Tag Archives: summer

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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What’s in a shirt?

This time of year is a strange one for anyone still in academia. People are finishing up things and leaving. With all of this comes a lot of change in identity. If you’re graduating, you’re no longer a student. Something that was just recently a huge part of your identity is now gone. You’re an adult. Many students are also packing up and leaving the area in favor of “home” – yet something else that changes identity in this time. I stay around for the summer, and Worcester changes too. Parking spaces are much less difficult to find, you see your neighbors out for a stroll, and everything has a nice, clean, healthy feel to it. Perhaps it’s just the welcomed difference of green replacing the white, but the city does seem different in the summer. I feel more like a part of it than a part of campus.

So where does the title of this post come in? Later today, I’ll don my uniform for work. Like many people who work a less-than-amazing minimum-wage job, it consists of a red polo, black pants, and a visor (I’ll let you choose which of the 1,000 or so places that could be). I walk through a neighborhood filled with a lot of my fellow students and also pass by our field house where student athletes are usually milling about or practicing. Suddenly, I’m no longer a part of that sphere. Once I put on my uniform, I no longer feel like a student. It’s a very strange feeling, but these slight changes really do make a difference, and I doubt any of them would acknowledge me in the same manner.

Soon it won’t be an issue though. Students will move out, leaving all of their clothes in the donation bins in the dorms and their furniture in piles on the street. We’ll see if we can fit one more chair in the kitchen and bid them farewell until late August when the whole show starts again with fresh faces. I’m glad I’m sticking around for the summer.


Are we there yet? Five summer festivals to put on your calendar

It’s crunch time. Final papers, projects, and presentations are in sight, and the homestretch is here. What do you need to help you get through this stressful time? A light at the end of the tunnel. Here’s an eclectic preview of the summer’s promising show that you shouldn’t miss.

B.O.M.B. Fest
May 28-29th
Comcast Theatre
Hartford,CT

The 3rd annual Bring Our Music Back Festival is first up this summer. Their mission is to give up and coming, aspiring artists a venue for exposure. It’s all about access and keeping music available and affordable. However, it’s not your typical festival.
“B.O.M.B Fest a different experience,” said senior Darcy Canter who has attended the event in the past. “It’s more contained, more regulated, and there’s no camping.” Another change coming to the festival this year is a change in venue; it was originally scheduled to take place at Western Connecticut State University, but due to growth since it started in 2009, they’re taking it to the Comcast Theatre.
“The line-up is too good not to go. It appeals to anyone,” Canter said. Where else will you find Weezer, Snoop Dogg, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, George Clinton, and RJD2 together with a ton of local bands?
If that wasn’t reason enough to go, a percentage of all the show’s proceeds go to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.

Starscape
June 4th
Fort Armistead Park
Baltimore, MD

“Starscape is like a big bang. It’s one night, jam packed,” Canter said. The festival is in its thirteenth year, and if you’re willing to make the drive, it’s sure to be an event that will knock your socks off over the course of sixteen hours.
There are five stages including the main stage, Dance Tent, Dub Nation Beach Stage, Steez Promo Bass Arena, and the Fort Stage.
The event will be featuring many groups and performers including Bassnectar, Lotus, Datsik, Skrillex, Zeds Dead, Subvert, and Infected Mushroom.
“It’s in a beautiful location at an amazing time of the year. There’s a dock area, and you get to see the sunrise over the Chesapeake Bay in the morning, before the mass exodus when you leave.”
Although more costly, purchasing the VIP ticket is worth it, and includes a full open bar, a balcony view of the Nudashank Art Walk and Fort Stage, a seating area with couches, tables, and     chairs, and private restroom facilities. With a festival that’s so well-attended and so compact, you’ll want these additional amenities.

Camp Bisco
July 7-9th
Indian Lookout Country Club
Mariaville, NY

If you’re willing to put up with some grime and potentially bad weather, the crowd, experience, and music at this three-day-long festival are definitely worthwhile.
“Camp Bisco always has a solid line-up, and it’s known for people being really ridiculous and out of their minds,” Canter said.
The festival’s name sake, The Disco Biscuits, is a Philadelphia-based group that bridges genres of jam band and electronic music. Joining them on the line-up will be Rusko, Lettuce, Black Moth Super Rainbow, and Pretty Lights among a slew of other acts.
“Last year’s event was better, but it’s grimy. I was knee-deep in mud around the stage tent,” Canter said. “They rearranged it since to keep this from happening, but it’s still a mess from mud and from the people.” If you’re looking for a traditional summer festival, look not further.
Pre-Sale and Early Bird tickets have already sold out, so act fast if you plan on going!
Camp Bisco’s main objective is to provide a good environment: “Most importantly, have fun, be nice to others, have a little patience, drink enough water and give the gift of laughter to the people around you during Camp Bisco. Watch out for your neighbors, make friends, and have an awesome time.” Grab your camping gear and head to Bisco.

Gathering of the Vibes
July 21-24th
Seaside Park
Bridgeport,CT

As the name of the venue suggests, Gathering of the Vibes is located on the shore of the Long Island Sound at one of the area’s major parks. The area becomes a campground, and upon arrival attendees are ushered to wooded areas, the shore, and fields to set up their sites. Tickets are available for one day or the weekend, and camping passes are sold separately.
“It’s a hippie fest – made by hippies for hippies. Like most festivals, it’s like an idealistic community,” Canter said.
The promoters of the festival encourage attendees to pack lightly to maximize space as well as “Think reusable before you buy disposable!” Throughout most of the festival’s orchestration, there is a theme of environmental consciousness.
Gathering of the Vibes is centered around Jerry Garcia’s birthday and draws all sorts of people. “It has one of the most diverse crowds of the festivals I’ve been to,” said Gwen Walsh, summer festival-goer. “It appeals to a wide range of musical tastes, and that makes it more interesting. The people watching is great, and you makes all sorts of friends. There are young and old.”
As the festival has grown over the years, it has only improved. Food and craft vendors abound, and there is also a separate area for families. The line-up includes some major names, including Further, Elvis Costello, Jane’s Addiction, and moe.

Liberate
August 18-21st
845 Poor Farm Rd
Sheldon,VT

So, after you’ve visited all of these festivals and raged with the best of them, you’re going to need a little rest and relaxation. For the end of your summer spree of great times, check out this laid-back festival all about wellness.
“It’s a yoga fest, so it’s filled with the nicest people ever. There’s a really positive energy. It’s on privately owned land in Vermont, which makes it awesome,” Canter said. “It’s all about healing. You walk away asking, ‘Why can’t the world be like this?’”
Their upcoming line-up includes LYNX, Conspirator (comprised of two members of the Disco Biscuits), Rubblebucket, and performance group, The Human Canvas (THC). Liberate will help you ease into the end of the season, after you’ve settling with thousands of fans at other venues.
“It’s small and cute,” Walsh said. “The setting is intimate, which is pretty much the opposite of most festivals.”
Liberate holds to its commitment to wellbeing with its eco-conscious vibe. They have sustainable, local Vermont cuisine and healing arts available. It’s all about being happy, healthy, and free.


Summer Reading Recommendations

As many of us are already so aware of, college may be a mind-opening, altering, and inspiring process, but it can easily come with an overwhelming amount of text.

Although summer reading may also be a mandatory sentencing for many college students, there is no reason why you can’t find some alternative material to enjoy in your free time and keep your mind both sharp and at ease during summer vacation.

So, just what does one read for fun during their single season of freedom with so much reading assigned throughout the school year? Straight from the minds of college kids, here are some suggestions on how to feed your head this summer.

Comedic author, Christopher Moore is a modern writer with a strong cult following. His novels commonly twist an everyman character into a plot filled with the fictionally absurd and supernatural. Some critics have compared Moore’s style to that of Kurt Vonnegut. His vampire trilogy Bloodsucking Friends, You Suck, and Bite Me may at first conjure a parallel to the horrendous sensation that is Twilight, readers will be pleasantly surprised to find little connection between the two. Moore’s vampires come with a heavy dose of ironic comedy driven by a meshing of traditional and unique ideas.

A good complementary to Moore’s taste for the unusual spin on a classic prototype is the writing of Seth Grahame-Smith, whose historical fiction has reached the third spot on the New York Times’ bestseller list. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter are just two of the well-known books Grahame-Smith has put out. Other comical works include Pardon My President: Fold-and-Mail Apologies for 8 Years, a book composed of letters written by the author to various organizations to apologize for the actions of George Bush. Grahame-Smith’s books also deal with pop culture; he’s also written about the history of pornography, Spiderman, and how to survive typical horror film situations. If you’re needing comic relief between semesters, look no further.

For something a little more real but still amusing, the autobiographical works of David Sedaris are a goldmine. In his collections of essays, Sedaris recounts his unusual upbringing, family life, drug-filled college years, jobs and his education. The author’s often satirical wit is richly embedded in his writing, and while not all of the stories are necessarily upbeat, they are still humorous. Naked, Holidays on Ice, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and When You Are Engulfed in Flames, have all become New York Times Best Sellers.

If you’re into asking yourself “what if,” books by Harry Turtledove also offer great venues for thought provoking, easy reading during your time off. Dubbed “The Mast of Alternate History” Turtledove has written on various hypothetical historical situations, including alien invasions during World War II, the Confederacy winning the Civil War, and survival of the Byzantine Empire.

Two more well known books by Afghanistan native, Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, have caught much attention in recent years. Hosseini grew up in the Middle East in a time of political unrest, and his family eventually sought political asylum in the United States. The Kite Runner, Hossenini’s first novel, is also set in Afghanistan and tells the story of a young boy dealing with childhood problems and a troubled relationship with his father. The novel deals heavily with political and ethnic tensions as the family moves to U.S. The Kite Runner has also been adapted to film. Hossenini’s other noteworthy novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, is also filled with Afghani culture.

Students had more obscure suggestions.

The Stranger, by well-known author, Albert Camus was also recommended. Though he never outwardly considered himself an existentialist, Camus’ writings often centered on such themes of philosophy, and this example is no different. The book focuses on a seemingly irrational murder by the title character, and his narrative throughout the book is divided before and after the event.

Shantaram was another interesting suggestion. Written by a convicted Australian bank robber and heroin addict, Shantaram carefully describes the autobiographical, factual event through a guise of the fictitious and blurs lines. The author recounts his story of the crime and fleeing to India for 10 years and all the horrific and diverse happens that befall him.

Straight from the minds of students themselves, here’s a short list of unique books from the fantastical to the real life recollections to help break the monotony of assigned reading. Because even the biggest bookworms can get burned out during the school year.