Parents and Families
Meditation and Media: 5 Ways Mindfulness Improves our Relationship with Technology (Huffington Post)
The constant presence and pull of fast-paced technology and social media can be overwhelming and even isolating. Incorporating meditation techniques into the bustle of daily life can help us increase the power of technology to improve social relationships, stimulate change and allow access to a wealth of human knowledge. The Huffington Post provides five ways in which mindfulness can allow us to reap the benefits of technology without the drawbacks.
The Girl from Bare Cove, an original folk opera written and composed by Jillie Mae Eddy ’11, will debut its showcase performance this summer in New York City. The 24-song piece was written as part of Eddy’s dissertation during her studies in Music Theatre at Central School of Speech and Drama in London, a year-long MFA program.
Eddy set out to “define what is folk opera, because no one had done it before.” After completing her research, the singer-songwriter concluded folk opera is “music drama as living social practice. It’s constantly changing and growing, and has a narrative.”
“The folk are the people of any group or community united by a mutual history of marginalization and a shared body of traditional arts, artifacts, and practices,” she explained.
As Eddy wrote the songs that would form the basis for her folk opera, she knew she wanted to set the storyline in her native New England. Having grown up in historic Hingham, Mass., Eddy remembers the way the people of the region construct their personal narratives on a “tall-tale level.”
“My dad would tell these stories to us as kids, and my sister and I would always be the main characters,” she recalled. Similarly, in The Girl from Bare Cove, there are two sisters and two parents living in a fictional seaside town in Massachusetts.
However, Eddy struggled with who her “folk” really were. Though there were historically many marginalized groups who came to occupy this region, such as the Irish in the 19th century or even the original Puritans themselves, Eddy noted that these groups are no longer easily defined as folk groups in modern-day New England.
Then, she began to see one of her Bare Cove songs in a new light. “You Don’t Know the Night” is a song Eddy wrote about her experience as a sexual assault survivor. Though she didn’t intentionally set out to write “a rape play,” Eddy knew that with this song, her folk opera would come to reflect the story of a survivor.
“That is the folk for my opera,” Eddy said of survivors and their loved ones. “We are not a folk yet, but we should be. We are marginalized. We have been separated geographically, oppressed with silence. Yet, we don’t have a shared body of art to express our experience, which could bring us together and bring us into a group. We can use art to fight back and find a place in society. That’s what I wanted to do with my show.”
After receiving her masters in September 2012, Eddy moved back to Boston to continue freelancing in the area. In spring of 2013, she and two other Bowdoin alumni, Zach Perez ’12 and Coral Sandler ’12, launched The Folkland, “a digital art gallery dedicated to the work of sexual violence survivors and their loved ones.” Eddy’s demo recordings from Bare Cove were the first submission.
“We settled on the name ‘The Folkland’ because we wanted it to be a metaphorical sense of space, to have that sense of homeland or promised land for survivors and their loved ones,” said Eddy.
An important element of The Folkland is its inclusion of “loved ones” into its community.
“I am not personally a survivor, but I have many loved ones who are survivors and I have firsthand experience with how sexual violence can affect more than just the survivor,” said Cofounder Sandler, who was on the Alliance for Sexual Assault Prevention, or ASAP, during her time at Bowdoin, which encompasses all student groups active in eliminating sexual violence.
Though he is not a cofounder of The Folkland, but rather “the company jack” in charge of logistical support and communication, Perez cites his longtime friendship with Eddy as the main reason why he became involved with the project.
“As one of Jill’s closest friends back at Bowdoin, I always felt very aware of her struggles and pain from what had happened to her — but more so than that, her compassion for others amazed me. I knew that Jill had the sort of mind to develop new ways of bringing people together, and The Folkland is the product of that deep love,” he said.
Perez is now the general manager and producer for the Bare Cove showcase.
Though Eddy and Perez face financial and logistical challenges on the road to bringing The Girl from Bare Cove to life, both have confidence in the collaborative power of theater to stage the showcase either in July or September this year.
“Anyone who gets their hands on this project will shape its development, and I simply cannot wait to see it continue to evolve,” said Perez. “Once we complete this showcase we will have an even more powerful piece than before and the possibilities for it from there are endless.”
Ultimately, Eddy, who self-designed her Stage and Screen Studies major and minored in Gender and Women’s Studies, is grateful to her Bowdoin experience for encouraging her in developing her talent as a creative artist and for providing relationships with people like Sandler and Perez. She concluded, “If I hadn’t gone to Bowdoin, I don’t know that I would be doing what I’m doing right now.”
—Written by Margot Howard ’13.
Though some may argue that one’s character benefits from reading great literature, little psychological research evidence exists to support whether literature affects our moral and social understanding. Great fiction presents us with complex situations and choices that go beyond simple moral rules, and yet it is unclear whether morally conscious people who delve into challenging fiction are more virtuous because of their reading or whether they are simply more apt to explore these works in the first place. New York Times opinion writer and philosophy professor Gregory Currie explores the issue in depth.
Most of us take photos to capture pocket-sized mementos, each one showing a single point of view at a single moment in time, but James Boeding ’14 is no ordinary photographer.
A visual arts and government and legal studies double major from Millerton, N.Y., Boeding recently installed a campus exhibition of 20-foot-long photographs that defy the usual constraints of time and perspective. Located in Morrell Lounge, “The Multiple Exposure Panorama Experience” is the culmination of an independent study that Boeding undertook this past spring with Associate Professor of Art Michael Kolster.
In some parts of the country it’s a “traffic circle,” in others it’s a “rotary” or “roundabout.” And elsewhere, people have no idea what you’re talking about. Twenty-two color-coded maps of the U.S., presented by Business Insider, display the dominant pronunciation or word choice across America for terms such as “syrup” and “pajamas” — and revisits the always lively “pop-soda-Coke” debate.
At a recent event in honor of this year’s Commencement, members of the Bowdoin community flocked to Kresge Auditorium to hear honorary degree recipient Rose Marie Bravo talk with Jennifer Scanlon, professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, about leadership in a changing business world. Bravo was named Time magazine’s “most powerful woman in fashion” in 2004, and was listed as one of “The 100 Most Powerful Women in the World” by Forbes in 2005.
The talk was framed in the story of Bravo’s remarkable rise in the world of retail, from her origins as the daughter of Italian immigrants in the Bronx to her position as CEO of the British luxury retailer Burberry. “The audience had so many questions that we couldn’t answer them all,” Scanlon said. “They seemed inspired to take the challenge she offered, to be open to what’s coming next.”
Examining both the successes and failures of her career, Bravo stressed that it’s important to take risks and embrace change, particularly changes related to technology and globalization. On that theme she also addressed issues of women in the workplace. “Diversity is essential as we become more global, and gender is just a piece of it,” she said.
When you step out of the box and think about it, food creates one of the biggest everyday hassles in our modern lives. We spend money, energy and time to acquire, prepare, cook, eat and clean up our food. Some are constantly restricted by food allergies, others eat unhealthy food out of convenience or craving. Rob Rhinehart believes he has found a solution to all of these problems: a mixable powder substance he calls Soylent that contains proteins, carbs, fibers, fats and most of the essential nutrients — and he swears it tastes good, too. The mixture is cheap, convenient, and after six months (and some trial-and-error) on an almost entirely Soylent diet, Rhinehart claims he has experienced noticeable positive changes in his health. The Washington Post explores the potential for this substance. You can also read about Rhinehart’s personal experience on his blog.
Rather than staying on American soil next year, a group of Bowdoin seniors will launch their careers in Asia, dispersing after graduation to far-off places such as Singapore, Tokyo or Kagoshima Prefecture.
Vyjayanthi Selinger, assistant professor of Asian studies, says she’s seeing more Bowdoin students than usual this year headed to Asia for work or internships, including many more undergraduates. While she’s not entirely sure what’s behind this migration, she credits the active alumni group Bowdoin Club of Asia for helping entice undergraduates and graduates to Asia. She also points to students’ positive study-abroad or summer-abroad experiences.
Bowdoin Career Planning also collaborates with the Bowdoin Club of Asia to link students up with opportunities, working closely with William Bao Bean ’95 to create a list of internships or jobs through the club’s referral program, according to Career Planning Director Tim Diehl.
Motivational psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson is certain that the ability to identify opportunities doesn’t stem from innate ability, or even from practice — it comes from having a promotional focus. A promotional focus on what could be gained with success, rather than a preventative focus on what might go wrong, promotes creativity and confidence. One U.K. study found that entrepreneurs with a promotional mindset were better at problem solving and generated more innovative ideas. Read the article to learn more and for tips on achieving promotional focus.
When graduate student Wanda Diaz-Merced started losing her eyesight due to diabetes, she didn’t give up on her passion for astrophysics. Instead, she was inspired by the sounds from a radio telescope to create a program called xSonify, through which she could continue to analyze data purely through sounds. The synthesized tones xSonify produced inspired researcher and bass player Gerhard Sonnert to create sheet music, using the rhythm of the tones as the basis for Blues, Jazz, Classical music and more. The Smithsonian describes this conversion of stars into music and lets you listen to samples of the tracks they created.