MacMillan House, one of Bowdoin’s eight college houses, recently kicked off a new event for students called The Polar Bear Tales. The theme of the inaugural evening of storytelling was first love.
The idea for the series came from Jodi Kraushar ’17, who said she watched The Moth: True Stories Told Live in New York City and was inspired to bring something similar to campus. “Bowdoin is such a diverse place and we all have so many stories to tell,” she said.
At the first night of Polar Bear Tales, brave students — and one faculty member, Harrison King McCann Professor of English Marilyn Reizbaum — shared personal experiences of love. Reizbaum talked about a literature course she took as an undergraduate student. “I just fell into the rabbit hole of wonder,” she said, explaining her undying love for the modern novel.
Andrew Cawley ’17 performed a story about how he fell in love with a girl at the first “hi.” And then he spoke about how his love evolved — and then faded away. “This summer I saw her again, and it just wasn’t there,” he mused. “Now, I guess it’s over.”
Casey Krause ’17 spoke about her best friend when she was four, a little boy named Sonny, with whom she spent “an absurd amount of time.” She brought him home to meet her parents, but the visit didn’t go well because the children played with their peas. “My parents kicked him out and told me they didn’t like the influence Sonny was having on me, and that it was time for me to grow out of this phase. But that kind of pissed me off. And I swarmed up to my room, and Sonny was there.” Over the years she saw Sonny less and less. “Where did Sunny go? The kid just disappeared. And last spring when I took Psychology 101, I learned about the concrete operational stage when a child’s imagination goes wild,” when little kids might become attached to imaginary friends. “So that’s where Sunny went,” Krause said.
The performers, in order of appearance in the video, included English Professor Marilyn Reizbaum, Andrew Cawley ’17, Ben Haile ’15, Regina Hernandez ’17, Casey Krause ’17, Katherine Churchill ’16, Cameron Chisholm ’16, Evan Montilla ’17, Amanda Spiller ’17 and Jodi Kraushar ’17.