Why waste all your time procrastinating on the internet when there are so many lovely places in nearby central Connecticut ripe for exploration? Two Middletown experts, Manon Lefèvre ’14 and Piers Gelly ’13 write in with a pretty spectacular list of places one could visit while procrastinating or not procrastinating.
Does a goldfish really have an attention span of three seconds? Sometimes it feels like Wesleyan’s lasts just under four years. I’ve now lived in Middletown for six years, and my girlfriend, Manon Lefèvre ’14, has been a Nutmegger since she was nine. As such, we’ve put together a list of a few of our favorite places in CT. It’s neither comprehensive nor conclusive, but maybe you’ll learn something from our experiences.
When it gets really hot out, you can tube down the Farmington River for a 2.5 mile scenic ride (and some mild rapids). It’s a little steep at $20, but totally worth it. Last time I went, there was one particularly scary bit of rapids and we were warned that if you went straight down the middle you would get stuck in what they call the “washing machine,” where you get sucked into a whirlpool and just spin around like a washing cycle. It happened to my friend Nicole, who panicked and had to get talked down by a lifeguard wearing nothing but a tiny speedo.—ML
With our own politics, concerts, and grocery store, Wesleyan may feel like a fairly complete ecosystem that leaves little cause for crossing Broad Street or Wash. It can be easy to forget not only that there’s a world beyond campus borders but also that there are exciting affairs and good people right here in Central Connecticut. Thus on behalf of MidWes (the Middletown Relations Committee), I’ll be popping that Wesleyan bubble with a bi-weekly dose of local news and events. Has it been a while since you befriended a Nutmegger, thought about city and state politics, or drank real coffee? Stay tuned for more reminders as to why you should know and maybe even love your neighbors.
- The Connecticut General Assembly is discussing a bill that addresses various felonies committed with drones, which would require the state’s Department of Transportation to develop regulations regarding unmanned aircraft. Drones will transform rescue missions and the shipping industry but lawmakers worry over the threat they pose to public safety and privacy. The future is an awesome and terrifying place.
- Connecticut House Republican Leader Larry Cafero has requested a public hearing where anyone could share thoughts and suggestions on the controversial Common Core State Standards Initiative If you have strong feelings about curriculum changes and teacher evaluation standards, keep your eyes out for opportunities to address the state’s Education Committee, who has not yet raised a single bill regarding Common Core, despite widespread criticism.
From Andy Ribner ’13:
Jacob Werblow, Ph.D., began his professional career as a 6th grade teacher of some of the most beautiful children enrolled in one of the largest, most segregated public schools in Los Angeles. Since then, he has been committed to social justice through working with youth from urban schools. He is a licensed teacher and administrator, and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in 2007. Inspired by the work of Dr. Barbara Clark, who studied aesthetic education at Harvard University, Jacob is deeply involved in teaching courses that use the arts to engage students in local middle schools.
The emphasis of Jacob’s research focuses on school equity and effectiveness, student success, and curriculum based measurement.
Jacob is an advisor to the CT Center for Nonviolence, a board member of CT NAME (National Association of Multicultural Educators), and a member of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). He rides his bicycle to work.
Date: Tomorrow, April 16
Time: 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Place: PAC 001
Support marriage equality? All the cool senators are doing it these days. Follow Patrick Moriarty ’14 to Hartford:
On March 26-27, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider two cases that are fundamentally about whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgender (LGBT) Americans should have the same freedoms as everyone else. Those two cases will decide the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8 — this is a huge and historic moment. Lend your voice to the rising tide of those speaking out in favor of marriage equality.
½ mile Community March to rally from Metropolitan Community Church gathers at 5:30pm, 155 Wyllys Street. Wear Red & Bring Signs
For more info visit FaceBook Marriage Equality Rally (Connecticut) or @ Light To Justice.
Date: March 25, 2013
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Place: Federal Courthouse: 450 Main Street, Hartford
Earlier this month, The Onion mocked college activists in a video news clip entitled “College Activists Excited to Add Powerless Voices to Gun Debate,” which involved an actual Argus editorial and a fake interview with Micah Feiring ’11 (renamed “Michael Feiring”) in its scathing take-down.
A few days later, on Valentine’s Day (which doubled as the two-month anniversary of the Newtown shooting), I joined about 30 other Wesleyan students, as well as Rabbi David Teva and Reverend Tracy Mehr-Muska, on a brief trip to Hartford for the March for Change rally in support of stricter gun laws. Initially proposed by Reverend Tracy, the trip was organized by Em Kianka ’13, Zach Malter ’13, and Michael Linden ’15.
Carrying signs with slogans like “MORE LOVE LESS GUNS” and “STAND ON THE SIDE OF LOVE,” we arrived at the state capital building in Hartford, where a crowd of over 5,000 supporters had gathered near mounds of snow and Governor Dannel Malloy was finishing up a stirring speech that hearkened back to his moving remarks in the hours after the tragedy. “Every day that we delay is a day in which more innocent individuals,” Malloy spoke from the capital steps. “I hope the NRA hopes the ‘Newtown Effect’ will go away. It won’t. We can’t let what happened in Connecticut ever go away.” At one point, a hushed chant broke out in the crowd: “Now. Now. Now. Now.”
Connecticut got reeeallll windy all o’ a sudden. Constant 25-to-40 mph windy. Gusting to over 65 mph windy. Windy enough to take down trees and inflict significant damage to property or lost persons wandering the night.
So windy, in fact, that the National Weather Service issued a High Wind Alert for most of Southern Central Connecticut, effective until 9 a.m. this morning.
My early morning tour of campus did not turn up any evident damage other than a few downed tree branches, and by then the wind had died down to a normal gusty day. By comparison, the wind at 4:30 a.m. this morning was enough to wake three-fourths of my apartment as we frantically tried to stem the flow of water through the shut and locked sliding glass door to our apartment (wink wink PhysPlant).
I am somewhat curious whether Public Safety considered emailing out an Advisory, given the quite hazardous potential impacts for those outside (including P-Safe Officers) despite the early morning nature of the event.
Full details of the High Wind Alert here. I’m not sure how long that link will stay stable, so I’ve provided a screenshot after the jump:
Want to spend the two-month anniversary of the Newtown shooting marching through Hartford with thousands of others to demand sensible gun legislation in Connecticut? So do I. There’s a planning meeting on Tuesday, and Em Kianka ’13 has deets:
The recent tragedy in Newtown has just made more apparent an issue that has been neglected for far too long. We as a community must take a stand and tell our legislators that enacting gun control legislation now is necessary to ending gun violence in the state of Connecticut. Come stand in solidarity with those working to end gun violence and join the March for Change in Hartford the morning of February 14th. The March for Change is organized by a coalition of activists supporting the enactment of safer gun legislation in CT and will support the efforts of CT Against Gun Violence.
Interested in marching or helping mobilize a coalition of Wesleyan students to attend or volunteer at the march? Come attend this planning meeting on Tuesday, 1/29 at 4:15 in Usdan 110 to talk about our vision for Wesleyan’s involvement in the march. THERE WILL BE SNACKS!
Also, please invite your friends!
Date: Tuesday, January 29 (the actual march is February 14)
Time: 4:15 p.m.
Place: Usdan 110
In the wake of the Newtown shooting, should teachers be armed?
One week after the Newtown shooting, the NRA has ended its social media blackout and the national gun policy debate is as bitter as it’s ever been. Thousands of Americans are demanding gun control now, and if you’re reading Wesleying, chances are you agree. But on the gun-owning side of the lobby—the sort of people who follow NRA’s Twitter account in the first place—conservatives demand the opposite: more guns, more concealed carry, more self-defense. (Don’t believe these people are real? Read a few NRA Facebook comments. Go ahead; I’ll wait.) In one heated exchange, Larry Pratt of the Gun Owners of America appeared on Piers Morgan and suggested that gun control advocates are responsible for the massacre. “Since we have concealed carry laws in all of our country now, people can get a concealed firearm,” Pratt argued. “And yet, we have laws that say not in schools.”
Should teachers be armed in the classroom? Could guns in school have saved the lives of 20 children and six teachers? Should America combat guns with—err, more guns?
Over at Tenured Radical, in a post titled “Teachers Are Not Soldiers,” Professor Claire Potter has a response for the pro-gun lobby. In a phrase: “Uh, no.”
Professor Potter describes learning about the Sandy Hook massacre after having just read Jeffrey Goldberg’s December Atlantic piece in favor of more guns. The bulk of her argument revolves around an experience at Wesleyan following the shooting of May, 2009, when a gunman remained on the loose after murdering Johanna Justin-Jinich ’10 in Red & Black Cafe. Wesleyan’s campus went into lockdown, and Potter waited for hours in the Center for the Americas:
This post is in response to Tragedy and Facebook Statuses, a recent “WesleyingSpeak” by tuna.
My mother texted me Friday morning with news of the Sandy Hook shooting. At first I was just kind of numb. I combed through all my usual news sources, hoping to find more information. At this point, only the shooter had been confirmed dead. I went to lunch and continued to study for my film final.
However, about an hour before I took the test, “confirmed” reports started emerging: Around 26-28 people were murdered, most of them children, all of them shot down by a single, initially misidentified man. Again, I was overtaken by numbness. I tried to put the tragedy out of my head as I worked through my final, and afterwards I just sort of collapsed in my room. My mom called to tell me she loved me, and I watched Obama’s speech. I cried.
I thought about all of those kids who wouldn’t go home that day. I tried to think about what I was doing at that age. Little six-year-old me would’ve been swinging in the backyard, watching Scooby-Doo, and begging her mom to read me just one more picture book. I couldn’t help but think about the lives of these children, past, present, and future.
And then I wrote a Facebook status:
I wrote an essay this afternoon, at roughly 2:30 PM, mostly out of frustration and a kind of helplessness. It is my hope that people will identify with these feelings and that, whatever form grief takes, we will continue the essential constructive dialogue that today’s events call for.
We no longer huddle around the television to learn about national news. As the piece below relates, what we do now is experience news in what I believe is a bizarre and fragmentary way. National tragedies amplify this strangeness. Grief is to be shared. With whom? What does it mean to “share” in the Facebook age?