Welcome back! Our first issue of the semester arrives just as everyone is starting to settle in to life at Reed, and what a life it is! The library is still a haven of tranquility, your Hum conference hasn’t started to grate on your nerves, and the sun sets at a reasonable hour. We kick off this first issue with a profile on the poet Gary Snyder, arguably the most famous of Reed’s actual alumni (1). Then, read about the ghost of O-week past, and be glad you don’t have to sit through lectures on “The History of Universities” any more (4). Misha Lerner writes about history and memory in Lithuania from his time spent there this summer (6), followed by poetry from Ben Read and Emma McNeel (8, 9). Next, Alana Spoto features in Reed’s favorite fashion column (10), and first time contributor Gianna Gregorio shares insight on date spots around campus (11). Finally, we have an essay about music by another first time contributor Natalya Hill (12), as well as a playlist for the start of the year (13). Oh, and don’t forget about Miss Lonely Hearts (14).
P.S. If you’re interested in writing for us, we meet every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Student Publications Office.
Claire P., Claire S., and Ben
News & Features
If you go to Vilnius and walk down Pylimo Gatve, there stands, only a few blocks away from the last remaining synagogue, a rather unassuming structure. Vilnius—a city that has particular fondness for the baroque churches of the Counter-Reformation—has on its streets a rather unassuming neo-classical reform church. Like most buildings in the city, it is mainly a brick structure, given it’s grandiose appearance from a thick layer of plaster that coats the entire surface—plaster that is slowly being chipped away by the elements. The stairs that lead up to the church are uniformly rectangular ranging in color from grey to a muted red. Here the question can be asked: why the difference in color if all of these stones ideally should have been extracted from the same quarry? Indeed these stones were all extracted from the same quarry—a quarry of the dead. Look closer at the stones themselves and it will become apparent that despite the perpetual precipitation that coats the southeast Baltic, horizontal demarcations can be made out—demarcations that are read from right to left. If this has not already become apparent, the stones here are not normal stones, but rather gravestones from a Jewish cemetery.
In a letter from 1967, kept carefully preserved in Reed College’s Special Collections, Gary Snyder writes to a fellow student Charles Leong of “the state of things in Poetland (I actually was intending to write Portland).” Snyder, a student at Reed College from 1947 to 1951, went on in life to become a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet commonly associated with the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance, the Black Mountain Poets, and Beat Poetry, an essayist, an environmental activist, and an avid calligrapher. Starting in his time at Reed, he became interested in Buddhist spirituality and would go on to study Buddhism in Kyoto, Japan for much of his life.
The second to last week of August 2018 saw blazing red skies as the setting sun's rays fought through thick clouds of wildfire smoke. First-years starting this year at Reed will likely remember these smoldering hot days for the rest of their lives as Orientation Week 2018. O-Week is memorable for most matriculated students here, if not fondly, then at least as a chaotic crash course in Reed culture. Orientation Week has changed greatly throughout Reed’s history, with the biggest and most recent change being the switch from House Advisors working as staff during Orientation to the hiring of an entire Orientation Team to develop and lead events. Lauren, Grail writer and Orientation 2018 Team Member, caught up with Hayfa Anchour, one half of the dynamic duo of amazing Orientation Coordinators, to discuss these and other new changes, and also to uncover both the distant and more recent past of Reed Orientation along the way.
after Geffrey Davis
Not the purple and gold of the showtime Lakers, not
the way Dr. J rocked a baby
to sleep, not the wrinkled hands of Bill Russell weighed down
by silver, not the musculature of LeBron’s shoulders
Trees barely moving in morning breeze,
curtains too heavy to drift, merely
shifting back and forth. Geese dark streaks
across a grey sky. Somewhere
If when prompted for your favorite things, you respond: food, water, Dr. Martens, air, and existentialism, befriending Alana is a must. Their edge is frightening. If you see them around campus, you should know that Alana’s style is fierce. Their vaguely goth style exemplifies their fascination with the ‘80s. While donning ‘80s style gothic clothing, they are likely to be listening to obscure German music from the Berlin Wall era. If you spot them wandering around campus at night with friends, know that you have seen the edgy queen of the class of 2022.
It’s 2 a.m. You are driving home from work, weary from closing the theater for the night, and the familiar sight of your neighborhood, though darkened, is a relief. Johnny Cash’s “Ghost Riders in the Sky” plays as you blearily attempt to parallel park, give up, and circle around the block to park farther away. Sleep is very near now.
For many of us, getting through Reed without a good pair of headphones or earbuds would be impossible. So here’s a playlist that will possibly help you deal whatever Reed is throwing your way. The main theme for this week’s playlist is change and uncertainty. Whether you’re a first-year or a senior, the first few weeks of school will always leave you with an unsettling mix of feelings. Personally, the weirdest part of the start of a semester is the time I spend walking to and from class. I always end up missing some old faces and having to adjust to some new ones. I made this playlist because to me it feels like the right mixture of sad yet sweet, anxious yet hopeful.
the library (to study together)
neither of you have time for an actual relationship but you don’t want to admit it yet
you exchange an average of three words per hour
at least one of you is a physics major
Miss Lonely Hearts
Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,
How can I cut someone out of my life when at first we became friends out of romantic interest but now it's kind of just weird and I don't know how to talk to them about it?
How Did This Happen
it's gonna be ok even though it feels like it isn't
but also 0_0
and hopefully (I'm positive) :D :D
always :D :D