October 29, 2014
Recently, professors, community activists and service members from our neighbors at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy recently met with Conn students to discuss a wide range of topics related to immigration in the United States. After giving a brief description of their role in the issue, the panelists met with students to hear their perspectives on immigration in a more casual environment, fostering dialogue and sharing of ideas. I spoke with Dr. Evan Haglund of the Coast Guard Academy. Working as a consular officer at the American Embassy in Ghana, Dr. Haglund was able to offer a unique perspective on being on the front lines of the immigration process into the United States. It was a great experience to have roundtable discussions with people holding such varied backgrounds and experiences with immigration.
October 28, 2014
October 27, 2014
What do October and the color purple have in common? Both are associated with domestic violence awareness, education and advocacy. In honor of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I recently went to a domestic violence awareness walk and rally in nearby Groton, Conn. The event was co-sponsored by Safe Futures, the domestic violence center in New London, and was appropriately titled "The Power of Purple."
All of us donned purple shirts and walked a 2.5-mile route in historic Groton. Some passersby applauded us, and a few cars even honked to show their support. During the rally portion, some survivors of domestic violence shared their stories. Connecticut Congressman Joe Courtney also spoke about the culture of violence in and beyond the southeastern Connecticut community. The rally ended with a final call to action on what we can do to change the future.
As Catherine Zeiner, the executive director of Safe Futures, said in the final moments of the event, "I see a safe future for southeastern Connecticut." With dedicated advocates, organizations like Safe Futures, and events like this walk and rally, I do, too.
October 25, 2014
There are two extraordinarily busy times during the fall semester: midterms and finals. October is the month for midterms. Last year, as a first-year student, I was still adjusting to college life in October, occasionally getting lost and still learning all the Camel lingo. Having a midterm so soon into the year was surprising, as they approached faster than I expected.
Fast forward a year: Midterms? They still are — and will always be — stressful, but this year, I was ready. I knew that as October approached, I would be forced to hunker down and study more, and I adjusted my plans accordingly. A year makes all the difference, better preparing me for the four exams I'll be taking over the course of two weeks.
I admit that midterms and I will never be friends, but they are no longer an unexpected guest.
(In case you were wondering: A year later, I do know most of the Camel lingo, but there are still moments where I learn about a new phrase, building or acronym. That's better than getting lost, right?)
October 24, 2014
Each year, Harvestfest is one of the most anticipated events at Fall Weekend, Connecticut College's annual parent and family weekend. More than 70 student clubs, academic departments and athletic teams set up shop, selling a wide array of Camel- and Connecticut College-inspired clothing, gifts and treats in a bazaar-like atmosphere. We asked the ConnCollegeLive Experience photojournalists to fan out and find the best and most interesting items for sale.
Laura Cianciolo '16
- I first stopped at Coffee Closet’s table and purchased a caramel apple dipped in sprinkles — it was the perfect snack for the fall weather.
- Every year, I purchase a poster from The College Voice’s table, and this year I loved the hand-drawn map of campus.
- I stopped by Miss Connduct’s table and bought a few of their handmade cards for my friends who have fall birthdays.
- Conn’s chapter of Oceana was selling adorable keyboard protectors covered with fish and other sea creatures.
- Launch, Conn’s entrepreneurship club, was celebrating its first Harvestfest with brightly colored, delicious cookies shaped like spaceships.
Kirsten Forrester '17
- Slavery Ends Today homemade cards: Simple and thoughtful, the cards have positive messages such as "You are beautiful." It's nice to have a few around for future gifts.
- Ski team flannel: Two words: so cozy! They're the perfect attire for Connecticut winters.
- Ski club winter hats: One, they complement the flannel for the complete New England winter look. Two, I love pom poms.
- Relay for Life Elephant frame: So cute! My favorite animal is an elephant. Images and statues of them cover my walls at home, so this frame makes for a great addition to that ever growing collection.
- The College Voice posters: You just can't go wrong with the image of a camel in a turtleneck sweater on your wall.
Jordan Thomas '15
- Cadenza, Conn's literary magazine, sold prints and shirts with a one-line camel design. The artist, senior Jennifer Jackson, drew the camel logo without ever lifting the pen from the paper. It's inspired by Picasso's famous work.
- The campus newspaper, The College Voice, had customized camel M&Ms — in Conn colors, of course!
- The Dance Club sold cute and functional tank tops with an adorable Camel in the corner — great for workout clothing!
- Forest Justice, the resident treehugger club on campus, sold tie-dyed t-shirts with the logo of a tree hugging a Camel. What's not to love about that?
- The college's chapter of Psi Chi, the Psychology National Honor Society, had brain-themed coffee mugs for sale. Since this is my organization and this one was my idea, I'm a bit partial to it ... but who wouldn't want a blue and yellow brain on their morning cup of coffee?
Mike Wipper '17
- After hearing the faint sound Mariachi, I found myself at the club's table, more than happy to snack on some "chicharones," a traditional Latin American dish made from fried pork skins.
- Sprout! set up a free sample booth complete with hot sauces made from Conn's very own organic garden. My favorite is the spicy mango salsa.
- The campus chapter of Slavery Ends Today sold delightful greeting and birthday cards, which ended up being perfect as I still needed to buy my girlfriend a card for her birthday. All proceeds went to the organization that's committed to ending human trafficking.
- At the Men's Hockey team table, I purchased the perfect gift for my father, a hockey player himself: a bottle opener made from old sticks.
- All around Harvestfest, I saw people wearing awesome friendship bracelets. I wandered around until I found the Dance Team's booth with bracelets covering the table. I must say, they were pretty stylish ... and they're hand-made!
October 24, 2014
IT'S TIME TO PLAY FAMILY FEUD!
This past Thursday, the Office of Student Life and Think S.A.F.E., the College's sexual assault prevention group, hosted a game of Family Feud in Cro, our student center. Yes, there were prizes, though no Steve Harvey. First, second and third place teams won things like water bottles and bowls full of candy.
The game show was Green Dot-themed. Green Dot is our sexual assault and violence prevention program. In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a number of sports and activities have been Green Dot-themed. The theory behind our program is that "no one has to do everything, but everyone has to do something." By connecting difficult issues of sexual assault, dating and power-based violence, and stalking to athletics and fun activities, we're working toward a necessary cultural shift. Increasing awareness enables bystanders to step in during "red dot" (problematic) situations. It promotes a safe and welcoming community.
Given the theme, there were definitely some interesting sexual questions in our game of Family Fued. Though a little uncomfortable at first, we all sort of got used to the awkwardness of it in order to win points for our team. And, of course, it was all for a good cause. We learned things about safe, consensual sexual situations and, because of the survey section of the game, we also got a chance to see what our peers thought about certain situations.
The night consisted of fun, games and prizes — though, not for my team — all in an effort to create a giant cultural movement against sexual assault and violence.
October 24, 2014
October 23, 2014
Last Wednesday, I was given the opportunity to visit "Lost At Sea: Shipwrecks of the Ancient World," an exhibit presented through the Classics Department. The exhibit is currently up at the Lyman Allyn, an art museum next to campus that the school works closely with. The exhibit consists of amazing, ancient artifacts that until recently remained, well, lost at sea. Also featured are some of the nifty-looking tools used to find artifacts, as well as some short videos about artifact-hunting.
The exhibit room that interested me the most, though, was a room full of live feeds from the Nautilus, a ship currently exploring undiscovered U.S territories in the Caribbean and Pacific. In front of the room, there is an iPad where you can type a question to a scientist on board the Nautilus and get a live response.
After a guided tour of the exhibit, I attended a talk by Dr. Robert Ballard, who led the team that discovered the Titanic. All of the artifacts in the exhibit were discovered by Dr. Ballard, who has a strong connection to the local community and the College. At the talk, he told us about how his fascination with the ocean began, how he fell into his career and, of course, how he found the Titanic. Dr. Ballard was an excellent speaker, and his exhibit was very interesting. I'm glad that I was offered the opportunity to attend.
October 23, 2014
Enjoying a beautiful fall day, my friends and I headed to the Book Barn in Niantic for a picnic. After stopping at Fiddleheads to buy fruit, bread and cheese, I found myself completely enchanted with this used book store. It very much has a ragtag, fairy tale feeling. There are paths through overgrown gardens, pink flamingo statues, interestingly shaped buildings and eclectic furniture amongst stacks and stacks of inexpensive books in every genre. I dined atop an oversized checkers table, read in the shade and added a few new books to my collection for the next rainy day.
October 22, 2014
Over the last two years, I have been waiting for that moment: when a class or teacher would somehow leave me walking out the door with a new perspective.
Last week, as I sat in the second row of my "Introduction to American Studies" class, Professor Jim Downs did just that.
“Can we all just take a few minutes to listen and appreciate the beautiful lyrics created by John Mayer?” Professor Downs announced as he walked through the door. For the next few minutes, my class of 30 students sat in darkness, staring up at the projector screen as we watched John Mayer’s live performance of “Covered in Rain."
For class that day, we had read "Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which tells the story of a Nigerian emigrant who critiques America and the American dream. It was hard to see where Professor Downs was going with the soulful voice of John Mayer as an introduction.
As the lights came back on, Professor Downs asked us to think about finding our own voice like John Mayer does through his lyrics or Ngozi Adichie does in her novel. We further discussed the novel and how Adichie’s voice is heard in her personalized immigrant narrative. It was interesting to see how Professor Downs used different types of mediums and contemporary examples to help us further understand the shaping of an immigrant narrative and the history of the American dream.
After the class discussion, I thought more about my voice in my community and on campus. While I have made an effort to get involved on campus, I'm still working to establish my passions and find my own voice. With the help of other students, I am now working to create a movement on campus that would help showcase students' artwork throughout campus.
While I may not be a famous musician or best-selling novelist, the art movement is a step in the right direction as I determine my real passion and voice.