Monthly Archives: February 2008

What will become of the Napkin Board…

As February break winds down and I prepare to head back to campus I am getting more and more excited for the new commons. For those of you who don’t know, Bates is opening up a new dining facility after break ends. The new commons will have a greater number of seats, will offer more food options, and will even include what the Bates website calls a ‘fireplace lounge’ study area for students. I could go on and on discussing everything that is great about the new dining facility but I will spare you. If you are interested in additional information you can read more about it here: http://www.bates.edu/dining-commons.xml and here:  http://www.bates.edu/x173337.xml.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What I want to know is whether or not the napkin board will be transferred from the old commons to the new commons. The napkin board is a very special part of the Bates culture. In the old commons, when someone felt the need to express a concern, suggestion, complaint, or complement about the food or the dining facility, one would take out a pen, grab a napkin, write down whatever was necessary and would post the napkin on the napkin board located at the exit of commons. Every week commons workers would post clever responses (or well-reasoned objections) to each student-posted napkin. I have seen napkins demanding certain obscure cereals, more bacon, and odd condiments. I have seen napkins complaining that haddock shouldn’t be served at almost every meal. I have seen napkins thanking commons workers for all their hard work.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           It is almost a right of passage for Batesies to post on the napkin board at least once during their four year stay on campus. It would be a shame to see the napkin board disappear when the new commons officially opens in a few days. I am confident however that the Bates napkin board tradition will not die simply because food will be served in a different location. If anything I believe the napkin board ritual (if I can call it that) will thrive in a new setting. Still… at this point I can only speculate. I will be sure to keep you posted on any napkin board news…

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Filed under new commons, On Campus

Back home…

I finished my midterms last Friday and I came home for February break a little less than a week ago. My friend, who lives outside of Boston, came down to New York for the first part of break with me. We met up with another Batesie and together we all explored New York City. We went to some of the touristy spots (Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Station, Madison Square Garden, etc.) and ate at restaurants all around the city. It was fun hanging out with Bates friends off campus. Showing my friends the high school I went to, the deli I ate at, and other landmarks near my house was a great experience. I enjoyed checking out my old stomping grounds and it was fun for my friends because they now have a better understanding of who I am and where I’m from. It was the first time I had seen my Bates friends off campus but definitely not the last…357049210_cae4e76b63.jpg http://www.flickr.com/photos/43025626@N00/357049210/                            Picture of NYC skyline… I didn’t take it but I thought it brightened up the blog a bit. 

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Filed under Off Campus

Snowball Maine

As I sat at my computer attempting to study for my midterms this afternoon I realized there was a startling connection between my work and the real world. As part of my midterm for my geology class I have to write a paper on the Snowball Earth hypothesis. The theory, in basic terms, states that during the Neoproterozoic Era (roughly 700-500 million years ago) the earth went through 2 severe glacial events during which the planet was completely covered in ice and snow. Temperatures reached -50 degrees celsius and ice covering the earth was more than 1km thick. As I described the harsh conditions I looked outside and saw heavy snow falling and wind blowing snow against my window. For a brief moment I pictured the intense snow never stopping and being buried alive beneath the ice. Eventually I snapped back to reality and realized that I had been looking at the computer screen too long and that a break might help stop my mind from wandering. Reflecting on the situation now I think it is really interesting how school work can be so closely related to the real world. Alright maybe picturing the world covered in ice after looking outside was a bit of a stretch but I think you understand what I’m getting at. 

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Filed under Academics, On Campus

Politics at Bates

Politics have taken center stage at Bates this past week as the democrats geared up for the Maine caucus today. Edward (Ted) Kennedy, the democratic senator from Massachusetts, came up to Bates on Friday to campaign for Barack Obama. Students and faculty packed the chapel to hear Senator Kennedy discuss the need for change in the country. The next day presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton spoke just a few minutes from the Bates campus at the Lewiston Armory. I was lucky enough to hear Senator Kennedy speak but unfortunately I did not see Senator Clinton (see blog below this one for reason). Today many Batesies got rides to the Lewiston High School to vote in the democratic caucus. I find it great that many students here, whether democrats or republicans, are politically active. Though not everyone agrees on who should be the next president, it’s moving to see so many young people, many who are voting for the first time, involved in the political process. 

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Kennedy                                                              

Sorry I couldn’t get my own picture of Senator Kennedy but I thought a visual would be a nice touch.

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Filed under On Campus

Hitting the slopes

I went skiing again this weekend and had a blast. It was the second trip to Sugarloaf that the Student Activities Office here at Bates has run and they plan to lead another trip in a few weeks. All my friends and I had to do was go to the Student Activities Office and put our names down on a list and we got a free trip to and from Sugarloaf in a coach bus. The bus left a little after 7am on Saturday. It was a bit tough waking up for it but I was happy about being able to get to the mountain early. We all skied for multiple hours and enjoyed a full day on the mountain. Exhausted and happy, my friends and I got back on the bus around 4pm to head back to campus. Not having to worry about driving and in a comfy seat I closed my eyes and caught up on some much needed sleep. I’m grateful that Bates offers these trips because it is nice to get off campus once in awhile and when everything is paid for it is even better. Below are some photos taken during the day. My friend Matt is in the first picture and my friend Drew is in the second photo:

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Filed under Off Campus, Sports

Weekend

Weekends always go by too fast but this past weekend seemed to fly by quicker than the rest. It started early Saturday morning when I woke up at 7 am to get an early breakfast before spending the day skiing at Sunday River with some friends. The ski conditions were pretty good and after a long day of skiing (and a car ride back in which my friends and I all sang along to some classic tunes) I was wiped out. Not one to let tiredness get in the way of having a good time, I showered, grabbed some dinner, and headed over to Schaeffer Theater to watch Asia Night (described on a poster as “A Celebration of Asian Cultures”). The show was filled with dances, music, karate, and modeling of traditional clothes from different Asian nations. After that I headed across campus to see stand-up comedian Jeff Kreisler. He wrote for Jon Stewert’s Daily Show and was performing at Bates as part of his ‘Comedy Against Evil’ college tour. Both performances were awesome.The following day I woke up and watched my beloved NY Rangers beat the Montreal Canadians 5-3 on NBC. Some friends and I then had a barbeque before the Superbowl using Bates’ new grill outside the dorm at 280 College Street. After stuffing myself with multiple cheeseburgers and many other tasty treats I watched the game with about 30 people and then came back to my own dorm to attempt to tackle a mountain of homework.Though I somewhat regret leaving my work until the last minute I still had a great weekend and am now relaxed and ready for another week of classes. Pictures from Superbowl: superbowl-good.png superbowl-good-2.pngsuperbowl-good-3.png

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Filed under Off Campus, On Campus, Sports

Maineiacs

The other night as part of a floor activity for my dorm I went with my JA (junior advisor) and some dorm mates to a Maineiacs game. The Maineiacs are a minor league hockey team here in Lewiston. They play in a the QMJHL, a league based in Quebec, and are the only U.S. team in the league. The atmosphere at the game was awesome. Despite the fact the game was delayed an hour and that it was a Wednesday night the arena was pretty packed. A woman sang both the Canadian and U.S. national anthems  and the Canadian anthem was sung partly in French & partly in English. The fans were passionate and many were decked out in Maineiacs jerseys, hats, and t-shirts. The game itself was also great. The Maineiacs beat the Drummondville Voltigeurs 8-3 and there were plenty of big hits and scuffles. It was nice to take a study break, get off campus for a little while and get a taste of Lewiston’s culture. Check out the Maineiacs site to learn about the team: http://www.lewistonhockey.com/   

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Filed under Off Campus, Sports