July 30, 2008

Don't Call It A Comeback

*Spoiler Alert*

As we posted earlier, Alyssa initially didn't make the cut on the new episode of Project Runway. Later in the episode though, one of the models had to drop out and Alyssa was invited back. Despite wearing a dress that resembled "toilet paper caught in a windstorm," Alyssa will make it to the next episode. 

As with fashion, one minute you're in, the next you're out, and the next you're in again...

*Breaking News* And The Verdict Is...

Check out the comments page for this post to see if Alyssa Aparicio '11 will be continuing on Project Runway (spoiler alert).

July 29, 2008

New Princeton Review Ranks Vassar

The 2009 edition of The Princeton Review's Best Colleges came out today. Overall we've moved up in all categories...which could be a good or bad thing. Here's how Vassar did:

Least Religious Schools - #9 (#12 in 2008)
More to Do on Campus - #13 (#15)
Town-Gown Relations are Strained - #12 (#14)
Best College Theater - #8 (#10)
Birkenstock-Wearing, Tree-Hugging, Clove-Smoking Vegetarians - #9 (#15)

We no longer made the categories for Most Beautiful Campus (last year #13), Students Most Nostalgic for Bill Clinton (#16), and Reefer Madness (#19).

Vassar received an academic rating of 96 and an admissions rating of 97.

Of course, can we really trust these "ratings?" Wesleyan, for example, got #14 on Town-Gown Relations. Really? Plus, Cappy says ratings don't really mean anything anyway.

Update: Some of the new rankings can be viewed here.

Britney And Consumerism

Morgan Warners '08 has just written a new piece for the Huffington Post.

"The likeness between Britney Spears' lyrical trends and young Americans' consumption and attitudes toward it is a little, well, scary."

Click here for the full article. You can also check out Morgan's blog as he writes from the Netherlands.

July 28, 2008

Vassar Professor Speaks Out Against Obama

Barack Obama's speech made on Father's Day several weeks ago didn't impress Vassar Professor Tyrone Simpson. "Among the many reasons why Mr. Obama's words last month were so piercingly painful," Simpson writes in this week's edition of the Black Agenda Report, "was because of how uncaringly they misrepresented and mishandled a story like my father's and those of other black fathers like him." Simpson wrote a piece for the online journal labeling the presumptive Democratic nominee as disrespectful and catering to the (white) masses.

Here is an excerpt from Professor Simpson's article:

"Barack's condemnation of fugitive black fathers is not the airing of dirty laundry; it is pointing to lines of dirty laundry already suspended above the grass while ignoring the flock of guilty pigeons perched indifferently above them.

"In delivering this critique without an equal meditation on the socioeconomic factors that frustrate good black fatherhood, Obama's speech does not signal the intrepid leadership one would expect of a political messiah. Instead it steeps the candidate in second-rate mimicry, and reveals a cynical ploy to amass popular support by conjuring up, for the purposes of banishing, a bogeyman that holds only a modest threat: the absent black father."

Click here to check out the full article.

More From Brooklyn

Here are some clips of The Ting Tings and MGMT from yesterday's show at McCarren Park Pool.

Check out youtube.com/madsvassar for more clips from the show.

Update: Here is another clip for your viewing pleasure:

July 27, 2008

Vassar Students Take In Free Show

The Vassar population residing in and around Brooklyn this summer came out to see The Ting Tings and MGMT at McCarren Park Pool today.

Our New Look

Mads needs to give a quick shout out to Grhyzzly, a.k.a. Rhys Bambrick '11 for creating our new header!

Check out grhyzzly.wordpress.com to see more of his work.

July 26, 2008

Still Going Global

A few weeks ago we listed all of the countries that Mads has made it to, according to SiteMeter. Since then, the number of countries has more than doubled. Here's a look at the newest countries with Mads readers:

Czech Republic
Dominican Republic
New Zealand

That brings the total number of countries to 37. Not too shabby.

Update: Argentina and United Arab Emirates also join the list.

Update #2: Finland and France, too.

July 24, 2008

Alyssa On Her Way Out?

Spoiler Alert!
Bad news, readers: Our Vassar representation on Project Runway could be coming to an end. Wesley, who was Alyssa's designer, got the "auf" from Heidi last night.

Next week the designers have the choice to pick new models, so Alyssa's stay might not be up just yet!

Check out this blog for more pictures of Alyssa.

July 22, 2008

Catching Up With DJ Olmec

"After seeing crowds of 2,000 dance like crazy all night to this unknown stuff, I know I've just been doing it wrong."

Mads checked in with DJ Olmec, a.k.a. Nick Inzucchi '11, who has been spending his summer in Tokyo.

Mads: What have you been up to this summer?
DJ Olmec: Well, I've been on the Japanese department's summer program since May 31st - Living in the heart of central Tokyo, taking classes at an all-girls school fully of bubbly j-poppers, and generally having a baller time with the people here. Plenty of stories for you kids when I get back.

Have you been doing any DJing?
Unfortunately no live spinning (lame). I spoke with a few promoters once I landed and I would basically be working an empty room on Monday or Tuesday from 3-4. This city is absolutely flooded with wannabe DJs like myself and getting in someplace decent is pretty hard.

You make a lot of your own beats and mashups. Have you been working on any new projects?
Of course! Check the new mix on djolmec.com for a sampler. Also, I met Adam Russin '11 on this trip, a really gifted musician, and we've been working out a way to add more customization and creativity to my live sets with his synth work. Give this dude a keyboard and he can start a dance party solo in 30 seconds flat. Hook up our laptops live and it's game over.

Have you gotten into new music on your trip?
Absolutely. In two months I've seen so much of the incredible Tokyo club scene. Of course I'll be bringing a little bit of Tokyo house back to Vassar, but Baltimore club, Detroit deep house, and electro are all really big. A lot of times at Vassar crowds get anxious when you play 2-3 consecutive songs they don't know. Being a pretentious Vassarite, I used to think these kids were just slaves to the pop machine. But after seeing crowds of 2,000 dance like crazy all night to this unknown stuff, I know I've just been doing it wrong. I'll still drop the good pop, don't get me wrong, but there's a lot of funky electronic that needs to be heard as well.

Any plans for the Fall?
Well, we've been working on putting together a little something very early for the incoming freshmen. Think last year's 80's night but not played off of an iPod...and with more alcohol. VT also has big plans. We're looking to land a regular Mug night, pull some good NY DJ's up to school, and buy a shit load of bonafied party gear.


As always, check out DJ Olmec's music and blog at djolmec.com.

July 21, 2008

Meryl Streep Discusses Vassar On Letterman

Meryl Streep brought up her Vassar days on the Late Show with David Letterman last week.

Mads Wants To Know

Did anyone catch Santogold at Central Park's Summer Stage yesterday? How about the Siren Music Festival at Coney Island on Saturday? What did you think? Leave a comment.

July 18, 2008

2012 Gets Sorted

The members of the Class of 2012 received their housing assignments earlier this week.

Now Facebook groups like this one and this one have started popping up.

July 17, 2008

Alyssa On "Meet The Models"

Here is a clip Alyssa Aparicio '11 did for Project Runway's "Meet The Models" online segment.

July 16, 2008

*Breaking News* Project Runway Returns...With A Vassar Sophomore

Mads just received confirmation that Vassar sophomore Alyssa Aparicio is a model on the fifth season of Project Runway, which premiered tonight.

You may remember Alyssa from the cover of Vassar's Contrast magazine.

By the way, Mads spotted Season 2 contestants Daniel Vosovic and Kara Janx on the Lower East Side last week.

UPDATE: In case you're wondering, Alyssa was Wesley's model on last night's episode.

Vassar Sophomore On Project Runway?

The season premiere of Project Runway is currently underway and one of the models looks strikingly similar to Vassar sophomore Alyssa Aparicio.

Alyssa modeled for the cover of Contrast back in the Fall.

Could it be?

UPDATE: Mads received confirmation that it is in fact Alyssa. Check out the post above.


A certain hot mess from Vassar was spotted taking the karaoke stage at a bar in Mexico on Monday night. The best part is his choice of song - "The Reason" by Hoobastank.

July 14, 2008

By Word Of Mouth

Several readers have emailed us saying that a photo from Scantily Clad wound up on a certain popular blog earlier today.

UPDATE: A photo from a previous Scantily Clad also made its way on to the internet. This photo appeared on College Humor back in April '07.

One Of The World's Most Beautiful Libraries

This list might be almost a year old, but Vassar is included as one of the world's most beautiful libraries.

The list also includes libraries from Sweden, Spain, Portugal and more.

What We're Watching: Summer Camp Movies

Here are clips from two of our two favorite movies about summer camp.


Wet Hot American Summer

July 9, 2008

More Vassar Celeb News

Vassar drop-out Anne Hathaway has been all over the news lately. Her rich Italian boyfriend Raffaello Follieri was arrested for wire-fraud conspiracy and money laundering, the the two broke up, and she is starring in Get Smart.

Now, Hathaway graces the cover of this week's People. Vassar alumna and fellow blogger Pamela Cuce '06 is quoted in the article.

(In case you're interested, Hathaway majored in English with a minor in Women's Studies before transferring to NYU.)

July 8, 2008

Celeb On Campus

College Relations just announced that actor David Schwimmer will be directing a workshop at Vassar this summer as part of the New York Stage and Film program. The workshop will be August 2-3.

July 7, 2008

What We're Reading: Too Many Minorities

According to Inside Higher Ed, when a sociologist at Augsburg College compared the students featured in randomly selected college brochures to the actual make-up of the student bodies, it was found that 75% of schools overrepresent black students.

Read the full article here.

Our Most Important Interview Yet

"I guess there’s a reason for everything, you know? Maybe that was my role, to be one of the ones to open up and make it less fearful for other people to talk about."

We sat down with award-winning actress Lynn Redgrave to discuss her battle with breast cancer that is now the focus of an exhibit at Vassar.

Read about our conversation below.

July 6, 2008

Mads Interviews Actress Lynn Redgrave

Mads Exclusive...

Mads sat down with Golden Globe winner and Academy Award-nominated actress Lynn Redgrave to discuss the current exhibit at Vassar that documents her struggle against breast cancer. The exhibit is based on Annabel Clark’s book of photographs, Journal: A Mother and Daughter’s Recovery from Breast Cancer (2004, Umbrage Editions). Ms. Redgrave spoke about playing the most important role of her career: herself.

Mads Vassar: You were on campus last week for the opening of the exhibit. What did you think of Vassar?

Lynn Redgrave: I had never been on campus before. I was very impressed with it. I really wasn’t aware of what a great performing arts program you have there, and the wonderful people coming in. And the buildings themselves, the actual look of the campus is just beautiful.

Mads: How did bringing the collection to Vassar come about?

LR: It came about through Stan and Jeanne Cohen of the New York Stage and Film program. They have known Annabel for some time and have been enormously supportive of her work. What I’ve loved is how it’s a bit like in the old days. You know, you read about people in the 18th, 19th, 20th, and now 21st centuries being patrons of young artists, being enthused by their work and deciding to step forward and give them more opportunities. It was Jeanne who knows somebody in Miles of Hope, who sponsored this exhibition. Miles of Hope got excited and Vassar got excited about it. I gather it is the first time there has been an exhibit in the theatre there. There is this wonderful curved space that is actually the perfect gallery. It brings you in close enough touch with the photographs because you can’t step back too far from them. They’re probably at their most powerful if you’re face to face with the image.

Mads: The exhibit consists of photographs and texts from your daughter’s book. Did either of you intend for this to become something more than just a book?

LR: I didn’t intend for it to become something more than just for the family. I was diagnosed right at the end of 2002, and I had surgery and then six months of chemo radiation in 2003. Annabel was then a senior about to graduate from Parsons School of Design as a photography major. She asked me, “Could I photograph you?” and I at the same time was going to ask, “Please would you photograph me and document it?” I thought I was helping her because the only experience she had of a friend having a mother with breast cancer was that the mother died. And so until you get to know more about cancer, the first thought is death. Later you discover that is not so. I thought it would help her look at me and see me as a project. So there was a whole purpose, but we didn’t intend to share it.

A little while into treatment she asked me if I would mind if she brought the photos into class to show a professor. At this point I was still trying to keep it a secret. It wasn’t public knowledge that I had cancer. I thought, well nobody’s going to recognize me without hair and eyebrows, so that’s fine. Then she said to me, “How would you feel it I made it my senior thesis?” I’ve always been against censorship of artists. I just think it’s all wrong. I said, “Absolutely.” Then she came up with the idea to make a book to have on a stand next to the wall, but she didn’t want to just have captions. She said, “I know you’ve been keeping a journal, would you let me use your journal entries?” I find writing in a journal very cathartic. You take it out of yourself and stick it on the page. I never said no to any image. I can totally trust her. She’s my daughter.

So she made this prototype book and soon after had an interview with The New York Times Magazine photo editor. A year later they contacted her and gave her six pages. A friend of hers saw it, gave it to a publisher, and that’s how it became a book.

It happened bit by bit. By the time it became photos in the magazine I had been outed by the National Enquirer and decided I would take control of my own outing by not wanting them to have the last word. I got enormous feedback from people. I got emails from total strangers saying, “Thank you for telling your story.” And so we began to see how people by seeing somebody else going through it, it helps you. At the [Vassar] reception some of the survivors were saying, “I could have stepped right through the frame and that was me.”

It’s been a very rewarding thing for us both, in that we took something as devastating as cancer and found that you can turn it into something that maybe has helped other people. I guess there’s a reason for everything, you know? Maybe that was my role to be one of the ones to open up and make it less fearful for other people to talk about.

Mads: You’re used to being in front of the camera and onstage. Were you hesitant to put yourself out there like this?

LR: Actually, I don’t particularly enjoy being photographed. I have a shield, a public persona, that sometimes comes into play. My daughter said, “Don’t smile. Don’t do anything.” I’m used to performing for the camera and that’s neither what she wanted, nor what I really wanted either. These were as if she wasn’t there. It’s not posed; it’s just there.

She [Annabel] has a miraculous way of managing to disappear. That’s how she gets the shots. It’s extraordinary. She’s just got this quiet way. She just vanishes and somehow gets the shots. I stopped noticing that she was taking the pictures.

There’s one [photograph] where I’m really smiling. It was my final day of radiation. I said, “Please let me smile. It’s my last day!” and she said, “Of course you can smile!” I’m very fond of that picture.

Mads: What do you hope people will take out of the exhibit?

LR: It doesn’t romanticize it in any way. Cancer has absolutely nothing pretty about it. They say knowledge is power. If you can look at a picture, of me looking at my scar, it’s not so terrible. If men and women can look at that and say, “So that’s what that is,” it takes some of the fear away. It will be okay.

I hope that people’s eyes will be opened and if they meet somebody who has it they can act with compassion and support, but not pity. Hopefully this helps people see the real face of it, and see that there are bright days and good days just by going through it. I see the world differently just by realizing how important life is and how important it is to just live today really well and to really look at what’s around you and what’s important to you. When you face a life-threatening disease you see things differently.

Cancer doesn’t have any respect for whether you’re famous or not, whether you’re well off or not, whether you’re from a fabulous family or you’re out on the streets. It doesn’t actually care who you are. Some of us get it, some people don’t. In a way I suppose I become potentially “everywoman” as opposed to a famous actress.

Mads: Have your real life experiences, such as the one documented in the exhibit, shaped your acting?

LR: It has set me free as an actor more than I was. I was always somebody who took risks and never held back, but it took away any of my bad nerves. Having gone through and faced my own mortality, I feel I have absolutely nothing to lose. It’s made opening nights much easier. Why couldn’t I give it my best shot? I could be dead, but I’ve been given another year to do this, and another year, and so on.

I’ve recently developed a faith. I’ve always had kind of one of those nondescript faiths, but I started going to church. I don’t know what God is, but I like the concept of there being some higher power. Every night since I had cancer I go on stage since and I say thank you for letting me be here another night, because it’s what I love to do, and what I dreaded losing.

Mads: You have two films coming out in 2009, Confessions of a Shopaholic and My Dog Tulip.

LR: My Dog Tulip is an animated film, really for adults. It’s this wonderful animator Paul Fierlinger, and he’s animating it cell by cell, not by computer. I actually recorded my two roles two years ago.

Confessions of a Shopaholic I have a wild, insane cameo in. It’s for director P.J. Hogan. This is my fourth time working with him. I play a drunken socialite in this big comedy. I had a lot of fun. That will come out next year.

The exhibit is at the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film until July 31st.

Photo by Annabel Clark, courtesy L'ETOILE MAGAZINE.

July 5, 2008

This Weekend...

Mads hopes you're enjoying your 4th of July weekend, wherever you are.

Check back tomorrow for a very special post...

July 2, 2008

Vassar Faculty Contributes To Campaigns

Our friends at Wesleying just came across Fundrace from the Huffington Post, a site which lists campaign contributors and the amounts they give. Invasion of privacy, maybe. Interesting, definitely.

According to the site, the Vassar faculty listed have donated a total of $18,595 to 2008 Democratic nominees. There are no contributions to any Republican campaigns.

Eighteen faculty members donated to the Obama campaign, seven to Clinton, and one to Bill Richardson.

July 1, 2008

Farmer's Market Begins

One of our favorite off campus events, the Farmer's Market, begins this Thursday. It will be open every Thursday from 3-7pm on the Alumnae House lawn through October.

If you're in the area this summer, be sure to check it out.