Tag Archives: college

Harvard University – MC Escher Style

Harvard University - MC Escher Style

Took this photo a couple years ago when a friend came to visit. We went to Boston, and I tried to include all of those quintessential moments — the Common, the historical sites, and of course walking across the Charles to Harvard.

I left this shot in black and white to emphasize the patterns. Really reminds me of some of Escher’s crazy work.

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Fall Planets

Copyright Ashley Klann. Not to be used without consent.

360 degree panoramic planet of Downing Street, running through Clark University’s campus in Worcester, MA. Copyright Ashley Klann. Not to be used without consent.

Fall is such a dynamic season. Took this panoramic shot yesterday when the skies were very overcast, making the leaves pop right off the branches.

If you’re looking to learn more about this technique, visit http://www.photoguides.net/photoshopping-tiny-planets

If you’d like to see more of my planets, visit http://aeroartist.deviantart.com/gallery/39738882

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Why yes, I am a beer pong champ. Funny you should ask.

My coconspirator, Alumni Editor, Gwen Walsh seems to come up with topics for her weekly editor’s corner like magic. Over winter break, I thought she was having email issues; I had not one, not two, but five separate emails from her, all titled “EC.” Somehow each week, she experiences some incredibly interesting event that comes out of nowhere. This week, I think she has a run for her money.

Yeah, it's totally a sport.

Wednesday afternoon. I still have no topic for my editor’s corner. Sure, I’ve encountered many interesting ideas and concepts in my classes this week. I could write pages about Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent or the importance of companies exercising transparency. But that’s not nearly as interesting as what happened to me later that afternoon.

While sitting in my room, catching up on work and reading, I got a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize. Usually, I’m apprehensive, but I went for it. “Hello?” A slow, staggering voice on the other end: “Yeah… Hi… is this The Scarlet?” Yes, I am the student newspaper incarnate. How can I help you?

After a few exchanges, the caller’s point became clear.

The bumbling, twenty-something was asking whether we cover off-campus events. While I told him not usually, I am open to the occasional opportunity to open our pages to happenings in the community, if I think students need to hear about it. What did this guy have to pitch to me?

“Yeah, I’m working for a business, WorldPong.com,” and he proceeded to inform me about the national beer pong competition happening in Atlantic City. “It’s not about the drinking, really, but about it as a sport… So, what’s the party scene there? Do people do a lot of partying?” I stifled my laughter and answered his questions.

This guy wanted me to do an article… not an ad or a mention… an article about their “sporting event” for beer pong. Really? We might not be the most focused school in the world. We might not all spend every evening in the library. We all enjoy house parties, but I honestly can’t see many being interested in a full article about beer pong, can we? (If you are, you now know the website to visit.)

“So, uh, you’re probably great at beer pong, right?”

I nonchalantly told him it comes with the title of Editor-in-Chief: yes, I am Clark’s beer pong champ. If anyone would like to challenge this, I’ll see you in Atlantic City.

Still reading? Seriously interested? Worcester’s round in the competition will be held at Jillian’s at 6:00 p.m. the 22nd. The first place team at each tournament will win a 2 night hotel stay at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. Go for it.


Future Clarkies won’t need to worry about the SAT

This time four years ago, there was a huge, blue paperback College Board book on my desk. It sat there for months, as those three letters, S A T, menacingly stared back at me. Did I ever do a single practice exam? No. I sold it to my neighbor and probably blew the money hanging out with friends after school.

Yeah, you remember this book.

I’m sure my dad wasn’t very happy about that, but preparing for the SAT just wasn’t something I wanted to do. I wanted to get a score I deserved, not one I crammed to get.

The test was just as annoying as I had anticipated. Waking up early, still in a groggy state, I drove to my high school and did what I had to do. I wrote about some pointless topic for 25 minutes and put arbitrary numbers into formulas.

The scoring system confused me, but apparently it confused others even worse; the kid next to me accidentally skipped a bubble, sending him into a fit of erasing that took more time than we were given. Redo.

The essays were also stupid. I recall one about yawning. Really? I’m getting up at the crack of dawn to take a test that’s going to make me read about yawning? What kind of maniacal people do College Board hire? “Even reading about yawning can make you want to yawn,” it said. Thanks, SAT.

When I got my scores back, it took me a while I figure it out. The year I did them, they had just changed the procedure for no apparent reason other than to make it harder for me to figure out if I was happy or not. My final reaction – meh. Not great, not bad.

I remember my AP English teacher telling us about someone she knew who graded the writing portions during the summer. They don’t give them enough time to read them and are told to just glance it over, read the first and last sentences and give it a number. This shocked and frustrated me to the point of doing a presentation on the shortcomings of standardized testing my senior year. Apparently I was onto something.

According to fairtest.org, nearly 900 colleges are now test-optional, Clark soon to be one of them. Yep, high school you didn’t need to freak out at all. They’re pretty much pointless.

Clark’s online news hub recently issued an article about their decision to go SAT/ACT optional by fall 2013. Due to a study by the Admissions office and faculty, the school has decided to put more emphasis on the student’s performance in high school, strength of the high school, character, class rank, and outside activities.

President Angel was also quoted in the article, saying Clark’s new LEEP (Liberal Education and Effective Practice) program will work in conjunction with this decision. Don Honeman, dean of admissions and financial aid, believes that this fits well with Clark’s more hands-on approach to critical thinking and will foster students’ work and engagement with faculty and other students.

Retrospectively, I still completely agree with my position on standardized testing. It’s biased and encourages a narrowing of the curriculum. Students shouldn’t be taught to test well on a test to get them into college. They should be taught how to be engaged and think critically about real-life issues and problems. They shouldn’t study something just because it’s something on which they will be tested, and likewise, colleges shouldn’t base the enrollment process on numbers that can be skewed by so many variables.

While the argument that there needs to be some standard, measurable level of proficiency in such things as reading, writing, and math does hold some ground, there must be a better, more thorough way of understanding this aspect of a potential college student.

I’m just glad I didn’t freak myself out too much about the SAT when I took it.


Freshmen may disregard this rant

Why? Because you just don’t understand. Yet. But you will.

Every year since my first year atClark, I’ve been confronted with the same conversation at some point. Boy, do first-year students suck. Why? Well, we’re not all that sure. They try really hard. They don’t know where Dana Hall or Razzo are. They aren’t sure which street runs next to the parking garage. They don’t know aboutWorcester’s crazy St. Patrick’s Day Parade or why there are hearts on some of the street signs in the city. They haven’t honed their skills yet, and they don’t know what they’re talking about.

But I digress. While all of those answers at some point or another could be valid, they aren’t the real reason, and it’s taken me quite a while to figure out just what’s so annoying about first-years.

Before you all start sending me angry emails, I must admit my reasoning. It’s because I’m a little jealous. As much as I’m ready to embark on my epic post-undergraduate experience (albeit a fifth-year on the same campus) and as much as I’m ready to step into the real world, I’m jealous. I don’t get the same satisfaction walking around this campus as you do, first-years. I don’t get the same novel experience watching the seasons change for the first time, not knowing what Freud will look like covered in a foot of snow. I won’t get the same amazement you’ll get going to Gala for the first time or witnessing an election in the caf for the first time. I’ll never have that again, and I’m jealous.

So, enjoy it. Enjoy those trips to the Bistro for quesadillas you know you shouldn’t be eating. Enjoy having to sneak around the dorms during quiet hours. Enjoy the new and sometimes awkward moments, because soon, they won’t be as new.


Clark’s mailroom goes green

Read about what the Clark University mailroom is doing this summer to be more eco-friendly

The Scarlet [online]


One person’s trash…

Clark University is a school that’s entrenched in the principles of going green, being sustainable, and all those great, hippie ideals. That’s one of the reasons I love it here. However, actions speak louder than words, and Clark’s green reputation only gets it so many points. We’ve probably got more eco events and groups on campus than you can count. You can get your degree in environmental science, global environmental studies, and environmental and conservation biology. You can take courses like Sustainable Consumption and Production, Environmental and Social Epidemiology, and Environmental Ethics, or join some of the many eco-centric groups on campus, includingthe Clark Sustainability Initiative, the Ecological Representatives, or the Global and Environmental group.

Somehow, despite all of these initiatives around campus, there’s still a disconnect between ideology and practice. Waste Management supplies cardboard bins on each floor of every dorm on campus. Throughout the year, students casually discard unwanted items of clothing. In the past, other students were the only ones taking advantage of this. Last year the Clark Thrift Store started up. Don’t get me wrong. I love the idea of having a thrift store on campus, especially one so easily accessible to the surrounding Worcester community, but now they’re the ones who supposedly get first dibs on what gets tossed in the bins.

Panorama of the Clark campus. Photo by Ashley Klann. Not to be reused without premission.

This wouldn’t be such a huge deal if Clarkies didn’t use these bins as a dumping ground at the end of the semester. After I’m done with finals, I always make a point to grab the largest bags I can find and set out on a campus-wide haul. Over the past three years here, I’ve snagged some Armani pants, leather jackets and boots, brand name shirts with the tags still on, decorations, and Clark apparel that usually goes for upwards of $40.

One of the funniest things I ran across was a slew of textbooks that sold at the bookstore for around $20. Yep, someone threw out their textbooks instead of getting some money back. I know the Clark bookstore is notorious for either not accepting your buy-backs or giving you next to nothing for them, but come on!

This year was just as ridiculous. Piles of trash (including unused rolls of paper towels and perfectly eatable food items) accumulated outside the dorms as students were moving out, feeling free to toss out their bulletin boards full of eco-friendly stickers and buttons as they went. There were also trashcans, rugs, and enough mattress pads and bedding for you to reenact The Princess and the Pea.

I find it both sad and disturbing to see so much waste on campus each semester. At least the Clark Thrift Store will be using it, but still… Are we really that lazy and materialistic? I can only imagine it’s even worse at schools that don’t even give off the impression of being environmentally conscious.

I’ll keep scouring the bins and stocking up on free clothes. Thanks, Clark!