Archive for December, 2010

Home of the Young Eagle

Posted: December 14, 2010 in Environment, Heritage

Brianna Fiene

The Edgewood campus has been a place of community for centuries, and the evidence is in the dirt.

Woodland peoples built conical and effigy mounds all over the grounds for hundreds of years.  The purpose of these sacred mounds wasn’t only for burials but to gather for spiritual ceremonies as well.

This is proof of the rich Native American culture that once thrived on this very campus.  In fact, the word Sinsinawa–as in the Sinsinawa Dominicans who founded the college–can be translated from a Winnebago word meaning “home of the young eagle.”  This can be linked to our own Eddy Eagle mascot.  The image is depicted in one of the most prominent mounds on campus.  The bird mound is located between the library and DeRicci Hall.  The Woodland tribes believed the bird, specifically the eagle, was a representation of the sky spirit.

Map of eagle mound on campus

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Michael Stock

People are likely to discuss local sports or bands, however local writers are often left out of the conversation.

Three staff and faculty members at Edgewood are involved in the burgeoning Madison writing scene.

Derek Johnson, admissions counselor, writer, and performer, has organized a slam poetry event for the past few years with high school students from Madison and Dane County.  “We worked with a variety of students on enhancing their skills and confidence to get on stage.  It’s been very successful, and with a lot of young students–even new freshmen here in Madison–the response has been overwhelming,” he said.

“It’s amazing that 80 people in a city as small as Madison will sit at a poetry reading on a Friday night.” -Adam Fell

The workshops help develop the students’ writing grammatically and creatively, but they also work on performance.  “A big part of it is getting on stage and being animated,” Johnson said.  The next workshop and slam series will be in February. (more…)

Lisa Kaminski

As the visual arts prepare to move to the new Visual and Theatre Arts Center in 2012, the professional schools ready themselves to move into the vacated space, but the moving of nursing to the top floor of DeRicci and social science and foreign language to the bottom leaves some wondering if this is a symbolic move regarding the college’s perspective on the liberal arts.

Edgewood has a long history of integrating both liberal arts and professional studies.  In 1940, the college began offering formal teacher training in addition to its roster of classes in the arts and sciences.  However, the upcoming shirt in offices and a recent restructuring of the college demonstrate that perhaps the liberal arts are not as prominent as they once were.

“I am worried about the symbolic significance of the moves that are being considered.” -Melanie Herzog

Social sciences professor Cindy Rolling pointed out that several years ago, Edgewood revised its structure by creating different schools out of the numerous majors and programs offered.  Education, nursing, and business–the professional studies–each became their own school with their own dean along with the School of Integrative Studies and the School of Graduate and Professional Studies.  The remaining 15 departments in the liberal arts were lumped together into the School of Arts and Sciences represented by one dean.

Rolling pointed out that the system does not accurately promote each department, rather “it sets up a problem for the liberal arts and our identity.”  And she believes the reorganization of academics at Edgewood could hurt the college. (more…)

Kickin’ It Old School

Posted: December 9, 2010 in Heritage

Emily Pokorny

The groundbreaking for the new Visual and Theatre Arts Center, a long awaited addition to campus, has been set for next spring.  In the face of this tangible sign of change, now is perhaps the best time to reflect on how the campus came to be, and how it has grown and been altered in the past.

In 1881, Governor Washburn offered the 55 acre estate, then known as the Edgewood Villa, to several potential recipients.  According to Phoenix from the Fire: A History of Edgewood College, written by Mary Paynter, O.P., the city of Madison, the state of Wisconsin, and the University of Wisconsin all refused the gift.  At the time, everyone regarded Edgewood as being too remote from Madison; ironically Madison eventually spread out to meet and envelop the land Washburn gifted to the Sinsinawa Dominican sisters.

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Laura Green

“You’re killing trees!”  How many times have you heard those words in response to someone who’s using a lot of paper?

Such a smarty-pants statement has some truth to it, though.  In fact, we’re all tree killers whether we like it or not.  Most Americans se hundreds of pounds of paper each year, which adds up to a 100-foot tall tree’s worth of paper per person, according to the American Forest and Paper Association.

Our lives depend on paper, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t find ways to use less of it.

That may be hard to believe, but take a moment to think about all of the paper you use.  There are the obvious examples, like the notebooks you use for class or the copy of On the Edge you pick up.  Then there are times when you use paper without even wanting to.  When you eat a can of soup or take a piece of gum from its package, you probably don’t think about the label or the wrapper.  Our lives depend on paper, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t find ways to use less of it.

Paper use may not seem like that big of a deal, especially if you recycle.  If one is concerned about the environment, aren’t there bigger problems to address like global climate change?  There may be bigger problems, but paper contributes to them.  One of the biggest contributors to climate change is cutting down trees.  Approximately 20 percent of carbon emissions worldwide come from deforestation.  Over 40 percent of trees cut down are used for paper, meaning the paper industry  is one of the main factors fueling deforestation.

The paper industry is one of the top wanter and energy users in the US among manufacturers.

Paper also plays a role in the pollution of our environment.  The paper production process creates a considerable amount of carbon emissions as well as sulfur dioxide and nitric oxide emissions that cause acid rain.  The paper industry is one of the top wanter and energy users in the US among manufacturers.  The use of chlorine for bleaching paper creates byproducts that can harm the immune system and even cause cancer.

Recycling paper can reduce some of these effects, but according to Environmental Protection Agency data, paper that’s recycled isn’t often made into new paper.

Between deforestation and pollution, paper use is actually a pretty big environmental problem. Don’t fear, for it’s pretty easy to use less paper if you  follow these easy tips:

  • Print two-sided: If you think you’ll forget, make a reminder note where you’ll see it before yo print.
  • Take it easy with the slides: Don’t print out those Powerpoint slides.  They don’t really help anyway.  If you must, though, print multiple per page.
  • Ditch the Post-Its: If you like to write notes, save old assignments, fliers, and other scrap paper with a blank back.  Cut it up to make notepaper instead of buying Post-Its or a notepad.
  • Put the paper plates away: Invest in a real plate.  Set it on top of the paper plates so it takes more effort to use paper.
  • Textbooks are tree-eaters: Buy them used or rent them.  It’s better for the environment, and it’ll save you money.
  • Recycle it: If you can’t reuse it, recycle it.  Everything from old assignments, paper bags, and that paper edition of On the Edge.

Lisa Kaminski

With his new book Living the Questions, philosophy professor Vince Kavaloski asks readers to contemplate the mysteries of peace, love, and life.

Kavaloski, who has been compiling the collection of brief memoirs, articles, poems, and parables for the past five years stresses that this isn’t a typical philosophy text.  “A lot of professors write for professors and their professions, but I prefer to write for students, the general public,” he said.  He prefers to use straightforward prose to communicate his vision.  “You can think philosophical thoughts without wading through philosophical prose,” he said.

With this in mind, Kavaloski reflects on a topic he’s studied for years: peace.  In Living the Questions, he discusses the teachings of the Dalai Lama and the ideas of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  A Gandhian of sorts, Kavaloski admires these men for their quest for peace through nonviolence.

Vince Kavaloski: “Learning to live the questions and find joy in the journey.”

Kavaloski also stresses the important role of the United Nations.  Acting as a sort of global parliament, the UN provides a neutral forum for countries to solve international problems.  Kavaloski also points out that one of the organization’s greatest accomplishments, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document that sets a standard for global human rights and dignities, and also a subject covered in many of Kavaloski’s classes.

However, through his multi-genre book, Kavaloski always returns to questions: how to find the meaning of life, how to achieve peace, and what it means to love.  He admits in Living the Questions that he first engaged in philosophy “with a hunger for definite, comprehensive answers.”  Yet as he studied, questions kept resurfacing, and after years is now “learning to live the questions themselves and find joy in the journey.”

Now on sale in the Edgewood bookstore, all proceeds from Living the Questions go towards the World Peace Travel Fund, which allows Edgewood students to visit the United Nations in New York City and the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.