The Quest | The Free Press of Reed College

Thesis Christ! Mick Song: Are transposable elements our enemies, friends, or frenemies?


Ok, Mick. Give me second. What do you hate most about your thesis? Um, I feel like my thesis no longer reflects the person who I was when I chose to pursue this major. Intense. What would your thesis be if it was reflective of you now? It would probably still be about transposable elements. […]

Read More

Letter from Mike Brody to the Department of Education Regarding the Passage of Measure 91

To Whom It May Concern, In my capacity as Vice President and Dean of Students at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, I oversee professional staff, and collaborate with students and faculty colleagues to help foster a campus environment that supports our educational mission. That effort includes ongoing programs to prevent substance abuse, combat addiction, and […]

Read More

Gamergate Explained

In August of this year, a man named Eron Gjoni published a lengthy series of blog posts alleging that his girlfriend had cheated on him with five other men. Gjoni’s ex-girlfriend is the video game creator and developer Zoe Quinn—known for creating Depression Quest, a text-based game about falling into, and recovering from, depression. In […]

Read More

The Freshman Experience: All I Know is Nothing

When I was a kid—let’s go with circa third grade—I had a big thing for Lewis and Clark (the explorers, not our neighbors from across the river). Or at least my eight-year-old perception of Lewis and Clark. I’d spent my childhood hearing about explorers in the abstract, and then here were Lewis and Clark, bona […]

Read More

Strains of Vapyr: Week 11


SKYWALKER OG INDICA-DOMINANT HYBRID THC% N/A PURCHASED AT: N/A METHOD: Vape bowls, 1.1g joint, 2.8g joint TIME: 4:20PM, 8:30PM CONSUMED DAY OF, BEFOREHAND: Dabs MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT: “Take Care of Business” by Danger Mouse & Jemini A strong, obviously proud descendent of the mighty OG Kush and the less known but just as mighty among the […]

Read More

Introducing The Honor Chronicles

The Night Owls go out every weekend helping to make sure campus is safe, but at the end of the night, Reedies help Reedies all the time—often without any thanks or acknowledgment. We all have a responsibility to take care of each other, to build a safe community, and to teach each new generation of […]

Read More

Strains of Vapyr: On the Waning of Your Interest


There are two kinds of interest I mean. One is your interest in my articles, which may very well be waning as you think my humility might, though I cannot and will not speak anything against this lofty disinterest but will only let my words speak for whoever will accept them. The second kind, the […]

Read More

The Lutz Report

People criticize Reed a lot but it’s so much better than anywhere else but you don’t realize that until you go into the outside world and realize how awful it is. There are things you can talk about at Reed that you can’t talk about anywhere else just because of how shitty a society we […]

Read More

Interview with Adam Groce


  New to Reed, Adam Groce is a visiting professor in the Math Department. He currently teaches Math 121: Introduction to Computing and Math 387: Computability & Complexity. Now that you’re here, what do you think of the environment at Reed and the kind of students you’re seeing in your classes? It’s great. The students […]

Read More

Arbitrary Taste

Dear suppliant, Before I address the question that you did ask, I want to speculate on the questions that you did not ask. You are not wondering how to have a life while still having time to finish your work. You are not worried about filling your Maslow-ian needs while completing assignments of which you […]

Read More

Yes, But Is It Organic?

The marionberry picker located at Frank Meyer’s farm. Photo by Sally Turley.

Small Farmers Face Barriers in Embracing Organic Farming As a society we have effectively removed ourselves from where our food comes from. Since 1953, the percent of Americans that live on farms has decreased from 14 percent to 2 percent.  Through industrialization and urbanization, we have mechanized the food industry, removing ourselves from an integral […]

Read More

Bill Nelson ’62: The Men Behind the Books

Expert Trespasser, Folk Dancer, and Math Extrordinaire Bill Nelson has managed to be a master folk dancer, one of the most wanted (yet unorthodox) high school teachers, and an unprecedented bookseller, all while embodying his life philosophy of minimalism. As I sit down with Bill on the same porch he uses to display his books, […]

Read More

Art Exhibit Overview: Laura Heit’s “Two Ways Down”

Photo by CJ Davis.

Every summer the Edith Feldenheimer Gallery in the Studio Art Building invites an artist to display work in the student space. This year, Laura Heit, an animator and professor at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, was asked to install a recent work.  Heit’s work addresses topics ranging from the political to intimate spheres, (sometimes […]

Read More

An Elegant Weapon for a More Civilized Age


The pony-sized grey box with the words, “Rayjet: Just plug and ray!” written on it was not what I had in mind when I heard that Reed had just bought a laser. The 10.6 nanometer 80 watt C02 laser sitting in the Physics sub-basement is not some nuevo-diabolic weapon acquired by the school, but rather […]

Read More

When Sexual Intercourse Falls Short of Sex

What is sex? I am genuinely asking this question. I googled “Sex” but all I got was “Cosmo’s sex tips” (terrifying) and “sex videos, sex pictures” (interesting, but not very informative). Webster’s dictionary defines sex as “sexual activity, including specifically sexual intercourse.” This of course led me to look up “sexual intercourse,” which brought me […]

Read More

Strains of Vapyr: Week 9

PINEAPPLE INDICA-DOMINANT HYBRID THC% N/A PURCHASED AT: N/A METHOD: 1.8g joint. TIME: 7:25PM. CONSUMED OF, DAY BEFOREHAND: 1.3g joint, bong rips MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT: METHOD: 0.8g joint MUSIC: MUSIC:  “aisatsana” by Aphex Twin Pretty pretty nugs. They are very stereotypically indica-dominant-hybrid in that they are roughly indica in color, roughly sativa in shape, and roughly indica […]

Read More

Freshman Experience: The Rampant Self

I am writing this at 2 a.m. on a Monday morning. I was throwing a mini pity party outside and, as it happens at a small college, ended up running into a bunch of people I knew. I love 2 a.m. pity party meetings because most of the people you run into are in similar […]

Read More

Intro. to Music: Harmony and Chords

This is the second part of my series on basic music theory. If you want to, you can go to the Quest website ( and find the first part. Where we were last time: we have twelve pitches in the interval of an octave, and we can assign letter names to these twelve pitches, so […]

Read More

More CSOs Flying Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

On Director of Community Safety Gary Granger's map of campus, a cluster of green pins on the dorm MacNaughton marks of hotspot of marijuana-related AOD violations that have prompted extra patrols in the dorm.

The Reasons Behind the Extra Patrols Something is up in Asylum Block. The Community Safety Officers have been brightening Foster/Scholz/McNaughton far more frequently this year, as often as six times a day in recent weeks. We talk about it in passing in the common room. Visiting friends sometimes stop and ask us what’s up. It […]

Read More

The Ballad of the Wandering Vapyrist

Strains of Vapyr Week 8 Once, or twice, it may have been Upon a time or upon a whim That a wandering vapyrist was seen And all the Venti followed him Aeolus ushered forth the fire And he kept well his sacred craft And in the face of cold desire He exhaled, choking, as he […]

Read More

Homer’s: Get Some Dank in Your Tank

The solution to most of the problems that you could be faced with can be found inside the three walls and shelves that enclose Homer’s Hut.

You’ve been there before: it’s 2 A.M. and you either need sustenance, caffeine, or some sort of medicine because you feel like you’re dying. The solution to most of the problems that you could be faced with can be found inside the three walls and shelves that enclose Homer’s Hut. But Homer’s cannot be fully […]

Read More

Freshman Experience: First Weeks

Two nights before I went to Reed College, my best friend and I drove across Manhattan in the middle of the night. We bumped all the songs we’d been playing that summer and shared one of those last disgusting, unfiltered camel cigarettes. The night before I went to Reed, I walked four miles around my […]

Read More

Doug the Lichen – 11/22/13

Read More

Doug the Lichen – 11/15/13

Read More

Doug the Lichen – 11/08/13

Read More

Flavors of Donut: Voodoo Doll, Maple Blazer Blunt

maple blunt

By The Grange VOODOO DOLL DOUGHNUT, Donutus revengeus 0.0% THC—0.0%CBD—0.0%CBN—40%Fat—40%Sugar—20%Protein PURCHASED AT: Voodoo Too, 1501 NE Davis St., Portland, OR METHOD: Mastication TIME: 4:20 a.m. CONSUMED DAY OF, BEFOREHAND: Coffee, West African Vodun MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT: Voodoo Child (Slight Return), Jimi Hendrix No two voodoo dolls look exactly the same, but there is surprising consistency in […]

Read More

Strains of Vapyr: Pineapple Thai


By Dankretius A Lament From Dankretius To those who would oppose my art, Belittle and begrudge my words, And sever my broadsheet arms That once lived in 2-wide splendor, Make yourselves clearly known To the task I here attempt: One of observation and acute Focus, appreciation with reasoned Correlations, using a method Of judgment and […]

Read More

Strains of Vapyr: Durban Poison, Dogshitcherrypie, and Sour Diesel


DURBAN POISON (FLOWER) SATIVA ~PURE~ 21% THC–0.13%CBD~~0%CBN PURCHASED AT: Five Zero Trees, 10209 SE Division St #100, Portland, OR 97266 METHOD: 1.3g joint, vaporizer TIME: 5:33a.m. CONSUMED DAY OF, BEFOREHAND: a few ice wax dabs MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT: “Low and Easy” by Spoonbill This was intense. Perhaps due to the late hour in which this strain […]

Read More

Brutus Tells All


Colin Trevor (left) as Cassius and Andrew Watson (right) as Brutus. Photo by Stacia Torborg. Julius Caesar performs April 10, 11, and 12 at 7:30 in the PAB Studio Theatre. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Tickets are $3.00 can be reserved online at “Brutus is just as smart as Caesar. People totally like Brutus just […]

Read More

Julius Caesar: A Review

Red banners unfurl from the second level of the Diver Studio Theatre as platform-heeled Romans swarm the stage amid riotous shouts of “Caesar! Caesar!” The glamorous general himself, a Bowiesque Caesar played by Kevin Snyder, emerges with a flourish of confetti and purple sequins. His command is absolute, the crowd loves him, and they all […]

Read More

Herb of the Week: Nettle

“If they would eat nettles in March, and drink Mugwort in May, So many fine maidens would not go to the clay.” – Funeral Song of a Scottish Mermaid As promised, I bring you the first installment of Reed Apothecary’s Herb of the Week: Nettle, Urtica dioica. If you stopped by at Canyon Day last […]

Read More

Strains of Vapyr: Space Queen, Norwegian Kush, and Jack Herer


Surprisingly fruity for such a savory smelling bud when pulled through the whip of a nice vaporizer. Bowls that lasted for 3-6 tokes packed with other strains (on a below suggested temperature) last for 12-14 tokes with Space Queen even on a higher temperature, all without accumulating too much ashen plant matter, thus avoiding ash mixing with the vapyrs, a charred impression on the lips, and a smoker’s taste on the tongue.

Read More

VVeed: Literature and Relevancy

She went to bed high so that she wouldn’t dream. In the morning she woke up and looked at tweets on her phone in bed. After several minutes completely mediated by the screen, she thought: “Thats true” as well as “Not that profound”. Out of bed and looking into the refrigerator, she listens to Ira […]

Read More

VVEED: An Introduction

Weed, the “every day” term for a “variety of senses” is a surprisingly flexible concept, (can lead to confusion) and no one minds the blanket term, Weed. It’s all about not being like other plants in the garden. This very special [flower] is can a nonically, almost (meta)physically unwanted, (ex: is an accepted weed still […]

Read More

An Obscure Home for Advanced Computation

center for advanced computing slider

Tucked on the outskirts of Reed’s campus, past the DoJo and the Arts building, sits a modest, seemingly displaced house. Set apart from the neighborhood surrounding Reed, its purpose is unclear; a sign on the front of the house reading “Center for Advanced Computation” is the only indication of its status as Reed’s computer science […]

Read More