them. “I find the sheer number of pink slips to be insulting,” an anonymous debater wrote on one of the ubiquitous posters, which appeared every few feet in locations holding many debaters such as Reid. That remark aside, the tournament proceeded smoothly overall, with the participants also appre-
ciating new features that enhanced the tournament’s management. “This [tournament] didn’t have many problems and I really liked being able to check my results on-line,” said second-time tournament participant Maureen Page, a sophomore from Willamette High School in Eugene, Ore. Page also expressed her and her teammates’ appreciation of how the tournament was run in a timely manner. The prompt proceedings were enabled in part by updates made to the two computer programs Whitman College Debate Coach Jim Hanson uses to match up the debate pairings and notify them of their standings. “I hate to brag but . . . I’m pretty proud of the DEBATE , page 3
Crocker THETAS DISH, DANCE FOR CASA comes back to college by ERIC NICKESON-MENDHEIM
by GALEN BERNARD News Editor Former U.S. Ambassador and Whitman graduate Ryan Crocker returned to campus this week, confirming what he had previously stated would be a reoccurring presence. “Crocker . . . has made involvement with his alma mater a priority, including campus visits,” read the Whitman Web page announcing his arrival. Crocker visited campus last April and was the feature speaker at 2009 commencement. This week, under the title of “visiting educator,” he offered a public lecture and workshops to students and staff, held office hours and even found time to take on the new climbing wall in Sherwood. With Crocker now retired and residing in Spokane, Wash., students are excited by the prospect of his becoming a regular visitor to CROCKER , page 3
This Friday, Nov. 13, the Kappa Alpha Theta women’s fraternity plans to step up its annual Cakes for CASA fundraiser by adding a contest to find Whitman’s best dance crew. The event, in its fifth year, raises money for Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children. CASA volunteers assist abused or neglected children as they navigate court proceedings and foster care. In previous years, Theta has used an all-you-can-eat buffet of pancakes and a raffle to raise funds. This year they’re trotting out an additional feature. “This is the first year we’re going to do Whitman’s Best Dance Crew,” said junior Theta Co-Philanthropy Chair Tegan Klein. “The goal with Whitman’s best dance crew, since it involves more Whitman students, is that we hope more people will come to see their friends. We really want to reach out to the entire campus.” A panel of judges composed of Alberto Galindo, assistant professor of foreign languages & literatures–Spanish, Elizabeth Vandiver, associate professor of classics, Brenda Sanchez, annual fund officer, and Laura Cummings, senior assistant for
Dance crew Money in the Cow (from left: Alixander Bowman ‘11, Matt McMillan ‘12, Thomas Knook ‘12, Quinn Taylor ‘11 and Graham Toben ‘10) prepare for the Cakes for CASA dance-off.
off-campus studies, will determine the winning group. That group will open Saturday night’s Street Dance Showcase, a performance sponsored by WEB featuring dance crews from Portland and Vancouver. The Thetas will have a table there to continue raising money for CASA.
For junior Theta Co-Philanthropy Chair Annie Horman, the importance of Cakes for CASA is helping children. “When [children] are going through the court system and being tossed from one family to the next, C A SA , page 2
November 12, 2009
CRASH: 2 remain hospitalized, 1 critical page 1
GOLD Deirdre Clarke ‘12 gets ready to paste a magazine cutout to a card at the Global Awareness House on Sunday. Students also supported the victims of Friday’s crash by making care packages, attending a prayer and positive thought event in the Prentiss Hall Spirituality Room and writing messages on posters in Reid Campus Center.
Residents of the Global Awareness House, where Radosevic lives, hosted a card and tissue paper flower-making event on Sunday, one of several staff and student-organized efforts in response to the crash. They sent an e-mail to the interest house and students listservs right before the event to invite other students to join. “I thought that it would be a nice idea to extend it to the whole campus and not just us, because other people are affected,” said senior Autumn McCartan, the Global Awareness House R.A. Carson visited the Jacobs and Radosevic families at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center on behalf of the college. “Part of our job is on a daily basis to respond to any kind of personal crisis a person might have, or a family crisis or academic,” she said. “[We] do our best to attend to that situation, and give our best attention to students.” She declined to provide details about what she discussed with the families for reasons of confidentiality. President George Bridges also spoke with students’ parents over the phone, and Dean of Students Chuck Cleveland and Associate to the President Jed Schwendiman visited the students at Good Sheppard Hospital in Hermiston, Ore., where all four were taken initially. Bridges expressed his wish for a speedy recovery process for all four students. “I would hope that with the help of our counseling staff, they would
be able to get a sense of perspective on the accident and, in a period of a few months, be in a better position to come back to school,” he said, adding that full emotional healing may take longer. Posters were available in Reid this week for students to write messages to the accident victims and a prayer and positive thought forum was held in Prentiss. The Community Service House also offered a care package-making session. According to an e-mail Bridges sent to the campus, Jacobs’ mother, Elaine, will read get-well messages she receives via e-mail to her daughter to aid in her neurological recovery. Carson, who oversees the Academic Resource Center, said that academic support is available to the students as they transition back into classes. “It’s all a case-by-case basis depending on the needs of the student,” she said. “If we know ahead of time we can hire note-takers in classes to take some notes. The first question is, what do you need? How can we help you get back up to speed?” For Allen, having understanding professors has helped. “I can postpone my academics until I recover,” she said. “My teachers have been very accommodating.” Meanwhile, students hope to see their friends and classmates back soon. “We miss them,” said sophomore Gia Anastasiou, whose room is next to Radosevic’s. “We have a big Katie void in our house.”
D-SLIPS: SHAC, Red Cross CASA: Be proactive, use to offer first aid Dance resources, ARC certification clinic contest recommends steps up charity event by LIZ FORSYTH Reporter
CORRECTIONS TO ISSUE 9: “Humanists: Community center planned” on page 3 quotes Sandra Marim. The correct spelling is Sandra Marin. The caption for the photo accompanying “Club Latino celebrates Dia de los Muertos” on page 4 says the students pictured were at an event organized by Club Latino. The event was actually organized by the Interest House Community’s multicultural house, the MECCA.
IN THIS ISSUE: News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-3 Feature
Humor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Opinion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-8 A&E
Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11-12
“The meeting was basically to tell me to get a tutor, but I’d already done that. Besides the tutor, I went and talked to my professor and he was really helpful. I just kept going in with questions,” she said. The ARC stresses that its resources, from study skill strategies to one-on-one tutoring, are available to all students, whether or not they receive a D-slip. Dunn noted that students of all years, majors and grade point averages find themselves needing help with a particular class, as demonstrated by the fact that Dslips have come from 19 departments this semester. The center offers assistance to any student who asks. Not everyone does. “I think for many students, particularly first-year students, this is the first time they have ever had a D or F, let alone struggled—so I think a lot of students are embarrassed that they are in such a predicament,” said Dunn. Dunn noted that if students do get over the embarrassment and take action, they can improve their grades. “They need to turn that energy into positive action that will help him or her avoid academic disaster: talk to their professor, their adviser, seek resources, become informed about the ramifications of dropping, P-D-F, or withdrawal. Doing nothing often results in less than optimal outcomes,” she said Between her professor, tutor and the help of her section, Oschrin got a 98 percent on her last exam. “If you use the resources out there, they’re very helpful,” she said, while cautioning students against waiting until the last second to work on improving.
Sophomores Fritz Seigert and Sofia Infante are on a mission. They want Whitman students to be prepared and willing to act when they see someone in a medical emergency. “At a party if someone collapses a doctor or a nurse won’t be there, but a student will,” explained Seigert, president of the student health advisory council (SHAC). This is the idea behind the First Aid certification course that SHAC is bringing to campus on Saturday Nov. 14. Offered by the Red Cross and sponsored by SHAC, the First Aid certification will be available for up to 50 students. Usually offered at $30, SHAC is asking students for only $5, thanks to ASWC sponsorship. Rebecca Abenroth of the Red Cross will be helping put on the event. “There are some really simple things that you can almost always do to help stabilize someone until help comes,” said Abenroth. She stressed that the course is primarily intended to help students stabilize an injured or sick person until professional help can arrive. “You won’t be doing surgery on the street,” she said. “Call 911. The most important thing you can do is call for help.”
For Seigert, the First Aid clinic is a stepping-stone to increasing health awareness and emergency preparedness on campus. “The two other events we had were fundraisers, and I thought with a First Aid clinic this is something that could tangibly affect health,” said Seigert. SHAC hopes to give students the opportunity to advance the training they receive Saturday with future clinics. “We may do stuff at the Health Center; we were thinking we could help people learn a little higher-end stuff [later on]” said Seigert. For now, helping get students better prepared for any problems that may arise is on the forefront of the agenda. The clinic will focus on recognizing and responding to emergencies, and will teach students how to control bleeding, identify the signals of head, neck and back injuries and how to care for them and how to prioritize care for injuries and sudden illnesses, among other tasks. The course lasts for about four hours, at the end of which students receive First Aid certification. “Within the Whitman population, as within any population, it’s about your awareness and knowing your surroundings, who to call, what to do,” said Infante.
Zoë Kunkel-Patterson ‘12 signs up for a first aid certification clinic with SHAC President Thomas Siegert ‘12. The class, offered by the Red Cross, takes place Saturday, Nov. 14.
they at least have one constant adult role model,” she said. “[Advocates] usually also have quite a bit of sway in the court decision as to what family [the child] should go to or if the child should go back to their original family.” CASA is a national organization based in Seattle. The Thetas will donate Cakes proceeds to the Walla Walla chapter, which is facing a funding crunch due to the recent economic troubles. “CASA is a really huge organization and it’s been an international Theta organization for 20 years,” said Horman. “We’re donating what we raise to the local Walla Walla chapter this year because of budget cuts; they have a lot less money than they used to and they don’t always get the federal funding. There are 1,000 CASA chapters and they don’t always get as much funding as they need.” To better help CASA, Theta hopes to exceed last year’s fundraising totals. “Last year we raised $2,000 and this year we’re hoping to raise a lot more,” said Klein. “It’s going to be $5 admission and the event is from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Reid ballroom. We’re going to sell raffle tickets and we’re going to do a pre-sale event in Reid during lunch.” The fraternity also hopes to expand its future fundraisers, which benefit various causes determined on a caseby-case basis. “This is our main philanthropy event, but we try to do one each month,” said Horman. “Last year we started a car wash and we raised about $800. We’re hoping to make that a bigger event and make it annual.”
November 12, 2009 LOOS-DIALLO
ANNUAL PARTY Not your typical toy store experience
by RACHEL ALEXANDER Reporter What do diving dolphins, waterproof power bullets and icicles have in common? They are all vibrators that will be featured at the Voices for Planned Parenthood (VOX)-sponsored sex toy party this Saturday. “I’m really excited about it,” said junior Caitlin Moore, one of VOX’s copresidents. “It’s probably one of our most well-attended events.” The sex toy party has been a tradition on the Whitman campus for three years. The party features Erika McAlvey, who works for a company called Pure Romance. McAlvey brings in toys to demonstrate and also discusses techniques and uses. VOX Co-President Patricia Xi sees the
party as an important opportunity to provide sex education. “I think it’s important for females to be able to express their sexuality,” she said. “Society’s really repressive in general with the whole being openly sexual thing.” Although the party is meant to be an open forum, only women can attend. First-year Dena Wessel felt that the women-only label could potentially lead to an unwelcoming atmosphere. “My concern is for people who don’t fit the gender norms,” she said. “If they identify as female but are biologically male, where does that place them at an event that’s supposed to be really open?” Moore says the event is open only to women because McAlvey’s training is
for women-only events, and it fosters a more comfortable atmosphere for the women who do attend. “We’ve always had a women’s night. No one’s really questioned it,” she said. VOX hopes to hold three sex toy parties during spring semester—one for women, one for men, and one co-ed— to incorporate more individuals. “That’s something I felt was really important—that it shouldn’t be just a women’s workshop,” Moore said, adding that the VOX’s goal was to be “more welcoming, inviting and encompassing” while maintaining a comfortable space. First-year Tyler King has no issues with the fact that the party is femaleexclusive. He feels that it’s important for women to have a space to discuss sexuality. “Even if it’s not about the sex toys themselves, it alleviates some of the awkwardness around female masturbation,” he said. He said that he didn’t think many guys would be interested in attending a sex toy party, other than as a curiosity. “Guys, regardless of their sexual orientation, pretty much know what they’re doing,” he said.
First-year Henry Gales agreed. “What am I going to do with sex toys?” he said. “I already have my hand.” The party was originally targeted at the girls’ rugby team. “I just got curious and decided to go,” Xi said. After attending the party, she thought VOX should get involved in planning and hosting the event. “It’s just to put VOX’s name out there and also have fun,” she said. Attendees are able to order toys from the Pure Romance catalog after the party, though Moore says there is no pressure to buy any products. The focus of the event is on educating and having a good time, a fact which is exemplified by the chocolate bananas and penis-shaped cookies that are served as refreshments. “[McAlvey] is really good at educating people about anything and everything,” said Moore. In spite of her concern, Wessel remains excited for the event. “I knew I was going to a crazy liberal arts college in the middle of nowhere, but I didn’t know there were going to be sex toys parties,” she said.
CROCKER: Ex-ambassador alumnus urges students to learn languages, geography in lecture, workshops page 1 With Crocker now retired and residing in Spokane, Wash., students are excited by the prospect of his becoming a regular visitor to campus. “I think he definitely fits into what Whitman is trying to do with the global studies program,” said senior Seth Bergeson, who attended Crocker’s workshop, entitled “Public service versus personal conviction: What to do when they collide?” In his lecture, which addressed America’s engagement in the Middle East, Crocker noted that many Americans suffer from limited knowledge of geography and non-English languages, handicaps that he urged Whitman students to be aware of and to avoid. “We tend to be geographically challenged. This is why we have the map,” he said, pointing at the massive map that was projected on the wall behind him showing the Middle East, a gesture met with appreciative laughter. Crocker recommended students gain familiarity with geography and foreign cultures by joining international programs such as the Peace Corps. “Coming out of Whitman you are prepared for foreign affairs,” he said. Crocker noted that he began considering the Peace Corps his senior year af-
ter what he called a revelatory moment at the Green Lantern Tavern. “I realized that in nine months time I was on my own,” he said. Bergeson said that while many students who attended the workshop could see themselves involved in foreign affairs, he for one was not sure how he wanted to be involved. “I was trying to think if I’d want to be in a position like Crocker’s. It was really interesting to learn about the struggles he had in policy work,” Bergeson said, citing Crocker’s admission that he could not directly create or change policy, restricted to giving feedback to policymakers. Crocker also stressed how understanding the local language of a foreign place is crucial to understanding its culture and history. “We are depressingly monolingual,” he said, again drawing knowing laughs. “Know their fiction. Know their poetry.” The claim that limited familiarity with languages handicaps the international role of Americans resonated with senior Lauren Schneider, a double major in foreign languages and literature in Spanish and French. “I don’t know that he was speaking to us as students, but more as Ameri-
DEBATE: Participants don Bridges bowties sold in bookstore page 1 improvements that have been made,” said Hansen, who worked to enhance the computer programs himself. With the aid of the programs, the debate tournament was able to smoothly schedule approximately 100 rooms holding debates every two hours. “Basically, I love the fact that I get to stay in my office,” said Hansen, who saw to the posting of results from the comfort of his Hunter Conservatory office. High school students competed in various styles of debate before 37 judges from the Whitman College debate team. In addition to the debates, the students managed to find time to enjoy the campus. High school first-years Michael Skidmore and Mathew Knudsen from
Willamette proudly sported bow-ties purchased at the Whitman bookstore. Hansen was proud of the results made possible by the help of Whitman students from the debate team and Reid staff members, along with the updated programs. “Every year I have things that I want to fix. This year though they were a lot less major.” Debate coach Andre Cossette from Gonzaga Prep High School in Spokane, who has brought teams to the tournament for over 20 years, applauded the event’s success. “It’s the biggest and best tournament in the whole northwest. It’s well-run and the tournament staff is friendly,” Cossette said.
I think he definitely fits into what Whitman is trying to do with the global studies program. Seth Bergeson ‘10
cans. But as students we can do something about it,” Schneider said. “We can make an effort to study languages and literature.” Crocker, a 1971 graduate of Whitman and current member of the Board of Overseers, retired from the United States Foreign Service and moved back to his childhood house in Spokane, Wash. in March 2009. This was his second lecture at Whitman since retiring, suggesting that he has fully taken on a new jacket as academic instructor. “There are many ways I can be introduced,” Crocker said as he took the stage Tuesday night. Over half the crowd at the lecture was faculty and community members. Of the Whitman students that came, many left during the question and answer seg-
Ryan Crocker ‘71 speaks to the audience at his Monday night lecture, entitled “From Iraq to Afghanistan: Engagement and Confrontation in the Broader Middle East”
ment. Audience questions ranged from the likelihood of instituting a draft to the implications of pressing democracy on other countries. One question even prompted Crocker to reply in Arabic, a language in which he is fluent. Bergeson and Schneider both had additional questions they hope to ask Crocker when he next visits. Lea Negrin contributed reporting.
BROWNELL: Alumna shares recovery page 1
Rachel Brownell, author of “Mommy Doesn’t Drink Here Anymore”, has a wry sense of humor and a gift for honesty. “I don’t take my eyes off of them, nor do I put down my glass of white wine. In the video I’m in and out of frame, helping our youngest into her life vest, assisting the older girls with swimsuits and towels, looking away from the camera, always with a drink in my hand,” she quoted from her book, describing her descent into alcoholism following the birth of her children. Speaking to audiences on Tuesday November 10th, Brownell offered a reading of her book followed by a question-andanswer session and a book signing. “Drinking began as a bulwark against the onslaught of mamma drones,” she said. What began as an ordinary relationship with alcohol turned into a fullscale addiction as time went on. “All I know is that I’m exhausted and lonely and can barely see straight and I’m drinking more now than ever,” she quoted. Although the book focuses on alcoholism and motherhood, Brownell conveyed how her experiences are relevant to both college students and adults. “It’s just that she was real and she was witty,” said junior Van Trinh, who attended the lecture. “After my friends and I left, we were talking about her and the lecture in general, and one of my friends was saying how although it was about alcohol and motherhood it really was relevant to a lot of things that people go through, like drug abuse and depression,” said Trinh. For Brownell, recovery was something she chose to do herself, and since then she has managed to be sober for over 2 years. Brownell graduated from Whitman in 1990 and was brought to campus by Sharon Kaufman-Obsorn, a counselor at Whitman, who knew Brownell as a student. After learning through a mutual friend about Brownell’s book and what she had gone through, she decided to bring Brownell to campus. “I work with students who struggle with these issues and I feel like any way we can have, that they can think about this for themselves or their family members is really crucial. So it feels really like, Jason Kilmer comes and he’s wonder, but this is a different perspective,” she said. “I already know one person who’s been helped by her presence here,” said Kaufman-Osborn. For Brownell, recovery has not been easy, but it has been worth it. “Now I’m just me. I think part of recovery has been rediscovering the joy of women’s friendships and the fact that I love to write, so I guess I would say I say I define myself as a writer and a good friend and a daughter and a sister, I just have a lot more things, descriptive things now,” she said. The audience had many questions for Ms. Brownell, from how her children were affected by her alcoholism to tips on being a recovering alcoholic. “Her humor definitely lightened up the subject. I enjoyed the talk,” added sophomore Matt Morgonoth, who attended the lecture. GOLD
Participants in the 37th annual Remy Wilson High School Speech Tournament take a break between rounds. Posters directing debaters on where to spend talking was allowed reduced the negative impacts of the tournament.
Coping with crunch time
November 12, 2009
The Pioneer 11/12/09 Page 4
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Sleep advice from expert by HELEN JENNE Staff Reporter Half of students with GPAs of 3.75 or higher get between four and five hours of sleep per night, according to a survey of fifty-three students conducted by The Pioneer. “That’s not enough sleep,” said Dr. Richard Simon, sleep disorders expert from the Kathryn Severyns Dement Sleep Disorders Center in Walla Walla. If people are deprived of sleep to the point where they are only getting five to six hours per night, according to Simon, they will perform one to two standard deviations below where they would have performed with a full night’s sleep. What does this mean? “These people may be performing well with very little sleep because there are intrinsic differences in human brains,” Simon said. Inherent intelligence is a factor that affects GPA, along with the difficulty of classes. However, Simon wonders if the students in the 3.75 or higher range might have gotten an even higher GPA if they had slept between six and eight hours a night. “Your best bet is to try to get six to eight hours of sleep every night,” Simon said. To be able to do this, however, you need to study efficiently. It’s best, according to Simon, to break up studying into 20-30 minute blocks with a goal of a specific concept that you want to grasp. Then, take a short break and continue. Sometimes during the study breaks, taking a 10-15 minute nap can help. The phrase “sleep on it” is true: Sleep helps consolidate memory. So after
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exposing yourself to new information, sleep can help you understand it. Simon promotes napping, and says that there are two possible reasons for napping: To pay off sleep debt and to improve performance in the short run. To pay off sleep debt, nap as long as you want. But if you are napping to improve performance in the short run, Simon recommends drinking one or two cups of coffee, and then taking a 20-minute nap. When you wake up, the caffeine will have started to kick in. “That will acutely improve performance,” Simon said. If you have a 1 p.m. test and are planning to study beforehand, this would be something to do at 11 a.m. While short naps can help efficiency during the day, it’s important to get a full six to eight hours of sleep at night. When it comes to all-nighters, Simon simply said: “Don’t do it.” “Your study efficiency just declines like you wouldn’t believe,” Simon said. If you are working on a problem, you will think of an ineffective solution, and won’t be able to think of different solutions. Simon emphasizes to put sleep first and studying second. It’s also important to not only get enough hours of sleep, but to wake up at similar times each morning. The suprachiasmatic nucleus in the hypothalamus, in other words your biological clock, increases the alertness of your brain for 16 hours of the day, and then decreases the alertness for the remaining eight hours. Ideally, you will be sleeping when your clock is off, and awake when your clock is on. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always
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Staff R W ER eporte r There are proach a lot of tips floatin es to s g arou tudyin both o nd cam g and f those pus ab writin so eas most s out t g long y to sc tudy tip p a r pers. W he best ape w up d s fail t Pionee hy, the uring o depi r is de crunch ct stud n, are ter revolu ent life time? tionize mined to pr B w e it c o ause h any the wo viding during accura rld of realist finals t c a i y c c . ademi his yea a. Or h study tips th The r. at will elp yo u out a little bit
s h t y M y d Stu TRUE: It’s bad to study in bed. If you really are a night owl, don’t take morning classes. Dr. Richard Simon sleep disorders expert
work that way. If you were left alone to sleep whenever you want, and you wake up naturally at 10 a.m. every morning, your biological clock probably isn’t shutting off until 2 a.m. So if this is the case for you, and your biological clock isn’t on when you’re sitting in your 8 a.m. class, you probably won’t be that alert. “If you really are a night owl, don’t take morning classes,” Simon said. And if you do have a morning class, Simon recommends buying an artificial light box, and sitting in front of it for 45 minutes to an hour after waking up, which can train the brain to wake up earlier. “[Biological clocks] are the only reason you guys can stay awake as late as you do,” Simon said. But it’s important to work with your biological clock and practice efficient studying to make sure you get enough sleep.
Studying in bed may either lead to bad studying or bad sleeping, according to Director of Academic Resources Juli Dunn. People who study in bed may find themselves more likely to fall asleep during studying, or conversely, less likely to fall asleep, period. “Your body associates your bed with sleep, thus you may find yourself feeling tired when you are fully rested or on the flip side your body will associate your bed as a place that your brain needs to wake up for and as such can then result in sleep issues,” said Dunn via e-mail. Studying while sleepy will decrease the effectiveness of your study time, so it is best to be avoided and long-term sleep deprivation—which could be caused by associating your bed with studying— decreases academic success.
FALSE: If you have to pull an
all-nighter, it’s best to do it night before the test rather than two nights before. If you have to pull an all-nighter, doing it two nights before a test gives your body time to recoup on the sleep debt you built up over the last night staying awake. However, if you know two days in advance that you’ll need to cram, studying less and getting extra sleep both nights instead of vice versa might produce a better grade anyway. “An all-nighter, under any circum-
stances, is not the most efficient way to study,” said Dunn. Students who regularly pull all-nighters tend to have lower GPAs, a study by Pamela Thatcher, a professor of psychology at St. Lawrence University, showed. All-nighters should only be the providence of projects, essays and tests for which you are completely unprepared, and only when there is no other option. Otherwise, weigh the risks of taking the test without an all-night study session versus the exhaustion of taking the test, having stayed up all the night before.
You will only retain half the information you study after midnight. While it varies from person to person exactly what percentage of information one retains after midnight—and is thus impossible to give a concrete answer to the myth—sleep deprivation does negatively affect your learning. “Your ability to retain information begins to decrease when you enter a period during which your body should be at rest,” said Dunn. For some people, that may mean after midnight; for others; that may mean after two in the morning. However, this does mean that staying up late to study may not do you as much good as studying for the same amount of time during the day.
2 forDonth’teskhaiprdanoneaessier class to study
Limit your access to the Internet
a lot of study tips sugThis is essential. While lf off entirely (which is gest trying to cut yourse can’t post self-pitying clearly impossible), if you how much you have to Facebook statuses about nothing will get done le rib do, you’ll feel so ter take a five- to 10-minanyway. Compromise and hour. Knowing you get a ute Internet break every er you up and might che break will immediately just keep you on task.
It might be temptin g to think, “Hey, I’l l just ignore [insert easy cla ss here] because [in sert hard class here] is just to o hard.” Don’t do it. Unless the professor has told you that you’re guar anteed 100 percent because yo u are sleeping with him or her, neglecting any cla ss entirely is a bad idea. What you need to do is balance your work level with how hard a given cla ss is—which shouldn ’t mean abandoning anyth ing.
November 12, 2009
by the Numbers
Results collected from a random campus mailbox survey by The Pioneer
20% g hour et 8-9 s of s leep
50% get 4-5 hours of sleep
Students with a GPA of 3.75 or higher
30% get 6-7 hours of sleep an th ss e p t le le ge f s % so 10 our 4h
Students with a GPA lower than 3.75
50% get 6-7 hours of sleep
40% get 8-9 hours of sleep
48 hours without sleep: Student survival story Reporter recounts double all-nighter by KRISTEN COVERDALE Staff Reporter It’s 3 a.m. and I’m doing yoga stretches on the third floor landing of the Science Building. My laptop buzzes angrily at me, overheating because it’s been on for far too long. Downward Dog feels good as my legs burn, tense from sitting crosslegged on a couch for hours and hours. On this Monday morning, I’m quote hunting for my research paper. At 1:30 a.m. I had my last latte and the caffeine is finally kicking in. After approximately three seconds in Upward Dog I hop to my feet and reclaim my spot on the couch. Junior Anna Forge, also a night owl, packs up her books and smiles at me, rolling her eyes. I joyfully exclaim that I’ll get to watch the sunrise this morning. Watching the sunrise may be more of an appealing aspect to all-nighters than people think. “I was in the library until so late last week and it was rough. By the time I was walking home, it was light out. I usually
get nervous walking home from the library by myself but not this time. It was already morning,” said sophomore Ruby Glaser. Regardless of this minor perk, I still wonder, why in the world am I paperprepping at 3 a.m. and planning an allnighter? As a chronic procrastinator and a fairly busy person, up until a couple nights ago I’ve found a long list of better things to do than write my paper (other papers, meetings, responding to e-mails, sleeping, spending time with my friends, the list goes on) and now that I am sufficiently stressed and feeling anxious, I am ready to write. I like to think that I work best under pressure but I also love the drama of not knowing if I will finish in time. Twenty-four hours later, 3 a.m. the next day, I still haven’t slept and I’m still chugging away on this paper. I’m halfway through and on a roll. My mind is clear and I’m focused, finally. At 5 a.m., senior Juliet D’Alessandro is finally leaving the library. “My brain is not really functioning right now. I don’t do this very often. The first version of my thesis is due tomor-
row and desperate times call for staying up,” she said. “It happens. It’s fun.” An hour later, sitting on that big brown couch on the library third floor, facing Ankeny, I watch the sun peak its head over the top of Lyman. By 8 a.m. I’ve finished writing and proofreading. I pop that paper in the class CLEo dropbox and leave the library to go home, shower and begin my day. All-nighters are fairly common among college students but it is debatable whether or not pulling all-nighters is an effective way to work. For sophomore Tom Austin, all-nighters are not productive. “I had two tests the next day so I had my first bit of caffeine at 10 p.m. At 4 a.m. I had almost lost all focus. And when the sun rose I started freaking out. I was stressed.” For me, however, pulling two all-nighters in a row wasn’t a terrible life choice. I had procrastinated and needed to use every hour I had to get my assignment in on time. After finishing this research paper I crashed, sleeping for eight hours in the middle of the day. I don’t recommend double all-nighters but I was happy with the outcome. That A was worth it.
66% of students have never pulled an all-nigheter
34% of students have pulled an all-nigheter
Top 5 Distractions GRAPHICS BY BOGGAN
The Pioneer asked students about their top distractions from studying. The results show, not surprisingly, internet at the top of the list. Perhaps more shocking, however, is the library coming in third place. Many (24%) students noted social aspects of the library being their number-one reason for ditching the books. (14%) (12%) (10%)
Internet other than Facebook
If you have a study-related problem, talk to a professor about it
of truthMost of us are frightened at the prospect . But ssors profe our to fully explaining our problems an hum are ssors profe pt, acce to while it may be hard self to your ain Expl . tions emo an hum with beings word choice. your professors honestly, but watch the in details certa out leave just ; Don’t deceive them “I had sion: exten that need you n reaso about the an had “I over trouble concentrating last weekend” idea. the get You ” end. excess of drank last week
Take out your frustrat ions on your books
Mediation is a commonly recommende technique an d it works fo d study r some. But us for whom for those of it does not work (not ev hippie), rele eryone is ase can be fo und in beat with the bo ing people oks you are reading. Sim break, grab ply take a a large and pa rticularly ve cover, find a xing hardmeditating h ippie and be her with it fa at him or irly hard. It’ll make you fe el good.* *Not actually recommende d.
that your inevitable 5 Acknowledge feelings of despair are just stress The phrases “don’t let it get to you” and “stay strong” are often thrown around in ways no one ever appreciates. Of course, stress is going to get to you, and you might despair as if it’s the end of the world, depending on how bad the situation is. So let it get to you all you want; just realize that in a couple of weeks your ingenuity will have solved the problems. Convince yourself that everything will get better, eventually. It always does. So stay strong!
The Pioneer ISSUE 10 NOV. 12, 2009 Page 6
Misunderstood costumes by the people who wore them—“just to clear things up” Lonely and Sorry I guess I’m the only one who finds heartburn hilarious. I spent weeks looking for the right iron-on lettering to print “Rolaids” onto my shirt and I am sorry that the three first letters fell off before I got to the party, but couldn’t you tell that I had no idea!? To everyone with whom I engaged in confused conversation, I’m truly, deeply sorry. When I said I was dressed as an absolutely curable condition and that my uncle had overcome it by quitting pizza, we were not on the same page. I am so sorry to everyone I have offended, especially my housemates—please let me back in. Also, I’m sorry I was under the impression that you could get heartburn from tears—I was clearly very confused and I can see how that made things worse. I’m so sorry. Angry and Confused First of all, I would like to say that “300” is pretty much the most badass movie ever. It has hot babes, awesome fight scenes, pointy spears, really epic battles and boobs. Why wouldn’t you want to dress up as King Leonidas for Halloween? And why wouldn’t you recognize it when someone is CLEARLY dressed up as King Leonidas? I looked good. And yes, halfway through the night, I misplaced my spear. But I still was OBVIOUSLY King Leonidas and not, for the last time, a manic depressive male stripper. I would appreciate it if the jokes and the mockery would stop. I know it may have looked like I was sobbing when I was sitting in the corner at the TKE party, but I wasn’t; I became exhausted from running around trying to find my spear and I needed to sit down, and my face was sweating a lot so it may have looked like tears. Stop bringing it up, please. “300” is badass and masculine, and I hope everyone who makes fun of it gets eaten by ogres. Also, if you find my spear, please return it to me because it is a family heir loom and I would like to have it back. Slowly Recovering Hey, fellow Whitties! Richard the freshman here. You may remember me as the mummy at the all-greek Halloween party? A few people asked me for beer when I was rigidly standing in a corner of the TKE porch and I just wanted to clarify why I was both unresponsive and staring vacantly. It turns out that I had had a serious hypoglycemic reaction and was in a coma. When I was staggering around the dance floor and people ground up on my pale body, that was a stupor induced by low blood sugar. I know, crazy, right? Umm, anyways, I don’t know who put me in that coffin, but does this mean I’m a TKE now? Haha, jk, jk. As for the Sharpie penises? They sure did crack me up when I woke up in a hospital bed. Well played! Disappointed and Appalled Good afternoon, Whitman community. This Hallow’s Eve, people approached me on multiple occasions to either pat my head or condescend me with the phrase “good kitty.” I believe they were under the impression that I was dressed as a friendly lion. While I am sure the ressentiment of your slave morality led to these transgressions, I was deeply offended as a member of the nobility. In actuality, I sported a mane as one of Nietzsche’s “blond beasts,” cited in his “Genealogy of Morals.” I really thought it was an obvious costume to even the densest of dullards. You have disappointed me, my colleagues. I am still awaiting apologies from those of you who offered me a saucer of milk or made a Wookie sound in my direction.
Next week in HUMOR
Slam poetr y from newly marginalized groups, featuring Goldman Sachs executives, Alaskans and K anye. Alternative Gifts Market promises to help world, disappoint relatives, page 4
Despite sister site’s success, “ Texts from last Thursday around 4-ish” f lops, page 19
Ed Hardy releases new line of stylized H1N1 masks titled “Stigma,” page 39
Walk through Reid as an IHC Native Speaker 1) Enter Reid Campus Center. Politely attempt to respond as eight to 10 bustling students shout, “How are you!” in a botched attempt at your language.
Fea tur ing Gu est Wr ite rs: IHC Native Speakers Julien Chartrand-Martineau, Mar Rodriguez-Ortega, Sabine Truckenbrodt
A Note from the Humor Ediots: Hey, readers! Each week, we feature guest writers from a different club or theme! Interested? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Less Popular Games Played on Campus Inspired by Success of Humans vs. Zombies: Humans vs. Humans Humans vs. The Zombies Humans vs. 2West Humans vs. Wolves Humans with bandannas on their heads vs. REAL ZOMBIES Humans vs. Prince Squirtle vs. Charizard Prospies vs. Sigs Humans vs. Cosbys Humans vs. Fire Humans vs. Bon Appétit Peacoat vs. North Face Kanye vs. The World Zombies vs. Zombies
2) Politely answer adorably earnest but hopelessly ignorant questions about your culture, like: Do they have refrigerators in Germany? What language do they speak in Spain? Is it true that Canadians live underground in the winter? Is Hitler still in power? 3) Politely act excited at the thought of tofu and rice when a member of the IHC invites you to vegan dinner. Cautiously place your empty Snapple bottle in recycling while they watch, but act like they aren’t watching or judging you for your country’s carbon footprint, but really are doing both. 4) Politely meet a friend’s parents, then act impressed when they over pronounce the Spanish/French/German they know. For example, rrrrrrrojo (red), aischtchontchuuūnnnn (squirrel), or escargooooooouut (escargot). 5) Politely ask kid wearing pajamas buying
a breakfast burrito if he knows how to dress himself. Act impressed when he tells you his plan to bring a comforter, a pillow and his twin-sized mattress to class next week. 6) Politely say hi to the guy who drunkenly demanded that you speak with him in your native language at last night’s party. Explain to him that yes, you have met before, and no, you are not drunk right now; it’s called an accent. 7) Politely receive enthusiastic invitations from people to play hockey/discuss auto mechanics/bullfight and other activities from “YOUR CULTURE!” 8) Take a break! When someone tells you to smoke at least 25 feet from the building come to the brutal realization that you don’t know how long a foot is because, like the rest of the world, you operate on the metric system.
Classes still available
In the interest of those students still waiting to register, or students who have registered but need to fulfill some meaningless distribution requirement, we present a comprehensive list of all available classes for spring 2009.
Course Name Bio 233: The Science of Genital Pain Bio 223: The Science of Genital Pain (lab) Mid-life Crisis 101: Heartbreak and the American Female: What the Hell, Cheryl? Politics 104: Bio Politics of Food: The Socially Constructed Dichotomy of Peanut Butter and Jelly Dance 499: Mambos # 1-4 Mid-life Crisis 105: Why I should never have gotten married to a man who thinks sexy lingerie is an appropriate birthday gift for his sister-in-law: A Study Mathematics 102: Counting to One Million Sports Studies 204: Throwing Glass Bottles off the Roof Economics 194: Yay Slinging: An Introduction to the Economics of Slinging Yay Mid-life Crisis 107: My Ex-Wife: Portrait of a Total Bitch Mathematics 105: Weird Things to Do with Microsoft Excel Life Skills 101: How to Identify and Avoid a Trap (Visiting Professor A. Akbar) Mid-life Crisis 110: My Ex-Husband: Pathetic Man-Child or Chauvinist Loser Asshole? OP: Lord of the Flies Mid-life Crisis 223: DAMMIT, CHERYL, YOU KNOW I WANTED CHILDREN Philosophy 499: Optimism (meets at 5:00 a.m.) Independent Mid-life Crisis 334: WELL, RANDY, GO AHEAD AND HAVE THEM WITH NANCY THEN I HOPE YOU TWO ARE HAPPY TOGETHER BURN IN HELL Study Abroad: Semester in a Chest
Status OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN
OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN OPEN
The Pioneer ISSUE 10 NOV. 12 2009 Page 7
Clinton damages Middle East peace prospects If you’ve read a newspaper in the past 30 years, you’ve probably heard about trouble in the Middle East. In fact, you may have read JAMES about the IsraeliSLEDD Palestinian conColumnist flict enough that you’ve entirely dismissed it. But it’s still going on, and the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority are still trying to reach a solution. Over the past two weeks, the Obama administration’s mistakes have taken the peace process a step backwards. On a recent diplomatic trip to the Middle East, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to use her political star power to jump-start the peace process. On her trip, she declared that Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories should not be an obstacle to peace talks. Israeli settlements are civilian communities in occupied Palestinian territories. Settlements have long been considered illegal under international law, and have been denounced by the United Nations General Assembly (against American wishes) and by the International Court of Justice. This spring, the Obama administration declared that Israel must stop building settlements in Palestinian areas before returning to the bargaining table. President Obama’s stance was significantly tougher than President Bush’s. However, Clinton seemed to reverse the Obama administration’s previous statements. Secretary Clinton praised
an Israeli proposal to curb—but not halt—settlement expansion as an unprecedented step in the peace process. Unsurprisingly, Secretary Clinton’s remarks aroused the ire of Arab leaders, turning the last few days of her goodwill tour chilly. Secretary Clinton attempted to erase her misstep by clarifying that the United States still opposes Israeli settlements, but the damage had been done. Secretary Clinton’s remarks have backed the administration into a corner: It can’t repudiate her praise for Israel’s “unprecedented steps” without angering the Israeli government, and the administration has already lost support among moderates such as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. During the first few months of his administration, Obama made securing a peace deal in the Middle East a top priority. After fighting a tough domestic battle for health care reform, Obama has little political capital to spend on the Middle East. So what can the administration do? Although overshadowed domestically by health care and abroad by Iran’s cantankerous nuclear program, brokering a peace deal in the Middle East is still important. Israel and the Palestinian Authority are increasingly reluctant to sit down at the bargaining table. The Obama administration should clearly declare that Israeli settlements are an insurmountable barrier to the peace process, and demand that Israel prevent their expansion. Just as importantly, the administration should be consistent. As tensions between Israel and the Palestinians remain high, the Obama administration cannot af-
ford to send mixed messages. Secretary Clinton may have been right to back away from demanding that Israel stop expanding settlements before returning to the bargaining table. But she should have been clear that Israel’s current plan is not enough. Secretary Clinton failed to dazzle with her political star power, and her goodwill tour ended up alienating Arab governments. Without the support of moderate Arab leaders, peace in the Middle East looks as distant as ever. James Sledd is a senior environmental-politics major.
No Shave November:
Nonparticipants still manly
JOEY KERN Columnist
It’s but two weeks into November and already there is a change in the air. It’s something elusive, difficult to pinpoint. At first, I attribute it to the season, the weather and the air. But then, upon gazing around my classroom I realize something is
not as it seems. Splotchy, poorly-kept beards that would be hard-pressed to impress an eighth grade girl stand proudly beside oddly creepy yet appealing mustaches and raging neck-beards. No Shave November is clearly underway. No Shave November is nothing new in the world of faux-masculinity and raging testosterone. It’s a time when men are encouraged to be men and women are encouraged to be repulsed in a hairy tribute to all that is natural and, at times, unattractive. Whether you quietly participate, offering your peach fuzz in silent testimony to your brothers, or boast a beard rivaling Hugh Jackman’s, every man is offered an equal opportunity to prove himself in this rite of manliness—but at what cost? Personally, were I not to shave for an entire month, I would shatter mirrors and have a bubble of masculinity around me so powerful that there
would be no possibility of seeing a girl, let alone talking to one. This, sadly, seems like it could be the case for many men, so what is the solution? It is a simple one: If you are a man who grows facial hair either patchily or too quickly, boycott No Shave November. While I have the utmost respect for those brave masculine souls who tough out the itchiness and the creepiness of facial hair unleashed, the benefits for those who can’t quite manage this feat are incredible. One might find himself thinking, “If I shave as I normally do, and therefore look as I normally do, how does this bring me any new benefits?”
You can shave in November and still be a man when December comes around; it’s not as if you’re drinking Mike’s. To these people I bring forth the truth that, in terms of appearance, everything is relative. Whereas before, the lowly No Shave boycotter was an average-looking dude with well-maintained facial hair, now he is still all those things, but amongst a group of increasingly unkempt and
potentially creepy-looking men. Needless to say, his stock has risen. Where before women had paid decent attention to him, now, for lack of a better option, they have little choice but to pay attention to him. A small victory? Yes, but a victory nonetheless, and one achieved very easily. Is this saying that those who participate in No Shave November are foolish? Not at all. For he who has participated in it has gained masculine respect points beyond measure, which every man needs to maintain his image amongst his peers. But those who do not participate, for one reason or another, are equally worthy of praise. They have gone against the grain—perhaps even shaved against the grain—and in doing so have maintained their appearance enough to provide them genuine chances with women, something many a creepy mustache could temporarily prevent, unless she’s into that kind of thing. There is no shame in shaving in November. You can shave in November and still be a man when December comes around; it’s not as if you’re drinking Mike’s or something. There’s no shame in keeping the creepy mustache stowed away for another 10 years or so. Joey Kern is a first-year English major.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Counselor responds to ‘Isolation policy unhealthy’ Editor, As Whitman’s Chair of the Pandemic Response Team, I appreciate the opportunity to respond to Galen Bernard’s commentary on Whitman’s “unhealthy H1N1 isolation policy.” Galen’s points are well taken and certainly understood well by the Pandemic Response Team—who wouldn’t want good old TLC when they are sick. But—while the H1N1 virus results in a flu illness that is similar to the seasonal flu, it spreads more quickly with an attack rate that is two to three times higher than the seasonal flu. It has the capacity to make great numbers of people ill at the same time. Whitman’s fundamental concern is not only the wellness of our students and employees but also the institutional havoc that high rates of absenteeism could create. Whitman’s current H1N1 response plan (which follows the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Health and the American College Health Association) is designed to minimize the possibility of having several hundred members of the campus community all ill at once. While there is no way of predicting how many, if any, of us will catch the virus and become ill, we can say with certainty that if there is widespread illness on campus, or in Walla Walla for that matter, it will create hardships and challenges for many of us. With that in mind, the pandemic team is continuing to pursue its charge: To educate the community about prevention strategies and promote isolation during illness. According to the American College Health Association, 97 percent of campuses in a sample of 274 colleges that are being used to track the spread of H1N1 reported new cases of flulike illnesses in the last week (11-0409). Out of the 3 million students included in the college data, over 65,000
QUICK FACTS Information about the virus and Whitman’s plans are available at www.whitman.edu/flu or through Tracee Anderson at email@example.com.
cases have been reported and 123 have required hospitalization. In August 2009, when the ACHA began collecting data, the case/student ratio was 8.7 cases/10,000 students. It is now 28.6 cases/10,000 students. H1N1 is spreading as was predicted and this 11 week-three fold increase in contagion shows the potential for dramatic widespread illness (and absenteeism). I understand that it is sometimes hard to distinguish what is “H1N1” and what is “some other form of illness,” but the fact remains: Viral illnesses are contagious, and helping prevent the spread of that contagion is wise and beneficial to all. My hope is that, despite your feelings about the H1N1 information circulating around campus and the media and the social/emotional costs of isolation, you will still be mindful of some of the simple behaviors you can do to help prevent the spread of the flu (e.g., washing hands and practicing ‘social distancing/isolation’ if you are ill). Whitman College is committed to supporting students and will continue to provide balanced information about H1N1 and flu prevention to our community as well as encouragement to isolate yourself if you are ill. Information about the virus and Whitman’s plans are available at www.whitman. edu/flu or through Tracee Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Tracee Anderson
Whitman College Pandemic Planning Team, chair
November 12, 2009
Intolerance of high-school debaters unfair
London takes holiday spirit to next level by DEREK THURBER Contributing Columnist Santa Clause is real. And he lives in London. I used to think large-scale Christmas spirit existed only within the commercialized borders of the United States. I was very, very wrong. London is the most festive city I have ever seen when it comes to Christmas, and it’s not even half way through November yet. I don’t know how such cheer could be possible without the presence of Santa Clause. This all started on Halloween, which is a similarly festive holiday in London, but in many ways different from the United States. For instance, there is no trick-or-treating. But there certainly are pubs and clubs and many a drunk werewolf, witch or vampire wandering the streets. I had prepared for little to no celebration of Halloween. Instead, I found that it was an important occasion, but maybe not in the best way. The pubs are packed every night of the week in London, but Halloween defined a whole new level of raucous drunken English spirit—a spirit that I found more violent than perhaps comfortable or fun. But the real remarkable thing was to wake up the morning after a night in spider
web-, pumpkin- and bat-decorated pubs to find everything seemingly magically transformed to great lights, red ornaments and green trees for Christmas. Overnight the city transformed physically and mentally to a new and much, much more joyous spirit. Suddenly the grocery stores sold candy canes, the pubs were carrying holiday beers and the streets were covered in a new glow. A short walk down Regent Street and Oxford Circus revealed great holiday window displays and magical Christmas deals. And the lights—oh the lights!—have transformed a simple walk through London into a magical journey through Christmas festivity. These lights really appeared a few days after Halloween, on Nov. 3 during a great ceremony. For those who didn’t hear about it, it was the world premier of Disney’s “A Christmas Carol” being shown in three giant theaters in Leicester square at the same time. But the real festivity was before that screening when they had a three-part Christmas festival. It was hosted in three locations: Regent Street with Colin Firth, Oxford Circus with Jim Carrey and St. Paul’s Cathedral with Bob Hoskins. It included a simultaneous switching on of all the Christmas lights in
London. This was followed by the city of London singing “Silent Night” to break the world record for the largest group of people caroling—which of course we did. This massive spirit has not dwindled since then. The city is ablaze with festive attitudes and every day adds a new sight, a new decoration, a new place to enjoy. Spending Christmas time in London is everything it should be. It is like taking a trip to that warm and cozy place in your soul where nothing can touch you. The streets evoke such emotions and history as to create the most wonderful and pure spirit. It is a spirit that the United States could learn more from. It is obvious from the moment one steps outside the door in London that Christmas is not about cheesy decorations, big presents and annoying families. It is about bringing cheer to the stranger on the street, loving your family and sitting by the fire and making peace with yourself. If Santa brings big toys to children in the United States, then he brings love, peace, happiness and spirit to London. It’s hard not to fall in love with such a spirit. Derek Thurber is a junior history major studying abroad in London this semester.
Every fall, it seems like a plague strikes Whitman. No, not swine flu or biblical locusts, but a swarm of teenagers in over-sized suits and pencil skirts. White dress shirts, no facial hair and bundles of boxes, papers, timers, laptops and whatever cheap imitations of
what real lawyers use. Worst of all, they can talk really really fast. Almost incomprehensibly fast. And that’s why they’re an easy target. Yes, these high school debaters are a nuisance, aren’t they? It’s as if they steal our campus from us, taking our tables in Reid, our classrooms in Olin and our monopoly on Whitman. But why is there an atmosphere of prejudice against them? Yes, “prejudice,” because the general sentiment is founded on ignorance. Debaters are monolithically described, from the young freshman to the experienced high-school senior. As a mass of unfamiliar faces, they disrupt the everyday look and feel of Ankeny for one weekend each fall and we don’t like it, so it’s really easy to make them a topic of derisive conversation. I don’t mind the high school debate tournament so much. Been there, done that and done with that. But the pervasive annoyance at their presence is striking. Have you been personally assaulted by a debater spewing bullets of critical theory, postmodernism and outrage at whatever political issue is in the air? Have they personally kept you waiting in line for a Taste of Sicily? Have they personally blocked access to your mailbox or prevented you from playing Frolf? Have they taken a classroom you hold dear to your heart? Mostly, no. It’s rather the sight and sound of them that perturbs. The thing is, we’re only a few years removed: Some of us graduated high school only six months ago, and hopefully we haven’t gotten too old and jaded to remember. That sense of anticipation for college where we would get to do, in the open, all the cool things on “frat row” was once ours. That sense of wanting to be
free of seven periods of rote class and organized education. Well, maybe we’ve forgotten the rigid existence of high school. But have we forgotten what it’s like to completely devote our after school hours and weekends into an activity we enjoy? That’s what debate is like for these kids. They got on a bus at some awful hour in the morning to drive all the way out to Walla Walla, of all places. They have hundreds of sheets of paper and hundreds of thousands of printed words to memorize, read and understand. All for what? To win argument after argument and maybe to learn a little bit about politics, philosophy and public speaking along the way. Often times, it’s a world totally and utterly alien to our own. That alienation makes it easy to stigmatize and to misunderstand what went on this past weekend. Yes, they’re too young to pull off a business professional look, and they stand in stark contrast to our casual ready-to-hike-at-all-times attire. But if you love to hike, can you understand what it means to love to debate? It’s an activity requiring sacrifice, hard work and dedication, like any other worthwhile endeavor. Instead of making the effort to understand, Whitties reduce the debaters to conversation fodder and common annoyance. It’s easy to ignore that the debate tournament functions to introduce potential college applicants to Whitman and generates revenue for Bon Appétit. For a campus culture that prides itself on tolerance, diversity and being laid back, high school debaters seem to bring out an uncharacteristic vitriol. Uncharacteristic because its victims are so benign. Yet, characteristic because this prejudice is a symptom of a explicit willingness not to understand. The bizarre thing for me is that if the basis for tolerance is not in a willingness to understand and then tolerate, but instead tolerance is rooted in a resistance to understanding, then we reduce tolerance to ignorance. We tolerate what we refuse or are incapable of understanding and we don’t tolerate what we caricature. Otherwise, we’re not really tolerant but passively ignorant.
Gary Wang is a junior political philosophy major.
‘Haunted Hospital’ unmasks cultural personalities “You need one more doctor?” “Yes! Would you like to . . .” “I was supposed to be a surgery patient, but . . . sure!!!” It took me no RENSI KE more than five Columnist seconds to get promoted from a surgery patient to a doctor at Haunted Hospital. Whoot! I quickly grabbed a gray gown, a pair of skeleton hand gloves and a tube of sticky blood, and then trotted down to the basement. My new Halloween bonanza was even more haunted than I expected. Four sooty couches were scattered around together with an uncovered coffin, a pallid surgery bed and a bunch of blood-
stained knives, the shadows of which were all scrabbling in a beam of flickering green light as if they were trying to dance to the ghastly screams hovering over the basement. One of the four wandering zombies approached with excitement, put on my make-up and told me that I was supposed to stand near the surgery bed to be the first person that would be seen by the tourists. Thirty seconds later, I went to the surgery bed where a patient had already stretched himself out, his caramelrimmed eyes staring at the ceiling, his neck oozing the crimson blood and his limbs bending in a stiff position. Before I asked my first-year patient for his name, a rending roar sounded from the neighboring zombie massacre scene, signaling the arrival of our first group of tourists. The patient lay down again and
the other zombies swiftly crouched down in the darkness. I grasped my knives tighter and looked at the doorway. Suddenly, the Chinese ancient ghosts I read in Pu Songling’s “Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio” came to my mind. I quickly bowed my head so that my hair hung over my face; I laid my eyes on the doorway again, but with the death glare I learned from Hanamichi Sakuragi, my favorite character in the Japanese basketball manga “Slam Dunk.” One of his stunts is to “kill the opponents with a strained stare.” Tentatively, the first group of tourists stepped into the basement. With my hair covering my eyes, I couldn’t see them well. But hearing them gasp and exclaim at the sight of me, I was certain that I had successfully sent a chill up their spines. I was enjoying my silent haunting
game when suddenly my lying patient sprang from the surgery bed with a thundering growl and made at the unprepared tourists. Immediately, zombies jumped out of all corners of the basement—the coffin, the back of the sofa, the corner of the porch and even places I didn’t notice before. They chased the screaming tourists until they rushed out of the basement through the exit. I was haunted, too. The temporary arrangement didn’t give me any chance for rehearsal, which might speak for my shock at the aggressiveness of my new team members. Nonetheless I’m quite sure that even if we had rehearsed before I would still be surprised by the different cultural personalities demonstrated through this Sino-American Halloween cooperation. Later, I tried to imitate my American peers by uttering disturbing screams and
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Rensi Ke is a senior English major. She is this year’s Whitman Sherwood Exchange student from Shantou University in China.
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brandishing knives in front of the tourists, but I never had the courage to jump across the sofa like the zombie first-year Spencer Wharton, who acted very well— as if he were under a spell. My female scream also made me sound like a doctor who was haunted by people rather than one that was haunting people. And insanely waving the knives made me feel like a nut. At last I found out the most comfortable way of haunting people for me was either strolling in front of the tourists and pricking the eye holes of the skeleton head with a dagger, or, simply leaning against the wall near the entrance and scaring people with my silent stare.
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The Pioneer ISSUE 10 NOV. 12 2009 Page 9
‘Damned United’ shines, ‘Couples Retreat’ flops by BECQUER MEDAK-SEGUIN Movie Reviewer “The Damned United” Like an inverse of one of those recent, contemptibly out-of-touch American sports dramas (see “Glory Road” or, I suspect, the upcoming film “The Blind Side”), Tom Hooper’s little British film “The Damned United” subjects the fall of a sporting hero to its patient cinematic gaze. Here, the hero is Brian Clough (Michael Sheen), an English football (no, not “soccer”) manager who has taken the position at Leeds United—at the time, perhaps the Premiership’s top club—vacated by Don Revie (Colm Meany), who was asked to manage the English national squad. Clough, however, is not alone in his coaching duties; he’s accompanied by his right-hand man, assistant manager Peter Taylor (Timothy Spall), who turns out to be the seldom-recognized genius behind Clough’s victories. Fortunately, the story doesn’t revolve around the sticky power dynamics at work in the manager-assistant manager struggle. Rather, it is an unambitious study of how egos of the magnitude of Clough’s cope with possibly careerending setbacks: He led Leeds to only one win in the first six matches of the 1974 season, giving the club its worst start in decades. The film, clearly and purposefully, jumps between Clough’s time at Derby County, where he and Taylor led the club from the pits of the second division to promotion and to a first division championship and his time at Leeds, thereby juxtaposing the almost congenital bipolarity of the love-orhate manager. The audience, however, doesn’t really ever get to love Clough, adding the depth of character sorely lacking from tight and glossy films such as “Coach Carter,” “We Are Marshall,” etc. Frankly, Clough is an entitled, egotistic asshole whose second-hand teddy bear, Taylor, is much more likable. Yet, the film goes so far as to complicate that reductive characterization of a man perhaps still regarded as the greatest English football manager to have never coached the national team. “The Damned United” will likely disappoint sports-nuts yearning for some bone-crunching slide tackles and acrobatic goals—at best, there may be 10 minutes of football (soccer, by U.S. standards) footage in the whole film, most of which is in the form of actual footage spliced into the narrative. But, for those attentive and appreciative enough to view the film as an investiga-
tion of pride, achievement and, most of all, legacy, “The Damned United” presents a more than satisfying departure from yet another botched sports story at the hands of Hollywood filmmakers. “Couples Retreat” The ridiculous and random montage of people celebrating such disparate activities as marriage and a night at the dance club that opens “Couples Retreat” may best serve as a pathetic synecdoche for the rest of this wide-eyed, vile romantic comedy. It is as haphazard and implausible as it is absurd and iniquitous. For some reason, though, the Walla Walla Grand Cinemas—your wonderful, local movie theatre—decided to keep it around for this long: It was released back on Oct. 9. Perhaps it is because of the film’s compelling stereotypical characterization of everything it lays its lens on—man, woman, child, African-American, Eden, the Caribbean, Latino/a, ad infinitum. Or, perhaps, it is because, unfortunately, cheap laughs are remunerative in the long run. Hyperboles aside, maybe I should stick to the film’s inane plot (written by Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn, who play Joey and Dave, disrespectively). Joey, Dave, Shane (Faizon Love) and Jason (Jason Bateman) are all friends. The latter is married to Cynthia (Kristen Bell), but they are close to getting a divorce. To try to save their marriage, Jason and Cynthia have booked a trip to Eden, some idyllic resort in the Caribbean. The resort, somehow, treats couples through therapy. The catch is that this retreat costs a lot of money. So, Jason and Cynthia convince all their friends—Joey and Lucy (Kristen Davis), Dave and Ronnie (Malin Akerman) and Shane and his new girlfriend Trudy (Kali Hawk)—to come with them to save money on the trip. They go on the trip, say ignorant things and do stupid things. The end. Don’t take my condescending estimation at face value, though; listen to the other critics. Apparently their consensus is that “despite a talented cast and some reliably pleasant interplay between Favreau and Vaughn, ‘Couples Retreat’ leaves viewers stranded in an arid, mirthless comedy.” I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the cast never was talented, there is no interplay between any characters (everything is discordant, believe me), and that viewers shouldn’t be left as stranded as they should be left insulted, embarrassed and inflamed that this film was ever produced. Enjoy at your own risk.
HUBANKS Emily Allen ‘11, McKenna Millici ‘11 and Genevieve Baglio ‘03 perform Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas.” Due to time and budget constraints, the opera company was unable to stage the production with costumes, scenery and props.
Maberry strikes chord with challenging opera production by CAITLIN HARDEE Staff Reporter The Divertimento Baroque Opera Company, directed and conducted by junior Jackson Maberry, does not fit anyone’s stereotype of opera. In their recent performance of Henry Purcell’s "Dido and Aeneas," nobody was having histrionics and there was no formal acting or theatrical staging. Rather, it was completely about the music—in all its strippeddown, beautiful elegance. Most astoundingly, the opera company and its production are entirely student-run. With only five musicians, 16 singers and Maberry, their one-man leader, the group brought Purcell’s opera to life. Speaking before the show, junior McKenna Milici, who sings the part of Belinda, talked about the birth of the opera company. “This has been a really cool experience because I got to see it from the inception,” Milici said. “[Maberry] had this idea last year—he came to us, hanging out in a friend’s apartment, and he said, I’ve got this idea. I want to put on this production which requires a chorus, and soloists, and an orchestra and a harpsichord—and we all went, Oh my gosh that’s amazing, and in the back of my mind I thought, no way is this going to happen, it’s just too big. He had to find all the players and singers . . . But one by one the pieces just started coming together.” Maberry recalled the moment that inspiration struck. “Our [music history] teacher played us one small piece from this show,” Mab-
Belle and Sebastian front man stumbles with ‘God Help the Girl’
by ANDREW HALL Music Reviewer Belle and Sebastian, the Glaswegian pop institution beloved by shy girls and bookish boys the world over, has been quiet since 2006, when the band finished touring with its then-new album, The Life Pursuit, performing a show at the Hollywood Bowl complete with symphony orchestra. Aside from a children's record featuring a new song and Stuart Murdoch's contribution to the Dark Was the Night compilation, there has been almost no public activity from the group. A new Belle and Sebastian record and a tour might come sometime next year, but save for their booking agent, no one seems to know much about this. Murdoch has, however, been working on another project. In 2007, he began calling for girl singers, and in June of this year he released God Help The Girl, an album-length companion to a musical that may be produced in the future about
institutionalization, songwriting and girl groups. Belle and Sebastian serves as its backing band, and Murdoch makes occasional appearances, but this is primarily a vehicle for a singer named Catherine Ireton, whose voice is much bigger and really not at all like any member of B&S's. It's a jarring, surprising listen, as Murdoch does songs about girls a whole lot better than he does songs about girls to be sung by girls, which come across as strange and inexplicably unsatisfying. Its companion piece, an EP called Stills, is an improvement. Taken out of the context of an album, the material sounds nowhere near as ambitious, and this is a good thing. It helps to render any semblance of a narrative between tracks nonexistent a non-issue, and it seems less like a frustrating diversion between B&S records and more like something to be taken on its own terms. Whereas the album featured far too many vocalists—Ireton, Murdoch, the Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon, Smoosh's Asya and three other girls—and B&S covers—a Northern Soul makeover of "Funny Little Frog" and a reworking of "Act of the Apostle"—this smaller set reduces the vocal personnel to Ireton and Murdoch, features no covers, and is a whole lot easier to take as a consequence. Plus, most importantly, the songs are at least a little better. "I'm In Love With The City" opens the EP with a narrative mostly about anxiousness and boy stealing. The huge horns and the soaring string section
breaks through in the second verse. "He's A Loving Kind of Boy," the only Murdoch vocal lead here, runs the risk throughout of being hijacked totally by mariachi horns and flowery orchestration, though the strings are good, as is the actual vocal lead. The last three tracks demonstrate actual, audible improvement, and a few of these might save my overall impression of this project. The EP's title track reduces its instrumentation to just piano and strings, and doing away with the horns makes Ireton's lovely vocal melodies much easier to appreciate, since they are, in fact, quite good, and there's nothing standing between them and me as there are on so many songs across both the album and the EP. "Baby's Just Waiting" is also gorgeous; the song's backing vocals and accompanying string section pull off some sort of trick in its second half that leaves me inexplicably drawn to it. Finally, there's "The Psychiatrist Is In," where Ireton goes ahead and does a Stuart Murdoch impression and pulls it off surprisingly well, given how much stronger a vocalist she is. Whether or not the project was a success is still beyond me; I'm waiting until if and when the film version of this happens to come to any conclusions. While I'm not crazy about the God Help the Girl album and I'm lukewarm (but more receptive) towards this EP, I'm willing to give Stuart Murdoch and company another chance to get it right.
erry said. "It’s the second to last number —'Dido’s Lament.' Dido sings about—I’m dying, I’ve lost my love, I’m dying of a broken heart—and even though the text throughout the opera is very simple, very unassuming, the music itself has so much delicacy, so much intricacy and therefore so much evocative power. From the very first hearing I was entranced. I realized that it was possible to do this production here, and since it was possible, I knew I had to.” The group has naturally had to overcome a number of difficulties and setbacks to make Maberry’s vision reality. Staff accompanist and '05 alumnus Nathan Shiu, who played harpsichord in the production, addressed the sensitivity required on Maberry’s part to assume authority and direct his peers. “I can see the difficulty in dynamics, being friends with the people that he works with, but needing to take the lead, and trying to find the balance there,” Shiu said. “There’s always going to be some awkwardness when a student has to lead fellow students. I feel like he has to put on different hats once he enters the door and he’s learning how to do that, which is hard.” The company also had to face an unexpected setback from the illness circling the campus. “We were originally going to do it a few weeks ago,” said junior and chorus member Michelle Davenport. “One of our leads was ill with the flu and we didn’t feel ready.” In addition, the time demands of directing and conducting the opera group
fall heavily on Maberry, who must arrange and coordinate separate rehearsals for all the component groups and then bring them into a cohesive unit. “I rehearse the chorus on Sundays, the strings on Wednesdays and the soloists on Fridays,” Maberry said. “Only in the last couple weeks have we had everybody together, and then only for a couple times—you don’t have the luxury of many full rehearsals.” Maberry discussed the challenges of directing "Dido and Aeneas" specifically. “It’s a huge mess, all by itself,” he laughed. “I think the biggest challenge was figuring out how to conduct the recitatives. Opera is not just arias, song after beautiful complicated song, not just choruses, not just instrumental interludes. Most of the actual plot occurs over the course of something called a recitative, which is much simpler melodies, so the concentration is on what the characters are saying, as opposed to these beautiful, florid lines of music. What’s so difficult about them is, you can’t just click through a tempo; tick tick tick tick—doesn’t work. The patterns of our speech—there’s halting, there’s moving forward, there’s intonation lifts—there’s a lot of intricacy there. And so in doing the recits, we strive to make it speech-like and not be tied down by the meter.” Maberry and his friends overcame these obstacles to deliver a compelling and beautiful performance. Catching Maberry briefly after the show in a circle of congratulators, he was tired but glowing. “I’m happy,” he said.
PIO PICKS Each Thursday, The Pioneer highlights three events happening on campus or in Walla Walla over the weekend. Here are this week’s picks: Cakes for Casa: Whitman’s Best Dance Crew Sorority Kappa Alpha Theta hosts its annual philanthropy event to support Court Appointed Special Advocates—an organization that supports court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children. For more information see casaforchildren. org. Enjoy a dessert pancake buffet while student dance crews compete. Tickets are on sale this week in Reid from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. and at the door for $5. Friday, Nov. 13, at 6:30 p.m. Reid Ballroom. Tickets $5. The winning dance crew will open for Whitman Events Board’s Street Dance Showcase on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. Reid Ballroom. Free. IHC Events – Quarter Coffee Café and Techno Party As they do every semester, the French house will host its biannual Quarter Coffee Café, which this time will feature the culture and cuisine of Belgium. Expect-
edly, the menu will include (Belgian) waffles, coffee, hot chocolate and fries, which are, in fact, Belgian—not French. Be sure to check out the live music and the chocolate fountain. The event is free and open to the campus. Friday, Nov. 13, 8:30-11:30 p.m. After sampling the delicious culinary offerings of Belgium at the French house, hop across several European countries to the German house’s annual techno party. Friday, Nov. 13, 9:30 p.m. – midnight. Das Deutsch Haus. Free. Chris O’Dell Unable to bring either the Beatles or the Rolling Stones to campus, the Whitman Events Board decided to bring Chris O’Dell, who worked as a personal assistant to both bands in the late 60s and early 70s. She’s also served as tour manager for George Harrison, Nash and Young, Crosby, Stills and Bob Dylan during his Rolling Thunder Tour. She will speak on Monday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium.
compiled by CONNOR GUY
November 12, 2009
Jazz director Glenn readies ‘most talented band in 20 years’
NETFLIX IT: ‘THE EDUKATORS’
by MERRETT KRAHN Staff Reporter Professor of Jazz David Glenn's face lights up as he recounts which students of his he believes to have extraordinary musical talent. "I'm sorry, but this going to be a long list of names. [junior] Ross Eustis on trumpet, [junior] Brian Barton on alto sax, [first-year] Jonas Myers, who does a fantastic job on piano, [sophomore] Sam Epstein on alto and bari sax, [junior] Reed Ferris on guitar, [senior] David Wallace on trombone, [first-year] Robby Seiger on drums—he has fantastic potential, [junior] Peter Gurche on violin and [first-year] Ethan Maier, who plays piano and accordion, is also very talented . . ." The list went on for some time. The Whitman jazz program, rife with talent and ambition, is gearing up for a year full of concerts, events and visiting performers. The Sampler Concert, which was held on Oct. 23 during family weekend and featured performances from many of Whitman's different musical groups, was a "nice warm up," according to Glenn. "Both [jazz] groups played really well, but the concert really gets in the way," he said. "We [had] to prepare eight songs for the ensemble concerts, which [were] a week from the sampler," said Glenn, explaining that nonetheless the jazz groups only had time to perform two songs. An integral part of the jazz program is bringing visiting bands and artists to campus. Glenn normally receives solicitations from bands over the year and selects ones that he knows to be of high quality both as musicians and teachers; visiting artists not only play a concert
by CAITLIN HARDEE Staff Reporter
HONG Jazz director Dave Glenn is in charge of bringing professional jazz groups and artists to campus. Many are friends he made during his time in New York.
but also put on various workshops or clinics. Most of the solicitations come from the friends Glenn made when he played professionally in New York over a decade ago. "Whitman is known as a college that has a good jazz program, so we receive a fair amount of offers from bands to play here. The jazz program subsidizes bringing jazz to this area. There's an even mix of East Coast bands that are touring the West Coast and bands from the Northwest that play here," said Glenn. For him, bringing professional jazz musicians to campus is incredibly important. "I want my players to be around and interact with professionals. The players get to be around artists who have finished the process of college musical training, and have dedicated their lives to furthering their music . . . At the same time, students learn as much or more from their peers as they do from the
professionals. There's extreme value in both experiences," said Glenn. Looking ahead to the rest of the year, the jazz band has a tour to Seattle planned in April. The venues that they will play are undecided as of yet. The week before they leave for their tour, they will play their spring concerts. The next engagement for the jazz band is a gig at Merchant's on Wednesday, Dec. 2, for Spaghetti Night. They will perform from 5:15 to 7:00 p.m. Glenn is extremely enthusiastic and hopeful for his students and their progress this year. "Jazz Ensemble #1 is the most talented band I've had in 20 years. The #1 Ensemble concert [on Thursday, Nov. 5,] was one of the very best I've heard from any Whitman band. I've got eight to nine really good soloists and the people who aren't soloists are really solid players. I'm lucky to have extremely talented musicians," said Glenn.
Alumna Campbell sparks experimental music group by C.J. WISLER Staff Reporter Up-and-coming Washington musician and ‘02 Whitman alumna Toby Campbell uses both her musical talent and her prior sociological studies at Whitman to create the experimental electronica group Anomie Belle, which synchronizes electronic and natural sounds and textures to create densely-layered and original sound. “What Anomie Belle tends to sound like is kind of [an] electronic and cinematic hybrid,” Campbell said. “I tend to use a lot of organic sounds like guitar, keyboards, violin . . . It has a lot of acoustic elements but I do a lot of electronic recording on top of it.” The name of Campbell’s group derives from the sociology term anomie, which means “social unrest or normlessness; individual malaise, alienation and purposelessness” and belle, the old term for a charming, beautiful and popular woman. These terms largely reflect what Campbell’s music is about. “The name Anomie Belle, especially in my first record, offers a lot of social critique of American culture, a culture that needs some critique and re-visioning,” she said. “It gets at both the state of society . . . and the experience of individuals living inside that society, the sense of alienation we feel even when surrounded by people and modern society and the spectacle of media.” Campbell also attempts to address generational issues in her music. “Our community is fractured to where we don’t necessarily know our neighbors and our generation . . . we’re not involved with social movements like other generations have been,” said Campbell. “The name of the band was a way to gesture at a way to face and critique those issues though the music
itself.” As the creator and main composer of the group, Campbell records all of the instruments and vocals for her soundtracks and has a band for live performances as well. Campbell, who writes and records all the parts to her songs, began writing and recording songs when she was about nine years old. She recorded her first album when she was 11 with the help of her father’s a cappella group cronies who had access to a recording studio. Although she had an early start with the music business, learning multiple instruments as well as how to record at an early age, it was not until recently that Campbell decided to pursue music as a career. “I think I was really disillusioned at that being a real possibility, because it’s really hard to make a living in the music business,” said Campbell. “I actually considered being a professor of sociology for a long time, writing papers about sociology and music, which is what I wrote most of my sociology papers on [at Whitman].” Campbell took various instrumental classes as well as one of Whitman’s first audio recording classes, which helped build her knowledge and skill at music composition. However, her social science classes also helped her focus on the heart of her music. “Keith Farrington [professor of sociology and chair of social science] helped me write my thesis, which was on music and sociology, so I think my sociology and philosophy classes also helped me wrap my head around all the aspects of the music industry, particularly the commercialization of art and its exploitation for commercial purposes, which is obviously how you make a living doing it,” she said.
After Whitman, Campbell worked in various recording studios and even attended graduate school at the University of Washington, where she studied the influence of sociology and media, entertainment and culture. However, upon meeting her manager she discovered her desire to jump headfirst into her career. “I got a lot of time to explore the music business, and as I got older I felt like I had my wits about me a little more and understood what I was getting into,” she said. “The biggest marker for me was meeting my manager [Anthon Smith], he really helped me with all the logistics and business of music.” Shortly after this, Campbell gave up her previous jobs in order to pursue music full time. Campbell’s success as a musician has led her to tour with electronica groups such as Bristol trip-hop band Tricky and a group directed by Gustavo Santaolalla, who composed music for “The Motorcycle Diaries” and “Brokeback Mountain,” among others. She has also produced several CDs, performed at Bumbershoot and other Washington-area concerts and worked as an avid composer for films and even a video games. “Film and video games . . . allow me to explore different sounds than what Anomie Belle normally produces,” said Campbell. “I’ve gotten to compose more ACDC-sounding pieces as well as trip-hop and video-game synth. What I compose tends to cross several genres.” Campbell combines fresh style of musicianship, intelligence with her prior experiences at Whitman and as a child, her inner conflict with her passion and her distress over society and the new generation. For more information about Campbell and Anomie Belle, visit her Web site, Facebook and MySpace pages.
This film depicts Daniel Brühl shirtless. The review could probably stop right there. But if your brain is up to processing two things at once, you’ll also notice that "The Edukators" ("Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei") is packed with powerful social themes. We are thrown into the lives of three young leftists living in modern Berlin. Renegade best friends Jan and Peter (Daniel Brühl and Stipe Erceg) fight their personal war against the capitalist establishment by breaking into opulent homes and rearranging the furniture. When Peter’s girlfriend Jule (Julia Jentsch) pushes Jan to commit a rash break-in, the three end up as kidnappers. The film then transitions to an Alpine setting, where the gritty rock soundtrack quiets to sparse acoustic accompaniments that suit the introspective, interpersonal side of the film. The three must answer some pretty deep questions—in what do they really believe, and how can they stay true to their values and themselves? They seek to remain pacifists, but to make a difference and to escape from their personal oppression. When Jentsch and Brühl’s characters fall in love, they are confronted with the difficult reality of the free-love lifestyle and the struggle to honor both friendship and desire. The scenes between Brühl and Erceg, as Erceg confronts his anger at his friend of 15 years, are among the most real and compelling in the film. The film is in German, with subtitles for the English-speaking viewer’s benefit. If you’re the type who can’t stand
subtitled films, there’s still hope—as of 2006, American director Brad Anderson was hoping to remake the film in English with Jake Gyllenhaal. But as no recent developments have been heard on this project, you might want to consider subtitles anyway, or just learn the sexy German language. This month marks an especially good time to get in touch with German films, language and culture, as we are seeing a particularly important historic occasion for Germany and the world. Monday, Nov. 9, marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the far-reaching political consequences of German reunification. From the divided Berlin, wrought with tension and restriction, we have arrived at the Berlin of Peter, Jan, and Jule—city of edgy youth and rebellion—and the Berlin of today, city of constant innovation, free thought, art and music. With the recent European Music Awards being held in Berlin, we saw U2 playing “One” before a light-flooded Brandenburg Gate and East German band Tokio Hotel playing “World Behind My Wall” to the visuals of a giant wall burning. This film's soundtrack offers much of this modern spirit of German and European musical unity. With German artists Tocotronic and The Notwist, Depeche Mode and Placebo from Britain, Scottish band Franz Ferdinand and Scottish artist Lucky Jim doing a prominently-placed cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” we are offered a range of musical moods to compliment the angst, love and bravery of the characters. And yeah, everybody takes their clothes off.
CROSSWORD PUZZLE 1
ACROSS 1. Under the weather 4. Neuron structure (abbr.) 8. Filth 12. Excessively 13. Fencing weapon 14. Slide (into) 15. Wolf Blitzer’s TV home 16. Part of R&R 17. Grew up 18. Beginning of a post-debate-tourneyweekend Pioneer headline 21. Musician Reed and namesakes 22. “What can brown do for you?” sloganeer 23. Destroyer god of Hinduism 25. Do something 26. Place to get some 16-Across 29. Middle of the headline 32. Little piggy? 33. Language suffix 34. Emulates a cat 35. “__ School Confidential” (2006 comedy) 36. Emulate a pig 37. End of the headline 43. Aroused 44. Whistle noise 45. Mileage indicator (abbr.) 46. Otherwise 47. Ornamental case 48. A submachine gun 49. Midday 50. Anti-vertigo medication 51. 32-Across count
DOWN 1. Result of a mosquito bite 2. Actress Anderson who was married to Burt Reynolds 3. “__ the king!” 4. Door-to-door salesmen, often 5. Manufacturer’s details 6. Jersey fabric 7. Digitally alter a photograph 8. Makes airtight 9. Enclosure 10. The “U” in EULA 11. Uppers or downers 19. Jay-Z’s nickname 20. Looking on the bright side 23. Warm the bench 24. Nitroxyl’s chemical formula 25. Wow the pants off 26. Bring into the open 27. Furry appendage 28. Ques. counterpart 30. They’re inherited 31. Watch over 35. “The Unknown Citizen” poet 36. Loo emanation 37. That time 38. Angel’s accessory 39. Roughly 40. Observe 41. Woodcutting tool 42. Kill
by KARL WALLULIS Puzzlemaster
The Pioneer ISSUE 10 NOV. 12 2009 Page 11
Whitman men look to build ‘Bridge’ to success by MAX RAUSCH Sports Editor The last time the Missionaries' men’s basketball team finished with a winning record, it was 1998; Michael Jordan was still playing for the Bulls, Bill Clinton was fighting off impeachment and Barack Obama had just been elected to the Illinois State Senate. Needless to say, it has been a while. However, 2009-2010 brings new hope for Whitman basketball. Whitman’s transformation began in the summer of 2008 with the arrival of Head Coach Eric Bridgeland from NCAA Division I school Pepperdine University. Bridgeland brings big school experience as well as local knowledge. He coached Whitman’s Northwest Conference rival University of Puget Sound to three consecutive conference titles from 2004 to 2006, taking the Loggers all the way to the Division III Sweet 16 in each of those seasons. After taking over for Skip Molitor, who now serves as Assistant Athletic Director, in June 2008, Bridgeland went about revamping the Whitman basketball program both internally and externally. In his second season at the helm, Bridgeland has attracted an impressive combination of players.
“[This is] the best [recruiting] class I’ve been associated with in my eight years at the Division III level,” wrote Bridgeland in a June 4th news release. Last spring Bridgeland and his staff signed seven new talented “impact players,” including five first-years and two transfers, many of whom will immediately take on active rolls on a Missionary team, which will feature nine underclassmen on their roster this season. On paper it appears that the young Missionary team might be lacking leadership but sophomore point guard Brandon Shaw is excited for the challenge. "Being on a young team is great; it means we have a lot of room to grow. With our [new] philosophy, we don't have captains, so everyone leads in their own way which makes us a more confident team. All 14 guys are equally important in what we are trying to do," said Shaw. Whitman’s talented underclassmen stole the show last Saturday, Nov. 7 in the newly-renovated Sherwood Center as the Missionaries closed their preseason play with a 120-100 victory over the visiting Northwest Elite All-Stars, a semi-pro team made up of former college players from all NCAA divisions. The Missionaries were led by Shaw,
who led all scorers with 29 points, and first-year wing Peter Clark who finished with 27 points, hitting eight out of 10 from three-point range. Shaw, who led Whitman in free throw attempts last year, thrives in Bridgeland’s fast-paced dribble drive offense. His quickness enables him to penetrate the paint and draw fouls and double teams which lead to trips to the stripe and open looks for sharpshooters like Clark on the perimeter. Throughout the season Shaw will share the creator role with senior Jordan Wheeler and first-year LuQuam Thompson. Wheeler noted the different strategy that Bridgeland has brought to Walla Walla. “Both our offense and our defense are a lot different [than they were under Molitor]; we are really working the dribble drive and press most of the game; basically we try to keep attacking the other team on both ends of the court,” he said. On Saturday the Missionaries were able to keep a frenetic pass throughout most of the game, tiring out their older opponents by pressing often and always pushing the ball up the court on offense. Offensively, Whitman’s pace of play proved to be a huge advantage against
the older, slower All-Stars. However, the press may prove to be a liability in conference play as the All-Stars were able to break it easily with long passes, which led to early foul trouble—the All-Stars were in the bonus five minutes into the first half —and easy baskets. The press worked most effectively when first-year Drew Raher was in the game; his incessant hustle made everyone else on the floor look like they were moving in slow motion. After the game Bridgeland lauded Raher’s efforts. “A lot of coaches talk about guys playing hard. But, in my eight years as a head coach I have never seen anyone play as hard as [Raher]; hustle is [his] skill,” he said. Throughout the game Raher was very clearly the catalyst for the defense. He created four turnovers which led to points for Whitman. He will be fun to watch this year as he has the ability to change games with hustle and heart. Whitman also ran into trouble in the paint where the larger and more physical All-Stars blocked a plethora of Missionary shots. Bridgeland acknowledges his team is “built for speed, not size.” A result Whitman may run into trouble against bigger opponents as they don’t have any traditional back-to-the-basket
HONG David Michaels ‘12 practices his jump shot in preperation for Whitman’s showdown with Division I Eastern Washington University.
post players on their roster. However, Bridgeland plans to take a page from Rick Pitino’s playbook and combat size with full court pressure on defense, hoping to force larger, clumsier opponents into bad passes and turnovers. Whitman will be put to the test next week as they open their regular season on the road in Cheney, Wash. against the NCAA Division I Eastern Washington Eagles.
BULLION Kevin Dyer ‘13 strokes his way to victory in the men’s 1650-yard freestyle. His time of 17:26.34 secures eighth place all-time in the Whitman record books. Dyer was also a member of the Missionary men’s 200-yard freestyle relay team.
Whitman sinks Pacific by LINDSAY FAIRCHILD Staff Reporter The Saturday, Nov. 7, swim meet was dominated by both Whitman teams. The size advantage over Pacific University’s teams—Whitman had over three times as many swimmers entered into events as Pacific—was a major boost and helped add to the final scores. The Whitman men routed Pacific University 155-20 and the women dominated with a 135-59 victory. The men won every race except for one individual race. Junior captain Lauren Flynn and three first-years, Charlotte Graham, Katie Chapman and Helen Jenne, set a new school record in their win of the 200-yard freestyle relay. “I’m thrilled about [Jenne, Graham, Chapman and my] performances in both the 200- and 400-free relays this weekend,” said Flynn. “The relays serve as a great indicator for the status of the women’s team as a whole this season.” Flynn also won two individual events, the 200- and the 100-yard freestyle races. Graham, Chapman and Jenne individually won the 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard butterfly and the 50-yard freestyle, respectively. Chapman and Graham were part of the 200-yard medley relay winning team, which also included fellow first-years Libby Arnosti and Rebecca Ryle. Graham’s time of 1.02.56 in the 100-yard backstroke earned her second place. Chapman came in third for 100-yard
butterfly with a time of 1.01. Jenne also moved into seventh place in the 50yard freestyle with her time of 25.52. Sophomore Katie Tackman and senior Sidney Kohls finished first and second, respectively, in the 1,650-yard freestyle and Ryle won a very competitive race of the 100-yard breaststroke, just 14 hundredths of a second in front of Pacific’s Kristen Favillo. Flynn commented on the addition of the first-years having drastically altered the mood of the team. “We have incredible depth due to our size and incredible potential for success thanks to our relative youth, enormous work ethic and raw talent. The boisterous first-years keep energy levels high and training intensity honest,” said Flynn. “They are fearless and have no qualms about ‘dethroning’ upperclassmen—be it on the record board or in the weight room.” That being said, the rest of the team has responded accordingly. “The sophomores, juniors and seniors will not throw in the towel without a fight—and this special tension creates an optimal training environment. It is fabulous because everyone benefits from being pushed to train harder and race faster,” said Flynn. On the men’s side, the 200-yard breaststroke was very competitive with sophomore Mitchell Lee snatching first place by just two hundredths of a second over Pacific’s Luke Fuller, while senior Nick Hurlburt and junior Nick Wood filled out third and fourth
place, less than half a second off of first place. Senior Eric Molnar won both the 400-yard individual medley and 100-yard backstroke, while firstyear Joey Gottlieb finished as a close second in the backstroke event. Junior Jamie Nusse earned two first place finishes in the 500-yard freestyle and the 50-yard freestyle. First-year Kevin Dyer won the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 17.26.34, edging out the current school record holder in that event, sophomore Chris Bendix. More wins for the men’s team include sophomore Matthew Liedtke in the 100-yard butterfly and first-year Paul Chang in the 100-yard freestyle. The first relay team, sophomore Matt Rowett, Chang, Hurlburt and Nusse, won the 200-yard medley. Chang, Gottlieb, Dyer and sophomore Mitchell Lee won the 200yard freestyle as another relay team. At the meet, lane four seemed to be the lucky lane with many of the winning individuals and teams swimming in it. The Whitman team clearly is a very close team because of the excitement and support they share. They are constantly cheering for their teammates in races and trying to encourage everyone to swim his or her best. “It is difficult to contain my (and our) excitement, so instead we channel that energy into making cute squealing noises, hopping up and down, dancing and swimming. We have set some challenging goals for ourselves, and this weekend was step one,” Flynn said.
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Want to write for sports? E-mail Dujie Tahat at tahatdh@ whitman.edu
November 12, 2009
Missionaries send Lewis & Clark packing Whitman women end up and down season with 3-0 home victory
by NOAH MOGEY
On a lazy Friday morning the Whitman women's soccer team played their final home game. Despite an inauspicious start—referees being 45 minutes late— they comfortably beat the Lewis And Clark Pioneers 3-0. It was the last game for the team's many seniors, including Corina Gabbert, whose third hat-trick of the season moved her past '08 alumna Kristen Berndt as Whitman's all-time leading goal scorer. It was the 45th goal of her career. The Missionaries controlled the game from start to finish, punishing Lewis and Clark's midfield and leaving senior goalie Courtney Porter, who recorded her 25th career shutout, untested. The first score came in the 26th minute, when junior Kristin Innes's sublime through met Gabbert in stride. She then blew by her defender to the left and placed a gem in the far post, giving Lewis and Clark's goalie no opportunity to spoil the goal. Whitman came out of the half strong, when, a penalty in the 43rd minute gave Gabbert a penalty kick. The goalie read it and Whitman was unable to convert, but she would get another chance in the 46th, when an audacious cross from sophomore Amy Hasson provided the impetus for a Gabbert header. It was her second of the game and it tied her for the school's all-time record. The game remained stagnant at 2-0; Whitman's relentless assault of Lewis and Clark's box gave them no good chances on goal. But, with the game coming to a close, Gabbert connected with a ball from sophomore Marisol Fonzeca. She made a powerful run, beating three Lewis and Clark defenders, all of whom had a good look, and finished with a well-placed ball that slipped by an oncoming goalie. It completed her hat-trick and broke the Whitman scoring record. The Missionaries season ended on strong notes all around. It was their fourth win in their last six games. “Our strong finish is truly reflective of the character of this team. We could have folded after the way the first half
of the season went but we didn't," said Gabbert. "We persevered and figured out ways to be more successful as a team and I think that is what we will all remember about this season.” Defensively, Porter turned in her fifth clean sheet in the last eight games. She was aided by a strong back-line, held strong by senior DeeDee McCormick’s brilliant defensive performance in her last game as a Missionary. It was also the final game for senior midfielders Liz Forbes and Kendall Shibuya, who provided consistency and stability in the defensive line throughout the game. Whitman finished with 20 shots on goal to Lewis and Clark's 12, and held a ball-possession advantage throughout the game. Assists came from Hasson and Innes. Head Coach Scott Shields' squad ended their season 8-9-1 overall and fifth in the Northwest Conference, but with many holes to fill for next year. “I have no doubt that the team will step up next year. With only two juniors on the team this year and one of them sidelined with an injury all season, the sophomores and freshmen were forced to take on more responsibility and they definitely stepped up," Gabbert said. "They will have even more responsibility next year but they demonstrated this season that they are more than capable of rising to the occasion.” Shields echoed these same sentiments. “What this team learned about themselves this season has put them in a place to be even more successful than ever before . . . They have the tools they need to do whatever they set their minds to and if we are able to come together, support each other and continue with our positive habits, next year will be another great year for Whitman women's soccer." In other news, the men’s soccer team ended their season Saturday in Spokane against Whitworth University. Despite 12 saves by first-year goalie Devin Kuh, Whitman fell 1-0. Whitman was outshot 20-10. The game was a disappointing finish to a season marked by let-downs, with Whitman finishing 4-12-3.
VAN NESTE Corina Gabbert ‘10 scores the final goal of the game, completing her third hat-trick of the season and securing her place as Whitman’s all-time leading goal scorer with 45 total. Whitman finished the season 8-9-1 in NWC play.
3-0, 2-0 NWC
Running backs: NFL’s walking wounded
by ALLAN CRUM
SCOREBOARD Team Records Linfield College 0-2, 0-2 NWC
FRIDAY, Nov. 6 Women's Soccer
Lewis & Clark vs. Whitman College Goals by period Team Records
Willamette University 0 9-9-2, 8-7-2 NWC
Whitman College 1 8-9-2, 7-8-1 NWC
Whitman College 2-0, 1-0 NWC
SATURDAY, Nov. 7
Goals by period
Team Scores Team Records
Whitman College 3-0, 2-0 NWC
Whitman College 2-0, 1-0 NWC
Women's Swimming Team Scores
Pacific University vs. Whitman College Team Scores Totals Team Records Pacific University 0-2, 0-2 NWC
13-2-3, 11-1-2 NWC Whitman College 4-12-3, 3-9-2 NWC
Goals by half
SCHEDULE Cross Country
After convincing finishes in the Northwest Conference Championships, the Missionaries go into the NCAA Division III West Regional meet at Pomona-Pitzer in Claremont, Calif. this Saturday, Nov. 14. The men go into Saturday trying keep the momentum of a fourth place finish at the conference championships alive. The women on the other hand look for redemption, as they let a conference championship crown slip by just six points.
The Missionaries look to keep the ball rolling this weekend in a matchup with conference rival Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., this Saturday, Nov. 14. Both men's and women's teams will look to repeat their performances in their rout of Pacific University their 155-20 and 13559, respectively. The Missionaries will have their hands full with three-time Northwest Conference champion, Jay Jones.
Pacific University vs. Whitman College
Pacific University 0-2, 0-2 NWC
Linfield College 0-2, 0-2 NWC
Whitworth University vs. Whitman
Linfield College vs. Whitman College Totals
Team Scores Team Records
Coach Eric Bridgeland's refurbished and retooled team will face a monster of a challenge this coming Tuesday, Nov. 17, against Division I Eastern Washington University. The Missionaries travel to Cheney, Wash. to take on, what will undoubtedly, be their toughest test of the season. Eastern Washington alum, Rodney Stuckey, is currently the starting point guard for the NBA’s Detriot Pistons.
Brett Favre is 40 years old, as in only a couple months younger than Woodstock. Vinny Testaverde was 44 when he finally retired, and some people still don't believe he'll stay inactive. Morten Andersen was 48 when he decided to check out (and he only missed three out of 28 field goals in his last season!). George Blanda was something like 103 when he took his last NFL snap, but I don't have the exact number in front of me. Old age is not an unknown phenomenon in pro football. Why is it then that NFL running backs, especially halfbacks, are expected to be washed up by the time they are 32, or 31, or even 29? It's a force even more feared than the “Madden Curse”—the Bermuda Triangle of the NFL—that few, if any, star running backs have been able to defeat. There have been a multitude of examples in recent years: Edgerrin James, the leading rusher among active players unable to find a job at 31; Shaun Alexander, a back who rushed for 27 touchdowns in a single season, sitting by a silent phone at 32; Larry Johnson, before he got cut for being a bigot, rushing for 2.7 yards per carry after setting the league record for rushing attempts two seasons ago. Sadly, the 30 year curse seems to have claimed another member for its less than illustrious club. This year Ladainian Tomlinson has continued the slow slide towards mediocrity that started shortly after his record breaking 2006 season. Through six games he has rushed for 289 yards, putting him on pace for a very un-LT-like 771 yards this season. Now, at this juncture some might point to the emergence of the mighty mouse Darren Sproles as an explosive option out of the same Charger's backfield, cutting in on Tomlinson's carries. This may be a valid reason for the decline in production,
and as a football fan I wouldlove to see Tomlinson stiff-arming his way to NFL records well into his 50s, but history, as illustrated above, is not on LT's side. Man is not meant to play running back. Our knees and heads and spines just aren't built to absorb the force that battering yourself into a linebacker over and over again produces; NFL running backs are expected to do this 2030 times per game without whining, turning the ball over or getting injured. Players like Tomlinson have been doing this for the better part of 20 years, since they were kids and football was just a way of getting a shot at college and maybe, if they were lucky, some time in the bigs. The average NFL career is all of four years long, not much time to make that indelible mark that all great players dream of. Now NFL running backs like LT are being told, by their bodies as much as their bosses, that they are unable to do the job that they love any longer. All those years of preparation for a career that will probably, even if the player is lucky, only last eight or nine. All that work is paid off, in the end, by a flood of ineffectual games and a spot on the practice squad. Tomlinson has only two real choices now: He can continue to play the game that he loves, the game that has made him a millionaire, or he can give it all up and walk away. Robert Smith did it. Barry Sanders did it. Great players have walked away at or near the peaks of their respective careers. The problem with giving it all up and retiring happily with both your money and your dignity lies in the people who have been with you all the way up, those same people who are prepared to follow you all the way back down. The fans, they will never be satisfied. To this day Sanders is hounded by Lions fanatics who ask him why he walked away from what many consider to be the prime of his career. This then is LT's choice: What-ifs or mediocrity? Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
Published on Nov 13, 2009