Seeing the Bigger Picture

Submitted by Caroline J. Hanna

It is 1:45 p.m. one muggy July afternoon at the Amherst Survival Center, 15 minutes before its doors are supposed to close for the day, and there’s a line about 20 long stretching into an un-air conditioned back room. Among its many other services, the agency has a food pantry that provides a month’s worth of nutritional staples to families who meet certain income criteria, and the people here are queuing up for fresh vegetables, bread and canned goods.

Journalist Turned Physicist

Submitted by Marjan Hajibandeh

This summer, Campus Buzz writer Marjan Hajibandeh ‘09E will sit down with each of the seven Amherst professors who’ve just earned tenure. First up: Jonathan Friedman, associate professor of physics.

There’s no way around it; Jonathan Friedman looks exactly like what I imagined a physicist to look like. He has tousled curly hair and wire-rimmed glasses. When (in an early draft of this article) I described them to be circular, he corrected me and said that they were more stadium-shaped. If he were any more empirical, I would have guessed that he lived in the lab. And, boy, was he eager to chat about his research. But I wouldn’t let him—at least not right away.

Docents Enlightening the World

Submitted by Katherine D. Duke

“You see these little rolls of fat?” Jessica Ball ’09 points to the plump figures in an oil painting on the wall. “That’s Rubens!”

Ben Bishop ’09 Answers: What Is Jeopardy!?

Interview by Katherine Duke '05

Since its first, black-and-white incarnation, created by Merv Griffin in the early 1960s, Jeopardy! has built a reputation as the thinking person’s game show. Amherst has helped prepare many trivia geeks to do battle with the big blue board: As a senior, Gwyneth Connell ’00 represented the Jeffs in the 2000 College Championship. Novelist and attorney Scott Turow ’70 towered over the competition in Celebrity Jeopardy! in 2006. And even though I ultimately came in a distant third, I consider my own Jeopardy! game, which aired in April 2008, among the luckiest and most fascinating experiences of my life.

Prom Night

Submitted by Emily G. Boutilier

It’s prom night, and once again, I don’t have a date. This time, it’s because my husband is home with our 3-year-old, who is, I hope, in bed. Usually my Fridays end around 9 p.m., when I fall asleep on the couch while watching TV, but tonight is different: it’s nearly 10, and I’m not even in my jammies. I’m going to the Pratt Prom, a dance that Katherine Black ’10 and her fellow RCs have put together for the Class of ’11. It will take place in Charles Pratt Dormitory. There will be a band, a DJ, a dozen cakes and sparkling cider for a midnight toast.

Tasting Victory

Submitted by Katherine D. Duke

Welcome to Kitchen Stadium, usually known as the upper terrace of Valentine Dining Hall.  Tonight, student chefs in white hats and aprons stand behind tables, armed with knives, skillets and spices, ready to do battle. This is Iron Chef Valentine.

Manners: Do You Mind?

Submitted by Katherine D. Duke

Welcome to Campus Buzz! This is the newest place to read, see and hear what some of us at Amherst are up to. As Green Dean at the Office of Public Affairs, I’m pleased to bring you the inaugural bit of buzz.

My job on Sunday, Jan. 21, was to have dinner. Actually, it was to learn to partake of a meal the proper way by joining more than 60 students and alumni for Amherst’s first Gracious Dining seminar.

Wednesday Night Shakespeare

Submitted by Katherine D. Duke

A Wednesday eve to Webster did we come—
Ten students, a professor and myself—
To gather ‘round a table laid with tea
And carrot cake. What play was it this week?
They’d done MacBeth, and Romeo they chose
For Valentine’s. So which tonight? Pray tell!
The cake displayed our title in sweet script:

The Merry Wives of Windsor. Comedy!
(It’s one I’ve never read, and, so we learn,
The only one that Shakespeare ever set
In modern England—his own time and place.)

Casting Call

Submitted by Katherine D. Duke

The sweaty palms. The thumping heart. I’m not even trying out for The Illusion—I’m just sitting outside Webster Studio 2 among the actors hoping to be cast in the play. But the quiet, nervous anticipation is contagious. When the director, William Cranch ’08, approaches me, I am reticent, flustered just trying to explain why I’m there.

Mystery Date

Submitted by Katherine D. Duke

The lobby of Converse Hall looks different tonight. The area near the elevator has been roped off as an “archeological dig site.” Fliers on the walls and columns feature slogans such as Aliens are People, Too and Human? Alien? Questioning? Fine by me. Students are eating pizza and mingling with, among others, a sad clown in a rainbow wig. I’m not yet sure what all this means. What I do know is that Converse will soon become the scene of a deadly crime.

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