All posts by biconews

Let the Good Times Roll for the Fords

By Pat O’Shea, Sports Writer

Ladies and gentlemen, the Haverford women’s basketball team is on a roll. With a victory this past Tuesday night against their rival Bryn Mawr,  the Fords secured their ninth victory in a row, surpassing the previous record of eight consecutive victories. After a hard-fought road loss to Ursinus College on Thursday, the Fords are now 13-5, and 10-3 in Centennial Conference play. After winning 12 of their past 14 games dating back to November, the Fords are in first place in the conference—one game ahead of second-place Gettysburg—as they get set to take on third-place Dickinson today at home with tip-off set at 1:00PM.

The Fords’ streak was no fluke. The team is ranked third in the conference in field goal percentage (38.3%), first in free throw attempts (72.9%), as well as first in blocks per game (5.7). Combine these offensive statistics with the fact that they hold their opponents to a league low 31.5% field goal percentage, and it is no wonder that the Fords are enjoying their best season since the 2013-2014 season, when they won the Centennial Conference Championship.

While the Fords have displayed the importance of playing “team first” basketball in recent weeks, Sierra Berkel ’18 is in the top ten of the conference in three offensive categories: ninth in points per game (12.4), fifth in rebounds per game (8.8), and fourth in field goal percentage (49.7%). Samantha Wetzel ’18 also has dominated the boards, averaging 9.1 rebounds per game this season, good for third in the Centennial Conference, and she also has 54 blocks for this season, second highest in the conference. During the record-breaking win at Bryn Mawr on Tuesday night, Wetzel ’18 also cemented her place in the Haverford record books by blocking the 161st block of her collegiate career, setting a new program record. Sophomore Macy Goldbach has also been integral part of the team’s success averaging 11.7 PPG this season.

Haverford has presented their opponents with the difficult dilemma of deciding which player to focus their defensive efforts on as the Fords have multiple players on the court that can score at will. The Fords feature an extremely deep lineup that includes seven players that average more than 17 minutes per game, ensuring that the team can stay fresh until “winning time” late in games. This formula has definitely worked thus far, and they are playing at a level that suggests Haverford will be playing basketball games into the conference playoffs in late February.

Today, in Calvin Gooding ’84 Arena, the Haverford women’s basketball team will play at 1:00PM as they look to continue their impressive season with an important match-up against the Dickinson Red Devils.

Photo courtesy of Megan Furch

Something Different: A Review of “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency”

Photo labeled for reuse

By Kate Hawthorne, Staff Writer

BBC America’s new show “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” kicked off its first season on Oct. 22, 2016 with an hour-long pilot episode entitled “Horizons.” The new series, directed by Max Landis, boasts an amazing cast and features the hilarious duo of Samuel Barnett as the title character Dirk Gently and Elijah Wood — known for his role as Frodo in “The Lord of the Rings” — as Todd Brotzman, Dirk’s reluctant sidekick. First shown at the BBC America panel at New York Comic Con, the first episode of the TV series introduces a number of other characters of varying importance and presents the main mystery of the series, but it does not really get around to explaining a lot. The first series covers the mystery of a missing girl and the murder of the girl’s father, a prominent businessman. It also introduces a strange and mysterious disease Todd’s sister has, which seems to cause hallucinations that can actually hurt her. Other odd occurrences can be seen throughout the first episode, including a man in a gorilla mask, a strange and gruesome murder scene, a person in two places at once, a lottery ticket, and a corgi that keeps popping up.

“Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” is one of the strangest TV series to date. It seems to be a mix of Sherlock and Doctor Who but only really rises to similar mix of insanity and wonderfulness in the last few episodes of the season. By contrast, the first episodes are more of a slog, partially due to the fact that the viewer understands very little. The new series is based on a series of books by Douglas Adams (author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”) by the same name and yet, according to other reviewers, the only thing the TV series and the book series seem to have in common are the main character. Still, the first season ended on a high note in comparison to previous episodes. The first season had eight episodes, but the series has already been renewed for a second season which promises another ten episodes and is set to debut some time this fall. Intrigued? The series is not yet available on Netflix, but can be bought on iTunes or watched on the BBC America website until Feb. 8.

January Book Review: “After Alice”

By Kate Hawthorne, Staff Writer

If you like “Wicked” by Gregory Maguire, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll, and Alice Through the Looking Glass” by Lewis Carroll, then you should read…

“After Alice” by Gregory Maguire

This novel continues in the same vein as Maguire’s more well-known novel “Wicked”  — famous for the Broadway adaptation by the same name — in challenging preconceived notions of famous stories and looking at those stories from another perspective. In “After Alice,” this perspective is shown through the eyes of Ada Boyce, a young girl whose best friend is Alice. Alice is described as “unlovely” and is forced to wear an iron corset in order to maintain perfect lady-like posture. One day Alice’s father has a meeting with Mr. Dickens and a strange man named Mr. Winters, who is accompanied by a freed slave named Siam. In an attempt to find Alice, Ada and Siam find themselves tumbling down the same rabbit hole as Alice did; they too are exposed to the curiousness of Wonderland. All three children grow due to their experiences in Wonderland, but in rather different ways. Most know of Alice’s story, which focuses on childhood, but Ada goes through a very different transformation as a result of her time in Wonderland.

Maguire succeeds in creating a wonderful contrast to Lewis Caroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” While Carroll’s books focus on the wonder of childhood, Maguire’s is much more of a coming-of-age novel — of growing into oneself and one’s surroundings. By the end of the story, Ada grew from her experience in Wonderland and benefited from the disassociation from traditional Victorian British society that the trip brought. Ada sprouted her wings thanks to Wonderland; by contrast, the same world gave Alice just another way to stay in her cocoon.

Spotlight on Creativity: “The Coyote File” Unshelved

By Chloe Lindeman, Co-Editor-in-Chief

When was the last time you wrote or created something that really made you proud? For Alex Brooks (HC ’17), that moment is now — but it’s been in the works for more than four years.

This Thursday, Brooks, a political science and Russian double major, is releasing the prologue to The Coyote Files, a digital article series he started during high school. It tells the story of the US and Russia fifty years in the future through the eyes of four different characters.

The Bi-College News sat down with the political science and Russian double major to hear what the process has been like for him. Here’s what he had to say:


Did you always know it was going to be a Russia-US story?

Not really … I wanted Russian characters in the story, because this was around the same time I was visiting Russia, participating in Russian programs and stuff. Russia’s a fascinating place, and it has a fascinating history, and so why not have some of it take place in Russia? It’s also a part of the world I understand more than I understand other places … I think the big caveat on what I’m writing is, this is my perspective. I don’t know everything about Russia; this is based on what I know and my experience and what thoughts I have personally.

Did you think a lot about it while you were studying abroad in Russia?

I did. It was hard for me to talk about exactly what it was about. I was trying to actually work on it in Russia. It was a lot harder to work on it in Russia because I was thinking in Russian and my ability to write in Russian is not as good … We had grammar class, and I was just tired of grammar exercises, so I would try to see if I could write a short story to use the grammar. Honestly, the idea didn’t work that well, but at least I got to explore what I could write in Russian.

You’ve been working on this for four years. Have things changed?

I’ve changed a lot; the story’s changed a lot, too. It’s nothing like whatever I was working on at first … I overhauled the story and completely scrapped everything I was doing and started from scratch at least five different times. I’ve written lots and lots of drafts. For every overhaul, I’ve written a draft of something … I did a lot of deleting stuff like crazy, especially if I learned something new and I’d realize that this element of something that I’d think is really important is not in the story at all; it’s time to change it. Or I’d discover I’m wrong about one sort of thing. Or I’d learn something new and I’d really want to work with that. But now I think … it’s ready now.

Was there ever a time when you thought about scrapping the project and doing something totally different?

I mean, not really. It’s weird because it’s something that’s stuck over the past few years, and there are times when I’m not working on it as much. I guess there are times when I have doubts. Like serious, serious doubts. And I’m wondering whether I’m going to do anything or whether it’s a waste of time or something. That’s definitely a thing, that’s happened multiple times. But ultimately, this is something I’m passionate about. I really like writing … at this point, I have the story; I just need to put it out there.


Brooks didn’t say much about the background of the story itself since the prologue is the background. He did note that among the characters are Allison King, “the daughter, basically, of the Bill Gates of their time;” Andrei Volodin, “who runs Kremlin Corp. … [which is] an arms corporation;” and Bagha, a “cybernetic soldier.”

“I’m starting with Trump and Putin … the prologue starts in 2020, so it’s not like now, and of course it hasn’t happened, but it’s foreseeable,” said Brooks.

You can read the prologue at any time after its release tonight, Wednesday, Jan. 25, at midnight.

Bryn Mawr College Sports Overview

By Ethan Lyne, Sports Editor

Basketball: The Owls kicked off their season with several new players showing great potential. After several close games and a big win over Wilson College, the team has high hopes for wins in their first season as a full-time member of the Centennial Conference after a three-year break. First-years Halena Martin and Odinaka Oranekwu are rising stars in the program and two of the top contributors to the team. Martin has the second highest points per game average, Oranekwu has started every game of the year so far, and they both lead the team in rebounds so far. They play next on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. against Washington and on Saturday, Dec. 10, against Gettysburg at 2 p.m.

Indoor Track and Field: After starting their season this past Saturday at the Bow Tie Invitational with a second place finish, the Owls hope to build upon this success for the rest of their season. Sophomores Tara Holman and Julie Gonzales both won events at the invite, with Holman taking first in the 60-meter dash and Gonzales claiming victories in the 60-meter hurdles and the pole vault. Sophomore Haley Varnum broke the Bryn Mawr record in the 500-meter event, and first-year Natalia Phillip also made a new record in shotput this past weekend.

The squad competes next at the New Year’s Invitational at Princeton on Sunday, Dec. 11, as their final 2016 competition.

Swimming- With only two seniors on the team, Bryn Mawr’s swimming team is optimistic for the future, with improvement on times throughout the season so far this year. First-year Varuna Jasodanand has been one of the best swimmers on the squad, nearly breaking the program record in the 200-meter breaststroke event. Sophomore Lillian Oyen-Ustad and senior captain Allegra Armstrong have both continued their successes from last season in a variety of events. The young team will next look to compete in the Seven Sisters Championship at Vassar College on Jan. 21 and 22, almost a month before the Centennial Conference Championships in February.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

Haverford Basketball Off to a Promising Start

By Pat O’Shea, Contributing Writer

The Haverford Men’s Basketball team is off and running in their 2016-2017 season. They collected their first win on November 19th against Penn State- Schuylkill in the Lycoming Tournament, and have played three extremely hard fought games since including a two point loss to Bryn Athyn.

Coach Michael Mucci is in his 22nd season as the Head Coach of the Fords. Kyle Goldfarb ’19, the team’s leader in minutes per game, describes Mucci as “a players coach, and always has his player’s best interest in mind.” 

This year, Coach Mucci brought in new assistant coaches, Rudy Wise, Cory Jacobson, and Doug Young in order to help develop the team. According to Kahlil Garnes ’19 and the Fords leading scorer, Joe Scibelli ’19, these additions to the coaching staff are paying off.

Wise, Jacobson, and Young are “bringing some new energy, schemes and toughness that we lacked last year.” says Scibelli. “We are lucky to have them.” 

Notes Garnes, “all three are very knowledgeable and really want to win.”  

In addition to the new assistant coaches, the Fords are relying on their team chemistry in order to make strides in the Centennial Conference this season.

Scibelli believes that the “team chemistry is solid. We are a young team, which means that some of the typical hierarchy isn’t present. We are really close with the young guys and it has become a tight group.” 

Kyle Goldfarb, ‘19, agrees with Scibelli in that “the team chemistry has definitely improved. This is the second year we have had a class of six or more sophomores, and both classes have meshed well together.” 

Scibelli and Garnes also agree that the team can definitely improve their turnovers. “We are not valuing the basketball,” says Scibelli, “This should improve as the season goes on and we get more comfortable with each other. The team has done a decent job of meshing so far but we still have a long way to go.”

The common thread of reducing turnovers is one point that Garnes echoed along with improving their “technique after getting into the paint.”

The Fords will host the Muhlenberg Mules on Wednesday, and then travel to Washington College on Dec. 10. Be sure to come out to Gooding ’84 Arena to support the Fords.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

Haverford Women’s Basketball Off to a Strong Start

By Pat O’Shea, Contributing Writer

The Haverford College Women’s Basketball opened the 2016-2017 season with hopes of making program history: the Fords will be looking to reach the Centennial Conference Tournament for a program record-breaking sixth consecutive season. The Fords are also looking to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since their 2013-2014 championship season.

Leading the Fords in her ninth year is Head Coach Bobbi Morgan, who has them very well positioned for a deep run. It is no coincidence that Coach Morgan has found success at Haverford in part because “she knows her stuff inside and out and constantly brings energy each day, which fuels us,” as Katie Cook ’19 says.

Junior Captain Sam Wetzel ’18 also commented on what Coach Morgan means to her and the team as “one of the best experiences I have had as a basketball player. She is like our mom at college.” A mom that understands her players and, as Wetzel says, “knows when we need a confidence boost and when we need a little tough love, but in the end, she helps us reach potential we did not realize we had.”

The team culture breeds success for the Women’s Basketball team. First-year Megan Furch describes her upperclass teammates as amazing both on and off the court.

“They are really patient teaching us plays and walking us through the motions,” said Furch. “They are some of the most supportive teammates I have ever had and I couldn’t imagine playing with anyone else.”

Sophomore Katie Cook believes that this chemistry helps the team on the court: “We are a very close team … it took some getting used to but we all play for each other, which is really important in this sport. When you have an entire team rooting for the success of everyone, it’s a powerful thing.”

So far this season, the Fords are 2-1 in Conference play with wins over Bryn Mawr and Franklin & Marshall. Junior Captain Sierra Berkel noted, “the start of the season has been really exciting. Even with just a few games under our belt, I have extreme confidence in the potential of our time this year.”

The Fords play two more Conference games before Winter break. The first is a home game against Muhlenberg on Wednesday, Nov. 7. On Saturday, Dec. 10, they travel to Washington College.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

“20 Feet from Stardom:” The Making of a Real Star

By Abby Hoyt, Co-Editor-in-Chief

In an era where most Hollywood singers sport commanding attitudes and resplendent clothing, Lisa Fischer’s humble nature and casual attire convinces the world to re-examine what makes someone a star.

Fischer strolled onto the stage in Bryn Mawr College’s Goodhart Theatre with a deep purple shawl draped gently across her body. A long, flowing yellow skirt occasionally floated away to reveal glittery sandals and painted toes. But don’t let this casual look fool you. This singer got her start as a back-up singer for legendary names like Tina Turner, The Rolling Stones and Luther Vandross.

Despite their talent, background singers tend to go unnoticed, and their voices are often overshadowed by the star of the show. Filmmaker Morgan Neville made a documentary in 2013 called “20 Feet From Stardom,” which examined the dynamic between background singers and the stars they work with. The film features renowned back-up singers like Lisa Fischer, Darlene Love, Merry Clayton and Judith Hill, portraying the struggles each woman went through in her quest to start a solo career.

Both Merry Clayton and Darlene Love show a small hint of disappointment when they speak about their solo careers. They express disappointment that they didn’t end up being the big stars they expected.

Fischer differs from these women in that she always found comfort in “walking the street and not having to worry about putting on sunglasses and hiding out.” In the documentary she describes her record deal as “just one of those things that just kind of blossomed,” and explains that she understands how fortunate she was. In 1992, she won a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for her song “How Can I Ease the Pain.”

While the modern Grammy Award winner featured in an episode of MTV’s Cribs has a mansion decked out with the latest technology and impressive memorabilia, a scene in the documentary shows Fischer’s modest and cluttered apartment, giving the viewer insight into Fischer’s genuine humility. The camera pans around the room showing the apartment in a light state of disarray. We see a pile of clutter in the corner — clutter that turns out to be several gold albums and gifts from the musicians she has toured with. Later in the film we see her Grammy on a shelf with various other knick-knacks and picture frames. She blushes as she points it out and playfully admits, “Oh and here’s my Grammy…I just kinda keep it there. I don’t know what to do with it.”

After winning her Grammy she started to pursue a second record deal, but things didn’t go exactly as planned. “I was working on a second record and I don’t know. I just took too long. There was this window and it just took too long.”

Despite this setback, Fischer kept singing simply because she just likes to sing. In the film she is quoted as saying, “I love melodies. I’m in love with the sound vibration and what it does with other people. It’s familiar but so special and you’re just so happy when you get there and you try to stay there for as long as you can.”

And stay there she does. Her music combines elements of smooth jazz and soul that make the listener feel instantly relaxed. Her songs consist of mostly melodious tones and a cacophony of oos and ahhs that seem to never end. She’s careful to hit every note, and she leaves the audience to breathe in each note she makes and anxiously await the next one. In the film, she compares her singing style to that of a feather that was blown into the air.

“You just go, never hit a hitch,” she says. “You just land. That’s what it feels like to me.”

This is clearly conveyed to anyone who has had the pleasure of hearing her sing. There is so much effort that goes into every sound she makes, and the sound seems to come from her whole body, not just her mouth. She sways around the stage as if she is using her body to bounce the notes around the room. She doesn’t just hold the microphone; she tangos with it, creating different sounds by moving it in circles around her mouth. Her voice is genuine and warm. Even audience members with limited musical background (such as myself) had chills throughout the performance.

She began touring with the band, Grand Baton, in 2014, and in this setting she is advertised as the main attraction. However, her years as a backup singer have clearly left an impact on her, as she makes sure that the talent dynamics on stage are horizontal rather than vertical. She takes care to keep the main focus of the stage is not herself, and she dedicates generous time in her performance to feature each of her band members and allow them to go “off book” and show the room their talent.

Once she finished singing, several audience members came up to the stage to bring her bouquets of flowers. She graciously accepted the gifts, taking the time to bend down and thank each person individually. She walked back to center stage, put the flowers down, and softly thanked the audience, saying, “Thank you so much for these gifts, but just know that the best gift you could have given me was coming here tonight.”

Her concerts convey her desire to sing purely because she loves to sing. At the same time, they invite you into her heart and soul for an hour, and you walk away in paralyzing peace.

In the documentary, Sting makes an appearance. He comments on what separates real stars from the rest of the performers out there and argues that there is a “spiritual component to what they do that’s got nothing to do with worldly success.” He describes singing as “more an inner journey,” for true stars and that “any other success is just cream on the cake.”

Despite her start near the back of the stage, Fischer’s presence on stage and distinct musical talent have earned her a place among the stars of modern music.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016

Consent to Be Seen: Magill Library’s Newest Exhibit

By Sophie Webb, Features Editor

Sharpless Gallery in Haverford College’s Magill Library is home to a new exhibit, this one titled Consent to Be Seen. A collection of works by Riva Lehrer, the exhibit opened Oct. 28 and is curated by Courtney Carter ‘17 and Assistant Professor of Writing Kristin Lindgren.

The exhibit is a collection of thirteen pieces of art and two display cases of sketches, all by artist and disability activist Riva Lehrer. Lehrer is a Chicago-based artist whose work focuses on representing the human body, specifically differently abled and physically abnormal bodies and people whose identities have been challenged or traditionally not accepted by society. In Consent to Be Seen, she focuses specifically on the biomedicine idea of “informed consent,” or the permission a patient can give to receive treated from the doctor. But rather than focusing on biomedicine, the exhibit centers around the idea of consenting to being seen. In her work, Lehrer aims to represent disabled bodies and people whose identities are unaccepted as full subjects and full people, challenging the viewer to see something more than the disability.

Each of the thirteen pieces in the exhibit depicts a body, but the medium used ranges from acrylic to colored pencil to collage. The pieces are quite large, and all together they have a commanding presence in the room. Accompanying each piece is a paragraph written by Lehrer that describes the piece and offers more insight, so that the viewer can know more about the subjects of her paintings, whether that subject be herself, transgender poet and activist Eli Clare, activist and University of Wisconsin at Madison professor Finn Enke or Curator and Art Historian Rhoda Rosen. Each of these subjects and the others that accompany them have a story to tell, and Lehrer attempts to tell that story through her art.

The power of the exhibit can’t truly be conveyed through words; it has to be seen. The exhibit will remain open through late January.  Until then, it will continue to influence those who see it, making its viewers pause for a moment and truly think.

From the print edition published Dec. 7, 2016