When I first told people that I had decided on Wesleyan (and then explained to them what/where Wesleyan is, I swear to god, nobody has ever heard of this school), they would say “Oh wow, fall is going to be so beautiful up there! You’re so lucky!” I entered my freshman year with a fervent anticipation of the legendary New England Autumn. I allowed myself to get swept up in the hype and the beautiful foliage. But now, in my junior year, I’m at home for the semester, and I can say definitively that New England fall actually SUCKS.
Expectation vs. reality.
I grew up in Rhode Island, in a small town about an hour and twenty minutes from campus. This past semester, I saw hundreds of poor freshmen from more hospitable climates struggling to adjust to the weather, culture, landscape and general ~ethos~ of this very strange, very cold part of the country. So as a veteran New Englander (and I do say veteran because sometimes living here feels like a war), I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on the region — its history, culture, and some relevant life hacks — so that we can all feel a little more at home here. Hopefully this is the first of several such posts. Its focus, aptly for the season, is the terrible weather.
We have entered––and are surviving––finals hell. While I am proud enough to say that I have not (!!) pulled any all-nighters to finish up assignments and study for exams, I am still spending lots of time on assignments over the last week.
Why you may ask?
I am studying abroad in Denmark this semester! My program DIS has a…slightly strange…calendar system in which #finalsszn starts after over a month of two weeks of classes, then a ~travel week~, then two weeks of classes, then a ~travel week~, then two weeks of classes, then ~Thanksgiving break~, then two weeks of classes, and off I come back to ‘Merica. Needless to say, I have been running around like a chicken with its head cut off, gathering my papers, group projects, and coffee to make it all happen.
A budgeting note: Cafe Paludan (the place with the books and the coffee) offers a large coffee for 10 DKK ($1.52) from 9:00-10:30 in the morning. I am currently here in a little nook I have claimed for myself (gotta be a colonist somehow) writing this blog post as I procrastinate my Danish essay. You can say I’m being productively unproductive.
I’ve been gathering my thoughts about a few things: DIS, Denmark, my physical body being abroad, my mind being abroad, homesickness, and existential crises re: identity. It’s been a truly exhausting few months, and although I was preparing myself for some of this busyness, I did not anticipate that I would have to carve out time on my commute to and from central Copenhagen to stare out the train window, Türk Sanat muzi?i blasting through my earphones, pondering my existence, train officer nudging me to check my train card.
This is an update of wilk‘s update of his previous post!
Toto, we’re not in Bushwick anymore. You’ve now left the comfort of deep Brooklyn, as they call it, for the not-so-dissimilar milieu of Wesleyan. Just kidding, a vast majority of Weskids are from not-Brooklyn, not-LA, and not-Bay-Area, although it might seem otherwise.
For all of you from those (wonderful) places, and all of you from other places, Middletown is different than those places (shocking!). It was once the largest city in Connecticut, circa pre-war-of-1812. Can your hometown claim that title? Nah. Unless you’re from Middletown, in which case you are probably way more qualified than me to write this post.
While Wesleyan is fine and there is usually never a shortage of things to do on campus, Middletown and the surrounding area truly have some wonderful gems that are worth knowing about as you settle in and look for things to do other than vape on Foss.
And if you’re really bold and somehow have an abundance of time before finals arrive, there’s some cool shit beyond the local area too. Here’s the 2018 Outing guide, advice from a Connecticut local.
A few weeks back, I wrote a feature ranting about Usdan’s hummus. The next day, I very sadly paired my sad Usdan salad with sad Usdan hummus, and it was not a highlight of my life.
I’m finally settled into my home for break, which means a few things: I have not left the house unless it’s for work or for IKEA, I have eaten approximately 567 loaves of bread, and I’ve spent a particularly significant amount of time in the kitchen.
“Making my family proud of my ability to take care of myself,” aside, my house is currently under construction and the kitchen is one of the only places where I can’t either fall through a ceiling or trip over some wood planks.
On the way home from IKEA, I force my mom to make a pit stop at the local halal market. Once home, my mom gave me her recipe, and I cross-checked with some Turkish recipe site for measurements, and I made a…beautiful…batch of hummus. Seriously, it’s really good. I posted a short recipe on Instagram, but I decided this recipe deserves a home on the blog because of my past writing on the subject. Here we go:
A recent Wes grad, Jesse Galganov ’17, has disappeared on a backpacking trip in Peru. Galganov left his home in Montreal on September 24 for an eight-month backpacking trip through South America and Southeast Asia. His family last heard from him on September 28, when he texted his mother to inform her that he would be hiking a 31-mile trail through the Cordillera Blanca Mountains and would be not be reachable until early October. (Sources differ on whether Galganov specified October 2 or October 4.)
Three weeks later, no one has heard from Galganov. According to close friends, all communication with him – including frequent texts and Snapchat updates on his trip – suddenly ceased after September 29. His mother has filed a missing persons report with the U.S. State Department, and his whereabouts are under investigation by the Peruvian National Police. The District Attorney that overseas Huaraz, Peru, is also now conducting a criminal investigation, as there are conflicting narratives surrounding his stay in Huaraz’s Kame House Backpacker Hostel, where he was last sighted.
Galganov’s family has set up a GoFundMe campaign, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and an Instagram account. Any information regarding his whereabouts can be sent to helpusfindjesse[at]gmail[dot com].
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this post incorrectly spelled Huaraz as Huarez.
UNITE HERE 217 and Wesleyan Students at Yale for the start of the occupation/strike
Wesleyan students from United Student/Labor Action Coalition and Wesleyan Democratic Socialists joined Yale graduate school employees from UNITE HERE Local 33 on Tuesday evening to kick off a hunger strike meant to pressure Yale administration into entering contract negotiations with the newly-formed union. Eight graduate school employees from Local 33 have committed to an indefinite hunger strike being called “The Fast Against Slow.”
Read more about the strike after the jump:
As the electronic duo Overcoats, Hana Elion ’15 and JJ Mitchell ’15 are quickly making a name for themselves in the indie music world. Yesterday they performed on NPR as part of All Songs Considered‘s Tiny Desk Concert series, which is a pretty big deal given who else has been featured. They also performed at this year’s South By Southwest festival earlier this month.
In their Wesleyan days, Overcoats played everywhere from Earth House’s intimate living room to the Spring Fling stage. Even as undergrads, their combination of sparse electronics and warm vocal harmonies allowed them to occupy a unique space in the campus music scene. Now, they’re looking forward to their debut album, Young, which comes out April 21.
You can watch Overcoats’ full Tiny Desk concert after the jump:
On Sunday afternoon, Wesleyan students joined over 1,000 protesters at Bradley International Airport in The Council on American-Islamic Relations – Connecticut‘s protest against President Trump‘s Executive Order banning Muslim immigrants from 7 countries and halting immigration from Syria.
The President signed the order at 4:42 PM on Saturday, January 28th, to the dismay of millions of people worldwide. Just before 9 PM on Saturday, a federal judge ruled to block parts of the Executive Order preventing some of those detained from being immediately deported. However, the ruling failed to free those detained as a result of the ban, leaving many travellers unable to leave the airport or government custody despite having proper green cards and visas.