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Who Gets to Be a Jazz Musician?

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Photo courtesy of Google Images.

Katie Van Note, Staff Writer

March 5th, 2017

What does a stereotypical American jazz musician look like? This is the question Naomi Moon Siegel asked that prompted conversation in Jeffrey Chapell’s jazz ensemble class last Tuesday, February 21st. Siegel is a composer, trombonist, and educator who visited Goucher College to present a workshop titled “Gender Equality and The Feminine Principle in Jazz.”

Siegel received her bachelors degree in jazz trombone from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. It was through her training that she realized conversations about patriarchy, sexuality, race, and gender – very much present among students in the liberal arts college – were not present in the conservatory. The majority of her teachers and fellow students were white males. In her music history classes, she learned about men. All of the books she read were written by men. If there was ever a section in a textbook on female musicians, it was given a special label, “Women in Jazz.” Yet, as Naomi stated last Tuesday, “women have always played jazz as instrumentalists.”

So, who is a typical jazz musician in America? Who is given space to sing, play the piano, guitar, drums, flute, clarinet, trumpet, or saxophone? This is where the conversation started at Goucher.

Eight of the attending jazz student musicians were given the task to identify stereotypes of various races and genders in jazz. Siegel asked, “What images and messages does the society receive at large about these groups of people in jazz?” Students identified these stereotypes about men: “they are white, instrumentalists, intelligent, they have an expected level of know-how, they are cool cats, aloof, elitist, middle-class, most able, and most visible.” One Goucher musician added, “they can afford gigging around,” as yet another symptom of privilege and class.

Stereotypes of women in jazz included “non-instrumentalists, sometimes pianists, sex objects, vocalists, wives, and non-composers.” It is important to note that female instrumentalists, such as Lil Hardin Armstrong and Alice Coltrane, both jazz pianists in their own right, were known for their marriages to their jazz musician husbands. Within the first two sentences of their descriptions on Wikipedia, they are mentioned as wives to John Coltrane and Louis Armstrong, whereas both men are described on Wikipedia by musical style and accomplishments with no mention of marital details. This begs the question – would these female musicians have been documented and remembered in jazz history if they hadn’t married male musicians?

Students also offered stereotypes of African Americans in jazz as “natural, the best jazz musicians, best sense of rhythm, and the originators.” Furthermore, stereotypes were discussed of Asian Americans as “classically trained piano players, can’t swing, and non-existent in jazz,” while Native Americans, Arab-Americans, Latino-Americans, were all labeled as “non-existent in jazz” as well. Siegel noted that greater intersectionality between sexuality, gender identity, and cultural backgrounds were not mentioned either, as they further separated a person from the “norm” in jazz.

Yet, how have these stereotypes developed over the hundred or so years of American jazz history? Siegel identified the creation and distribution of magazines in the 1920s as a major cause – propaganda that sexualized women vocalists and prioritized white bands.

In her lecture, Siegel explained her own internalized stereotype as “socialized to believe that females are inferior jazz instrumentalists.” She gave examples by quoting her fellow female jazz musicians, Esperanza Spalding and Kate Olsen: “I’m just a jazz musician,” and “I’m just one of the guys.” In reflection, Siegel pointed to the implicit meaning behind their quotes: denial of the patriarchy “as if somehow it doesn’t exist.”

One female vocalist in the audience told an account of her own experience: “My mom has always said she sees me lying on a piano in a slinky red dress singing jazz.”

As individuals in the jazz arena, Siegel noted the importance of “telling counter-narratives.” These counter-narratives serve as challenges to the perpetual stereotypes marginalized groups face in jazz. She emphasized the development of an individual voice and sound. “My goal is for us to be fully expressive.Only in defining and challenging these stereotypes can we begin to discover our potential as musicians.”

In creating a space for dialogue of this kind, Siegel left some students with another perspective, some with a validation of experience as female and black musicians, and some with inspiration to challenge the concept of a stereotypical jazz musician.

Mothpuppy!

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Nashalia Ferrara, Editor-in-Chief

March 5th, 2017

Morgan Murphy ‘18 is one of my favorite people, and I might be a little bit biased because she also happens to be one of my great friends. Last week, we sat down in Stimson’s dining hall to have some dinner and catch up with each other.  Murphy and her band, Mothpuppy, have been up to some pretty exciting stuff. At just 22 years old, she recently released a single, “Flea”, and has an album on the way.

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After our dinner, Murphy stopped by my room and gave me the exclusive.

NF: What is going on with Morgan and Mothpuppy right now?

MM: Mothpuppy is releasing an album called Cool and Pretty on March 10, ya got that? We recorded it in August at Headroom Studios in Philadelphia with Kyle Pulley and Joe Reinhart.

NF: Your single came out today?

MM: Yes! So our single is “Flea”, and it’s about fleas.

NF: Why is this the single? Is it your favorite song on the album?

MM: I don’t know if it’s my favorite song on the album, but it’s a lot people’s. I think it’s a good length and pretty simple, which makes for a good single.

NF: Where can your fans listen to “Flea”?

MM:  It’s streaming on Sad Cactus Records’ SoundCloud.

NF: Is it true that you’re 22 and you have a record deal?

MM: umm, I mean- I wouldn’t say that. I’m in association with a small record company, a very good record company, Sad Cactus.

NF: How many songs are on the album? And which one is your favorite?

MM:  There are 11 songs on the album. I like “Basketball Court” because we do some weird stuff, and I feel like it’s a good collaboration of all the band members’ talents.

NF: If your album were in stores, which genre would I find it under?

MM: I don’t remember the aisles anymore. I haven’t been to a record store in a while. Whenever I bring a song to the group, it really transforms into something that I’m not really quite sure what to call. We all have different musical backgrounds.

NF: Who is in the band?

MM: Shawn Durham ‘18  plays drums, Rebecca Willis ‘17 plays guitar, Ryan Vieria ‘16 plays the bass, and Becca Kotula ‘17 plays the violin.

NF: Do you write all your songs?

MM: Yes, me, Morgan, writes them all.

NF: You write all of them? Really?

MM: I write all of the base parts, like the chord structure and the lyrics and the melodies. Usually, I’ll write a song on the guitar and then bring it to the band. They take it from there and play what goes well with what I wrote.

NF: What’s harder, writing a short piece of fiction or writing a song? (Murphy is an English Major)

MM: It depends, sometimes it’s really easy writing a song. It can take as fast as the song is itself, and other times, I take a really long time and sit on a guitar part for months and months. That might have a lot do with procrastination, though. Fiction writing people make me write so…

NF: Why release your album on a cassette?

MM: Really just because we can’t do vinyl because our songs aren’t mastered, and we’re not that popular. [Vinyl] is super expensive, so we’re not doing that right now. There’s a market out for tapes because they are cheaper than CDs and more people like them because you can’t burn them and artists can customize the color. There is something appealing about them, right? It took a long time to decide, but our album will be on a gray cassette because it goes well with the album art.

NF: Where can I buy the physical album?

MM: You can preorder the cassette on sadcactus.us and you can also buy the digital album on March 10 through that website.

NF: So say a Goucher student stops you on Van Meter and asks you to sign their copy of Cool & Pretty, would you sign it?

MM: Yes, but I’ll never offer.

NF: When did you know that you were good at making music?

MM: Wow, what a question! I still don’t know. I still don’t know how cool the music is or how much people like it.

NF: Quickly can you explain the name Mothpuppy?

MM: Oh my god, it doesn’t mean anything. It was a mistake and I want to change it but it’s too late. It’s just silly and lifted from my snapchat name. Freshman year, people thought it was funny so they started calling me it.

NF: Cool & Pretty is the name of the album, why?

MM: There’s another single on the album, “Basketball Court”, which is coming out next, but yeah, it’s a line from that song.

NF: What’s the line?

MM: “I think about that in mysterious ways / I spend the time trying to know what to say / I lay in bed and waste half the day / he told me I was cool and pretty, cool and pretty, cool and pretty.” And it’s kind of just about putting more effort in a relationship. When you spend a lot time trying to find the perfect thing to say to people who mean a lot to you, and they come back with the most simple thing.

NF: That’s heartbreaking. Like they didn’t think hard enough?

MM: Yeah, basically, like “cool and pretty” isn’t really that hard to come up with. I could’ve said that too. It doesn’t really sound like much thought went through it, you know?

NF: What’s the theme of the album?

MM: Well, it was going to be called Housewife because a lot of the songs either put me in the position of singing to a child or sympathizing with the feeling of being like you need to devote yourself to something or someone. But that’s not the only theme, there are also songs about body image and identity.

Before Murphy returned to her rockstar life, I asked her a series of “quick fire” questions.

NF: Do you sing your own songs in the shower?

MM: Haha, I sing other people’s songs or I make up silly, new songs. That’s embarassing.

NF: Thoughts on “Happy Birthday” ?

MM: Overwhelming and repetitive.

NF: Taylor Swift?

MM: I just don’t know…

NF: Spotify or Apply Music?

MM: Spotify.

NF: Headphones, earbuds or speakers?

MM: Headphones, I like feeling immersed.

NF: An artist you were obsessed with in middle school?

MM: Green Day, and I still am. If you can get me to open for Green Day, I would kill for you!

NF: What instrument do you wish you could play?

MM: Piano.

NF: Least favorite noise?

MM: Oh god, I have a lot of noises I don’t like, but probably when there are too many people talking and the white noise that it all creates. It’s very bothersome.

NF: Most underrated artist?

MM: I don’t know; I told you not to ask me about my music taste, and this kinda falls under that.

NF: Most overrated artist?

MM: I can think of a lot but I don’t want to be mean.

Morgan Murphy is cool and pretty. Her band’s music is cool and pretty, but as she said, those words are too easy. They don’t capture Murphy, her short green hair, and all her glory just right. Murphy is talented beyond measure. On stage, her voice can get really loud but still sound as if it’s made of glass. The words she uses in her songs, stories, and conversations seem to be carefully chosen with a huge amount of thought behind them. She is the kind of person you leave Stimson and all its buzzing white noise to hear exactly what she has to say.

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Like Mothpuppy on Facebook to see when they’re playing next.

Listen to Mothpuppy’s single “Flea” here: https://soundcloud.com/sadcactusrecords/mothpuppy-flea

Life After Goucher: Hannah Kuehl ‘16

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img_1157-2-2Responses collected by Erika DiPasquale, Associate Editor

March 5th, 2017

What have you been up to since graduation? 

What haven’t I been up to since graduation?! Since last May, I’ve discovered what it’s like to be a nomad that lives by the seasonal work she can find. But I love it! Of course it has been a little stressful at times, but for the most part I’ve really enjoyed the freedom to move around and the different jobs I’ve done. Right after I graduated, I went home to New Hampshire and started working at a summer camp near my hometown called the Mayhew Program. I was co-leading outdoor trips of backpacking, mountain biking, and canoeing for groups of at-risk and low income boys. It was really exhausting, difficult work, but I loved it and learned a lot. After that, while I was applying for my next season of work and waiting to hear back, I worked a bunch of odd jobs…some apartment cleaning, babysitting, worked at a waterpark, paraprofessional at a high school, just about anything that came up. This was a little more of a stressful season and there were definitely moments when I wondered why I hadn’t gotten a “real job” after graduation…and then I heard back from the BOEC! This was an internship out in Breckenridge, Colorado that I applied for, and it was a position as an adaptive ski and snowboard instructor with the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center. So, I packed up the Prius and took a little road trip out to Colorado! I’m currently about halfway through my internship and loving it. I live with 11 other interns in a cabin, there’s always an opportunity to learn something new, and I’m outside working and playing every day! I plan to go back home for the summer and work with the Mayhew Program again, but next winter I hope to be back here with the BOEC. It’s been an adventurous year!

What do you miss about Goucher?

I miss the community of Goucher the most. Being able to walk two minutes and bust through your friend’s door is pretty great, and once you’re out of college it’s harder to connect with your friends in the same way. Even if you’re not living on campus, having all of your friends and a community of people to support you in the same area is really unique and a lot of fun. It’s also nice because you’re all essentially on the same schedule or are doing the same things so it’s easier to hang out…out of school people are working different jobs or living in different areas with time zone differences, so it can be tough to connect.

Any advice for seniors? 

Relax! Enjoy your last few months together. Then when you do start looking for your job or next step, do what you want. It’s okay to not have every step planned out, but find things that you’ll be happy doing. In my last semester, I remember one of my professors saying that every person should have at least a little time post-college where they’re living in a nasty apartment, barely scraping by each month, and living off of ramen. And that’s okay! My best advice is to not worry about finding the perfect job that’ll last forever. Do something that interests you, meet new people in a new place, and get some fun life experience.

What do you know now that you wish you had known as a first-year or before graduating in general?

I wish I had known how important connections are. Most of the work and things that I’ve done in the last year have come from random conversations and people that I’ve met, so I’m learning how important it is to foster these relationships. Previous experience and having a college degree are also definitely important in landing jobs, but it really has been the personal recommendations and the connections to different people that make the biggest difference in getting an interview. Be nice to people because, if they can, they generally want to help out!

What part of your Goucher experience has had the most influence on your first year out? 

This is a tough question to answer because there’s so much growth and change that happened for me throughout my four years at Goucher, and it’s hard to pick just one part that’s helping me now – being an athlete helped with time management, being a student taught me how to search for and use information, being at a liberal arts school opened my eyes to what’s happening in our world, having small classes taught me how to create relationships and get involved with people around me. Something that has surprised me, though, and has been more influential in my first year out than I expected, is my Spanish degree! Not only do employers love that I’m bilingual, but it’s also been incredibly useful (much more so than I expected in Colorado!). I give ski and snowboard lessons in Spanish, I can communicate with a lot of employees and people that work on the mountain, I can translate when there are language barriers on the bus, and just in general it’s been a great skill to have.

Life After Goucher: Isabel DaSilva ‘16

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Responses collected by Erika DiPasquale, Associate Editor

March 5th, 2017GraduationPic-2.jpg

What have you been up to since graduation?

I’ve been interested in publishing since about halfway through my time at Goucher and I’d had editorial internships at W. W. Norton & Company and at BookReporter.com during college. So, right after graduating, I attended the Columbia Publishing Course (CPC), a six-week long, intensive course on all aspects of book, magazine, and digital media publishing. The course was structured with two weeks of lectures on the book industry, a week for the book workshop, two weeks of lectures on magazine and online publications, and a week for the magazine workshop. We also had sessions that allowed us to develop our resumes and cover letters, as well as individual meetings with the director the program, Shaye Areheart. There was a line-up of amazing speakers who came to speak with us: we got to hear from editors and publishers (like Morgan Entrekin from Grove/Atlantic, Liese Mayer from Scribner, Chris Jackson from One World, Nico Pfund from Oxford University Press, etc.), authors (Tayari Jones and Eddie Huang), along with agents, publicists, marketing directors, book jacket designers, and sales directors. Along with hearing from and being able to work with some of the best people in publishing, one of my favorite parts of the course was when I got to go up to Adam Rappaport, the editor-in-chief of Bon Appetite Magazine, and ask him what the chef Bobby Flay is really like in person.

What do you miss about Goucher?

I miss the proximity of everything. I miss having friends live on the other side of the wall or a few floors down instead of on the other side of the country. I miss being able to roll out of bed and walk to Van Meter in ten minutes to go to a class or have a meeting with a professor. I, of course, miss all the lovely people who are still at Goucher who I don’t get to see everyday anymore. I also kind of miss how, at college, there’s a lot of energy being focused on students’ personal growth (as there should be!). What I’ve found working at Bloomsbury, though, is that you are often working to assist someone else or working towards a larger goal, and—while that can be extremely exciting and rewarding in and of itself—I do sometimes miss having it be my own work that I’m focusing on.

Any advice for seniors?

Step one: DON’T FREAK OUT! Seriously, everything’s going to be ok. Step two: Have some sort of plan for right after graduation so you don’t feel like you’re just moving back home or stepping out into some void. Having a plan doesn’t necessarily mean having a full-time job right away (although, if you have one, congratulations!). I was able to go straight into the CPC program after graduation, and there are a ton of summer programs for different fields that you can participate in that will likely help you find jobs (or even just clarify what you want or don’t want to do). But even if you don’t have something more formal set up for right after graduation, I strongly suggest setting up informational interviews with people you admire in the field or fields you’re interested in pursuing. At the end of the summer after graduation, I was able to get an informational interview with the head of hiring at Simon & Schuster, and—although she didn’t have a job for me at the time—that meeting has led to several interviews, so you never know where meetings like that can lead (and you also get to meet some super interesting people!).

What do you know now that you wish you had known as a first-year or before graduating in general?

I guess my best advice to those somewhere at the beginning or middle of their college experience is that you don’t have to know what you want to do right now—and, even if you thought you knew what you wanted to do, it’s ok to change your mind. At the beginning of college I had absolutely no idea of what I wanted to do (I didn’t even know what I wanted to major in). At one point, I was positive I wanted to be an elementary school teacher and then I spent one hellish summer as a camp counselor and decided that profession seriously was not for me (education majors, I applaud you—you are fantastic people and much more patient than I will ever be!). It wasn’t until sometime in the middle of college, when I started working as a tutor in the writing center, that I realized reading books and working with people on their writing is actually a profession, so I started learning more about publishing. Since then, I’ve learned so much more about the field and about what editors do and have fallen in love with the industry. But who knows? Maybe in another year I’ll run off and decide I want to start my own cupcake shop! My point is, be diligent, do internships and informational interviews, but one of the best parts about being in college is that it’s fine not to know for sure and try out different things.

What part of your Goucher experience has had the most influence on your first year out?

I would have to say that the part-time jobs I did in my last two years at Goucher have had the most direct influence on the work I’ve done since. As I mentioned, at the writing center, I discovered how much I loved reading other people’s writing and tossing ideas around with them and working together to improve whatever essay or story they brought in, which led to my passion for editing. It’s been so exciting to be able to work for people who are editing the writing of authors for real books that are going out into the real world (seriously, go buy Hot Milk by Deborah Levy—my boss, Lea, was the U.S. editor for it and it’s a fabulous book!). It was my work, though, as an SLCA director for after-school programs run out of the office of Community-Based Learning (CBL forever!) that I think gave me the best transferrable skills that I could bring to my job or talk about in interviews. Any program you can find at Goucher that gives you experience working with or managing groups of people, honing your organizational skills, or working towards a common goal with a strict deadline is an amazing experience that will give you a leg up in anything you do after graduation. Goucher also taught me the importance of good mentors—lovely people who go out of their way to nurture your skills and help you succeed—from Lindsay and Cass at CBL to Mary, Juliette, and Arnie in the English department. Speakers at CPC also emphasized how important it was to them to find mentors in publishing, and I’ve been lucky enough to find a few people at work who I really look up to and hope to find more in the future!

Goucher Poll Results Are In

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Drew Phillips, Staff Writer

March 5th, 2017

This academic year’s second rendition of the semi-annual Goucher Poll released its full results Monday. The poll, which operates out of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center, surveys a random sample of Maryland residents about their political opinions by having trained Goucher students call landlines and cell phones in the state, over the course of five days. Dr. Mileah Kromer has directed the poll since its conception five years ago, and in that time has taken it from non-existent to the most highly regarded poll in Maryland. She describes the goal of the poll as attempting to continue to be a very solid statewide poll, while also “asking questions of a national interest.”

The poll was scheduled to be conducted from February 18th—22nd, but higher response levels than anticipated allowed calling to conclude on the 21st, having surveyed 776 Maryland adults. The results were not particularly shocking. President Donald Trump is exceedingly unpopular, with a 29 percent approval rating in heavily Democratic Maryland, however it should not go unnoted that he has a 71 percent approval rating among Republicans in the state. Republican Governor Larry Hogan remains popular with Marylanders, boasting a 63 percent approval rating; a 7 percent drop in support from last September, but a number which is still quite impressive. Additionally, Maryland’s congressional representatives Benjamin Cardin (D) and newly elected Chris Van Hollen (D) hold approval ratings of 45 and 44 percent, respectively. Congress continues to sit in the approval ratings cellar, only 21 percent of Maryland residents approve of the job they are doing.

Among questions about their representatives, Marylanders were also asked about a range of political topics facing the state. Among the most interesting and relevant topics, 60 percent of Maryland residents support raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, 58 percent support legalizing recreational marijuana, and 70 percent of the residents in the heavily gerrymandered state support having their congressional and legislative districts drawn by an independent commission rather than by the state’s elected officials. As usual, the poll has garnered a large deal of attention in the state, and even some national outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post and reporting the results. Fortunately, I was able to talk to Dr. Kromer for a bit so she could give The Q some insight into the Goucher Poll.

DP: First, I want to ask about polling in general. There was a lot of backlash against polling on the right and left following Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump in the general election this fall—do critics of polls have a point, or was there more of a misreading of the polls than the polls themselves being inaccurate?

MK: I think it was certainly more of a misreading of polls. The issue is, we have all these different individuals giving predictions and they all assign their own probability of an outcome—people really focused on the idea that Hillary Clinton had a 75 or 80, sometimes even 90 percent chance of winning. When you start to break it down and look at individual polls, what you see is that a lot of them were within the margin of error. For example, polls that were tracking Hillary Clinton nationally were correct, she did win the national popular vote. There were some polls that were off in states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, they were a little bit outside the margin of error—Florida had issues with this as well. However, by and large most of these polls were within the margin of error. Keep in mind that there’s a plus or minus [with each poll] and if it’s at three percent or four percent and the poll has somebody up 49-48 over the other, that person is not up, they’re statistically indistinguishable from each other.

DP: And the Goucher Poll margin of error is usually at about 3.5, right?

MK: Right, we usually end up with between 600 and 700 or so interviews which puts us around a 3.5 percent margin of error.

DP: So in terms of the Goucher Poll, do you have any big takeaways from this round?

MK: Sure, so what I think is really interesting is that Governor Hogan’s approval ratings are back to what they were last year, exactly. In September of 2016, they reached a really high level—I think in a lot of ways an unsustainable level. It’s impossible for any politician, much less a Republican in a blue state to maintain a 70 percent approval rating. Now they’re back down to 63 percent, which is still really good.

DP: And that kind of has to do with my next question. Having read the press release I know that you don’t really think this dip in approval rating has to do with any sort of “Trump Effect,” so I guess your take on it is that this is sort of a regression to the mean?

MK: I guess my take on it is this: I think if there was a “Trump Effect” in the numbers, one, when we asked about whether Hogan is spending too much, too little, or the right amount of time addressing Trump related issues, if there was a true Trump effect you would see in the responses more people saying “too little time,” that number would have been very elevated. Secondly, when you actually run an analysis looking at Hogan’s approval ratings crosstabbed against Trump’s, 51 percent of those who disapprove of the way Trump is handling his job as President, approve of the way Larry Hogan is handling his job. So there isn’t a natural overlap of one pulling the other one down. Finally, when we asked people who disapproved of the job Larry Hogan was doing, we asked people why, and only 12 percent of those individuals said they disapproved of Hogan because of Donald Trump. So we’re talking about a very small percentage of people within a very small percentage, and to me that just does not show a significant “Trump effect.”

DP: So when you started the poll five years ago, what were your aspirations for it?

MK: I think five years ago, my aspirations were to just get it off the ground. Then, I would have told you I would be completely satisfied to produce two methodologically rigorous and appropriate polls a year. Now, we’re starting to enter into a stage where we’re looking to the future. The Goucher Poll is certainly interested in expanding our offerings to maybe doing focus groups, and perhaps increasing the number of polls we do per year. Those are all things we’re thinking about for the future. We’ve really established ourselves as a poll of record in Maryland; we’re the go to poll, and so I think it’s really important that we start to now build on that reputation. I spent the first five years trying to build a very solid reputation for the poll, now it’s time to advance on that.

Post-Study Abroad Poster Session

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Photo courtesy of Google Images.

Erika DiPasquale, Associate Editor

February 25th, 2017

During the common hour on Wednesday, February 15th, the 45+ students who studied abroad during the Fall 2016 semester took over the Hyman Forum for a poster session. The poster session is a brand new addition to the mandatory study abroad curriculum. OIS asked students to choose topics from a list that they were most interested in presenting—such as arts, transportation, sports, education, food, etc.—and assigned them into groups based on those preferences.

The poster session is the brain-child of Jennifer White, the Associate Director of OIS. According to White, “The Office of International Studies, along with many on campus, has long recognized the need for creating opportunities for students to share reflections on their study abroad experiences.” The poster session is the most recent attempt to fill this void. Each group had about three students and “in most cases, the groups [were] comprised of students from different countries, to allow for a comparative framework,” said White. The groups informally presented their spiel to those who approached their table, some groups using posters while others showcased Power Points from their laptops.

The presenters had mixed reviews about the experience. Ryan Salamony ‘17 “thought that being able to connect with others concerning our chosen topics and to discuss how such topics impacted our interactions with the local culture…was fascinating and a good way of showcasing different perspectives…It was a good way of letting us step back from the situation, back with our Goucher goggles on, to look at our time abroad in a different way.” Brandon Creed ‘18, who studied abroad in Scotland, liked the poster session because it gave an overview of what everyone experienced. Rachel Grosso ‘18, Meg John ‘18, and Grace Flannery ‘18, the members of the transportation group, all expressed how much they learned from the conversations they had with one another when developing their presentation. Anna Young ’18, who studied in Greece, said, “The centralized space to tell stories about our experiences is beneficial. It validates that the Goucher community does care about our study abroad experiences. There’s room for improvement, but it’s a good step to integrate the abroad experience into the Goucher community in a meaningful way.”

Many of the presenters also agreed that there was room for improvement.  Although Meg John ’18 appreciated the space to speak about her experiences in Uganda, she said “the assignment felt forced.” Transportation, the topic she was assigned, wasn’t all she experienced abroad. “The presentation speaks to the project, not to my experiences…Goucher can do wonders [with the post-study abroad program] so that it’s not a chore,” said Meg John ’18.

Grace Flannery ‘18, held similar sentiments. She “didn’t go abroad [to South Korea] to compare and contrast, but to experience Asian culture.” Love-Moore, who studied abroad in Argentina, said, “I don’t know if [the poster session] is helpful. It was annoying to be arbitrarily put into groups with a more or less random topic.” Anne Werkheiser ‘18 agreed that it wasn’t as effective as it could’ve been, stating, “it feels like something I did in middle school” and “no one is here.” Attendance was extremely low, with as few as three people visiting one of the Education tables throughout the hour-long session, according to Lea Love-More ‘18.

Along with such criticism, the presenters have ideas for how to revise the program. Many suggested small group conversations in place of the poster session. Grosso noted that her group discussed so much beyond their assigned topic, and their fruitful conversation was the beneficial aspect of the assignment rather than the presentation or assigned topic. Desirae Moten ’17 said, “Let’s just have a dinner and chat.” Flannery also thinks that conversations would’ve been “more meaningful.”

A couple of students would’ve preferred formal presentations. Doing so would’ve allowed the presenters to hear other students’ presentations, which was not an option with the poster session format, according to Werkheiser. Salamony also wanted the opportunity to hear the other presentations, but he wouldn’t have liked to present to the entire community. Jennifer White assured that “as with any new venture, we’ll evaluate [Wednesday’s] events to see how it can be enhanced in Fall 2017 for the 95+ students currently studying abroad this spring semester.”

The poster session was just the first step in revising the post-study abroad experience. More changes are to come, with each rendition improving upon the last, in an effort to provide students with the best framework to process, reflect upon, and share their study abroad experiences.

Goucher Style: Haley Rice

by

Annie Schwartz, Arts & Entertainment Editor

February 25th, 2017

Who: Haley Rice, Senior, Socialogy Major

Annie Schwartz: Describe your style.

Haley Rice: I like to wear mostly black and neutral colors with a small pop of red (or sometimes burgundy). I love things that are oversized, lots of layers, and having fun with different materials, hem lines, and textures.

AS: How are you able to dress so well even on your laziest day?

HR: Just wear all black!

AS: Who is your Goucher style crush?

HR: Annie Schwartz, duh!

AS: Which Goucher professor has the best style?

HR: When I had class with Citlali, I always loved her colorful skinny jeans. Also her watch was always on point.

AS: Where did you go abroad and how has that affected your sense of style?

HR: I studied abroad in Seville, Spain. Sevillanos always look good. Everyone was always put together, especially during the holidays such as Semana Santa and Feria. You wouldn’t be caught dead in sweatpants there. Even wearing sneakers is pushing it. Chelsea boots with a thick platform sole were really in while I was there. So were those preppy plaid Burberry-esque scarves. I really learned how to be stylish but still comfortable while I was there. It’s something Spain has really got down!

AS: What is your go to item?

HR: A black cardigan!

AS: What is your fashion pet peeve?

HR: Mixing metals even though I do it all the time. Also graphic tees are the worst.

AS: Do you have a favorite store you like to shop at?

HR: If I had all the money in the world I would shop at Zara every day. It reminds me of Spain. They had Zara’s everywhere.

AS: Out of all of your roommates, whose clothes are you most likely to steal?

HR: Vinesh’s banana shirt.

AS: What is your least favorite trend?

HR: Tucking your sweatpants into your socks and definitely those lace up tops. Also, jean jackets that you buy with the patches already on them and Calvin Klein underwear. You might as well get a 3-pack of Hanes at Target.

S.E.T.: Winter Carnival and G.I.G Planning

by

Katie Van Note, Staff Writer

February 15th, 2017

The Student Engagement Team set the bar high for events on campus this past weekend, with their Winter Carnival. Formerly know as Programming Board, S.E.T. is a group of Goucher students and professional staff members that meet once a week in the Office of Student Engagement (O.S.E). Their purpose is to create fun, entertaining, and enticing events on campus that the majority of the student body will enjoy.

In the past few years, S.E.T. has experienced a lack of participation at their events. They have held pop up events such as spin art, dance parties, and palm readings that haven’t always generated the participation they desired. In order to combat this, their new goal is to hold fewer, but higher quality events. Now, with more money going towards these events, they can generate more interest and student engagement!

The Winter Carnival on February 4th, 2017 is exactly the kind of event Goucher students have been waiting for. The Carnival was held in the the Hyman Forum of Goucher’s Atheneum and included a variety of activities, musical performances, and free food that attracted over two hundred Goucher students. S.E.T. gave priority to student bands, bringing to the stage two Goucher favorites: Mustang Riddle and Sharnell Huff (a recent Goucher graduate). Activities included bamboo planting, spray on tattoos, a photo booth, giant jenga and connect four, and inflatable twister. The favorite of the night, however, was the free food. Outside of the bottom doors of the Atheneum, students stood in the cold to receive their free Korean barbecue, crab tacos, gyro sandwiches, pulled pork, and cookies. Students sat on the steps of the Forum eating food and listening to music while others broke it down on the dance floor. There were activities on each floor of the Forum which kept students engaged after they finished their dinner. Ultimately, the program was well executed by S.E.T. and generated a large student attendance despite the lack of advertising.

S.E.T. will set their sights next on the highly anticipated Get Into Goucher day, (G.I.G), on April 7th. G.I.G. is Goucher’s annual outdoor festival where students get the day off (after 12:30pm) to enjoy festivities. The team is currently in the brainstorming stage for G.I.G. with potential ideas including free food (a crowd favorite), a beer garden, performances from local bands, and inflatable bounce houses. In the past, Goucher has hired outside performers such as Bosley and Khleo Thomas (the actor, Zero, from the 2003 movie, Holes). Currently S.E.T. is pushing for more student bands at events like G.I.G.

S.E.T. has meetings once a week that are open to Goucher students. If you’d like to see an event on campus or have additional ideas for an upcoming event like G.I.G., stop by the O.S.E. outside of Alice’s Cafe. Professional staff members include Aisha Rivers, Christine Krieger, Amber Barnett, and Kimberly Spicker.

Faculty Insider: Eric Singer, International Relations Department

by

Olivia Baud, Staff Writer

February 15th, 2017

In the course of gossip and discussion on the Goucher campus, one question in particular is sure to surface: Who is Eric Singer? Professor Singer is a familiar figure of authority to most political and international relations (IR) scholars at Goucher. Yet he remains a figure shrouded in mystery even to his most admiring pupils.

Last semester, students enrolled in his International Scholars Program (ISP) took it upon themselves to learn more about him and delve into the internet treasure-trove; what they discovered only spurred more curiosity: “he was involved in the ownership group of Lear’s Princess [a racehorse] sold as a broodmare prospect for $2.7 million,” according to the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. Students knew him for his original sense of humor, his love for complex vocabulary, and his brutally honest grading, but horses? Famous racehorses? 2.7 million dollars? Imaginations ran wild.

Prof. Singer has a simple explanation for these seemingly incredible circumstances. “A friend from Jersey took me to a racetrack near Ohio State and introduced me to the world of handicapping.” Singer was studying for his Ph.D. at Ohio State University at the time. “I was really drawn to the density of data that existed to determine who was going to win.” Horse-racing became his hobby. “Later in life, I figured maybe I would try owning a horse.” It was in this way that Prof. Singer became involved in a horse racing partnership and an ownership group of Lear’s Princess, a Grade 1 winner that they eventually sold at auction. He emphasizes that as a joint-owner he was only privy to a small share, and he does not own stables as students have so joyously imagined.

While Prof. Singer’s equestrian ties may have been over-embellished, his Goucher history is far from dull. He first entered into the Goucher community in 1986, when he followed up on an ad for an IR teaching position. “It was a replacement position, but the person I was replacing, unbeknownst to me, was a very popular professor,” he recalls amusingly. “So when I walked in, everyone who had signed up for the course was expecting her, not me.” Prof. Singer’s entry also happened to coincide with Goucher’s transition to co-education. “Everyone was disappointed that the first male students would soon be arriving.”

What had originally been a two-year contract turned into 30 years. During the Cold War, IR and Russian studies had been some of the most popular programs at Goucher as students hoped to obtain jobs in the NSA, DIA, and CIA as translators, researchers, etc.. However, following the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, a self-study of the Area Studies program revealed that it was losing luster as it suffered reduced enrollments. As a result, a new major, International and Intercultural Studies (IIS), was formed with the intention of supplementing Area Studies. Rivalries between IIS and IR soon took root as each competed over similar subject matter and student interest.

Prof. Singer came up with a solution for these tensions. “When Sandy Ungar became president, I suggested to him to eliminate the IIS major and to introduce a program that all students interested in globalization could participate in.” In 2005, as the college introduced its study abroad requirement and entered “full internalization mode”, ISP was born. To this day, all incoming students are invited to apply. When asked about what aspects of the program he is most proud of, Prof. Singer is quick to mention the “students who put themselves out their way in an effort to develop a perspective on globalization. They ultimately define the path that they want to take”.

In addition to founding ISP, Prof. Singer has taught for the Goucher Prison Education Program. “What I appreciated most about [it] was that it was a reminder of why I went into teaching in the first place. These were people that may not have been given the best background to succeed. Working with them to help them succeed re-energized my commitment to teaching”

While Prof. Singer taught courses in politics in a men’s prison, the experience wasn’t just about the teaching for him. “It’s easy-particularly in a private, liberal arts college- not to think about what kind of students are walking into your classroom, what their experiences with different facets of society is. The Jessup Students come from different backgrounds than your typical liberal arts undergraduate. They had a perspective on politics that was much more nuanced and mature-in some ways- than students from Goucher’s campus. And in some ways they’ve lived a life that’s more political than the average student I’ve had on campus.”

Since teaching at the men’s prison, Prof. Singer continues to figure prominently in the Goucher community. He is currently the Associate Provost for External and Experiential Programs. And no, he is not responsible for the Maryland Horse Breeders Association’s move to the Goucher campus.

Goucher Style: Wonde Pawlose

by

Annie Schwartz, Arts & Entertainment Editor

February 15th, 2017

Who:Wonde Pawlose, Sophomore, International Relations Major

AS: What are you wearing today?

Wonde Pawlose: “I am wearing a pant and sweater and a shirt and shoes”

AS: Who do you think is the most stylish professor at Goucher?

WP: Professor Danny Kimball. He’s a communications professor. He’s always dressed up very well. Yeah, I had his communications class last spring and everyday he hasn’t failed to look great and be very stylish. I also like Zahi Khamis’ scarves from Mexico.

AS: Why do you like to dress so nicely?

WP: I mean in my culture in Ethiopia we are supposed to look our best every day. Whether you are rich or poor, you are supposed to clean what you have and dress well which is presentation. Also, for me, when I dress well, I feel well, which means I will have a very productive day. And also, I dress well to radiate positivity for other people.

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