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A Sweet Treat

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The Scoop on an Ice Cream Stall in Baltimore Where Six Alumae/i and Students Happen to Work

Rae Walker, ‘17, and Hannah Speigelman, ‘15, at the Little Baby’s Ice Cream Stall. Photo Credit: Sophia Hancock

The bustling upscale “food hall” R. House is home to a surprising subset of the Goucher community. Tucked into a corner of the marketplace, Little Baby’s Ice Cream sells handmade, small batch ice cream with unique flavors, like Earl Gray Sriracha. The slim, brightly lit stall also happens to be the workplace of six former and current Goucher students.
Perhaps you’ve seen the ad. Sitting in front of a black backdrop, a person who appears to be made of a thick white substance stares outward, wide-eyed. He reaches up, scoops at the top of his head with a large spoon, brings the spoon to his mouth, and licks it. A faint lullaby plays as a slow voiceover begins his hypnotic monologue by saying, “there’s good reason for my glistening skin.” The camera zooms out. At the end of the clip, a cheerful logo for Little Baby’s Ice Cream appears—a smiling ice cream cone holding a spoon and an ice cream scooper. While perhaps it is not the most immediately appetizing, the popular youtube ad certainly gets your attention.
My knowledge of this ad campaign, however, did not lessen my surprise when Goucher alum Rae Walker (’17) informed me, somewhat offhandedly, that in addition to teaching full-time and getting a Master’s degree in education, he also scooped ice cream at a place called Little Baby’s.
Little Baby’s Ice Cream (LBIC) was founded in Philadelphia in 2011 and has expanded over the years to offer catering services in Southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Baltimore, and Washington, DC., with stalls located in D.C. and at Baltimore’s R. House. The founders believed that that ice cream could “bring people together.” Classic. It gets a little weirder, however, in the next part of their mission statement, which states that they see ice cream as “a unique opportunity to subvert people’s expectations,” a goal which they achieve in their ads, flavors, and business model.
“Little Baby’s is known for its weirdness,” said Hannah Spiegelman, ’15, the current manager of the Baltimore branch. Spiegelman worked in ice cream shops during the summers. At Goucher, she studied history, with a minor in art history. After graduating, she was determined to go down a path that involved museum work. However, after working in Special Collections at Goucher, she realized that it wasn’t the right path for right for her. In December 2016, when she saw on Instagram that the Little Baby’s Ice Cream (LBIC) stall at R. House was hiring, she applied. Within a year, she would become the manager herself.
“I realized that food is my greater passion,” said Spiegelman. “When I graduated…I thought that whatever I decided to do now [immediately after graduation] would be my life, but the more I talk to people, I see people who’ve completely changed what it is they’re doing. It’s okay not to know. People say ‘you’ve had four years to figure it out,’ when actually, no, I’ve had four years to become a completely different person and now I need to take time to process it.”

LBIC has kooky initiatives like a Pay It Forward Board through which you might pay for ice cream for a cancer survivor or a single dad, or for someone to do ten push-ups in the shop. Their biggest competitor in the area is The Charmery, probably due to the fact that, in addition to selling small-batch high-quality ice cream, both the Charmery and LBIC cater to eccentric tastes, with flavors like the Charmery’s Old Bay Seasoning and LBIC’s Pizza flavor.
When the photographer and I arrived at Little Baby’s for the interview with Spiegelman, Walker, who was manning the stall, handed us samples of every flavor that they had in stock. Earl Gray Sriracha was unexpectedly delicious and had a nice kick to it. After the interview, we walked away with scoops of Lychee Lemonade, which was very lemony and similar to sorbet, and Chocolate Mint Cookie, which was like eating Girl Scout Thin Mints in ice-cream form. Both were vegan flavors but certainly did not taste “vegan.”
LBIC’s unusual offerings attracted Spiegelman. “I hate boring ice cream flavors,” she said.

During Spiegelman’s time at LBIC, the number of Goucher-affiliated employs has steadily increased. Many of them work at LBIC in addition to having other positions and/or applying for or saving money for graduate school.
For example, Yael Ben Chaim, ‘16, started at LBIC in April 2017, while she had an AmeriCorps position working at the Maryland Farmers Market Association at a nearby location. She appreciated the combination of the office-based AmeriCorps job and the customer-service. Currently she works at MOMs Organic Market and she plans to go to graduate school for social work within the next two years. Yael’s favorite flavor is Plain. “It is simple, sweet and easy to enjoy,” she says. “It also mixes well with any other flavor on the menu!”
Rae works at LBIC at night and on the weekends. During the week, he is a Special Education teacher in a Baltimore public school, and is getting his master’s in education through Teach for America. Rae is also a fan of LBIC’s plain ice cream, but will willingly try any of the more unusual options.
Emily Abramson, ‘18, self-described avid tea drinker, started at LBIC in July 2017. She’s currently at Goucher in her final year for a Masters in Management. She also works part-time as a graduate assistant for the Office of Community-Based Learning (CBL) and is an intern for AARP Maryland’s state office, working to coordinate a statewide food drive in April. Other than all of that, she’s a freelance artist.
Emily’s favorite LBIC flavor would either be “Pumpkin Curry for the sweet/savory combo [and] the currants and cream because it reminds me of picking currants from my backyard when I was a little kid” or the “Cherry Hibiscus because the strong bitter flavor of the hibiscus counters the sweetness of the candied cherries perfectly.”
After she was hired at LBIC, Abramson encouraged Sophie Anger, ‘17, who was still a student and was looking for a weekend job, to apply. Anger started in September, while she was student teaching second grade at Roland Park Elementary/Middle School. Her favorite flavor is Coffee Toffee, because “I just love coffee ice cream, but I also loved our seasonal crushed candy cane, and chocolate ginger.”
Goucher student David Hernandez, ‘18, also works at LBIC. A history major, he is currently working on an archeological dig on campus, called the Epsom Project. His favorite flavors are a tie between Cherry Hibiscus because he’s “never tasted anything like it,” and Vegan Thai Iced Tea, which is made with delicious coconut cream.
This little ice cream stall has turned into a mini-Goucher community outside of Goucher. They work hard together and enthuse about their coworkers’ positivity, passion, and inspiring desires to make positive change in the world.

Rae Walker, ‘17 scoops ice cream at Little Baby’s Ice Cream when he’s not working as a Special Education teacher at Dr Carter G Woodson Elementary Middle School. Credit: Sophia Hancock

Spiegelman’s job as a manager, however, is not without its difficulties.
“R. House oozes that white men built it,” said Spiegelman. At the time that Spiegelman started at the newly-opened Baltimore branch, LBIC was partnered with Blk//Sugar, a bakery owned by Krystal Mack, who was the only woman and only black person working as a manager at R. House.
“I love the people that work here,” said Spiegelman. “It’s just the people upstairs…When I go to meetings with them, I’m the youngest, I’m the only woman…Everyone else is a white male.” Spiegelman laughed, drawing connections between her awareness of her management situation and her experiences at Goucher. “You don’t realize everything you’ve learned until you’re put into a situation, and then you’re like oh, that was very Goucher of me.”
A Goucher education can be taken in many directions. In addition to reflecting on how Goucher had opened her to a certain way of thinking, Spiegelman also emphasized how proud she was of all of her co-workers. “When you hear about alums, you just hear about alums in law firms, but the majority of graduated students are working in food service or something like that…[they are] working five jobs…and it’s all valid and awesome,” said Spiegelman. “There’s a lot of pressure to get salary jobs right out of school, and it would be great to have a salary job right now but there’s nothing wrong with working just because you love it. People should be celebrated for making it in this crazy world.”

In addition to managing Little Baby’s, Spiegelman works part-time in Goucher’s Special Collections. And on the side, she makes her own ice cream, based on historical art, events, and people, etc.! (Follow her on Instagram: @asweethistory). Her favorite LBIC flavor is Maryland BBQ because “it is unexpectedly delicious” and she hopes to go to graduate school for food studies in the fall.

A Little Extra
As part of the interviews, I asked alums to write what they appreciated about their co-workers. They all had many lovely things to say. Emily Abramson’s comments were so sweet and individualized, however, that it was impossible to resist publishing them all.

From Emily, on her co-workers:
Hannah: A sweet boss and always someone that is there for me. Both of us have this unique quality in which it can take one of us upwards of half an hour to tell a story, so there’s never a quiet moment when we’re working together.
Yael: An angel, and one of the sweetest people in the world. She brings out the goofy side in me, and we’ve heard reports from other R House staff that they can sometimes hear us laughing from across the building.
Efehi: I love Efehi for many many reasons, one of which being that she’s the only one that can keep up with me when I’m dancing in the stall.
Rae: Rae and I always manage to make each other laugh so hard we wheeze when we work together.
David: David’s smile always charms the older gay men into giving us lots of tips, which I appreciate. He’s so so sweet, and incredibly understanding.
Sophie: Through thick and thin, Sophie is a dear friend and a great person to work with. We spend slow days at work experimenting with weird flavor combinations and laughing at ridiculous college stories.
Zac: An impeccable fashion sense and such a down to earth dude.

Spiegelman also happily made it clear in her interview that Goucher students who visit Little Baby’s (while she is the manager, at least) will receive a discount.

Abby Stein: Trans Activist and Former Rebbe Visits Goucher

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On February 20th, Goucher Hillel brought activist Abby Stein to come speak with the college community.

Socialized as a man for the first twenty years of her life and born into a royal bloodline, Stein was trained as a rebbe for the Hasidic community shortly after her arranged marriage at age 19. She left the community in 2012, and came out as a transgender woman in 2015.
Photo Credit: Google Images

During her talk in the Hyman Forum, Stein told us about her life on the inside of the Hasidic community of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. (For some reference, think of Fiddler on the Roof.) She informed us how she was taught that “T.V. is the devil,” and that men and women should occupy entirely separate spheres of the Hasidic community.
Socialized as a man for the first twenty years of her life and born into a royal bloodline, Stein was trained as a rebbe for the Hasidic community shortly after her arranged marriage at age 19. She left the community in 2012, and came out as a transgender woman in 2015. She spent a significant part of her talk describing the schooling system within the Hasidic community, pointing out that only girls were taught any English growing up. While boys were expected to study the Talmud, requiring them to only need to know Hebrew and Yiddish, most girls worked in the larger Brooklyn area once married. Despite this, the secludedness of the community ensured that the prevailing languages spoken were Hebrew and Yiddish. Stein underscored this point when she said that after leaving the community it was as if she was an “immigrant to [her] own country,” despite having been born and raised in New York.
One of Stein’s slogans is “refusing to shut up.” A part of this includes educating people on Hasidism without bashing individuals within the community. I learned that being a rebbe is different from being a rabbi in that Stein remarked that rebbes are considered the “political, spiritual, and financial leader” of the community. She likened the community’s structure to that of a monarchy, and commented that “[gender] roles are set in stone.” That she herself was a rebbe within this incredibly insular community made this ethnographic approach more accessible to me. Instead of feeling the need to defend any aspect of Judaism, I could simply appreciate Stein’s critique of the tradition she was raised in.
An engaging speaker, Stein felt approachable. She sidestepped the subject of how to be a good ally, and instead challenged us as audience members to listen to her story without needing to make it about us instead. She spent an hour telling us the story of her life, and an hour after that answering questions from the audience about almost anything under the sun. Stein made it clear that she does not have all the answers to how we can build a more welcoming world on a large scale, but she does know that the self-made choice to come out is worth celebrating.
So, what? Why should we care? What if you aren’t queer, or Jewish, or both? Callie Hamm, ‘21, summed it up simply: “anybody from any background can get something out of it.”
Here are a few of the resources Stein highlighted in her talk:

  • Her website, http://thesecondtransition.blogspot.com/ includes her blog and a plethora of Jewish- and queer-centric resources
  • Watching YouTube videos of trans people talking about their identities
  • One of Us on Netflix
  • Follow her on Instagram @abbychavastein

In addition to bringing speakers to campus from time to time, Goucher Hillel hosts a free Shabbat dinner every Friday night, and all are welcome to attend. Want to know more about Abby Stein, Jewish life on campus, or are interested in being a part of a Jewish and Queer affinity space? Feel free to email me at nelev001@mail.goucher.edu.

 

NEVE LEVENSON

Freshmen Perspectives: Homesickness

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“As humans, we instinctively crave familiarity, security and some degree of a routine. All of this disappears when you are thrown into college: a completely new, unpredictable and ever-changing situation.” Photo Credit: semionbarbershop.com

As you, a first-year, enter your first spring semester of college after a month-and-a-half long winter break, a familiar wave of discomfort and longing for home may wash over you. This unease and anxiety can be summed up in one word: homesickness. In a paper co-written by Chris Thurber and Edward Walton, published in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, homesickness is defined as “distress and functional impairment caused by an actual or anticipated separation from home and attachment objects such as parents.” Even though homesickness stems from being away from home, it isn’t always directly about missing your house or the physical aspects of home. Josh Klapow, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at the University of Alabama’s School of Public Health explains, ”You’re not literally just missing your house. You’re missing what’s normal, what is routine, the larger sense of social space, because those are the things that help us survive.” When moving to a new environment, one can easily get overwhelmed because quite suddenly, nothing is familiar anymore. As humans, we instinctively crave familiarity, security and some degree of a routine. All of this disappears when you are thrown into college: a completely new, unpredictable and ever-changing situation. Homesickness is more of a spectrum and something that comes in waves. Homesickness is not black and white. Every individual experiences it to a different degree, at different times, and in different ways. The following quotes are from several first-year students at Goucher regarding homesickness during their first semesters of college:
“In the beginning of the first semester there was so much going on I wasn’t really able to focus my energy on missing home, and it was all so surreal I think my brain didn’t really believe that this was my new home. I would say it took until [the] end of September or October for me to get really homesick, and it was pretty bad.” -Emma Needham (’21)
“During the first few days, I was excited rather than homesick. There was a lot to get used to. But then as we progressed into October, I felt really homesick. I began counting the days until I could go back home and I felt isolated from everything I have known. I thought of home everyday and tried to find anything that could connect me back to home.” -Dina Diani (’21)
“About halfway through the beginning of the first semester I got pretty homesick. I was just missing the familiarity and the comfort of home and I was missing a lot of the good food that I ate back home. I miss my family, but I think just like the comfort and easiness of living back at home was getting to me because everything was so new and to some degree difficult and hard for me.” -Ramona Kamb (’21)
“I think I felt especially off because break was so long-I had gotten so comfortable at home back into my old routines and habits that it felt actually kind of sad to come back here. I was excited to see my friends and all but I for sure was missing home last week.” -Emma Needham (’21)
“Because of the first semester acting as kind of a trial for me, this semester is bringing a lot of new excitement with different classes and a more rigorous schedule so I’m not as homesick as before. But I have my moments where I miss the mountains and my family and my boyfriend.” – Tiana Ozolins (’21)
“Things feel much more normal and natural this semester.” -Esther Gordon (’21)
“I mean, the second semester only just started but I know I was homesick more first semester because again everything was so new and I really wasn’t adjusted to this new chapter of my life in college living. Now that I am more comfortable around my peers and that I know people it’s gotten a lot easier and I definitely feel less homesick.” -Ramona Lamb (’21)
Evidently, everyone has had a different experience. Even though current freshmen are now more accustomed to the college lifestyle, having lived it for a whole semester, returning from the long winter break can bring back feelings of homesickness, and this is normal. The goal here is to provide freshmen with different personal accounts from their peers, so they can hopefully to find aspects that may resonate with them, and ultimately know that they are not alone on this journey.

Club Chat – Economic Education Club

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Naked economics by Charles Wheelan. Photo Credit: Google Images

Even at a small school like Goucher, there can be dozens of clubs active at any given time. Every semester, organizations are created and disbanded in the blink of an eye. How is someone supposed to keep track of it all?
I’m here to help! Club Chat is an issue by issue profile of an active club on campus. From long established to newcomers, Club Chat will give you an in-depth glimpse into an organization so you can figure out if it’s the right fit for you.
This week we will look at Economic Education club, formed this semester. I spoke with club President Surbhi (‘19) for more details.

Q: What is your Club’s general purpose?
A: We go to Goucher, and it’s very politically liberal. And there are a lot of things brought up in economic classes that aren’t brought up in the liberal community. It’s little things, like, what is bitcoin? Or talking about the new tax law–what is good about it? What is bad about it? Trade treaties–are they good? Are they bad? What I want to do is start a conversation and have an educated seminar; this is why they [tax laws, trade treaties] might be hated, but they aren’t the worst things in the world. There is a middle ground, and a lot of the things you enjoy are because of these capitalist things that you might not realize.

Q: How does your club work structurally? Do you have meetings? Are you more event based?
A: More of an event based club. I attended a conference with the Foundation for Economic Education while I was interning for the Charles Koch Foundation and it was very good! I did the entrepreneurial track, and we learned so much about how to do your taxes, how to have a passive income…
We learned a lot of these things that I wished was talked about more by Goucher students. I have contacts through this organization for people who can come talk. We’ll sort of do a weekly meeting, where we will have a webinar where someone can talk to us online. We’ll also have actual events, and sometime at the end of the semester we would like to have a debate.

Q: What gave you the idea to start the club?
A: Basically I just wanted to do a few events, like talking about bitcoin. I’ve had bitcoin since it was like ten dollars, I’ve made about two to three thousand dollars on it, and I have a lot of bitcoin left: I paid tuition with what I gained from bitcoin. That’s what I wanted to do. There are options that you might not know about: investment banking, which checking account or banking account is best for you…

Q: Why should people participate in your club out of all the other options out there?
A: For their own development. All of these things that I’ve learned in classes in seminars I thought were very valuable things. Basic financial empowerment, knowing what’s happening with tax laws and economics outside of the college can be so helpful when you’re going out into the job market. These are things that might not necessarily be taught at the college, but they can be helpful when deciding what job to get or how to progress in their jobs.

Q: Anything else people should know?
A: This is not a propaganda club—free market or otherwise. A lot of things we’ll talk about are things like why is Planned Parenthood good economically, or why immigration is good economically. I’m definitely going to have a speaker come in to talk about how amazing immigration is. Those are liberal issues – so it’s not a partisan club like “you love free markets or you don’t show up”. These are things in economics and they aren’t black and white—so let’s explore it. It’s purely educational, there’s no motive to turn people to capitalists or republicans.

Interested in having your organization featured in the next issue of the Q? Email me at firut001@mail.goucher.edu for your chance to be in the next edition of club chat.

From CDO to CEO: The CDO Rebrands

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The CDO changes its name to the Career Education Office (CEO). Photo Credit: CDO Goucher on youtube.com

We all know that room at the end of that hallway in Van Meter. The one that has lights around the door and doughnuts on Fridays. It’s the Career Development Office, a.k.a. the CDO. However, on January 29, 2018, during the first-year group advising meetings, it was announced that the CDO would soon become the CEO.
Now, let’s backtrack a bit to when this plan was initially being discussed. At the end of last semester, the CDO was having focus groups with students ranging from those who have visited them to those who have not. The goal of these focus groups was to talk about what the student body thought of the CDO and what changes they hoped could be made. During these meetings, pizza was distributed, ideas were thrown out, and the general feeling was that the student body did not quite know what the CDO did. To be more precise, it seemed that students were scared of the CDO because it represented “the real world” after graduation. To students, the CDO seemed like a place to go after a resume had been drafted, a cover letter written, and an interview lined up.
So here’s a small snippet of what the CDO actually does. The CDO is a place to go for help writing a resume or cover letter. It has a closet for when one is unsure of what is worn typically for an interview, or for a formal or semi-formal event. It is an inviting place that offers discussions with alumni/ae both on Tuesday afternoons over tea, and on Friday mornings over doughnuts and coffee. Alums give advice ranging from when to go to Human Resources to when to quit a job.
In the spirit of innovation, the CDO has taken student advice and has decided to incorporate its services more into the experience both in and out of the classroom. Starting next year and with the class of 2022, the CDO will become the Career Education Office, or, CEO, the same acronym as Chief Executive Officer, although unintentionally .
What does this mean for Goucher? Well, for one thing, it means another wacky acronym that Admissions Ambassadors can throw around. But for future students, this means classes will incorporate goal-setting with regards to career plans within the curriculum and that hopefully, every student will have a resume by the end of their first year. However, for students graduating in 2021 or before, this means that the CDO (or CEO) will start to become a place that resembles less a door at the end of the hallway that should be avoided at all costs, and more of a friendly helping hand along the way to the next stage of one’s life, beyond the hallowed halls of educational institutions.

Title IX Talkbacks: Sex and Gender While Abroad

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Photo Credit: Google Images

Recently Goucher’s Title IX office hosted an event called Title IX Talkbacks: Sex and Gender While Abroad. This event provided a space for students who have been abroad or were about to go abroad, to discuss their experiences with sex and gender. The goal of this event was to provide a student centered space where students could discuss their experiences, unpack their struggles, and provide feedback for the Goucher study abroad office. This feedback was given anonymously to the Goucher Title IX office and the Office of International Studies (OIS). Olivia Siegel, a senior and peer educator at the Title IX Office who helped organize this event, said the event was inspired by seeing an issue in the way Goucher addresses sex and gender while abroad and wanting to raise awareness about it: “The Title IX Peer Educators do genuinely care about supporting students and improving the resources we have on campus to address student need. Part of this program was just seeing a need and using the resources we have at hand to address it.”

Photo Credit: Google Images

Siegel spoke about how OIS does not prepare students for processing and addressing sex and gender while abroad. During pre departure orientation students receive general information from several different Goucher departments. At these pre departure sessions, Lucia Perfetti-Clark, the Goucher Title IX Coordinator, explains what resources and support are available while abroad. The Goucher Title IX office can advocate for students in several ways while they are abroad, in the same way Title IX can advocate for students while they are at Goucher. If needed, Title IX can advocate for students if they need to switch host families, request mental health assistance, or for academic accommodations. “Basically Lucia will try to advocate for your needs to the necessary party, but it doesn’t guarantee the host country will cooperate!” Siegel said.

This also means that the OIS doesn’t warn you about going to an area with higher amounts of sexual violence or street harassment. This can leave students without the resources to process their experiences, and can lead to some harmful assumptions about the culture of the host country. “When I witnessed or experienced street harassment and sexism, my first instinct wasn’t to call the Goucher Title IX Office. None of what I experienced at the pre-departure orientation could have prepared me mentally or emotionally for the gender-related issues my friends experienced,” said Siegel.

Siegel spoke about her experiences with processing street harassment in Santiago, Chile. “I found that a lot of our conversations about the topic were fairly superficial—either we were told by our in-country program advisors that this was normal and cultural (which is true), or we turned our nose up at how “machismo” (chauvinist) Chilean culture is. Often we were told this was part of Chilean culture, and came to the conclusion that this was ‘bad’ or ‘backwards.’” However, Siegel did not find that this was a helpful way of processing, nor did it help her examine her own assumptions. “I found neither of these conversations were productive or helped us process and question these cultural differences head-on, or examine our own misogyny and issues related to sexism in the U.S., and how we viewed these issues through an ethnocentric lens.”

Siegel hopes that this event will promote awareness and bring change to the way OIS helps prepare students studying abroad. “Goucher can better promote and identify students who have gone abroad and are invested in these issues, and create a more formal way to contact and seek support/mentorship from these people through OIS from students about to embark.” Siegel believes that students should be given the tools to help them process their experiences, so that study abroad can be a learning experience and so that they do not label something that they may not understand, as she was tempted to do in Chile.

When Siegel has brought up the possibility of warning students who are studying abroad in areas that have higher rates of sexual violence and gender based issues to OIS, she has been told that they do not want to scare students who are about to embark. Siegel responded with frustration, “I’m only going to say that the obvious answer to this challenge, which I shouldn’t even have to mention, is that studying abroad is not supposed to be easy. Goucher should encourage students to go into this experience with an open heart and mind.”

Famous Ojibway Songwriter Speaks to Goucher

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Jody Gaskin fills the Hyman Forum with captivating melodies. Photo Credit: Olivia Baud

On November 16th and 17th, Goucher welcomed world-renown indigenous songwriter, Jody Gaskin. Adam Geller, ’18, who is known for his flute playing and drum circles on campus, applied for a social justice grant a couple of weeks before the event. Having gotten to know Gaskin by traveling the Powwow trail selling tea, he knew that he would be the perfect guest artist to familiarize Goucher students with native music and history.

On the night of the 16th, Gaskin performed a Native American rock concert in Merrick. He began with some storytelling followed by a couple of songs about his tribe and native history, and ended the evening with a hoop dance, using hoops to make shapes representing different animals. “I’ve been singin’ on a drum since I was in diapers,” he said in an informal interview, “and I’ve been dancing since I could walk.” Inspired by his mom, who was a “big rocker” and listened to a lot of Motown, Gaskin began playing the guitar at 14 and began writing songs off-the-batt. At 15, his mom bought him his first, acoustic guitar. Today, Gaskin has won numerous awards for his work as well as performed to a variety of audiences around the world.

For Gaskin, songwriting is about “telling a story, not just meaningless stories.” He explained that social justice songs were big in the 80’s but not so much today. On the 17th, during his roundtable discussion, he demonstrated just what good storytelling was about. “1,000 to 15,000 years, ago, a young boy was given a vision to leave,” he began. He recounted the origin story of his people, the Ojibway (often misnamed the Chippewa), explaining how their migration throughout the continent was at first shaped by the foresight of a boy given a prophecy by megis shells rising out of the water. The boy warned his people of a threat coming from the East and spoke of “a place where food grows on the water”: the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior, where wild-rice grew in abundance. This area eventually became the capital of the Ojibway nation. Gaskin then interwove the origin story with a historical overview of Indian-White relations, explaining how colonists like Samuel D. Champlain “sent soldiers [to the Great Lakes region] to break s**t.” In 1763, a group of frontiersmen in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the Paxton Boys, shot Indians on-sight and hacked them to death in what became known as the Conestoga Massacre. “There’s a historic trauma that comes with that,” Gaskin said.

Native Americans’ feelings of anger and frustration are exacerbated by the fact that the US government continues to pose a threat to their existence and ways of life. “Life in the res sucked, sucked, still to this day!” Gaskin said. “They’ve got a bottomless bag of dope and a bottomless bag of booze.” Despite numerous instances of benevolence on the part of native peoples towards whites, their contributions to the US via military service, economic participation, etc., and a number of treaties signed with the US government, natives to this day must fight for basic rights. The events at Standing Rock are just one example. While officially recognized native groups retain reservation rights, mineral rights must be bought separately. Any oil or mineral company can drill beneath their lands unless they purchase those rights. What’s more, the US government has driven deep divides between groups through an uneven allocation of funds according to blood-ties. While some nations, like the Seminoles (who own every Hard Rock Cafe around the world) have been incredibly successful, others are struggling to make ends meet.

Gaskin’s event took place shortly before Thanksgiving, a holiday that tends to perpetuate a false narrative of Indian-White relations. His performance on the 16th, followed by his roundtable discussion on the 17th were a reminder that, while spending time with family is important, it is equally important maintain awareness about the persisting discrimination towards the Native American peoples. Just as easily as a story can be told, a story can be unwritten.

8 Career Tips to Maximize Your Winter Break from the CDO

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Feeling overwhelmed? Not sure where to start when it comes to majors, internships, jobs, and this thing called a “career”? The CDO is here to help every step of the way. Check-out tips below for getting started and using winter break to your advantage-take one step at a time. No matter your year or major, it’s never too early to get started.

Learn more about yourself and careers, build your network, start your summer internship search, or begin your post-Goucher job search.

  1. Build Your Network! (breaks are a great time to connect)
  • Start to talk about jobs and careers with people you already know – when meeting friends, family, mentors, co-workers, community members, teachers and, really, anyone you come across over the winter break, start to ask questions about jobs, careers, their experiences and who else they might connect you with. Focus on gathering information, paying attention to career clues, and expanding your circle.
  • Conduct informational interviews – this is an excellent opportunity to explore career fields and jobs, connect with professionals in your field(s) of interest, develop an understanding of those fields. Through this process you will often gain advice, and learn about internship/job opportunities without specifically asking for the job.
  • Reach-out to Goucher Alumni Career Coaches – nearly 200 alumni who have volunteered to connect with you, current Goucher students, for career and major advice, industry insights, and job market opportunities. Use the Alumni Career Coaches tab in Goucher Recruit to search and message alumni.
  • Create (or update) a LinkedIn profile – begin to build a network of contacts and showcase your interests, experiences, skills and education. Connect with alumni, faculty, staff, peers, and family to get started.
  1. If unsure about a career direction, complete the quick Traitify assessment for personality insights and recommended job titles, available on the CDO homepage.
  2. Spend time identifying (or reviewing) your career/work values, interests and motivated skills. Stop by or contact the CDO for an appointment to further explore YOU.
  3. Update your resume to include community service, academic projects, on-campus jobs, and other relevant experiences. Utilize the CDO’s Resume Check service through Goucher Recruit to have your resume reviewed by a professional.
  4. Check for on-campus jobs, internships, and off-campus openings on Goucher Recruit and through other websites (e.g. LinkedIn, Baltimore Collegetown Network, Indeed, Idealist), professional associations, and personal contacts.
  5. Develop a prospect list of organizations in which you are interested or want to learn more about. Review their websites for opportunities and checkout LinkedIn and Goucher Alumni Career Coaches (in Goucher Recruit) for potential contacts working at those organizations.
  6. Draft a cover letter that is targeted to a specific job or internship.
  7. Pursue an internship experience (ideally multiple across your Goucher experience)! Learn about (or review) the Internship Learning Agreement, available on the CDO website, if you intend to apply for academic credit. And, remember that Goucher Intern Fellowship funds are available to support summer internships (with an application deadline in late April).

And don’t forget, the CDO is here to help and we look forward to connecting with you. We meet with students year round, even over breaks, through scheduled appointments (email us at career@goucher.edu or call us at 410-337-6191) and drop-ins from 2pm-4pm Monday-Friday (just stop by!). We also host events and programs throughout the year to help you to become career ready! Follow us on social media @GoucherCollegeCDO to keep up with all that’s happening at the CDO or visit our website for more resources.

BY JENN LEARD, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF CAREER ADVISING AND STUDENT ENGAGEMENT

This Month in Goucher History

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Photo Credit: Goucher College Digital Archives

 

At Goucher, we have the luxury of having all of our publications digitally archived! Any student here can access old issues of the Quindecim through the library website. When examining these issues, it is interesting to see how our college has evolved over the years. This time of year, when winter break and finals are coming up, is especially fun to look back at in Goucher’s history to see what was happening.

Photo Credit: Goucher College Digital Archives

December 14th, 1922: The Goucher Weekly came out on December 14th, 1922 and had some interesting events happening on campus. Goucher’s debate team, called the Agora, held a debate about whether fraternities should be allowed on Goucher’s campus. Three faculty judges sided with the team that said fraternities shouldn’t be allowed, on the grounds that they are undemocratic, lower academic standing, and destroy college unity.

The student decorum committee submitted a small poem, which said that, “A Goucher girl upon the street/ Should look precise and very neat”.

December 1st, 1950: This issue of the Goucher Weekly reported that Robert Frost spoke to a huge, campus audience. He shared that he usually wrote his poems with logic in mind at first, then moved on to a witty idea. He also stated that he especially enjoyed writing ‘eclogues’ (a poem in classical style) for the same reason he enjoyed chewing tobacco: because women couldn’t do it.

There was an editorial written on communism, critiquing the policy of the Red Scare. The student who wrote the editorial also recounted an incident where a Baltimore man ranted about how all Communists should be in jail. When the man realized that the student did not agree, he said, “You’re from Goucher aren’t you? That place is loaded with Communists, too!”

December 1st, 1999: This issue of the Quindecim reported that Muslim students were struggling to have accommodations made for Ramadan at Goucher. The student writer raised dietary concerns, in part regarding the availability of food during Ramadan, and emphasized the need for a prayer room for Muslim students.

There was an article which raised concerns with the addition of the shuttle stop by the Towson Town Center. Goucher had been the first college in the area to set up a shuttle system for students. The Collegetown shuttle had only been established a few years earlier, and was being expanded. Students worried that adding additional stops would make it harder to come to class on time. One student complained that the shuttle was supposed to be for “educational purposes and not for mall stops.”

Goucher was also undergoing construction at this time, similar to our campus currently. One article comments about how Stimson was built ‘nearly half a century ago’ and needs to be replaced soon. Goucher was also changing to more electronic systems, putting in place the OneCard system and implementing online class registration.

December 10th, 2003: In December 2003, the Quindecim reported that Goucher was still under construction. There was an article detailing the plans for building the Athenaeum. Goucher was also revamping its curriculum and finding new ways to integrate general education requirements.

Additionally, Goucher was trying to find new solutions to busy dining halls. Pearlstone was seeing much more student traffic than Stimson and was overcrowded, which meant it had difficulty keeping food in stock.

Faculty Insider: Dr. Gillian Starkey, Center for Psychology

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Dr. Gillian Starkey, who came on as Assistant Professor of Human Neuroscience for the Center for Psychology fall of 2016, seems to have fit right into the campus culture. Photo Credit: Olivia Baud

For new professors at Goucher, an adjustment period is not unusual — Goucher has its own unique and eclectic atmosphere that differentiates it from other colleges and universities. Yet Dr. Gillian Starkey, who came on as Assistant Professor of Human Neuroscience for the Center for Psychology fall of 2016, seems to have fit right into the campus culture. She is already highly regarded as a kind, patient, and inspiring mentor. At the request of several curious students, I sat down with her for an interview to learn more about her journey coming here and the work she engages in now.

Having graduated from Bryn Mawr with a Bachelor’s in Psychology with a concentration in Neural and Behavioral Sciences (’08), Dr. Starkey has experienced liberal arts education firsthand. Yet, to her, Goucher students have different priorities than students from many other, similar colleges. “I’ve only been here for three semesters and this stood out to me right away: Goucher students are much more interested in making a difference,” she told me. This was the kind of community she sought to be a part of when applying for her position. Students seemed less competitive, less centered on grades, and to have, in her words, “much more of a social justice orientation.” Moreover, faculty strove to foster students’ curiosity by seeking innovative approaches to learning. “When I was here for my interview, I asked a lot of faculty about the kind of classes that they taught. Some fell into traditional canon of psychology classes, but they had different names, and they used different, more creative methods of teaching,” she said.

Dr. Starkey’s interest in education predated her studies in neuroscience. It wasn’t until becoming an undergraduate student, however, that she began to consider teaching herself. One of her biology professors, a neuroscientist and philosopher, was a big influence. “He had us debating about the nature of consciousness on the first day of class,” she remarked. Her facial expression and body gestures recalled the astonishment she had felt at his impactful lessons. “I was just hooked.” After receiving her PhD in Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience from Vanderbilt, she decided to go into teaching.

This semester, she is teaching both an Educational Neuroscience seminar and an Introduction to Psychology course. The Center tried to keep the Introduction to Psychology class small, capping it at around 22-24 students instead of 80-100 (as was the case in previous years), so Dr. Starkey has had more of an opportunity to integrate activities and experiments in her classes. She uses them as a tool for emphasizing student experience, connecting complex topics with real world issues. “Science can zoom in so closely to the level of a neuron and students can feel removed from that,” she explained to me. “For my classes, I really…I try to give things a context.”

Like the undergraduate professor who inspired her, Dr. Starkey tries to relay her passion  for neuroscience to her students. “There are so many mysterious things about the brain. It’s just always exciting. I feel like every week I just learn something new that just blows my mind,” she said. For her, it’s not just an exciting field, either. It is also a practical one. Neuroscience relates to many social justice issues, including educational inequity. “I always had an awareness about issues of privilege related to access to education,” she said. Both of her parents worked in Head Start schools where they developed math curricula. “Hearing them talk about that at home I think is what clued me in that my educational experience was a little bit different [than that of the kids they taught].” As a result, she often refers back to a key question in her coursework: how can educational neuroscience help explain the disadvantages and threats that children face as their brains develop, and how they should be addressed?

This is a question that she has also sought to answer through research, focusing primarily on the neural basis for children’s math development. Educational neuroscience often involves examining brain imagery through EEG — caps with electrodes worn by participants. Dr. Starkey has been conducting EEG research for 10 years, beginning with undergraduate school and continuing throughout her postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University. Luckily, Goucher provides her a nice EEG setup which has allowed her to build on that research. She has thus had the opportunity to work with both undergraduates and elementary school children, who are tasked to play number-related computer games while their brain activity is recorded.

What she and her research partners have found is that pedagogical practices in education aren’t really capitalizing on brain development. “Many kids are starting school at 8 am or starting second languages in middle school that aren’t in line with findings in neuroscience,” she told me. In examining the development of math skills in elementary school children, “We found that basic number skills, just like the most fundamental things… a lot of kids cannot do. That goes on to severely impact them as they go onto higher level math.” She gave me an example with addition. Kids who continue to depend on their fingers to add numbers together throughout elementary school tend to struggle with more complex math problems down the road. “You’re building on fluency,” she explained. In light of these findings, her goal is to develop some training programs in math for kids who are coming from backgrounds in which their exposure to math was limited due to school resources or learning differences.

When she is not researching or teaching, Dr. Starkey enjoys spending time in the outdoors, whether it be by jogging, hiking, or even skiing. As a cook and food enthusiast, she takes advantage of the underrated food scene in Baltimore. She also “love love love[s] to read,” setting the goal for herself on any break from school to “read a book that has nothing to do with neuroscience.” After all, as she imparted to me, “neural connections that you don’t continue to use you will lose over time. But older brains can still pick up information.” It’s never too late to learn something new!

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