Tag Archives: Dougie B

Spawn of Bennet

OMG, Michael Bennet looks JUST like his dad:

Luckily for his political career, though, Mikey doesn’t have the whole mumble-and-awkwardly-lean-forward thing that Dougie is sooo good at. Compare:

[Thanks to a proud Bennet era alum for the Shoutbox tip!]

What about the New President?

Well, this is fun. Moving away from food now, what do you want out of the new President? Many different ideas about what the role of the President should be. What are the advantages and disadvantages of Michael Roth compared to Dougie B?

Do you hope that he is more accessible to the student body? Involves himself more in on-campus activities? Are you eager to take a class with him (or his wife)? Do you think he’ll reconsider chalking? Do you think he’ll cater more to the academic interests of the school? Will he be as good of a fundraiser as Dougie?

Let’s go!

What are we accomplishing?

So I randomly found this livejournal entry from a high schooler that paraphrases a rather…interesting… story about her experience applying to Wes.

[…]After tutoring, I hit the school gym and ran into _____, the teacher I’m working with, and we shot the shit and lifted stuff for about an hour. We talked about racism, college and stuffs.

For instance, he no longer writes recs for Wesleyan or recommends the school to kids… because of me.

I wanted Wesleyan because it made every lit-loving funny bone come out and dance. College of Letters! Secret Societies! Yay!
However, Wesleyan did not love me, and deferred me. _____ wrote me a rec and afterwards phoned Wesleyan, quite puzzled.

Call 1:
_____ : She’s actually smart. Quite a lot of smart. (ad nauseum)
Wesleyan: That’s nice. You seen her SAT scores.
_: Yes. They’re commendable.
W: Yes and no. We’re looking for students more capable in the maths and sciences, which [student] clearly isn’t. Thanks!

Conversation:
_: Math got you, [student].
Student: Always knew it would. Disappointed, but not overwhelmed. So, Oberlin?
_: Sure. My sister went there, I think you’d love it. Still, let me make one more call…

Call 2:
_: Are you SURE you don’t want [student]? If I were Wesleyan, I would.
W: No, we don’t. We want high SATs.
_: But she’s a great student. And a really dynamic kid.
W: We don’t care. We want higher SATs.
_: More than a really great student?
W: Yes.
_: Why?
W: We want to be Harvard.
_: Oh.
W: Yes.
_: Bye, then.
W: Ta.

So, no more recs for Wesleyan. Given my 1490 on the SATs, the school’s anal retentiveness is rather distressingly severe.

What’s most surprising to me was one of the comments:

“I thought about applying to Wesleyan but they felt too . . . science-y.”

Pardon me? Science-y? Wesleyan? Am I missing something? (And this from a neuro major, mind you.)

And speaking of the “We want to be Harvard” snark, I stumbled upon the livejournal of an alum who was on campus for the most recent R&C. He had a great story to tell:

Anyway, during Reunion, an alum, who was just awarded a distinguised something or other for journalism, sat down for a dual interview/conversation with both Doug Bennett and Colin Cambell. One of the questions she asked was what each President’s fondest memory was of their tenure at Wesleyan. For a moment, I wondered if Bennett would tell this story, and then, to my great delight, he did.

The story begins about halfway through my freshman year during a final exam review session for micro-economics. Gil Skillman, the professor, happened to mention in passing that he was on a committee to give Wesleyan a new slogan: The Independent Ivy. The class groaned in response. In fact, when it was officially announced, pretty much the whole community groaned.

Apparantly, the administration decided that Wesleyan wasn’t nearly well-known enough. What it needed was a “catchy little slogan to bolster a market plan” and so it paid some consultant $100,000+ to come up with something. He, being an outsider, reasoned that everyone finds Ivy league schools appealing, so Wesleyan should try to get on that bandwagon. But we weren’t really part of the Ivy league, it needed an additional adjective, one that denoted that we were separate, but connoted that we had an irrepressible free spirit: Independent. Besides, everyone likes alliteration.

While this might have looked good on paper, especially to someone who never went to the school, it was reviled by just about everyone (faculty, students, alumni) who did. Many people chose Wesleyan because it wasn’t an Ivy league school. To us, Ivy implied a stuffy enslavement to tradition and legacies, while Wesleyan celebrated iconoclasm and creativity. It also implied that we weren’t as good as the ivies, so we have to steal their reputation. “Diversity University” while never officially adopted, at least seemed to communicate something that Wesleyan valued.

This continued for nearly two years with a student group forming called “Poison Ivy” whose sole purpose for existing was to dissuade the administration of adopting this slogan. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the phrase, but was too busy to actively pursue its destruction. Which made it all the more ironic when I had a hand in doing just that.

Back then I was part of the Wesleyan Singers and, in addition to our concerts, we were sometimes invited to sing at the President’s house for things like his Christmas Party or Homecoming. Neely Bruce, the professor who conducted us, hated the slogan as much as anyone and composed a song, with a little input from us regarding the lyrics. Somewhere, buried in my records, I have a copy of the sheet music, but it went along the lines of “We’re not the Independent Ivy, and we like it just that way.” I do remember it had two verses.

Anyway, during the Friday night of Homecoming (was it ’99? see this is where I’m starting to forget things), we had a concert where we debuted this song. It met with glorious approval from the audience. Immediately after, we were supposed to sing some old college tunes for the President and the trustees at a party at the President’s house. We talked about whether we should sing there or not. I actually was against the idea since I thought it would mean never being invited back. Here we were, essentially insulting our host in song; not the most polite thing to do. Fortunately, I was over-ruled.

Somehow, Bill Wasch, a trustee at the time, seemed to know what was going to happen. It was odd since Neely didn’t tell him anything and, while I might have mentioned to him that a song was in the works, I certainly didn’t say this was where we were going to sing it. But, whether through supernatural powers or whatever, he seemed to subtly hint that this was the time and place, and after singing a couple traditional things like “The Bells of Old South College” we broke out “The Ivy Song.”

To everyone’s astonishment, Doug Bennet, instead of berating us, turned to us and said, “If you sing that one more time, I will kill the slogan.” We did. And it was dead. Spontaneously, the singers and the trustees then immediately sung the happiest rendition of the Alma Mater I’ve ever heard and probably ever will hear. We clasped backs and swayed back and forth to the refrain of “Old ivied walls, old hallowed halls” and ended with an enthusiastic performance of “The Fight Song.” For once, there was no fighting between undergrads and alumni. We were all one, raising our voices together in song. It is little wonder that this was Bennet’s fondest moment of being at Wesleyan. I know it was mine.

As a small epilogue, I was running the Pep Band at the time. I talked to Bennett during the party and managed to convince him to sing “The Ivy Song” with as many other people as I could find, in front of the football stands the next day during the homecoming game. While news of evening’s events were already racing across campus (I remember triumphantly returning to Alpha Delt loudly proclaiming the death of the slogan), this was Bennett’s official announcement that the slogan was forever dead and buried. It didn’t quite have the same amount of spontaneous energy the previous night had and it was hard to get the crowd’s attention, but we sang it. Loud and proud.

Glory! Glory! Glory!

Surfing through Lynn Cartwright-Punnett ’07‘s photos from Senior Week, I spotted this delicious t-shirt, here modeled by the lovely Midge. Since I speak no Russian, people have told me it says (speculatively): “Glory! Glory! Glory! We are Released!”

Does it? Where are you, Russian speakers?

Commencement 2007: Relive the Magic…

If you haven’t gotten your fill of the WEStuff that is Senior Week (or, like me, you’ve been at home for a week now rereading the Harry Potter series…I KNOW), you can now catch up on what you missed courtesy of the Wesleyan Connection. Unforgettable gems such as:

…and like two pictures of seniors graduating…

And Janice Podsada covered the day for the Hartford Courant.

Anyway, congratulations!

Meg Sinick’s Interview with Douggie B.

Meg Sinick ’07 has a cute little interview with Doug Bennet in Spring issue of WESU Magazine

MS: Your MP3 player gets fused to your head in a lightning storm and plays the same song on loop for the rest of your life. What would you hope the song would be?
DB: The Wesleyan Fight Song. Nothing else would do.

Be sure to pick up a copy of the magazine today to check out the semester’s WESU scheduling.

Douglas Bennet on WESU

Thursday at Midnight (or Friday, whichever way you look at it) Doug Bennet will be doing voice breaks for Storm Surge of Reverb, WESU’s own exclusively surf rock show. Unfortunately, the show is past his bedtime, so he won’t be live, but it’s pretty absurd nonetheless.

To check it out, head over to www.wesufm.org or turn to 88.1 FM.

Yearbooks

Yo, did you know we had Pre-Ministrial club?


Temperance Reform Club roster from 1898.


Mystical Seven in the 50’s was pretty out there. If, by any chance, there are any mystics reading this, you should try to find the arm bone the fellow on the top has in his mouth. And the alligator. The cat’s probably dead, though.

Skull was not quite as weird, but they got the cute pretension thing down.


Here’s an old faculty blotter. They have a little blurb about each professor. Check out the dude who’s “interested in witchcraft.”

An extant secret society, Corpse and Coffin, from the 1898 yearbook.


The 1946 yearbook has a lot of military portraits.

A drawing from 1898 showing “Froshie’s Dream.”


Finally, here’s good ol’ Dougie B. from 1959! He looks exactly the same.

More Doug

Stephen Devoto is the man. This is a question on the Developmental Bio practice exam:
(I know some of you are going, EW! SCIENCE WORDS! But just read this. It’s short.)

In another new species (in the administriensis family of worms), cells of the heart and the gut contain similar levels of processed doug1 mRNA, but the steady state level of the Doug1 protein is 10 times higher in the heart than in gut. Propose a control mechanism that could be responsible for this difference.

I find a mutant strain of this worm that has equal amounts of Doug1 protein in heart and gut. The mutant gene, which I name midge1, binds tightly to the doug1 mRNA. Propose a mechanism for how Midge1 controls Doug1.