The Man Who Made Music

Tufts students Sam Poliquin, A14, and Ben Feuerstein, A14, recently wrote, produced, and directed a short original film called The Man Who Made Music. The story takes place in a world where all songs and artists are poets, and therefore all “lyrics” are simply read out loud over the radio like a poem. A recently fired radio host soon discovers that adding sound to the lyrics yields a new and exciting result – music.

According to Poliquin, the film was a final project for the Ex-College class Making Movies and took approximately four weeks to make. In terms of inspiration, Poliquin wrote;

I took the idea of a world with no music and ran with it, taking more influence from one of my favorite movies, the “Invention of Lying.”  This story is unique because it has a heightened degree of fantasy but nevertheless takes place in a normal setting (Lowell, MA).  I pitched the idea to Ben, who then added his vision of using black and white transitioning into color as music is discovered.  I think this worked brilliantly.  Overall, we had a funky, comical storyline that we knew would stand out from the rest.  Plus, we would be able to shoot it pragmatically in everyday life without any elaborate sets.

Poliquin and Feuerstein found their actors through casting sessions posted on craigslist, got their film equipment from the Experimental College, and edited the footage in Braker’s basement lab.

Check out their terrific short film, The Man Who Made Music:

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Commencement 2012 Online

You may be on campus this Sunday for commencement or you may be cheering on your friends and family from afar. Either way, you can get an inside look at the day by following Tufts Commencement 2012 online. We’d love to have you join the conversation, so check out how you can take part:

  • Twitter: We’ll be live tweeting from @TuftsLive, so follow along from early morning preparation to the procession, the awarding of honorary degrees, and the commencement address. Use the hashtag #Tufts2012 to let us know what you’re up to.
  •  Web: Watch the live streamed ceremony at commencement.tufts.edu, where you will also find the @TuftsLive and #Tufts2012 feeds, so you’ll be sure to not miss a thing.
  • Instagram: We love photos! If you’re on campus, snap some pictures and tag them #Tufts or #Tufts2012. We’ll be capturing some shots too, so be sure to check them out (username: TuftsUniversity)
  • Facebook: We’ve been getting ready for commencement, and will have tons more photos to share just after the ceremony ends.
  • Foursquare: Check into Tufts University Commencement 2012 on Foursquare, include a shout out about graduation, and you’ll earn the Hats Off Badge.

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Growing Civic Fruit

What sounds more like Tufts than puns, civic engagement, and the environment? It won’t come as a surprise that Tufts alumni are essential to The Boston Tree Party.

The Party is a diverse coalition of organizations, institutions, and communities from across the Greater Boston Area coming together in support of Civic Fruit. We call for the planting of fruit trees in civic space and promote the fruits of civic engagement. Each community has committed to planting and caring for a pair of heirloom apple trees.

Three Tufts Alumni are leading the way at The Boston Tree Party. Lisa Gross is the Chairman and Founder, Maura Schorr Beaufait is the Chief of Operations, and Beth Nollner is Project Coordinator. Between them they hold degrees from Tufts/MFA, the Friedman School of Nutrition, and the Urban and Environmental Policy graduate program.

Check out this short documentary: “Growing Civic Fruit: A Documentary Film about the Boston Tree Party”


You can follow the Boston Tree Party on Twitter at @BostTreeParty

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Ammar Khaku, E12, wanted to find a way to visually represent where his classmates would be after graduation. When he couldn’t find a tool that did that well, he decided to build Tufts2012.com. He says, “The concept started off as a simple map with markers, but I added more features before it launched.”

He hopes that the site will be a resource for members of the class of 2012 to find other people in their area, and will create an interesting accumulation of statistics about the class. In the future, he plans to add optional information about what company people are working for or what they’re doing in the area, as well as restricting access to Tufts students and alumni. If the site takes off, he has even more plans including possible LinkedIn integration. He says, “I’m also taking feature requests, so let me know if there’s something you think would be cool!”

As for Ammar, his pin on the map is placed in Redwood City, California, where he’ll be working at Evernote next year.

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Tufts Students Create Navlit

Entrepreneurs Kenny Cohen, A14, John Brennan, A14, Simmone Seymour, A14, and Mark Timmerman, A14, are responsible for the creation of a new social networking site with a differentiating selling point. Their website, called Navlit, is meant to create an environment where people can interact socially on the web while still tailoring their interactions to specific social groups – family, employers, or friends, for example. Don’t want to your friends to see that embarrassing baby photo your mom posted but still want to be connected to your parents back home? Navlit solves the issue for you by allowing you to manage your different groups and share specific information with each group. In their own words:

We believe that group collaboration on the web is broken. Up until now, groups didn’t have a place on the Internet to call their own, and individuals didn’t have a place on the Internet to manage their groups. We know what it means to be a part of many different groups, and we also know that more often than not, you only want to share something with a particular group. With Navlit, you’ll have a space to navigate privately between the different groups (or “fires,” as we like to call them) that define you.

Still in the beginning stages, Navlit is currently running in private beta. You simply need an email address to test it out, and those with .edu email addresses will get preference. Visit the site here.


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KSA Jedi Training

Tufts Korean Student Association (KSA) is more than just a campus culture group – their Big Brother/Big Sister program involves them with the Boston community as well. On a monthly basis, members of KSA are paired with children from Korea who have been adopted by American families for a day of cultural activities, crafts, food, and even, in the case of this video, Jedi training. Check out the video below for a fun look into the program and visit their website for information on how to get involved.



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Hoping for a BridgeAbroad to Chile

Searching for a job after graduation, even just for the summer can be stressful.  Searching for a job abroad? That’s even more challenging.

Emily German (A12) is up to the challenge. Emily is vying for a competitive scholarship to help her get the training she needs to teach English in Chile! The scholarship competition is judged on a written submission as well as “Likes” on Facebook.

Let’s face it, though: searching for jobs abroad is a daunting task, and teaching certification courses carry pretty hefty price tags for a recent college graduate. I am determined to follow through on my dream to live and work in Latin America, however, and winning this scholarship would give me the opportunity to obtain top-quality TEFL certification and acquire the skills I need to become a professional English teacher.”

“I believe that education breaks down all barriers: it sparks inquisitiveness and fosters understanding about other people and cultures, which in turn engenders greater communication and cooperation, from the local to the international community.

So far, Emily’s submission has 269 likes. Help a Jumbo follow her dreams – vote for Emily and share on Facebook and Twitter! Voting ends on 4/15/12.

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AT Fellows Begin Podcast Series

Tufts’ AT Fellows recently launched a podcast series as part of their effort to assist the Tufts community with technological solutions for achieving faculty’s educational and research goals. Their blog discusses everything from social media sites like Twitter to search engines like Google. You can listen to their first podcast, which covers an introduction to their program and blog, or subscribe to the series, by signing into Tufts Spark and visiting their podcast page.

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Sam Sommers Theme Song at TEDxSomerville

Sam Sommers appeared as one of the speakers this past week at TEDxSomerville, a nonprofit dedicated to the spread of new and riveting ideas, and had the pleasure of being accompanied by his very own theme song.  Performers from Do Not Forsake My Darling, which includes Tufts librarian Sophia Cacciola, were hired to be the house band for TEDxSomerville, and created mini theme songs for each of the speakers.

The lyrics to his song reflect the theme of Sam Sommer’s book Situations Matter: Understanding How Context Transforms your World:

Hang around with the right crowd
Hang around in the right town
You are what you eat, you are who you meet
says Sam Sommers, context is everything
says Sam Sommers, context is everything

You can listen to Sam Sommer’s demo of the talk below.

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Tufts in Song on Soundcloud

The average Tufts student doesn’t get many opportunities to hear Tuftonia’s Day or Dear Alma Mater,  which are usually only played at large celebrations. Not to mention, there’s a handful of Tufts songs that many students may not have heard at all. That can now be changed by a simple playlist on Soundcloud. Tufts in Song is composed of 10 Tufts songs recorded by a group of a cappell alumni in 1990. Songs come from as far back as 1888 for Brown and Blue to as recent as their original recording of T-U-F-T-S in 1990. Get in the Jumbo spirit by listening to the playlist.

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