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Thanksgiving on Campus

    As we enter Thanksgiving week, I’ve been thinking a lot about college kids and Thanksgiving.  I suspect its because my oldest son is a senior in high school, so this will be our last “normal” Thanksgiving as a family.  Depending on where he ends up at school next year, its quite possible he won’t have Thanksgiving with us in 2020.

I have essentially no recollection about Thanksgiving breaks when I was at Williams.  For my freshman and sophomore years, my parents lived in the Washington DC area, so I suspect I went home for Thanksgiving, but I really can’t remember it one way or the other.  Moreover, for my freshman year, I didn’t have a car at Williams at Thanksgiving, so I don’t know how I would have gone home.  For my junior and senior years, my parents were living in Belgium, so I’m sure I didn’t go there for the short break.  But I have no memory of what I did.  I doubt I stayed on campus (I certainly don’t remember having done so).  Perhaps I visited relatives in Holyoke,MA? Or went home with a friend who lived (relatively) close to Williamstown?  I find it strange that I really can’t remember, because Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.

In any event, Williams has plenty of “programming” for the Thanksgiving break.  Students are free to stay in their own rooms during the break (though they have to notify the College that they will be there an use a door tag to show that they are around).  I think this obviously makes sense.  I imagine that there must be large numbers of students who can’t or don’t “go home” for the relatively short Thanksgiving break.  Aside from the all of the international students (probably 150-200 total), Californians make up the third largest group on campus (after New York and Massachusetts).  While its possible to go to California (or overseas) for a 5 day break, its not very practical.  Some of these students will go home with their friends, but some (many) will stay on campus.

I imagine it might be an interesting experience to be at Williams when it is (relatively) empty of students.

The College also takes care of feeding those on campus during the break, but you’re out of luck if you want breakfast.  The only dining hall open is at Mission Park, and they serve brunch from 11:30 to 1:00 every day and dinner from 5:00 to 6:30, except Thanksgiving Day itself, when the only meal served is Thanksgiving dinner from 11:00-1:30 (presumably so that dining hall employees can have Thanksgiving with their families), and students are encouraged to take out food to eat later.  This meal schedule seems to me to pretty reasonable.  Does anyone disagree?

The Dean’s Office offers to “coordinat[e] for local hosts & students interested in sharing the holiday meal together in local homes.”  I wonder how many students take them up on this.  Apparently the Davis Center also offers “a holiday meal” on Thanksgiving, but I can’t find out any more information about that right now.  I think its a little odd that the Davis Center event is not more widely publicized, but I suspect that it may be geared specifically towards students identifying with some of the affinity groups on campus, and may be advertised in a less general way for that purpose.

The other interesting thing I saw was that the College offers “a FREE Black Friday shopping trip via a 56-passenger bus to Albany.”  I would love to know how many students take advantage of that!

Best wishes for a safe and peaceful Thanksgiving to all!

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Some Thoughts About Family Days This Coming Weekend, October 24-27

Also, an email about Family Days (this weekend):

Dear Students,

I hope this note finds you well.  As you may know, this coming weekend is Family Days.

If your own family plans to visit this weekend, we greatly look forward to having them here at Williams and expect it will be a great opportunity for them to gain a better sense of your own undergraduate experience.

And if your family won’t be attending, please know that you’re in good company with the vast majority of your fellow students. While many families enjoy family days, a great many more don’t attend. For some, the time and expense to travel to Williamstown are too great. (And let’s face it: though Williams is a beautiful place, it’s far away from where most people live!) For others, there are other points in their students four years at Williams—from a special sports event or musical performance to Commencement—when a visit make more sense.

In any case, it’s a great weekend packed with lots of things to do, with family members or just with fellow students. View the entire weekend program here and enjoy!

All best,
Dean Sandstrom

 

Marlene J. Sandstrom
Dean of the College and Hales Professor of Psychology
Williams College
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Williams Mobile App

Two current students, Dysron Marshall ’20 and Kelvin Tejeda ’20, spent the summer building the new Williams Mobile app. The app is listed as developed by Williams Students Online, and accordingly it links directly with some WSO services (the Facebook, Factrak, etc). Its goal seems to be to unite services that currently exist in various places across the Williams website, on WSO, and elsewhere, into one service that makes them easier to access.

First of all–awesome effort by these two! They seemingly did this entirely for free and of their own accord (see later in the post for more on that). It’s a nice, snappy app, and they definitely deserve acclaim for their work!

I used a handful of apps related to Williams life while I was there. A lot of time, I just accessed Williams websites from my phone: Eats 4 Ephs to check the menus at dining halls and decide where I wanted to eat, PeopleSoft sites for records and logging work hours, LaundryView to save myself the walk down to the laundry room and check in advance if it was in use… Last year, Williams introduced the GET App ostensibly to unite some features, but which I only really used to add money to my ID when I’d go to do laundry and realize I was out of money. During my first year there was some sort of dining app, student-created I believe, that made Eats 4 Ephs a little prettier. And, of course, there was Yik Yak, the late and great app that really made sure I knew everything I needed to.

These students announced their summer’s-long work to students with Facebook posts: one, to Class of 202X Facebook groups saying the following:

And one with a meme, in the Williams meme group, Williams College Memes for Sun Dappled Tweens:

As the first post says, they’re hoping to get administrative support for their app, so that students can develop it and actually get paid. I don’t know what the status of WSO getting administrative support is, but I imagine the app itself could get funded in the same way if WSO does; I feel less confident about it being possible to get students paid for developing the app. That was always something that confused me, though; do WSO student developers get paid for providing an incredibly useful service, or is it treated as a club would be, where the service itself gets funded (hosting, servers, etc) but not the actual development?

Below the break, a quick look at the app!

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“On Campus Activism: From the Summer 2019 Williams Magazine”

Link to a column that the president wrote for the 2019 summer issue of the Williams Magazine:

https://president.williams.edu/articles-2/summer-2019-report-on-campus-activism/

 

This section stood out to me in particular (emphasis mine):

“I absolutely think Williams needs to teach people to voice strongly held views in constructive ways. That lesson is best learned within a community broad enough to accommodate conservatives and radicals, believers and agnostics, creatives and critics. Disagreement, in such a culture, should fuel intellectual vitality.

 

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Williams College To Pursue “Strong Pro-Speech Policies And Principles”

https://www.wamc.org/post/williams-college-pursue-strong-pro-speech-policies-and-principles

An interview that might interest people.

 

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Identity Evropa is Racist and the below post is idiotic

I can’t stay silent on this and am disgusted David could even pose question 2 rhetorically. There will be no comments on this post because there is no need. Identity Evropa is a racist hate group trying to recruit college students and David is doing work for them on this site with that garbage post. One google search is all it takes. Aren’t we ephs? Don’t we know how to do basic research?

From their founder:

“I think one of the major books that got me started was David Duke’s My Awakening, and I think from there the rest was really history.”
—Nathan Damigo on Red Ice Radio, June 16, 2016

From their 2nd leader in 2018 (edit: also, he lied about serving in Iraq):

“I work in HR firing n***** and s**** all day. Before that, I was in the army and I got to kill Muslims for fun. I’m not sure which one was better: watching n****** and s**** cry because they can’t feed their little [racist term for kids] or watching Muslims brains spray on the wall. Honestly both probably suck compared to listening to a k***’s scream while in the oven.”

 

The third leader is smart enough not to say the quiet part loud, but he did host shows on Red Ice Radio, you know, the white nationalist/supremacist platform. F*ck this

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Join us now at the Roosevelt Grill in the Roosevelt Hotel …

... here at 45th and Madison Avenue in New York City for the musical stylings of Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians welcoming in the New Year as they have every year since 1929 with their rendition of Auld Lang Syne …

 

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That Boxing Day Break …

… time to put your feet up and review the Christmas cards!

 

Particularly those from architects and designers …most with motion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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… Wishing you a Joyous Christmas!

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump’s Christmas portrait. Photograph: UPI/Barcroft Images.

 

 

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For just a moment, thinking outside the blog …

John Drew’s Monday 10 December post on Brooks and Free Speech has certainly had a galvanizing effect on EphBlog’s readership. Well-posted, John, and well-written.
However, if you are like me, and I know I am, you may need a distraction from campus concerns. This is not to say turn to the front pages of the NYT, WaPo, and Politico. Presidential hysteria, climate calamity, and world economic and political collapse will not provide respite.

So let your eyes enjoy 10 design trends of 2018 as reported by Augusta Pownall (as close to a Williamstown tie-in as I could get) for DeZeen Magazine.

 Just because becoming dehydrated is a personal concern, here for sake of a picture on the blog:

• Urban water fountains pop up

and …  • Football Fever takes hold • The end of the world as we know it? • Distant galaxies become more attractiv• Architect and designers switch disciplines • Big companies tackle diversity • Return of the humble poster • Adapting to smaller home• Moving away from Milan …
… and yet another personal favorite …

• Bauhaus is back!

Let your eyes do the walking for a break.
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The Tree of Life Synagogue, October 27th, 2018.

Candlelight vigil for the 11 killed in the shooting.

 

Recommended reading:

Max Boot, The Washington Post

“What is happening to our country?”

photo York Daily Record

 

 

 

 

 

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Railroading …

… making way for a speedy ride.

See here for a purpled reference.

Later up-dates:

(an announcement at Union Station, Washington, DC)

We regret to inform you that the SCOTUS Special due to arrive at noon on Saturday September 29th has been delayed because of unexpected bad weather and an avalanche of public opinion.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/02/trump-mocks-christine-blasey-ford-at-mississippi-rally

(another announcement at Union Station, Washington, DC)

We are happy to inform you that the SCOTUS Special is now due to arrive at noon on Saturday October 6th (or not) (or with complications) (railroading is hard work!).

 

 

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… on the other hand, analysis as offered by a Constant Contributor may be …

… of continuing consideration:

xkcd 19 Sep. 2018

https://xkcd.com/2048/

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George Will meets DDF ’25 for coffee …

From George Will’s column in today’s Washington Post.

The beginning of another academic year brings the certainty of campus episodes illustrating what Daniel Patrick Moynihan, distinguished professor and venerated politician, called “the leakage of reality from American life.” Colleges and universities are increasingly susceptible to intellectual fads and political hysteria, partly because the institutions employ so many people whose talents, such as they are, are extraneous to the institutions’ core mission: scholarship.

Writing in April in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Lyell Asher, professor of English at Lewis & Clark College, noted that “the kudzu-like growth of the administrative bureaucracy in higher education” is partly a response to two principles widely accepted on campuses: Anything that can be construed as bigotry and hatred should be so construed, and anything construed as such should be considered evidence of an epidemic. Often, Asher noted, a majority of the academic bureaucrats directly involved with students, from dorms to “bias-response teams” to freshman “orientation” (which often means political indoctrination), have graduate degrees not in academic disciplines but from education schools with “two mutually reinforcing characteristics”: ideological orthodoxy and low academic standards for degrees in vaporous subjects such as “educational leadership” or “higher-education management.”

I am very leery of social engineering applied to a campus of 2000.

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Purple Yet Again! Now as a ‘Quartz Obsession’ …

Yes! Quartz has dedicated its’ Obsession corner to the color PURPLE (please excuse me for shouting).

Along toward the very bottom, a school famed for the cost of text books, over-building on Spring Street, and generous allowances for vacation homes, is cited along with Burgess the Bovine Be-Spyer.

This is a follow-up to the post announcing Pantone Ultra Violet as the color of the year 2018.

 

 

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“The Madness of King George lll” coming to the Clark!

This promises to be a timely event!

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2018 1:00 pm-3:00 pm.

 

 

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John McCain, an American hero, dies at 81.

 J. Scott Applewhite/AP

His like may not soon come this way again .

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Sorry, DDF … too busy catching up with the news:

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Holding one’s water on Spring Street …

The piles of broken plaster, pilasters, and precipitate cluttering Spring Street may be subject to more immediate usage by male passers-by. Spring Street, unlike eg Paris, has never had cast-iron pissoirs to offer an immediate venue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(L) Paris Traditional                                          (R) Paris Beta Test

Strangely, the Beta is receiving a mixed reaction from normally blasé Parisiens.

Perhaps those of the Williams-related male persuasion may wish to cast a watery ballot indicating their opinion of the constant construction disrupting The Village Beautiful !

 

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No. Adams: PTC, this is a long way from DiLeggo’s Diner …

A follow-up story in DeZeen   paints an attractive picture of this imaginative addition to local color.

Of interest, if anyone recognizes any names:

Project credits:

Lead designer: Ben Bvenson of Broder
Architect: Hank Scollard
Interior design: Spartan Shop (Julie Pearson)
Landscape architecture: Reed Hilderbrand
Bridge designer: Tree-Mendous Aerial Adventures (Gerhard Komend)
Developer: Brody (Ben Svenson, managing partner)
Partners: Ben Svenson, John Stirratt, Scott Stedman, Eric Kerns, and Cortney Burns

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Democrats and Republicans But Only One Traitor …

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 9.51.39 PM

Perhaps Williams will provide future world leaders with the knowledge to participate in global affairs while upholding their sworn allegiance to the United States of America.

Global Studies 2018-19  (from the Course Catalogue)

An informed engagement with the world is an indispensable part of the liberal education that is the goal of the Williams experience. The Global Studies Program enables students to achieve this goal through a cross-disciplinary and comparative curriculum.

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Robinson, Breuer, Williamstown: a follow-up …

 … to this post.

large

A lot of house for 1.9mil.

Plus the connection to the atomic bomb.

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These competitors have dropped the SATs …

Screen Shot 2018-06-29 at 8.44.43 AM

… let’s see how they do.

 

Moving right along …

Screen Shot 2018-07-06 at 6.23.18 PM …

fr v bel

It is Monday July. 9th. I really like the nesting dolls for this cup in Russia.

It is now Wednesday July, 11. In a heart-breaker for England, the finals are France – Croatia.

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-07-14 at 3.24.59 PM

 

 

 

no need for SATs. 4 -2 ovScreen Shot 2018-07-11 at 1.41.48 PMer Croatia! 

 

 

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It is 12 o’clock and a Chapin Library holding is under fire!

 

Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 9.42.47 PM

My post of last Spring, 2017 White House Lawyers Up was viewed as ‘jumping over the shark’.

Please, Librarian Hammond, protect the Chapin Library’s printing of the Constitution of the United States from the conflagration. It may be needed for reference.

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A Sunday Break: … 30 …

D. Kane and D. Swart exchange views on Ephblog at a very nice lunch in Boston last fall.Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 4.28.08 PM

It was a pleasure for the Hood River stringer to have this meeting with the owner, editor, and chief content provider of Ephodder. The much-maligned mogul is in actual presence a relaxed, convivial, conversationalist and bon companion for a mid-day grill. I was his guest. I also imagine that no captions are needed to identify the subjects.

I admire Dave for his dedicating this blog to his father D. Kane ’58. And for his determination to have a new post up every day. This means that since he started the blog in 2003, he has written 9000 and some posts.

This is an immense dedication to digging for stories, items, releases on which to present observations of foibles and views of policies and actions. It may be that now in 2018, the formerly new is being recycled. That the content provider’s opinions have become more set over time. That these opinions tend to be contentious in some ways, as they should be. 

However, I find that the focus of the postings has turned too completely meta-college administration as opposed to the proud banner “All things Eph”. There was a time when this banner actually worked and many different topics were posted on topics of a much wider world … as one might expect of graduates of a leading liberal arts institution.

I recognize that meta-administration is what  current readers want to read and discuss, either pro or con, and at length. So saying I recognize that my attempts to spread the definition of the World-o-Williams a bit in the blog are not adding any dimension to the discourse.

While I will be retiring my Hood River quill, I urge some other reader, with a sense of a broader outlook to present,  to jump right in!

 

… 30 …

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A Sunday Break: Cranberries – the Juice of Williams!

download

Quartz, a pub covering trends and happenings in business, has a weekly Obsession on a particular topic. I was amused to see that this weeks’ obsession was cranberries.

https://qz.com/email/quartz-obsession/1254695/

 

And why amused, you may ask. Because of the contributions to the Alma Mater of the Makepeace family.

Members of the family have been responsible for raising the cranberry to a daily part of the life of peoples world-wide instead of a sugar-infused berry sauce at Thanksgiving. We drink them in many forms and eat them out of little sacks as a treat and diet addition.

The Williams link. Charles D. Makepeace Williams 1900 and Treasure for many years. At our 50th reunion in 2006, Denny Makepeace ’56, his grandson and namesake, gave a  rundown on the doings of the family and some very particular descriptions of activities at his grandfather’s Williamstown house. We were in that house, now the Oakley Center, and laughed at the stories, especially the one about dancing on the piano and leaving heel marks on the polished top. And the piano was with us in the room. The convivial talk is a part of the oral history of Williams.

I do wonder if the Williams community recognizes the importance of continuity and tradition, and has an appreciation of the personal histories and commitments that have shaped this small college.

 

 

 

 

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A Paean to Pruitt: A Song from Britton ’56 …

downloadIndeed! Another song in that Peter Britton ’56 particular style. This one an ode to Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Scott Pruitt, who seems to have no regard for anyone’s environment except his own.

 

It is a pleasure to be able to post the work of an old classmate. And let’s face it … all my classmates are old. The words are by Peter, the music by Nashvilles’ own Tim Lorch, and the back-up band is according to Peter, ” one Polish gypsy on violin, a studio musician on bass, and a blind Iowa farm boy on piano, guitar, accordion and sax”.

The words are beneath the fold if you want to sing along.

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Consider Barbara Bush …

Screen Shot 2018-04-17 at 8.01.58 PMFirst Lady Barbara Bush holding baby while two-year-old child takes photo w. toy camera at hospice for children w. AIDS

https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/first-lady-barbara-bush-holding-baby-while-two-year-old-news-photo/50585315#first-lady-barbara-bush-holding-baby-while-twoyearold-child-takes-w-picture-id50585315

 

 

 

I won’t supply a Williams connection except the qualities of humanity, empathy, and dedication as a part of this Williams community.

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A Sunday Break: The 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media 2018 …

… and among this distinguished 35? Yes! Eph’s Own Mika Brezinksi ’89!

 

Read more from The Hollywood Reporter list …

Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 5.00.34 AM

WHY THEY MATTER Being Trump’s sworn enemies is good for business. Morning Joe — which celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2017 — notched record ratings for MSNBC during the 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. period, averaging slightly more than 1 million viewers (vs. CNN’s 634,000) and 226,000 in the 25-to-54 demographic. With an audience that skews young, wealthy and educated, the show posted slightly more growth than Fox News in the 25-to-54 crowd (up 36 percent, compared with Fox News’ 32 percent gain). Numbers for the first quarter of 2018 were particularly impressive, with Morning Joe averaging 249,000 — an all-time high — in 25-to-54.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lists/35-powerful-nyc-media-figures-2018-hosts-anchors-more-1100942/item/jeff-fager-35-powerful-people-media-2018-

In a time far away, The Hollywood Reporter was daily reading. A lot of the perusing concerned data like those reported in the story snippet above.

The format has changed considerably since those commuter times. Not that I was reading in 1950 (the illustration left), but this is what it looked like. Much more stylish and on-line now. Looks like Vanity Fair.

Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 4.55.01 AM

And as to that current cover (illustration right): Silicon Valley among my favorites. Just finishing the new season.

Your comments on Mika, reflections on Joe, gripes about the media, and your problems with binge watching …

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It is twelve o’clock and a Chapin Library holding is under fire now …

Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 9.42.47 PM

My post White House Lawyers Up last spring 2017 was seen as ‘jumping over the shark’

Please, Librarian Hammond,  protect the Chapin Collection’s Mason draft from the conflagration. It may be needed for reference.

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