The Quest | The Free Press of Reed College

BLESS DA 40oz: A History

Perhaps the most difficult transition to college life for me was the sudden lack of my favorite malt liquors: where had the West Coast hidden the St. Ides and Private Stock I knew and loved back East? In their place I found Steel Reserve, as well as the familiar Colt 45 and OE, but these were small comforts.

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Fellowships: The Top 10 Questions list

So, you’ve heard about Fellowships, but never really thought about how they might be relevant to you. This article will address the top questions that you never knew to ask. Curious? Interested but overwhelmed? Inspired? The Fellowships’ Adviser is here to help you navigate the process!  10.  What’s the point? Fellowships provide opportunities for you […]

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A Postcard from Thesis Hell

Okay, Reed, I really need talk to you. About a girl. Her name is Thesis. Jeez, just thinking about Thesis gets me all excited, but, like there’s a problem. I’ve been calling it my Thesis problem. We started dating at the beginning of last semester, and we’ve been trying to have sex for, well, most of that time, and it just hasn’t ever worked out. I mean, the mutual active consent is all there, you know, like, we’re down to fuck each other. It’s just that, see, the problem is, like, I just…fuck, I’ll just say it: I can’t find her vagina.

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Bar Reviews: Church & The Lutz

The location sucks. Nestled in the triangular no-man’s land created by the intersection of the Banfield Expressway (I-84, for the unitiated) and NE Sandy, Church faces the single most saddest distribution plant (Pepsi Cola, to be exact) I have ever seen, period. A strange entity in this desolate area, Church draws a quasi-yuppie, liberal elite crowd that has a penchant for wool herringbone trousers and cordovan wingtips–and for good reason.

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Tea Bus Brews Harmony


A small school bus attracted curious passersby on Monday, from its spot on the corner of the Quad. A sign that read “Free Tea” convinced them to climb inside. Thirty-year-old Colorado College graduate Guisepi Spadafora has been serving free tea out of his bus (named Edna Lu) for five and a half years. He says […]

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Jerg’s Math Column: General Stuff

In this weekly column, Josh will talk about interesting math concepts that we all can enjoy. Central to the practice of mathematics is the notion of generality: after noticing a pattern that happens in two different things, one will attempt to articulate this pattern, which will allow you to talk about the pattern in general. […]

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Thesis Christ! Sammi Massey

Religion major Sharon (aka Sammi) Massey thinks that the scholarship on Syrian Jews in New York City has been missing a large chunk of historical analysis. She had heard and read in popular media about this community of Syrian Jews being fiercely insular, but these observations did not line up perfectly with what her Syrian […]

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Gallery Returns to Soviet Era

For the past few weeks Soviet propaganda posters and films have filled the Cooley Gallery. Images of Comrade Lenin, framed by calls to revolution and unity, line the walls as part of the latest exhibition, “Reality Principle: Construction of a New Life”, which explores the idea of the “new Soviet citizen” through graphic arts and […]

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Thesis Christ! Andrew Watson

Income inequality in the United States has been on the rise since the mid-1980s. Until that point, the gap between the rich and the poor had been slowly declining, as it had been theorized it should by Simon Kuznets in the 1950s. According to Kuznet’s theory, income inequality rises rapidly when an economy is developing, […]

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Language Scholar Profile: Matías Borg Oviedo

Putting its poshness and hotel-esque interiors aside, Reed’s Spanish House is one of the few language houses with two language scholars. This week, The Quest decided to interview Matías Borg Oviedo, one of this year’s two Spanish Scholars to get to know him a little better.   Q: Where are you from? Have you ever […]

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Thesis Christ! Patrick Sadil

Disembodied Singing Frogs Central pattern generators are clusters of neurons that allow an organism to sustain rhythmic behavior. Any activity that needs to be turned on, modulated, or just left on without conscious upkeep is controlled by these generators like a heartbeat that, though it speeds up and slows down throughout the day, must be […]

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Charlie’s Cultural Calendar: November

November 3 Concert – Death w/P.r.o.b.l.e.m.s., Vultures in the Sky @ Branx Concert – Mazzy Star w/The Entrance Band, Mariee Sioux @ Crystal Ballroom This could be a hard choice for some people, choosing between two acts that have come back to life to newfound fame in the case of Death, or welcoming arms, in […]

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Thesis Christ! Nathan Eisenberg

Modularity of Neural Plasticity In order to become a licensed London Taxi driver, one must acquire “the Knowledge” of London’s myriad grid of streets. The process usually takes three to four years, with the trainees having to pass a number of tests. The brains of those who do well on the tests and become licensed […]

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Language Scholar Profile: Anna Amelyanchik


Behind the scenes in classrooms and the Language Houses, Reed’s resident language scholars add a layer of depth and authenticity to the school’s language department. These individuals work with students and professors to help students develop their language skills. Anna Amelyanchik, this year’s Russian Language Scholar, shared a bit about herself with The Quest.  First […]

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Thesis Christ! Aya Maguire

Feces Christ

Mapping Dark Matter Using Gravitational Lensing What we traditionally think of as matter, what we can see and touch, is really only about 5% of all matter in the universe.  The scientific community refers to this as baryonic matter, and in recent years has been able to conclude that the remaining matter in the universe […]

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Thesis Christ: Shantanu Chatterjee

When we talk about things that we must do, we are talking about actions that are prescribed. What is it that prescribes these actions? In philosophical literature, people refer to norms and normativity to explain why it is that people do what they do. It is a topic of debate in the field of legal […]

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Thesis Christ: Wendell Britt

Following the Chinese cultural revolution of the 1980s, an avant-garde literature movement emerged. Linked with postmodernism, it was “a literary Renaissance in which writers were experimenting because they could for the first time,” says Chinese Literature major Wendell Britt. His thesis, advised by Alexei Ditter, will focus on a number of short stories by Yu […]

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MFNW: Barely Remembered, Barely Reviewed

Musicfest NW has the well-earned reputation for being Portland’s resident music festival, the only event truly worthy of PDX’s music-heavy culture. Around Reed, it has a somewhat different reputation: that thing with the bands that you want to see but you can’t because it’s the fucking first week of classes and you have to read […]

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From the Archives: Living in an Apple Paradise

In 1988, computers were still a new and frightening invention, and an article in that year’s student handbook reflected the social castigation that computer users might have faced in that dark, dark era of Reaganomics. It’s almost as if 2001: A Space Odyssey actually took place, and “Apple Macintosh” is the black monolith that appeared […]

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Theory in Practice: Linkages Between Performing Arts and Political Science

Reed’s new preforming arts building may have unforeseen benefits, especially for the Political Science Department. Thursday night, guest speaker Dr. Emily Beausoleil presented her work on the contingency of political receptivity on somatic cues that may actually be harnessed, the same cues that dancers, performers, and movement therapists depend on. The night began with a […]

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Math Column: Seven 8 Nine

How many numbers are there? Suppose that I am trying to figure out if I have the same amount of red and blue jellybeans. How should I go about this? I could count them: get the number of red and blue beans, and compare the two numbers. This is easy for a small amount; say, […]

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Bill Cronon: Disciplines in Dialogue

Bill Cronon

“William Cronon is the foremost environmental historian of our time,” President John Kroger said last Wednesday evening. “He put the field on the map.” Kroger had nothing but high praise for Bill Cronon when he introduced the guest lecturer in Vollum Lecture Hall. Cronon came to Reed to give back-to-back lectures through the Greenberg Distinguished […]

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Thesis Christ: Brian Moore

Brian Moore

Economics major and and former Student Body President Brian Moore wrote his thesis on government policy change and whether or not this effects investments made by manufacturing companies. In times of economic downturn, Moore says, many say that the government should not try to change policy, as this creates an uncertain economic environment that possibly discourages investment. For instance, “if you’re a small manufacturer, and the government is considering regulating your industry, you’re less likely to invest until you know how that regulation is going to look, or how that regulation might effect you as a firm.”

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Reed Students Burrow into Bowels of Bins for Fashion Tumblr

Reedies have a unique approach to fashion. If someone were to sit in commons for any amount of time, they would see the whole gamut of styles, from the monochromatic minimalists to the flamboyantly patterned dandies, from the sweatshirts of the Rugby bros and the robes of the Tir Na Nog-ites to the planned-out and […]

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Thesis Christ: Clara Redwood


Clara Redwood’s ’13 thesis: “Creating Origami Crease Patterns for Curved 3 Dimensional Objects.”   Clara Redwood’s ‘13 thesis desk is littered with origami paper. Clara, the only girl who is strictly a math major in her class, is writing her thesis with Math Professor Irena Swanson on folding algorithms. Clara, of Buffalo, New York explains […]

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Eileen Myles: Laughter and Short Poems

Eileen Myles

“If you were waiting for the poem, that was it,” said Eileen Myles after reading the two lines of her poem, “Tree,” to open last Thursday night’s poetry reading. The comment was met by laughter from 60 or so people gathered in the Eliot Chapel, and set the precedent for an unpredictable hour of poetry, […]

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Thesis Christ: Frank Sosa

Frank Sosa

Eight years ago, scientists at Yale University tested seven capuchin monkeys to see whether they deviated from a basic economic theory: that, when faced with an economic choice, humans (or, in this case, primates) will act rationally. Unsurprisingly, they did. But the important finding from the study was that the capuchin monkeys deviated from the […]

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A Portrait of the Idiot as a Younger Idiot: Grunks, Skunks, and Brunks

A tale told by two idiots, with the sound – if not the fury – of the manic frustrations that face our generation,  A Portrait of the Idiot as a Younger Idiot ran last weekend. Kyle Giller ’13 starred as the younger idiot, after writing the play last semester. Funny and self-referential, the production was […]

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A Reedie – and an Officer-in-Training

Carlo D'Amato

Six days a week, Carlo D’Amato ’16 attends Hum and lives at Reed like any other freshman. But every Tuesday, he spends eight hours at the University of Portland for Air Force Reserve Officer Corps Training. His weekly training involves a combination of drills, physical fitness training, and leadership activities. Reed graduates and Air Force […]

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A Tour of Reed’s Secret Garden


Behind an innocuous door on the top floor of the Biology building is a state-of-the-art, 1,000 square foot, climate-controlled greenhouse. The greenhouse is warm and humid, with sliding tables on which small plants are beginning to grow, and orange lights illuminate the rooms day and night. Biology Professor David Dalton has been working at Reed since 1987 and has born witness to many of the changes to the greenhouse over the years. He says the greenhouse was originally just a “south-facing room” with cement benches that was built along with the Biology building in the 1950’s. The structure stayed the same until more additions were made in 1990. In 2001, with the renovation of the Biology building came a further expansion of the greenhouse and the “state-of-the-art” setup students enjoy today. The greenhouse now has four main rooms, and the lighting, temperature, and cooling are all controlled by a central computer.

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Reed Sees More Post-Docs in Past Two Years

Leigh Latta post doc

The number of post-docs in Biology, Phycology, and Chemistry at Reed increased over the past two years, but their presence remains largely unnoticed. There are currently four post-docs, and one more is expected to arrive by April.

At Reed, Post-docs act as liaisons between students and facility, especially in the realms of research. In contrast, post-docs in research universities primarily deal with pursuing their own research to develop skills needed for their profession. While at Reed, the post-doc experience is non-traditional, as greater interaction with undergrads creates a mentor-mentee relationship.

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Department Associate Gives Physics A Different Slant of Light

Jay Ewing

Winter in Portland can make the entire campus feel like a monochromatic haze. But Jay Ewing, who is a Physics Department associate, uses a D.I.Y. full-spectrum lighting fixture to combat the malaise of the darker months. All intro physics students pass through Ewing’s lab, and many leave with a greater and more practical understanding of […]

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Meet Reed’s 21st Century Telephone Operator

Sunday nights, Eva Wiedmann sits in the library on one of the couches and compiles Missed Connections. She’s been in charge of the fate of the romantic longings, lost items and swap of belongings of Reed students since the beginning of this year. She says she likes being insider to the communication needs of the […]

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Thesis Christ: Heidi Whitehouse ‘13

Heidi Whitehouse

In the Congo in the time of King Leopold II, Belgian colonists and companies brutally exploited indigenous Congolese peoples in the name of “civilization.” Such is the premise of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, a Victorian-era novella that is touted in academic circles as a scathing criticism of racist imperialists. But with her thesis, Heidi Whitehouse ’13 points out that Conrad’s novella may not be as anti-racist as academics are prone to believe—and that, in fact, Conrad’s language bolsters the racist language of the Victorian Era.

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Thesis Christ: Harry Fukano ‘13

In the 1840s, Ireland experienced a potato famine that wiped out one-eighth of its population and displaced another fifth. According to one thesising senior, the heavy impact of Irish displacement, combined with Irish nationalism, had an unexpected effect on the American Civil War. Harry Fukano ’13, from Los Angeles, California is writing his 90-page History […]

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