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Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

What’s up daddies and children of daddies. Have you ever read The New York Times and thought, “Okay, but I wish this pertained to me specifically.”
Well look no further, dear and valued reader. It’s us, your past, present, and future favorite news source: Skidmore Unofficial. Due to a brief hiatus, you are either too senile to remember us or too young to know who we are. Our noble mission is to bring you, the skidmore student, the fun, sexy scoop on everything (and we mean everything) going on on and near our beautiful, fugly campus. This coverage is including but not limited to: concerts, club performances, speakers, open mics, comedy, campus events, sporting events, and whatever else we think you delicious skanks desperately need to know about. We pledge to maintain the highest journalistic and moral integrity while reserving the right to goof. Read to keep up with campus goings-ons, read to tell your friends that you read something today, or read because we seem like we might secretly be cute and you want to have a talking point if you ever meet us around campus.

Saratoga’s Caffè Lena Featured In New York Times

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Saratoga Springs’ own Caffè Lena is getting a lot of a buzz lately due to a recently released ethnographic book entitled “Caffè Lena: Inside America’s Legendary Folk Music Coffeehouse,” written by Jocelyn Arem ’04. The book tracks the folk legacy of Caffè Lena through oral histories, photos, and a CD box set audio archive, featuring the likes of Don McLean, Arlo Guthrie, and Bob Dylan strumming at Lena’s humble open mics when nobody knew their names.

Yesterday the New York Times published a piece promoting Arem’s book and celebrating the history of Caffè Lena, claiming it “Folk Music Heaven.” They went on to say of the multi facets of the book, “together they make a case for the club as a landmark outpost of folk music in America, and for [Lena] Spencer as a sharp-eyed and nurturing force for the music.”

Click to continue »

Skidmore Sees MASSIVE Increase in Freshman Applications

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Skidmore spreadshitting all over the competition

Remember back when you were applying to college and you came to visit Skidmore? You oohhed and aahhed at the palatial dorm room your tour guide brought you to (Your mom: “So much floorspace!”). You salivated at D-Hall’s myriad options, each unique in its own delicious way (Your mom: “They’ve got a GREAT salad bar here!”). You saw intrepid art majors, frazzled and hard at work in a wonderfully messy studio (Your mom: “Ceramics sure looks like it could be fun!”). Then, you marveled at the gleaming gymnasium and verdant athletic fields (Your mom: “Maybe you’ll be able to swim laps before class?”).

Ah, memories of a tranquil youth; dreams of what might have been.

According to The New York Times, Skidmore received 8,126 college applications for Fall 2013, a 42 percent increase from last year’s 5,706 applications. Those numbers mark the greatest percentage increase among the colleges listed in the article.


What’s going on here? Has Skidmore officially jumped the shark? Should we be scared? The way I see it, there are two possible reasons: admissions is REALLY lowering the bar (“Don’t like filling out the Common App, prospective student? WELL IT’S OPTIONAL”), or we’ve suddenly become the hippest school in the country. Either way, I think it’s clear that we’ll soon be inundated with morons or losers or both. It’s like the first step towards full-on gentrification.

(via The New York Times)

STERNWATCH: Steve Stern Making Moves

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Steve Stern is not actually a cartoon

Skidmore creative writing professor Steve Stern is having a pretty big week.

Two days ago, he wrote an article for NPR’s “You Must Read This” series about Frank Stanford, a somewhat forgotten Southern poet who penned the 15,283-lined, unpunctuated epic poem The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You in 1977, a year before his suicide. Stanford’s story is fascinating, and Stern describes The Battlefield as “a great Southern gothic fun house illuminated by lightning.” Cool stuff.

Also, Stern’s latest collection of short stories, The Book of Mischiefwas recently named one of 100 notable books of 2012 by The New York Times Book ReviewFellow novelist and Times critic Nathaniel Rich lauded the collection when it was published back in September.

Hey, mazel tov, Steve!

Steve Stern Collection Praised by Times

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

What a mensch

Steve Stern—creative writing professor and walking kvetch—recently published a collection of short stories titled The Book of Mischief, and it’s now getting some really great press.

Novelist Nathaniel Rich writes in The New York Times:

“Some of the stories have the density and formlessness of mystic texts, drifting on long after the premise has resolved itself. But if this is a flaw it is one of overexuberance. You have the sense, reading Stern, that he loves his creations too much to let them go. As “The Book of Mischief” makes clear, Stern is one of our most joyful writers. Though his characters may be prone to despair and disappointment, his vision of the world — and “the other world” — is resolutely affirmative.”

Steve Stern will be back on campus to teach in the spring. Tell him you read and enjoyed his book if you want to make him uncomfortable.

French Prof Jaouad in NYT Video: “Love in the Time of Cancer”

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Skidmore Professor of French Hédi A. Jaouad briefly appears in and introduces a short New York Times video in a series called “Life, Interrupted,” about his daughter’s battle with leukemia. Suleika Jaouad’s video in the Health section of the NYT documents the effects of her cancer on her relationship with her boyfriend. I don’t know much about relationships or unregulated cell growth, but I know a lot about watching videos on the internet and this one really touches the heart and maybe will make you loudly wonder who has been cutting onions.


Pulitzer Winning NYT Journalist to Speak

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Is it just me or does he look kind of embarrassed to be holding a Pulitzer?

This Saturday at 2pm, journalist Danny Hakim will speak in Emerson, courtesy of Saratoga Reads. Hakim is the New York Times Albany Bureau chief, and was a member of the team that won a 2009 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Eliot Spitzer sex scandal. Personally, I think it’s bullshit that the person who wrote this Post headline didn’t win, but whatever.

I bet this guy has some crazy shit to say about the New York State Legislature, and he probably knows a funny story or two about Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Saturday, March 31 @ 2pm in Emerson Auditorium
Free and open to the public

Film Forum Screens “Page One”

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

“Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times” will be screened this week at the film forum. The director, Andrew Rossi, was given access to the newsroom of the New York Times and followed reporters working at the Media Desk, a department specifically created to grapple with the changing media industry.

Last spring, to the dismay of English majors everywhere, the New York Times instituted a paywall limiting access to online content. The move seemed overdue, the stock prices of the New York Times Company have fallen steadily since 2004. The move appears to be working.

If you want to learn about the future of print media or if you’re interested in the company that sends stacks of papers to campus each day, make sure to get down to the Film Forum. On Thursday night there will be a panel featuring Barbara Lombardo (Managing Editor of the Saratogain), Rex Smith (Editor of  the Times Union) and Jeff Goodell (local writer).

Check out the trailer
Thursday @ 7:30
Friday @ 7:30
Sunday @ 7:00

India Sends Us Best and Brightest, We Send Them Back English Majors

Monday, October 17th, 2011

For anybody into it, the Times recently had an interesting article on the international politics of higher education. In India, due to the flawed admissions process, an enormous applicant pool, and an absurdly rigid university system, more and more high school students are applying to American schools.

American colleges seem to be equated with “safety schools” among the Indian upper- and middle-classes. Still, many are drawn to the “intellectual freedom of an American liberal arts education.” In prestigious Indian universities, humanities are generally dismissed, while “economics, commerce, engineering and medicine have a certain cachet.” There is a complete lack of mobility within one’s major beyond 11th grade, and the actual admissions examination leaves many students “traumatized.”  I didn’t particularly enjoy my college process, but “traumatizing” is not the first word that comes to mind. “Pain-in-the-ass,” maybe.

The article also includes the best quote ever:

“If somebody majors in English here, it’s like, ‘O.K., she’ll get married,’ ” said Ms. Sachdeva.

Oh, if only it were so easy here! What I would do to have some handsome, strapping pre-med sweep me off my useless, new historicist feet.

Sandy Baum in the New York Times

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Yesterday, economics professor emerita Sandy Baum was featured in the Times’ “Room for Debate.” The topic of discussion is whether Rick Perry’s call to reduce the cost of a four-year college degree to $10,000 is feasible, and Baum has some pretty insightful (if fairly obvious) things to say on the subject.

College is not the only thing people struggle to pay for or question paying for. Why does The New York Times charge for news? Shouldn’t everyone have access to the best possible coverage of world events? How could it hurt The Times if more people read their expert coverage?
But of course someone has to pay or there won’t be expert coverage. And someone has to pay or there won’t be the excellent teaching and mentoring we need — or the development of knowledge and ideas so fundamental to providing education.

Real talk! Although Skidmore tuition tends to verge on astronomical, it seems clear that cutting costs to the point that Perry proposes would drastically decrease the quality of a college education. Plus, I’m not sure Rick Perry is the best suited person to fix the myriad problems in American academia.

Read the whole discussion here.