Say What? Bates quotes from here and there: Sept. 17

An occasional roundup of what Bates folks are saying about this and that.

I Am What I Am

“Je me masque, donc, je suis.”

— Professor of French and Francophone Studies Kirk Read, riffing on Descartes, created this T-shirt with a fall 2020 rallying cry, translated, “I mask, therefore, I am.” His face mask says, “En français? S’il vous plaît

Some scenes from around campus on Sept, 2, 2020, the first day of classes.

Paul Farnsworth, Senior Project Manager
for Facility Services, with one of two six-foot sticks he has used to measure the distance between every chair in every Bates campus classroom as well as the seating in the Muskie Garden, where he was returning from this afternoon when a problem arose there at the start of a class.
Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College

Bearing Down

“We have learned through bitter experience this summer that if we don’t get the science right, we won’t get the economics right. If we substitute ideology for expertise, we lose our bearings. Without a commitment to facts and evidence, we abandon the fundamentals of discourse, debate, and meaning making. This causes us to get policy wrong and hurt people. It causes us to substitute violence for persuasion.”

— President Clayton Spencer speaking at Opening Convocation on Sept. 1, 2020

Rule of Threes

“Respect, positivity and accountability.”

Women’s soccer co-captain So Kim ’21 of Thornhill, Ontario, on her goal this fall, in lieu of the cancelled fall athletic season, to instill three key team values during practice and other team-building sessions

Brewster Burns for Bates College

Heart and Head

“We know you have been taught how to write the best five-paragraph essay ever. We know you can recite facts and follow formulas. But now we want you to follow your heart, informed by your head to create new ways of thinking and being in the world.”

— Benjamin E. Mays Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric, Screen, and Film Studies Charles Nero offering advice to the Class of 2024 at Opening Convocation on Sept. 1

Just a Little Patience

“Be patient with yourself.  Be patient with others. Be humble enough to know that you might not know everything. Guess what? Neither do your professors.” 

— Associate Professor of Rhetoric, Screen, and Film Studies Stephanie Kelley-Romano offering advice to the Class of 2024 at Opening Convocation on Sept. 1

Aim High

“The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for. Not failure, but low aim is sin.”
— Benjamin Elijah Mays, Class of 1920, as quoted by Charles Nero during Opening Convocation

photograph by H. Lincoln Benedict '09.
Benjamin Mays (right) with baseball great Hank Aaron in an undated photograph.

All You Need Is Love

“Let yourself fall in love with the new things in your life whether that is academically, socially, or individually.”

Co-President of Bates Student Government Perla Figuereo ’21 of the Bronx, N.Y., offering advice to the Class of 2024 at Opening Convocation.

We the People

“We want you all to know that we see you, we hear you, and we stand with you.”

Co-President of Bates Student Government Lebanos Mengistu ’21 of Somerville, Mass., speaking to the experience of Black students in his remarks to the Class of 2024 at Opening Convocation

Co-Presidents of Bates Student Government Perla Figuereo ’21 (left) and Lebanos Mengistu ’21 deliver their Opening Convocation remarks on Sept. 1 in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall. (Jay Burns/Bates College)

Called to Care

“We are called to care for one another and this Bates community in ways never asked of us before. May we rise to the occasion with compassion and courage.”

— Multifaith Chaplain Rev. Brittany Longsdorf, offering the benediction at Opening Convocation

Scraping By

“No brain scraping required.”

Ellie Vance ’21 of Birmingham, Ala., expressing relief that the COVID-19 test used by Bates is not the invasive nasopharyngeal swab

Day three of a three-day move in featured loads of luggage, spirited greetings, and emotional goodbyes. 

Ellie Vance '21 of Birmingham, Ala., poses for a portrait on Alumni Walk.
Ellie Vance ’21 of Birmingham, Ala., poses for a portrait on Alumni Walk. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Know How

“It’s a brush with the unknown. It’s our job to guide them from the unknown to the known.”

— Nick Cooke, assistant athletic director for athletic performance and director of the Bates Testing Center, on his goal to help students feel comfortable with the new twice-weekly COVID-19 testing procedures.

Fowl Friends

“I really missed the ducks.”

— Nathan Huynh ’23 of San Diego, a junior advisor in Page Hall, on all the things he missed, even the ducks of Lake Andrews, while away from Bates

Aaliyah Moore '24 of Phoenix, Ariz., who is living in Pierce House takes her first campus walk around the puddle. She was particularly interested in the wildlife -- ducks and squirrels -- and eagerly imagined what Lake Andrews would like like when frozen over. She had never before seen snow fall.
It’s been a good year for the Lake Andrews ducks. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Good Hope

“I’m excited. I’m hopeful. And I’m taking it day by day.”

Christopher Barker ’21 of Burlington, Vt., on how he’s approaching the fall semester

World Away

“This is their world.” 

— Rene Dumont of Auburn, with his wife, Julia, while dropping off their twin sons, Austin ’21 and Noah ’21, on being nearby but not hovering over their Bates lives. 

Collective Action

“It takes a village. It takes a team effort.”

— Athletic trainer Andrew England, helping out with COVID-19 testing during move-in days, on the effort to reopen the campus

Carpe Batesiana

“We have to count our blessings and just take advantage of being out here because who knows what could happen tomorrow.”

— Women’s tennis captain Haley Washington ’21 (below) of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., on the Bobcats’ return to practice

Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College
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