Belle and Sebastian “Write About Love” in New Album

Almost five years since Glasgow twee-pop band Belle and Sebastian released their seventh studio album, they have pushed themselves off the backburner and back into the limelight with Write About Love.

The album, quite unmistakably, is an ode to love itself. However, it nonchalantly avoids being a raging cliché, full of sweet nothings and flowers and rainbows.

The septet has developed a very polished, smart concept that still manages to be edgy and fun.

Rather than focusing on falling in love, the album focuses on growing in love: from friendship, to infatuation, to love, to heartbreak.

It acknowledges all of the many baby steps that are a huge part of love of any kind, and the fact that each step can change your life.

The major them was that love teaches you so many things in life, and can inspire you in so many ways – even at points when it walks away from you.

Belle and Sebastian’s sound itself hasn’t faltered; front man Stuart Murdoch continues to take center stage with his smooth vocals, and the drumline and guitar parts have the same heavy riffs that they have in the past.

What sets Write About Love apart from Belle and Sebastian’s other seven studio albums is how the band has flawlessly managed to pull inspiration from each of their previous releases.

There are moments throughout the album where you can cite similarities between it and any other album of theirs – but the sound is still so fresh.

After twelve years as a band, Belle and Sebastian has proved that age isn’t anything but a number, and that they can manage to keep getting better with time.

Sustainability Brings Out the Bargain-Hunter

On Oct. 20, college campuses all over the nation celebrated Campus Sustainability Day, a day devoted to emphasizing the green initiative on college campuses.

When asked about what makes a college sustainable, Sustainability Fellow Elizabeth “Lisa” Neu, ‘10, said “the college administration, staff, faculty and students all work together to reduce our impact on the environment and promote awareness about environmental issues.”

A sustainability committee, though only four years old, has been hard at work making our school more environmentally friendly.

This year, they put their own spin on Campus Sustainability Day by holding various events during the day, including a viewing of the documentary Tapped, and handed out 50 stainless steel reusable water bottles.

However, the main attraction was the Campus Free Market, where students could drop off their unwanted belongings, as well as pick up other students’ for free.

Even though it was a cold, rainy day, many students came to the event. Besides students offering free goods at the free market, the campus farm also provided free food, and the bike shop provided free bicycle tune-ups.

Sophomore Jocelyn Baltz said, “The free food was really good, and I signed up for the campus farm mailing list. [The free market] was a really cool idea!”

According to senior Chelsea Howard-Foley, the associate sustainability fellow, “The free market decreases the things we buy, and helps us become more sustainable. If we don’t have use for something we have, someone else might.”

“College students are the future,” said Neu. “College is a time full of new ideas and new changes, so why not include green changes too?”

Though developing a truly green, sustainable campus is a long process and doesn’t happen overnight, Neu said there are lots of things students can do to be more environmentally friendly.

For example, Neu said “Use energy wisely…don’t just wash one t-shirt in the machine at a time.” She also suggested composting, using energy-efficient light bulbs, and recycling.

Baltz said “I’m very into recycling, and think it’s a great, easy thing to do to improve sustainability on campus.”

“As college students, we have a lot of privilege and education and it’s our responsibility to do something with that,” Howard-Foley said. “[I]t’s not just about campus sustainability on one day. We need to work towards it year round.”

Field Hockey Dominates Fall Season From Start to Finish

With a strong 6-1 record at the start of the season, the St. Mary’s Women’s Field Hockey team has been in it to win it from the beginning. And as the season comes to a close, their drive is far from fading.

After starting the season winning 4-1 over Goucher College, the Seahawks continued to make waves in games against Johns Hopkins University (with a stunning overtime win), Virginia Wesleyan College, York College, and Stevenson University.

After a difficult game against Eastern Mennonite University resulting in a 2-0 loss, the Hawks brought themselves back to life as they went up against the University of Mary Washington. After a scoreless first period, the second period seemed like it would yield a similar outcome. But with less than two minutes remaining, sophomore Brooke Masimore scored her first goal of the season with an assist by sophomore Natalie Hackstaff, ending the game with a 1-0 win.

Though the Hawks lost in overtime against Lynchburg College, the team held their own for the entire game, proving that they were capable of victory and a spot in the playoffs.

As the Seahawks get ready for the Semi-Finals with an 11-5 record, Coach Katie Lange is ready to lead her team to victory. “Our game on Tuesday [against East Mennonite] wasn’t our best, but on Saturday and Sunday [versus Mary Washington and Lynchburg] we really started playing to our potential. They were extremely competitive games, and we improved a lot.”

First-year defense player Emily Stumme is new to the team, but has an objective outlook on their performance. “We came out way stronger in the Lynchburg and Mary Washington games than against EMU. [During the last two games] we started to play our game better and click in terms of what we needed to work on.”

Since the team has a bye in the first round of playoffs, they have a long break before their next game. “[The team] just has to keep pushing; we know what to expect and what the other teams are going to do [since we’ve already played them], so now we just have to know what we should do to end up victorious,” said Coach Lange.

“The team has risen to their expectations, and I’m very proud of them.”

Stumme has high hopes for the semi-finals. “[I’d love] to win and make it to finals,” she said. “Hopefully just playing our game will be enough to bring us to a win!”
“We’ve got a great group of girls this season,” said Assistant Coach Josh Hunter, now in his second season with the team. “It’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of pain, but that’s why we’re awesome.”

Repurposed Land to Improve Pollution Control

Some of you may have seen what appears to be the mulched pond outside of the Campus Center and wondered what exactly it was, or what purpose it was serving. And now, there is an explanation: it’s a rain garden.

Professor Jackie Takacs, of the Environmental Science program, is heading this project. She explains that a rain garden is “a shallow depression that captures stormwater runoff, and filters out sediments and nutrients that would otherwise end up in our waterways and pollute them.” Thus, it will help out the St. Mary’s River, Potomac River, and the Chesapeake Bay.

The area where the rain garden is being started was chosen because the space was designated to hold water, so the depression was already made. The garden itself is low-maintenance, requiring “minor seasonal deadheading and weeding” according to Takacs.

Takacs decided to make the rain garden project a part of her ENST-450 class (Environmental Science for the K-8 Classroom) because they are “great outdoor projects that teachers and students can do together.”

Students in Takacs’ class are also very excited about becoming a part of this project. Amanda DeLand, a senior, is really enjoying the experience. “I like choosing the plants and things that are to be planted in the garden,” she says. “There’s a lot that goes into choosing which plants to put where, but I like choosing and planning out the native species to go into the garden.”

DeLand agrees that the rain garden will be beneficial in many ways to St. Mary’s, both environmentally and cosmetically. She explains, “The rain garden will definitely make the campus more attractive. The mulch pond [that it used to be] was just so pointless and out of place. It’ll give visitors a better impression of us.”

Students, Parents Find Plenty to Do at This Year’s Family Weekend

Professor Dave Kung (right), holding his Boat Race victory check. (Photo by Ryan Gugerty)
Professor Dave Kung (right), holding his Boat Race victory check. (Photo by Ryan Gugerty)

The weekend of Oct. 1-3, families of St. Mary’s students came to St. Mary’s City for a few days of food, fun, festivities, and quality time. Parents and siblings spent time walking around campus, seeing all the sights and learning more about where their children live and learn.

Hawktoberfest was also happening at the same time, which is an athletics event that features lacrosse, tennis, soccer, swimming and baseball games, many against alumni.

Families got to enjoy all of the various booths and sporting events. There were also river cruises, tours of Historic St. Mary’s City, and a reception with President Joseph Urgo.

First-year Alli Berg participated in the Ultimate Frisbee match against the alumni. She said, “it was a lot of fun playing against people I have never met, but I still felt a great bond with all the players.”

Besides enjoying the Frisbee match, Alli also had a great time with her parents. “Seeing my family was pretty cool, I even got to eat real food [when I went out with them] – but no offense to the Great Hall!”

Also taking place this weekend was the Petruculli Memorial 5K Run/ Walk, an annual fundraising event for Saferide. Visitors were also able to visit the Boyden Gallery and attend a lecture by Professor Charles Adler on “The Atmosphere Exposed” exhibit, as well as a performance by Alberto Cesaraccio.

On Oct. 2, a new form of an annual tradition took place on the waterfront. In previous years, there have been races with cardboard boats. This year, however, an interesting modification was made to the tradition, turning it into the Great Bamboo Boat Race.

Bamboo is a more sustainable material, so it made for an environmentally friendly change, though a rather sudden one. Still, despite the change in tradition, spectators and competitors alike enjoyed the competition.

Senior Michael Cyrana built and raced a bamboo boat this year. In reference to the change of materials, he said it was “an interesting change, and it will be cool to see how everyone adapts to [using] bamboo this year.”

He added that the weekend as a whole was “busy but fun” for him and his family. His mother echoed the sentiment, and said “the highlight [of the weekend] was definitely the Bamboo Boat Race.”

Arcade Fire’s Third Album Lives Up to Expectations

Photo Courtesy of www.arcadefire.com
Photo Courtesy of www.arcadefire.com

Arcade Fire never fails to disappoint, and their third album The Suburbs is no exception. The seven-piece band, hailing from Montreal, has created an indie folk album that not only makes a statement, but also tells an incredible story.

Collectively, this album describes the feeling of complete disenchantment with suburbia; how it feels to be tied down by your surroundings and want to get out and experience the world without feeling so safe. But essentially, it’s all about growing up.

The Suburbs compares the youth of today with the youth of yesterday, and the expectations that have been set over time for kids – while still recognizing that things have changed and can’t go back to the way they were before.

As time passes, the things that kids experience as they grow up might change, but they want the same things: to grow up, to get out, to follow their dreams and take risks rather than take the easy way out.

This idea is developed gradually through each track, starting gentle and mellow, but building up to a heavier sound. However, the message never changes: it’s still all about the beauty and terror and magic of growing up.

All in all, The Suburbs provides such an honest outlook on the experience of youth and the road to maturity.

Not only is the sound infectious, but the statement it makes and the message it portrays make it a cut above many other albums released this year. Arcade Fire really hit the mark with this album – it’s definitely worth a listen!

ALUMNI LOUNGE PLANNED

The Rectory, planned building to house the Alumni lounge. (Photo by Kyle Jerrigan)
The Rectory, planned building to house the Alumni lounge. (Photo by Kyle Jerrigan)
In an attempt to more efficiently organize Alumni Relations while providing more comfortable accommodations for alumni returning to campus, renovations began over the summer on the Rectory, the center for returning alumni on campus.

For around six years, the College has leased The Rectory, a small, gray building next to Calvert Hall, from Trinity Church for office uses. However, the building itself is quite old, standing possibly 60-70 years, and was a crowded place for the work of the Alumni Relations office. The renovations, begun over the summer, serve as an attempt to transform the office spaces into suitable rooms and meeting areas for alumni, visitors, and partners.

“What I began to explore was how we could create that space,” said Maureen Silva, the newly-appointed Vice President for Development who proposed the idea of such a place for alumni. Silva and her staff, who had all originally worked in the Rectory, have been relocated to Calvert to work in the same building and make room for alums in the Rectory.

Charles “Chip” Jackson, the Associate Vice President of Planning and Facilities, stated that “it’s an importance of any college to foster strong ties to our alumni group,” and that creating a social gathering spot for alumni would be beneficial. The building would act as both an alumni affairs office, and a sort of living room, serving similar functions to alumni houses that can be found on other college and university campuses nationwide.

While most of the renovations involve replacing furniture, a major change to the Rectory was the addition of handicap-accessible bathrooms with ramps, making the space more appropriate for alums requiring such services.

“It’s nice to have a place you can go where you’re not intruding on classrooms,” said Joseph Urgo, President of the College, in reference to the functionality of the Rectory as an alumni space. “It is a base from which alums can do what they need, and look up other alums as well. They may come back for homecoming, vacations on the waterfront, or simply to show their children where they went to college, so a designated alumni area would be ideal and accommodating.”

Though Silva established that the alumni needed “a large place to call their own,” the Rectory will serve the community as well, functioning as a meeting place for other nearby organizations.

Alumni Relations is also planning future renovations to the Rectory as this project completes its final stages before the College’s Family Weekend in October. “When students become alums, we want to foster relationships with them,” Jackson said.

“The aim is to keep everyone coming back when they leave.”

Woodland Discovery Day Celebrates History of the Yaocomaco Indians

A demonstration on the creation of arrowheads and other tools. (Photo by Katie Henry)
A demonstration on the creation of arrowheads and other tools. (Photo by Katie Henry)
On Saturday, Sept. 11, students and visitors alike came to Historic St. Mary’s City to experience the Woodland Indian Discovery Day, a day of activities devoted to the history of the Yaocomaco tribe.

The Yaocomaco were a part of the Eastern Woodland Indians, and were the first group whom the Maryland settlers made contact with.

During the event, which has been going on since at least 1984, guests both old and young were able to discover how Woodland Indians such as the Yaocomaco were able to live comfortably off all of the natural resources around them.

There were various demonstrations, such as shaping canoes with fire, curing deerskins, making clay beads, and building Indian houses.

Guests were invited to take their turn at many of the tasks as well, trying out the skills that the Woodland Indians used to support their way of life.

“A lot of people enjoy watching and being a part of the traditional Native American dancing and songs”, said Coby Treadway, supervisor of the Historic St. Mary’s City Museum. “[I like] having all the different presenters with all their different skills, and watching them teach other people.”

The day proved to be a positive experience for many people, including St. Mary’s students.

“[Woodland Indian Discovery Day] worked as a fifth hour activity, and I’ve always been interested in learning more about the Native Americans from this area,” said First-year Nick Cook, “so it was a great opportunity to attend.”

The event ended at about 5 p.m., leaving its visitors happy and satisfied with all that they learned during the day.
It was both entertaining and educational, and needless to say, a success.