Before Polina Barskova began to read her poems this past Sunday afternoon at the Jones Library in Amherst, she said something very wise: “Poetry is not to be understood but to be dealt with.” This comment proved to be especially fitting, at least for me, as she continued to read three of her wonderful poems in the original Russian — a language completely foreign to me — along with the accompanying English translations.

Every year, the Oscar-nominated animated shorts present a pool of feelings. Each piece accentuates and lingers on a certain aspect of the human condition, and watching all in succession leaves a lively feeling brimming in the viewer. The directors strategically use color, form of animation and voice to explore subjects that almost require deviation from real life to begin to adequately express what they want to portray in their work in such a short glimpse.

Sit-ins and protests are not new to the College. Following the recent dialogue between students, faculty and the administration during the walk-out last week in solidarity with those affected by the Executive Order that targets nationals of Muslim-majority countries, I’ve decided to recover a past instance, about half a century ago, in which students also urged the administration to respond to politics. In the November 2, 1967 issue of The Student, Tim Hardy ’69 covered the Val sit-in to block a U.S. Army recruiter during the Vietnam War:

We all know that the beautiful Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar this past Sunday, an achievement long-sought after by both himself and by his fans. And while his animalistic acting skills in “The Revenant” should certainly be acknowledged, there are many categories in the Academy Awards outside of “Best Actor” and “Best Picture” that do not receive the attention they deserve, and among these are the animated shorts.