Archive for December, 2006

Cheers and Jeers-the semester in sports

Friday, December 8th, 2006 | Sports Staff
Lionel Sobehart

With today’s issue being the last of the semester, the Student Life sports staff looks back on some of the highlights (and lowlights) of the semester in the Wash. U., St. Louis and national sports scenes.

Cheers: To the Men’s Soccer and Basketball teams for posing in Student Life’s sex issue last Valentine’s Day.

The futballers actually agreed to pose naked with strategically placed soccer balls. They certainly took lots of flack from the Athletic Department, but, according to StudLife’s female sports staff, the student body certainly enjoyed it. Said one staffer, “What can we say, other than that they have balls.”

Jeers: To those teams who proved less accommodating to the idea of posing.

Cheers: To Shap Boyd, the defensive coordinator of the Wash. U. football team and to Larry Kindbom, the team’s head coach and another defensive mastermind. Yet again, the pair guided the Wash. U. defense to great heights, as the squad finished the season ranked as one of the top defensive units in the nation.

Jeers: To whomever it is that designed the team’s utterly bland and predictable offense. With talent across the board on the offensive side of the ball and a defense that frequently puts forth Herculean efforts in limiting the attack of opponents, the Bears deserve something – anything – resembling a dynamic offense. Somebody around the athletic department has got to step up and find us a Steve Spurrier in-the-making.

Cheers: To John Smelcer, the freshman goalkeeper who played a huge role in getting the Men’s Soccer Team to the play-offs. He came through big this season, with a 0.53 goals against average. Not to mention, the rookie virtually single handedly securing the team’s play-off birth when, with the rest of his team prematurely celebrating its presumed victory over the University of Chicago, he deflected a point-blank shot in the game’s closing seconds. Had the Maroons scored, there may have been no play-offs appearance to cheer.

Cheers: To the tremendous senior class that competed hard for four years of gridiron action.

Jeers: To the two overtime losses which ended the team’s postseason chances.

Cheers: To fans giving T.O. a hard time.

Jeers: To fans making suicide jokes to T.O.

Cheers: To the standout performances by the men’s and women’s cross country teams and to the squads’ hosting of a successful UAA Tournament in Forest Park.

Jeers: For no one seeming to notice either of these impressive feats.

Cheers: MeghanMarie Fowler-Finn.

Recognition as the National Player of the Year is a very fitting way for this standout midfielder to end her Wash. U. career. Fowler-Finn also received Academic All-American recognition from ESPN the Magazine. Congratulations MeghanMarie, and good luck in the future.

Jeers: To the NCAA selection committee for not giving the ladies home field advantage throughout the postseason.

Cheers: Women’s Volleyball Team.

The team most notably demonstrated the success of Wash. U. athletics this fall, compiling a 38-2 record and advancing to the NCAA finals. Congratulations ladies, you made the school proud.

Jeers: To not enough people supporting the team at home matches or recognizing the squad for its remarkable achievements.

Cheers: The Cards.

They won the World Series. They brought a ton of pride to the city. Enough said.

Jeers: To the fact that they barely even made the postseason, nearly pulling a monumental choke-job in the regular season’s final weeks.

Cheers: To the men’s soccer team’s spirited first round playoff match against Wheaton College and to the student body who, despite the 90-minute delay in starting time and near-freezing temperatures, made their presence felt.

Jeers: The Nov. 10 study in criminology as witnessed on the soccer field. Not only were the referees criminal for awarding Wheaton what turned out to be a game-winning penalty kick on an absolutely atrocious tripping-in-the-box call, but the Wheaton players also looked straight out of “The Shawshank Redemption.” With their bright orange warm-ups, more than a few people wondered why they were not picking up trash on the side of the road.

Cheers: To sophomore Sean Wallis’ early-season standout performance at point guard.

Jeers: To not yet having a capable backup.

Cheers: To the outstanding senior class on the women’s soccer team. Talia Bucci, MeghanMarie Fowler-Finn and Sara Schroeder leave the soccer program in better shape than they found it as freshman. This year the lady soccer Bears achieved some improbable marks, winning 15 consecutive games – a streak that included a 7-0 conference record and only four goals against.

Jeers: To the fact that Student Life actually might have to report on a league loss next season.

Cheers: To both the men’s and women’s soccer teams for advancing to the NCAA tournament.

Jeers: To the bracket selection in the Men’s Division III Soccer Tournament.

On the men’s side, a low-seeded team, lucky to be in the tournament (Wheaton), upsets Wash. U., then makes it to the finals where it loses 3-0, while the school that beat them in the championship round (Messiah College) faced much tighter games prior to the Final Four. On the women’s side, the sixth-ranked lady Bears were forced to fly to their sweet 16 match in Virginia against weaker teams which were geographically closer to one another and thus not forced to fly out to St. Louis. Maybe it is time for the NCAA to consider flying Division III teams a bit further for a better tournament.

Cheers: To senior quarterbacks Pat McCarthy and Nick Henry admirably sharing the reigns under center throughout the season.

Jeers: To the fact that they and over 20 other football seniors won’t be returning for another season of action.

Cheers: To the men’s basketball team for getting off to a terrific start despite losing junior captain Danny O’Boyle to a devastating season-ending injury. Troy Ruths, Tyler Nading, Sean Wallis and a passionate group of role players should be the team to watch when students get back from break.

Jeers: Early season performance of the Women’s Basketball Team.

After losing three of its first four games this season, the lady hoopsters have failed to live up to high standards of previous seasons. It is time to step it up ladies.

Have a great New Year everybody! Be sure to check out winter Wash. U. athletics.

Stepping Out

Friday, December 8th, 2006 | Matthew Kaufman and Ryan Jacobson
Ryan Jacobson

El Burrito Loco
Rating: 4/5
3611 Bates Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63111
(314) 457-8600

A sudden craving for good, cheap Mexican food had us scouring the Internet and our friends’ brains. We took a friend’s recommendation to check out El Burrito Loco in south St. Louis. Although it was quite a schlep to get there, the titanic burritos we ordered proved to be a cut above any closer options. These burritos hit the spot without hitting our wallets too hard.

The dining area of El Burrito Loco encompasses two rooms, and you can either order at the counter or enjoy table service. As we perused the menu we munched on some free tortilla chips and salsa. The menu was much larger than we had expected; dinner platters and other Mexican specialties provided us with a wealth of choices. Still, we both decided that we would try the restaurant’s specialty – burritos.

The burritos are handy; they come in three sizes, and you can choose from a bunch of different fillings that range from chicken in chipotle sauce to spicy potatoes. We settled on a beef and jalape¤o salsa burrito and the Burrito Loco itself. The former was quite a treat. This beast arrived piping hot on a plate garnished with lettuce and pico de gallo and filled with refried beans, rice and meat. The rice was a big hit. It had a citrus kick that really stood out. The meat was right on, too. It was slow cooked and tender, and the jalape¤o salsa made it pop with flavor. Don’t even try picking these burritos up unless you want half of it on your lap.

But what is the Burrito Loco, you ask? This bad boy comes with beans, rice, guacamole, cheese, sour cream and pico de gallo. This could be a good choice for a vegetarian, but we opted to add chicken for a small fee. Overall, the burrito turned out to be a very tasty choice. By far our favorite part of this burrito was the guacamole. Freshly made, it had large chunks of avocado yet maintained a creamy texture. The chicken was not quite as good. It was slightly bland, but it did go well with the burrito’s m‚lange of flavors. This burrito also came lukewarm and we would have liked it slightly hotter.

For such a no-frills spot, the service was outstanding. Our sodas were refilled early and often and the server checked in on us periodically. The restaurant wasn’t busy, but this could have had something to do with the fact that we were eating dinner at 4 p.m.

Overall, El Burrito Loco was a great alternative to the chain burrito joints springing up all over the place. These dishes were made with real care that you can only find at a family-owned, authentic restaurant. Sure, this place is a twenty minute ride away, but if you find yourself on the south side of St. Louis or hungering for a nine-inch concoction of deliciousness, then El Burrito Loco is well worth the trip. Call us crazy, but we thought this place was pretty darn good.

The number one cardinal rule

Friday, December 8th, 2006 | Ben Sales

We were friends from camp and I hadn’t seen him in months. When, this summer, we were both back at home – he near Madison, Wis., and I in Chicago – we decide that it would be a good idea to find a few days when we could hang out and when the time came I took the three-hour trip by bus to go to his 200-acre farm (that’s right, Midwest) in America’s Dairyland.

Our time was spent well that night, playing “Mario” on his old Nintendo, drinking beer and watching old episodes of “Alf,” but when the next afternoon came, I had a problem. I had a tentative dinner date with one of those friends-who-is-a-girl.

This wouldn’t have been an issue, except that I had a distinct desire to get rid of those hyphens and get a girlfriend, that evening if possible, but I couldn’t if I didn’t leave Wisconsin soon. When the bus arrived I was deep in vacillation: stay with the guy or go to the girl?

Five minutes later I was on my way back home, thinking with my little man and well aware that I’d broken the most important rule of Guyhood: Bros before Hos. You never ditch the dude. Ever.

It’s tough, I admit, because the guys you don’t want to bail on are the same ones that you would wingman for as they all but ignore you to hit on some chick at Blue Hill. Any guy wants to see his friends get with their better halves, provided, of course, he gets the details afterwards. So, what do you do? Where do you draw the line?

Some of my friends play it by ear, taking each choice as it comes and setting their respective girlfriends opposite their buddies time and again. This setup has the potential for success, except that there’s always the chance that the conversation can go something like this:

“Dude,” says Guy 1, “I should stay with you and play video poker. I’ll hook up with her later.”

“No, man,” Guy 2 says, “Go with her. We’ll chill later, and you need to get some tail.”

“Dude, seriously, I’m going to stay here. I’m not about to let you down for some girl.”

Guy 2 will undoubtedly respond with more encouragement for his friend to go, and the conversation thus has the potential to continue until: a. The girl calls Guy 1 angrily wondering where he is; or b. Guy 2 loses his game of video poker. Probably both. An hour later, both guys will have gotten nowhere, and they’ll most likely end up sitting on their couch dejectedly eating Chinese takeout while watching the Strongest Man competition on ESPN2. This is not the situation we’re looking for.

So dodge that circumstance and lay down the law. If you’ve got some free time, give it to the girl. But if you’ve made plans with one of your boys, you better stick around, no matter if you’re discussing philosophy or playing video games.

As for me and mine, that night didn’t go the way I planned, and after I got home I called the farmer friend and apologized for my conduct hours earlier. At the time, I believe he was watching cable TV, eating his dinner on the couch.

Odds are it was Chinese takeout.

Romance 101

Friday, December 8th, 2006 | Laura Alexander

You’re out at a restaurant with a friend and a couple is seated at the table right next to you. Though you’re not usually an eavesdropper (okay, maybe you are, but hey, it’s fun) you can’t help but listen to these two. Your friend leans over and whispers, “Talk about in love.” You smile and nod, but that’s not what you were thinking. It’s obvious they’re in love. But there’s something else about them that you can’t even really name. They have “that something.”

What is “that something?” Did Rachel and Ross have “it,” do Derek and Meredith have “it?” TV shows and movies spend millions of dollars trying to recreate it for their audiences, but it’s something only in real life. It’s “that something” that allows you to look at couples and know who’s going to last and who isn’t. It’s what keeps you together through the most trying parts of your relationship. And it is what lets you know when you’re ready to spend the rest of your life with someone. But what is “it?”

Is it love? No, you can be in love and not have “it.” For example, you fall in love with a girl who is the one of the sweetest people you’ve ever met. You know that she would never hurt you and that she would make you happy. But after a year together, you know that you don’t have “it.” You could have an amazing relationship, but without “it,” you could not spend everyday of your lives together. There’s too much you’ll experience, and without “it” you won’t be able to get through all the experiences as one.

Is it chemistry? (Sorry pre-meds, to throw that word in during the middle of finals.) Even the couples with great chemistry are many times missing “that something.” You may see a couple that seems to know what the other is thinking and can make each other smile with just a look, but that may not be enough. It’s the couple that, when you’re helping your clueless guy friend pick out a ring in a few years, you can honestly say to him, “I knew from almost the beginning that this is where you guys would end up.” There’s something different about them. Some clue that it will last.

Is it a soulmate? Whew, now we’re getting into some deep stuff (as if picking out engagement rings wasn’t scary enough). Here we get into the whole, does everyone just have that one someone blah blah blah. Really, who knows? The question should not be who is that one you are destined to be with, it should be who could you have “that something” with? Less scary-sounding, right? You may fall in love many times, but who will you have “that something” with?

That person would be one to hang onto. It may not be that there is only one person that you can have “that some thing” with, but it is something special. It’s not something you feel every time you fall head-over-heels for someone. It’s something deeper. And unfortunately, something that seems to be completely indescribable. You’ll just have to find your way into knowing.

And until then, don’t settle. You may find a great guy, but don’t close out the possibilities just because you’re tired of looking and have found someone you could probably love. Wait for “that something.” Maybe that’s the hopeless romantic talking, but don’t you want to be that couple sitting in the restaurant who people see and know you have “it?” Love will get you somewhere, but it’s “that something” that will keep you going.

So what exactly is “it?” Don’t know. But it’s definitely something worth finding.

Health Beat

Friday, December 8th, 2006 | Brooke Genkin

I love caffeine – it makes me feel speedy and happy in a way that nothing else can. It might therefore shock you to learn that I recently made a vow to remain caffeine-free. Here’s why I did it and why I think you should consider it, too.

I never used to drink a lot of soda or coffee, but a few weeks ago I began to drink a half a cup of coffee most mornings. I would order a small and ask for a blend of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. I did not think that amount of caffeine was affecting my daily life too much, so on days when I felt really tired I started allowing myself to have a full cup of caffeinated coffee.

When I went home for Thanksgiving break I indulged in my new habit a few times. On the morning before I returned to St. Louis, I let myself have two cups of the coffee my mom makes, a delicious but strong brew. That night, even though I felt exhausted, I slept so lightly that when I woke up in the morning I felt as if I had only been asleep for a moment. That’s when I decided I needed to kick my caffeine habit before it really started.

So how does caffeine work? Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it speeds up the processing in the nervous system, heart and respiratory system. It is shaped just like adenosine, a chemical responsible for slowing the brain down. Caffeine fools the body by entering the same neurotransmitters as adenosine so that the adenosine can’t bind. The caffeine then works to replace any feelings of sleepiness with feelings of excitement and stimulation. This explains why people depend on caffeine to feel awake and also why people who are particularly sensitive to caffeine may be unable to fall asleep for several hours after consumption.

If you do drink a lot of caffeinated beverages, you need to realize that even though you feel fine you are still consuming a drug with several side effects. Feelings of anxiety, dizziness and nervousness (including a racing mind, pacing heart and quick, shallow breathing) are all characteristic results of caffeine consumption. In addition, caffeine is a diuretic, which means that it clears your system of liquid. Not only does a diuretic negate the liquid properties of what you just drank, but it also gets rid of what was previously in your system. Thus, caffeinated beverages are likely to leave you feeling thirstier and less hydrated than you felt before consuming the beverage.

If you do choose to drink something caffeinated, make sure you follow it with a tall glass of water to avoid dehydration. This is extremely important for athletes, as dehydration and the resulting loss of calcium and potassium can cause sore muscles and delayed recovery time after exercise.

Just because caffeine is found in food items like tea, soda and chocolate, does not mean that it is perfectly safe, especially when it is consumed in large quantities. I am not suggesting that you quit drinking caffeine cold turkey if you are a regular consumer of caffeinated products. I do, however, recommend that you consider a significant reduction in your caffeine intake. Caffeine is a drug, and being dependent on any drug to get through your daily activities is simply not healthy, regardless of the “quick fix” benefits.

Mirthful breaks from mind-numbing studying

Friday, December 8th, 2006 | Yarden Maoz

As exam time approaches, everyone needs a little spice in their life. Washington University is known for its dedicated and hard working students who study ruthlessly for hours on end. This winter, in the words of Emeril Lagasse from Emeril Live, let’s “take things up a notch” and show the world that we can study and have fun.all at the same time. Here are the best (and weirdest) quick study break ideas for the exam period 2006.

Sit in a circle with fellow studiers and see who can eat six saltines in 60 seconds and then whistle.

Grab your roommate or anyone else on your floor who needs a break, put your pillows against a wall, and have a handstand contest.

Play “would you rather” with people from your floor or dorm and come up with ridiculous questions. Example: Would you rather have a diet of only eating cockroaches for the rest of your life, or would you rather live in the desert for all eternity?

If there are a lot of people on your floor, you can play this game. Have everyone stand in their doorway and have one person be the leader. The leader calls out costume ideas, such as “luau” or “’80s,” and everyone must go to their closet, find something that fits the costume description and the first person to the common room wearing the right attire wins.

Have everyone on your floor put on their nicest dresses/suits and come into the hall for some sparkling cider and take lots of pictures.

Make Chanukah/ Christmas/ Kwanzaa decorations out of construction paper and glitter.

Toss an apple back and forth with a friend, catching it with a fork.

Face your roommate after just finishing a chapter of reading or a paragraph of an essay and see which one of you can make the weirdest noise.

It is a common perception that Wash. U. students live at the library. Hopefully, these ideas will encourage you to think about studying in your room sometimes, and you can always have quick de-stressing, fun games to play and fun people to play with for a break. Don’t just work out or spend 20 minutes on Facebook as your study break; try these fun ideas and you’ll see that studying will be so much easier.


Friday, December 8th, 2006 | Laura Geggel

Friday, December 8
The Stereotypes
Tap your foot and nod your head to one of Washington University’s all-male a cappella groups. The Stereotypes are performing their end-of-semester concert tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Graham Chapel.

Wash. U. Opera
The Washington University Opera presents “In Women’s Chambers.” The program will include portions of three 20th-century operas: Benjamin Britten’s “The Rape of Lucretia” (1946), Conrad Susa’s “Black River” (1975) and “Little Women” (1998) by Mark Adamo. The show begins at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 8 and 9, in Karl Umrath Lounge. Admission is free.

How many licks.?
.To get to the center of the missing Tootsie Roll wrapper art. If you’re curious to know if artist Tom Friedman got back his missing piece of artwork, show up to the Kemper Art Museum to hear Friedman talk about his work at 7 p.m. tonight.

Dancing with the Stars: ALAS Semiformal
Lopata Multipurpose Room
10p.m.-1:30 a.m.
“Come to the hottest semi-formal of the year where you can Dance with the Stars. There will be a red carpet. This is your chance to live the life of a celebrity. Tickets are only $5. Tickets will be on sale in Mallinckrodt from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. everyday this week.”

Saturday, Dec. 9
Light up the Night
Put on your yarmulke, it’s time to celebrate Chanukah! The Jewish Student Union is celebrating the festival of lights and students of all religions are invited to attend. Starts at 10:21 p.m. with buses running from the Business school to Hillel. Free drinks for those over 21.

KARL Improv Presents… The December Show!
Join KARL Improv for its last show of the semester, an hour-long improvisational extravaganza! They will be showcasing some of their best short-form games, along with a few new ones.
Northwest Wohl
7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Admission is free

Swing into the Holidays
The Wash. U. Swing Society is offering a free hour-long swing dance lesson at 8 p.m. The rest of the night will be spent dancing and eating pizza in the Gargoyle.

Sunday, Dec. 10
Handel’s Messiah Sing-along
Hallelujah! Composer George Frederic Handel realized that it would be a great sing-along piece, especially around campfires and in University chapels. John Stewart, director of vocal activities, is directing the annual Messiah sing-along today at 3 p.m. in Graham Chapel.

Looking back on The Black Rep

Friday, December 8th, 2006 | Elizabeth Lewis

Ebony feature recently put the Black Rep, St. Louis’ premiere black theatre company. Few would have thought it could attain such success from its humble beginnings as a Washington University theater group.

The company, founded in 1976 by Ron Himes, an artist-in-residence at the University, actually had its beginnings as the Phoenix Theater Troupe on campus. As students, Himes and two of his friends wanted to create more opportunities for themselves and other African American students to perform on campus.

Marsha Cann, one of Himes’ friends, was the only African American theater major at the time, and one of her junior projects was to direct a one-act play called “Ceremonies of Dark Old Men.” Cann used friends in her project, one of whom was Himes.

“Ron was [the character] Blue, and that is when he was bitten by the theater bug,” said Cann.

The first semester of Cann’s senior year, her friends and other students in the troupe started performing around campus doing one-act plays and various scenes.

“Before I graduated, [Himes and other students] put the seed money together to form the Phoenix Theater Troupe,” said Cann. “It provided a venue for creative expression through drama.”

“The theater department at the time was not doing much of any work by African American authors. We were trying to create some opportunities for ourselves and for [other] African Americans to develop and showcase their talents,” said Himes.

The first show the new troupe performed was “The Gentleman Caller,” by Ed Bullins, in the lounge of the Women’s Building. The play, in addition to serving as an opportunity for actors to perform, was symbolic for other reasons.

“The play spoke to identity and [to the] defining of the self,” said Himes.

Students appreciated the meaning of the play and other later performances, and the troupe developed quite a following.

“The response of the campus was really strong, particularly from the black students. Some of them became our core audience when we moved off of the campus and into the community,” said Himes.

The company became incorporated in 1976 and adopted its new name – The Black Rep. In the winter of 1981, the company got its first official space on the corner of St. Louis Avenue and 23rd Street after they renovated the interior of a church. This was a big step for a student organization that had only established itself a few years before.

“We didn’t realize at the time how huge it was. We were immersed in getting work done, visibility and raising funds. We didn’t realize its scope,” said Himes.

In the early ’90s, the company moved from its old location to the renovated Grandel Theatre in the Grand Center area, the St. Louis’ arts and cultural district.

Since then, the company has established themselves as a force locally and nationally.

“Our biggest accomplishment has been longevity – growing more stable and becoming a better institution. [We have] established ourselves as one of the major cultural institutions in St. Louis and in America. We have been able to sustain ourselves. We have a professional internship program, and we are still doing the things we started out to do,” said Himes.

Cann, who still works with the company by helping organize fundraisers and subscription parties, said that a lot of the success of the company has to do with Himes himself.

“Ron gives excellence and expects it. He is an example and a role model; he is the glue that holds us together,” said Cann.

Junior Kristal Matlock, a student in Himes’ History of African American Theater class at the University, admires him for his work with black theater.

“He instills the need for black theater in his students by using the theater as a political tool and to inspire change and education in the black community,” she said.

Himes himself is happy to be back on the University’s campus after a nearly three decade-long absence.

“I am very proud to have developed a relationship with the University for the past three years,” said Himes. “It is great to be back to the place where we started.”

University works to promote South Asian Studies program, hires new profs

Friday, December 8th, 2006 | Sam Guzik

In an effort to create a stronger program in South Asian Studies, the University plans on hiring three new tenure-track professors whose specialties lie in South Asia.

The three searches are being coordinated between the Religious Studies program, the History department and the International and Area Studies program to find a diverse and talented set of scholars. Because there is no department of South Asian Studies, the new professors will be hired cooperatively between existing departments.

“There is a growing realization that South Asia is a.player on the global stage,” said Beata Grant, professor of Chinese and Religious Studies, and the head of the search for a professor in religious studies. “South Asia has always been there, this is just an effort to give it more priority.”

If the searches underway are successful, the new professors should join the faculty next year. This will add up to ten new courses, each specifically dealing with South Asia.

“Students will get many more chances to experience interdisciplinary studies in South Asia,” said Mohammad Warsi, professor of Hindi-Urdu classes. “Students should have the opportunity to go beyond just studying South Asian languages.”

According to Grant, the study of South Asia is best served by a diverse set of scholars because of its pluralistic history.

Currently, most students taking classes focusing on South Asia tend to be heritage students, those aiming to learn more about their own culture. There have, however, been a growing number of students with no familial connections, looking to broaden their cultural knowledge.

“Many non-heritage students would be well served to think about South Asian studies for their professional development,” said James Wertsch, director of the International and Area Studies program.

The added courses may make it possible for students to major in Hindi, a language currently offered without the option for a major or minor, or for the creation of a South Asian studies track within the International and Area Studies program.

“We will have a track which represents a large portion of the world’s population,” said Wersch.

Sophomore Vir Singh, who is currently taking Hindu-Urdu, was excited to hear of the changes.

“I’m definitely interested. I feel like there is a certain demand for that. People are beginning to see the need for a center for South Asian studies,” said Singh. “We certainly need more South Asian courses, but the question if this will change will happen soon enough to effect the current students.”

The effort to attract more professors from South Asia comes as the University works to build ties with many schools in Asia, such as the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai.

“This is part of a major new commitment to globalizing the University,” said Wertsch.

In addition to developing the study of South Asia, the University has begun to develop partnerships with 17 major schools around the world through the McDonnell International Scholars Academy.

The Academy aims to draw top students from partner institutions to the University’s graduate and professional schools. The Academy also creates opportunities for the exchange of professors, and could lead to more study abroad possibilities in the future.

“South Asia is a huge, powerful and ambitious place, and we need to build our ties there to strengthen ourselves,” said Wertsch.

‘Hoorah for the Bra’ traces an uplifting history

Friday, December 8th, 2006 | Andrea Winter
David Hartstein

Graphic designer and Washington University alum Cheree Berry recently published “Hoorah for the Bra,” a book full of perky bra pop-ups based on her senior art thesis.

“Hoorah for the Bra” seams together social history, illustration, graphic design, historical photography and pop-ups.

“It’s a celebration of this undergarment and a celebration of women at the same time,” said Berry.

The book traces bra-history decade by decade from the invention of the first bra in 1914 through the 21st century.

A pop-up of pancakes captures the flat look that was prized in the ’20s. An ice cream cone pops out from Madonna’s body to represent the “erotic missile” look she pursued in her “Blond Ambition Tour.”

The book is fastened shut with an actual bra-clasp. Instructions on how to unclasp a bra with one hand are provided for “all you boys out there.” Berry said that at one interview for a design firm in New York City her male interviewer became very embarrassed after having serious difficulty in trying to open the book.

Berry said that she was inspired by pop-greeting cards and an adult pop-up book on people’s phobias.

“I wanted to make something interactive, not two dimensional, with an element of surprise. Pop-up books and bras just came together. I don’t think of bras as an accessory, but a must. The bra is such an item of mystery that it was fun to bring it out of doors,” said Berry.

During her senior year, Berry had students fill out questionnaires about their bra wearing experiences. “She did a lot of research, young girls and grandmas. It’s not one-sided but a very broad scope of the genre which is pretty good,” said Scott Gireky, creative director and lecturer of the Visual Communications Research Studio.

Art students do not typically publish their senior thesis, but there have been a few exceptions over the years in other medias such as Web design.

Berry said that her professors were very encouraging.

“It was a really ambitious project, but Cheree was a hard worker and so self motivated that I said great, let it rip,” said Professor of Art Sarah Spurr.

Gireky agreed.

“With Cheree’s work there was always some cleverness to it. Something unique about it that made you smile, but nothing over the top,” he said.

The published book is very similar to the work Berry submitted at the University. Berry spent more time her senior year researching and developing the written content than she did on creating the artwork. The text is the same, but she enhanced some of the design. Also, she had to make some concessions to keep production costs down. The original had a pop-up with real lights accompanying the phrase “Your head lights are showing.” She regrets that she had to leave the lights out in order to keep the book’s price around $20.

Berry said the University prepared her well for her career as a graphic designer.

“We’d really get to know our products. We’d have to research and conceptualize our products. It wasn’t just about making something visually pretty,” she said.

She spent most of her senior year in the Lewis Center with other art students, drinking St. Louis smoothies, listening to the Dirty Dancing sound track and working on her thesis.

“We were cliquey in the art school because we were so isolated. I am super excited for Wash. U. art school kids to get on campus and be more a part of the community,” said Berry.

After graduating in 2000, Berry worked as a graphic designer for Kate Spade in New York City. She tried publishing the book directly after college but after a failed attempt did not return to the pursuit until 2005.

“When you’ve just graduated, publishers just don’t want to take you seriously,” she said.

Berry currently lives in the Central West End and runs her own stationary business, Cheree Berry Paper. She has recently spoken with students in the art school about how important senior theses can be for careers.