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Professors get personal about their own career paths

first_imgGap years. Pizza-only diets. Moments of panic.When some Harvard faculty stepped out from behind their lecterns to dine with undergraduates earlier this month, they shared stories about how they navigated early career choices. The professors told tales of professional discovery that were filled with detours and indirect routes — and challenges that made these intellectual role models all the more relatable.“I came close to going to Quantico and joining the FBI,” said David Elmer, a professor in the Classics Department, recalling a period of uncertainty.Elmer who teaches Greek literature, joined Alex Rehding, Fanny Peabody Professor of Music, and Stephen Osadetz from the English Department on a recent Wednesday evening to headline the latest student-faculty dinner. Hosted by the Division of Arts and Humanities and the Office of Career Services, the dinners are the part of an effort (along with the Arts Café in Barker) to build community in the division. They’ve become popular affairs, drawing more than 550 students to dine with nearly 80 professors since launching three years ago.Robin Mount, director of the Office of Career, Research, and International Opportunities, was on hand to answer a question from junior Cherline Bazile (center). Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer“You are a startup. You have to pivot and iterate,” said Robin Mount, director of the Office of Career, Research, and International Opportunities, suggesting to students that they think of their skills through an entrepreneurial lens in order to forge their individual paths.With the breaking of bread comes an informality that allows for honest recounts and lively storytelling. Over the course of many dinners, faculty shared tales of dead-end jobs, undistinguished undergraduate records, and life decisions made for love. At Wednesday’s vegetarian dinner of spinach lasagna and salad, the faculty spoke of indirect paths to success and the struggle to balance personal happiness with financial pressures and external forces. Rehding, who grew up in Hamburg, Germany, had always played piano and trombone, but never aspired to be a professional musician.“You sit in an orchestra pit and count rests,” said Rehding, who teaches the “The Art of Listening,” which is part of the Framework series of classes.The son of a dentist, Rehding recalled that his family thought he might pursue a medical career, and as a conscientious objector to state-mandated military service he instead performed community service as a nurse’s assistant working with seniors.Music professor Alex Rehding said his family thought he might pursue a medical career. “I realized the medical profession was not for me because I couldn’t shut off from the personal suffering,” he said. Rehding offered advice to Jake Tilton ’19 (center) and Jacob Link ’19. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer“I realized the medical profession was not for me because I couldn’t shut off from the personal suffering,” he said.He ended up in England, where he thought he’d study Russian, but found his passion for music at the University of Cambridge. Post-Ph.D., he zigzagged between the United States and Europe, ultimately landing at Harvard in 2003.Elmer began at Harvard as a student, but that didn’t keep him free of self-doubt. As a young boy enthralled by the “Indiana Jones” films, he thought he would be an archaeologist. “I was fascinated by secrets of the past,” he remembered.At the Catholic high school he attended in Cleveland, Elmer took Greek and Latin.“I found a love for decoding ancient texts. All the bad stuff — it’s all been lost and forgotten. Every [classic] text we have is really worth reading,” he said.In his freshman year at Harvard, Elmer took his first Latin class, and it was a transformational experience.“The kind of intellectual adventure was completely different. My sights had changed,” he said.He did find himself doubting his direction at times. Recalling taking the GRE, Elmer said he panicked and walked out halfway through the test. That led to a year in Croatia, where he explored the intersecting study of folk music and nationalism. He returned to Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for his Ph.D., never joining the FBI.“What I do as a scholar is detective work of a kind,” he said.Sophomore Sarah Angell said her own follow-your-passion-versus-build-your-resume experience made the professors’ conversations very compelling. Angell spent last summer studying in Avignon, France, while friends worked more traditional business internships.“Because you go to Harvard, you have the opportunity to follow different leads,” she said. “There is huge pressure with what do with your summer.”Sophia Iosue, a sophomore concentrating in comparative literature and government, agreed, saying she was comforted by hearing their life stories.“This was good to give me perspective,” she said. “In light of applications for my summer plans, which is very stressful, it’s good to know professors had such different paths and experienced failures that I feel are imminent.“last_img read more

Gibson Gets Financial Help From City Council

first_imgThe Gibson Theatre in Batesville is getting assistance from the City of Batesville. Council members unanimously approved a grant last night that gives the cinema additional funding in order to purchase a digital projector.The historic downtown theater raised nearly $33,000 through an online donation page, fundraising events and contributions from local residents and organizations.With a used digital projector costing upward of $45,000, owner Kim Powell and theater supporter Dave Johnston were in front of city council Monday night. The Gibson has recently become a non-profit organization and legalities surrounding the process came into question by council prior to the grant being awarded.Pending approval from City attorney Lynn Fledderman, the theater will receive $12,500 through the Belterra riverboat revenue-sharing fund.City Council President Gene Lambert remarked, “The Gibson Theatre is a landmark, similar to the Sherman House. When we talk about small communities, it is an asset that we have and an upgrade that we need.”last_img read more

Transcript reveals that Debbie & Blake filed complaint

first_imgAfter delaying the publication of a transcript from a hearing regarding allegations against the Mai & Brianna campaign, the Undergraduate Student Government released a transcript Thursday revealing that the Debbie & Blake ticket had filed the complaint.In the complaint, the Debbie & Blake campaign said that the Mai & Brianna campaign had violated Elections Code VII.A and VIII.A, alleging that the opposing campaign received help designing a graphic from somebody outside of their core five team before official campaigning began on Jan. 25.The Election Commission, which facilitated the hearing on Monday, released a verdict on Wednesday, finding that “no infraction occurred” within the Mai & Brianna campaign.The transcript reveals that in the hearing, the Debbie & Blake campaign presented a social media caption from the student who allegedly designed Mai & Brianna’s graphics. The caption stated that the designer had the “opportunity to design all the graphics for the MB 2018 team campaign.”The Mai & Brianna campaign responded to these allegations by stating that the designer had no knowledge that the graphics were for the official campaign, but rather that they were for a school project.The Mai & Brianna campaign presented a letter from the designer as evidence.“Prior to January 25 at 7 PM, I had NO KNOWLEDGE that Mai and Brianna were running for office through USG,” the email read. “I’m deeply sorry for any trouble that I have caused and hope this matter will be resolved as soon as possible.”In a verdict published Wednesday, the Election Commission stated, “The petitioners could not prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the respondent’s had violated Elections Code.” Following the publication of the verdict, the Daily Trojan requested an official transcript copy of Monday’s hearing at the USG office Wednesday afternoon, but was denied.According to the Elections Code XIII.D, “a written copy of the transcript will be released to both the general public and the press.”USG’s statement also said that the Elections Code required that the transcript be made available within “the 24-hour window,” but no such timeframe is listed in the Elections Code. Instead, the code states that “the transcript shall be available in the USG office for public consumption as soon as a verdict is reached.”In a statement sent to the Daily Trojan on Thursday after the release of the transcripts, USG extended “its deepest apologies” for the delayed release of the hearing transcript. “Due to unforeseen circumstances and technical difficulties, the hearing transcript was released the morning of Thursday,” the USG statement read. “The USG Elections and Recruitment team are ardently working on developing a more efficient method of releasing future hearing transcripts.”last_img read more

Ferdinand labels Terry an ‘idiot’ over racism row involving brother Anton

first_img Rio Ferdinand and John Terry 1 Rio Ferdinand has labelled John Terry an ‘idiot’ over his handling of the racism row involving his brother Anton – but would still have been prepared to play alongside Terry for England if he had been given the chance.Ferdinand and Terry became estranged after the Blues skipper used racist language towards Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League match between QPR and Chelsea in November 2011. Terry was banned for four matches by the Football Association in relation to the incident, having been cleared of any wrongdoing in an earlier court case.Writing in his new autobiography #2sides, serialised in The Sun on Sunday, Rio Ferdinand hit out at Terry for not holding his hands up to his error and for never apologising directly to him or his brother.“For me, the biggest idiot will always be John Terry,” he said.“As England captain and my centre-back partner he could have saved everyone a lot of pain by admitting immediately that he had used the words in the heat of the moment, but was no racist.“I think that’s probably what happened and what the truth is. Anton and I would’ve accepted that – instead he never gave us the chance.“I’ve never actually spoken to John about the case. I no longer talk to him, but even three years later I find it impossible to forgive or forget the pain he put my family through.”Ferdinand said the incident led to Anton receiving death threats and to their mother having her windows smashed, receiving bullets in the post and ending up in hospital due to a stress-related virus.“We weren’t best mates, but we were football buddies,” he added of his relationship with Terry prior to the racism incident.“Yet he just sat there and watched as my brother went through all that because of his stupidity. That was the betrayal, He tried to run away from what he’d done.”The former Manchester United defender, now with QPR, officially called time on his international career in May 2013, having not played for his country since 2011.But he insisted he would have had no problem playing alongside Terry despite the off-field issue.“Strange as it might sound, I would’ve been happy to play for England alongside him,” the 35-year-old added. “I’ve played with people I didn’t like for years. There were some at Manchester United I wouldn’t go for a drink with, call or text. But I played with them.“The England coach Roy Hodgson should have at least asked, ‘Could you play with John Terry?’ If I said ‘No’, then okay, one of us is out of the equation. They can pick the other. But that conversation never took place. It could all have been handled much better.”Ferdinand also spoke of the end of his childhood friendship with Ashley Cole after the former England left-back spoke for Terry in court, saying the brothers heard the news through their lawyers and felt betrayed by Cole.last_img read more