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Maud Mandel: A welcome interview with the Dean of the College

Maud Mandel is still in the first few months of her new position as the Dean of the College, and we thought that there was no better way to welcome her than to sit her down and interrogate interview her. Dean Mandel graciously agreed, and we’re thrilled to share her thoughts here.

We will admit that since Dean Katherine Bergeron, the previous DoC, left Brown to become the president of Connecticut College, there has been KBerge-sized hole left on Blog and in our hearts. We also have to say, however, that Dean Mandel is already filling that gap, and she is poised to become the new star of BlogDH’s photoshop game. Read on for Dean Mandel’s thoughts on her role as DoC, capes, her book, Beyoncé, and more:

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

BlogDailyHerald: What was your path to Brown?
Dean Maud Mandel: I went to Oberlin College in Ohio, which is a small liberal arts school with an open curriculum. I was an English major, and then I worked for a year before going to graduate school in history at the University of Michigan. I got a PhD in the subfield of Modern Jewish History, and I was just finishing up my doctorate when a position opened up as a visiting professor in Jewish History at Brown. So I came here, and it was a wonderful opportunity because it brought together these two paths – the open liberal arts curriculum of my undergraduate years and the serious research of my graduate school years. I couldn’t have found a better fit. And I’ve been here ever since—I say they’ll have to cart me out in a coffin.

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Your guide to properly tackling the Rhode Island Seafood Festival (no pun intended)

After four and a half hours of eating my weight in seafood under the guise of ‘trendy Brown foodie,’ I can proudly claim myself a member of the Seafood Diet: I saw food—I saw seafood, actually—and I ate it. All of it.

The 4th Annual Rhode Island Seafood Festival is a cornucopia of yumminess, good vibes, and the catch o’ the day. The festival’s second and final day is going down in India Point Park from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. this afternoon. The admission is free, the food is not, and there’s a slew of live music all day long overlooking the Providence River. It doesn’t get much more New England-y than this.

If you’re like me, then the most important piece of information stated above is the event’s timing, which allows you to eat lunch, an afternoon snack, and dinner at the festival. This, of course, is what I did.

If you decide to do the festival today, then it’s important to do it right. Here’s a guide to the Seefood/Seafood Diet of the 4th Annual Rhode Island Seafood Festival, aiding you in selecting dishes based on your personal pallet — assuming you probs won’t eat it all like we did.

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Before

After

After

The Most Classic
What to order: Point Judith Lobster Roll
Where: Shuckin Truck
Why: If you like lobster rolls, you’ll like this one. No question about it. The lobster salad isn’t too mayo-y and I give the bun a 6.75/10 in terms of toasted-ness and buttered-ness. It wasn’t the best lobster roll I’ve ever had, nor was it the worst. It was, however, the type of lobster roll where the lobster-to-bun ratio is at times weak, and you find yourself eating more bun than you do lobster and you can’t really taste the lobster at all. I recommend ripping off the lower half of the bun for best tasting experience.

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The Most Hipster
What to order: Cold-brew coffee
Where: The Coffee Guy
Why: First of all, you can get dollar refills. Second of all, it does taste different than a plain old iced coffee, and everyone who believes in the sanctity of cold-brew coffee will tell you that because, now I know, it is really true. Third of all, the guy who runs the company—the ‘guy’ behind The Coffee Guy—will tell you a cute little story about how he roasts his own beans over by Newport and only does farmer’s markets and festivals. Love him, love his coffee, loved my refill.

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BlogDailyHerald Presents: Brunonia’s first episode, “Orientation”

Celebrating Orientation in all of its confused and awkward glory, the first episode of Brunonia, our spin-off of Carrie Brownstein’s and Fred Armisen’s Portlandia, is a must watch.  Remember Freshmen Orientation? Remember being confused 99.99% of the time? So do we.

Freshman, we feel you.


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BlogDH(Panel) Explains Orientation

Ah, orientation—that week before your freshman year when you can attend an array events all built around the copious opportunities to awkwardly introduce yourself to hundreds of people and hope a few become your best friends. But those events are not all created equal. Here’s BlogDH’s preview of the Orientation calendar’s greatest hits.

Paxson’s Welcome
It might feel like you’ve already been welcomed by the entire Brown community, but the official welcome from President Christina Paxson is a must. The class of 2018 is only the second one to be treated to the Pax’s wisdom, so consider yourselves Paxsoneers. Get to the Main Green early to save seats in the shade for yourself, your parents, and maybe even your first-day-friends if you’re feeling the welcoming spirit. Cheers of “Pax on Pax on Pax!” are encouraged as the Prez steps up to the podium. Try to contain the excitement of being surrounded by your 1500 classmates for the first time and actually listen to the president’s words. Having just completed her own “freshman” year, she’s sure to give some valuable frosh advice. After the speech, don’t miss out on a photo-op behind the podium on the Faunce steps: it makes for a great (if slightly pretentious) first Brown mupload.
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A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief: BlogDailyHerald, 5 years on

Though it might be hard to believe, the school year has come to an end. The libraries are empty, the Main Green is silent, and the Class of 2014 has marched through the Van Wickle Gates. Congrats to the seniors on your graduation! We’ll miss you dearly, but we know you will be all kinds of successful in life outside College Hill.

The end of the 2013-2014 academic year also marks the conclusion of BlogDailyHerald’s 5th year of production (do we even call it that?). It is sometimes hard to believe how young our web site is, especially given how far we have come in such a short time. The brainchild of some Brown Daily Herald editors back in 2009, Blog has become an organization unlike anything we could have dreamed of.

For the 2011 BDH Commencement magazine, former Blog editors David Winer ’13 and Matt Klimerman ’13 painted a pretty extraordinary picture of what the site’s early days were like. There were no Sunday evening meetings. Blog had “day editors” who handled all of the site’s content for a single day of the week. And edit board meetings? Try “run-ins on the street and in the Ratty.”

That year, Blog’s fearless first leaders revolutionized how the organization works. Our weekly writers’ meeting, daily time-wasters, and current managerial structure all came from these early days. Needless to say, we are all in great debt to the site’s earliest editors.

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BlogDH’s epic summer movie preview bonanza

Disclaimer: At over 5,700 words, this may well be the longest post BlogDH has ever featured. Certainly it’s the longest post I’ve ever done. Prepare yourselves. Below are 100 movies from the coming summer, with accompanying trailers and descriptions. Every major release is included, but I should note that I was slightly selective with the smaller movies. Still, just about everything you might even consider seeing this summer should be here.  Think of it as one long, long, long study break. Let’s just jump right in.

May 2

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

This newest Spider-Man has, of course, come out already, and by most accounts is nothing to write home about. Still, it’s probably fun enough to sit through, and BlogDH always gives the benefit of the doubt to (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb.

Walk of Shame

Elizabeth Banks hasn’t really had the career she deserves. Starring in a formulaic rom-com opposite James Marsden probably isn’t the way to kick-start her stalled fortunes, though. We’ll take a pass. So will the rest of the country.

Belle

One of those “inspired by a true story” summer indie types, Belle certainly looks like it has its heart in the right place. Reviews so far have been generally positive, and while it probably doesn’t reinvent the wheel, Belle could be a strong choice for fans of historical fiction with moral fiber.

Ida

This Polish movie is one of the summer’s many film festival alumni, having roared off the circuit with superb reviews. Probably slow, probably heavy, and definitely not in English, Ida will take some work but may be worth it for more serious film buffs.

May 9

Neighbors

Neighbors came out a while ago in the UK and also screened at IFF a couple weeks ago. BlogDH was there and can vouch for its funniness — the most salient comparison is to Seth Rogen’s last movie, the similarly amusing This is the End. See it if you’re into that kind of thing.

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