Category Archives: Alumni

Blake Nelson ’84 Releases New YA Book, “Dream School”

Wes counts Daniel “Lemony Snicket” Handler ’92 and the late Robert Ludlum ’51 among its alumni who have left their mark on the writing world, but somehow Blake Nelson ’84 seems to have slipped a little under the radar so far — at least here on Wesleying.

"I still meet people who have never seen my picture and think that “Blake Nelson” is a girl."Nelson’s new young adult novel Dream School, released last month, is a follow-up to his first novel, Girl, which gained something of a cult following from the moment it was serialized in the classic early ’90s girl-power magazine Sassy.

Dream School sees Girl’s protagonist Andrea Marr leave behind her grungy lifestyle in the Pacific Northwest to attend an elite liberal arts college on the East Coast. It’s not surprising, then, that Nelson has been asked in recent interviews whether parts of his latest novel are based on his own college experiences.

Click through for Nelson on Wes and lots of loving linkage (no awful alliteration though, promise):

Heems ’07 Drops Dank Mixtape, Spreads Awareness of Queens Political Districting

What do a Queens gourmet fire-flame chef, a comedy writer-turned-Community star, a 30-year-old Detroit MC with a penchant for Adderall, a Mishka-wearing, wing-eating Crown Heights wild boy, and Victor Vazquez ’06 have in common? They’re all booked for Zonker Harris D—

Well, no. That’s just a smattering of the guests you’ll find on Nerhu Jackets, the brand new Mike Finito-produced mixtape by Heems, aka Himanshu Suri ’07, of Bard Art College-based rap outfit Das Racist. (He’s the one with slightly less hair, sort of.) (Edit: just kidding, Victor shaved his head.) As Pitchfork reports, Heems recently released the tape in partnership with SEVA NY, a Queens community organization, in an effort to publicize the remapping of local political districts in the borough.  Whoah. There’s also music involved.

Fans of Danny Brown’s delirious, cartoon-voice flow could do worse than stream “You Have To Ride The Wave,” which also features Wesleyan-bound Brooklyn weirdo Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire and the ingenious rhyme “Up late at night on Twitter/ I talk to Salmon Rushdie/ Like, it’s just me and him/ I got dirt on you doggie like She & Him.” My faves, though, are “Womyn” and “Womyn 2,” Heems’ bizarrely catchy (or possibly just bizarre) two-part feminist anthem, boasting highlights like “Womyn, I respect you/ Womyn, I wish more people respected you/ Men are scum/ Usually men are dumb”and “Yo, I know, like, seven womyn/ They like to go swimming/ They like to drink tea/ They like to think in the cool breeze from the east on the beach.” Eventually Childish Gambino shows up, because, like, why not?

(Super) Late Holiday Gift? Here In Red Hook by Andy Vernon Jones

“Thanks for teaching me with your camera that an image is a mutual measurement of safety. that such images pass between photographer and subjects is simply empirical proof of hope—your lack of judgment of a facade allows its beauty—you listen with a camera…”

If you have found yourself well into winterbreak without giving a gift to your loved ones (and I mean, well after christmahanakwanza) then you my friend are in need of Here in Red Hook  by Studio Art Major Wes Alum Andy Vernon Jones ’05. Andy has taken beautifullll portraits of the Brooklyn neighborhood over the past 5 years after graduating from Wes.

“Apartment Seven Press is proud to announce the arrival of Here in Red Hook, a collection of 64 photographs by Andy Vernon-Jones.

9.5 in. x 8.5 in.
Softbound with jacket and a hand-stamped paper slipcase.
96 pages, 64 four-color plates.
Edition of 500, numbered and signed by the artist.
$30.00
With an introduction by Brian Zimbler and a hand-drawn map of Red Hook by Adam Thompson.”

Wanna check out more? Click here to buy! 

Iowa Viewed From The Right: Holt ’10 Discusses Caucus on Canadian Television

No matter how many horcruxes you destroy, famed conservative firebrand and parttime troll Mytheos Holt ’10 still keeps popping up. Since graduating in 2010, Holt has been making a name for himself in DC as a former speechwriter for U.S. Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, a contributor to FrumForum.com, and occasional writer for National Review online. The polemicist has made headlines on this blog on a number of occasions: dissecting Unspeakable Acts for Accuracy for Academia, lending support to last year’s Affirmative Action Bake Sale in National Review Online, and, um, fronting for Lady Gaga on YouTube.

This week, Holt appears on Canada’s Sun News TV network as a DC “political expert,” casting judgment on the Iowa Caucus and beyond:

  • On Rick Santorum: “Until recently, he wasn’t even a candidate; he was an obscene Google search result.”
  • On the Iowa Caucuse: “There’s at least a 66% chance they’ll be irrelevant this election cycle.”
  • On Florida: “If there’s gonna be negative advertising in Florida, it’s probably gonna be on entitlement reform.”

Ultimately, Holt concludes, “The race stays in play for the next God-knows-how-many primaries.” So it goes. Click here for full linkage, get psyched for New Hampshire, and viva la Slytherin!

Applehands and the Beardaughters take New Haven!

OH!  WHAT A FANTASTIC THING!

Tomorrow night (Wednesday, 12/14), our very own Appledaughters (featuring Gabe Greenberg ’14, Jon Saalfield ’12, Howe Pearson ’12, and Sam Long ’12) will open for our very own Bear Hands (featuring Wes alums Ted Feldman ’09 and Dylan Rau ’07) at BAR in New Haven!

The show is FREE and 21+, so come to BAR to celebrate friendship and eat some pizza with your bear hands!  The Appledaughters will start at 10pm and they’ve got a butt’s load of new music to de-poo!

Look, a website!  And another website!

Conference Board Information Session with Russell Morris ’87

Rachel Berman of the CRC sends in this event. Come for the free pizza, stay for the real management and marketplace business summer employment opportunity:

Russell Morris ’87 will hold an information session on Thursday, December 8th from 5:45-6:45 in Usdan 110 to talk about the Conference Board’s Summer Fellowship Opportunity. Pizza will be provided! Jonathan Spector ’78 (and former Trustee) is the President and CEO of the Conference Board.

The Conference Board’s 2012 Summer Fellows program targets college students entering their senior year. Summer Fellows will have the opportunity to lead one or more summer projects addressing real business issues, recommend solutions, and present their results to senior executives. They will also learn about the broad management and economics research agendas of The Conference Board, and will participate in Conference Board events.

Rob Wohl ’11 Occupies Russian Television

Rob’s message to the Wesleyan student body: “Drop out of college and occupy something.”

Given how much attention we’ve given to Wes alums commenting on the Occupy movement from afar, it’s nice to hear from one recent grad taking a direct role in the movement itself, with scathing conviction and a trademark look of rage I haven’t seen since Lightning Bolt occupied Eclectic.

In between his day job as a research fellow at Medicare and Social Insurance Works in DC, former Argus overlord and part-time Rocktimist Rob Wohl ’11 seems to have taken an active role with the Occupy DC Action Team. Earlier this week, Wohl appeared on RT, a prominent Russian news channel, discussing the current state of economic affairs, the future of Occupy Wall Street, and whether or not OWS warrants comparison with the Tea Party Movement. “We will do what’s necessary to interrupt this system,” says Wohl on cable television. “We want the members of Congress to know that we demand meaningful, powerful, overwhelming change in this country.”

As Ezra Silk ’10 puts it over at America Occupied: “Rob, I knew that one day I would see you play the revolutionary on Russian television. I just never knew it would happen this soon.” (Wohl also contributed a piece to Silk’s blog a few days prior.) Here’s the video interview:

CONAN O’BRIEN / A MILLION DOLLAS / YOU FEEL ME? / HOLLA

Michael Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, has just been sentenced to four years in prison for involuntary manslaughter. Das Racist will (still) never get to collaborate with the (real) late King of Pop. Conan O’Brien pronounces “Das Racist” funny.

Despite all this (or because of it), everyone’s favorite Bard Art College/”Students of Color for Social Justice”-based duo makes its television debut worth the wait, hustling a real live Jackson impersonator onstage to moonwalk to the tune of Relax‘s familiar single, “Michael Jackson.” Also, there’s a freakin’ podium, a cymbal ensemble, and Victor Vazquez ’08 slamming his head across his keyboard (2:42).  Skip to around 3:00 for the MJ showcase.

For more recent DR-related coverage, click here, there, or anywhere.

[via Pitchfork]

Middnight on Main

If Thanksgiving Break with the family left you looking for alternative ideas about where to celebrate the next round of holidays, consider this invitation from Jen Alexander ’88, Wesleyan alumnus and diehard Middletown resident:

Stay in town for Middnight on Main, Middletown’s first New Year’s Eve Festival.  Over 100 performers in four blocks of Main Street, starting at 3 pm on December 31st, plus rooftop fireworks at 6 pm, and a countdown to 2012 that features the Holy Trinity church bells and Kaoru Watanabe on Taiko drums.

“This House”: Project Update

Almost a month ago, I put up a Wesleying post about “This House”, a documentary that Daniel Hymanson ’11 intends to make about the home of his childhood teacher Jackie Seiden, in which the installations in each room tell a story. In Daniel’s words:

We begin in the attic, filled with pastel color and sun-soaked suitcases. We enter into the experience of a three-year-old girl in the 1930s, as she uncovers everything not supposed to be known and attempts to avoid an unbearable fear of abandonment. We descend to the basement, dark and filled with white Christmas lights. We enter into a fantasy world where the ever-three-year-old Ga Ga Goo Goo and her symbiotic soulmate Pig embark on a planet-wide journey to find their mother and father, who were swallowed up by a crevice while awestruck by the Northern Lights. In the journey from the attic to the basement, we also explore everything in between.

The fundraising project has been a success! With 45 hours to go, there are 88 backers and Daniel has raised $5, 860 out of a goal of $5,000. So the project has been funded, and the film will be made. That said, Daniel points out that, while the original goal will make the film possible, it won’t cover everything. If you would like to throw some money toward the project in the last few hours, feel free to do so. Also, you can get one of the awesome prizes – like a virtual copy of the film, or an invitation to the first screening of the film.

For more information, check out one of the following links: