Finding creative ways to maintain campus bonds remotely

first_img Harvard faculty and staff talk about how they’re spending their time when there’s nowhere to go and no one to see Related Notes from the new normal Campus friend groups remain close, even if not geographically. So they’ve had to make adjustments to keep in touch. For some it was merely a matter of going remote with their regular weekly gathering; others discovered whole new reasons to get together. This is how three groups did it: one adapted, one reimagined, and one very recently crafted.An event adaptedSiva Emani ’21, a co-president of Harvard Dharma, began the Hindu group’s Zoom session with a check-in question, the typical starting point for their Friday evening social and worship gathering: “What’s the place you wish you could be at right now?”Of the more than 25 participants, many named spots on campus — the second floor of Cabot Library, IM soccer on Cumnock field. But several mentioned one in particular: the Dharma prayer space in Canaday Hall.,On Friday evenings during the school year, Harvard Dharma gathers in Canaday Hall for aarti, a worship session where light is offered to various deities, represented by physical idols. It begins with a member lighting a candle (diya), placing it atop a tray, and briefly circulating the flame before the idols, while the group sings “Om Jai Jagdish Hare.” The tray is passed to other members, each of whom can take a turn presenting the light to the idols and receiving a blessing.The challenge? How to turn aarti into a virtual ritual. Co-presidents Emani and Mit Patel ’21 pondered the options. Having each participant work with their own tray and candle might detract from the central, community focus. They decided that the members should take turns hosting aarti from their homes.,On April 3, Pranati Parikh ’21 sat in front of her family’s designated shrine. Her mother, Purvi Parikh, offered the aarti, while Pranati sang and her brother, Parth, played the drum (tabla). Once the devotional chant ended, Parikh’s mother walked the candle to the camera and waved her hand over it to direct the flame toward the screen, blessing the students tuning in.,Harvard Dharma has continued to tweak the ceremony. After the first Zoom aarti, for instance, it became apparent that it would sound much less chaotic if only the host’s singing was projected.Patel says that a silver lining to the new arrangement has been the chance to see the home traditions of Dharma members, and the specific idols that their families possess. And, Patel says, “It must be cool for parents to see their children continue their traditions in college.”After aarti, the group either does an activity or breaks up into small group discussions. A recent conversation focused on community and faith during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lowell House’s Varun Tekur ’22 expressed his gratitude for two values that Harvard Dharma and Hinduism encourage: “Calmness and community. Those values are emphasized in this time.”An event reimaginedEvening tea is a longstanding Thursday tradition at Lowell House. With residents scattered back to their hometowns, senior Meredith Pong came up with a plan to fill the void: In place of tea, she would serve up a baking tutorial.As assistant manager of the tea, Pong was the ideal candidate for this. In that role she led a handful of student bakers in preparing savory and sweet confections to feed 200 people each week. Last summer she interned at Ovenly bakery’s kitchen in Brooklyn, N.Y. She has taken Harvard’s “Science and Cooking” course, and binges on New York Times recipes and Bon Appétit videos.,And her reputation is sterling. Nina Zipser, a Lowell Faculty Dean, has emailed her with baking questions, most recently to ask why her custard curdled. (Pong suspects that “the heat was too high, causing all the water to evaporate and make the proteins curl up.”) She also has the endorsement of Beth Terry, Lowell House Administrator, who told Pong, “If I ever get married again, I want you to make that chocolate cake at my wedding.”Pong emailed the Lowell House list with her plan and received more than 30 enthusiastic responses. In her note, she suggested some flavors for an upcoming scones session: rosemary and currant, chocolate chip, blueberry and lemon, honey, cheddar chive, cheddar mustard — “really whatever people had in their pantry or could get their hands on.”Pong is conscious of choosing recipes that don’t require complex ingredients, since many students across the world are following stay-home guidelines. The first week she made chocolate chip cookies but went beyond basic recipe instructions. She discussed the importance of salt, how to properly cream butter and sugar, how to butter a pan, and how to achieve the desired chewy or crispy texture.On a recent Thursday, she convened a group for scones. Within minutes, Pong was fielding questions from Lowell peers on Zoom:“I don’t have heavy cream. Would replacing it with Greek yogurt or condensed milk work?” (Yogurt!)“For the rosemary, do I want the whole leaf or chopped pieces?” (Whole pieces!)Pong instructed viewers to squish butter between their thumbs and forefingers to a lima bean size. Then, let the dough rest in the refrigerator. “You want the flour to have time to hydrate and let all the gluten that’s been formed by the mixing relax. That way it’s less chewy.” Someone asked: “Can I see what your dough looks like?” prompting Pong to hold her bowl to the screen.,During tasks, the conversation went from upcoming housing day ideas to surveying how many people use TikTok. At one point, students brainstormed what they should bake in upcoming weeks. Someone suggested black bean brownies — not only healthy, “it’s the perfect apocalypse food.”Click here for the Ovenly Currant Rosemary Scones recipe.An event fully craftedBeyond those activities that have spun off existing ones, some have emerged on their own. Pforzheimer House residents have created many new online groups, and one of them caters to a very specific interest: Chinese costume dramas.Tutor Daniel Frim and senior Ying-ke Chin-Lee first began talking about East Asian cinema while eating Zinnekan’s waffles. Frim had hosted a final study break in Pforzheimer before students left campus — and the conversation they’d struck up seemed like the perfect interest to explore amid the pandemic diaspora.Frim and Chin-Lee emailed the Pforzheimer list inviting any and all to join them for Friday afternoon Zoom viewings. For the first week, Chin-Lee selected the first episode of the TV series “The Eternal Love” to share with her peers. In Zoom’s chat box, Chin-Lee mentioned that the drama is pretty cheesy, and knows it, to which Frim responded, “Cheesy is just what I need these days!”,To ensure coordinated viewing, Frim used the very high-tech method of a verbal countdown to signal when all viewers should press play on their YouTube video links.For a contrasting second viewing, Chin-Lee chose “Ashes of Love,” a more fantastical example. In the Flower Realm, a goddess gives birth to a daughter who is supposed to be prevented from falling in love. The plot thickens as this daughter is caught in a love triangle.,Afterward, Frim questioned Chin-Lee about elements that viewers not versed in Chinese costume dramas might miss. Before the discussion ended, she named a few favorites, including adaptations of two classic novels, 1994’s “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” and 1987’s “Dream of the Red Mansion.” Anyone looking for entertainment suggestions while at home should take note. A remote ‘Doctor of Philosophy Dance Party,’ laughter yoga, crowd-sourced altruism, and tweet to remember Bits of the socially distanced lives of staff and faculty, from a LEGO model of the Music Building to Gov. Andrew Cuomo as Henry V to cereal for dinner — in the shower Dispatches from socially distancing students and faculty So what have you been up to? The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more

Interim President Guaidó Calls for Referendum to Reject Regime’s Fraudulent Parliamentary Elections in December

first_imgBy Diálogo December 01, 2020 Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaidó has called for a referendum (popular consultation or the People’s Vote) that will take place in parallel with the December 6 parliamentary elections promoted by the illegitimate Nicolás Maduro regime. Horacio Medina, a member of the Popular Consultation Organizing Committee, said that the event will take place on December 7-12 in two phases, one digital and one in person.The referendum, Guaidó said, “is not a struggle for power; this is a fight for dignity. It is not a right or left fight, of Guaidó against Maduro; it’s for the dignity of Venezuela.”“What is up to us is raising our voices and reporting the need for protection,” he added.Medina explained that the only requirements will be to be over 18 years old, to show an ID card or passport — expired or valid — and that Venezuelans both inside and outside the country will be able to participate. He said that, as the referendum will take a week, it will comply with COVID-19 prevention regulations in effect in each foreign country.He also said that the databases containing the names of participants in this referendum will be protected, and that the Maduro regime won’t be able to access them.Three questionsThe Parliament approved three questions to be included in the referendum. The first one asks whether the voter supports the national and international pressure mechanisms to put an end to the Maduro regime. The second question asks whether the voter rejects the parliamentary elections called by Maduro on December 6. The third asks if the voter supports involving the international community in restoring democracy, helping the humanitarian crisis, and preventing further human rights violations.According to attorney Blanca Rosa Mármol, a member of the Organizing Committee, the ultimate goal is “to enforce the mandate of the Organization of American States and the United Nations to preserve human rights and democracy in Venezuela.”“[The popular consultation] is like an electoral process; citizens will have to submit, either in person or electronically, a ‘yes’ or a ‘no,’” Mármol said. “It’s the last constitutional recourse.”Félix Seijas, head of the Venezuelan polling company Delphos Institute, told the Spanish newspaper ABC Internacional that a poll conducted in early November revealed that the illegitimate Maduro regime has less than 20 percent support.Seijas told ABC Internacional that, in terms of the participation in the electoral processes, Maduro’s legislative election has only 13 percent, while the referendum exceeds 37 percent.The referendum’s organizers have contacted groups of Venezuelans in 70 countries. According to Medina, they expect that around 6 million people will take part. Of this number, 3.5 million people are expected to do so from abroad.last_img read more

Kyle Connor’s hat trick lifts Jets over Avs 7-4

first_imgLast Updated: 1st January, 2020 10:58 IST Kyle Connor’s Hat Trick Lifts Jets Over Avs 7-4  Kyle Connor had three goals for his first regular season hat trick to lead the Winnipeg Jets over the Colorado Avalanche 7-4 Tuesday night. COMMENT LIVE TV Associated Press Television News  Kyle Connor had three goals for his first regular season hat trick to lead the Winnipeg Jets over the Colorado Avalanche 7-4 Tuesday night.Blake Wheeler scored twice and Mark Sheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers had empty-net goals for Winnipeg. Scheifele had three assists and Ehlers had two. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 39 shots.Connor’s second goal broke a 3-all tie and came just seven seconds into Winnipeg’s only power play of the game. He got his 20th of the season and his hat trick when he roofed a backhander at 16:31 of the third.Connor’s only other hat trick came in the playoffs last spring.Wheeler has 19 goals and 50 points in 36 career games against Colorado. Scheifele has 27 points in 26 games.Nathan MacKinnon had two goals and Gabriel Landeskog and Nazem Kadri scored for the Avalanche. Colorado is 1-4-1 in its last six games despite outshooting the Jets 43-26. Philipp Grubauer stopped 19 of 24 shots he faced.Wheeler’s first of the game at 6:25 of the first made it 1-0 and MacKinnon scored at 9:43 of period.Connor tipped his own rebound over Grubauer midway through the second and MacKinnon’s one-timer at 13:47 made it 2-2. Winnipeg took a 3-2 lead into the intermission when Scheifele beat Grubauer with a slap shot.The Avalanche again tied it when Landeskog scored his 10th of the season on a power play at 7:15 of the third.NOTES: Sam Girard and Erik Johnson had two assists each for Colorado. … The Jets are 5-3 on New Year’s Eve since relocating to Winnipeg in 2011. The Avalanche are 4-3-2 in Dec. 31 games since moving to Colorado in 1995. … Avalanche D Cale Makar is the team’s Last Men In candidate to be part of the Central Division team in the All-Star Game. Voting starts Wednesday and goes through Jan. 10.UP NEXTJets: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.Avalanche: Host the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night. Written Bycenter_img SUBSCRIBE TO US WATCH US LIVE First Published: 1st January, 2020 10:58 IST FOLLOW USlast_img read more

Mohammad Hafeez considering retirement after demotion in central contract

first_imgSenior Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez is reportedly considering retirement after his demotion in the players’ central contract categories by the Pakistan Cricket Board.According to reports in local media, the batting all-rounder has taken his demotion as an insult as he has been performing up to the mark and has won several honours for his country.Hafeez, 37, has been one of PCB’s top category contract earners for quite a while but PCB on Monday replaced him with Babar Azam in the top category. Hafeez has now been dropped to category ‘B’ from ‘A’ in the annual central contact given to players for a period of one year.”Hafeez felt upset over the decision, and now he is disillusioned due to discriminatory treatment and, as a result, cannot continue to keep on playing. Mohammad Hafeez will not sign the central contract,” local media quoted the sources as saying.According to sources, Hafeez has expressed strong reservations over the new contract which demoted him to the second tier category.He has so far represented Pakistan in 50 Tests, 200 ODIs and 83 T20Is since making his international debut in 2003.This comes in after Hafeez refused to play the fifth ODI of the series against Zimbabwe after he was not included in the team for the first four matches of the series.On Monday, the PCB had announced new central contracts for the upcoming year July 2018- June 2019 by including a total of 33 players across five categories of the central contract. National team captain Sarfraz Ahmed, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Amir, Yasir Shah and Babar Azam were included in Category A.advertisementAhmed Shehzad, who was provisionally suspended for testing positive for a banned substance, failed to get a central contract.The PCB also announced 25 to 30 per cent increase in the monthly payment for each of its categories and also raised its players’ match fees by 20 percent across all categories.(With inputs from IANS)last_img read more