MEET THE EDITORS!
Hi! I’m Noa, the Editor-in-Chief of the Bardvark. I love math and baking (and eating!) pies, tarts, red bean paste, and coffee crème brulee. If you’ve ever wanted to write a newspaper article or take a picture to accompany a newspaper article, let me know! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m Sam Levine, the Bardvark’s Features Editor. I enjoy long walks on the beach and romantic candlelit dinners. When I am not contemplating the meaning of life or doing linear algebra homework, you can probably find me in the halls illegally eating my lunch or trying to read. Almost as much as I love meeting new people, I love hearing ideas about how we can make our school a better place. If we haven’t met and you are interested in writing for the Bardvark, or taking a long walk on the beach, please find me, and perhaps we can share an illegal hallway lunch together.
Naomi Boyce, Layout Editor:
I am Naomi
Don’t play with fire or the
Juliet Glazer, New Editor:
Juliet Glazer likes pigs, Vespas, Passion Pit, playing the violin, and Harry Potter. Unfortunately, she hasn’t found a way to combine all of these yet. Most importantly though, she reads the New York Times every morning over cheerios and grapefruit juice, which she hopes qualifies her to be the News Editor of The Bardvark. She’s pretty easy to spot if you need to find her: just look for the short, red-haired sophomore.
Hi, my name is Amani, and I’m the Arts Editor for the Bardvark this year. I am a Year I at BHSEC. I’m looking forward to editing this year and I hope you all enjoy our newspaper!
Sasha Pezenik, Opinions Editor:
Greetings, my name is Sasha, and I am a Year II at BHSEC. I have a deep fondness for writing, psychoanalyzing dreams, clothing design, and pie. I’m not hard to spot at BHSEC—it often happens that I’m an inch or two taller than other students. Look for me at the writing center, or in the coffee aisle at Adinah’s Farm. I’ll be wearing a red carnation in my lapel.
Dr. Mazie, Bardvark Advisor:
This is Dr. Mazie’s eighth year teaching political science, history and Year II seminar at BHSEC and his fourth year as advisor to the Bardvark. He edited his high school newspaper, the Roosevelt Roundup, and served on the executive board of his college daily, the Harvard Crimson. When outside the carnelian tower of BHSEC, Dr. Mazie can be found chasing around his daughters Amarya and Barra, 5 and 1 ½.
SPORTS ARENA OF THE MONTH: MINUTE MAID PARK, HOME OF THE ASTROS
Maverick Cummings ’13
This is for all of you sports fans who are fascinated by sports parks, fields, domes, you name it! This month, I am going to review one of my favorite parks : Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros. Minute Maid Park was constructed in 1999 and was named Enron Field until Enron went bankrupt in 2001.In pre-season 2002, it was renamed Astros Field for almost four months until Minute Maid bought the naming rights for 170 million dollars. The total capacity is around 40,950 people on a sell – out day at the stadium.
This field is my favorite because of all the unique features it has to offer. It has a retractable roof that can open or close depending on the weather. Another amazing feature is is a Plexiglas wall on the left side of the field, which offers the patrons an incredible view of downtown Houston. On the right side of the field around the ballpark, there are stone arches that almost look like a viaduct, and running right above the arches is a model train proudly bearing the team’ s name. The stadium train runs along the 800-foot track whenever an Astro hits a homerun .It is 25% bigger than an average steam locomotive, so it can be seen from any seat in the ballpark!
If you look right at center field, you will find one of the most dangerous places to hit a ball : Tal’s hill. Tal Smith is the team president, and the hill is only for decoration. The hill is not dangerous in the “inside the park homerun” sense , but it can be physically perilous to players. The hill is angled 30 degrees at the incline, and it has a flagpole sticking right out of it that begs for a misstep or a head on collision!
Like the Boston Red Sox’s “Green Monster” in Fenway Park, Minute Maid Park has a wall, dubbed the Crawford Boxes, that shows the scores from the whole league. The wall, at 19 feet, is almost half the size of Fenway Park’s, which stands at 37 feet.
Next month I will be reviewing the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium , and learn more about their new score board, which has been the talk of many football fans.
PASSION FOR PHYSICS PROPELS FIVE STUDENTS TO THE OLYMPIAD
Sam Levine ’10
Force, mass, and inertia are all factors that athletes consider during the winter and summer Olympics, but these and other physics concepts will become the center of attention at the International Physics Olympiad.
Physics professor Bozidar Jovanovic is working with five BHSEC students to prepare for the competition. All five of the students are taking or have taken Dr. Jovanovic’s Physics with Calculus college course or his 9th grade physics class. The competition is an opportunity for students who love physics to take their skills to the next level and meet people who are just as passionate and excited about physics as they are.
“More than winning, the competition is about realizing your full potential as a physics student,” said Dr. Jovanovic, who won a national gold medal from the competition in 1986. “Especially for a 9th grader who is potentially interested in physics, it’s a great way to see just how far you can go.”
The competition was founded in the Soviet East Bloc during the 1960’s as a way for governments to select talented scientists in their countries. Since then the competition has grown to attract talented high school level physics students from over 120 countries around the world.
Starting in January students will take a series of qualifying exams that will determine whether or not they advance to the next round of the U.S. competition. Approximately 400 students will advance to the quarter-final round. Following a series of more challenging exams, 24 students will be selected for the United States Physics Team. These students will attend a summer-long intensive physics program at the University of Maryland-College Park that will prepare them for the international competition. Five of these 24 students will make up the United States Traveling Team, which will go to the international competition in Zagreb, Croatia.
The international event will span two days, one day focused on problem solving and the other on laboratory work. According to Dr. Jovanovic, while students will have covered all of the material necessary for the Olympiad, both days of the international competition force students to think outside the box and find their own way to solve the problems.
“I think that this competition really teaches you that the answer is not always in the back of the textbook,” said Haley Cen, a Year II preparing for the competition.
Even though winning the competition is a prestigious feat in the physics world, BHSEC students who are preparing are entering simply because they love physics.
“I don’t expect to win the entire thing,” said Minna Liu, a Year I. “To win I would have to dedicate more time to the competition than to schoolwork. My goal is to make it to the round of 200 people,” she added.
Dr. Jovanovic echoed Liu’s perspective on the competition. “The point of the competition doesn’t have to be winning,” he said. “The point is that the competition gives students a chance to excel at something extraordinary and have fun.”
JAY-Z AND THE NEW SOUND
Lila Ramani ’12 and Sophie Donlon ’12
What ever happened to Jay-Z? The rapper has just turned 40 and although he’s been laying low, he’s thriving. Over the past few years Jay-Z has unintentionally started a new trend: mixing rap with other genres of music. For a while now, rapping has been accompanied with melodies and chords in the background, but now DJs are frequently combining songs from different genres.
After The Black Album was released in 2003, Jay-Z released an a cappella version onto the web. The a cappella version was intended to be edited by anyone without using Jay-Z’s name. This bold act was controversial because it defied mainstream copyright culture. Different DJs have used Jay-Z’s voice in combination with artists such as Weezer, creating Jay-Zeezer, and Radiohead, making Jaydiohead.
Most famously, Danger mouse mixed The Black Album with unauthorized songs from The Beatles’ The White Album, to make The Grey Album. Although this endangered DJ Danger Mouse’s career, the album was wildly popular among teens. Surprisingly, Jay-Z’s booming, angry voice worked well as a voice over for The Beatles’ gentler melodies. One popular song, which mixes “What More Can I Say” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” repeats the verse of the Beatles song over and over and never reaches the chorus while Jay-Z’s song progresses through its form.
The addition of Jay-Z transformed the original album into an album that brings him to center stage. These folk and rock artists only provide a background for Jay-Z’s rhymes. BHSEC student and rap appreciator Willem Koppel thinks The Grey Album was very original, but he prefers the classic Black Album. But he concedes that “specific songs on The Grey Album are better that the originals.” Other Jay-Z listeners believe that The Grey Album is much more interesting to listen to.
Jaydiohead is another Jay-Z mashup that has recently been placed in the spotlight. It is a medley of what the kids call “rap’ and what Pitchfork calls “indie.’ The melodies of Radiohead complement and enhance the harsh voice of Jay-Z, creating an unexpected aural treat.The album sounds like one piece, not two edited together. Although Radiohead adds a lot to Jay-Z’s music, Jaydiohead, like The Grey Album, mostly showcases Jay-Z.Radiohead’s vocals add a lot to their tracks; “No Karma” and “Change Order,” are favorites among listeners partly because of Thom Yorke’s singing.
Even skeptics should listen to Jaydiohead. First, it’s free to download on jaydiohead.com (but hurry up before the RIAA shuts it down!). Second, you’ll like it if you are a Jay-Z fan, a Radiohead fan, or maybe even if you’re neither.Regardless of your taste, Jay-Z’s voice is still living, even at 40.
ROBERT FRANK AT THE MET
Sierra Pittman ’12
The Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrates Robert Frank’s The Americans, a book of photography that was published 50 years ago. The exhibit displays all 83 photographs from the publication, as well as Frank’s earlier work, contact sheets, and a short movie of the photographer’s life. Frank’s pictures are so intriguing that you linger at each one for a while before you move to the next. These photographs are not only aesthetically pleasing but also reveal much about the culture and politics of America in the late 1950s.
Frank applied for a grant from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1955. With help from his artistic mentor and photographer, Walker Evans, he won the grant and traveled across the United States. Frank took three trips including a southern route, a northern route, and a central route. During those two years Frank shot more than 800 roles of film , stopping in cities across America to document the era from a provocative, real-life perspective.
There is a touch of sorrow in each of the pictures. You cannot help but feel sorry for each of the characters in the photographs. Their whole story can be seen through their expressions and surroundings. On a trolley car filled with people, depicted in a shot taken in New Orleans in 1955, you can see the clear separation between the races. One year after the Brown v. Board of Education decision invalidated “separate but equal” public schools, racism was far from healed . And the authorities took notice of Frank’s project: A few days after Frank took this picture he was unexpectedly arrested without clear explanation. Another photo of an African American woman holding a white baby outside of a café was taken in Charleston, South Carolina. The woman looks strong, but her skin color, and accompanying status, are juxtaposed with the baby’s pale skin and the inequality of opportunity that separates them.
Frank’s photographs have not only influenced future artists but have influenced the way people see Americans , and America .Fifty years later, we find roots of our present divisions and struggles amplified and up-close.
BOTSTEIN ACCEPTS CARNEGIE LEADERSHIP AWARD
Hayley Barnett ’12
This year, monetary recognition is coming the way of Leon Botstein, BHSEC’s founder. Botstein, who was the youngest president of a college, conducts two orchestras, and was nominated for a Grammy award, received the Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award of 2009 along with three others.
Andrew Carnegie, founder of Carnegie Corporation, began at the bottom and worked his way up. Starting as a boy working in a cotton mill, he soon progressed to jobs at Western Union and the Pennsylvania Railroad, and in 1865 succeeded in owning his own business, the Carnegie Steel Company.
There is no denying Andrew Carnegie was one of the richest, smartest people of his time, but many people tend to forget about his philanthropy.Carnegie sold his company in 1900 for $480 million and dedicated the rest of his life to writing and charity. By the time he died, Carnegie had given away $350 million and started several organizations, including the Carnegie Corporation.
The Carnegie Corporation is still functioning today, and perhaps its greatest creation is the Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award. The award, founded in 2005, honors leaders “who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in undergraduate education, both teaching and research” (carnegie.org). These leaders not only make a difference in their colleges, but also in the surrounding communities. The $500,000 grant is meant to honor collegiate leaders who better both K-12 education and higher education, and help them continue their work.
This year, four leaders were chosen to accept this award. President Scott Cowen of Tulane University rebuilt the Tulane campus after Hurricane Katrina and led an organization to rebuild the public school system. President Amy Gutmann of the University of Pennsylvania plans on funding 400 community service opportunities over the next four years. William Kirwan, Chancellor of the University System of Maryland, created a living-learning community that has been widely recognized as a national model.
Last, but certainly not least, is our very own Leon Botstein, president of Bard College. Not only has he helped transform the K-12 experience (take BHSEC, for example), but he has started international education programs, written a book, and even appeared as a guest on “The Colbert Report.”
All of these remarkable people strive to better the United States public school system with revolutionary ideas and hard work. We can only imagine the extraordinary and exemplary work they will continue to do.
BHSEC: A SCHOOL FOR THE PARENTS?
Sofia Johnson ’12 and Amelia Holcomb ’12
“Welcome to Bard. Just go straight up to the auditorium.”
These were the words we repeated hundreds of times to hundreds of eager parents at the Bard Open House on Thursday, September 24th. As we greeted BHSEC’s guests, we handed them a list of classes and student body statistics, as well as Kesi Augustine’s (Class of ’08) Huffington Post Article about Obama’s mention of Bard during his NAACP speech.
Perhaps it was this article that filled up all of our open houses; 600 people are expected at the next one. All parents want their kid to succeed, so it would seem like a smart move to check out a school lauded by the President himself. But the upshot was that the parents may have been the real driving force behind the students’ attendance. Some families even showed up at 4:00 for an open house scheduled for 6:00.
The pushy parent pattern continued through the rest of the open house. The ratio of parent to child questions was around 100:1. Occasionally, an 8th grader would raise a timid hand, but they mostly sunk down in their chairs (if they had been lucky enough to nab one) while their parents bombarded us with questions. “How much homework do you get each night?” was the most popular, but one mother at the high school fair actually asked, “What is the hygiene like at Bard?” It was clear that most of the parents already had an opinion about the school before they arrived, and they expected their kids to share it.
From an outsider’s point of view, the parental frenzy seems excessive, especially one woman who asked if her daughter would be getting “special treatment” because of her 97 GPA and high test scores. Then again, maybe it’s just the stress of the system. In other parts of the country, kids simply graduate to their local high school. New York City has hundreds of local high schools and the fact of the matter is, some are better than others. With all of the pressure to get into the right high school, it’s no wonder that some parents were overzealous. Hopefully, this intense motivation on the parents’ part won’t dishearten the kids. After all, they’re the ones who will be attending school for the next four years.
Remarkably, despite all the overly anxious parents, there were still quite a few stragglers coming in long after the auditorium doors closed. “…Welcome to Bard…”
GEORGIA O’KEEFE, UN-INTERPRETED
Lauren Crawford ’12
Georgia O’Keeffe is probably most famous for her luscious flowers and their symbolism. However, her most recent show at The Whitney Museum of American Art highlights her abstract work in charcoal and watercolor. The collection is vast, and is housed in a large, many-roomed gallery that seems to take up an entire floor (regardless, the exhibit was quite crowded).
The Whitney did an excellent job of providing contrast and similarities. Several of her series paintings of the same objects composed from different perspectives are displayed.The variety of paintings allows viewers to gain a better perspective on the many styles of O’Keeffe.
The paintings themselves are phenomenal. The colors she employs are vibrant and enticing. Bold streaks of color capture the eye and draw the focus of the painting off center.
Looking at her famous flower paintings, it is easy to see why they have often been associated with female genitalia. Not only is the shape of her flowers suggestive, but the way the paint glistens under the fluorescent lighting is also sensual. If we consider this popular interpretation of her flowers’ symbolism, it is necessary to point out that her paintings are not crude depictions; the bright colors are so powerful that the artwork could never be mistaken for some sort of lewd sketch.
However, perhaps it is preferable to ignore whatever O’Keeffe’s paintings might symbolize, and instead admire what they are by themselves. It is not necessary to interpret the paintings or relate them to other influential works in order to appreciate them.If O’Keefe paints bold, luminescent lines, look only at those lines and see how they arch and change. We spend so much time searching for symbols that we forget to treasure the pieces themselves, a real shame considering that Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings are so rich with life, beautiful without any symbolism at all.
RADIO CITY: YEAH, YEAH, YEAH!
Juliet Glazer ’12
It’s Blitz, the most recent album by the indie-rockers the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, opens with pulsingsynths, followed by powerful high-pitched voice of lead singer Karen O, nearly cracking with emotion.The album departs from the band’s previous releases, eschewing the raw throbbing power of their bass and guitar lines and their front-woman’s occasional guttural shrieks for synthesizers and disco beats.
In a YouTube interview the band, which also includes guitarist Nick Zinner and drummer Brian Chase, describes the song, Zero, as “Party, party, party, party, party!” And that is basically what was going down on a Wednesday night last month at Radio City Music Hall as Karen O appeared on the stage festooned in a feathered cape and headdress, no Rockettes or tourists in sight.
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs were conceived in 2000, when Nick Zinner played acoustic guitar and Karen O sang sweeter melodies. Three albums, ten years, and countless tours later, Karen O roared “New York City on your feet!” and I scrambled out of my seat along with everyone else. The concert hall quickly lost the ‘I’m too cool for this’ aura that most seemed intent on projecting.
If I had enjoyed listening to their songs, which fall somewhere between Patti Smith (albeit an octave higher) and the Kills, it was nothing compared to this.Karen O, who is famed for her crazy costumes, alternated between a leather bustier leotard and huge feathered capes—I later found out the feathers were shaped like human hands—which she spread open like bird wings. Add several towering headdresses and slightly puzzling wing-like protrusions on her back which call to mind a strange insect (human-sized queen ant, perhaps?), and you get something pretty amazing. She scampered and danced around the stage, pulling the microphone cord taut between her arms and spewing gulps of water into the air. Zinner, clad in all black, played it cool, head of perfect-for-flipping hair bent over his guitar.
I stared at the stage, mesmerized, and the stage stared right back at me. Above the band hung half a dozen weather balloons printed with eyeballs, one of which was also printed with a moon on the other side and spun for an eerie effect on some songs. The balloons were later cut down and thrown into the orchestra and the audience. Fans in the balconies lobbed their light-up drink stirrers over the edge like fireworks (ours didn’t quite make it).
About half the concert was made up of songs from their new album, but they didn’t disappoint their die-hard fans either. They included some of their old favorites, like “Phenomena” and “Maps,” the latter employing a live string quartet in the corner of the stage.
The show was a meaningful one for the band, because as New Yorkers, playing a sold-out show at Radio City meant they had really gotten somewhere.They dedicated one song to all of their parents, and as Karen O started to choke up at the beginning of the next song, she paused: “It’s hard to sing when you’re crying!”
OLD RAILWAY TRANSPORTS NY BACK TO NATURE
Jack Jenkins ’12
Public Parks are blotches of green on New York’s subway maps, jungles compared to their urban backdrop, and a breath of fresh air for those who need to get away from the busy streets of the city. However, a new artistic wave that focuses on the beauty of simplicity has begun to take root in our Parks Department’s initiatives.
The spirit of conservation and re-imagination is evident in the battle for the Highline, an abandoned elevated railway that used to carry heavy and dangerous freight trains over the busy streets of the lower West Side of Manhattan.Despite plans to tear down the useless structure, the suggestion to turn it into a public park was found to be “economically rational” by a Friends of the High Line study. Construction of the Highline began in April of 2006.In June 2009, the park was opened to the public, from Gansevoort Street up to 20th street.
The main trait of this new park is its harmony with the surrounding urban landscape. The foliage on the highline, all of which is native to the New York City area, creates a setting characteristic of a rooftop garden. The view from the park is also striking: on one side is the Hudson River and on the other side are the streets of Manhattan.The Highline balances our city’s naturalistic and modernistic sides in an appropriate and romantic way.
One of my favorite places on the highline is a recently added set of benches that is arranged like a theatre, overlooking the street through a sheet of glass. But the feature film is not a dramatic thriller or comedy; one simply watches the traffic lights changing color.
From an artistic perspective, the simplicity of the park is beautiful.If you’re one of those people who can appreciate simplicity, I highly recommend that you take the time to visit, especially in the evening when the park is less crowded, and you seem to lose yourself in the city even more.
ADINAH’S AND MARIA’S EMPANADA FACE-OFF
Gideon Salzman-Gubbay ’10, Corey Switzer ’10, and Sam Levine ’10
There are many words that we use to describe ourselves (handsome, charming, and modest come to mind), but capitalist is not one of them. So you can imagine why we were outraged when we found out that Adinah’s Farm was selling empanadas to compete with Maria’s empanada stand on 3rd street and Avenue C. Realizing that we shouldn’t rush to any conclusions, we decided to settle the matter in the only way that we saw just: a taste test.
There isn’t anything like a good, cheap eat and Maria’s is probably the cheapest, most delicious eatery on the north side of Houston Street.The shack is a shrine for us food lovers who don’t have the extra buck to throw down on the overpriced edibles of the Lower East Side.Yet, war loomed on the horizon and the heavy chill of a showdown descended on Avenue C.
Let’s start off with the chicken empanadas.For starters, the crusts of both versions were greasy and crispy, yet the style of the chicken used in each could not have been more different. At Maria’s the chicken is deep fried, juicy and orange with oil.This greasy treat is the “Go-gurt” of empanadas: it doesn’t really need to be chewed.Don’t get us wrong, the Maria’s chicken empanada is tasty, but if you don’t like slimy food you might prefer the Adinah’s empanada.
Adinah’s empanada is more Mexican in style. In fact, it is basically a chicken fajita encased in deep fried dough.The flavor and texture combo in this guy is superior to that of the Maria’s chicken empanada. As usual, the Adinah’s chicken is dry, but the succulent peppers and onions, along with the greasy outer shell, balance this out.The chicken is slightly sweetened by the accompanying vegetables, which also make it seem fresher and healthier than a Maria’s empanada.
Two warnings: sometimes when the empanadas need to be heated, the Adinah’s guys will use the microwave as a default.This makes the empanada soggy, so be sure to ask them to heat it up in the toaster to conserve the crispiness that we all enjoy. Also, if you are a cheese empanada fan, stick with Maria’s; the Adinah’s cheese empanada is so dry it might as well be matzoh.
As much as it tears our heart out to say this, the Adinah’s empanada is the better empanada. If you have an extra quarter, it is well worth paying up for the extra peppers and vegetables that will make your empanada feel like more of a meal. However, those of you who are loyal to the stand should not feel shortchanged: there is no price that you can put on helping the little guy out.
SECURING SUNLIGHT IN 20TH CENTURY AMERICA
Nika Sabasteanski ’13
Did you ever wonder why our schools are shaped in I’s, H’s and C’s, or why the Empire State Building and other art deco skyscrapers of the 1920’s and 30’s were designed with multiple geometric layers instead of rectangular prisms? Many historians argue it was merely architectural aesthetics conforming to the modernist art deco movement of the mid-twentieth century, but others, such as BHSEC professor Dr. Daniel Freund, have another explanation.
While Dr. Freund maintains that aesthetics were involved, he thinks that in the early twentieth century, scientists were concerned about the vitamin D deficiencies that many people were suffering from, and how they were linked to the lack of sunlight in modern society. Scientists believed that these diseases, including rickets and infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, were linked with the growing depletion of sunlight. Subsequently, laws and reforms were passed to secure maximal sunlight exposure through architecture and nutrition. School, tenement, and skyscraper reform allowed architects to design buildings that would capture the sun from multiple angles, hence the familiar “I” shaped schools and art deco skyscrapers that we know so well.
Dr. Freund shares his account of the twentieth century’s quest to secure sunlight in a book that he is writing, due to be published by the University of Chicago Press sometime in the next few years. Dr. Freund commented that “I became interested in this work because I did a series of papers that all turned up concerns about sunlight. was about rickets, one was about tenement house reform, and another was about zoning. I realized that sunlight was a common concern, I decided I would explore its range in America at the time.”
The sun seems like an abstract idea, but in actuality it is a paramount commodity that serves as our primary source of vitamin D, and sparked an enlightenment of sorts during the late 19th century and early 20th century, from the industrial revolution to the great depression. In modern America, traveling to sunny places such as California and Florida is commonplace. We take for granted the vitamin D fortified milk that we pour into our cereal every morning, as well as the natural precursor to vitamin D found in our skin called 7-dehydrocholesterol.
Yet in the late 1800s and early 1900s travel to sunny areas was rare, and vitamin D fortified milk was an anomaly. People were anxious that modern society was unhealthy and threatened by infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, and they deduced that Ultra Violet light would kill the dangerous pathogens. Unfortunately, while UV rays do kill bacteria, the plan to harness sunlight for this purpose never came to fruition because the sunlight we receive is towards the lower end of the UV spectrum. These rays are not strong enough to kill bacteria, although they are used in sterilizing laboratories. Still, the sunlight movement grew; scientific and architectural experiments developed new ways to utilize the sun and British Eugenicist Caleb Saleeby “thought that insufficient sunlight in his own country was leading to the depletion of its otherwise vibrant racial stock.”
Nudists, who felt that nudism was the logical solution to sunlight anxiety, referred to themselves as “complete sunbathers.” Dr. Freund teaches a G-rated section on nudism in relation to his study in his environmental history classes. “I wanted the students to think about the overwhelming concern with natural living and a return to a simpler past common in the 1930s and my work on nudism seemed to fit that bill,” Dr. Freund added. Earnest’s Hemingway’s protagonist in Farewell to Arms decides to take “a sun cure,” which shows the rapid diffusion of the idea.
During the post-Industrial Revolution era, more and more workers were employed in factories, and one by one, cities started to revolutionize the way they secured sunlight. “New York was the locus,” Dr. Freund explained, but other cities, such as Chicago, began passing legislation for sunlight reform. Places where the lack of sunlight wasn’t really a problem, like Wisconsin, also began to pass legislation to secure sunlight exposure. These cities were “legislating on a history that would never come,” a preemptive strike to avoid the same fate as New York.
Yet when we think of the sun, we don’t imagine it having a history or a future. To us, it is a timeless fixture that we take for granted and hear about in some Beatles songs. Why does Dr. Freund feel that this topic is so important? While he quips that reading his book is not essential to a rich life, he said that “It helps us understand that everything has a history, even something that seems permanent, like sunlight. also helps us get a better glimpse of how science and medicine can run off the rails, prescribing treatments that do more harm than good (like a blistering suntan). finally, I think it’s worth looking at because I think many of us wish that these folks in the first third of the 20th century had done a better job securing sunlight for the city.”
Dr. Freund will send the first revised copy of The Battle for a Brighter America: A Social History of Natural Light, 1850-1935 to his editor in September of 2010. Perhaps reading about how past generations used the sun will inspire this generation to harness its power for the sake of a future that will come soon enough.
YEAR IIS NAME THEIR TOP THREE
Noa Bendit-Shtull ’10
U. Chicago, Brandeis, and George Washington. Union, Columbia, and Northeastern. Stony Brook, Syracuse, and Binghamton. Trends start to appear as 68 Year IIs list their top three college choices. Eleven students name SUNY Binghamton as one of their top schools. University of Chicago follows close behind with ten students. Eight students are aiming for Columbia, seven want to go to Brandeis, and six more included Vassar in their top three.
All together, the 68 students named 84 different schools. The colleges range in size from just over 200 to over 50,000 students. Four schools have undergraduate populations of fewer than 1,000. Twenty-one have between 1,000 and 2,000 students, and ten more schools have 2,000 to 3,000 students. Twelve of the schools have more than 15,000 undergrads. About 76% of the schools listed are private schools. Of the 20 public schools, eight are CUNY or SUNY schools.
The colleges also represent a variety of locations. 68 city kids named 34 schools in places designated “metropolises” by The Princeton Review, as well as 15 “city” schools. Only 6% of the schools are “rural,” and 12% are in “village” environments. The remaining 19 colleges are located in “towns.”
Not surprisingly given BHSEC’s admissions record at SUNY schools, 29% of the Year IIs want to attend a SUNY (State University of New York). Daniel Goulden explains that the “official reason” he wants to go to SUNY Binghamton is that it is an “excellent school with excellent academics.” The “real reason” he’s applying? “It’s cheap.”
Sam Embry is applying to Vassar, another school that pops up again and again. He is looking for a small school with a strong soccer team; a discussion with a Vassar soccer coach sealed the deal.
Some of the schools named were anomalies. Lorelei Trammell chose three religious schools.Her top choice is Stern, the women’s college at Yeshiva University. Although she is Catholic, she says she wouldn’t “get a very thorough education in the old testament from a Catholic school.” At Yeshiva University, she will also be able to study Hebrew, enabling her to work directly with religious texts. She hopes the Yeshiva will help her connect with her stepfather’s Jewish family and provide a solid foundation for Catholic seminary.
Rron Karahoda was the only student who listed a music conservatory as one of his top choices. In addition to Bard College, he named Mannes College and the Manhattan School of Music. Rron prefers Mannes or MSM to a liberal arts college because attending a conservatory in the city would improve his chances of landing a spot in an orchestra like the New York Philharmonic. Mannes also has its own orchestra.
These 84 schools, from Kalamazoo to U. Hawaii, reflect the diversity of the class of 2010. Whether the Year IIs end up with 500 classmates or with 50,000, in cities or towns, they will surely be poised for great things.