Archive for December, 2001

Men top DePauw Invitational; women take second

Tuesday, December 4th, 2001 | Daniel Peterson

-While most Washington University students were getting ready for their first taste of chilling winter weather this past weekend, the men and women of WU swimming were off somewhere in middle America, DePauw University in Indiana to be specific, stripping down to their skivvies and strutting their stuff in the year’s final swimming invitational dual meet.
The meet featured nine men’s and women’s teams from schools such as Illinois Wesleyan, Principia, Wittenberg and Wabash.
The men’s swimming team defended its 2000 DePauw Swimming Invitational Title and won their second straight invitational of 2001, amassing 852 points and trouncing their closest competitor, perennial rival Wabash, by an amazing 121 points.
“I think we were confident that we were going to do well because we put in some of the hardest training we have ever done before the meet, giving us the confidence that we were prepared,” said sophomore James Prescott.
The women’s team also fared quite well, putting up 789.5 points and finishing in second place, just 16 points shy of host DePauw University. The third-place team was Wittenberg College, who totaled only 539 points.
“We never like to lose, but we had some great swims and many best times,” said junior Rachel Feldman. “Saturday night I thought that every single one of us gave each race everything we had. It just wasn’t enough this time.”
WU men’s swimmers dominated several events on Saturday, most notably the 200-yard freestyle in which WU swimmers Matt Johnson, Brian Hindman and Nate Gosse finished the race in first, second and third places, respectively, earning 53 points for the Bears.
“I think a swimmer who had an exceptional meet was Brian Hindman,” said Prescott. “Throughout the entire meet he was dropping a lot of time and was swimming real fast for this time of season.”
Other first place finishes for the men included Mike Hernandez in the 200- and 400-yard Individual Medleys, Matt Johnson in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles and Jon Vigdorchik in the 100-yard butterfly.
The WU men’s 400-yard freestyle relay “A” team took home first place, beating out Wabash by more than two seconds. The WU “B” relay team finished an impressive fifth in the freestyle relay, beating out five other schools’ “A” relay teams.
WU men’s relay teams also finished first in the 800- yard freestyle relay and the 400-yard medley relay.
WU faces rival Wabash again at home on January 19th and after this weekend’s big victory,
“They are going to want to come down here and beat us to return the favor and get a little redemption,” said Prescott.
For the WU women, the meet was a two-horse race in which they always seemed to come up just short of the DePauw swimmers. In eleven different races, DePauw was the only school to finish ahead of WU.
“I think we have a strong girls team, but DePauw was just a little bit stronger. They have a little more depth in their strokers. I was very happy and proud of how the girls team did,” said freshman Su Wang.
Perhaps it was the “home-pool” advantage of DePauw that kept the WU women from winning their second straight invitational tournament, but the weekend did not pass without several Bears shining in their individual races.
First place showings were turned in by Rachel Feldman in the 200-yard freestyle and Lindsay Wilkinson in the 200-yard individual medley.
“I went into the meet seeded sixth and ended up winning pretty much in the last 25 yards of the race. I love the whole ‘come-from behind’ win. Plus, I finally went under 2:00, which was really exciting,” said Feldman of her 200-yard freestyle victory.
The abundance of second place finishes by the WU women included Sarah Goldberg in the 500-yard freestyle, Jessica Schneider in the 100- and 200-yard breaststrokes, Feldman in the 100-yard freestyle, Wang in the 100- and 200-yard butterflies and Brianna Krull in the 400-yard Individual Medley.
WU women relay teams had a fine meet as well, winning the 800-yard freestyle relay and placing second in the 400-yard freestyle relay as well as the 200- and 400-yard Medley relays.

Contact Daniel at [email protected]

2 minute drill

Tuesday, December 4th, 2001 | Robby Schwindt

Week 12 in the NFL saw several great games with close finishes. A few teams kept themselves alive with much needed wins while others can pack it up for the year. The playoff picture became both clearer and murkier at the same time. What does it all mean? Well, with this being the last issue before the playoffs, here are my predictions.

AFC Predictions:
In the AFC Central Pittsburgh is a lock on the division. They will go 13-3, losing to Baltimore in a couple of weeks and then running the table. Week 17 is tough, however, with a game against Cleveland, who will need a win to get into the playoffs.
Out west, Oakland will also waltz into the post-season. They should win out to claim a share of first place in the conference.
The East is where things get interesting. Miami, New England and New York all have a shot at the division. New York has three difficult road games and would need to win two of those games to win the division. So between Miami and New England it will come down to Week 15 in Foxboro Stadium. The Dolphins will enter at 9-4 after a loss to San Francisco, and the Pats take care of Cleveland at home and come in at 9-5. Tom Brady calmly leads New England to a win to seal the division. Miami still goes 11-5 and clinches a wild card berth.
Baltimore gets one of the other spots with a 12-4 record. The other spot is really up for grabs. If New York can win one of their road games against Pittsburgh, Indianapolis or Oakland they will get the final spot. If they can’t and Cleveland can beat either New England, Green Bay or Pittsburgh, they will claim the berth. That makes Week 17 at Pittsburgh a great game to watch, especially after the Browns’ 15-12 loss to the Steelers back in Week 9.
So we have New England, Oakland and Pittsburgh winning their divisions with Baltimore, Miami and the Jets picking up wild card spots.

NFC Predictions:
In the NFC Central the race will be very tight between Chicago, Green Bay and Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay is just too far back with games remaining against Chicago, New Orleans, Baltimore and Philadelphia. The division will be decided this weekend when Chicago heads up to the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. The Bears try to avenge a 20-12 loss suffered in Week 9, but Favre is too much. The Pack wins and they control their own destiny. Chicago will win out as long as they can beat Tampa Bay at home so Green Bay must also run the table to win the division. But in week 17 the G-Men wait in New York, and they will be playing for a wild card spot. The Packers take care of business in NY and win the division.
In the West, the division will also be decided in this coming weekend when San Francisco comes to St. Louis. The Rams win to clinch the division. Even if the Rams lose to San Fran they still have a much easier schedule with games remaining against New Orleans, Carolina, Indianapolis and Atlanta compared to Miami, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Dallas for San Francisco.
The East is tight with everyone wallowing in mediocrity. But, Philly beats the Giants in Week 16 at Veterans Stadium to clinch the division.
So that gives us Philadelphia, St. Louis and Green Bay winning the divisions and Chicago, San Francisco and Tampa Bay earning wild card berths.
See you in January.
Contact Robby at [email protected]

The view from the basement

Tuesday, December 4th, 2001 | Dan Boyd

Winter. That magical season of spiced eggnog, crowded shopping malls and slightly strained family reunions.
Winter beckons with friendly familiarity-kind of like the smell of warm cinnamon rolls in the morning. But amid friends, family, and holiday cheer, the need often arises for some kind of outlet or release valve. That is where sports come into play.
If sports can be loosely classified as organized physical activities following a basic set of rules, everyone is a bit more athletic than they realize. I find that many of those repetitive winter-time acts that people do evoke certain feelings, even if we cannot describe them.
In my house growing up, Christmas tree hunting often turned into a spectacle resembling the Iditarod and cross-country ski expeditions became epic tests of willpower. Every family enacts its own strange customs for its own crazy reasons.
Winter sports in Montana run deep, and at times freeze deep as well. Spinning cookies in empty parking lots and making mad dashes to and from the warm sanctuary of the hot tub exemplify, I think, all of the passion and drama that makes sports great.
My humble theory is that winter predicates these types of behavior more than any other season because it brings people into close proximity, and, well, we need something to keep us occupied and you can only see Harry Potter so many times.
Think about it. Remember your freshman floor and all the extremely creative games that could only be invented at 3 a.m.? Or those video game marathons that left you with weary eyes and visions of faraway worlds? They probably occurred with the most frequency around this time of year.
Of course to appreciate sporting events one must also be a talented spectator, and winter gives ample opportunities to live vicariously through others and practice up on our La-Z-Boy quarterback skills.
Watching the Bowl, for instance, gives us that crucial piece of knowledge that Syracuse’s backup tight end is actually a home economics major, with four older siblings, and a pet python named Bubbles. And what would December be without Dick Vitale and the specter of sleep-deprived undergrads exhorting the home team to jump a little higher, run a little faster, hit that big shot?
But let’s focus on the active parts of winter: doing some last-minute shopping, decorating the house, and more. Through it all, sporting instincts are at their peak. Not necessarily through fierce competition (although that is often the case), winter sports bring people together to laugh, remember, and make fools of ourselves.
I remember sneaking onto the local ice skating rink late at night with friends, doing our best Wayne Gretzky imitations and checking to make sure that the beer didn’t freeze. It may have looked funny, yet we felt free, like we were sharing something that the rest of the world was missing out on.
The public spectacle of sports in all their varied forms helps us to relate to one another and build something that exemplifies and embodies our very lives. I don’t know-maybe I have been reading too much from my anthropology textbooks recently-but sports possess the very same ritual and ceremonial structure as many religious celebrations.
As Robert Pirsig wrote in his book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, “When one has this feeling of identification with what one’s doing then he also sees the inverse side of caring, Quality itself.”
Winter, like all sports, has a prescribed form in our minds. But the beauty of it all is that no two versions end up exactly alike. The intersecting and overlapping ideas of what is a sport, what is an art, and what is just a pain in the ass, reflect the fact that it is all in how you view it. Maybe you call it grocery shopping, but I call it the Schnucks 500 with a shiny iron cart.
Under that big “Sports” masthead of Student Life, football, volleyball and basketball get the
most coverage, but I see all of you out there with your idiosyncratic pastimes. And I say that they are sports.
So go home, eat those family feasts with gusto, and be an athlete in the true sense of the word.

Contact Dan at [email protected]

No place like the Field House

Tuesday, December 4th, 2001 | Renee Hires

The tenth-ranked Washington University men’s basketball team improved to 6-1 this weekend, defeating Coe College 100-80 Friday and dominating Wisconsin Lutheran College 97-66 Saturday.
The WU starters, all five of which are juniors and captains, controlled the contest. Center Jarriot Rook blocked four shots to break a WU all-time career record. Rook’s 154 blocks surpassed the record 152 set by that Fred Amos in 1985. He posted 21 points, seven rebounds and two steals as well.
In addition to six rebounds and three blocks, guard Dustin Tylka dropped seven threes and tallied a game-high 27 points. Chris Jeffries contributed 26 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Matt Tabash, at point, had nine assists and three steals.
Within three seconds of the beginning of the Coe game, Rook passed to Joel Parrott, who sank a three and ignited WU’s early 9-2 lead. Rook, who only shot from behind the arc once last season, nailed a three of his own later in the half. Tylka hit one with 1:28 on the clock to put the Bears up by 21, the widest lead of the half. However, the story of the half was WU’s inside game.
“Our coaches did a good job scouting them,” said Jeffries. “Everything [Coe] did we saw coming. We knew that initially they weren’t going to pressure me in the post.”
Therefore, Jeffries dominated the paint as power forward, putting up three jumpers and six layups.
As the Bears lead 47-31 at half, Rook heard his record revealed. He was aware he was nearing the record but had not realized just how close he was.
“When they announced it at half time I was surprised because I didn’t know for sure,” said Rook. “But we were warming up for the second half, and right when they announced it I shot an air ball.”
Jeffries opened the second half with a jumper and dunked off a pass from Tabash. However, the Bears’ offensive attack soon shifted to the outside.
“I had a great inside game in the first half,” said Jeffries. “Then, they started coming to me more aggressively. And, if Tylka, Tabash or Barry [Bryant] have the open three, they’re going to take it. I expect them to, and that was the case. With all of their guys trying to come and pressure me, it was easy for me to kick it out to them for the open jump shot.”
Tylka scored 17 points during 15 minutes in the final half. He drove in a layup and connected on 5 of 8 threes. Tabash and Parrot added a pair of threes and Rook also hit his second one.
Coe looked to answer through more aggressive offense. With 6:39 remaining, guard Josh Stanek brought the game as close as 81-69 by sinking one of Coe’s six threes in the half.
The Kohawks improved from 34.4 to 51.4 percent field goal shooting in the second half. However, WU shot a solid 55.9 percent to keep Coe in check. With 19 points Stanek led Coe, now 2-4.
Saturday night, Wisconsin Lutheran hit only 30.9 percent from the field, as WU dominated the game. WLC guard Kevin Christensen led everyone in scoring with 23 points, but WU shot 63.2 percent from the floor, as five players finished in double figures and the bench tallied 44 points.
Bryant, a sophomore, came in for 14 minutes to lead the Bears with a career-high 16 points. Rook, with 13 points, and Jeffries, with 12, also pulled down 10 rebounds apiece for double-doubles. Parrott scored 12, and Tylka scored 11 points.
The Bears began as they had ended Friday, with Tabash setting Jeffries up with the dunk and the guards knocking down threes. WU took off on a 27-5 run, reversing the Warrior’s early 3-2 lead. The home team marked a 27-point margin until Christensen’s three at the buzzer closed the half 51-27. The Warriors could never close the gap in the second half.
Head coach Mark Edwards said after the game, “Our defense really bothered, took them out of their offense, and eventually dominated their game. We countered what they did very quickly and put them in such a hole they didn’t have a chance.”
Junior Nick Guerts then passed to junior Michael Kriss for a layup and pushed the lead to 36, before winning by 31.
Edwards noted the Bear’s significant advantage in height and strength. However, Jeffries said, “I don’t think we really used that too much. Pretty much we just ran them. We got the ball out quick because we knew all five of them could not go with all five of us.” The Bears outscored the Warriors 6-14 on fast breaks, and Tabash kept the offense moving.
“Each player helped us win this game, but the point guard leadership this weekend was outstanding. Matt Tabash ran the show. He got the people where he wanted them, he took the ball into the press, made it to the paint, and cut the trapping. He was a major factor in how this team came together,” said Edwards.
Tabash collected four steals and created six shots Saturday, and had 12 points for the weekend.
“I think we need to use these two games, just like we used the loss [to Hanover, Sunday, Nov. 25] to get ready for the next game,” said Edwards.
His team will take on Webster University tonight in St. Louis, and then play at home again next Saturday, Dec. 8.
“Our next home game is against our archrival, Illinois Wesleyan, who we have not beaten in ten years. I’d really like to see the students come out and support us for that game,” said Edwards.
Contact Renee at [email protected]

WU stays perfect in exorcising the Griffins

Tuesday, December 4th, 2001 | Matt Henley

The top-ranked Washington University women’s basketball team avenged last year’s loss to Fontbonne with a 95-65 drubbing of the Griffins in the WU Field House on Friday night.
The 30-point victory was led by senior Robin Lahargoue, who had a team-high 19 points to go along with 11 rebounds. After falling behind early in the game 7-2, the Bears rode the hot hand of junior Laura Crowley, who hit three consecutive three-pointers to spark a 31-7 Bears run. As sophomore Suzy Digby made two free throws as the half closed, the Bears extended their lead to 49-24.
Fontbonne, who beat the Bears last year to halt their consecutive win streak at 81 games, found themselves at the mercy of a bitter Bears team.
“Coach [Nancy Fahey] told us it was just another game, just as important as any other, but we were obviously still a little bitter about last year,” said Lahargoue. “We used that as fuel.”
Well the Bears had plenty of gas left in their tank as they capitalized on a 17-0 run in the second half to pull away. To break the game open in the second half, the Bears dominated the boards and shot the ball effectively. The defense held the Griffins to just 33 precent shooting from the floor, while the offense shot just under 50 percent. High-percentage shooting combined with a rebounding edge of 54-31 will almost always lead to lopsided victories.
A total of 12 Bears scored in the rout, including 12 points from Crowley, who went 3-5 from behind the arc. Suzy Digby was a spark off the bench as she chipped in 17 points and six rebounds. Kristi Eller also came off the bench to lead the Bears in assists with six. Starter Meg Sullivan also contributed eight points.
The only highlight on the Griffins side was senior Amy Hauschild. Hauschild led the Griffins with 31 points on 9-19 shooting. She also had eight rebounds.
The win on Friday night moves the Bears to 5-0, and no game has been closer than eight points.
“It’s nice to start clicking early in the season, but there is always room for improvement and we expect to be even better in the second semester,” said Lahargoue.
The Bears, who have won four straight national championships, seem poised for yet another run. Lahargoue said, “We don’t like to compare this year’s team to last year’s team, but we are really confident right now. It’s also hard to evaluate the rest of the field this early in the season, but we feel confident.”
To prevent overconfidence, the Bears will continue to work hard in practice, because that is where the toughest competition has come from this year. Out of their five wins this season, four have come by at least 15 points. Therefore, it is important that the Bears stay competitive in practice.
“Our toughest competition is when we play against each other in practice,” says Lahargoue. “Coach keeps us humble by instilling a humble philosophy into our system.”
It is early, but already the Bears are showing that they have not missed a beat since winning their fourth straight national championship. But before we skip three months to the 2002 national championship, let’s first see if someone can play them close.

contact Matt at [email protected]

Muslim sympathy

Tuesday, December 4th, 2001 | Matthew Wyrick

When I came to campus on September 12th, I was in pretty bad spirits. Horror, sorrow, and anger over the preceding day’s events all swelled and swirled about in me. As I tried to resume my normal routine, I found myself near to tears now that I had moved away from the TV and radio newscasts and had some quiet moments for reflection. While most people I spoke to about it were similarly deflated, I do recall encountering something on campus that, for me, added insult to injury. As I approached Mallinckrodt Center, I saw a sign written in chalk on the ground that simply said, “Don’t blame Islam for Bin Laden!” The reason I found these words so offensive was that they didn’t include any words of regret for the thousands of people who had been murdered the previous day.
My natural intuition was to presume that it was followers of Islam who had written this. From my anguished perspective, it seemed to me that these writers were being extraordinarily selfish. Simply put, they didn’t show any sympathy for people who were in mourning, but rather were only concerned with doing something to cover their own rears now that many Americans would likely be prejudicially enraged against Muslims. But regardless of who wrote those words and whatever their real intentions, their immediate impact on me, and perhaps many others as well, wasn’t exactly to endear the Islamic faith to the heart.
A more persuasive and effective slogan might have been something like, “People of Islam, Unite against the mass-murderer Bin Laden!” Such an expression of sympathy that took place in another walk of life has left a lasting impression on me. This took place in 1990, during a college basketball playoff game between Loyola Marymount and Michigan. Loyola’s team was still in grief over the recent death of their star player, Hank Gathers, during a game. Using basketball as an outlet for their anguish, however, they dominated the heavily-favored Michigan team (the defending national champions, no less) and won by over 30 points.
What most impressed me, however, was the action of a Michigan player. A photograph at the time showed a Loyola player jeering in the face of Michigan’s star Reumeal Robinson, vigorously taunting him because Loyola’s lead in the contest had become insurmountable. Robinson’s reaction was simply to divert his eyes from the player’s direction and walk away. To me, it seemed like Robinson was saying to himself, “All right, I don’t like being taunted anymore than I like losing, but if it helps them cope with their real-life tragedy, then I need to let them do it.”
Alternatively, Robinson could have answered those jeers by saying to the player, “Hey, it wasn’t my fault that Gathers died, so don’t vent your anger on me.” Certainly, this would be a true statement, as it really wasn’t fair that he was being verbally assaulted for a tragedy he had nothing to do with. But what was more important was that Robinson showed some genuine concern for someone who really needed it at that moment. This was a little act of courage on Robinson’s part perhaps, but a memorable one. On the other hand, those words I saw written outside of Mallinckrodt seem more like the self-centered ones I suggest Robinson could have used instead. So, in short, a better approach to dealing with such prejudice as that which some Americans are showing towards Muslims may be a pro-active one. The louder their voice in denouncing terrorism, the less readily they are to be negatively stereotyped.

Beds needed on Forty

Tuesday, December 4th, 2001 | Allison Carmichael

Insomniacs and college students alike know the immense value of sleep. My favorite part of the day is right when I’m drifting off to sleep and I am completely relaxed. No matter how much work I have or haven’t done, I always try to not let it interfere with my precious rest time. Reality is put on hold for a few hours while the subconscious takes over. Last night I dreamed it was my twenty-first birthday and I was waving my license in the face of some waitress – a sweet but brief escape from the harsh, depressing truth.
The worst part of my day is when the alarm wrests me from sweet slumber, ordering me out of bed for my nine o’clock class and reminding me of that big red bar on my license that says, “AGE 21 IN 2002.” Ever had an hour-long nine o’clock class then have an hour or two break until the next one? You’re tired, you want to at least attempt to get some work done, but utter exhaustion from having dragged yourself out of bed at what is in college time the crack of dawn prevents you from getting any real work done. The words swim on the page and you can’t make any sense of them. Your head begins to droop, but of course your apartment or dorm seems much too far to be worth the effort it takes to walk there. By the time you got home, you’d barely have any time to rest before having to get up again for your next class.
I was having these very thoughts last Thursday. Class was only forty-five minutes away, so walking home was out of the question. One can’t read Coriolanus in a stupor of fatigue, so I tried to take a brief nap in the library. The gray sofa-like chairs seemed my best bet. Using my backpack as a pillow, I struggled to get comfortable. Yet try as I might, I couldn’t find the right position, and my attempt at sleep was thwarted.
“Why can’t they just have nice, squishy, “sleepable” places to sit in the library,” I thought. In the whole building, there’s not one object even remotely appropriate for sleeping. As I left, I remembered the construction taking place on the first floor and wondered what they were doing with it. I then had an epiphany. What if they turned it into a giant napping room? They could put in a bunch of cots and hammocks and play Chopin on low volume from a boom box in the corner. Think of the benefits if we all had a little more rest: we would be far more attentive and productive in our next class. There is an undeniably huge difference between having a nine o’clock class versus a ten o’clock class. I know I feel infinitely better on days when I get that extra hour or so of sleep and don’t have to stumble into class late and still in my pajamas. With a napping room, we’d still be tired for nine o’clock class, but a brief nap from ten to eleven would vastly improve the rest of the day. We would actually be physically capable of paying attention, and professors would no longer have occasion to feel offended by drooping eyes.
Remember in preschool when naps were mandatory? No one ever wanted to sleep, but the teachers, for the sake of having a few moments of peace, made us sleep anyway. Why is it that when we finally want our teachers to tell us to go to bed, they won’t? Of course, it doesn’t make sense to have mandatory nap time in college. For one thing, there wouldn’t be enough cots and hammocks to accommodate everyone at once. Logistics aside, I believe that having sleeping places available on campus would greatly improve student performance, morale, and health. The administration must face facts: what good are all those books in the library if we’re all sleepy to read them?

The whiners are creating their own misery

Tuesday, December 4th, 2001 | Graham McBride

How many times have you overheard the following exchange during your walk to class?
“Hey wanna have dinner later?”
“No, I can’t, I’ve got a test, two papers, a group meeting and six quizzes tomorrow, and I’m swamped for the rest of the week…how about next month?”
Ok, I don’t actually hear that all the time. But I am disturbed by the lengths to which people on this campus go to tell me about all the work they have.
Take for example another conversation.
“Hey what’s up?”
“Nothin, just a little tired, I’ve got seven hundred pages to read by six o’clock, I still haven’t copied these notes that Sara gave me, and now I can’t find her, and…”
Does anybody talk about anything else? In my years here I’ve done my share of work, but I’ve also done a fair share of aimless hanging around, which is quite therapeutic I might add. I’ve been asked, repeatedly, why it doesn’t seem like I have any work to do. Shut up. I’m just as swamped as you are, I just make time for other things too! And I don’t complain about it (often)! It’s a novel concept! This is what I’d like to say to these people, except usually it’s more like…”No, I’ve got work to do, but I have a special ‘Get Out of Homework Free’ card which allows me extra leisure time. It’s like buying a brown parking permit.” What bothers me most is that it’s an anomaly that someone is smiling on campus.
Then there’s this whole other category of people who complain about all the extra-curricular activities for which they have to go to meetings and how much time that takes up (Okay, don’t hate, I do this too). To these people I wanna say “You signed up, Big Bird.” Next time someone says they’re stressed out over those activities, either kick them in the shins, or tell them about some made-up group you’re a member of.
More than likely they won’t be listening anyway because they’re probably looking for a clock to tell them how late they are to their next line in the red planner.
Then, when they’ve given you a half-assed, “Maybe I’ll see you this weekend.” say something like, “Nah, probably not, I’ve got this big (insert assignment) coming up in about 2 weeks and I gotta get started.” You’ll fit right in.
Don’t get me wrong folks, I’m all about some academia. But we’re here to learn, most of all from each other. And if the best subject we can come up with during daily interaction is how close we are to heart attacks and ulcers, something is seriously wrong.
I understand the pressure to do well in school; we all feel it, some to greater degrees. But that B+ in History that you’re gonna sweat and drool over and complain about until it’s an A-? I hate to tell you, but it just ain’t that important. Happy Hour, however….
So next time you’re chatting with someone about school (which you’ll probably be in ten minutes) think before you begin griping…Does this person really care? Is their work situation trivial enough that they’re gonna remember how much I have, much less empathize? Maybe you could subtly steer the conversation elsewhere and we’ll all be better off.
Thanks for reading this. Now I’ve got to get to work on my five papers due this Tuesday.

The travails of buying expensive textbooks

Tuesday, December 4th, 2001 | Tomer Cohen

“This place nickel and dimes you for all you’re worth,” a friend told me of WashU. “Think of the bookstore – they have a virtual monopoly. They charge way too much.”
This was my third day of orientation. I hadn’t even registered for classes. My CD player and speakers were still lying packaged underneath my bed. Apparently, the bookstore’s reputation precedes itself.
Intrigued, I went into textbook buying with a skeptical eye. I decided to try and beat the system by buying online, either through the national retailers or through I spent about an hour or two comparing bookstore prices with online prices in a bout of spendthriftness that saved me over $100. I came into the game too late to buy from, but the online stores were still stocked.
I started with, ebay’s direct sale non-auction site. I picked up a new copy of A Writer’s Companion by Richard Maurius (required for E Comp 199) for $15.35 after shipping and handling. The bookstore was asking for $32.00 for a new copy and $24.00 for a used one. So far, I’d saved $16.65. Tomer: one. Bookstore: nil. had some smaller successes for me, too. I got a brand new Crying of Lot 49 and a used Memories of a Catholic Girlhood (also required for my E Comp class) at a savings of $7.40. We’ll cut the bookstore some slack and call that one a tie, even though my used copy of Memories was in much better condition than the raggedy used ones the bookstore sold.
Moving on to, a big winner for me. I found a used copy (very good condition) of Introduction to Physical Anthropology for “Introduction to Human Evolution” for $19.00 less than the bookstore price. Two to nothing. also sold a used copy (not so good condition, no extras) of Peter Gray’s Introduction to Psychology for $21.40 under the bookstore cost of a new copy packed with a study guide and cd-rom. I’m hesitant to call that a victory, but throw in a $5.75 savings on a new Bedford’s Handbook for E Comp 199, and I’ll give myself a point. Tomer: three. Bookstore: nil. I left Barnes and Noble’s online store feeling good. Not only did I pick up two points on the bookstore, I also got free shipping because I ordered more than two textbooks.
I next visited A used but good copy of the textbook for my film class cost about half of the bookstore price of $54.25, and a new copy of my math book for Calculus II weighed in at $14.50 less than the bookstore’s. Tomer’s on a five-zero run. If I were a basketball team, I’d be calling the benchwarmers up to give them some play time before the end of the game.
To the bookstore’s credit, I couldn’t find copies of either Casts of Thought for my E Comp class or Taking Sides for my psychology seminar for any less than the bookstore cost. I signed online a few days later, and still no luck. Damn. I guess the final score comes out to 5 to 2.
All in all, I think I’ll shop online next semester (read: stay tuned for the play-by-play of the next round of Tomer vs. bookstore). It’s a great way to save money, and better for the environment. The bookstore doesn’t have the same selection of used books that the online retailers do, and buying used saves trees and energy. The only down side I experienced was the problem in verifying editions. A lot of the used books are an older edition than the ones WashU uses, and sellers don’t always note what edition they’re selling. That said, I foresee big savings, and another Tomer win, for Spring 2002. Maybe we’ll go best 3 out of 5 for next fall.

Madrid: que bonita!

Tuesday, December 4th, 2001 | Corey Harris

As the end of the semester nears, many people are concerned about final exams, term papers, and of course, that end-of-the-semester grade. What will the professor give you? Compounded with these anxieties, many of us prepare to see some of our very close friends walk out of our lives for a semester. And for us seniors, the next few weeks will be the last time we will see these study abroaders for what in all likelihood will be a long, long time. Studying abroad causes a complex mix of emotions for all parties involved. People leave, develop and grow while their friends and families do the same. The re-entrance into the Washington University community can be a difficult transition as 6 months is a relatively long time in your college education.
At about this time last fall, I was returning from a semester abroad in Madrid. Without a doubt, I emerged from the experience a changed person with new perspectives on my life, America’s place in the world, and how people in other parts of the world experience life. Cross-cultural experiences allow you to learn about yourself and look through someone else’s lens at the larger American community. My trip to Spain was perhaps the single most enlightening experience of my life. As a chemical engineering student at the university, the idea of studying abroad was far removed from my mind since engineering disciplines can be quite concentrated and rigidly structured. However, studying in a foreign country had always been a goal of mine. I chose to make it a priority and took an official leave of absence (which by the way you have to pay a fee to maintain your place at the university) from the university since I wasn’t eligible for any of the WU Spanish programs.
Having returned from a semester abroad, I was refreshed and had a renewed sense of focus and direction. Experiences abroad force you to think about the world beyond your home, your city, beyond the US. Furthermore it challenges your beliefs, your purpose and your ambitions. It allows you, if only for a brief time, to immerse yourself in someone else’s culture and perhaps get a glimpse of what others think about and feel towards Americans. Given the incidents of Sept. 11, the need for global understanding (particularly as it relates to regions where study abroad programs tend to be under-represented) and exchange is obvious.
A couple of weeks ago, my counterpart Yoni discussed the “wholeness” of a study abroad experience particularly as it related to out-of-class learning. I cannot underscore enough the validity of this sentiment. What amazed me, however, were the amount of American students I saw abroad that treated studying abroad as an extended vacation. Rather than use the study abroad experience as an opportunity to learn about another culture, to become familiar with (if not fluent in) another language and to critically look at their own lives and their place in the world, students mingled with other Americans, spoke English, and made little effort to become integrated into the local community.
A study abroad experience is a once (maybe twice) in a lifetime opportunity and students should maximize learning both inside and outside of the classroom. As the world becomes increasingly globalized and technologically advanced, our lives are becoming more interconnected. Cultural sensitivity and awareness are paramount to our functioning as a truly global community. After all, now, more than ever, they are truly our neighbors.
And to all my friends going abroad, be sure to live it up.