If I May: Seven More Things I Like or Don’t Like
Issue   |   Tue, 02/06/2018 - 21:43

Last week, I wrote an in-depth article detailing my issues with the Amherst party policy. I had to read through the policy many times, and I also had to think very hard about what I was writing. The laws of the universe dictate that, since last week was serious, this week’s column must be silly and mostly irrelevant. Sorry, editors! There’s nothing I can do! It’s the law of the universe! With that in mind, here are “Seven More Things I like or Don’t Like”:

1. Marsh Coffee Haus
Marsh Coffee Haus is a beautiful thing. It is a space where students from every corner of the school can come together and enjoy a night of each other’s talents. During this past Friday’s event, I saw poetry readings, acoustic guitar performances, juggling and stand-up comedy. I am thrilled that we have a space here at Amherst where students can express themselves through their art. However, while Coffee Haus is already great, there are some things that can make it even better. Having attended the majority of Coffee Hauses over the past two years (during which time I’ve been a Marsh resident), it has become clear that the same core group of people make up the audience and often the performers. While I hope that this core group (which includes myself) continues to attend and enjoy Coffee Haus, I also hope that this semester can usher in a new set of Coffee Haus enthusiasts. So, if you’re reading this article and have never attended or performed in a Coffee Haus, please consider coming by or signing up to perform!

2. The Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead is one of my all-time favorite bands. Personally, as a fan of improvised music, I connect with the Dead’s long, improvised jams, wherein lead guitarist Jerry Garcia takes the listener on a journey over the course of 15 to 20 minutes. It is these very jams that lead most people to scoff at the Grateful Dead’s music. Many say it just sounds like aimless noodling. Frankly, I understand this criticism. For one who is not interested in group improvisation, these jams can seem pointless. However, I would still urge any person to listen to Grateful Dead music. Instead of listening to the long jams, listen to the songs themselves that precede these jams. Not only is the music beautiful, but the lyrics — often written by non-member Robert Hunter — are insightful and thought-provoking. If you’re interested, start by checking out “Bertha,” “Eyes of the World,” “China Cat Sunflower” and “Althea”.

The longer I have spent at Amherst, the more I have come to love our student-run radio station, WAMH 89.3 FM. As a first-year, I did not anticipate even being involved in the station, and now, two years later, I’m hosting two one-hour shows and going on the air whenever possible. WAMH, like Coffee Haus, is a wonderful way for Amherst students to express themselves. While there are a few rules, for the most part students are free to run whatever type of show they wish. This leads to a great variety of programming on our schedule, which makes WAMH a joy to tune into no matter the time. Furthermore, the students who make up the WAMH executive board do a fantastic job of running the station. I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank them for their hard work!

4. Ice on the Ground
On the way to the library to write this column, I slipped on ice on the ground and fell. This not only hurt physically, but also emotionally. I do not like ice on the ground.

5. Coffey and Gendron’s Email
The editorial in last week’s issue did a great job of addressing Suzanne Coffey and Dean Gendron’s email regarding the party policy; however, I wanted to briefly address one part of the email that particularly bothered me. Gendron and Coffey scolded us for taking the easy way out in blaming the administration for the social issues on campus. They certainly have a point — as has been noted often, in addition to criticizing the administration, Amherst students must also change their own behavior. However, I’d say that Gendron and Coffey are also taking their own easy way out by blaming us as students. Rather than the students and administration continuing to be at odds, both bodies should be looking inward to see how they can make positive changes.

6. TV Screen Outside of Val
Last time I wrote a list of “Things I Like or Don’t Like”, I noted that I didn’t understand the TV screen outside of Val. I would like to now say that I understand it. Having the list of events up there is a great way to advertise events without wasting paper. And the photos are still cool, I guess.

7. The New England Patriots Losing in the Super Bowl
As a New York Jets fan, I deeply, deeply despise the New England Patriots. Also as a Jets fan, I normally get very little joy from watching football, as the Jets are one of the most embarrassing sports organizations in the United States. However, one of the great joys I get to experience is watching the New England Patriots lose in the Super Bowl. This past Sunday was a truly joyful experience — until I realized that the Pats will probably just make it all the way back to the Super Bowl next year.