Those who read the first email that Interim Dean Donald H. Pfister sent to the college may recall that he’s a big fan of fungi jokes—just don’t tell him a fungi “fun-guy” joke (the man’s heard it before, and is looking for something new). But, who is Pfister really? Eager to hear more of Pfister’s stories and quirks, FM sat down with him in the lawn chairs outside Hollis Hall.
Near the end of his guest lecture in Folklore and Mythology 90i, Neil Gaiman informs the students that he doesn’t like doing interviews because it takes up time he could be using to work on a story, write a screenplay, or author a graphic novel. My gut drops when I then introduce myself as the reporter who’s going to prevent him from writing for the next half-hour. He smiles and shrugs, “We ought to get started then.”
I realized that those maps, in series, told an interesting story about my life that summer. They told an interesting story of the city. In some ways, it was a more honest story than the one I was building [for my boss] because it was celebrating the subjectivity of the mapmaker. Those two realizations, coupled with my having read Italo Calvino’s “Invisible Cities” the year before, grew into this: I wanted to give really small, limited maps to as many New Yorkers as possible and have them map their New Yorks. And then, in series, have a New York emerge from there.
On Harvard’s campus, as on those of other colleges, alcohol is by all accounts accessible and abundant. A red Solo cup is a ubiquitous accessory to many social events. Yet despite the presence of alcohol on campus, a number of Harvard students choose not to drink. For many of these students, this decision is based on a variety of personal factors, all challenging the assumption that social life in college necessarily involves alcohol.
“I wanted to recomplicate what is so reductive, what has been so reductive and so simple: the bad guys and the good guys,” filmmaker Mira Nair ’79 says. I’m sitting with Nair and two other journalists in a conference room at the Charles Hotel, discussing Nair’s new film, “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” which comes out in May. “I wanted very much to have that complexity of the human being in both characters—not just two countries, not two flags, but two real people.”
On April 10, Ferencz returned to Harvard. “Tell me your problems,” Ferencz says to me, trying to distract me from the impending interview. I tell him that I have none, that I want to hear his story. The interview begins before Ferencz can sneak back into the servery for dessert.
Jason Alexander, the “Seinfeld” star and Tony Award-winning Broadway actor, wears a beige tweed coat low on his shoulders and speaks with a confidence that seems worlds away from his notorious television alter-ego, George Costanza. His teenage son, who accompanied him on the trip, chats with a few Folklore and Mythology professors in the adjacent room. They later tell us that our laughs were impressively loud coming through the Warren House’s burly 19th century walls.
Chris J. Nowinski ’00 was never supposed to be on the sidelines. As a Crimson linebacker and later a WWE wrestler, Nowinski threw mind and body into his opponents to send them to the ground. Now, 10 years later, his life is dedicated to protecting players from the sports he loved.