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2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2 …

Watch out for that first step, it’s a doozie!

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It is 9pm ET ! If you have the desire to watch something else …

The above suggestion for those who may be feeling some need for elevation …

James MacGregor Burns and PoliSci 1-2 in Griffin Hall were my first course, first day at Williams in 1952.

https://www.williams.edu/feature-stories/burns-and-fdr-a-conversation/

Excerpts from SOTU:

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/30/trump-state-of-the-union-2018-speech-quotes-379314

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The Greatest Show on Earth!

the-ringling-bros-circus-is-ending-its-iconic-elephant-acts

Can you believe that back in 2011 The Adams Memorial Theater would be the stage for a circus?

https://events.williams.edu/event/theatre_228

Elephants are no longer a part of the Barnum and Bailey Circus.

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A Sunday Break: Winter Study on Typewriters …

… a Williams Record feature:

Paresky Extravaganza Clacks out Personal Poems for Students

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Be Sure to Play Fantasy Admissions!

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Join DDF, abl, hmm, and so many others in building your dream team to make Williams

 

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It’s fun! It’s a battle of statistics, interpretations, and predicting the results!

Compare Williams with its peers and figure out how to beat those Ivied bastards and the other green quad-oriented SLAs!

And while you are at it, have the thrill of arguing points endlessly with fellow verbose Fantasyers.

Results of your dream team may be compared with the actual results for Williams and those other guys!

 

 

JUST TWO MORE DAYS TO BE A CONTENDER!

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Williamstown, Marcel Breuer, Preston Robinson, and the Atomic Bomb

Here is a combination of arcana that can’t be beat.

Dwell magazine  put up this post of 10 Marcel Breuer buildings with the lede “The Bauhaus designer’s modern vision helped post-war American building see the future.”

https://www.dwell.com/article/design-icon-10-buildings-by-marcel-breuer956d0193

In 1947 Preston Robinson commissioned Breuer to design a residence in Williamstown.

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Photo  Robert Demora

And who was Preston Robinson you may well ask. He was a senior engineer at Sprague Electric decades before it became Mass MOCA. The house, no longer owned by the Robinson family, is located on 43 acres at 236 Bulkley Street.

Robinson played a key role in the development of the atomic bomb.

 Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 11.42.03 AMNYT obit  May 23, 1973

Who knew!

 

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“I love you, but sooner or later, you’re going to have to face the fact you’re a goddamn moron.”

… The Dude, The Big Labowski

A Williamstown Clock:

DSC00485Posted as a public service

Not hard to figure out who is responsible. Trump on Fox News :

http://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2018/01/19/trump-government-shutdown-blame-sot-2013-fox-lead.cnn

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31* College Tuition Education Initiative: Williams in Information Action!

The NYT’s David Leonhardt writes on misconceptions about the flu and college tuition initiative to help clear up misconceptions about college costs:

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https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/17/opinion/flu-shot-college-costs.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fopinion-columnists&_r=0

MyinTuition, a revolutionary online tool, ensures that students and their families have quick and easy access to the information they need to make decisions about college affordability.  MyinTuition shows the projected cost of college once financial aid is factored in, helping students understand and plan for what college will actually cost.

https://myintuition.org/

Give it a trial run. The information for input may yield some clue to the questions of admission policies so hotly debated in these columns. In English and Spanish.

 

* The original group of 16 colleges has now expanded to 31, The calculator and impetus for the development of this initiative come from Wellesley College.

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Coca-Cola – Typography and Water Wars: a Saturday Break …

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I thought the color Coca-Cola (Red RGB #E41E2B) might catch attention among the gray columns.

Of interest to me, my work included branding, was the introduction of a bespoke typeface for that giant venerable international brand Coca-Cola— its very first in their 132 years. 

https://www.dezeen.com/2018/01/12/neville-brody-designs-coca-colas-first-ever-typeface-tccc-unity-graphics/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily%20Dezeen%20Digest&utm_content=Daily%20Dezeen%20Digest+CID_a883105a6e82fc754c325037b7b3cd41&utm_source=Dezeen%20Mail&utm_term=Neville%20Brody%20designs%20Coca-Colas%20first%20ever%20own-brand%20typeface

Typefaces, and there are thousands, are designed for aesthetics and communication. For a look at this interesting field, the P22 site:

https://p22.com/

Now, for those inspecting for the Williams link, here ya go …

Michael Blanding ’95 *, author of The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind the World’s Favorite Soft Drink, in a Log Lunch on campus, discussed three case studies in which Coca-Cola factories were accused of taking water away from local community sources and infecting their leftover reserves with illegal levels of pesticides and metals.

https://ces.williams.edu/log/michael-blanding-talks-water-wars-and-coca-cola/

*  This is not Mr Blanding’s first appearance in Ephblog. See the link below to the 2004 story of his engagement. Catch up with the last 14 years of the Blandings’ with your password for the Alumni Directory. So far he has not built his Dream House.

http://ephblog.com/2004/07/03/blanding-95-to-wed/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Blandings_Builds_His_Dream_House

And from my own local experience within Hood River County, Oregon: the defeat of a plan to sell water rights to Nestle for yet another of their bottled water plants capitalizing on the names of local water sources. In our case it was the springs from Mt Hood and the river town of Cascade Locks. Nestle, whose own home is on Lake Geneva, CH, keeps fighting . And they recently purchased San Pelegrino and Evian. Water, I don’t need to say but will, is the oil of the XXIst century.

 

 

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James Van Der Zee photograph, ‘Nude, Harlem’ starts salon discussion January 11th …

8083cfe4cf33441e64e1c0083e066078--painted-fireplaces-white-photographyJames Van Der Zee (American, 1886–1983), Nude, Harlem, negative 1923, printed 1974. Gelatin sepia-toned print, 9 1/2 x 7 1/2 in. Museum purchase, Otis Family Acquisition Trust, M.2017.9.6

… in the Reading Room of the WCMA at 5:30 pm. The focus is ‘In Context’.

Two further salons will be held at WCMA on this photograph, ‘In Process’ on January 25th, and ‘In Theory’ on February 8th.

James Van Der Zee is one of the artists closely associated with the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s-1930s.

The Otis Family Acquisition Fund has made this acquisition possible as a part of the purchase of  James Van Der Zee: A portfolio of 18 Photographs presented with new prints in 1974 as a part of the renewed interest in the photographer as a part of the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Arts Movement.

https://wcma.williams.edu/news-item/gift-from-the-otis-family/

 

See the 18 photographs!

 

Read more

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I can’t let this one go by …

Il DunceActually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart,” he added. He said he was a “VERY successful businessman” and television star who won the presidency on his first try. “I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!”

         NYT Jan 6, 2018

A very timely article on the fascist state development appears in this article at Williams.edu:

https://sites.williams.edu/cthorne/articles/fulfilling-the-fascist-lie/

 

 

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A Farewell from President Falk …

To the entire Williams community,

A presidency can pass in the blink of an eye.

It was the fall of 2010, but it seems just yesterday that I stood in Chapin Hall at Convocation to deliver my inaugural address. I’d already been on the job for almost half a year, but still it felt like the beginning. What surprises and challenges lay ahead of us? What should we be mindful to preserve, and what would we need to change? What forces from beyond the Purple Valley would affect us, and how would we, in turn, aspire to affect the world?

Not easy questions to answer, to be sure. The sage Yogi Berra once said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” As all new presidents are compelled to, I still did my imperfect best to deliver on the promise of a vision. But the most important observation I made then, one in which I believe just as deeply today, is that the choices about where to go would not be mine alone. “This day is not about an individual person,” I said, “but about a college.”

And almost a decade later, I’m indeed proud of what we, this college, have accomplished.

We’ve reinvigorated our campus landscape, from the new Sawyer Library and the Class of ’66 Environmental Center to the renovated Chapin and Weston Halls, with the additions to the science center soon to join them.

We’ve started new programs like the Center for Learning in Action, which every day strengthens our relationship to our surrounding communities and deepens our students’ engagement with people throughout the Berkshires and beyond.

We’ve strived to welcome to Williams people from an ever-wider array of backgrounds and identities. Living and learning in a diverse community fosters imagination, empathy, open-mindedness and respect, all characteristics needed now more urgently than ever. And we’ve made strides in keeping membership in this community affordable to students and their families. Leaders don’t usually brag about increasing expenditures. But I’m proud of the more than $50 million in aid we provide to Williams students every year, expressing as it does our deep commitment to expanding educational opportunity.

There’s of course plenty left for the next president to work on, and they’ll do so in collaboration with our entire community: a convocation and sometimes a cacophony of many voices, many aspirations, and many efforts. Let us remember that our most important work, our hardest work, requires every one of us and is by its nature never fully done.

While it’s not my job to set the agenda for my successor, that agenda will surely include continuing to hire and support one of this country’s great teaching faculties. It will surely include continuing to open Williams to students drawn from every part of our society, and to provide everyone who is here the fullest opportunity to thrive. And it will surely include continuing to care for the natural and built environment that is the home for the remarkable work that students, staff, and faculty do: alone, with each other, and, increasingly, in partnership with our alumni.

Back in 2010, I closed my inaugural address by saying, “We love the Williams that we know and have known, but we will love even more the Williams that we create.” I love the Williams we, together, have created, and I hope that you do, too. Now will begin a new phase of its creation. I’ll be following Williams’s ongoing evolution from elsewhere, but will do so with pride, affection and gratitude for all that we’ve achieved in these past eight years.

Sincerely,

Adam Falk
President

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Be sure to express your thoughts on DDF post (above)

As a side-bar this, separate but related story:

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Another look at President Falk as the torch is passed …

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As a digression from the in-progress 15 part series on President Falk appearing in these pages, here is a review of his tenure as appearing in The Williams Magazine, Fall 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

Illustration by James Steinberg

It is interesting to note the approach taken by the editors:

Adam Falk will leave Williams in December to become president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. When we sat down with him to plan the magazine’s coverage of his tenure, he made an important observation: “This story is about Williams’ ideals, principles and priorities; it shouldn’t be about me.” We took what he said to heart and realized the best way to tell the story of his presidency at Williams is to tell the story of Williams during his presidency. So we asked the people responsible for some of the most important changes during Falk’s time to share their thoughts. Their essays follow.

https://magazine.williams.edu/2017/fall/feature/moving-forward-together/

 

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In the spirit : “Toying with The Mountains” *

This just in from Adam Falk:

Williams alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff,

We asked a small group to play you a special song for the season, and they took us at our word. I hope you enjoy the results.

Best wishes for a joyous season and a happy start to the new year.

Adam Falk

*  This post, my 700th, makes me a very, very distant second place to Dave. My first post was 23 December, 2007.

 

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2018 … The Year of Ultra Purple! And Williams’ 225th Anniversary!

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Can it be mere coincidence that Pantone* has introduced Ultra-Violet Pantone 18-3838 TCX as the color of the year for 2018? I think not!

Pantone describes the color as  “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade”.

* Pantone Inc. is an American corporation headquartered in Carlstadt, New Jersey. The company is best known for its Pantone Matching System, a proprietary color standard system used in a variety of industries, … Wikipedia

From De Zeen magazine :

https://www.dezeen.com/2017/12/07/ultra-violet-pantone-colour-of-the-year-2018-design-trends/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily%20Dezeen%20Digest&utm_content=Daily%20Dezeen%20Digest+CID_1b96abd0ee2f19905174dbf551e201fe&utm_source=Dezeen%20Mail&utm_term=More

Even more on the lineage and complexity of the color purple from the NYT:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/09/style/purple-pantone-color-year.html?module=WatchingPortal&region=c-column-middle-span-region&pgType=Homepage&action=click&mediaId=thumb_square&state=standard&contentPlacement=7&version=internal&contentCollection=www.nytimes.com&contentId=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2017%2F12%2F09%2Fstyle%2Fpurple-pantone-color-year.html&eventName=Watching-article-click

What could have been on Winston Churchill’s mother’s mind …   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ **

 

** “beats me” courtesy of The New York Times.

ADDED TODAY FOR GENERAL INTEREST AND PER THE FIRST COMMENT BELOW

 

Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 4.57.10 PMThe Ephblog masthead color does not match the printing specs as issued by the college. 267 C is the new color of the year (or close enough for jazz).

 https://communications.williams.edu/files/williams_graphic_standards.pdf

 

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Steve Case ’80 and ‘Rise of the Rest’ fund …

merlin_128930624_db224d97-771d-4568-8abf-c8fd554028d5-master768Credit  Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times

… Steve Case cut his wisdom teeth at P&G, Cincinnati and Pizza Hut, Wichita. In the picture above, he is with J. D. Vance , the author of  Hillbilly Elegy. Vance, born in Kentucky, grew up in Middletown*, Ohio.

The AOL co-founder Steve Case, front, and the author J.D. Vance quietly recruited some of the country’s wealthiest people to invest in their Rise of the Rest fund, which will seed investments in underserved cities and encourage their contributors to partner with benefiting businesses. The New York Times, December 5, 2017

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/04/business/dealbook/midwest-start-ups.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

* Old-time students of Prof Fred Schuman will have read Middletown A Study in Modern American Culture by husband and wife sociologists Robert Staughton Lynd and Helen Merrell Lynd.  Published in 1925, Middletown is a study of every-day life and values in Muncie, IN.  The book became a best-seller and a basic read in sociology classes.

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Curating for pinkness at home …

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The Williams Magazine Fall 2017  just arrived and in it, an article of great interest to this old Art History major! “Pushing the boundaries of curation and blurring the boundaries between Art and Technology”.  Yes! Five algorithms were constructed using crowd-sourced selections of the color pink, that would arrange pinkish objects according to saturation, pixels per square whatever, intensity and two others. The article is very well written and illustrated (pgs 11 – 17) 

I had to push my personal boundaries in art meaning and curation! I could not crowd-source data for the pink perception. And so, putting on a Pink Floyd side, Asst. Prof. Buffy (tenure track) and I curated my laundry basket to see if our results bolstered the Williams work. Indeed, they did:

Pink final,jpeg

Items L to R  A very saturated purply sock, a not-so-saturated pinkish sock, a paisley tie I thought I had lost, an actual pink sock, a pair of pink-checked boxer shorts, a pair of argyle socks (Brooks Brothers still makes these for the Old Guard), and a pink-and-blue striped shirt … this may explain the reappearance of the paisley tie.  And, of course, Asst. Prof. Buffy (tenure track).

My hats off to the cross-disciplinary Williams College team for this extraordinary breakthrough.

 (the above (album release 1979) may be viewed in light of the current legacy discussions)

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Recent Ephblog themes show up in DC: Native Americans, U.S. Marines, service to our country, and a painting …

ct-trump-pocahontas-code-talkers-20171127

… this most recent contribution was made under the presidential painting of Andrew Jackson, who ordered The Trail of Tears.

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/27/trump-navajo-code-talkers-pocahontas-260989

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It’s ‘Politics and Pizza Night’ in Phoenix …

Screen Shot 2017-11-25 at 4.40.04 PM The Washington Post

… as AZ Democratic State Senator Steve Farley ’85 speaks out!

State Senator Farley, Class of 1985, is running for Governor of Arizona, home of past and present Republican giants.

The Washington Post in a review story headed ‘Elitists, Crybabies, and Junky Degrees’ reports attitudes toward government funding of colleges and universities. While Republican critics  “want to reduce the flow of government cash to what they see as elitist, politically correct institutions that often fail to provide practical skills for the job market, Steve Farley could not disagree more.

Farley says “This whole idea that government should be run more like a business is (so) profoundly morally flawed. We should not be manufacturing them (students) to be products to be consumed. That is a basic ethical and moral flaw in this whole argument, that everything’s got to have financial payback so we can reduce taxes for the Koch brothers.”

I call your attention to the complete article below. The positions will be of interest in the November, 2018 Arizona gubernatorial race. 

I was going to take 30 days to deconstruct the arguments (only 30 shopping days left til Christmas!) and prove that Williams had disputed awarding Farley his degree in Political Science based on his having taken a class or been somewhere on campus during the brief stay of JCD.

But I have reconsidered.

Perhaps, the readers of this blog would like to chime in on the role of the Government in education, decry the state of politics in Arizona, or laud the comfort of their condos in warm-weather retirement communities …

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2017/11/25/elitists-crybabies-and-junky-degrees/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_rigged-college-131pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.2f25aecf237b

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A Day-Brightener …

DOYIvV5XUAA8hMh  Williams Twitter feed

 

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Too many words …

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How many thousands of words must be exchanged between real Ephs and JCD about his status, either real or perceived?

Dave, is there no cut-off point at which you can stop this inanity? It is repetitious and goes back to at least 2009 with the same deleterious dialogue!

David Dudley Field ’25 says:

Fair point!  Surely we can all do better!?!

 

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Rare tape of JCD’s Williams mentor found!

“This man taught me everything I know. What a pleasure that this tape of our shared times has been found!” said JCD.

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November 8, 2016, November 11, 2017: heart-stoppers !

Heart care in extreme winters prevent heart attack in cold

… Illustration from Reviews and Life Style Tips

Elephant or donkey, mammoth or cow, the animal world had palpitations on these days!

An illustration of Fake News, if I’ve ever seen one:

A 24 -24 tie. In this comment, our own DDF sums it up nicely …

David Dudley Field ’25 says:

Have two teams ever been so simultaneously disappointed by an outcome? Williams had the game well in hand, but then an Amherst comeback, including a pick-six and Patriot-esque two point conversion, robbed them of the victory. No wins for seven years now.

But Amherst is also hugely disappointed! They should have won and, if they had, they would be NESCAC champions now. The tie means that Trinity won the league.*

Does the football team do “The Walk” after a tie?**

* Nota bene: Trinity are the Bantams … while not a current or former Mammal, they are indeed Chordata Aves.

** In a comment under “Yard by Yard”, Ephs! reports “They Walked”

Ephs!

They Walked!

 

The Lying Press should be stopped by LAW!

Your personal experience, chest-wise?

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What is “a gun situation”?

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http://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/Shooter-s-weapon-described-as-AR-15-variant-12334141.php

https://dean.williams.edu/policies/code-of-conduct/

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Reed College Students … Agree? Disagree?

Reed Humanities students reject Steve Martin’s 1978 SNL ‘King Tut’. The background has been well-discussed here on Ephblog as it pertains to Williams.

I was 44 in 1978. Some readers may not have been quite toilet-trained. I found it funny both then and now. Of course, I was an Art History major (class of ’56) and used to white privilege being presented in ‘broadest aspect’

 I am interested in current readers opinions. Look through the story below to get the gist.

Agree?  Disagree?

 https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2017/11/the-surprising-revolt-at-reed/544682/?utm_source=nl-politics-daily-110217&silverid=MzEwMTkwMTE0NDAxS0

NB  SNL’s first broadcast October 11, 1975 from Studio 8H at 30 Rock.

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AF ROTC: Uniforms on Campus … ( a reissue from 11/11/09)

 

RE: PTC’s post below and ROTC on campus …

 

It is still a day remembering service as I write this post. Perhaps some may not know that uniforms, if you so desired, were a part of campus life in the ’50’s,

honor air

During the war, V -12 programs were on campus and a few years later, the presence of returning vets was common.

A full complement of officers and enlisted men were assigned to Williams to serve as the faculty.

The appearance of a veteran on campus would not be new. I hope the appearance would be welcome.

 

NEW COPY ADDED TODAY Nov 1. 2017

I also found this  follow-up that I posted in 2010. The pictures have disappeared but the text asks the question:

http://ephblog.com/2010/12/03/the-55-56-all-stars-rotc-2/

And a post from PTC dated 28 May, 2011

http://ephblog.com/2011/05/28/rotc-returns-to-harvard-and-yale/

 

ROTC was an important part of a Williams education for 10% of the Class of 1956. Click MORE (below) to see the AF faculty. I knew Captain Taylor, a fine man and a graduate of the USNA.

Read more

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New bookstore complex “Rather pleasant …” says Peter Britton ’56

spring street bookstore… photo by Peter Britton ’56

“Rather pleasant, airy, two floors, good location. You might even like it. Here for the Hamilton game.” writes Peter in a brief note.

I stand by my view of the edifice and the college take-over of Spring Street. Now with a new Williams Inn approximately where the picnic table is, the transformation to a mall (if they add a roof up to the Congo Church intersection) is complete!

Will Lin-Manuel Miranda be starting for Hamilton?

My post on the new complex from June 13, 2017.

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Williams Admissions and Academic Standards v The Ivies?

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Recent statements in the popular press by a UofP alum* may call Ivy standards into question.

*  See comment 8

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Legacies: Health Care if and only if a Wall?

trump_wallSome chips on the table as Trump makes moves.

 Perhaps another discussion at Williams like this one 9 November, 2015 might add some interesting views on the perception of legacies: positive v negative.

Looking back at the numerous legislative fights, years of partisan polarization, and disputes over issues ranging from healthcare to a nuclear Iran, how should we think about Obama—his presidency, his achievements, his shortcomings?  What kind of leadership has Obama exercised?  What type of legacy will he leave?  What sorts of lessons should we take from his presidency?  Come listen as three keen observers of Obama and astute analysts of American politics answer these questions as they discuss race, the economy, the War on Terror, and more.

https://events.williams.edu/event/obama_leadership_legacy_lessons

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