Body Language

Submitted by Katherine D. Duke

The students in Webster Studio 1 are learning to talk and walk. That is, we’re learning to talk about how we move, and then to walk in new and unaccustomed ways. As Missy Vineyard teaches us in her Interterm course on the Alexander Technique, this is trickier than it sounds. It challenges everything we think we know about the connections between mind and body, words and actions, old habits and new awareness.

Talking Shop

Submitted by Katherine D. Duke

The student/faculty machine shop is nothing like the typical Amherst classroom, nor like the science labs all around it in Merrill. With its massive, dusty, cast-iron drill presses and grinders and its walls plastered with safety reminders, it looks, feels, smells and sounds like an arena of sweaty manual labor. For the three weeks of Interterm, though, it has become a classroom.

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.

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.

Feeling crafty

Submitted by Katherine D. Duke

Last fall, I was delighted to read an announcement inviting members of the Amherst community to sell our wares at the second annual Campus Holiday Craft Fair. I’d been making beaded jewelry since middle school and crocheting hats since high school, so I figured this would be the perfect place to show off my skills and to earn some Christmas-shopping money. I got out my hooks and yarn and beads and set to work. I felt crafty.

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.)

Appointment TV

Submitted by Katherine D. Duke


It’s 10 p.m. on a Wednesday, and I’ve settled into a seat in the darkened theater in the basement of Keefe Campus Center. I’m clutching a large decaf from Schwemm’s coffeehouse and listening to the whispers of the students in the audience. We’re about to watch the new episode of Lost projected onto the big screen.

I love my job.

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.

Pages