November 30, 2023

Volume XXXIV, Issue XIX

Editor's Note

Dear Reader, It’s officially December. Just like that, a full year has gone by. We’ve seen compers become writers, writers become execs, and execs climb to new heights. We’ve published 19 issues, with one last one on the way. But we run on Harvard time, and so it’s hard to believe that all this has happened because there is still so much more to do: finals, formals, and general finalizing. It’s hard to believe that it’s soon coming to an end. In this issue, our penultimate issue, JL and EKS write about Harvard’s history with Indigenous tribes. And boy is it a fraught one. Those involved with Harvard’s founding were some of the most prolific colonizers. For one, many of Harvard’s founders played leading roles in the Pequot Massacre, which resulted in the acquisition of thousands of acres of land for Harvard and the expulsion of the Pequot nation from southern New England. Because of a life-saving donation from a missionary society, Harvard’s charter of 1650 includes a promise to educate Native Americans. Since then, very few Native Americans from the tribes that Harvard has helped oppress have been able to benefit from a Harvard education. After a semester of researching and reporting, JL and EKS bring to light the ways that Harvard’s Indigenous students have fought for representation and education, and the bridges that the University still has yet to build. Guest writer SWZ reflects on the legacy of the late great poet Louise Gluck. AEP and MTB write about the experiences of those who are dual-enrolled in either the Harvard- New England Conservatory program or the Harvard-Berklee Dual Degree program, which many claim have issues with inter-school coordination and communication. HD writes a diligent profile of Harvard dropout Avi Schiffman, who is known for developing a Covid-19 case tracker and a website to help refugees find housing. In the time since, he’s shifted focus and is now building an AI necklace called Tab that acts as a “wearable life coach,” with the intention to “conquer” the world of wearable AI. VX does a deep-dive into Boston’s supper club scene, enjoying crostini and olive oil cake with a serving of human-interest reporting. She talks to the hosts of some of the most popular supper clubs and learns about the motivations for hosting what is, in essence, a small restaurant with little, if any, financial gains. ETS and AXN write about Cash for Your Warhol, a decades-long prank that started with the 2008 global financial crisis. NYS profiles Matta Zheng, a second-year student at the Harvard Divinity School, about their journey to discovering queer studies and performance — including drag — and Buddhist spirituality. NYS also hits us with a poignant inquiry about the toxic intoxicating thrill of hustle culture, grounded in her longtime love for Subway Surfers. MD and LG write about the new rage in Somerville: adopting storm water drains as pets. Some of the best (corniest) drain names: “The Grateful Drain,” “Emotionally Drained,” “You’re So Drain, You Probably Sink This Name Is About You.” SWF and MG (and their editors) crawl the streets of Cambridge to find the best bar vibe (in scarves). In a pair of levities, SJ takes us behind the scenes of the goings-on of the typical literary magazine, and CES writes an advice column in the voice of our very own John Harvard, who has more than a few pearls of wisdom to share with us. In this week’s 15 Questions, SEW talks to Andrew Manuel Crespo about his work on ending mass incarceration, criminal law, and the value of playing high school football. Be sure to check out the crossword tab made by JB, which will be sure to get you in the holiday spirit. RCG closes out this issue with an endpaper about calligraphy, a skill she picked up from her mother, where the physical meets the visual. Many thanks are in order. I will not be able to thank you all. Thank you to SS, SCS, MHS, MQ, JH, JJG, and especially all-star SET for being there for us always and forever to provide beautiful graphics for our stories and (redesigned) glossies this year and for brightening our Tuesdays. You guys put so much work into our little magazine, for which we will always be grateful. Thank you to BLK and MX for the work you do, thankless as it usually is, because without you, everything as we know it would crash and burn. It’s been a year; sleep easy in your retirement knowing that this paper is better thanks to all you’ve done. To our execs: Thank you to the pawpaw-loving-constantly-sunny SWF and our always-witty CK for absolutely killing it with social media and being our map masters, our resident sci-fi writer HD for AET and providing general assistance, our no-days-off comedian JKW and lovely token premed DRZ for always slaying the newsletter, our gentle poet MGB and coolest-in-the-room JL for being amazing comp directors, always-thoughtful KT and JKW for introspectioning, DRZ and our oh-so Jessica Day-esque MG for bringing the ragers, our stalwart-and-unexpected GRW for your keen eye and eagerness to help, bestie BWF for inquiry editing + crossword editing + always going above and beyond, everyone’s favorite exec MMFW for always bringing the vibes, always-serving KLM and beautiful-and-bubbly SEW for bringing joy and getting the hang of execing so quick. You all are the reason this magazine is alive and well — hell, you are this magazine. We know it’s not always easy. Thank you; you bring me so much happiness. MG and KT: What would we do without you? You have single-handedly changed the role of EAL (and chair) to make everything more sustainable with your brilliant scrut-editing, not to mention the many, many extra articles you have edited, proofed and adminned to accommodate for the execs and keep everything running smoothly. I am in awe of you, always, and will miss our weekly meetings deeply. Well, KT, you have many more of those meetings ahead of you. JL and YAK: While you have big shoes to fill, I know you will fill them well, and with style. You’re superstars. KT and HD, I can sleep well at night knowing that you will keep FM what it is and make it even better. I have so much pride and faith in you and am so excited to see what you’ll do this upcoming year. To our new execs: You are the future; I know all of you will do an amazing job. To our newly initiated compers: Congrats! We are so happy to have you! (Thanks AEP and JKW). To the ghosts of days of yore (SSL, MVE, JJG): Thank you for believing in us and teaching us everything. To Io, the love of my life. We have come a long way. The road has been, at times, treacherous, but it’s easier having a steadfast soldier like you by my side. I can say with confidence that we have given our all to our humble magazine and raised it the best we could. We’ve faced many fires, but I feel so very lucky to have been a part of this beautiful club, and especially to do it with you. Again, it’s hard to believe that this is coming to an end, that this will be my last closeout. Io, I know that we joke that we have become this magazine, but I think that it’s true. These past two years of college have been defined by FM, and I know it will continue to shape the rest of my life. I am so honored to have been able to help lead this wonderful publication, and most of all, to know the wonderful people who helped make it happen. FM Love, Amber