Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It Gets Better at Unity House

This evening, Stephen and I hosted two overlapping meetings: the first for the Diversity and Equality Club, and the second for a group of folks putting together a video here for the It Gets Better project, which was "created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential and positivity their lives will reach -- if they can just get through their teen years."

The D & E Club worked on the details of their ambitious agenda for the next few weeks: presentations at this Saturday's Open House event and our April 22nd Earth Day celebration, as well as activism for this year's Day of Silence on April 20th  -- the largest student-led day of action in America. Stephen and Keeper helped by closely overseeing the proceedings. 

The tone of both meetings was warm and positive -- with a little humor, cheese and crackers thrown in. We had enough serious focus, though -- as you can see from this photo of Katie, Jessie, and Mark -- to make important decisions and set dates for filming our own It Gets Better video here on campus.

Look for a campus wide email soon, inviting you to be a part of the filming on April 9 and April 13.  And maybe we'll send another message, inviting you to participate in a study to determine whether or not Stephen and Keeper are actually twins.  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What's green and off the coast?

The collaboration between Unity College and a long-time Maine literary magazine!

On Tuesday, March 6th, Unity House hosted a marathon nine hour editorial meeting for Off the Coast: Maine's International  Poetry Journal.  The journal is collaborating with students in AR 2113: Poetry of Social Change.

Five editors -- Michael Brown, Valerie Lawson, Gerry George, Ellen Powers, and Jack Reece -- joined me at Unity House.

The fun began, though, when students started showing up -- a total of twenty students who were ready to raise their hands (or not) in support of particular poems.  Our task was to decide which poems submitted for a special GREEN issue of Off the Coast would make the final cut.  The magazine received nearly 1,000 submissions for this issue, which were reviewed earlier in the semester by editors and students through Submishmash, an online submission manager.

Students were only required to attend during our regular class period (4:00 pm to 5:15 pm), but a number of students -- like Frances Roth and Josiah Coyle -- took advantage of the opportunity to begin early.

Some students came early and stayed late, or stayed late and stayed for dinner, or all of the above, like Zach Wigham, Franco Napoletano, Alexandria Campbell, Becky Suzenski, and Rachel Smedley.  We reviewed eighty poems, and finally concluded the meeting at 11:00 pm -- nine hours of solid work, interrupted only by dinner, followed by another hour of conversation.

I made a mac & cheese casserole, and Crosstrax provided the rest of the meal: chili, cornbread and salad.  The cookies I made -- blueberry-sunflower seed-oatmeal -- were not as popular as the cookies I got from Bell the Cat in Belfast, but here's the recipe:

  • ½ pound (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ c. granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt (optional)
  • 2 1/2 c. oats
  • 1½ c. dried blueberries
  • 1/2 c. sunflower seeds
Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat margarine and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats, sunflower seeds, and dried blueberries.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown.

Look for the special GREEN issue of Off the Coast around campus on May 1st!