Harvestfest, through a photographer's eye

October 24, 2014 | Guest Blogger

harvestfest tent

Each year, Harvestfest is one of the most anticipated events at Fall Weekend, Connecticut College's annual parent and family weekend. More than 70 student clubs, academic departments and athletic teams set up shop, selling a wide array of Camel- and Connecticut College-inspired clothing, gifts and treats in a bazaar-like atmosphere. We asked the ConnCollegeLive Experience photojournalists to fan out and find the best and most interesting items for sale.

 

Laura Cianciolo '16

Harvestfest photos by Laura Cianciolo

  1. I first stopped at Coffee Closet’s table and purchased a caramel apple dipped in sprinkles — it was the perfect snack for the fall weather.
  2. Every year, I purchase a poster from The College Voice’s table, and this year I loved the hand-drawn map of campus.
  3. I stopped by Miss Connduct’s table and bought a few of their handmade cards for my friends who have fall birthdays.
  4. Conn’s chapter of Oceana was selling adorable keyboard protectors covered with fish and other sea creatures.
  5. Launch, Conn’s entrepreneurship club, was celebrating its first Harvestfest with brightly colored, delicious cookies shaped like spaceships.

 

Kirsten Forrester '17

Harvestfest photos by Kirsten Forrester

  1. Slavery Ends Today homemade cards: Simple and thoughtful, the cards have positive messages such as "You are beautiful." It's nice to have a few around for future gifts.
  2. Ski team flannel: Two words: so cozy! They're the perfect attire for Connecticut winters.
  3. Ski club winter hats: One, they complement the flannel for the complete New England winter look. Two, I love pom poms.
  4. Relay for Life Elephant frame: So cute! My favorite animal is an elephant. Images and statues of them cover my walls at home, so this frame makes for a great addition to that ever growing collection.
  5. The College Voice posters: You just can't go wrong with the image of a camel in a turtleneck sweater on your wall.

 

Jordan Thomas '15

Harvestfest photos by Jordan Thomas

  1. Cadenza, Conn's literary magazine, sold prints and shirts with a one-line camel design. The artist, senior Jennifer Jackson, drew the camel logo without ever lifting the pen from the paper. It's inspired by Picasso's famous work.
  2. The campus newspaper, The College Voice, had customized camel M&Ms — in Conn colors, of course!
  3. The Dance Club sold cute and functional tank tops with an adorable Camel in the corner — great for workout clothing!
  4. Forest Justice, the resident treehugger club on campus, sold tie-dyed t-shirts with the logo of a tree hugging a Camel. What's not to love about that?
  5. The college's chapter of Psi Chi, the Psychology National Honor Society, had brain-themed coffee mugs for sale. Since this is my organization and this one was my idea, I'm a bit partial to it ... but who wouldn't want a blue and yellow brain on their morning cup of coffee?

 

Mike Wipper '17

Harvestfest photos by Mike Wipper

  1. After hearing the faint sound Mariachi, I found myself at the club's table, more than happy to snack on some "chicharones," a traditional Latin American dish made from fried pork skins.
  2. Sprout! set up a free sample booth complete with hot sauces made from Conn's very own organic garden. My favorite is the spicy mango salsa.
  3. The campus chapter of Slavery Ends Today sold delightful greeting and birthday cards, which ended up being perfect as I still needed to buy my girlfriend a card for her birthday. All proceeds went to the organization that's committed to ending human trafficking.
  4. At the Men's Hockey team table, I purchased the perfect gift for my father, a hockey player himself: a bottle opener made from old sticks. 
  5. All around Harvestfest, I saw people wearing awesome friendship bracelets. I wandered around until I found the Dance Team's booth with bracelets covering the table. I must say, they were pretty stylish ... and they're hand-made!

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Tags:  |  The Experience, Clubs & Orgs  |  The Experience, Photography  |  The Experience, Traditions

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Green Dot Family Feud

October 24, 2014 | The Experience, Rebecca Seidemann '18

IT'S TIME TO PLAY FAMILY FEUD! 

This past Thursday, the Office of Student Life and Think S.A.F.E., the College's sexual assault prevention group, hosted a game of Family Feud in Cro, our student center. Yes, there were prizes, though no Steve Harvey. First, second and third place teams won things like water bottles and bowls full of candy. 

The game show was Green Dot-themed. Green Dot is our sexual assault and violence prevention program. In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a number of sports and activities have been Green Dot-themed. The theory behind our program is that "no one has to do everything, but everyone has to do something." By connecting difficult issues of sexual assault, dating and power-based violence, and stalking to athletics and fun activities, we're working toward a necessary cultural shift. Increasing awareness enables bystanders to step in during "red dot" (problematic) situations. It promotes a safe and welcoming community. 

Given the theme, there were definitely some interesting sexual questions in our game of Family Fued. Though a little uncomfortable at first, we all sort of got used to the awkwardness of it in order to win points for our team. And, of course, it was all for a good cause. We learned things about safe, consensual sexual situations and, because of the survey section of the game, we also got a chance to see what our peers thought about certain situations. 

The night consisted of fun, games and prizes — though, not for my team — all in an effort to create a giant cultural movement against sexual assault and violence.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, First Year Experience  |  The Experience, Miscellaneous  |  The Experience, On Campus

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Smith Dining Hall: a gem hidden in plain sight

October 24, 2014 | The Experience, Oliver Ames '17

The dining hall within Smith House is one of those gems that hides in plain sight. I’d call Smith the most intimate dining hall on campus, one where you really know the employees and the people that frequent the tables every morning. Smith serves breakfast and a sandwich/salad lunch, which is perfect. I usually arrive between 8:30 or 9 a.m., although, as a regular, I've determined that 9 a.m. really is the perfect time of day to enjoy the environment. Those who rush too quickly to grab a quick bite before their 9 a.m. class have all left and those who have a 10:25 a.m. class haven’t arrived for breakfast yet (or, for that matter, woken up). Those left during that perfect moment between 9 and 9:45 a.m. are the kind of people that sit and slowly enjoy their breakfast over a good book, some last-minute homework, or that day’s New York Times (which, by the way, is waiting for students — for free — right in the lobby).
 
These casual mornings remind me a lot of Sunday mornings at home — everyone is clearly relaxed but they are all excited for the day ahead of them. That atmosphere helps me prepare for my long and busy days filled with classes, clubs and study groups.
 
I should also mention that early in the mornings, right when Smith opens, the employees sit at a table near the entrance and chat, listen to music softly and welcome the regulars by name. Their morning prep work is done for the moment and there is a brief window where they can sit and relax. During this time, most students swipe their own Camel Cards to enter. It's a moment when the Honor Code is in action, and when common courtesy and a "thank you" make for a great start to the day. 
 
 

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Tags:  |  The Experience, Dining  |  The Experience, First Year Experience  |  The Experience, On Campus

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Shipwrecks

October 23, 2014 | The Experience, Rebecca Seidemann '18

Last Wednesday, I was given the opportunity to visit "Lost At Sea: Shipwrecks of the Ancient World," an exhibit presented through the Classics Department. The exhibit is currently up at the Lyman Allyn, an art museum next to campus that the school works closely with. The exhibit consists of amazing, ancient artifacts that until recently remained, well, lost at sea. Also featured are some of the nifty-looking tools used to find artifacts, as well as some short videos about artifact-hunting.

The exhibit room that interested me the most, though, was a room full of live feeds from the Nautilus, a ship currently exploring undiscovered U.S territories in the Caribbean and Pacific. In front of the room, there is an iPad where you can type a question to a scientist on board the Nautilus and get a live response.

After a guided tour of the exhibit, I attended a talk by Dr. Robert Ballard, who led the team that discovered the Titanic. All of the artifacts in the exhibit were discovered by Dr. Ballard, who has a strong connection to the local community and the College. At the talk, he told us about how his fascination with the ocean began, how he fell into his career and, of course, how he found the Titanic. Dr. Ballard was an excellent speaker, and his exhibit was very interesting. I'm glad that I was offered the opportunity to attend.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, New London  |  The Experience, On Campus  |  The Experience, Research

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A picnic at the Book Barn

October 23, 2014 | The Experience, Kirsten Forrester '17

Enjoying a beautiful fall day, my friends and I headed to the Book Barn in Niantic for a picnic. After stopping at Fiddleheads to buy fruit, bread and cheese, I found myself completely enchanted with this used book store. It very much has a ragtag, fairy tale feeling. There are paths through overgrown gardens, pink flamingo statues, interestingly shaped buildings and eclectic furniture amongst stacks and stacks of inexpensive books in every genre. I dined atop an oversized checkers table, read in the shade and added a few new books to my collection for the next rainy day.


Tags:   |  The Experience, New London  |  The Experience, Photography

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Finding your voice, like John Mayer

October 22, 2014 | The Experience, Alex Breakstone '16

Over the last two years, I have been waiting for that moment: when a class or teacher would somehow leave me walking out the door with a new perspective.

Last week, as I sat in the second row of my "Introduction to American Studies" class, Professor Jim Downs did just that.

“Can we all just take a few minutes to listen and appreciate the beautiful lyrics created by John Mayer?” Professor Downs announced as he walked through the door. For the next few minutes, my class of 30 students sat in darkness, staring up at the projector screen as we watched John Mayer’s live performance of “Covered in Rain."

For class that day, we had read "Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which tells the story of a Nigerian emigrant who critiques America and the American dream. It was hard to see where Professor Downs was going with the soulful voice of John Mayer as an introduction.

As the lights came back on, Professor Downs asked us to think about finding our own voice like John Mayer does through his lyrics or Ngozi Adichie does in her novel. We further discussed the novel and how Adichie’s voice is heard in her personalized immigrant narrative. It was interesting to see how Professor Downs used different types of mediums and contemporary examples to help us further understand the shaping of an immigrant narrative and the history of the American dream.

After the class discussion, I thought more about my voice in my community and on campus. While I have made an effort to get involved on campus, I'm still working to establish my passions and find my own voice. With the help of other students, I am now working to create a movement on campus that would help showcase students' artwork throughout campus.

While I may not be a famous musician or best-selling novelist, the art movement is a step in the right direction as I determine my real passion and voice.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, Academics  |  The Experience, On Campus

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Volunteering at the Treworgy Planetarium

October 22, 2014 | The Experience, Oliver Ames '17

If you’ve read my bio or seen my past blog posts, you’ll notice I am very passionate about science and education. If you haven’t, that's OK — I’ll fill you in. I love science because of how romantic it can be. The idea that there is an infinite cosmos or that there are single-cell organisms wows me. It blows my mind that we have been to the moon and mapped Mars when only a few hundred years ago Lewis and Clark were exploring the vast wilderness of North America. As such, it has been a longstanding desire of mine to share my enthusiasm for science. I want to teach people why science is so fantastic and make them equally excited and awed by the world around us.
 
If it wasn’t for my professors, I might never have connected my interests of education and science. I knew in high school that I loved to present and I know that teaching comes naturally to me, but I had never thought about applying those skills towards a subject I love so much. My astronomy professor pointed me in the right direction. Aligning my passions of presenting and astronomy, she suggested I volunteer at the Treworgy Planetarium, part of the nearby Mystic Seaport. She recommended me to the director of the planetarium and, within a few weeks, I was learning how to give my own shows. 
 
While we have telescopes and viewing opportunities on campus, having a planetarium near the College is an incredible resource. The night sky not only allows us to understand the history of cultures on Earth, but also helps us understand the origins of our solar system, stars and much more. I don't believe any education is complete without an understanding of what is above us at all times. We often get trapped in our little worlds as we go about our day-to-day life, and it is important to look up and realize what is just beyond our grasp.
 
After watching two shows every Saturday for the past three weeks, I’m beginning to get the hang of things. This Saturday will be my first solo show in the Treworgy Planetarium. I’ll be giving half of a 35-minute performance (as I like to call them). I plan on making my shows theatrical in nature, as those seem to be the performances that grip people the most. I’ll be doing so in a way that takes the audience on a journey through the stars. 

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Tags:  |  The Experience, Academics  |  The Experience, Career & Internships  |  The Experience, New London

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Fall, food and friends

October 21, 2014 | The Experience, Jordan Thomas '15

Last Wednesday, a few friends and I headed downtown for the annual New London Fall Food Stroll. Local restaurants and shops opened their doors and provided samples of some of their select dishes. For the cost of a $10 admission button, we sampled from as many restaurants as we liked! Options ranged from kale cake to shrimp creole to macaroni and cheese and more. It's hard to pick a favorite food from the night, but the pumpkin-pie-flavored milkshakes (complete with crushed-up pieces of homemade waffle cones) from Berry's Ice Cream may have stolen my heart.


Tags:   |  The Experience, New London  |  The Experience, Photography

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Japanese Ikebana demonstration

October 20, 2014 | The Experience, Dana Sorkin '16


Fall Weekend is one of the busiest weekends on campus, with no shortage of events, lectures and activities. The East Asian Studies Department hosted renowned Japanese floral artist Yuji Ueno, ateacher at the Nagaoka Institute of Design in Tokyo. Ueno demonstrated his craft for courses during the day and then in a most unusual location: President Bergeron's front lawn. The event drew a large crowd of onlookers who watched in silent amazement as his stone sculpture grew to be even taller than he is.



Tags:   |  The Experience, International  |  The Experience, On Campus  |  The Experience, Video

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A musical weekend

October 20, 2014 | The Experience, Rebecca Seidemann '18

Music was in the air last weekend.

Fall Weekend kicked off with a Musicians Organized For Bands' Rights on Campus (MOBROC) concert. The event gave student bands an opportunity to show off their musical abilities and gave the audience a chance to show off their '90s grunge-inspired dance moves. The lineup included student groups Canopy, the SB's and Montreal Protocol, but the real treat came at the end of the show: We got to hear our beloved President Bergeron sing. When she and her husband, Butch Rovan, got on stage, the audience began to chant "Queen B" and bow down.

It was quite the experience. Needless to say, "Queen B" gave a flawless performance.

It was interesting, although not very surprising, to see a lot of faces from MOBROC groups performing one night later during the weekend's other huge musical event — the annual Fall Weekend a cappella shows. For years, the seven a cappella groups have performed together during Fall Weekend, and the crowds have grown so much that two shows are needed. The pinnacle of the night might have been when the ConnArtists performed "Fix You" by Coldplay. It was so moving that the audience was completely silent.

Other groups lightened the mood with some humor: Vox Cameli performed a zealous Lady Gaga mashup, the Williams Street Mix drew inspiration from SpongeBob and the ConnChords pulled out some unexpected dance moves.

It was such a musical start to the weekend, with tons of talented Camels involved.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, Clubs & Orgs  |  The Experience, On Campus  |  The Experience, Traditions

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