Wh ou t
Athlete of the week:
, pa ge 5
itman’s new cookin g cl
SPORTS, page 12
Q&A with student Slam poets
Death toll rises in assassins game
A&E , page 4
NEWS, page 3
OP-ED, page 8
WHITMAN COLLEGE Walla Walla, WA Volume CXXV / Issue 5 whitmanpioneer.com October 8, 2009
Delays expected on Seattle route
Coming Out Day
honors identity by RACHEL ALEXANDER Staff Reporter
by Liz forsYth
For people who identify as something other than heterosexual, the process of coming out is an important personal journey. It can also be a political act, used as a statement to affirm the existence of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people. “To tell their family members and friends about this side of themselves can be very empowering,” said first-year Dena Wessel. In that spirit, the GLBTQ community has celebrated National Coming Out Day every year on Oct. 11. The celebra-
Staff Reporter For students driving to Seattle for mid-semester break this weekend, the Washington State Department of Transportation has the following response: “Bad move.” Due to repairs on deteriorating pavement between milepost 70 and milepost 80 on I-90, only one lane will be open to westbound traffic, with possible delays of one to three hours Friday during the high traffic period of 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Those traveling Saturday can expect similar delays. Sunday, two westbound lanes will be open, with only one eastbound lane available. "[We] waited until after Labor Day so that the traffic counts were down," said Doug Williams, a WSDOT spokesman. "We’re working 24/7 right now, hoping to get it done before winter strikes.” First-year Emily Woolley has driven to and from Seattle four weekends this semester to ride and show her horse. She said driving from eastern Washington to Seattle can be tedious, though not always. Two of her four trips were delayed. "It really depends on when you hit it," she said. Allen and Peggy Sue Juergens, parents of senior Maryn Juergens, had no trouble driving from Seattle to Walla Walla last Friday. But the one lane going to Seattle was a different story. “[I-90W] was really backed up, even at 9 p.m.,” said Mrs. Juergens. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed by President Obama in February 2009, funded the repairs under the I-90 Lake Easton Vicinity to Bullfrog Road Interchange Westbound Project. Initial funding was for $21.2 million, but the WSDOT now estimates the project will cost $18.4 million. Construction began in July, but only at night to limit traffic jams impact during the summer. If all goes according to schedule, repairs should be complete before November. Another round of construction is scheduled for spring 2010. Before departing, travelers can check the WSDOT Web site for live traffic video and expected congestion times. On the road, dial 511 or tune in to 1610 AM for the Highway Advisory Radio for updates.
Bullion Anastasia Higham ‘11 delivers a dark prophesy as Cassandra the seer in the student directed performance of Greek tragedy ‘The Oresteia.’
tion dates back to 1987, when half a million people marched on Washington D.C. to demand equal rights for gays as well as to unveil a quilt commemorating people who had died of AIDS. Some Whitman students see this day as an important opportunity to celebrate self-disclosure and promote awareness of the GLBTQ presence on campus. “It’s more symbolic than anything,” said junior Liam Mina, co-president of the Coalition Against Homophobia. “It’s good for other people to see.” The Coalition plans to celebrate the day by putting a giant door on Ankeny for people to walk through and come COMING OUT, page 3
Bratton tennis center goes solar
Greek tragedy strikes Harper Joy by C.J. WISLER Staff Reporter “The Oresteia” is a difficult play, not one to treat lightly. It is a complex play in its poetic literacy, story and social complications. The famous Greek trilogy-tragedy by Aeschylus follows the murder of Agamemnon by his wife Clytemnestra, her subsequent murder by her son Orestes (after whom the trilogy is named), and his trial. The original play is packed with murder, psychological torture, gender roles, personal vendetta and divine fatalism. It is a daunting task to direct in a compelling way for a modern audience. So even though I’m a tremendous lover of Whitman theater, I was a little skeptical. The play had not one but three student directors and budget of no more than $200. Oh, and it’s a Greek tragedy, and no one really likes watching those anymore, right? So, while I hoped for the best, I was fairly prepared for a moderately blasé production. Of course watching the show fairly well trounced these expectations. REVIEW, page 4
Panel dedication marks sustainable energy efforts by JOSH GOODMAN Associate New Editor A rainy day without a drop of sunlight in the sky didn’t detract from the dedication of the new solar panels atop the Bratton Tennis Center on Saturday. The dedication, which featured a series of speakers involved in the process of making the solar panels a reality, celebrated the arrival of a renewable energy power plant to the Whitman campus and looked towards Whitman’s next steps for renewable energy. Although the solar panels, a pilot project, went live last month, the dedication was scheduled for Saturday to coincide with the reunion for the class of 1999, which made fundraising for the solar panels its class project. “It takes a community to raise solar panels,” said senior Camilla Thorndike, last year’s co-president of the Campus Climate Challenge, of the support received from the administration, alumni, students and parents and a grant from Pacific Power. “As freshmen they were
only a vision; today I am proud to be a member of the first graduating class to have studied by the light they help provide.” While solar power does not emit carbon emissions, it is also considerably more expensive than alternatives such as oil and coal. Despite the solar panel’s price tag of $250,000, it only powers about 20 percent of the Bratton Tennis Center, which previously had electricity bills of about $800 per month. Still, despite the costs, those involved with the solar panels believe that building the photovoltaic array was the right thing to do. “How long will it take the system to pay for itself?” asked one audience member. “It won’t,” said Construction Project Manager Jeff Donahue. “I don’t think that’s the issue, it’s the responsibility that we should take to have sustainable energy.” Expanding this start in sustainable energy was also major theme. “It’s a beginning in terms of our use of solar energy,” said President George Bridges. “This is part of a larger emphasis of Whitman College, just one piece SOL AR PANEL S, page 3
Downtown shops struggle to attract students by rachel alexander Staff Reporter Walking down Main Street, Walla Walla doesn’t exactly look like a college town. Although there are some shops and cafes which attract students, the number of wine tasting rooms and expensive restaurants suggests that students are not the focus of retail in Walla Walla. The recent closure of several businesses popular with students, including Luscious by Nature and Verve Coffeehouse, has left some Whitties feeling that downtown doesn’t
meet their needs. “I’m traumatized about Luscious,” said senior Amelia Gallaher. She feels that many of the restaurants in Walla Walla don’t do a good job of catering to students. “It’s frustrating when a lot of restaurants are closed on Sundays. A lot of places close really early,” Gallaher said. Both the City Council and the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation believe that developing student-friendly businesses is crucial to Walla Walla’s economy due to DEVELOPMENT, page 2
The clock outside the Reynolds-Day building has displayed the time to Main Street pedestrians since 1906. Sunset magazine awarded Walla Walla “Beat Main Street in the West” in 2002, but some students want more options.
Students who will change t he world
Borges showcases endangered cultures by MAGGIE ALLEN Staff Reporter A trip to Tibet led Phil Borges to create the book “Tibetan Portrait: The Power of Compassion” and begin documenting indigenous populations. Thirteen years later he has lived with indigenous cultures around the world, hosted Discovery and National Geographic documentaries, created feature photography exhibits and written award-winning books. His latest activity? Speaking at Whitman on Oct. 1. “I love going into remote areas, meeting these people, learning their stories and taking their portraits,” Borges said. Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art Charly Bloomquist, who has worked closely with Borges, commended Borges’
work with the tribes and cultures. “He goes out and meets these people and talks to them and it’s not done in a way to exploit them or to self-aggrandize himself,” Bloomquist said. “It’s a way to help bring their stories and their lives to us.” Not content to be solely a photographer, Burgess wants to be a storyteller, teacher and sometimes even a cultural anthropologist. “I wanted to document places where people were living like they always have been because I knew it was going away,” Borges said. Half of the 6,000 languages spoken today will not be carried to the next generation. Every two weeks, an elder dies who was carrying the last spoken word of an entire culture.
bullion Phil Borges signs a photograph after his lecture Oct. 1. His work focuses on indigenous cultures and human rights issues.
“This fact really consumed my work for two years,” Borges said, “This is a silent extinction.” Borges’ current project focuses on women empowerment in the developing world. “There is violence against women, trafficking [of] women, and women do so much of the work. Women grow 50 percent of the world’s food and own one percent of the farmland,” Borges said. Whether Borges’ projects address indigenous cultures or human rights issues, they connect an audience to subjects in need of attention. “Through his work, he finds a way to make us care. Through his portraits, Mr. Borges dissolves apathy,” said sophomore Dujie Tahat, who introduced Borges. Borges has passed his sense of global citizenship to middle and high school students in Seattle, where he lives. In 2001, he founded Bridges to Understanding, a nonprofit organization that connects American students with their peers in other countries, using digital technology and the art of storytelling to unite youth and to encourage cross-cultural understanding. “I wanted to bring teenage indigenous kids with teenage American kids,” Borges said, “We taught them how to use cameras and how to put together stories about issues in their community . . . I am very much in favor of global service learning.” Mukulu Mweu, Associate Dean of Students at the Intercultural Center said Whitman students should consider Borges’ method of social engagement. “The way he approaches his work I think is good for the Whitman students with this interdisciplinary approach,” she said. “It wasn’t just about the photographs, so there was also that social component. He was almost telling the Whitman student to go out there—you can go with only a camera but you accomplish a lot more.” Even a student who only had time for part of the lecture left inspired. “I stumbled into the lecture late, expecting to see some cool art,” said sophomore Alice Minor. “Instead, I had the opportunity to meet an activist-artist-community collaborator-traveler and look at some artwork that toyed with the traditional photography. I was too gripped to leave.”
October 8, 2009O
ArtWalk expands by LEA NEGRIN Staff Reporter On the first Friday of every month, from May until December, Walla Walla art venues and businesses open their doors from 5 to 8 p.m. for the ArtWalk. Of the 31 sites participating in the ArtWalk, three are located on the Whitman College campus. “I think it’s really good for the community and I wish more people would participate,” said Malynda PoulsenJones, visiting assistant professor of art, whose work was showcased at the Sheehan Art Gallery in Olin Hall in an exhibit of professors’ artwork. The gallery celebrated its closing Friday night during the ArtWalk. While Sheehan Gallery showcased the works of professors, Fouts Center for Visual Arts hosted student art. Student work tended to depict issues the students wanted to reveal to the public. For example, senior Allie Rood’s piece was a cross made of plastic water containers supplemented by a projected video depicting the water canteens left to aid Mexico-U.S. border-crossers who often face mortal peril due to dehydration. At Noodle Grotto Studio on Main Street, artist Candace Rose welcomed visitors to view her many photographs and sculptures. After climbing the steep stairs to the Noodle Grotto’s open door, guests were greeted by a type writer perched upon a wine barrel, with the words “Please ‘sign’ the Guest Book” taped below it. “It’s hard to tell, but every year a few more people come through,” Rose said
in reference to the slow but steady trickle of guests. Rose, who has lived in Walla Walla since 1975, has seen the ArtWalk develop from an annual tour of local galleries, called Art Walla, to the anticipated monthly event. Other popular stops include Willow and the Black Door Galley & Museum of Unnatural History. At Coffee Perk and Sapolil Cellars, works done by local artists are hung on the walls for those who venture in for a drink. “We do local artists and all different kinds of mediums,” said a Coffee Perk barista. While the majority of these venues hold work from local artists, this year the Walla Walla Airport added ten exhibits that include international pieces. Though the Walla Walla ArtWalk has grown, many Whitman students still don’t attend the event. “I’m hoping to go tonight,” said junior Lara Mehling at the Sheehan Gallery on Friday night. She added that despite knowing about the ArtWalk for some time, she has never participated. On Friday, Nov. 6, the art businesses of Walla Walla will welcome ArtWalk participants again. The event offers residents and students the chance to mingle while viewing a large variety of works. Because the artists are often present, guests can learn the stories behind the art. Rose told Noodle Grotto visitors that she discovered the bells featured in several of her 3D pieces when she dismantled a phone years ago so it wouldn’t be as startling when it rang. In her art, the bells chime loudly with the slightest stroke. “I took those out of old telephones I found in thrift stores,” Rose said.
Gold Joanna Jungerman ‘10 and Daniel Craig ‘11 view photography at ArtWalk.
Assassins game bonds first-years by LEA NEGRIN Staff Reporter A day after her birthday, first-year Kathy Nguyen found herself alone with Elizabeth Peterson in the Prentiss Hall elevator clutching her guitar to her chest defiantly as her comrade leaned sinisterly towards her with her choice weapon, a bobby-pin. Nguyen’s cries of “Wait, no no no!” could be heard on the main floor as the elevator doors opened. Despite her pleas, Nguyen became the latest victim in the game Assassins, which has absorbed first-years in recent weeks. “It always comes up as an easy topic of discussion with everyone. The general question is: Are you still alive?” said firstyear Daniel Merritt, a resident of Anderson. Hosted by Resident Advisors and Directors of Lyman, Jewett, Anderson and Prentiss, the game assigns participating students an anonymous target to kill with a (harmless) weapon of their choice. Assassinations proved tricky and nerve-racking because kills can only be made while the
assassin and victim are alone and cannot take place in a public area such as restrooms or classrooms. “It’s harder than you think,” Lyman resident Sam Sadeghi said in reference to the skill or luck required to find the right circumstances to make a kill. On Sep. 14 at 12 a.m. the Jewett game began with 98 players shortly followed by the 18 by Lyman; they each played within their individual Hall. Anderson and Prentiss are in the midst of playing a combined Hall game that began on Sep. 25. Andrew Johnson, Lyman Hall’s RD, has a board filled with 3x5 cards, each with the name of a still living student written on it. On Friday, Oct. 2, the board had just 14 names left. The game will continue until only two people remain. “Everyone was really, really paranoid the first week,” said Jewett RA Jeraldine Enriquez. Jewett called an official end to their game even though people were still left alive on Friday, Oct. 2. “The hype began to dwindle down and people started going about their daily
business without being so afraid of getting killed,” said Jewett RD Justin Daigneault. “The hard part of Assassins is trying to get someone without being creepy,” said Anderson B-Section resident Brandon Hopper shortly after having made his seventh kill. This has proven incredibly true in the Anderson and Prentiss game since many students were given targets they had never met or that required finding a way into a dorm building not their own. Many Prentiss girls felt disadvantaged since anyone can gain access to Prentiss before 8 p.m. due to the spirituality room yet getting into Anderson required inside help. This resulted in the presence of more males than usual in Prentiss Hall as first-years sought their victims. Some assassins took being ‘creepy’ as a fun part of the game. Targets found notes placed on their doors and even in their rooms. In Prentiss, Kenna Little found a note on her Dox Section door: “I know where you live. Your Assassin.” A feud between neighboring section mates Johanna Otico
and Rachel Ramey led to a polar bear in a noose in Otico’s room and a taped body in Ramey’s. Though creepy to some students, Assassins has proven to bring first-years closer together.
“[Assassins] has been a really great way to meet people from Anderson,” said Little.
Local businesses focus on tourism industry from DEVELOPMENT page 1 the large number of college students in and around Walla Walla. “Our emphasis is to approach retailers that handle retail and clothing for young people,” said Elio Agostini, the Executive Director for the Foundation. The nonprofit Foundation works on issues relating to business and commerce in downtown Walla Walla. “Places like that are definitely being encouraged,” he said. Such places also appeal to Walla Walla residents, in his view. “I’m not sure where your interests and mine would be all that different,” Barrow said. The reality of development is somewhat different, given the limited control the City Council has over which businesses come to Walla Walla. “The city council itself does not develop the properties downtown,” said Barrow. “We do facilitate that.”
Agostini agreed that encouraging businesses to cater to students can be difficult. “How much influence can you have when
you don’t own the buildings?” he asked. “Property owners sometimes might take what’s easiest.”
cornelius Walla Walla’s Comprehensive Development Plan contains no mention of entertainment options that would appeal to students.
Targeting Walla Walla’s tourism industry is often what’s easiest for businesses, according to Agostini. “Many businesses claim tourists are 25 to 50 percent of their income. They would not say that about [students]. [Students] don’t have that kind of money,” he said. This attitude is reflected in the city’s most recent Comprehensive Development Plan, updated in 2008. The plan has 18 pages about retail in Walla Walla, with four specifically devoted to retail in the downtown area. Although the plan contains numerous references to downtown’s importance as “the community’s business center” and as a “center for tourism and visitor economy,” there are no references to the student population of Walla Walla. “I don’t feel like restaurants very often are catering to Whitman students,” said senior Megan Bush. “They’re catering to the wine industry.” Some businesses, such as Colville St.
Patisserie, do attract students. Co-owner Tiffany Cain attributes this to the fact that many Whitman students have been exposed to things like gelato and French pastries before, either through travel or living in bigger cities. “Sometimes we wait and put out a certain [gelato] flavor because we know the students are coming back,” Cain said. “They’re more adventurous than the summer eaters.” Cain believes that if Walla Walla wants to see student-friendly business develop, students need to be encouraged to come downtown more often. Agostini agreed that this was important. “If we make it an experience for people to come downtown, we’ll get more shoppers,” Agostini said. “We depend on the success and progress of our retail. It’s priority number one.”
9October 8, 2009
Whitman Web pages translated into Chinese by JOSH GOODMAN Associate News Editor Whitman’s online footprint grew a little bigger on Sept. 28, with the translation of the first Whitman webpage into Chinese. Rensi Ke, a senior China Sherwood Scholar exchange student from Shantou University, posted a translation of Whitman’s Fast Facts page onto her school’s online bulletin board. This is the first in a series of several Whitman webpages Ke plans to translate in an effort to educate students at her university about Whitman. “We have a student’s handbook at my university,” said Ke, who is also a columnist for The Pioneer. “When I do the translations, I can compare the two types of [colleges]—what [students] need in
their everyday life, in their academic life, in their extracurricular life.” Thanks to the translations, her classmates in China can also compare the schools. “I’ve learned about the size, the site, the student formation with the ratio of students and instructors and the tuition, which amazed me most because it’s pretty expensive for me,” said Shantou University junior Jasmine Ding. Ding also found Whitman to be a diverse community. “There are students from almost every state of America, and almost every corner of the world,” she said. “It’s like a condensed world where people with skins of white, of yellow and of black color can stand under one sky, upon one ground. I enjoy that sense of feeling.”
Director of Off-Campus Studies Susan Brick is glad that the webpage translations can help expand Chinese students’ understanding of Whitman. “China doesn’t have liberal arts colleges, per se, and people there don’t usually know what they are,” she said. “Even if translating parts of our Web site only helps people in China understand the variety of models of higher education in the U.S., that’s still worthwhile. Some of the Shantou University students who see it might aspire to go to graduate school in the U.S., so understanding U.S. forms of higher education might be important.” In addition, the translation of Web pages furthers Whitman’s longstanding relationship with Shantou University. Besides hosting China Sherwood Scholar exchange students, Whitman has also sent
at least two alumni to Shantou University each year since 2002 to be English interns, serving a similar role as native speakers in language departments at Whitman. To build on that relationship, Brick also hopes Whitman students learn more about Shantou University. “Even for our graduates who we send to teach English in China, one day of the teacher training is devoted to cultural norms and values in China. But there’s still a limit to how much we can really convey . . . for Whitman seniors headed to China about what their Chinese host university will be like,” she said. “I’d say the understanding of our Chinese partner universities is pretty rudimentary among students at Whitman.” Ke plans to translate more Whitman Web pages into Chinese.
School considers wind energy from SOLAR PANELS, page 1
be the college’s next renewable energy focus. “Whitman owns farmland, and [there are] windmills on that land that produce wind power,” he said. “And so we’re talking with companies about building one of those, possibly being co-owners of a wind-power farm that would provide revenue to the college through the development and generation of wind power.” That doesn’t mean that Whitman won’t
continue its solar ambitions. Professor of Geology and Environmental Science Bob Carson is pushing for Whitman to be involved in a community solar project, a photovoltaic array benefiting several institutions. “A new proposal [is] being developed by faculty and administrators at Walla Walla University [and] Walla Walla Community College,” he said. “I hope that Whitman joins these other colleges.” Future prospects aside, Thorndike felt the dedication was reason a major milestone. “I think it’s amazing that the group founded my freshman year has, by the time I leave Whitman, made tangible carbon reductions,” she said. “I think it’s a huge accomplishment.”
“Some of [my friends and classmates] are encouraging me to do more, some of them are telling me what they would like to know more about Whitman,” she said. “For example, they would like to know how Whitman students manage to meet the academic challenges at Whitman, how you organize various kinds of extracurricular activities and how your clubs at other activities organize.” Brick hopes those additional pages expand Shantou University students’ understanding of Whitman. “Obviously [with] this generation of students, people are more inclined to get their information from the Internet,” she said. “To the extent that the information is in their own language, I think that will help.”
Correct ions for Issue 4, Oct. 1 “Grills galore at sausage festival” on page 1 was incorrectly attributed to Eric Nickeson-Mendheim. The article was written by Maggie Allen.
“It’s a beginning in terms of our use of solar energy,. This is part of a larger emphasis of Whitman College, just one piece of it, and we’ll continue to pursue more and more sustainable energy projects.”
BooLou Fashion Boutique & Buy Outright
Hip & Trendy Jr’s & Young
Contemporary Clothing & Accessories Open Tues~Sat 11am-6pm
George Bridges, College President
416 N. Second • 525-1934 Next to Jacobi’s @ the Depot
W Jr’s Ce buy lo for C thing ash!! 88279 SL
A Stone's Throw Cafe Homemade Soups, Wraps, Bagel Sandwiches, and Salads Best Espresso in Town 54 E Main St. Walla Walla
Open Mon - Fri 8am to 6:30pm
Club Latino hosts public Coalition supports forum on DREAM Act openness by ERIC NICKESON - MENDHEIM Staff Reporter This year, Club Latino will increase its political activism by supporting the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act and the nearly 65,000 students who would benefit from it, club co-president and sophomore Hiram Moran said. “We took this as an opportunity because it’s a way to involve ourselves in the community,” said sophomore CoPresident of Club Latino Hiram Moran. “It’s something that involves ourselves in the Latino students as well as other Whitman students. It really bridges the Whitman community with the outside.” The DREAM Act is meant to allow
children of illegal immigrants born outside the United States a chance to pursue a degree in higher education. According to Washington state law, all children are allowed to attend school from kindergarten to twelfth grade. With the DREAM Act, undocumented students would also be allowed to attend college and receive financial aid, enter into the military and use their college degree to find a job. “[With the DREAM Act,] once you get a degree, you can actually work,” said junior Ariel Ruiz, Club Latino’s historian. “ I know some people who graduated from college but had to go back to Mexico. My friend graduated from Washington University with a degree in law but wasn’t able to use that. He wasn’t able to give back to the community.”
A version of the DREAM Act was first drafted in 2001 and reintroduced in March. But supporters have recently found themselves overshadowed by the healthcare debate, despite support from Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray (D-WA). “I think there’s a consensus that it’s a humanitarian issue,” said Moran. “There’s a lot of focus on the student and how he or she can become productive to society.” Club Latino sponsored a public forum about the act on Sunday, Oct. 4. They hoped the forum would garnish support for the act and raise awareness. “I think one of the greatest strengths we have is our people,” said State Representative Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla), who spoke at the forum. “It’s
bullion Luis Ortega of the Alianza Student Coalition welcomes States Representative Maureen Walsh to Sunday’s DREAM Act forum. The event discussed the proposed DREAM Act, which would allow undocumented immigrants to receive federal financial aid for college and to join the military.
always a wonderful thing for kids to be able to have it better than their parents. I think that’s what the DREAM Act is about: recognizing the students out there who have worked hard and want to achieve.” Assistant Professor of Sociology Gilbert Mireles also spoke at the forum. He described the schematics of the bill and how he viewed it as a way to address a flaw in the current education system. “It would provide 360,000 Americans with the opportunity to work, attend college and strengthen our community,” said Mireles. “Through no fault of their own these students lack the legal status to be part of the community. This dream has been deferred long enough for these young Americans.” Club Latino also hopes to raise awareness not just about the act itself, but also about undocumented students that live on the Whitman campus and other college campuses. “You’d be surprised how many undocumented students go here,” said Ruiz. “It’s a fact; undocumented students exist here. That’s the main goal, to make people realize undocumented students exist.” Club Latino and the forum’s guest speakers described the DREAM Act as a bipartisan issue. “I think sometimes our political process becomes skewed with partisan process,” said Walsh. “Until we allow our students to be educated to the full extent they want to, we damage them.” Club Latino members hope to show the community that the DREAM Act affects everyone, not just undocumented students. “I grew up in the Walla Walla educational system and have been following this bill since it started in 2001,” said Ruiz. “There are children of farmers who go to school with us all around. The only difference they have is a nine digit number.”
from COMING OUT, page 1
alition, stresses that this isn’t just a day for those who identify as GLBTQ. “It’s not only a day for people to come out as gay,” he said. “If you’re conservative, you can come out as conservative. It’s a day of openness.” This openness is welcome for many first-years who have experienced the additional challenges of having to come out to a new group of people while transitioning to college. “It was weird from my perspective, because most of my friends at home are queer and we’re very open about it,” said Wessel. “People were starting to get to know each other and that part of me which seemed like such a big part at home wasn’t out in the open. That was very disorienting.” For first-year Nathan Wong, the process has been gradual. “I said to myself that I wasn’t going to lie to anyone, but I wasn’t going to flaunt it,” he said. “It’s part of who I am, but it’s not an essential part of me.” Mina attended a private Catholic school in Orange County, where he kept his sexuality private. “[Coming to Whitman] was nice because in high school I wasn’t out to anyone,” he said. “The only support I could find at home was online.” Although he feels Whitman is a very accepting place, he still thinks celebrating National Coming Out Day in a public way is important. “Things go unnoticed a lot on a tiny campus,” he said. The door on Ankeny will show that both the GLBTQ community and the day itself exist. “It’s trying to demystify gay people,” said Wessel. Last year, she celebrated the day by updating her Facebook status to say, “Dena is bisexual.” “I might do that again this year,” she added. To Wong, National Coming Out Day is more than a statement about the gay community. “It’s just a day of coming out against social stereotypes, and I think that’s nice,” he said.
The Pioneer Issue 5 Oct. 8, 2009 Page 4
T heater REview
‘Oresteia’ shines despite constraints from STUDENT THEATER, page 1 The directors, juniors Zach Simonson, Erin Terrall and Devin Petersen, directed one part of the trilogy each— “Agamemnon,” “The Libation Bearers” and “The Eumenides,” respectively. Despite my qualms, their styles of directing flowed together surprisingly well. Simonson’s direction was less stylized than Terrall’s and Petersen’s, reflecting traditional Greek theater more closely. He focused more upon individual voicing and character interaction. Terrall featured active character movement, dramatic lighting and an artistic (though moderately gruesome) Clytemnestra death scene, in which she has her throat “cut” without Tarantino-esque special affects. Petersen produced terrifying images of bloody, hissing Furies, accompanied by otherworldly screaming noises over the sound system. The acting, despite the rushed fewweek production, was overall quite strong. Most of the actors made bold choices, some even taking on several different roles throughout the performances. Sophomore Tricia Vanderbilt, who played the role of the Nurse in “The Libation Bearers” and Athena in “Eumenides,” showcased tremendous acting talent in both roles. Even without the use of prosthetics or a few drawn-on wrinkles, she groaned and bent sadly as the tired and grieved Nurse and then glowed with wisdom and stoicism as the levelheaded goddess Other outstanding roles included ’09 alumnus Bryce McKay as the protective Apollo, junior Anastasia Higham as the maddened Cassandra and one of the bloodthirsty Furies and junior Trevor Cushman as the political figure Agamemnon. One aspect of the show that intrigued me was the set. Modest and small, it included black stage curtains, a small raised level with a black top, a gold door lined in red and the imposing black of the Friemann stage. Perhaps it was because of the simplicity, but it was very striking, authentic and coordinating with the overall mood.
Above: Elizabeth Berg ‘11 plays Chorus opposite Michail Georgiev ‘12 as Herald in the first play of the student-directed trilogy “Oresteia.” Below: Kelsey Yuhara ‘10, Taneeka Hanson ‘11 and Anastasia Higham ‘11 haunt George Stanton ‘10 as the furies in the final act.
I was particularly pleased when the platform opened between “Agamemnon” and “The Libation Bearers” to reveal a small, lit pool marking Agamemnon’s grave and the site of Clytemnestra’s murder—an equally striking addition. My only valid complaint about the play was the lack of focus on the gender discrepancies that so dominate the story. Well-known for its overwhelming sympathy towards the male characters, I was hoping to find a slightly more compelling Clytemnestra. The queen, while unfaithful and murderous, does have her reasons
of acting so: Agamemnon, who leaves her for over a decade, sacrificed her favorite daughter and replaced her position as wife with his new concubine Cassandra. However, Clytemnestra came across as fairly evil, bloodthirsty and politically motivated in this production. But perhaps that is just my gender studies class speaking to me. Despite the slight discrepancy in style, the overall arch was quite satisfying. Hopefully, since the turnout for each show was very good, more small student productions of this magnitude and caliber will be available in the future.
Slam poets set sights high by CONNOR GUY A&E Editor While students may perceive Whitman as an artsy institution rife with a cappella groups and literary magazines, slam poetry is not, perhaps, among the most prominent of the arts on campus. This week, The Pioneer sat down with some of campus’ top slam poets, sophomores Eli Singer, Dujie Tahat and Dorian Zimmerman. These sophomores strive, with rhythm and enthusiasm, to “bring back the beat.” Pio: How did you guys get started on slam poetry? Zimmerman: Well, the first time I was introduced to it was at an open mic back home in California, and I had crafted a poem that I kind of thought sounded like a slam poem. I didn’t really know much about it but I went to this event and decided to try it out. I was just really amazed by it because it was a totally different art form. Pio: So how did you all bring this back to Whitman and decide to form your club? Singer: Well, it’s not a club per se, but we were thinking about making it a club. But I mean, last year when we started getting together and meeting to talk about our poetry, only a few other people came to these meetings and most of the time it was just me, Dorian and Dujie at the center of it. It’s really more of a
No Age spells success with EP by ANDREW HALL
photos by Bullion
slam poetry team rather than a club, I’d say. Pio: So are you trying to share this with others? Do you want to teach this art form to other people? Zimmerman: Well, I think we’d disagree with the idea that slam poetry is something that’s taught. I guess that sounds kind of snobby, but it’s really not. When we get together with our group, it’s kind of like we’re all teaching each other—we go around and read our stuff and critique it and give comments to each other. It’s like an open forum. I might say, like, it’s really cool when Dujie does this or that, like, he’s got some rhymes, one after another, or maybe I like the way that he emphasizes something and maybe that will even influence my own voice. A lot of times it allows you to explore kind of new and different rhythms. Singer: Dorian’s right. It was really interesting when we wrote a group slam together for the last open mic called “Bring Back the Beat.” It was funny because we all write really differently, and you could see how our different styles played off of each other there. We also experienced performing something that we didn’t write, because we all wrote it, and the way we set it up, we weren’t necessarily performing the same lines we’d written. Zimmerman: And another thing the group setting’s really good for [is] digging into the finer details of a poem. For example, a lot of it is really finetuned rhythm and word play. There’s a huge amount of thought that goes into the order of adjectives, how the syllables and sounds work and how the rhymes come into play. So having this forum is really nice—you can get answers to your questions, especially when you’re really just torn over an issue in one of your poems. It’s nice having that critical ear, which a lot of the time is more critical than what you might get at an open mic or at a performance. Pio: What kind of events have
you participated or put on? Singer: Well, we’ve just been doing open mics so far. I mean, we’ve got a bunch of ideas that we’ve come up with. I know, for example, that Merchant’s used to do an open mic, but whoever was running it doesn’t do it any more. We’ve also mentioned bringing this really awesome slam poet, Shihan, to campus. Tahat: I’ve been talking with Steven Stradley, the WEB chair, about this. Shihan Van Clief is this L.A.-based poet and artist; he’s kind of like the West Coast representative for all things slam poetryrelated. Singer: This is something that I had been meaning to mention to you guys; I’ll just say it now—so I had this idea. Like, you know how T-Sports does 24 hours of improv? I think we should just do 24 hours of poetry sometime. Zimmerman: Twenty-four-hour slam?! [He laughs.] Tahat: I think also, ideally, that if we can get enough force behind it, it would be awesome to just put on a slam show, where it’s just slam poetry. Because, I mean, open mics are fun, and it’s definitely entertaining and fun to do, but sometime we’d like to have a forum just for slam poetry. Zimmerman: I think we’re definitely going to do that, especially since we’ve been getting a lot of new interest. It’s just a matter of organizing it, and time—it’s all determined by our motivation. Pio: What’s the situation on trying to get more people interested and involved? Is that even a main concern for you guys? Singer: Well, I mean, we’re not exactly running out with pamphlets. Zimmerman: We’re going to let them come to us . . . through performing, mostly. Elena [Gustafson], our newest member, ended up joining us this way. Singer: Basically how Elena got involved was she just saw us perform at open mic and she e-mailed me saying, “Hey, I’m interested. Do you guys have meetings or something?” Hopefully, other people will do this, too. To hear Singer, Tahat and Zimmerman perform their collaborative, “Bring Back the Beat,” go to whitmanpioneer.com and click on “A&E.”
Music Reviewer No Age understands two things especially well: they know that good-looking products will sell better than ugly ones and they understand the importance of keeping busy in an industry dominated by infuriatingly brief cycles of hype and backlash. In the last two years, the Los Angeles basement punk duo, comprised of drummer Dean Spunt and guitarist Randy Randall, has delivered two acclaimed full-lengths. One, called Weirdo Rippers, was originally released as five singles on five different labels that spelled the band’s name for the lucky few who actually managed to acquire all five. The other, Nouns, was accompanied by a brilliantly-designed collection of tour photos. This year, they’ve scored a film, performed Hüsker Dü songs with Bob Mould, who hasn’t played many of them since 1987, and have supposedly been at work on their next record in the downtime. Their signature shirt design—the band’s name, in all caps and rainbow lettering—has been captured on the Colbert Report, as well as on Radiohead members. Needless to say, No Age is keeping busy. Losing Feeling, a four-track EP and the band’s first widely-released material since last year, is another dense, textured slab of noisy pop music replete with sonic details and guitar noise. The record (and I do mean record, as the EP is only available on vinyl and in digital formats) is bookended by two fast songs. Losing Feeling bursts through a wall of delayed guitar haze and Spunt’s tom-heavy percussion to reveal some fairly straightforward pop, though its bridge is all sorts of gorgeous. The real winner, however, is closer “You’re a Target,” which is really quick, really loud and possibly the most hardcore-influenced track the band’s released up to this point, with Spunt recalling Hüskers’ drummer Grant Hart to explosive effect across a ton of quick chord changes. Whereas fellow southern Californian
Wavves’ records bury his tunes beneath layers and layers of ugliness, Randall uses noise and feedback to complement, rather than bury, arrangements, and it does help to set them apart from the plethora of bands that use noise to hide their lack of proficiency or inability to write concise, engaging music, descriptions that don’t apply to No Age’s racket. Spunt’s drumwork doesn’t function like a blunt object, and his dense playing comes through quite clearly. The two tracks that come between the
‘Losing Feeling’ is another dense, textured slab of noisy pop music replete with sonic details and guitar noise.
more obvious singles here test this by operating at extremes: “Genie” does away with drums altogether, leaving just Spunt’s warbling vocals beneath their guitar haze and the song’s the better for it, and “Aim at the Airport” is practically ambient by No Age’s standards, delving entirely into an exploration of layered synths and electric guitars, setting up the explosive finish of “You’re a Target.” Losing Feeling as a whole doesn’t do a lot to push the band in a new direction, but that’s not really what the EP format does best unless only intended as a brief stylistic diversion. Instead, it consolidates their strengths, demonstrates in even less time than Nouns what they do well and indicates that the next record could sound a fair amount like the last one. It also does a pretty good job of saying “Yes, the next product will probably also be quite listenable and possibly well-designed.”
Pio Picks Each Thursday, The Pioneer highlights a few events happening on campus or in Walla Walla over the weekend. Here are this week’s picks: Italian Heritage Days Festival Saturday 10 a.m.–4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.–3 p.m. at the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds. For those not planning to leave Walla Walla during fall break, it’s worth checking out the 24th annual Festa Italiana, put on by Walla Walla’s Italian Heritage Association. Come for the mouthwatering Italian foods on sale in the festival’s many booths; stay for the fun activities like traditional Italian dancing, music, bocce ball and a grape-stomping competition. These daytime activities are free,
but staying for the $25 dinner at 6 p.m. on Saturday just might be worth it, with items like stuffed pork chops, handmade meatballs and chicken parmesan on the menu. To buy dinner tickets or for more information, call Pam Elia at 509-629-2866. Whitman Composers Concert Thursday, 7:30 p.m.–9 p.m. in Chism Recital Hall. Free. Each year, students in the music department’s composition class showcase their best work at this concert. Before heading out of town for fall break, don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear your classmates’ musical ideas in action.
compiled by CONNOR GUY
Alinsky At 100:
in the 21st
Century Symposium, Workshop and Training
oCtober 15, 16, 17, 2009
In honor of the centennial of Saul Alinsky’s birth, Whitman College will host a special event combining historical reflections about Alinsky, current discussions about community organizing, and practical training sessions in Alinsky’s organizing techniques.
Featured Participants: DAvID AlInSky DICk HArmon
Joe CHrAStIl rev. WIm mAulDIn Prof. mArk SAntoW
- saul alinsky’s son (Boston) - Recently RetiRed fRom the national iaf staff, and as Regional lead foR the pacific noRthwest. co-foundeR of the national iaf tRaining institute. (poRtland) - lead oRganizeR, iaf noRthwest Region (seattle) - lead oRganizeR, spokane alliance (spokane) - ameRican histoRy (u. mass. daRtmouth)
For more information and to register visit this Web site: http://www.whitman.edu/content/sociology/symposium
October 8, 2009
Cooking club comes to a boil by C.J. WISLER Staff Reporter When sophomore Alyssa Breetwor enrolled in a sustainable food and agriculture class and joined a community garden, she discovered the appreciation and talent many of her classmates had for cooking. “We had really awesome potlucks where people were supposed to use local ingredients and [they] would make amazing things,” said Breetwor. “With the local food available in Walla Walla and the slow-cooking movement, it really seemed appropriate to make a club for it.” As Breetwor talked, she and other members were helping create the first meal created by the Whitman College Cooking Club: a pizza made from scratch. After Breetwor mentioned that she was a vegan, one member took off the cheese from nearly a quarter of the pizza so she could eat some when it was done. The cooking club hopes to join forces with the organic garden, the baking club and other food groups to promote the awareness of the farm industry and an appreciation for the creation of food from local produce. Senior Mimi Cook approached Breetwor over the summer, after Breetwor started a Whitman cooking blog group on facebook, asking her to help form a cooking club in the fall semester. “A lot of my classmates expressed interest in [having] a cooking club,” said Breetwor. “It seemed like a really exciting idea . . . I think there are a lot of Whitman students who have a passion for food.” Although the fast-food/food-fast way of life stereotypes the typical American lifestyle, Breetwor believes that Whitman students have an intense interest in the slow-food movement. “It’s a myth that college students have to survive on Ramen and ‘cheap’ goods,”
said Cook. “You just have to know where to look. [For example], we picked apples at [one of the] Milton-Freewater Orchards for 50 cents per pound.” Senior Hailey Flanigan hopes to host various local food-based workshops and trips. “We have a lot of ideas and things we’d like to do,” said Flanigan. “We hope to host a cheesemaking workshop and another trip to the Milton-Freewater orchard to make apple cider.” Cook also has a VON HafFTEN few ideas in mind Cooking Club co-founder Mimi Cook ‘10 makes pizza from in order to spend scratch at the club’s first meeting. the least amount of money per person, as well as get new members to particiBreetwor emphasized the effort the pate. club makes to support the farming com“It would be really fun if we could get munity. people [who come to the meetings] to “We really want to support the lopurchase one item we need for the dish cal,” said Breetwor. “With all the availwe make that week,” said Cook. “It will able places to get cheap produce, like make people active in helping us pre- the Farmer’s Market or the orchards in pare [the dish].” Milton-Freewater . . . we think students The Whitman College Cooking Club could really appreciate what’s here.” welcomes any student interested in Although other cooking clubs have cooking, learning how to cook and hav- sprung up in the past at Whitman, the ing a great time eating quality food. new club hopes to have a lasting effect, “Everyone’s invited to come share bringing together students with a love their talent and learn,” said Breetwor. “I and passion for food as well as a desire don’t really know how to cook very well. to support local farms. But it’s a great learning experience.” For students interested in joining or “It’s a great opportunity for people to contributing recipes to the club, contact come share their skills,” said Flanigan. Cook or Breetwor at cookmd@whitman. “It’s also nice for people living in dorms edu or firstname.lastname@example.org. who like to cook but don’t have time or access to all the cookware.”
Wake up, September has ended. It’s now Rocktober, that magical month of fabulous new music. With the economy still lurking in the dumpster, you don’t want to be wasting your funds on crummy albums. For inspiration, check out this guide to the best four releases of the past week, and an overview of promising music for the rest of the month.
Tokio Hotel, Humanoid
Don’t try to get through airport security with this album in your bag. They’ll confiscate it as a massively dangerous weapon and toss you in a holding cell, where you’ll shake in miserable music withdrawal. Tokio Hotel’s new album, released both in their native German and translated into English, is more or less completely unfair to the listener. In case Bill Kaulitz’s silk-over-sex voice doesn’t snare you, the lyrics will. Case in point—”Geisterfahrer,” in which the singer-songwriter crafts a shattering narrative. The concept of a Geisterfahrer, a kamikaze driver in the wrong lane on the Autobahn, manifests as a quietly tormented lover seeking his missing love at all costs. Celestial female backup vocals twine with Kaulitz’s voice to create an anthem to love that teaches Chris Martin a thing or two about emotional impact. The instrumentation on the albums is no less impressive, showcasing an epic, soaring sound relief on first single “Automatic,” which prompted critical comparisons to U2, Coldplay and Angels & Airwaves. With layered choruses of shocking power on “Komm/Noise” and “Hey You,” the insidious catchiness of “Darkside of the Sun,” the hard, dark rock medley of title track “Humanoid,” and the uninhibited sensuality of “Pain of Love” and “Menschen suchen Menschen,” these two albums are firing on all cylinders. What’s an automatic fan to do? Buy many, many copies, of course.
AFI, Crash Love
M o r e G r eat Re l ea s e s
Sept. 29: Alice in Chains, Black Gives Way to Blue. Oct. 6: Lights, The Listening; Noah and the Whale, The First Days of Spring. Oct. 20: Electric Six, Kill. Oct. 27: Sting, If On A Winter’s Night; Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Night Castle; Weezer, Ratitude.
CROSSWORD PUZZLE 1
‘Rocktober’ brings new releases by CAITLIN HARDEE
If there’s one musical critique that makes me laugh, it’s when fans howl that the new stuff isn’t as good as the old stuff. With the Sept. 29 release of AFI’s new album Crash Love, accusations of “selling out” and “going soft” festoon the front page of its listener reviews on iTunes. I started listening to AFI with their last album, Decemberunderground, so for me, Crash Love is a faithful continuation of their sound. Those searching for the early, hardcore punk with rough, screamo vocals will be disappointed. This album carries tightly coiled power in the instrumentation, but Davey’s vocals hold a consistent smoothness, even through the angry first single “Medicate.” The trademark of this album seems to be power-
fully layered background vocals. They mingle with gorgeous, snarling basslines on “Beautiful Thieves” and “End Transmission,” and feature in practically every other track. Some tracks seem overly chaotic—with “Cold Hands” in particular, the instrumentation seems to trip over itself, at times overpowering Davey’s vocals. Regardless, it remains extremely catchy and listenable, and the album as a whole is darkly beautiful. The whispering bridge and drums on “Fainting Spells,” followed by percussive clapping and screaming choruses, are a recipe for addictive listening. I’ll be singing loudly along to Crash Love on the next interminable drive from Walla Walla to Seattle.
La Roux, La Roux
If Imogen Heap woke up, had five cups of coffee, went to the studio, and made an album with Lady Gaga’s production team, the result might sound something like La Roux’s newly-released, self-titled debut album. The tracks alternate between hypnotic and infectious. Singer Eleanor Jackson’s voice dances lightly over flawlessly crafted beats, ranging from bell-like and fluid in “Fascination” to gritty when she sings, “You don’t want me, you just like the attention,” in “I’m Not Your Toy.” Her vocals are all different consistencies of sweetness. Like eating a giant Pixie stick, listening through La Roux leaves you tingly, amped-up, and wanting more. With the album nominated for a Mercury Prize and La Roux up for Best UK & Ireland New Act at this year’s European Music Awards, more is likely forthcoming.
Paramore, Brand New Eyes
With Brand New Eyes, Paramore retains the startlingly unique musical flavor established on All We Know Is Falling and Riot!. That flavor is hidden somewhere in the dualism of Paramore’s sound. Coupling low, thrumming guitars with Hayley Williams’ melodic muttering, and frenetic instrumentation with her soaring vocal acrobatics, they attain an intoxicating blend—calm danger, unconscious seductiveness, low-key indie lightness and wild, pure rock. The lyrics have matured since Riot! as evidenced by the cutting wit and anger in “Ignorance,” the abstract imagery in “Brick By Boring Brick” and the light nostalgia of “Feeling Sorry,” which comes across both like a ballad to lost love and as the antithesis to the love song. The album offers both hard, driving songs and soft, acoustic ballads, and avoids the commercial anthem sound of Riot!. For those who thought Paramore were just pop-rockers with crazy hair - it’s time to look at them with brand new eyes.
created by KARL WALLULIS 7
ACROSS 1. “La Vie en rose” singer 5. Labyrinth 9. Future CEO’s degree 12. Lustful look 13. Operatic solo 14. “Dog the Bounty Hunter” airer 15. Like most students before 28-Across 18. Midsection 19. Play division 20. Drunkard 21. Future lawyers’ exam 25. Classic Norse epic 26. Monophyletic group 27. Countenance 28. Popular Whitman event 31. Homer Simpson’s watering hole 32. Singer John 33. Human rights org. 34. Iraq war journalist Jamail 35. Perturb 38. Shimmer 40. “___ and Forsaken” (Hank Williams song) 42. Most students’ opinion of 28-Across 46. Particle accel. phenomenon 47. “Encounters,” formerly 48. Guilty or not guilty 49. WWII Polish tanks 50. Sharp 51. Novak Djokovic, for one
DOWN 1. Updates one’s blog 2. Eskimo abode 3. Vigilant 4. Overdrafts, e.g. 5. Cuckoo 6. “__ You Experienced?” 7. Run like hell 8. Prominent elephant features 9. Made a home 10. Put on “frappe” 11. Chilean or Peruvian 16. Cracker addict? 17. Assassins 22. Did some woodwork 23. Journalist Rogers St. Johns 24. Dentists’ bailiwick 26. Like some Fridays or sex 28. Tea time, for some 29. Eradicates 30. Muslim holy book 31. Bipolar one? 35. Unit of energy 36. One of the seven deadly sins 37. Amy Winehouse hit single 39. Belittle 41. Chops (off) 43. “Irreversible” director Gaspar 44. College sr. exam 45. Poetic contraction
Iñárritu sizzles with ‘The Burning Plain’ by BECQUER MEDAK-SEGUIN Movie Reviewer The Burning Plain The film Babel created a scandalous rupture in what was Mexico’s dynamic writerdirector duo. The pair, Guillermo Arriaga and Alejandro González Iñárritu, had a falling out that led to the latter banning the former from attending the 2006 Cannes screening of the film. Neither has done very much since. This year marks many firsts: Arriaga’s directorial debut, Iñárritu’s first film written without Arriaga, and the first time they will be competing, rather than collaborating. Arriaga has made the first move with The Burning Plain, a film about temporal dissonance and familial animosity featuring an ensemble cast that includes Charlize Theron, Kim Bassinger, and Joaquim de Almeida, among others. To say that this film is merely a haphazard mess of scenes sewn together by implausible events categorically misses Arriaga’s nuance to non-linear narration: each moment is unique, in and of itself, and requires particular focus to unearth the sequential structure that holds stories together. In other words, the moments in a story are as, if not more, important than the unwinding of its plot. Unlike, say, Gus Van Sant’s non-linear narratives (which include Paranoid Park, Elephant, and Last Days), Arriaga doesn’t let you see a scene twice, the second time from a different perspective. Instead of overlapping time, he (seemingly) offers a material, catastrophic event around which he constructs narratives to explain its occurrence: The Burning Plain (seemingly) revolves around a trailer that has caught on fire in the middle of the New Mexico plains, near the Mexican border. The word ‘seemingly’ is key to understanding the depths of Arriaga’s stories, this film included. Perhaps, then, The Burning Plain is better understood as a transgenerational Romeo and Juliet story. Yes, you want to find out why the trailer burned to the ground and why the plane crashes in the middle of a field, but the answers to these questions pale in comparison to the actions, intentions, and decisions the characters make as they approach death. Even with Arriaga’s patented (and marvelous) narrative technique, something is still missing in this film that, for the most part, was present in his collaborations with Iñárritu (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, and Babel). The ensemble cast somehow fails to generate the tense, dramatic force necessary to give Arriaga’s string-bound,
complex non-linear any importance. The sexual direction Sylvia’s (Theron) distress has taken, the irrational racial hatred each family has for one another, and the decisions Gina (Bassinger) and Nick (Almeida) have for infidelity all go unexplained, rendering the film likely much more labyrinthine than Arriaga desired. The Headless Woman Replete with silence, psychological trepidation, and precipitation, Lucrecia Martel (La Ciénaga and The Holy Girl) presents her latest feature – or, critique of Argentina’s amnesia toward ‘the dirty war’ – as a happenstance that immediately develops into an ambitious, yet patient study of memory, bourgeois society, and voyeurism. The opening scene, albeit quiet and pacific, is horrifying and familiar: A group of women making small talk pack their children into cars after an afternoon picnic. The camera decides to follow Verónica (María Onetto), a middle-aged portrait of an affluent blond woman. She takes off down a dirt road. Her cell phone rings and she decides to answer. A harrowing thud draws the car to a halt. She hit something. But what? After an extended pause to regain her composure, Verónica starts the car and continues onward. Though, she doesn’t really move; she remains stationary as the world around her continues. The hit-and-run has taken a toll on her mental and physical wellbeing to the extent that she is perfectly out of sync with her existence. The audience discovers Verónica’s background in lockstep with her own mental rehabilitation. Soon, a family, a career, and several infidelities come into focus. Framing these material relationships is a guilt-ridden, bourgeois bias that becomes apparent in her interactions with darker-skinned workers. Martel’s film, The Headless Woman, merits discussion with the films of Michelangelo Antonioni and Luis Buñuel not only for their brilliance, but for their subject matter. Like those auteurs, Martel is particularly concerned with people who are so far out of touch with their immediate reality as to constitute something of severe psychological disorder. Though that discipline would dismiss them as simply distraught, Martel would argue that there’s something profoundly out of sync. Like a good mosaic, the individual pieces that comprise the film – the dialogue, the action, the plot – seem random, misplaced, and disparate. (Some would say that it is one of those weird silent movies – probably French – in which nothing happens.) Yet, after taking a step, the intense genius of its critique is not only in focus, but inescapable.
The Pioneer Issue 5 Oct. 8, 2009 Page 6
This week in parties
Meet the latest first-year bands!
There are a lot of parties happening every weekend, but only The Pioneer’s chief party reviewer, Stangenhoff, has the expertise to critique them.
Sexual Fantasies Party
right now, but I think we’re going to get it down soon. We’re playing at the TKE house next Wednesday—you should totally come see us!”
“Hey, we’re two MCs from Ballard! We like to lay down tracks about the environmental rights movement and our favorite ethnic foods. Our hit track right now is ‘Coconut Raisin Curry.’ It’s a tribute to Malia Obama. We’re always working on new material, though, so you should totally come see us. Our friend in Anderson made some sweet beats this summer on Garage Band, so we’re probably going to incorporate those into our act. Our live show consists entirely of us doing call and response to the audience. Like, we do this one remix of ‘From the Window to the Wall’ where the beat drops out right when we say ‘to the window’ and we point the mikes at the audience, implying that they should sing that part of the hook. It’s pretty rough
Nevertheless, you would think the masterminds behind this stillborn idea would be able to grasp how costumes work. To the girl dressed up as a “fireman,” let me teach you something your professors forgot to: it is in no way practical to stop fires with the majority of your abdomen showing, let alone without a functioning hose. Unless your fantasy is the moment before your horrific incineration, I suggest you do your research next time.
“Our sound is comparable to early Lucid Dream, if Lucid sounded a little more like Danger Mermaid. We play primarily LD covers, but we’re collaborating right now on some pretty sweet stuff that we hope to showcase later this fall. After an intense meditative period during his senior year at Ballard, our lead guitarist has been polishing some new pieces about love, environmentalism and the unending pain that is human existence. We’re pretty stoked. I totes want to keep it on the DL so I’ll leave you with one word: sitar.”
The only thing possibly more offensive than the unoriginal, last-minute-Goodwill-purchase attire was the music selection—2007 called and wants its DJ back. The ratio of slow jams to “bangers” was far below what is appropriate for a party of this nature. The party’s one highlight came in the form of a particularly fetching young woman who came dressed as a cat. Well played.
3.4 From the moment I realized there wasn’t a non-filtered American Spirit Blue among the smoker-filled porch, I knew that this party would “not” be authentic enough. Even if I did not employ Derrida’s “hipster theorum” (which I do), this party failed to capture the un-essence of hipsterdom: people talked about Vamp Wknd enthusiastically, dancing was encouraged and coke was served sans-mirror. The “center piece” of the party was a “concert” by campus band White Vowels, who produced a sound I can describe at best as a poor man’s Justice remix of a MGMT song. Also, the chillingly noticeable absence of felines made me feel like there was an official ban on cats. This “party” was so bad I couldn’t even “enjoy it” ironically.
“Picture a cherry blossom falling gently to the ground. Now picture a rabbit hopping up and eating that blossom between two paws. Now picture a hawk falling from the sky, catching that rabbit with its talons and tearing its neck open. That’s our music. We are intensely spiritual and experimental in our process of musical creation, or as we call it, melodic language innovation. I guess if I absolutely had to label us, I’d say we’re like if Death Cab for Cutie had a baby with Stevie Nicks, and then that child went on to have a threesome with Imogen Heap and Fall Out Boy as a Paul Simon album played in the background and Jason Mraz lit vanilla candles to set the mood. We’re like that.”
8.9 – Best New Party Just as I thought I’d wasted another weekend, along came this gem of a party. They told me the theme was simple and elegant (which it was): “Cat Parade.” There was a colorful assortment of whiskers, cute-button noses and triangle ears that you would be crazy not lick your paws over. Purrrfection. I blacked out pretty early into this one, but it should suffice to say it rubbed me the right way.
The truth about four-day What people will say they What they actually did over did over four-day four-day “I checked ‘Ulysses’ out from the library. Four days should be plenty of time to read it. I’m just so tired of the trash we’re reading in my senior sem.”
Got halfway through Dan Brown’s new book, “The Lost Symbol”; masturbated.
“My friends and I are planning to head out on Thursday night for a backpacking trip in the Olympics. We’ve got a really gnarly route planned, but we live in Tamarac, so this is pretty much what we live for.”
Watched four straight days of “LOST”; left permanent butt imprints in Dan’s couch; masturbated.
“I’m going to use these four days to really get a head start on my thesis. You know, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what I want to say, so it shouldn’t be too tough.”
Read Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol”; masturbated.
“My band, Skull Demon, is working on our first album. This break will really give us a chance to work on our sound.”
Smoked a lot of weed and watched “Planet Earth” in Erik’s older sister’s basement; masturbated.
“I think over four-day I’m going to really explore Seattle. I’m pretty familiar with the city already—I’ve been to a few concerts and shit—but I want to see the more undiscovered parts of the city. I think I’ll check out some museums, thrift shops, restaurants— really see what the city has to offer.”
Krystina Andrews, Allison Gill and Stephanie Silver of
Whitman Christian Fellowship! Pull out your pencils, because it’s time to play...
Ancient Christian Fellowship Ritual Or Harmless Fraternity Tradition? 1) If you have not yet joined their group, they ask you to come with them and jump off a cliff. 2) All new members must live for a year in a house with garbage bags taped to the windows and a secret chamber. And everyone there must eat the same food. 3) All members are given a new father. Everyone must refer to each other as “brother.” 4) After you have left the group and join the outside world, they will hound
Emergency Protocol: In Case Of Approaching Christian Shit. There’s a Christian approaching. Have they made eye contact? yes no not sure
Where are you? My room Sick, sweaty Ankeny party
Slept in until 1 p.m. everyday; went to Pike Place once and bought a fish; watched “America’s Next Top Model” marathon and threw aforementioned fish at TV in a fit of rage when Courtney won; masturbated.
“I’m pretty sure my uncle’s friend is going to hook me up with an awesome mini-internship at a local NGO in Seattle. You know, giving back. Plus, it will look great on my resumé.”
Babysat for neighbors; hooked up with high school ex in the backseat of mom’s car before and after babysitting job; masturbated.
“Honestly, it’s only four days. I’ll probably just sit around and masturbate.”
Wrote remarkably original short story that you’ll see in the next New Yorker; lost five pounds powerwalking on treadmill while simultaneously writing thesis; found a girlfriend.
at 9 p.m. in Geiser Auditorium,
Krystina Andrews, Allison Gill and Stephanie Silver Emily Basham, Galen Cobb, Nadim Damluji, Helen Jenne, Simi Singh, Finn Straley, Alex Kerr
Throw your voice to have a conversation with your imaginary roommate, who is “so sick that no one should come inside” Stand perfectly still. They can only see things that move.
Have they offered you a cupcake? yes no
Are they judging you? I assume so
Get naked!!! Don’t eat one, they are made of nightmares and frosted with tears!!
Have they said “Hi”? yes no
Throw a smoke bomb and jump out the window
Have they engaged you in an earnest conversation?! yes no
Is there a fire alarm you can set off? no yes
Say “sorry, I’m Catholic”
WCF meets for Musical Worship Mondays Science Building. Because God is good.
you for money until you die. 5) Members often burn trance-inducing grasses to achieve a higher state of being. 6) Indulgences must be paid whenever a rule is broken. If you miss too many Sunday meetings, you must pay. 7) The brotherhood brings you closer to people halfway across the country than most people are with their own parents.
Answers: Frat, frat, frat, frat, frat, frat, frat.
“We’ve kind of invented a new genre. We call it John Slayer. Its basically like John Mayer if John Mayer played thrash metal. Lots of soulful vocals and sentimental lyrics combined with massive guitar sound, incredibly sick riffs and hard shredding guitar. Our music is pretty much exactly what you should play to impress someone you want to date, as long as that person is a princess trapped in a castle made of fire. Ideally, you should be holding a boombox playing our music outside of her window while dragons fly figure eights above your head and trolls destroy neighboring villages.”
2.3 As Michel Foucault once wrote, “Man’s sexual desires are representations of power.” Well, if that is the case (which it is), then this party, especially its theme, was weak if not impotent. “Sexual Fantasies”? I forgot this was Chico State.
HAVE THEY INVITED YOU TO BIBLE STUDY!?!? Yes! Help! yeah!
Awkwardly nod while smiling and close the door Have you decided to go? yes no YOU CRAZY!
Stay strong, your mind is clear.
Tell them, “No thank you, I don’t support imperialism. Now excuse me while I go teach refugee children how to use an ipod shuffle.”
Opinion poi n t Dawn of conservative Democratic party? What do you get when you take the culture warrior out of Pat Buchanan? Why, President Obama of course. No, seriously, think about it. Obama made big headlines when he slapped a 35 percent tariff on Chinese tires ALEX POTTER recently, even drumColumnist ming up fears of a trade war with China. Not one major politician has seriously contemplated that kind of protectionism for a long time. Unless you are, say, Pat Buchanan. America first, anyone? Then there are the war in Afghanistan and foreign policy. As I wrote about last week, the prospect of a major reevaluation of our nation-building mission in Afghanistan and a draw down in U.S. troops is probably one of the most prudent foreign policy moments regarding overseas commitments since Eisenhower declined to intervene in French Indochina (we know too well what his successors’ decision was). That’s not even mentioning the latest: pulling the rug out from Eastern Europe on missile defense to get Russia’s support on a real threat to our security, Iran. America first, anyone? Energy independence is a conservative-isolationist position if I’ve ever seen one. Let’s think about it: we are seceding from a global market in favor of a more economically inefficient system that will create more “jobs at home” and sever our entangling alliances from terrorist-sponsoring, non-democratic, Islamic states. Make no mistake that is the logic making the windmills turn, not global warming. I mean did you see the T. Boone Pickens commercials? America first again, anyone? Then there is health care, on which Obama has taken an incredibly pragmatic position. He has basically said that as long as the bill he gets from Congress lowers costs and insures a lot more people, then he is happy. Public option, no public option, tort reform, no tort reform, whatever. Just get the job done. But even at his most liberal, Obama has been pretty reasonable. After all, guess which president also offered a “public option” as part of his health care reform? It was Nixon. Republicans can whine about that ‘socialist’ Obama, but he is only ‘left’ on policy because over the past several decades the entire debate has shifted ‘right.’ If Obama were to wall the border but offer everyone living within the U.S. a path to citizenship, I would seriously consider him to be the most pragmatic, conservative politician of the past 100 years. But these musings on the similarities between Obama and Buchanan point to the fundamental truth that party lines in America today obscure the real policy and ideological debates we are having. The real divisions today are internationalist versus nationalist and free trade versus protec-
The Pioneer Issue 5 Oct. 8, 2009 Page 7
C oun t e r-poin t Who needs ideology?
It’s easy to analyze each new political event, like Obama’s election in 2008, in terms of what we already know. Obama’s victory cemented the intellectual decline of the Republican Party as the party GARY WANG with nothing to offer but Columnist tax cuts for every American problem. The Republican Party denies the science behind climate change and so functions as an interest group obsessed with shortterm political gain at the expense of the country. It doesn’t matter what the science says if it’s politically unpopular to vote for cap and trade legislation. It doesn’t matter if universal health care involves euthanasia as long as you can d e m a gogue off it. It’s as if winning power has become an end in and of itself; forget ideological faithfulness and just maintain party discipline. And the fact that the Republicans have forgotten the difference between loyalty to the party and loyalty to principle speaks volumes about their decline. Now what does this say about wolff America’s political culture? One one side of the ring we have one big tent party of conservative-to-moderate Democrats skittish over the deficit and fearful of the conservative noise machine (that’s you Mr. Glenn Beck), and liberals anxious to undo the catastrophic consequences of “American” side of things on all of these issues. the last eight years. Just check out the blog “Right Democrat” or an On the other side of the ring, we have a Republiarticle from “The American Conservative” procan Party dominated by southern evangelical Chrisfiling the victory of hard-core conservative Bob tian white males with Michael Steele as titular figureConely in the South Carolina Democratic Senhead. ate primary in 2008. So how do we make sense intellectually of current Sure there are culture wars, but considering political disagreements? Big government liberals verCatholic bishops are praising the Democrats’ sus small town conservatives? Economic nationalists Pregnant Women Support Act like it’s baby Jeversus free trade internationalists? sus, probably preventing more abortions in one Sounds like a rehashing of the fights of yesteryear bill than the Republicans have since Roe v. Wade, applied to today’s unprecedented problems. then I think we are on to something significant. Yes, the issues currently faced by America are in They said that only Nixon the communist fact unprecedented. Western industrialization has hunter could go to Red China. Maybe only almost irrevocably damaged the Earth’s atmosphere President Obama, the first African American and if we don’t start cutting carbon emissions, the Harvard-trained civil rights lawyer could turn developing world is the first to pay. conservative mid-West working-class Catholic Sea levels are swallowing island nations in the autoworker and usher in the dawn of a conserPacific. Famine is produced by food shortages and vative Democratic Party. drought across South Asia and Africa. The science is almost incontrovertible, yet the Republican Party Alex Potter is a senior double-majoring in polidenies climate change as a hoax, like Bigfoot and the tics and Asian studies. Loch Ness monster. What does this tell us? It tells us that conservativism as embodied by the Republican Party is bankrupt. Hence, George Will probably voted for Obama. David Brooks, former editor of “The Weekly Stantionist. Do we consider ourselves global citizens or American citizens? Do we pursue American self-interest or do we pursue Afghanistan or the U.N.’s self-interest? Is a job in Detroit worth more than a job in Kyoto or Shanghai? Do we value maintaining a robust workingclass in America even if it isn’t ‘economically efficient’ (because personally I want America to still be a country, not just a market)? I’m not alone in arguing that increasingly it is the Democrats who are coming down on the
dard,” did too. But does this mean Obama is a conservative, since intellectually conservative pundits voted for him? No—not in terms of ideology but perhaps in temperament (minus the occasional cigarette). He’s still pushing for universal health care, stringent limits on carbon emissions, green job initiatives, financial regulation reform and other policies demanding government intervention into the economy. While a few conservatives may support him in the Washington D.C. Beltway, the vast majority of the country that considers itself conservative opposes him. Hence, his approval is around 50 percent. So what explains attempts to call Obama a conservative? It’s a desire to appropriate power in terms of your ideology. It’s better to say, “Yeah, Bush was a terrible president but he wasn’t a real conservative so don’t let him dirty the true faith,” and then say, “Obama, intellectually nimble and reasonable, is the true conservative because he’s not following the left wing of the Democratic Party.” Even in foreign policy, Obama’s generals want to send tens of thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan but he is obviously hesitant to commit without a clear strategy. However, he does want to re-engage Iran over nuclear talks and has committed the U.S. again to the United Nations. He’s not fitting into any ideological box. And that’s weird. We’ve become used to these liberal/conservative ideological labels because they tell us who to like and who to dislike. It kills nuance and encourages polarization by the party line. See, the thing with ideology is that it’s blinding. Ideology, or, to drop a big awkward word, weltanschauung, makes the world easy. It dichotomizes reality into good and bad, right and wrong, liberal and conservative and truth and falsehood. And we need ideology sometimes because the world’s complicated and we need to make sense of it. However, ideology operates on the basis of hidden assumptions. When a conservative makes a claim on the role of government in the economy, there are multiple assumptions at work here that remain unquestioned. The same goes for liberals. The nature of the Obama administration defies these kinds of categories. He’s not an old-style LBJ liberal hawk nor is he a Pat Buchanan neo-isolationist paleoconservative. See how many bumper sticker labels just went into that sentence? Political labels are easy because they do the intellectual work for us. When you call a politician a liberal prematurely, you’re letting the word “liberal” do the work in your claim because you aren’t unpacking the ideological assumptions built into that word. The danger of relying on labels for thinking about politics is that patterns of thinking have an inherent tendency to reify, to become static. That’s what’s happened to the Republican Party: Ayn Rand ideology plus evangelical Christianity equals the disintegration of party into interest group. Now, Obama is precisely trying to avoid intellectual labels in order to pragmatically solve problems. That means internationalism in some instances and nationalism in others. Everything is contextual, but contextualism doesn’t equate to conservativism. That’s Obama’s approach: rather than letting ideology dictate the facts and therefore the policies, he works from factual problems to policies. Gary Wang is a junior political philosophy major.
Community organizing provides power to make change Liberal arts professors like to teach about power. Sociology professors explain how power is constructed, politics professors emphasize LISA CURTIS how power Columnist is distributed and Spanish professors talk about, well, poder. Despite the constant focus on theoretical conceptions of power, no one has ever taught me how to get it. I am hoping that this will change with the coming symposium on community organizing held by the sociology department from Oct. 15-17 in honor of the centennial of Saul Alinsky’s birth. As the father of modern community organizing, Alinsky spent his life methodically teaching the “have-nots”
about the nature of power. As he said in a 1972 interview, “to accomplish anything you’ve got to have power, and you’ll only get it through organization. Now, power comes in two forms— money and people. You haven’t got any money, but you do have people, and here’s what you can do with them.” Alinsky brought together labor unions, businesses, churches and housewives in unlikely coalitions that taught tens of thousands of ordinary Americans how to target power-brokers and politically out-maneuver them. He developed specific methods to help citizens translate the democratic ideal of civic participation into a reality that gave people the power to shape decisions that affect their lives and communities. His work was shaped by the rough world of the late 1930s depression in Chicago, but it has inspired several generations of organizers, including figures like Cesar Chavez, Hillary Clin-
ton and Barack Obama. Both Clinton and Obama were offered jobs as community organizers for Alinsky. Clinton, however, turned the job down in favor of law school. There has been much speculation that the reason Obama won is due to his Alinsky-style method of street-level democracy that allowed Americans to feel as if they truly had the power to make change. America’s current situation begs for change. An economic depression, two wars, nuclear proliferation and a rapidly changing climate are not going to be solved by any one person, even one as incredible as President Obama. The question then becomes how? How do we—college students with little money or political power—ensure that the world we inherit is a world that we actually want to live in? Many of us have already started doing it. A project that currently fascinates me is one proposed by the recent-
ly-formed Environmental Justice group to organize energy efficiency projects, such as installing energy-efficient light bulbs and security lighting, in the greater Walla Walla community. They see it as an environmentallyfriendly way to save lower income residents money on their energy bills. At the same time, they are looking into counting the emissions reductions as part of a carbon offset for the college. That idea isn’t theirs alone but rather one that has been done at schools ranging from Linfield to Brown to Moorehouse. Increasingly, whether college students are interested in environmental problems or other social issues, we are looking for ways to take action on the issues that we care about by organizing at a local level. The fame brought to community organizing by President Obama might explain some of the interest in Alinsky, but I think that there’s a little more to it.
In an era where Web 2.0 technologies allow us to communicate instantly with people around the world, face-to-face interactions around important issues bring us out of the cyber clouds and back to reality. How exactly we create real change once we’re in that reality— well that’s a question I’m hoping Alinsky will help me figure out. Lisa Curtis is a senior environmentalpolitics major. She is Whitman’s Sustainability Coordinator.
alinsk y at 100: communi t y organizing in t he 21st cen tury When: Oct. 15 at 5 p.m., Oct. 16 at 8 a.m. and Oct. 17 at 10 a.m. Where: Reid Ballroom What: To discuss community organizing and held in honor of Saul Alinksy’s birth.
Immigration reform: Protecting the American dream In June, Alonso Chehade graduated from the University of Washington. Now, Chehade could be deported any day. According JAMES SLEDD to Associated Columnist Press writer ManuelValdes, Chehade was visiting friends at Western Washington University in Bellingham this March. Driving home early in the morning, he mistakenly headed north on I-5 instead of south, and ended up at the US-Canada border, where he was arrested and ordered to leave the country within 180 days. A Peruvian national, Chehade arrived in the United States on a temporary visa at the age of 14. He has remained in the country illegally since his visa expired. During that time, he graduated high school, enrolled in the University of Washington, and graduated with a business degree. Chehade’s predicament is distressingly common. Over 60,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools each year. However, if undocumented high school grads wish to attend college, they
find themselves trapped. Many states do not provide financial aid to undocumented college students, and the threat of deportation is ever-present. The U.S. prides itself on the idea of the American dream, by which anyone, regardless of their background, can achieve prosperity through education and hard work. Undocumented students are the quintessential subjects of this dream. Immigrants—including “illegal” immigrants—come to the U.S. in hopes of securing a better future for their families, including the possibility of high school and college education for their children. Undocumented students should not be faulted for their parents’ choice to enter the U.S. illegally; in fact, many come at a young age and have spent more of their lives in the U.S. than their home countries. Those undocumented students who have dedicated themselves to the American dream should not be forced to leave the United States. Last Sunday Whitman’s Club Latino, along with Alianza Student Coalition, held a forum on the DREAM Act, which would provide relief for undocumented students. The DREAM Act would provide undocumented high school graduates who arrived in the U.S. before their 16th birthday with a pathway to legal residency and citizenship. Eligible students would be required to
attend college for two years or serve in the military for the same period of time. The DREAM Act is particularly relevant here in Walla Walla County. Immigrants and their children make up 30 percent of the Walla Walla School District’s student body. The DREAM Act would help over 300,000 students nationwide achieve their dreams, including many in the Walla Walla Valley. Alonso Chehade was lucky enough to have his story widely publicized. Representative Jim McDermott and both of Washington state’s senators have urged immigration officials not to deport Chehade. McDermott even introduced a bill into the House of Representatives that would grant Chehade permanent residency. For every undocumented student like Chehade, there are likely dozens whose names never reach the AP newswires or their elected representatives; these students are forced to abandon their dreams and leave the United States. As Luis Ortega of the Alianza Student Coalition noted, if we “forget the dreams of our children, we will be dooming our future.” Congress must salvage that future by passing the DREAM Act. James Sledd is a senior environmentalpolitics major.
October 8, 2009O
Editor-in-Chief Executive Editor Managing Editor Director of Content Art Director Advertising Manager Finance Manager
News Editor Associate News Editor A&E Editor Feature Editor Sports Editor Op-Ed Editor Humor Editor Photography Editor Illustration Editor
Kim Sommers Gillian Frew Margaux Cameron Andy Jobanek Rebecca Fish Matt Solomon Jordan Estes Galen Bernard Josh Goodman Connor Guy Hanna Ory Melissa Navarro Gabriela Salvidea Alex Kerr Simon Van Neste Tricia Vanderbilt
RE P ORTER s Rachel Alexander, Maggie Allen, Kristen Coverdale, Jay Gold, Helen Jenne, Hadley Jolley, Liz Forsyth, Andrew Hall, Anya Hardee, Merrett Krahn, Bidnam Lee, Becquer Medak-Seguin, Lea Negrin, Eric Nickeson-Mendheim, Simi Singh, Finn Straley, C. J. Wisler, William Witwer
Columnists Alethea Buchal, Lisa Curtis, Blair Frank, Rensi Ke, Joey Kern, Matt Manley, Alex Potter, James Sledd, Molly Smith, Derek Thurber, Gary Wang
Production Production Manager: Quinn Taylor Production Associates: Sally Boggan, Alyssa Fairbanks, Miriam Kolker, Ben Lerchin, Tessa Matson Copy Editors: Kirsten Larson, Sara Rasmussen Webmaster: Andrew Spittle
Whi tman a s ot her
Dining halls cater to picky eaters I got stuck when I filled out the Basic Infor mat ion for Friendship Family Picnic. The Friendship Family Program enables RENSI KE every internaColumnist tional student to bond with a local family; the picnic serves as their first meeting. “Are there foods you do not eat?” I racked my brain to remember anything gross that I had eaten at home or at Shantou University, but I failed. Growing up in a culture which greatly respects the fruits of the proletarian farmers’ labors, and encourages the expansion of one’s horizon by eating something of everything, I proudly left a blank answer to the question, and I wondered: What makes people picky about food? In the context of this place, the answer is: Whitman. Under the banner of its Statement of Nondiscrimination, Whitman protects all kinds of picky diners. Since coming here, I have found friends who are vegetarians, who don’t eat pork because of religious reasons, who don’t eat beef because of cultural reasons and who don’t eat bananas or oranges simply because they don’t want to. While eating in Prentiss, I imagined how my parents would scold me if I were a vegetarian or if I boycotted bananas, when suddenly I grabbed a spoon of never-before-seen yellow mustard with innocent curiosity—and then I rushed across the dining hall and rinsed my mouth immediately. Well, that happens, I said to myself. I spread some sour cream on my bread, thinking that it might tastes like yogurt—
not at all! After my first meal in Prentiss, I became a picky diner too: it seems that the more choices you have, the more likely you are to be picky. Compared with my university, Whitman does offer more food choices. Taking a Saturday lunch for example, Prentiss offers approximately 120 kinds of foods including six bread choices, 13 cereal choices, two milk choices, six entrée choices, five brunch choices, 21 salad choices, two soup of the day choices, 11 dressing and cream choices, two ice-cream/sorbet choices, three fruit choices, six desert choices, four juice choices, four soda choices, 11 tea choices and 22 sauces. Besides all that, there are omelets and self-made waffles. Like Whitman, my university has three dining halls in total, Dining Halls No. 2-4, respectively operated by three food producers. Considering that students come from 15 provinces and the Macao Special Administrative Region, all the dining halls set up specific sections to satisfy various eating habbits. Sichuan windows (Sichuan cuisine is famous for spicy foods) and Chaoshan windows (local cuisine) are popular among students from these areas. For students from the other areas, set-meal windows, optional meal windows, noodle windows, spiced-food windows, dry-food windows, stir-fry windows and soup windows are offered to satisfy their food preferences at various prices. Every day, students have access to approximately 72 dishes in a dining hall, eight dishes per window on average. While Whitman students usually pay about $8 for a meal in the dining hall based on the “all you can eat” policy, a Shantou University student usually spends 2-10 RMB (30 cents to $1.5) on a meal. Many Shantou University students like the 2.5 RMB set meal since the meal consists of two meat dishes, a vegetable dish and un-
limited rice. Students coming from local areas often add soup at the price of 2-2.5 RMB because having soup before dinner is believed to be conducive to digestion and losing weight. What I appreciate most about Whitman’s dining halls is the friendly relationship between students and dining hall staffers; what I hate the most is the few business hours, since my university’s dining halls open 15 hours a day, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to noon. However, I do not blame Prentiss for not giving students a wide range of meal time choices because my favorite part of the dining halls is probably the result of the limited amount of working hours. Accordingly, while my university’s “whenever you can eat” policy benefits students in terms of the crazy amount of freedom of choices, it has also driven us nuts when a sleepy cook accidentally leaves a piece of rug in the spiced soup. My university’s BBS (Bulletin Board System, an Internet forum) has never run out of complaints about the dining hall services, which even led to a two-day boycott against one of the dining halls last semester. What would be my hope for Whitman’s dining halls? Smaller napkins and fewer food wasters. Although I am happy that we still have five big boxes of apple juice left after making the IHC Sunday brunch this morning, I believe that a better food budget and distribution will not only result in a greener campus but also, probably, a lower tuition. Rensi Ke is a senior English major. She is this year’s Whitman Sherwood Exchange Student from Shantou University in China.
Bubble embraces first-years A rank odor pierces my nostrils as I stumble down the stairs to the laundry. I’m greeted in the basement of Jewett by the usual cast of charJOEY KERN acters. Hung Columnist over, sleepdeprived and filled with anxiety we huddle together and watch football, the last connection we have with the rest of the world. My friend Will mentions his fantasy team. My eyes grow wide with shock; I have failed to look at my roster. The realization that Wes Welker is not playing adds insult to injury. I have allowed schoolwork to become more important than fantasy football. What have I become? I’m not even sure who the Seahawks play this week. I hang my head in shame. It had happened. I had become aware
of the Whitman bubble, not because I wanted to be best friends with people in town or because I missed news of important legislation. The kinds of people affected by such things are philanthropic and worldly; they read large textbooks in their free time, enjoy volunteering and rescue cats from trees. I however am not so interesting. The Whitman bubble as I see it is failing to change my fantasy kicker when he pulls his groin, not knowing how the Mariners are doing and being completely severed from whatever knowledge I had of the pennant races. The existence of the Whitman bubble is a well-documented one. Coming to Whitman, I was told that the communal nature of the college segregated us from the rest of the town. Having been here a month now, I can say that this bubble extends far beyond what I was told. Being a student at Whitman is an intensely community-driven experience. Walking across the lawn and being greeted by familiar faces, eating dessert with your professor and just feeling generally at ease are all hallmarks of this communal structure.
These things, taken at face value, are certainly all positive aspects of a healthy collegiate experience and a healthy, full life. However, what I’ve realized is that these things are so consuming that I find myself completely cut off from the rest of the world. I have gone an entire week without watching TV. Knowing me before, this would have seemed impossible, but here at Whitman, with so much to do and so many people to talk to, hours spent in front of a screen are spent writing a paper and hanging out with actual “people,” which is astonishing to me. I know that my experience is not a unique one. Friends, fellow first-years and upperclassmen alike speak of how they “have no idea” what is going on at home. When my dad texts me and asks the score of the Mariners game, I am unable to answer. People from back home will send me texts about things going on at home and I find that even listening to what they are saying, I am no longer engaged by it. The Whitman community is ultimately concerned with what takes place at Whitman. You can go out into town, but you
Photography: Linnea Bullion, Emily Cornelius, Ellie Gold, Dana Hubanks, Isabel Hong, David Jacobs, Marie von Hafften Illustration: Sam Alden, Kelly Douglas, Emily Johnson, Binta LoosDiallo, Carrie Sloane, Jung Song, Kiley Wolff
Business Advertising Associates: David Deming, Olivia Kipper, Shellin Tran Advertising Designer: Brianna Jaro
Editorial Policy The Whitman College Pioneer is published under the auspices of the Associated Students of Whitman College. The purpose of The Pioneer is to provide pertinent, timely information and entertainment for Whitman students, alumni, faculty, staff and parents, as well as the Walla Walla community. In addition, The Pioneer strives to act as a catalyst and forum for communication within the Whitman community. To do so, The Pioneer publishes weekly Board Editorials. These opinion pieces reflect the views of The Pioneer, and not necessarily the views of each individual associated with the newspaper. The Pioneer welcomes letters to the Editor or any contradicting opinion pieces.
Letters may be submitted to The Pioneer editors via e-mail at editors@ whitmanpioneer.com; or sent to The Pioneer, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA, 99362. All submissions must be received by 4 p.m. on Saturday prior to the week that they are intended to appear. All submissions must be signed and may be cut for space and edited for journalistic style.
For information on advertising in or subscribing to The Pioneer, contact The Pioneer at Business@whitmanpioneer.com.
let t er to t he edi tor Editor, I appreciate that The Pioneer ran a piece about the English creative thesis last week, but I feel that the article misrepresented the rigor of the creative thesis and my opinion of critical theses. The latter is due both to a flippant comment on my part and the way that comment was used in the article. When I said, “Number one, writing a seventy page critical analysis of literature sounded horrible to me” I meant it humorously. However, in the article, this quote was off set in a large font, which both pulled it out of context and made it seem completely serious. Allow me to explain my opinion in a more articulate fashion. I am very impressed by my friends and classmates who are writing critical theses. This requires enormous amounts of research and intense critical thought, not to mention hours of writing well crafted sentences. My own aversion to writing a critical thesis is personal and due more to the length of the work and not the critical aspect: I actually enjoy writing shorter critical papers, but I don’t know if I could maintain focus for
will undoubtedly bring fellow Whitties along for the ride. You can head home for a weekend, but you know for the next four years this is where home is. It is this kind of community, this gross shift in lifestyle that accounts for this feeling of estrangement. Is this a bad thing? Of course not. The bubble would not exist at all if the community did not thrive as well as it does here. But it’s still a shock to find yourself not talking to your best friends, forgetting to text your parents and, worse still, playing an injured player on fantasy football. Joey Kern is a first-year English major.
a thesis length analysis. My greater objection is that there is no discussion in the article of the difficulty of writing a creative thesis and the dedication required. It may seem like the easier option, instead of analyzing great works you just write whatever you want. But there is much more involved. Having done creative writing for a grant this summer, I can tell you that writing even a ten page story can be hard work. Instead of working from a specific set of novels, writing a creative thesis is like setting sail with a basic itinerary but no idea of how exactly you will get there or what obstacles you might come across on your way. It takes a great amount of bravado to say “Here is what I am going to write. Yes, it will be at least seventy pages long. And yes, it will be good.” And it requires a lot of hard work and love to fulfill the boast. Don’t let this deter you. I am still of the opinion that for me the creative thesis will be far more fun to write than a critical one. But it’s not the easy way out. Not by a long shot. Mimi Cook ‘10
9October 8, 2009
Making a difference: S i x W h i t t i e s w h o w i l l c h a n g e t h e wo r l d
Clockwise from bottom left: Galen Phillips ‘10, Brandon Fennell ‘11 and Elena Gustafson ‘10.
Brandon Fennell: Galen Phillips: Contributing to a cure for heart disease by KRISTEN COVERDALE Staff Reporter
by HADLEY JOLLEY Staff Reporter Junior Brandon Fennell sits on the floor of the science building hallway reading through a spread-out mess of papers covering a three square-foot arena, blocking the doorway to a lab where a woman with blue gloves sets up an experiment. Another student also reads through the papers scattered about the floor. They are catching up on recent scientific literature outside the chemistry lab before beginning another day of research. Fennell, along with senior Hannah Main, senior Bailey Arend, senior Kevin Chung and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Marion Götz, is currently experimenting on producing a protease inhibitor, a biochemical that will prevent the breakdown of proteins. This protease inhibitor could eventually become a treatment for Chagas disease, the leading cause of heart disease in South America, according to Fennell. “Our lab conducts medicinal research in the beginning stages of drug discovery. We design potential drugs, we synthesize the molecules, and then we test them in vitro. The hardest part is the synthesis,” said Götz. The synthesis and testing will become much easier with the introduction of the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance machine through a National Science Foundation grant garnered by Whitman earlier this year. Without the NMR machine, they have no easy way to test each stage of the synthesis process to make sure that it works, explained Main and Arend. The NMR machine will allow them to easily identify their compound and make sure that the synthesis stays on track throughout the 13-step process necessary to create
“To represent those who haven’t been given the same benefits as I have, that’s my way of giving back.” GALEN PHILLIPS ‘10
My favorite part of working the lab is the idea that there is no right answer. Brandon Fennell ‘11
some of the protease inhibitor they are testing. “Throughout the 13-step process, without an NMR, we have no sure way to tell if the reactions are working. We can compare our compound to previous reactions, but without detailed information about the chemical structure, we have to just hope for the best,” said Arend. Because Fennell and the other students are developing a new possible drug, there is no easy way to tell if they are doing it correctly. However, for Fennell, the unknown quantity has its benefits. “My favorite part of working in a lab is the idea that there is no right answer. You can’t just look it up in a book. You’re the first person or group of people to do this . . . It’s our job to figure out what the answer is,” Fennell said. Fennell plans on attending graduate school in organic chemistry or a related field after graduating from Whitman, working for a few years in industry and then coming back to academia to be a professor. Although a year younger than the other members of his team, they praise Fennell’s abilities. “He’s an integral part of the lab. He’s a fast learner,” said Main. Fennell, Main and Arend will present their research at the Regional Murdock Conference and the national meeting of the American Chemical Society.
“Working in those communities was humbling, empowering and very real.” CAMILA THORNDIKE ‘10
Every year, senior Galen Phillips picks a new personal challenge to pursue. One semester, he took a 300-level philosophy class. “I’m a politics major, so it was a way to kind of put myself out there,” he said. In his junior year he joined the nationally-recognized parliamentary debate team and this year he is tackling the sport of racquetball. Soft-spoken but charming, Phillips is hesitant to talk about himself at length. But he opened up on the topic of international travel. “My family moved to Spain for a year when I was eight and I got to go to public school there,” Phillips said. “Also, I took a gap year before college. I spent a semester teaching English in Ecuador and a semester teaching English in China. It really allowed me the opportunity to see how other people live.” Over the years, travel has become
one of Phillips’ passions. The summer between his first and second year he returned to China as an au pair and taught English during his stay. Phillips animatedly shared his plans to someday work in international law, focusing specifically on human rights, citing how his previous experiences abroad have thus shaped his life. This, he said, is his way of participating in the global community. “My whole existence has been premised upon a certain amount of privilege. To represent those who haven’t been given the same benefits as I have, that’s my way of giving back,” he said. Though very future-driven, Phillips takes time to enjoy college life. As a member of the club water polo team, he enjoys friendly competition and camaraderie with his teammates. He also recognized the health benefits of this extracurricular activity. “It gives me a chance to exercise which is kind of a rare occurrence,” joked Phillips.
Challenging himself to better the world
Phillips has been recognized for debate, taking first place in a tournament at Pacific Lutheran University, along with sophomore John Henry Heckendorn. He cited the time commitment as his reason for not continuing with the team. “I don’t really think debate would allow me the time to really hone my racquetball skills to where they need to be,” said Phillips. “That’s why I quit debate.” He mentioned that after he has mastered the sport of racquetball, he hopes to debate during his last semester of college. Before enrolling in law school, Phillips plans to take some time off to travel. He wants to use these few years before entering the professional world to pursue more personal challenges. “I’d like to do a vision quest. Maybe teach again or work on organic farms. This is the only time in my life when I’ll be able to just go do that. And considering the U.S. economy, I think it’ll work out great.”
environmental Elena Gustafson: Educating leaders of the future by HELEN JENNE Staff Reporter When senior Elena Gustafson was growing up, her parents divided her allowance into three parts: spending money, college savings and a donation for a good cause. Gustafson said saving up money for six months to give to a good cause was exciting. “[Helping others] was instilled in me early,” she said. For four summers, starting when she was 16, Gustafson worked on the Northern Lakes Girl Scout Canoe Base in Minnesota, taking girls ranging in age from 12 to 15 on three, five, seven or 10-day trips. “It was the most defining experience of
my life,” she said. Gustafson worked at the canoe base the summer before she came to Whitman, so when found out there wasn’t a similar volunteer program at Whitman— one that brought outdoor experiences and education to youth—she decided to start one. The Youth Adventure Program, which Gustafson started the spring semester of her freshman year, focuses on environmental education for at-risk and underprivileged youth in Walla Walla by getting those kids to kayak, rock climb, hike and partake in other outdoors activities. When Gustafson worked in New Mexico, she took a group of sixth graders from Albuquerque to a forest alongside the Rio Grande, so that the kids could see
the river. Some of the sixth graders, she said, were “tough boys,” but did not want to go on a dirt path through the woods because they thought there would be bears, similar to what they saw in movies. She wants to change this disconnect from the environment. There are children in Walla Walla, she said, “who have never seen a tree so big they can’t put their arms around it.” Gustafson says that on some of the trips, even though they tend to be short, she sees sulky middle school students slowly start asking questions and getting excited about nature. The program has also benefited Whitman students by providing the opportunity to lead an outdoor trip to students who may be more GUSTAFSON, page 10
“At a certain point you need to reconcile your desire to change the world with just surviving the world.”
“If you’re alive and excited in the work you’re doing, you will make a difference.”
You can control the emotional output of music, which is a very fascinating power.”
SETH BERGESON ‘10
ELENA GUSTAFSON ‘10
JACKSON MABERRY ‘11
October 8, 2009
"Start talking to people early. Look at REUs— Research Experiences for Undergrads." - BRANDON FENNELL '11 “Ambition is essential, but don’t let passion get in the way of living. Eat when you are hungry, sleep when you are tired and the rest will come naturally.”
- JACKSON MABERRY '11
Bullion Jackson Maberry ‘11 conducts both the Divertimento Chamber Orchestra and Opera.
Jackson Maberry: Conducting for a cause by HELEN JENNE Staff Reporter Until he took Introduction to Music Theory the first semester of his first year, junior Jackson Maberry had thought he would major in chemistry in order to satisfy pre-med requirements. Maberry now conducts two Whitman musical groups and is majoring in music. He grew up in a house that was centered around science and went to a high school without a music program. “I hadn’t taken any music classes of any sort prior to [college],” Maberry said. One music theory class was enough to influence him. “It really struck me in that I’d always thought of music as [something where you] just do whatever you want to do,” Maberry said. He said that he had thought of music as just black dots on a page but learned that it was a science with rules. “The neat thing about music that is harder to attain in other arts is that you can manipulate the rules of the musical language,” he said. “You can control the emotional output of music, which is a very fascinating power.” Maberry declared a music major after the first semester of his first year. “I sort of dropped off of the face of the
earth of other departments,” he said. The first semester of his sophomore year, he took a conducting seminar, which he loved. He has taken private lessons in conducting ever since. “His passion for music is so evident,” said Susan Pickett, Catharine Gould Chism chair of music, who has taught all four of the music theory classes Maberry has taken. She was not surprised when Maberry decided to major in music. Maberry currently conducts the Divertimento Chamber Orchestra, which he took over from alumnus Lee Mills. On top of that, “I added an ensemble of sorts,” Maberry said. This is the Divertimento Baroque Opera Company, which consists of many of the same members of the Divertimento Chamber Orchestra, and will put on a production of “Dido and Aeneas” this month. One of his main goals with these two groups is to provide performance opportunities for student musicians, Maberry said. This involves a big time commitment on Maberry’s part, because in addition to the hours he spends rehearsing with the orchestra and with the different groups involved in the opera—comprised of strings, choir, and soloists. To be entirely familiar with the score, Maberry said, he has to do a harmonic analysis of it and know what every chord is. “Dido and Aeneas,” for example, is
100 pages long, and Maberry estimates that he spends an hour studying for every two pages. It’s his charge, he said, “to know the music like you know your own life.” Maberry hopes that through orchestra and opera, he can share music with people from all walks of life, not just Whitman students. To work on this, and reach out to the greater Walla Walla community, he has passed on posters to be put up in wine tasting rooms around Walla Walla and put bulletins in the music and student affairs departments at Walla Walla University and Walla Walla Community College. “I’ve only tried to court two very specific types of people,” he said. “Wine tasters and college students . . . I’ve still got some work to do.” Just as Maberry hopes to get people in Walla Walla who aren’t Whitman students to attend the concerts, he plans, after Whitman, to take music somewhere that needs it. Although he does plan to get his doctorate someday, he is unsure if he will go immediately to graduate school. He knows that he wants to teach. “I’d like to be involved in educating others about music,” said Maberry.
“Follow what occupies your time, your heart and your mind outside of class. What is it that you are here at school for? What makes you sit up in class or draws your eye in the news? Notice those things that really make you feel alive and don’t brush it aside. Honor that you do have a passion. You don’t need skills or connections to make a difference in that field. Start small. There are amazing resources and people here who will help you.”
- CAMILA THORNDIKE '10
Gustafson’s passion inspires from ELENA GUSTAFSON, page 9 comfortable leading kids than leading their peers. Gustafson attributes the success of the program to student support. This year, Gustafson has trained 54 new student leaders. She said that even though the program is running many more activities than it used to, there is even more need. This year, Gustafson said that she is going
to try to get the program to a stable place, so that it will continue after she graduates. Gustafson, who is also a two-time Udall scholar and has donated her time to many other organizations, including Campus Climate Challenge, plans to go back to the canoe base after she graduates, and then will continue working on environmental education. “What is really neat to me about Elena is that she cares so much about environ-
mental education that I know it’s going to be what she does,” said Community Service Coordinator Lina Menard. Menard has worked with Gustafson closely in the past three years. “I’ve discovered that this is my passion,” Gustafson said, adding, “It’s really not about what you’re doing, but that you care about it. If you follow your passion, and you’re alive and excited in the work you’re doing, you will make a difference.”
Seth Bergeson: Changing the world through idealism, pragmatism, and activism by WILLIAM WITWER Staff Reporter Enthusiastic student activist and senior Seth Bergeson is not so enthused about how hard it is to rework the world’s problems. But he tries to remain optimistic. “I have learned about how slow the process of change is and how that process, oftentimes, comes to a grinding halt and meets some real friction,” said Bergeson. Bergeson strives to refine the world through a combination of idealism, pragmatism, and activism. Among other things, he recently received a Humanity In Action grant which allowed him to go to Denmark for five weeks to study human rights.
Courtesy of Seth Bergeson Seth Bergeson combines passionate idealism with practical experience.
“A lot of people come out of Whitman with this real ‘change the world’ [attitude], and then at a certain point you need to reconcile your desire to change the world with just surviving the world,” said Bergeson. He said acknowledging cultural differences is important for his work. “I think it’s really valuable just to have experiences which kind of shake you, where you say ‘whoa, I don’t understand why families operate like this, this is not how they operate in the United States,’” said Bergeson. “I think we need to preserve our ideals.” Idealism aside, Bergeson has real experience working to make our planet a better place. Bergeson was an active member of the Youth Development Initiative in Sierra Leone which focuses on teaching youth how to improve their situations. According to Bergeson’s close friend, senior Daniel Grant, the initiative does important work. “It empowers local youth to change their communities,” said Grant. “Instead of going in and being just another example of America. . .changing communities, it gives them the power to change themselves.” Grant was actually the author of phrase, “changing the world through idealism, pragmatism, and activism,” though he claims he was just paraphrasing something Bergeson said. Grant has absolute faith in his friend’s ability to achieve his goals. “Being in a place like Whitman you kind of say, sure, you’re going to change the world, you’re going to do great things, but
I think Seth really has potential to go out and actually do it,” said Grant. Bergeson also studied abroad in Senegal, a decision he agonized over because of his love for Whitman, but he believes it greatly broadened his understanding of other cultures. Through the lens of Senegalese culture, he was able to better observe American culture. In Senegal, Bergeson and his adviser, Assistant Professor of History Jacqueline Woodfork, collaborated on a Perry Grant, working in the national archives in Dakar over the summer. Woodfork had nothing but kind things to say about Bergeson, especially regarding his potential. “There are so many things that Seth could do, but I definitely think he will change people’s worlds. So if not the entire planet on that sort of global scale, he will change people’s worlds by interacting with them,” said Woodfork. During his time abroad, he interned at a non-government organization which was situated in Dakar and dealt with refugees. His experiences on the ground have given him an empathetic perspective on human suffering and Bergeson really emphasizes actually meeting the problems of the world head on. “I think you can’t really understand policy making . . . without working on the ground,” said Bergeson. “And I feel like you have some policy makers too who don’t really understand the reality of the situation on the ground.”
Camila Thorndike ‘10 is the founder of the Network for Young Walla Walla, an organization that fosters dialogue among students about current events.
Camila Thorndike: Helping youth help others by KRISTEN COVERDALE Staff Reporter A passionate student leader and activist, senior Camila Thorndike recognizes the importance of youth community involvement. “Life is now. It doesn’t begin after you leave college,” said Thorndike. “The issues we’re facing aren’t going to wait for us to grow up and a get a job. Collegeaged people are oftentimes on the frontlines and have to inspire society. That’s our call and our responsibility as young people... we all have a responsibility to do what we can.” Thorndike feels strongly about sharing her convictions with her peers. As the founder of the Network for Young Walla Walla, she has worked closely with other student leaders from Whitman, Walla Walla University and Walla Walla Community College to discuss ways of empowering the youth of our community. The main purpose of the network is to foster dialogue between students about important current issues and ways to tackle these problems. The motto of the network, “Find a cause. Connect with others. Make plans. Take action,” is a good indicator of the advice by which Thorndike lives. She has been involved in Campus Climate Challenge for the past three years and helped start the “Cool the Schools” environmental education program, among other activities. A recipient of
the Udall Scholarship, she has gained recognition and support for her efforts in environmental advocacy. This past summer Thorndike worked with a D.C.-based environmental justice program which employed about 100 inter-city youth, sending them into low income neighborhoods to give families energy saving tips. The experience was life-changing for Thorndike. “Working in those communities was humbling, empowering and very real,” she said. “Even more than when I studied abroad, that was the only time I really understood what culture shock was.” In the future, Thorndike hopes to work in environmental conflict mediation, a relatively new field that aims to solve problems over natural resources. Specifically, she wants to focus on international disputes over water resources. “Working with water is a very powerful tool. Water wars aren’t so much a reality as water peacemaking . . . there’s a great potential for solving other problems at the same time,” said Thorndike. Though her own passion is in environmental activism, Thorndike thinks it’s important for students to get involved in whatever interests them and look for support from others. “Each of us as individuals should acknowledge our gifts,” said Thorndike. “Issues won’t be solved by one type of person alone. It is the bringing together of groups of people and unique skills.”
The Pioneer Issue 5 Oct. 8, 2009 Page 11
Missy gets athletic: Hut, hut, hike! I honestly never really knew what the hype was with IM football. I cheered for my first-year section—tenderly known as “Eat Shit!”—and soon started rooting for my sorority’s team, MELISSA KKGFSU (you can NAVARRO guess the expleSports Editor tives there). But I never really understood what was so fun about waking up early on weekends to run around a field and get yelled at by coaches who were probably hung over.
Over time, I witnessed the glory of the blue shirts, the ability to knock down unsuspecting girls and how great it was to be part of a team named something extremely offensive. I wanted in. “It’s arguably the most fun IM sport,” senior Sydney Stasch said. Stasch and fellow senior Christy Henderson are the IM Sports Committee Co-Chairs and also play together for the team Multiple Scorgasms. The team is a group of independent senior women who have been playing together since their first year. “We’re different than most teams because they have seniors leaving and freshmen coming in every year, but we’ve pretty much been the same group since
the beginning,” said Henderson. The Scorgasms are coached by three former Whitman baseball players, seniors Galen Cobb, Mitch Hannoosh and Joe Rodhouse. For baseball players, they sure knew their football. Compared to the larger teams in the division, I wondered if the Scorgasms’ small roster was a setback. “We really consider ourselves as the underdogs,” Stasch said. “We’re relatively small, so each of us have to play throughout the whole game in different positions.” As a benefit, Stasch believes that the team is full of talented women who can play almost anywhere on the field. The team started off with flag-pulling
drills, which required more grabbing than I thought. After I apologized several times for pulling on shirts rather than the flags, offensive lineman Laura Deering assured me that getting grabby was part of the game. Next, we did hand-off drills that consisted of shoving the ball into the gut of your teammate while running past them. The team then ran patterns as quarterback Shellin Tran threw them the ball. I am proud to say that I caught the ball once. However, I quickly learned that once you receive the ball, you must run with it, instead of channeling your inner Ochocinco and announcing to everyone over and over again that you caught it. Finally, we got to practice some plays. I was excited for the opportunity to take out anger and aggression out on people like Coach Cobb, who was standing in as an unsuspecting lineman. “It can get ugly out there,” Deering
said about the roughness of the game. “People play dirty and when they spot someone they want to take down they really go for it.” On our last play at practice, Coach Rodhouse decided to stand in as quarterback and throw the ball to me. As I hustled that route, I quickly turned around and reached for the incoming ball . . . only to brush it with my fingertips and miss it completely. Needless to say, I had a lot of fun and could see why everyone always makes a big deal about IM football. Sure, there are obscene team names that are hard to explain when Parents’ Weekend rolls around, as well as the potential for broken fingers during games (the Scorgasms are no strangers to that injury). But I found that it’s the tradition and bonding that makes football the “most fun IM sport.”
PHOTOS BY HONG Left: Bethany Lovell ‘10 passes the ball to Melissa Navarro ‘10 during a drill. Right: Navarros snatches the flag from Lara Goodrich ‘10.
University of Puget Sound vs. Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA Game Scores 1 2 3 cords
Game Scores 2 3 Team Records
Pacific Lutheran University (3) 25 25 10-5, 6-0 NWC
University of Puget Sound (3) 25 14 25 25 10-3, 4-1 NWC
Whitman College 16 17 19
Whitman College 25 21 12
Men’s Cross Country
(1) 4-7, 1-4 NWC
SATURDAY, Oct. 3 Women’s Soccer
Willamette University vs. Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA Goals by Period 1 2 Tot Whitman College (2-6-1, 1-5 NWC) 1 1 2 Lewis & Clark College (4-4-1, 3-2 NWC) 1 0 1
4-8, 1-5 NW
Whitman College (2-5-2, 1-3-1 NWC) 0 1 1
Whitman Women’s Golf Invitational at Wildhorse GC in Mission, OR
Top Whitman finishers (par 72)
Tate Head (86, 91) 177 Sydney Conway (93, 92) 185 Caitlin Holland (103, 96) 199
75. Kelly, Matt 25:53.41 67 81. Rand, Cory 25:59.09 72 91. Parker, Hugh 26:12.41 81 93. Reid, Curtis 26:15.11 82 112. Villasenor, Alfredo 26:28.47 93
Wilson/ITA Pacific Northwest Women's Tennis Championships at Linfield College in McMinniville, OR—Day 1
Women’s Cross Country
Charles Bowles Cross Country Invitational in Salem, OR—Women’s 5K
FRIDAY, Oct. 9
SUNDAY, Oct. 11
Men’s & Women’s Golf
Pacific University (Forest Grove, Ore.) vs. Whitman College in Forest Grove, Ore., 7 p.m. Game Notes: Whitman will go in to Forest Grove looking for revenge against the Boxers, a team that swept them last season. Both the Missionaries (4-8 overall) and the Boxers (6-8 overall) have gone 1-5 in conference play so far and are two of the three teams currently tied for last place in the NWC. Consequently, both teams will look at this match as an opportunity to create some distance between themselves and the other cellar dwellers.
Whitman College 177 1:32:22.09
Whitman College 395 2:10:48.49
Willamette University (3-7, 2-3 NWC) 2 0 2
Top 5 Whitman Finishers (out of 198 finishers) Time Points
Goals by Period
SUNDAY, Oct. 4
Team Stats Place Total Points; Total Time; Average Time
Team Stats Place Total Points; Total Time; Average Time
Charles Bowles Cross Country Invitational in Salem, OR—Men’s 8K
Willamette University vs. Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA 1
14. Colis, Yasmeen 18:09.73 18. Ballinger, Kristen 18:15.64 47. McCune, Sara 18:34.70 54. Corcorran, Michela 18:39.84 57. O’ Moore, Heather 18:42.18
NWC Northern Colleges Golf Tournament at Oakbrook CC in Lakewood, Wash., noon. Tournament Notes: Both the men and women, who finished seventh and eighth, respectively, in the NWC last season, will be seeking to make an impression on their conference foes during this two day preseason tournament. The men finished fourth in last season’s tournament (behind Whitworth, Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran) while the women were unable to field a full team.
Doubles: First Round Divneet Kaur and Alyssa Roberg and Hadley Debree and Emily Rolston advanced to second round. Kate Kunkel-Patterson and Charlotte Scott and Lauren Olson and Dena Wessel were eliminated. Singles: First Round NO. 5 Alyssa Roberg, Hadley Debree, Divneet Kaur and Kate Kunkel-Patterson advanced to second round. Emily Rolston, Charlotte Scott, Amanda Alexander, Zoe Kunkel-Patterson and Lauren Olson were eliminated.
Lewis & Clark College vs. Whitman College in Portland, Ore., 12 p.m. Game Notes: As they take the field in Portland, the Whitman women will attempt to build on an impressive 4-2 victory over Linfield College last weekend. To this point, the Missionaries have compiled a 3-6-1 overall record, including a 2-5 record against opponents within their conference, while the Pioneers have gone 2-4-4 overall and 1-4-1 in the NWC. Last season, the Missionaries shut out and defeated the Pioneers both times the teams did battle.
Whitworth University vs. Whitman
Wilson/ITA Pacific Northwest Women's Tennis Championships at Linfield College in McMinniville, OR—Day 2
Singles: Third Round & Quarterfinals Alyssa Roberg advanced to the quarterfinals. Hadley Debree and Divneet Kaur were eliminated. Alyssa Roberg was eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Doubles: Second Round & Quarterfinals Alyssa Roberg and Divneet Kaur advanced to the semifinals.
Willamette University vs. Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA
MONDAY, Oct. 5
Goals by Period 1 2 Tot
Wilson/ITA Pacific Northwest Women's Tennis Championships at Linfield College in McMinniville, OR—Day 3
Linfield College (6-4, 3-3 NWC) 0 2 2 Whitman College (3-6-1, 2-5 NWC) 3 1 4
Doubles: Semifinals Alyssa Roberg and Divneet Kaur were eliminated.
Linfield College vs. Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA Goals by Period 1 2 Tot Linfield College (3-7-1, 2-4 NWC) 1 0 2
Pacific Lutheran University vs. Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA
Second Round Alyssa Roberg, Hadley Debree and Divneet Kaur advanced to third round. Kate Kunkel-Patterson was eliminated.
Top 5 Whitman Finishers (out of 288 finishers) Time Points
FRIDAY, Oct. 2
Whitman College (3-5-2, 2-3-1 NWC) 2 1 3
College in Walla Walla, Wash., 2:30 p.m. Game Notes: Coming off of a 3-1 victory against the Linfield Wildcats, the Whitman men will face perhaps their most difficult test yet. The Pirates, who emerged from last season’s series against the Missionaries with one victory and one tie, currently occupy the top spot in the NWC with a 5-1 record. So far, the Whitman men have gone 2-3-1 in conference play and 3-5-2 overall.
MONDAY, Oct. 12 Men’s & Women’s Golf
NWC Northern Colleges Women's Golf Tournament at Oakbrook CC in
Lakewood, Wash., 9 a.m. Tournament Notes: The tournament enters its second and final day.
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 14 Women’s Soccer
Whitworth University vs. Whitman College in Spokane, Wash., 2 p.m. Game Notes: The Pirate women, who have taken hold of second place in the NWC by winning five of their first six conference games and nine of their first eleven overall, snuck away with a narrow 2-1 victory on Whitman’s home field earlier this season. The Missionaries will need a strong effort to return the favor and steal a victory on the road.
October 8, 2009
Ski club, athletic department at odds over returning coach by STATEN HUSDON Staff Reporter
JACOBSON Courtney Porter ‘10 takes the lead with Whitman women’s defense.
ATHLETE of the WEEK
Courtney Porter by STATEN HUDSON Staff Reporter
As goalie and co-captain of the Whitman women’s soccer squad, senior Courtney Porter understands the essential leadership role she is required to play. “On the field my job is to try and organize the defense,” said Porter. “From the goal I have the best view of the field and use that to tell the defenders where they need to be. I act kind of like another set of eyes for them.” Goalies are often referred to as the “point-guards” of a team’s defense. Much like a point-guard in basketball runs plays from the top of the key, a goalie directs her defenders from the back of the soccer pitch, screaming commands or giving encouragement as the situation dictates. Already almost halfway through her final season as a Missionary, Porter is hoping her team can rebound from some tough losses sustained early in the season—including a 6-1 drubbing by the University of Puget Sound—and end up with a winning record. “Since this is my last year I just want to focus on making it my best year for myself and my team,” said Porter. “I want to do well this year for the other seniors and for the rest of the team. We have a great group of girls this year and I am so excited to get the opportunity to play with each and everyone of them.” So far, Porter said, there have definitely been highlights this season. One of them was the shutout she, and her defense, delivered to Capital University in the second game of the season. “That first shut-out felt good because we have a younger defense this year and it was definitely something that we needed
to help get this season going,” said Porter. “There is no way I could ever get a shutout without my defense, they protect me so much.” Later on in the season, against NWC rival, George Fox, Porter and her defense stepped up again, handing the Bruins their second donut of the year. When she’s warming up for a big game, like the one against George Fox, Porter finds it best to go full-speed and hold nothing back. “Getting pumped up before games usually depends mainly on my warm-up,” said Porter. “I go to the fields and go for everything in warm-up because nothing pumps me up more than making a good save, even when warming-up. If I go half-speed while warming up, I play half-speed during the game.” While warming up Porter said she tries to stay relaxed and focus on the game ahead. She stretches and works through a couple different drills before the game and then gets into game-mode. “I normally warm-up by throwing a ball back and forth with another goalkeeper and then doing some dives from balls that are thrown,” said Porter. “Drills that we can do are like any other sport or position, it depends on what I want to work on.” Porter said she doesn't have one favorite game from her Whitman athletic career, but that she tries to learn from the mistakes she has made in prior games. “I don't think that I have any personal favorite game,” said Porter. “I get excited for every game and am so glad to have the chance to be able to continue playing soccer. Of course I like games that we win more than ones that we lose. Although, I do try and take something from every game that I can learn from.”
The troubles of the ski team continue. Last year, the team had its varsity status removed in an effort by the college to cut costs in the wake of the financial crisis. This year, the team, which has scored a few national championships in the past, has struggled to find a qualified coach willing to train and travel with the team. The removal of the team’s varsity status last year reduced the its budget from about $240 thousand (last year’s budget) to less than $40 thousand for the 20092010 season. As part of this transition, Whitman laid off Alpine head coach Tom Olson and Nordic head coach Calisa Shouweiler. Both were salaried coaches. Whitman club sport director Sean Kinney will be performing the role of budget manager for the team, a decision the administration made without input from ski club members. The unfilled role of advisor for the team has been split into two separate positions, coach and chaperone. According to the college, this person has to be someone employed by Whitman and above the age of 25. “What we are looking for here is risk management to help our students on the road, to ensure proper behavior, to ensure
safety,” said Kinney. “We need to have a non-peer that will travel with all our club programs as they are on the road at various competitions.” While it is true that the ski team is able to pick a coach and chaperone, said sophomore skier Torey Anderson, it is doubtful that they will be able to recruit someone with the expertise of their former coaches. “We wanted to keep a coach/chaperone, who knew about the sport and would be able to actually coach us and not just babysit on a weekend,” said Anderson. “We still have the power to choose our coach/chaperone for traveling and possible training days, but are unsure how great of a presence that person will have with the team this year.” Anderson believes that training and coaching will be the club’s responsibility and will then need to find someone willing to chaperone races. Unless one of the skiers is able to get United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) certification before the winter, the team may not be able to set courses and train on Bluewood courses at all. The mountain only allows certified USSA coaches access to training. “This is why we wanted an advisor who is familiar with skiing and is possibly certified,” said Anderson. “For now, some of
us are planning on taking the certification class in early winter.” In order to get to this point, the team has had to cut through a lot of red tape. Ski club members want former coach Olson to serve as their advisor despite the fact that he is no longer a colleg employee. In most cases, an advisor would have to be someone from campus, but not always, according to Kinney. “We’ve made this clear to the ski leaders,” said Kinney. According to Anderson, club members had a hard time contacting the administration during the summer and at the beginning of the year. Senior Will Canine, ASWC Advocacy Coordinator, stepped in to help arrange a meeting with the club and Athletic Director Dean Snider. Canine became interested in the issue after attending the open forum held to discuss the ski team’s future at the end of last year. He returned to their cause upon hearing that the team was continuing to face issues with the administration. Canine saw the team’s situation as an opportunity to highlight how little student input was taken into account when the administration was deciding on which sports and programming choices to cut. “Every one of the cuts—tens of thousands of dollars from student programming, eight faculty positions, Nordic and alpine skiing, etc.—affected students and were made without student input,” said Canine. “ASWC has been really helpful and concerned in what is going on with the ski team’s transition, and I cannot thank them enough for that,” said Anderson.
NEW HOURS 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Salad Bar 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Free Wi-FI Courtesy of Warren McDermott Members of the former Whitman varsity ski team hit the slopes.
Stone Soup Cafe
105 E Alder • 525-5008 • 525-3170 fax Mon - Fri 8am-4pm www.stonesoupcafe.net
Kobe vs. LeBron: Measuring greatness
BIDNAM LEE & JAY GOLD Staff Reporters During the Michael Jordan era, there was, for better or worse, minimal debate as to who the best basketball player in the world was; whether you looked at stats, championship rings or highlight films, it always came back to Jordan. The present state of that discourse is less straightforward. In a league that cannot escape Jordan’s shadow, that is—along with its fans and the media—continually looking for the still elusive next Jordan, there is no clear cut “best” player. There are, however, two rather clear front runners for that title. While other names sporadically and fleetingly surface in the discussion, the ultimate, prevailing question is: LeBron James or Kobe Bryant? James is just entering the prime of his career at age 24. Meanwhile Bryant, who now sits on the wrong side of 30 from an athletic standpoint, may be approaching the twilight of his. Although at different points in their careers, they are immensely comparable at this point in time. Each player has won one regular season NBA MVP Award, two All-Star Game MVP Awards and at least one scoring title (Bryant has two) and, in the process, captivated countless fans with inhuman displays
of talent and athleticism. However, while James certainly has youth on his side and has far more time than Bryant to augment his collection of accolades and rack up statistics, he has yet to win an NBA Championship. Bryant has won four. Whether or not James is at fault, people will continue to question and qualify his legacy until he leads a team to the ultimate prize. That being said, there are still plenty of arguments in his favor. Bidnam Lee and Jay Gold discuss the relative merits of the two players vying for the throne that Jordan vacated. Bidnam: First off, LeBron absolutely smashes Kobe in literally every statistical rating system that people have conceived to measure a player’s value and skill, from Player Efficiency Rating (PER) to Roland Rating to Plus/Minus to adjusted Plus/Minus, etc., and this isn’t a new development either. Two years ago, at age 21, LeBron posted a PER of 28.1 for the season. Kobe’s highest PER for a season in his entire career? 28.0. Coincidentally, both of those were achieved during the 2005-2006 campaign, which was arguably Kobe’s best statistical season. Viewing that season in terms of Win Shares, which estimates the number of wins contributed by a specific player for their team, Kobe still fell short of LeBron, 15.4 to 16.1 respectively. Jay: I’ve never been a huge proponent of these statistical formulas. There’s no question that they can be valuable compliments to empirical observation, but they should be viewed as a secondary methods of determining a player’s value and skill. Andrew Bynum and Brandan Wright respectively rank 8th and 19th among all NBA players in the PER projections for
the upcoming season. Would any person in his or her right mind rank either of those players anywhere near that highly? No. That doesn’t mean that PER is worthless, but it certainly suggests that we should not accept it without question. When I watch Kobe play, I don’t see PER or Win Shares; I see the most polished perimeter player in the league. LeBron’s unbelievable. He’s an absolute force of nature from a physical and athletic perspective; he makes his teammates better and he’s improved considerably on the defensive end. Still, his game remains somewhat raw in certain areas. His jumper’s gotten better, but it’s still erratic and unsmooth and his post game is surprisingly underdeveloped considering his size. He relies excessively on powering his way directly to the basket. Kobe’s game, on the other hand, is supremely refined and well-rounded. Bidnam: It’s true, Kobe is definitely more fluid and smooth in his approach to the game of basketball, but to say that LeBron is not as good as Kobe because he takes advantage of his ability to drive to the basket instead of taking mid-range jump shots is a flawed argument. Not a single player in the NBA shot over 50 percent from the field on 2-point jump shots. Kobe shot 43.9 percent on those. On the other hand, LeBron’s field goal percentage on shots inside the paint? 72.1 percent. It’s not really debatable what the better way to score is—get to the hoop. Lebron has mastered the most efficient way to score points at the highest percentage. Sure, a well-executed mid-range jump shot is what every true basketball fanatic
BOGGAN loves to see—the arc, the wrist snap, the form—but at the same time, it’s a basketball move that is less efficient, especially in the long run, less conducive to drawing fouls and receiving free throws and less functional in a smoothly operating offense that involves the rest of the team. Yes, a more reliable mid-range jump shot would help Lebron’s game immensely, but to use that as the deciding factor, and perhaps even a major factor, in the Kobe vs. LeBron debate would be erroneous. Jay: Kobe does fall in love with his jumper at times, but he still gets to the line with considerable frequency (though not nearly as often as LeBron) and I would argue that his game facilitates the smooth operation of Phil Jackson’s triangle offense better than LeBron’s would. I will concede that LeBron’s the more efficient scorer, but his inability to consistently hit mid-range
jumpers was certainly a major factor in the embarrassment that was his lone finals appearance, although he has improved since then. In any case, it’s hard to argue with the effectiveness of either player’s style. Bidnam: What the debate really comes down to is a debate over how you measure a player’s greatness. Is it in the numbers? Or the intangibles? The rings? The awards? Who was the better player between Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain? Russell won 11 championships, but Wilt put up numbers that are absolutely mind-boggling. Personally, I think, in the end, the number of championship rings between two players as otherworldly as Kobe and LeBron will have the greatest weight. Right now, Kobe has four and LeBron has zero, but ultimately, who knows. The most sensible thing to do now then is to just watch and enjoy the show.