The Sycamore

September 15, 2010

at Naropa University
Vol. II No. 2

Selecting Jenevieve’s Replacement
Editorial Board

In the coming few weeks a hiring decision will be made to replace the outgoing Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Jenevieve Glemming, who is parting ways with Naropa effective October 1st of this year. This moment marks the conclusion of Glemming’s invaluable career at Naropa. It also represents an opportunity for students to outline what they expect of their next dean to the parties responsible for hiring her replacement, Vice President Cheryl Barbour and Dean Bob Cillo. Surveying the specific needs of our community, we’ve isolated the following items as must-haves for any worthy replacement: (1) extensive experience in higher education at a University other than Naropa; (2) a proven track record for creating leadership and community building opportunities for students; (3) significant training in handling sensitive matters related to diversity, and; (4) note-worthy experience in improving the efficiency of an administrative office. Experience in Higher Education: The Student Affairs Office is the main avenue of information and communication between the administration and students. Students walk through the doors of that office during moments of jubilation and crisis. In light of this, it makes sense for the Student Affairs Office to be composed of professionals with broad experience regarding a gamete of student issues. Therefore it is both important and necessary to note that no candidate should be selected for the job of Asst. Dean without extensive experience of direct interaction with university students. This experience should be accumulated from a career in higher education that does not include Naropa as a resume item. Our position is that Naropa needs to diversify its human capital portfolio. While there maybe value to familiarity, hiring talented professionals from beyond the walls of our school adds to the collective intelligence of the administration. Moreover, the reality is that both our administration and students are stifled by a culture that too frequently looks inward for talent Moreover, the reality is that both our administration and students are stifled by a culture that too frequently looks inward for talent without seeking out the wealth of intelligence that exists in our greater community. Our new Asst. Dean should have a wealth of unique wisdom to im-

part, but equally, she or he must be unfamiliar enough to have something to learn. Track Record of Community Building: It is no secret that there is enormous room for improvement at Naropa as far as student leadership and community-building opportunities are concerned. Thus, it should be an obvious requirement for the new Asst. Dean to have a strong history of facilitating leadership and community enhancing opportunities for students. Practically speaking, the new Asst. Dean should be expected to make the Student Affairs Office into a resource for those that are seeking service-learning experiences. In a similar vein, this would also mean the Asst. Dean would work to empower the student government, United Naropa, to become an independent, democratically elected body that conducts its affairs removed from any administrative presence. Taken together, any addition to the Student Affairs Office must come equipped with the experience needed to guide students toward greater individual empowerment by way of community engagement. Diversity Training: Among the 23 university officials that were relieved of duty during this past summer was Naropa’s Diversity Advocate, Sandhya Luther. While the administration has professed its intent to move diversity into the forefront of all aspects of the institution through an “integrated diversity model,” at the present moment, there is no single official responsible for assisting students that come from underrepresented backgrounds. That being said, our next Asst. Dean should be capable of responding to concerns raised by students from said backgrounds, so that the current deficiency is effectively addressed. Enhancing the Student Affairs Office: As is the case with most existing bureaucracies, the implementation of administrative innovations and improvements are usually done in a reactionary fashion. With regards to our institution, we think it should be in the purview of the new Asst. Dean to proactively enact changes that result in a more streamlined Student Affairs Office. One notable example of a necessary improvement would be the development of a uniform disciplinary code, which would govern all of Naropa. Though restorative justice is touted as

Cover Art by Jillian Skalky

one of our university’s distinguishing features, it is in reality an inadequate student disciplinary system for two reasons. First, it only governs Snow Lion. Secondly, it operates in the realm of admitted culpability i.e., one accepts guilt before entering the forum. For a student judicial system to be just and reliable it must – like our country’s judicial system – be unbiased and function from an innocent until proven guilty vantage point. Currently, students subject to adjudication at Naropa must look to Dean Cillo as the ultimate authority. This, frankly, places too much power in the deanship, and is entirely inconsistent with the best practices used in higher education. Therefore,

our next Asst. Dean must be capable of designing an accountable and fair judicial system, which models the rule of law. We have confidence that responsible parties are capable of wisely select ing the next Asst. Dean of Student Affairs. However, the items discussed above should serve as immutable guidelines throughout the selection process.

Interested in joining The Sycamore’s all student staff ? Want to ask questions or share your feedback? If so, email us at: We would love to hear from you.

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The Sycamore

September 15, 2010

Director of Colorado’s Anti-Death Penalty Movement Speaks to Naropa
Rebecca Koval
Staff Writer This month, The Sycamore had the opportunity to intThis month, The Sycamore had the opportunity to interview Lisa Cisneros, Executive Director of Coloradans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (CADP). CADP is a non-profit organization that seeks to educate the public about the death penalty as well as push for anti-death penalty legislation. This September and October, CADP has partnered with the non-profit Witness to Innocence in order to bring three exonerated death row inmates to Colorado for a speaking tour. Randy Steidl, Derek Jameson, and Shabaka WaQlimi will be speaking at churches, universities, and community centers across the Denver Metro, Northern Colorado, and Boulder areas. We asked Lisa about the structure and history of CADP, its ongoing work, and the death penalty’s presence in Colorado. When and why did the organization start? CADP started in 1997 after the execution of Gary Davis who was the only prisoner executed in Colorado in 40 years. Father Jim Sunderland, an anti-death penalty activist started it because he realized that it needed to stop in Colorado after that. It’s evolved since then but it started out with about 30 people. Our number has grown to about 5000 since then. Our members are criminal defense attorneys, clergy, and teachers. Now we’re working to diversify and bring in some conservative members and people of color. The biggest change that has happened is that we now have a coalition, which was created last August. The name of it is CAEJ- Colorado Alliance for Effective Justice. The members of the coalition include CADP, public defenders, Catholic Churches, the ACLU, and Colorado Cure, who helps inmates and their families. We’ve also recently added the Interfaith Alliance and the NAACP, so it’s a big coalition of different organizations. The reason we did that is because we realized that we needed a grassroots movement. Also, it makes a bigger presence to the legislature. What has CADP been working on recently? Next week, on the 19th, Randy Steidl is coming to town and he will be speaking around the Metro area and in October, we’re having two other exonerees coming in: Shabaka WaQlimi and Derek Jameson. Shabaka WaQlimi spent 13 years on death row in Florida and was released about 20 years ago. Derek Jameson spent 20 years on death row in Ohio and he came within an hour of his execution. While he was in prison, he lost his mother, father, and most of his family because they all died. Derek was released 5 years ago and he really wants to get out there and start talking about the death penalty. He realizes that some people need to be in prison, but there’s no reason to kill them. What is your estimation of when Colorado will abolish the death penalty?
Lisa Cisneros Courtesy of Ms. Cisneros

people you say it to are your family, friends, your government officials; let them know. Otherwise, it’s not going to stop. Tour dates for the exoneree tour for the months of September and October are as follows: September 2010 Events with Randy Steidl 1. Sunday, September 19 - 11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon Glennon Heights Mennonite Church, 11480 W. Virginia Ave., Lakewood, CO 80226 2. Monday, September 20 - 7:00-9:00 p.m. Regis University Chapel, 3333 Regis Blvd., Denver, CO 80221 3. Tuesday, September 21 - 7:00-9:00 p.m. Northeastern Junior College, 100 College Ave., Sterling, CO 80013 4. Wednesday, September 22 - 7:00 p.m. Colorado Cure, 400 Corona St. (ACLU office), Denver, CO 80218 5. Wednesday, September 22 - 7:30-9:30 p.m. Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, 19099 E. Floyd Ave., Aurora, CO 80013 October 2010 Events with Shabaka WaQlimi & Derek Jameson 1. Sunday, October 17 - 9:30-10:30 a.m. Parkview Congregational Church, 12444 E. Parkview Dr., Aurora, CO 80011 2. Monday, October 18 - 12:00-1:30 p.m. Naropa University, 2130 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, CO 80301 3. Monday, October 18 - 7:00-8:30 p.m. Nothern Colorado Cure, Address TBA, Fort Collins, CO 4. Tuesday, October 19 - 7:00-8:30 p.m. Regis University Chapel, 3333 Regis Blvd., Denver, CO 80221 5. Thursday, October 21 - 7:00-9:00 p.m. Bookery Nook, 4280 Tennyson St., Denver, CO 80212

I would hope next year. We put a bill together in 2009 and it came within one vote of being passed so we know that the votes are on our side. We’re working hard to keep these votes the same but you just don’t know what’s going to happen until the day of the vote! But I would guess based on what I have seen that Colorado doesn’t have a taste for it. How do you think the death penalty affects society? When the death penalty reaches anybody it will affect their humanity. Prison guards house these guys for 20 years and they become friends and then the guards have to go kill them. I think that it affects jurors, who have to make that decision—it affects their soul by the time the trial and execution are over with. I know that it affects the defense attorneys. I think the prosecutors, the judges… anybody that touches it- it does something to them. I think that’s why it just needs to stop. There are other ways for people to be punished and I don’t think that killing them is it. What would you like Coloradans and Naropa students to know? Is there any message you would like to share? We would like people in Colorado to understand that there really is a death penalty. I was recently at the Cinco de Mayo festival running a table there and I heard most of the people that I spoke to say, “We have a death penalty in Colorado?” We need to educate the public, especially in Colorado where people don’t know that they have it. I was in Crested Bute late week and Sister Helen Prejean was there. She was giving her speech and she asked the audience questions and they didn’t know that we have three people currently on death row in Colorado. So those are the kinds of things that need to be publicized. My message to Naropa students is that you are citizens of the U.S and if you agree with us then you need to step up, commit your voice, and say this must stop. The

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The Sycamore

September 15, 2010

The Technology of Ongoing Support
Rob Baker
Contributing Writer Four hours after I’d landed in Port au Prince, Haiti, I was watching Carl “Doudou” Edouard frag other players in an online game of Call of Duty at his house downtown. It wasn’t the arrival I’d been expecting. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was late July, closer to eight months after the January 12th, 7.0 earthquake that leveled much the city and decimated surrounding towns, killing several thousands in an instant and hundreds more in its aftermath from injury and disease. Yet with all the international attention things had to be better by now, and by Doudou’s setup – a three story house, a nice truck, a fast com- Earthquake ruined streets in downtown Port-au-Prince Those were the moments that stayed with puter with electricity and an Internet connection to play it – maybe they were. me. We’d be in a car, music playing, it could be an afternoon anywhere and then we’d After playing for a while, Carl showed drive by a building, completely concrete, me photos from his LAN parties. Over completely flattened. Public buildings, a dozen guys piled into another room mostly likely with customers at the time. of his house, computers and network cables everywhere, playing games. He What I experienced – as an outsider – began to tell me who many of them were. was that one could break away from the shock and the get back to normal. “Yeah, who’s this guy over Just not for long. Brief periods of levhere?” I asked, pointing to some- ity frequently interrupted by the remindone I thought he’d overlooked. ers of not just what had happened and what was still happening for the thouHe paused and immediately I could sands of people living in over 1,200 tell why. “He didn’t make it.” Just camps still located all around the city. like that we’d lost the comfort of the game and that weight of that I got the sense Doudou was looking for earthquake, that tragedy, was on us. these moments as well. He worked for Solutions, a Haitian technology compamost part, it was coming along. Except when they were playing games on their iPhones. Still not what I was expecting. At first, it was frustrating. Trying to launch a new program, knowing how many were in tents and that the hurricane season was already upon us. Not getting all the support we needed, expecting them to put in the same long hours. We took our work seriously and, though they did manage to get things done, we wondered how much more we could be doing. But those were their moments: watching videos on YouTube, playing those Courtesy of Todd Huffman games, taking the time to have ny we’d identified as a viable partner to fun with the other developtake over the work we’d started in Janu- ers. Pretty soon, we came to accept it. ary: a system for tracking requests for After awhile, we began to understand it. emergency assistance and aid via SMS. If I learned anything from the experiI was there as part of an independent ence, it’s that the real goal in this work group out of Tufts University who had doesn’t just provide necessity. It reresponded to the earthquake within those stores normalcy. The freedom to play first critical hours. Using Ushahidi, a web a silly game or watch a movie withplatform able to receive, process, geo- out the constant concern of where the locate and, most importantly, get these next meal is coming from or how long SMS messages to first responders on the until they’d live under a roof again. ground. As soon as the cell networks were back online, so were the people, sending By the end of my time in Haiti, we did us requests by the thousands, everything manage to have a new site, ready to launch from water and shelter to alerts of people – certainly thanks, in the end, a monustill trapped underneath the buildings. mental effort from the Solutions team. In Haiti, like many other developing countries, cell phones are the most prevalent technology, with millions of subscribers over only tens of thousands with radios and TV. With cell phones in the hands of even those who cannot afford much else, with many houses lost and electricity unavailable, those phones became the lifelines of many who had lost everything else. Solutions had built a similar tracking and processing system as well, and Doudou and I, along with their other developers, sat together in the Solutions office implementing what we’d learned into their system. Our task was to rebuild it to make sure the local responders, the camp managers, the non-profit organizations, and even the UN were getting our reports and doing something about it. For the We’d established first responders to every category of request, making sure the messages we received had somewhere to go and a group to respond. We’d changed the SMS workflow into a local call center, providing structured data to NGOs and creating a few jobs. We left having accomplished what we could, not losing sight of the important work, but also making the time to remind ourselves why we were really there and what was possible. But few not last leaving without a games with Doudou.


Rob Baker is a Naropa alumnus who graduated in 2002 with degrees in Writing and Traditional Eastern Arts. He is an independent web developer who’s worked in Haiti, Africa, and the Middle East for non-profits and humanitarian missions all over the world. More about the technology and work in Haiti is available at

Severely damaged capitol building in Port-au-Prince

Courtesy of Todd Huffman

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The Sycamore

September 15, 2010

“Sleepover at Snow Lion” with Dr. Lord
Richard Bordoni Staff Writer
On Wednesday, August 25th President Stuart Lord hosted a “Sleepover with the President” in the Snow Lion housing complex. Starting at 6 pm, Dr. Lord held structured and unstructured discussions with residents in the courtyard of Snow Lion which lasted into the early morning on Thursday. This event was tailored by the President to open a face-to-face dialogue about topics relevant and important to students. Dr. Lord, who is nationally recognized as a leader in the areas of service learning and multicultural education, spent much of his time throughout the sleepover discussing his goals for Naropa as an institution as well as listening to students’ thoughts about important issues. Beginning with diversity, Dr. Lord led a dialogue with residents on the context of diversity at Naropa and beyond. On the subject matter, students expressed frustration about obvious lack of diversity on campus. Acknowledging the evident racial and ethnic reality of the community today, Dr. Lord answered students by promising that actions were being taken to address these issues. Examples of planned improvements on diversity mentioned by Dr. Lord include the creation of a Diversity Resource Guide, which would allow students to find and access assets for their my speech, you would already know how I feel about this.” Dr. Lord was alluding to his comments during the Convocation speech in which he stated that, “A Naropa education is a passport to the world,” and further insisted his intention to make true on that vision. One student, Ayries Blanck, said that the availability of study abroad programs was a major factor in her college selection process. She was most concerned with the timeframe of the implementation of these changes and said, “if the language or study abroad programs aren’t expanded during the time I am here, depending on my major, I might have to consider changing schools.” As an on-going action step, Dr. Stuart Lord Courtesy of Naropa University Dr. Lord mentioned that a needs across Boulder, as well as mobigroup of his interns were curlizing grants focused on the develop- rently working to examine potential partment of diversity in Naropa’s courses. nerships with schools around the world that share a similar vision with Naropa. Later in the day, Dr. Lord led a segment on international education/service learn- As his remarks moved toward service ing. At the onset of this discussion stu- learning opportunities, many students dents raised the concern that Naropa expressed disappointment with the curcurrently offers only one study abroad rent state of affairs at Naropa. To this program, which is in Tibet. In response dismay, Dr. Lord responded by talking to this, Dr. Lord teased, “if you all had about the steps being undertaken to exbeen at the Convocation and listened to pand service learning, such as a meeting that he conducted recently with over 40 community partners in Boulder. The meeting was focused on how Naropa can serve the needs of the local community. In his final discussion with residents, Dr. Lord talked at length about possible career decisions after graduating from Naropa. Though many of his comments were directed at personal concerns of specific students, he also gave broad advice, garnered from his personal experiences, concerning successfully obtaining employment. Nearing midnight, an international student asked about how students in her position would be able to finance their education. Speaking to this, Dr. Lord professed an analogy to outline his thoughts on the matter: “buildings will eventually crumble, but an education will last forever.” He went on to say that part of the prioritization of university funds has been focused on allocating more dollars to financial aid. Resident Timmy Eyes noted that he was, “pleasantly surprised to hear about what Dr. Lord had done about financial aid [by] increasing opportunities for students.” Yet, not all residents perceived Dr. Lord’s remarks positively. Sharing his thoughts at conclusion of the sleepover, student Jake Aschenbrenner said, “[I] felt like he was beating around the bush with his answers and giving me what seemed like a more PR quality answer to maintain his role as the President.”

Student Group Spotlight: East-West Philosophy Group
Ania Chapska Staff Writer
The East-West Philosophy (EWPN) group was founded with the purpose of further questioning the nature of Buddhist Studies in the university. The group’s founder, Troy Omafray. wanted to challenge normative Buddhist presumptions with Western notions (like that of justice) as well as challenge traditional Euro-American presumptions (like that of theory), while drawing on critical scholarship. He also wanted to examine Buddhist notions comparatively with Western notions, like that of the ethics of Tibetan Buddhist meditation along side Kant’s deontological ethics or David Hume’s utilitarian morals. The Group’s Purpose: • Question what philosophical inquiry entails in both the Continental and Analytical traditions. •Question how Buddhist thought/philosophy is taught in the academy and how this affects mainstream Buddhism. • Examine the assumptions behind Western discourse on Buddhism . • Examine whether “Buddhism” is a religion or a philosophy and what each means. • Critically examine Buddhist rhetoric in translations by Western scholars . • Discuss the idea of Buddhist theology in the context of post-modernism. • Discuss the nature of Buddhist arguments . • Think about the role of ritual in Tibetan Buddhism . • Think about anthropological approaches to the study of Buddhism . • Consult scholars in the field of philosophy and religion . • Discuss writing and critical reading Background on Group’s Founder: Troy Omafray: I started my college career in 1991; I’ve taken the proverbial “20-year plan.” I’ve been interested in philosophizing since 1993 when I started a critical thinking group as an undergraduate student at Century College in Minnesota. My history is long, but I started EWPN in 2008. Since then attendance has been very minimal, but that hasn’t stopped me from pursuing this sort of study.
Troy Omfray Courtesy of Mr. Omfray

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The Sycamore

September 15, 2010

Naropa Novelist Returns to Read his Story
Mohammad Usman Staff Writer
gan as a short story focused on a segment of his experience in the army – that story, “Kabatiye” is now chapter two of the book. Then, following the advice and encouragement of his two advisers, Carole Clements and Zoe Avstreih, Zohar submitted his story to the 2002 Writers@Work Contest, and won first place. After that impetus, Zohar recalled, “I just kept writing until eventually I realized I was writing a book.” The book itself was completed in 2004, but according to Zohar finding the right publisher took time. Enough time that Zohar moved back to Israel, began working as a translator, completed an MFA, directed an internationally acclaimed circus, met his wife – who was a performer in that circus – and had a son. In the span between Zohar’s time of service and today, not much has changed between Palestine and Israel. Both parties are still divided on reaching a peace agreement. Though recently, the Obama administration, under the leadership of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, announced the renewal of talks between Palestine and Israel, with the goal of reaching a peace deal within one year. Zohar, however, is not sure if this reality will manifest by his standard of peace. Delving into the details of this assessment, Zohar described his position on peace, as being is “experiential.” “Peace is when a person who I trust says ‘peace’ to me, and I trust that peace,” he explained. This notion of peace is what Zohar noted as being more than just the absence of conflict. It is instead, according to Zohar, a state in which individuals or nation-states alike are at a place of mutual trust – thus they are experiencing peace. Zohar’s novel is, in fact, a description of his movement toward achieving his own state of peace – peace with identity. Now the author confidently asserts that his identity is “absolutely nothing.” This idea contrasts with everything up until his 18th birthday, at which point he understood himself as “an Israeli, a family man, and someone who was willing to fight for his counCourtesy of try.” This all changed Shantam Zohar of course. “While back together,” as he eloquently acknowlI was a solider all I could do was fall apart,” he summarized. edged, but now he has come full circle, back to the place where his writing began. Now Zohar is no longer falling apart. He may “never be able to put Humpty Dumpty

Naropa alum and novelist Shantam Zohar will be introducing his book, Mideast Tango, to the community on Thursday, September 16th at 7PM in Lincoln Studios. Zohar, who graduated in 2001 with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, wrote this novel as a compilation of his experiences in the Elite Forces of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) during the first Palestinian Intifada, which took place in the late 1980s. In describing the novel, Zohar called it a “mosaic” with an “arc”, with the arc being his notion of identity. Zohar’s quest into the realm identity commenced at the time of his eighteenth birthday, which is also when he began his service in the Israeli Army. For Zohar, the loss of identity marked the beginning of his journey. Part of this journey entailed serving in his country’s armed forces, but a much larger part of it included traveling, studying, writing, and deepening his own contemplative practice over the course of two decades. According to him, the journey only recently culminated with the publication of Mideast Tango. Zohar began writing Mideast Tango while he was attending Naropa. It be-

Creative Naropa
Jaime Gonzalez Contributing Writer what a big revelation is given to us when someone we know dies passes away crosses over we are given the gift of realizing how susceptible we are how sensitive we are How in any given moment, we can break, like an eggshell like our mask However, we forget this revelation in a split second, split minute or split moment.

like thin glass

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The Sycamore

September 15, 2010

Ania Chapska Staff Writer
They didn’t really use them but it was a privilege to have them, if only to include them in the bird family. They pecked away at the seeds, sometimes mistaking a rock for a hoof or manure, certainly not nutritional grain. Good thing there were no teeth to break. They didn’t know the destiny that awaited them. How could they? It wasn’t pretty. But when it came, it came down hard; clubs, bats and no mercy. When it was all over, only feathers filled the air with an occasional muffled shriek. Some of them were bold, crusty looking, while others so big that their legs broke under their weight. They would lay there breathing deep. There was nothing else left for them to do. She expected some to have multiple heads but never got to see them, though was sure they existed. She never saw it happen live, only through some website an animal activist friend sent her the day before. She dared to check it out and allowed it to make its impact. She wanted nothing to do with it - the brutal, murderous industry. The previous night she had nightmares and dreamt she was one of them. There was no room for her, there were too many of them. Her right leg stuck out of the cage at an awkward angle. She tried to get out but knew there was no use. Even if the flap was open, there was nowhere she could have gone. She couldn’t jump that high and surely couldn’t fly. She felt a burning sensation in her spine and knew it was nothing new. Right after that, it was time for food. It made them quiet that way. They learned to know what came next. It was Ivan Pavlov all over again. She ate the remains of her deceased sister, the one that suffocated in her own feces. Although it was only a dream, it made her relate to those poor unfortunate beings. She looked at poultry with new eyes, revealing depths of sadness and compassion. She wanted to cry every time she passed by a Boston Market or a KFC, only because she now knew the Truth. She has seen and lived their reality, if only through her own unconscious one. But conscious she became. How didn’t she know before? She was appalled by her own ignorance and naivety, even more so by the cold hearts that existed out there in the world – her world. After ten hours on the road, thoughts became repetitive. Long stretches of farmlands made her eyes blurry and her mind single-pointed. Dreams mashed with her waking state, warping her senses. It was time for a break.

Lina Papastergiou Contributing Writer

Taking off the clothes That they gave me to carry With my body, with my soul Standing here My heart keeps beating She walked by a local bar and felt hunger clawing at her just like she clawed from hunger hours before in the night. She went in. “Do you serve food?” “You bet. Best buffalo wings in town. Try the bbq, out of this world.” “No, I don’t think I can eat chicken anymore. It’s not right what they do with them; lock them up in cages and shoot them up with hormones. It’s too much for me. I want no part in it.” “Yeah man, but it’s wings. They don’t even use them. Just think they come from Buffalos.” She tried hard to imagine it – flying Buffalos. Her grumbling belly saw them, soaring high above the tree tops in South Dakota or wherever it was they raise them. “Did you say the best in town?” She didn’t even know what town this was. “Yes madam.” She closed her eyes and sadly smiled at the glimpse of knowledge she was given, which she now wanted to forget. Soon she would be in the mountains and the planes of horror would be behind her. “Alright, I’ll take your word for it. Give me the wings.” And that’s what is needed My ears listen to strange music My eyes see beautiful sights Is it enough? Can you tell what is? My soul can It will The clothes are gone Their shadow remains Cold doesn’t affect me Only the sun does What happens when they fight? My naked body is the canvas And the emotions have the brush And they draw new clothes More suitable More fitting There’s a battle I have to be prepared New clothes Does my soul know now? Will it allow a new pair of pants? New restrictions? The laws have changed The sun is still there The cold is still there My heart knows

Over Appetizers at the Restaurant
Jessica Hagemann Contributing Writer
The bread is the prelude to my pasta, something warm and spongy to soak up the pilsner. It came in two colors and two loaves: one white sponge encased in golden skin, one dark sponge with oven-baked oats on top. They form quite the pair, with their overlapping shadows of the same color playing across a paper napkin in a woven basket. When I reach to grab a pre-sliced morsel I feel the radiating heat, confirmed by the way my Country Cream Butter slab melts so quickly. Hard on the outside, soft on the inside, delicious all the way down. Mary takes another piece--crackle--and the newly diminutive white loaf resumes its cockeyed stance against the dark. She smiles, wipes her hands, opens another foil-wrapped butter slab. Only the butt of the dark loaf is left; it looks slightly burnt, but I’m sure one of us will eat it anyway. The whole room smells of baking bread, breaking bread, as Mary’s self-described “chubby, grubby fingers” steal one more piece. We have just returned from hiking and are famished, not to mention dirty with mountain dust. As long as we don’t fill up too much before entrees, so there’s room for cheesecake...The bread is so light there’s no oil stains on the napkin, only flaky crumbs. The basket is a long rectangle, copper-colored wicker with gold wicker trim. It sits on a cold, olive-tone marble table, with veins of dark and light the same hues as the bread. The napkin is white and everyday, imprinted with typical factory designs, likely Chinet. I wish I could ask for two more to take home with me. Five loaves and two fish, though there are no fish present.

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The Sycamore

September 15, 2010

Ania Chapska Staff Writer

Choose Your Habits Wisely
ing, he would go out on his stoop and sit there, holding an invisible cigarette, and blowing out imaginary smoke. The cigarettes themselves were not the object of his rooted tendency, but the somatic motion itself. When it comes down to it, most of the things that we do routinely become habits – from the way we brush our teeth and eat our food, to the way we sit and sleep. Are we just habitual beings? It’s estimated that out of every 11,000 signals we receive from our senses, our brain only consciously processes 40, which means that everything that our brain does not process is a habit. So what would it take to lose all of our habits, and transform into entirely new beings? Would we need to further condition our minds with repetitive actions, or try to be more mindful of every action? Would that require for us to create utter chaos in our lives and do things differently everyday? What if subscribe to the position that our habits make us who we are, it then seems necessary to address them directly if we desire to improve and evolve, right? Yet, as I see it, what is most paramount in an individual’s crusade against bad habits – as well as her or his effort to achieve better ones – is simply a matter of choice. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the facts of the day on what’s good and what’s bad for you. Nowadays, it seems everything from coffee to hickies can give you cancer. So in deciding what transformational endeavor one would like to undertake, the individual’s choice would be best suited if it is grounded

Why is it so difficult to acquire a “good” habit and so easy to pick up a “bad” one? And why do some “good” habits turn into obsessive behaviors, hence becoming “bad?” We constantly pick up habits throughout our lives - from our parents, peers, society, personal desires, and yet the ones that don’t serve us are tricky to shake off, while the ones we aspire to obtain require dedication and heavy self-discipline. According to research, the average time to form a habit is 66 days, and this is a statistic based on habits which people wish to attain, such as an exercise routine, a healthy diet, or meditation practice. But what about the habits of drinking, smoking, or nail biting? I know from personal experience that it takes a lot of reconditioning and a sufficient amount of time to drop some pretty hideous habits, hence the phrase “old habits die hard.” I’m not sure if 66 days is long enough to lose a deeply embedded habit, unless, of course, it is replaced by a different habit, in which case, I won’t argue with the statistics. It all depends on how long that habitual pattern has been a part of one’s life. I met a 90 year old man in India who has quit smoking cigarettes over 50 years ago and still every morn-

in values i.e., improving what matters most to them. This could span the spectrum of quitting smoking to saying hello more frequently, but no matter the items; chances are we’ll make it passed the 66th day if we’re doing something we care about. After all, a wise person once said, “Thoughts lead on to purpose, purpose leads on to actions, actions form habits, habits decide character, and character fixes our destiny” - Tryon Edwards. Choose wisely.

The Subtle Veils of Oppression: Gender vs. Qualification
Lora Fike Staff Writer
Many of us at Naropa hold jobs in addition to our part-time or full-time studies. Among the number of us who hold jobs in the food service industry, I imagine I am not alone. I am a part-time employee at the local Larkburger company, which was recently commended as the “Best Burger in Boulder,” but I am often the only woman working. Weekly manager meetings consist of four men: two assistant managers, a general manager, and a regional manager. Our restaurant is predominantly gendersegregated, with men in the kitchen and women operating as Front Of House Staff. Since my employment in August 2009 there have been two women to work in the kitchen. When I confronted management about the lack of representation for my gender on the managerial level, I was told that these two employees had originally been hired with the intention that they become assistant managers. He also suggested that our location in the Denver Tech Center had a woman assistant manager, which indicated that gender was a non-issue but that our women just “couldn’t hack it.” I would like to nod and walk away from this encounter assured that the issue is a matter of qualification over gender, but I find myself ity regarding the issue, I expressed my sense of under representation to one of my female colleagues. Unfortunately, she responded with an overall disdain for working with other women. This response rang all too familiar with the pervasive sense Larkburger establishment Jennifer Voggesser of The Sycamore of division I’ve encountered amongst with more questions than answers. For fellow women. There example, what kind of work atmosphere is no denying that we still live in a world struggles to retain women as employees? where on the whole, for every dollar a man makes a woman doing the same job makes This is not my first job in the food indus- about seventy-five cents (with ample contry. I am fortunate enough to have kept in sideration to hours-worked and leave). touch with a former female manager since I resigned from Famous Dave’s BBQ due Patriarchy is a hot word on Naropa’s camto my move from Uptown Minneapolis pus but this is a word worth addressing. to Boulder. On more than one occasion Feminism is often placed in opposition she confided in me that the weekly mana- to the oppressive patriarchal system and gerial meetings often left her discouraged. this binary conflict perpetuates the ilWhen she voiced concerns to her col- lusion that patriarchy is synonymous leagues at meetings these concerns were with men and feminism synonymous often attributed to her “oversensitivity” with women. This need not be the case. as a woman. When my former manager’s professional experience is undermined Gender is a social construct so deeply and I encounter my current manager’s embedded in our culture that its emotionvocal aversions to women as managers, al triggers make it very difficult for many the placating statement that ‘this not a people to take a step back and examine gender issue’ is challenging to believe. it with a critical eye. Like my colleague, In an attempt to muster some solidar- some women only see what they might lose from their favorable position in the patriarchy, and they set themselves at odds with other women who seek to empower each other through solidarity. That being said, a skilled feminist needs to keep her eye out for men seeking to serve as an ally in the continued pursuit of equal rights. To move from the macrocosm of sexist social systems into the microcosm of my workplace I want to emphasize the importance of asking difficult questions of oneself as well as the institutions one lives within. At Naropa it can be difficult for me to remember that gender can be understood as a spectrum along which individuals vary in expression, but that this understanding is not a given in everyday conversation. I aspire to challenge the gender normative hiring practices of the food service industry as well as continue the integration of my education into other avenues of my life. This is not only for myself. Inviting terms such as “gender queer” and topics such as “the relationship between racism and classism” into more conversations has opened up a dialogue in my work place unceasingly. To rupture social expectations is to open the door for qualifications to be evaluated according to merit over stereotype.

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The Sycamore

September 15, 2010

“Leather mask made for a fire-breather.”

Artist: Leo Jean-Luc Soula Drake-Hutchinson

Artist: Nicholas Barth Artist: Nicholas Barth
Title: Microgametophytes Digital image taken Spring 2010. At the corner of Marine and 20th, under my old apartment complex, is a concrete parking lot. Nothing special, just cars and concrete. One day with drops collecting in a trough, came pollen, and with that came this moment.

Upcoming Events
• JUDD GOLDEN OF THE ACLU SPEECH ON THE ARIZONA IMMIGRATION LAW on Friday, September 17th from 12-2 PM in Sycamore 8150. Come hear Judd Golden of the ACLU discuss this with our community: Why is the ACLU taking up the fight to defend Human Rights? Does this law violate our 14th amendment-civil rights? Get the facts! Free and open to all. Sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs on the occasion of Constitution Day. • CHADO: THE WAY OF TEA. JAPANESE TEA CEREMONY WITH MIKE RICCI on Monday, September 20th from 3-6 PM in the Naropa Tea House. Continuing through the summer. No need to sign up. Anyone may come at any time and stay as long as they like. Contact: Mike Ricci- 970530-0436; • FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT on Monday, September 20th from 6-10 PM on the Naropa Green. This outdoor movie night is a kid-friendly double feature for students as well as local families. We will be having fresh grilled foods, drinks and snacks. • BEGINNING OF FALL FESTIVAL/ FAMILY CARNIVAL on Monday, September 20th -- all day -- on the Naropa Green. Kick-off event for the Fall Festival. Features: prizes, snacks, carnival games, and family-oriented events. • TEAM GAMES & SPORTS DAY on Tuesday, September 21st – all day – on Arapahoe Campus. There will be sports and team games such as football, capture the flag, a scavenger hunt, playground games and more. • NAROPA PET WALK on Wednesday, September 22nd from 5-7PM on the Naropa Green. Beginning on the Naropa Green, all Naropans with dogs are invited to come out for a walk around our city’s pet-friendly parks! The first 25 attendees get a free ‘doggy bag’ with pet items and other fun prizes. • MFA THEATER: CONTEMPORARY PERFORMANCE on Friday, September 24th from 7-8:30 PM in the Nalanda Studio Theater. Butoh Showing Open Class/Works-in-progress based on Butoh Training with Katsura Kan, MFA Associated Artist & MFA 2nd Year Students 6287 Arapahoe Ave., Room 9190, Boulder, CO 80303 Free and open to the public. • BFA SALON PERFORMANCE on Friday, September 24th from 8-10 PM in PAC. The BFA in Performance students and faculty put together a night of performance to highlight what is happening in the studio classroom. This event is open to the public. Admission: TBA • FREE DRIVE THROUGH FAST FOOD, KIND-OF, on Thursday, September 24th from 6-11PM in the Student Lounge/Parking Lot (Arapahoe Campus). ‘Naropa Style’ sit-down/drive-thru fast food restaurant – meaning healthy versions of fast food favorites like burgers, shakes, salads and more. And it’s all free! • GRADUATE OPEN HOUSE on Monday, September 27th from 7-9 PM in PAC. Prospective students will be visiting Naropa to learn more about our various graduate degrees. Please help welcome our guests! Contact Event & Visitation Coordinator, at admissionsevents@ with any questions. • GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL FAIR on Wednesday, September 29th from 11:30-2:30 PM in PAC. Join us for this excellent networking event and learn more about graduate or professional school. 20 schools/programs from around the country plan to attend. Free to all Naropa students, alumni, faculty, and staff as well as the general public.

Artist: Rika Rossing
This painting was the final piece in my art project “Body Shapes,” in which I paired images of dancing with geometry. It is inspired from a photograph taken by Annie Nash, of myself and two other Naropa students dancing in the forest during our Improv Dance Class field trip. Sacred geometry is infinitely present within the human body, and I feel that the act of dance creates an electrifying charge very much like my wonder of geometry.

Editor’s Note: The Sycamore is a bi-weekly publication released on the 1st and 15th of each month. Beginning this semester, issues released on the 1st will be available in print and online at Issues released on the 15th will only be available online.

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